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English Department Course Offerings - Fall 2023
Major Writers: Special Topics: Humor
EN 200.02 - T/TH 12:15-1:30 PM
Dr. Katherine Shloznikova
When it comes to humor, we are all experts in the field. We just know when something is funny or not. But humor is not an easy matter. Why do humans laugh but not animals? Why is comedy sometimes more tragic than tragedy? What exactly makes a joke funny? In this course we will investigate what makes humor humor, i.e., what elements produce the effect of “funniness.” We will examine different theories of humor as well as the psychology behind it.
Our readings will be both theoretical and fictional. The theory of humor will cover conceptual aspects of humor and will include cultural analyses of comedy today. Fiction will include plays and short stories by various writers, from Shakespeare to Mark Twain to Junot Diaz. We will watch old comedies by Charlie Chaplin and Luis Bunuel; new comedies by Coen Brothers and Kevin Hart; and of course, we will discuss standup comedians.
Major Writers: American Literature: Protest Literature
EN 203.02 - M/W 3:00-4:15 PM
Dr. James Hunter Plummer
Through a diverse collection of texts across genres and from the early Republic to the present day, this course approaches literature of the United States of America through a lens of protest: literature about protest, literature as protest, and protest as literature. Together, these works explore various social ills and the activism initiated to change them, all while exposing students to a vast array of forms and genres, from the experimental play to the proto-Western. Through traditionally canonical writers (Henry David Thoreau, Langston Hughes, and more) and those on the periphery of social, cultural, and/or academic attention (including John Rollin Ridge, Zitkala-Ša, and María Irene Fornés), students will expand their understanding of who and what can be considered “major” and how such conceptions perpetuate the systemic oppression seen in the course’s literature.
Comic Books as Literature, TV & Cinema
EN 220.01 – M/W 3:00-4:15 PM
Dr. Brett Butler
The impact of comic books, graphic novels, and manga have had on popular cultural is massive. However, it is only in the last couple decades that these mediums have become the topic of proper scholarly debate and criticism. This course exposes students to a variety of comic book and graphic novels and teaches them how discuss them in academically. Whether they are dedicated comic book fans or mildly interested newcomers, students learn to develop a more profound appreciation for visual storytelling.
Justice & Hope: Writing the U.S.
EN 265D.01 - M/W 3:00-4:15 PM
EN 265D.02 - M/W 6:00-7:00 PM
Dr. Juniper Ellis
Dr. Juniper Ellis Focusing on the ways writers develop a language and a literary form that is distinctively American, this course examines the ways writers present diversity and solidarity as founding principles of the United States. We examine writers from many differing communities, creating an ongoing investigation into the way people define themselves and others. Many of the writers we read provide distinct but complementary perspectives on personal and national identity: for example, Walt Whitman’s poems and Jacqueline Woodson’s Brown Girl Dreaming create innovative literary forms that depict the ways our ideas about race may affect both black people and white people. Though the works are written more than 100 years apart, and though one writer is black and the other white, the works share common ground in experimenting with ways to tell stories that promote freedom and justice. The course offers a strong foundation in both time‐honored American fiction, drama, and poetry, and contemporary multi‐ethnic classics. This course meets the University's Diversity Course Requirement, focusing on domestic awareness.
U.S. Lit: Imagining the Nation
EN 266D.01 – T/TH 10:50 AM–12:05 PM
EN 266D.02 – T/TH 1:40-2:55 PM
Dr. Sondra Guttman
Join this class for a literary exploration of American national identity from the 18th through the 21st centuries. Through our study of Native American, African American,
Chinese American, and Jewish American stories, poems, and plays, we’ll engage with some of the central conflicts at work in imagining a distinctive and unified American national identity. You can expect some great readings from writers you know or have heard of, such as Frederick Douglass, Walt Whitman, and Zora Neale Hurston. Also, you’ll meet writers that might be new to you, such as Yaa Gyasi, Sui Sin Far, Zitkala-Ša, Gish Jen, and Thomas King. Topics we discuss: Indigenous rights, the abolition movement, women’s suffrage, immigration, assimilation, nationalism, ideologies of race, gender, sexuality, and class.
This course fulfills your second-level English or History core requirement and your Diversity Course requirement for graduation. The work includes weekly blog posts, a midterm, and a final exam, two short essays, and one collaborative teaching project.
300-Level Courses / 400-Level Courses
Shakespeare: Histories and Tragedies
EN 310.01 - M/W 3:00-4:15
Dr. Thomas Scheye
“He doth bestride the narrow world/ Like a colossus.” The way Cassius describes Julius Caesar can describe Shakespeare as well; his achievement towers over all other authors’ in our language. Shakespeare does more than write plays; he creates a world—one where the characters come alive for us and the language becomes part of our common inheritance as English speakers. This course focuses on Shakespeare’s history plays where that world is first defined and his mature tragedies where it finds it finest expression.
The Nineteenth-Century English Novel
EN 360.01 - T/TH 4:30-5:45 PM
Dr. Gayla McGlamery
The most popular novelist of his day—also a journalist, a magazine editor, an amateur actor, and a man of stunning nervous energy, who often walked 30 miles between sunrise and sunset…
Writer of the first novel to deal entirely with the poor and author of the best industrial novel of the century…
One of the great minds of her generation and a pioneer of psychological fiction…
The most eminent of the late-Victorian novelists, a deeply pessimistic man who nevertheless wrote the great pastoral love story of the age…
These are the writers whose masterworks we’ll be reading as we explore the golden age of the novel in Victorian Britain. While they wrote, Great Britain was expanding its empire over a quarter of the globe and simultaneously undergoing a tremendous social, political, and economic transformation. We’ll read three novels that attempt to record and grapple with the sweeping changes of the time—Great Expectations, North and South, and Middlemarch—and at least one work—Far from the Madding Crowd--that appears in some measure to retreat from them. We will also view and discuss film adaptations of North and South and Far from the Madding Crowd and consider how 21st-century filmmakers perceive the characters and problems of an earlier era and gesture toward issues still troubling us today.
Topics in African American Lit: Black Arts Movement \
EN 375.01 - T/TH 12:15-1:30 PM
Dr. Gary Slack, Jr.
Described by Larry Neal as the “aesthetic and spiritual sister of the Black Power Movement,” the Black Arts Movement sowed the seeds of revolution in the sense of the word—written, spoken, and drawn. Black Arts sought to capture the emancipatory potential of Black life, especially as the Civil Rights Movement waned. The movement focused on the intersections between arts and politics and reimagined the artist as a culture hero. In this course we will study a wide range of materials, from the poetry of Amiri Baraka to the music of Aretha Franklin. You will be expected to engage with art forms typical of the era, including manifestoes, jazz poetry, and visual collages. You will also be expected to produce criticism in the form of free writings, close readings, and research papers.
Post-Colonial Literature: Futurism
EN 376.01 - M/W 4:30-5:45 PM
Dr. Juniper Ellis
Imagining a different future makes it possible to live a different future. Investigate the ways Indigenous, Black, and queer writers create new futures and challenge colonizing and heteropatriarchal narratives. Post-Colonial Futurism centers Indigenous, Black, and queer ways of knowing and being in science fiction and fantasy.
Indigenous wayfinding and queer AI take on global warming and cultural, racial, and gender violence. Likely writers we will read include Gina Cole (LGBTQIA+, Fijian), Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Nigerian), Victor LaValle (African American), Darcie Little Badger (LGBTQIA+, Lipan Apache), Celu Amberstone (Cherokee), Nalo Hopkinson (LGBTQIA+, Taino/Arawak, Jamaican Canadian), Nnedi Okorafor (Nigerian American), Akwaeke Emezi (LGBTQIA+, Nigerian). Lou Cornum (Diné) declares that Black, Indigenous, and other oppressed people “project ourselves among the stars” to “forge better relationships here on Earth and in the present.”
Post-Colonial Futurism make Indigenous, Black, and queer pasts and presence visible now and all along. Post-Colonial Futurism envisions a different world, creating change through what Black queer writer Adrienne Brown calls “‘science fictional behavior’—being concerned with the way our actions and beliefs now, today, will shape the future, tomorrow, the next generations.”
Lively class discussions, term paper, two exams, service option. For those who select the service option, opportunity to respectfully tutor, and to observe the ways concepts and experiences of time and the future function for youth/ different populations in the same city.
Seminar: Neurodiversity: Mental Disability in Literature and Film
EN 380D.01 - T/TH 10:50 AM-12:05 PM
Dr. Mark Osteen
The Neurodiversity movement proposes that people with cognitive and intellectual differences are complex human beings who add something unique and valuable to the world. This course proceeds from that idea, using the principles of Disability Studies to investigate how literary artists and filmmakers have depicted neurodivergent people. Among the questions addressed are these: Can disabilities also be abilities? What new forms of knowledge do neurodivergent people offer to neurotypical folks? How do differences in linguistic abilities, sensory perception, cognition, or memory shed light on the deeper nature of these phenomena? Are the principles of neurodiversity incomplete? If so, how should we supplement them?
After examining early texts and films featuring intellectually disabled characters (e.g., Wordsworth’s “The Idiot Boy,” Melville’s “Bartleby,” and Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury), we move to the contemporary period. We’ll read autistic scientist Temple Grandin’s autobiography, Oliver Sacks’s fascinating clinical tales, Paul, and Judy Karasik’s graphic memoir The Ride Together, and Mark Haddon’s best-seller The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, among other texts. We’ll view movies such as The Wild Child, The Black Balloon, and Becoming Bulletproof. We’ll also explore books about traumatic brain injury, including Richard Powers’s National Book Award-winning novel The Echo Maker, and study films such as Memento and The Lookout. Other topics may include portrayals of emotional impairment (Andrew Miller’s Ingenious Pain), dementia (Sarah Polley’s Away from Her), and amnesia (essays by Flood Skloot). By the end of the course, students will have gained an enhanced appreciation of the richness of human cognitive diversity.
Each student will give an oral presentation, write a research paper, and complete two exams. Students will also write two brief papers reflecting on their own disabilities and differences.
This is a Diversity Designated Course, which means that it contributes to the university mission to “inspire students to learn, lead, and serve in a diverse and changing world” by introducing students to groups and histories that have been historically underrepresented in Loyola’s curriculum. Once you complete this course, you will have fulfilled Loyola’s requirement to take at least one Diversity Designated Course.
Seminar: English Literary Revolutions Before 1800
EN 439.01 - T/TH 9:25-10:40 AM
Dr. Robert Miola
The purpose of this course is to sample the English literary revolutions of the thousand-year period that begins with Beowulf and ends with Boswell. We shall read Chaucer, Shakespeare, Donne, Milton, Swift and Johnson, and other writers, some unjustly ignored, especially women like Katherine Philips and Catholics like the martyred Jesuit Robert Southwell. Students will constantly think about the forces that shape the canon, about the purposes such forces serve, about who gets in and who gets left out, and why. Students will not only confront exciting literature in a variety of genres (epic, lyric, dramatic, prose fiction, satire) but they will also experience the various reactions, rebellions, and revolutions that constitute English literary history. We shall enjoy frequent videos of plays and perhaps a few additional outings, lectures, and films. There will be regular presentations, writing assignments in and out of class, forums, a final examination, and no formal paper.
EN 470.01: English Honors Seminar - T/TH 4:30-5:45 PM
Dr. Nicholas Miller
Metamorphosis, it might be said, is the one constant of all experience. As human beings we transform and mutate, exchanging one body for another as cells are born and die, tracing the contours of our “selves” in thoughts that come and go, in emotions that intensify and recede, and in memories that alter the past even as they record it.
In this course we will explore the rich history of metamorphosis in verbal and visual texts, examining transforming figures from Ovid’s Narcissus in classical mythology to modern retellings of folk and fairy tales like Beauty and the Beast. We will investigate the visuality of mutation, from nineteenth-century painting and political caricature to vaudeville’s “quick-change” stage illusionists to the surprising origins of animation—the only artform capable of producing metamorphic spectacle in real time. Closer to home, we will consider our own subjective experiences of growth and change, including especially the passage from childhood to adulthood, discovering how memory can transform the past and asking what literary and cinematic child narrators have to teach us about what it means to become the hero of one’s own story.
Authors to be studied may include Ovid, the brothers Grimm, Franz Kafka, James Joyce, Oscar Wilde, Virginia Woolf, Alice Munro, Lynda Barry, and Jhumpa Lahiri. Possible films may include Emile Cohl’s Fantasmagorie, Henry Selick’s Coraline, Claude Barras’ My Life as a Zucchini, Pedro Almodóvar’s The Skin I Live In, and Tom Tykwer’s Cloud Atlas, among others.
- Following long-standing tradition, the faculty and student members of the English Honors Seminar will work together to plan the Department’s annual literary feast in December, drawing on themes from the course. Students enrolling in EN 470 should do so with the understanding that creative feast planning will form a significant part of their course responsibilities, especially in the second half of the semester.
- EN 470 is a pre-requisite for completing a Senior Honors Thesis in the English Department.
- Enrollment in EN 470 is by invitation only.
Seminar: Radicals & Pretenders: Bohemianism in Modern Literature
EN 483.01 - T/TH 3:05-4:20 PM
Dr. Melissa Girard
"The grand work of Bohemianism in our own day in our United States, and the best proof of it, is the inability of the old-fogies to understand or see the meaning and tendency of our Bohemianism.”
—D.D., The New York Saturday Press, June 16, 1860
Born in nineteenth-century Paris, bohemianism is a way of life, a philosophy based on rebellion from the mainstream. Disillusioned with conventional society, bohemians create alternative communities—subcultures—on the margins, where they may live and create art according to their own rules. Taking their cue from Paris and London, American bohemians in New York and San Francisco have given rise to some of the most innovative (and contentious) artistic experiments of the last 150 years, including modernism, feminism, and free love. This semester, we will immerse ourselves in the history and philosophy of bohemianism to understand the nature of their rebellions. Are bohemians really radicals or just pretenders? Our readings will begin with iconic bohemian works by Charles Baudelaire, Walt Whitman, and Oscar Wilde. We will then travel to New York’s Greenwich Village, where Edna St. Vincent Millay reimagined bohemia for the “New Woman”; Ernest Hemingway’s cosmopolitan bohemia, where the “Lost Generation” wandered aimlessly in the aftermath of World War I; Harlem’s cabarets, where jazz fueled new forms of artistic and political freedom; and San Francisco’s Beat subculture, where Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac popularized bohemianism like never before. We will analyze the forms and styles of art that arose from these bohemian subcultures and explore whether bohemianism offers a viable alternative to mainstream life.
EN 099 English Internships
Students may take one internship course for degree credit. The course counts as an elective, not as a course fulfilling requirements for an English major or minor. Students taking an internship course are responsible for locating the internship and must work at least ten hours per week. For-credit internships include biweekly meetings with Dr. Cole and other fellow interns, and students undertake a series of reflective and goal-setting activities that can be highly beneficial aspects of the career discernment process. Internships may be done locally in the Baltimore-Washington region or remotely, but written or electronic permission of the instructor is required and all arrangements for a spring semester internship must be made prior to the end of the drop/add period. Interested students should contact Dr. Forni (firstname.lastname@example.org) , the departmental internship supervisor, before registration.