English 104 section themes, Fall, 2011
Ms. Kelly Netwal (Section 1 and 2)
He Said, She Said: Classics Revisited
Anne Sexton, Emma Donoghue, Margaret Atwood, and Paula Vogel have altered or addressed classic works of literature by male writers, including Grimm's Fairy Tales, The Odyssey, and Othello in an attempt to reimagine literature and open up a new dialogue about gender. We will not only read the original works in their entirety or as excerpts, but the altered versions as well, examining them in a social context and in relation to images in the media and excerpts from non-literary sources such as Survival of the Prettiest. For the final research paper students will have the option to argue a position on a topic related to the course theme and which aligns with the contemporary texts.
Mr. Nathan Wardinski (updated information forthcoming)
In the Christian tradition, the figure of the devil, or Satan, personifies evil. Over the course of centuries in Western literature, the character of Satan has assumed a variety of forms and functions. In this English 104 course, students will study literary selections from a variety of authors, each using Satan in ways that suit thematic and narrative ends. Through the semester, students will be exposed to a variety of literary incarnations of Satan and come to understand how these interpretations of the character are used by the authors. The readings of the class will include work by John Milton, Aldous Huxley, and C.S. Lewis as well as scholarship on religious history and contemporary urban legends.
Professor Grant Smith (Section 3)
Students in English 104:03 will explore ways they connect with the environment and how those connections shape their identity as well as the environment itself. The class format will be lecture/discussion. The reading assignments will include several novels, short stories, poems and non-fiction essays -- all focused on the environment. We shall consider these questions throughout the semester:
- What is a sense of place?
- How am I connected physically and or spiritually to a place?
- How am I shaped by a place?
- What affect do I have on a place?
- How do I define my physical, spiritual, and environmental self?
- What experiences with the environment and with others have shaped my being?
Jennifer Friends (Section 4)
Whether thinking of music, dance, politics, economics, or literature, thinking about American culture as a whole requires thought about African American culture. In this course we will look at African American literature both as a literary tradition in its own right and as a lens through which we can better see African American culture and American culture as a whole. To this end, students will read, discuss, analyze, and respond in writing to readings from The Norton Anthology of African American Literature, as well as August Wilson's The Piano Lesson, Frederick Douglass' What to the Slave if the Fourth of July?, Brent Staples' Just Walk on By: Black Men and Public Space, Marita Bonner's On Being Young - A Woman - and Colored, Malcolm X's Hair, and the poems of Langston Huges, Paul Laurence Dunbar, Sterling Brown, Soniz Sanchez, and Nikki Giovanni, to name a few.
Ms. Kate E Clausen (Section 5)
Who Am I, and Why Am I Here?: Identity in Coming-of-Age Literature
How is identity formed? What experiences mold us into who we become, and how does the transition from adolescence to adulthood influence our identities? Where do family, society, culture, race, gender, and economics fit in to our coming of age story? Suzanne Collins, Phillip Hoose, Paula Vogel, David Small, and several other authors have created stories in an attempt to answer these questions. We will read and critically analyze these texts, as well as examine them in their social context and their relation to our own identities. Excerpts from other literary sources will be handed out or put on Blackboard. The course will culminate in a research paper exploring a specific topic in coming-of-age literature.Ms. Jan Wellik (Section 6 - Tentative description)
Exploring the Natural World
This Eng.104 course will focus on exploring the natural world in contemporary literature. Students will approach poetry, drama, fiction and non-fiction through a sense of place. Readings will include Earth Prayers, a collection of poems; Prodigal Summer a novel by Barbara Kingsolver; and When the Wild Comes Leaping Up, a collection of creative non-fiction essays edited by David Suzuki.