Undergraduate Course Descriptions
All Department of English courses are "R" courses, except for the following "D" courses: ENGL-303, ENGL-304, ENGL-407 and ENGL-490. A Department stamp is not required for "R" course registration prior to the beginning of the semester, but is required for "D" course registration. On the first day of classes all courses will be closed—admission is granted only by the instructor's signature and the Department stamp (available in Taper Hall of Humanities 404). You must then register in person at the Registration office.
Departmental clearance is required for all "D" class courses.
Be sure to check class numbers (e.g., 32734R) and class hours against the official
Schedule of Classes at http://web-app.usc.edu/soc/.
Spring 2013 - Special Interest Courses
ENGL-444 Maymester in Minnesota: Writing on the Rez
Writing On the Rez is a month-long course offered in the USC Maymester program between May 15 and June 15, 2012. The course will bring up to twelve USC students to Leech Lake Reservation in northern Minnesota for a month-long immersion writing experience where they will write, study, and work with Native American students from Bemidji State University. All students will spend 1/3 of their time reading everything from treaties to Native American fiction and nonfiction and traveling to Leech Lake, White Earth, and Red Lake Reservations for first-hand immersion experiences, 1/3 of their time writing nonfiction essays and articles based on those experiences, and 1/3 shooting, editing, and creating (collaboratively) a documentary about contemporary Native American life. This years focus will be on American Indian soldiers and veterans of WWII, Korea, Viet Nam, the Gulf War, and Iraq and Afghanistan.
The class will meet four days a week in the morning to discuss readings and to analyze student writing. Typically we will present and discuss the readings on Monday and Tuesday. Students will focus on their writing on Wednesday and Thursdays and some evenings will be spent out in the community. In addition to the classroom work and nonfiction writing the students—in pairs and small groups—will shoot video documentary footage on and around the reservations, at their discretion and based on the relationships and experiences they forge with the place and people over the month of study.
Course Goals and Expectations:
This course is designed to collapse the distance between what we all imagine about Native American lives and how those lives are expressed on the ground, to bring USC students into direct contact with their Native peers and vice versa, to collectively and productively question the assumptions we share about culture and communication, and to, with the final documentary project, share our discoveries with a wider audience. This is not a study of Native life; rather, it is a study with Native peoples. Students will have a chance to socialize with and interview tribal members, attend cultural events (such as powwows), examine tribal structures and government, schools, and engage in cultural activities (subsistence gathering and fishing, etc).
Students are expected to read a great deal, write daily, and interact socially and professionally with a great number of people of all ages in the broader Native community. Students are also expected to be able to work and travel independently as they document their experiences and exhibit the motivation and self-direction necessary for independent work.
Students will be houses on the Bemidji State University campus in Bemidji, MN and can (if they wish) take their meals at the cafeteria on campus. (Students may also elect to find their own lodging off campus). Classes will be held in the American Indian Resource Center, the home of the Bemidji State University American Indian Studies Program, one of the oldest such programs in the country. Situated in the beautiful lakes region of northern Minnesota not far from the Canadian border, Bemidji is a small town on the Mississippi River, (population 10,000) surrounded by three large Ojibwe reservations: Leech Lake, White Earth, and Red Lake (total reservation population: 30,000).
DAVID TREUER is Ojibwe from Leech Lake Reservation in northern MInnesota. He is the author of three novels, a book of essays, and the forthcoming book of nonfiction: Rez Life. His writing has also appeared in Esquire, Bomb, The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, and Slate.com. He is the winner of a Pushcart Prize, the Minnesota Book Award, and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Bush Foundation. A professor of literature and creative writing at USC, he divides his time between Los Angeles and Leech Lake Reservation.
ELIZABETH DAY is Leech Lake Ojibwe. An experienced filmmaker and educator she has written and directed a number of highly successful short films and features. She is the recipient of a Bush Artist’s Fellowship, and has worked as a community arts coordinator and gallery manager and also has worked as a program director and case worker at Ain Dah Yung in St. Paul.
**** The Maymester course is described in “Spring 2012 English Course Descriptions” on the English Department website and the application can be downloaded from here as well: http://dornsife.usc.edu/engl/undergrad-maymester/
**** Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis
ENGL / HIST / AHIS 497: Senior Seminar in Early Modern Studies
with Professor Emily Anderson
497-32765R 2:00-4:20 PM
Wednesday WPH 400
Shakespeare through the (Early Modern) Ages
“He was not of an age, but for all time.”
This coming spring, the capstone course required for the Interdepartmental Minor in Early Modern Studies will be organized under the topic “Shakespeare through the (Early Modern) Ages.” Using the seemingly timeless appeal of Shakespeare as our anchor, this seminar explores current research, problems, and methodologies in the study of the early modern period, ca. 1500-1800. The first part of the course will look at the eighteenth-century reception of two Shakespearean plays, Hamlet and The Tempest, in order to consider questions specific to early modern scholarship—such as how to study the ephemeral aspects of early modern culture, or how to approach concepts of race and gender from an historical versus contemporary perspective. We will then consider how a range of early modern media—texts, portraiture and music—contributed to the more general phenomenon of “Bardolatry,” or Shakespeare-worship, that persists today. How and why did responses to Shakespeare move among early modern disciplines, and how might this movement help us understand interdisciplinarity in our own scholarship? Our class discussions will be augmented by readings keyed to public scholarly events on these topics, as organized by the USC-Huntington Early Modern Studies Institute (EMSI), and meetings with guest scholars. We will also have two archival field trips (during class time) to the Williams Andrews Clark Memorial Library to look at early modern adaptations and editions of Shakespeare’s plays. Students will have the opportunity, in the latter half of the class, to pursue their own interests through guided research projects.
Frontispiece, in _The Works of Mr. William Shakespeare_, ed. Nicholas Rowe, 1709
"The Tempest," in _The Works of Mr. William Shakespeare_, ed. Nicholas Rowe, 1709
Fall 2012 - Special Interest Courses
ENGL-262 The Literary Technologies of Memory, 1800-1950
Can books think? Can they remember? Our memory and our sense of the past is mediated by complicated neurological circuits, dispersed over millions of cells throughout the brain, generated through complex circuits of neurological impulse. And yet, when we are asked to describe our past, we tell simple stories and describe vivid scenes. This class will explore how literature shapes the stories we use to describe our selves, our past, and our environments. We will read a range of authors, from George Eliot and Charles Dickens, to Virginia Woolf and James Joyce, who explore how the mind works through imaginative fiction. A key focus of this course will be to examine how insights drawn from cognitive science, psychology and sociology can help us to understand the British novel as a technology of memory—a tool that teaches how to make sense of what happened and how to remember it.
ENGL-422 Literature and War in Seventeenth-Century England
This course examines the way seventeenth-century English writers reckoned with and reimagined warfare both at home and abroad, focusing on the questions they themselves asked: What makes a war just? What are the social and political consequences of warfare? What moral role do the arts have in a time of war? And above all, what literary forms can best capture the heroic, tragic or merely sordid atmosphere of battle?
ENGL-425 Victorian Radicalism
The Victorians were recast by the twentieth century as stifled radical conservatives, afraid of everything from sex to leggy furniture. But the Victorians lived in an age of rapid social and cultural shift – they advanced an earth-shattering theory of evolution, perfected the modern serial, and responded to waves of social revolution with radical reforms. Most importantly, they worked out how to incorporate political radicalism into civic life through an expanded franchise and stable print ecology that coordinated the radical, conservative and moderate press. This class will explore the literary, scientific, and religious radicalism of the Victorian period and consider how it has shaped political and popular culture today. A key component of the course will be to connect readings for the class to digital forums including major print publications and blogs. Coursework will include weekly online blogging assignments and a final critical research project.
Readings will include works by William Godwin, Wordsworth and Coleridge, Elizabeth Braddon, George Eliot, Elizabeth Gaskell, and George Gissing. Critical readings may include selections from Anne Cvetkovich, Hayden White, Judith Butler, Peter Bürger, Thomas Kuhn, Bruno Latour and Joanna Drucker.
- USC Dornsife Department of English
- 3501 Trousdale Parkway
- Taper Hall of Humanities 404
- University Park
- Los Angeles, CA 90089-0354
- Fax: (213) 741-0377
- Phone: (213) 740 - 2808
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org