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Current Undergraduate Classes

Browse our current and past course offerings.

Associate Professor Steven Miller

Small class sizes and unique course offerings allow you to work closely with faculty on the cutting edge of literary and cultural studies.

Fall 2014 Course Offerings

Eng 193 - Fundamentals of Journalism

Andrew Galarneau
W (eve)     7:00 - 9:40
Reg. No. 21322

This course is a gateway into the Journalism Certificate program and teaches students to research, report and write news and feature stories for print, broadcast and the web. It also provides an overview of American journalism and an introduction to American media and press law.

Students learn to conduct interviews, use quotes and write in Associated Press style. They also learn the importance of accuracy, integrity and deadlines. Students analyze the merit and structure of good (and bad) news stories and focus on how journalists tell stories differently in print, radio, TV and on the web.

Students will have in-class and take-home writing exercises, short at the start, longer at the end, designed to help them master the fundamentals of news writing. In addition to a textbook, students will read the front sections of The New York Times (online or print) and the front and city sections of The Buffalo News every day. Once a week, students take current events quizzes.

This course is a Pre-requisite to the Journalism Certificate Program.

Eng 207 - Introduction to Writing Poetry/Fiction

Professor Dimitri Anastasopoulos
T   (eve)    7:00 - 9:40
Reg. No. 22466

Vladimir Nabokov once reflected that “a writer should have the precision of a poet and the imagination of a scientist.” This introductory course is specifically designed for beginning writers who would like to take the first steps towards exploring the craft of poetry and fiction. Students will be introduced to the fundamental vocabulary and basic techniques of each genre. Throughout the semester, the class will also be presented with a diverse group of readings to study and emulate in order to kindle our own imaginative strategies. No prior   writing experience is necessary.    

Through a series of linked exercises and related readings, ENG 207 will introduce students to fundamental elements of the craft of writing poetry and fiction. We will study differing modes of narration (the benefits of using a 1st person or a 3rd person narrator when telling a story, or how an unreliable narrator is useful in the creation of plot). We will examine character development (why both “round” and “flat” characters are essential to any story), as well as narrative voice (creating “tone” and “mood” through description and exposition), and think about “minimal” and “maximal” plot developments.  We will consider the differences between closed and open forms of poetry. The use of sound and rhythm. We will try our hand at figurative language and consider how imagery is conveyed through our choice of words. We will study prosody and the practice of the line.

Selected readings will expose you to a variety of poetic forms, fictional styles and narrative models.  Assigned exercises will give you the space to practice and experiment with unfamiliar forms. Students will also be given the opportunity to meet with visiting poets and fiction writers at Poetics Plus and Exhibit X readings on campus and in downtown Buffalo.

It may come as no surprise that Nabokov also noted that he has “rewritten—often several times—every word I have ever published.” This introductory course is designed to be the first step on the long journey of literary practice.  

*This course counts toward the English major or minor requirements, as well as for the pre-requisite for the Creative Writing Certificate.

Eng 207 - Introduction to Writing Poetry/Fiction

Joseph Hall
MW (eve)     7:00 - 8:20
Reg. No. 21699

Vladimir Nabokov once reflected that “a writer should have the precision of a poet and the imagination of a scientist.” This introductory course is specifically designed for beginning writers who would like to take the first steps towards exploring the craft of poetry and fiction. Students will be introduced to the fundamental vocabulary and basic techniques of each genre. Throughout the semester, the class will also be presented with a diverse group of readings to study and emulate in order to kindle our own imaginative strategies. No prior   writing experience is necessary.    

Through a series of linked exercises and related readings, ENG 207 will introduce students to fundamental elements of the craft of writing poetry and fiction. We will study differing modes of narration (the benefits of using a 1st person or a 3rd person narrator when telling a story, or how an unreliable narrator is useful in the creation of plot). We will examine character development (why both “round” and “flat” characters are essential to any story), as well as narrative voice (creating “tone” and “mood” through description and exposition), and think about “minimal” and “maximal” plot developments.  We will consider the differences between closed and open forms of poetry. The use of sound and rhythm. We will try our hand at figurative language and consider how imagery is conveyed through our choice of words. We will study prosody and the practice of the line.

Selected readings will expose you to a variety of poetic forms, fictional styles and narrative models.  Assigned exercises will give you the space to practice and experiment with unfamiliar forms. Students will also be given the opportunity to meet with visiting poets and fiction writers at Poetics Plus and Exhibit X readings on campus and in downtown Buffalo.

It may come as no surprise that Nabokov also noted that he has “rewritten—often several times—every word I have ever published.” This introductory course is designed to be the first step on the long journey of literary practice.  

*This course counts toward the English major or minor requirements, as well as for the pre-requisite for the Creative Writing Certificate.

Eng 221 - World Literature

Professor Walt Hakala
MWF   9:00 - 9:50
Reg. No. 23575

Romance Traditions in Asia

This course will introduce students to narratives of romance that span Asia’s wide variety of religious, literary, theatrical, and cinematic traditions. “Texts” may include English translations of a Sanskrit drama, a Sufi mystical text, tales from The Arabian Nights, early Japanese and Chinese novels, recent Bollywood cinema, Korean television melodramas, and recent examples of the worldwide Harlequin Romance phenomenon. The written component comprises two short papers and a cumulative exam.  

There are no prerequisites for this class and all course materials are in English.  

**Fulfills a 200-level course requirement for Asian Studies and English majors and minors.**

Eng 232 - British Writers 2

Professor Rachel Ablow
MWF   10:00 - 10:50
Reg. No. 23576

At the beginning of the 19th century the poets William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge attempted to redefine literary value in terms of the ability of some people (poets) to communicate their feelings to other people (readers). In so doing, they began a new tradition of questioning the nature of literary value, the work of the writer, and the importance of reading literature.

This course offers an introduction to the wide variety of ways in which British writers asked these questions in the 19-21st centuries – and to the assumptions and concerns about society, the family, the nation, and modernity that informed and complicated the ways in which they answered them. Writers for the course will include some or all of the following: Wordsworth, Coleridge, Austen, Dickens, Tennyson, Wilde, T. S. Eliot, Woolf, Adiga.

Eng 242 - American Writers 2

Professor Robert Daly
T Th     12:30 - 1:50
Reg. No. 22467

Why read literature? What’s in it for us? How does it contribute to our ability to survive and thrive in the   larger world that includes literature but is not limited to it. This introductory survey is not limited to English  majors and will define terms and techniques as it goes along. It will explore 20- and 21-century American  literature, particularly novels and short stories, by Edith Wharton, Sherwood Anderson, Willa Cather, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Thomas Pynchon, and Toni Morrison, among others. We shall explore how to read literature and life in detail and in context.

Each student will write two preliminary examinations, each preceded by a careful review in class, a take-home final examination, and a research essay (8-16 pages) on a subject of her or his own choosing, though within the general area of recent American literature.  Though I shall provide a good deal of information on modes of reading, the central focus of the course will remain on the works, their relations with each other, and their   interactions with American culture and life in general.

Eng 251 - Short Fiction

Melissa Schindler
MWF     1:00 - 1:50
Reg. No. 21842

Edgar Allan Poe once said that in a short story, “the soul of the reader is at the writer’s control.” Unlike the novel, which may take days or weeks to get through, most short stories can be read in less than an hour. They keep a reader’s attention from beginning to the end, with very little outside distraction. In an era when our attention spans seem shorter with every new technological invention, the value of short fiction only increases. What can a short story communicate that a novel or play cannot? What are the major characteristics of the short story and how do they help it to speak to readers?

In order to discuss these questions, we will compare the short story to yet another genre: the short film. For every short story we read, we will watch the film version. The stories on the syllabus come from all over the world, and so do their film adaptations. How does a Spanish director interpret the work of an author like Poe? How might a creator of Japanese anime interpret the writing of Franz Kafka? What would three Russian film students do with one of Ernest Hemingway’s short stories?

We will discuss many types of short writing: comedy, suspense, realism, surrealism, science fiction, children’s fiction and internet fiction. We will read stories meant to make you cry, stories meant to make you laugh and stories meant to make you question your place in the universe. By the end of the term, you will be prepared to talk about the properties of short fiction and film, but more importantly, to analyze what happens (what is lost, gained or transformed) when a story jumps from one medium to another.

Students will be expected to participate regularly, do one presentation, write a 6-8 page paper and take one final exam.

Eng 253 - Novel

Patricia Chaudron
MWF     12:00 12:50
Reg. No. 24303

When we think of the novel we usually expect it to be “realistic.” But where does this expectation come from? During this course we will study the history of the novel through a realist lens and we will focus on the following questions: what does it mean for a novel to be “realistic” and what formal features are involved in this definition? Moreover, what kinds of social and cultural contexts     influenced these formal features? Realism is a messy term and in this course we will see that there is great variation in what it means to represent reality. We will start in the eighteenth century and explore how the birth of the novel arose from the entanglement between fact and fiction and move up to the present day. We will approach the real from many different angles. Our readings will not only include classic realist novels but we will also deal with   naturalist works, which emphasize a darker and more   violent version of reality, and we will venture into science fiction. We will look at what happens in urban or rural environments and explore the rise of consumer culture, the idea of the American Dream, and the complications that come into play when we include the factor of racial consciousness. Focusing on how authors interact with the everyday, the way the past reemerges in the present, and how our different experiences complicate what is familiar, we will discuss what realism and the novel can offer us and how this affects the way we view the world.

Texts will probably include:

Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe
Mary Shelley, Frankenstein
Mark Twain, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Frank Norris, McTeague
Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway
F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby
Toni Morrison, Beloved
Jamaica Kincaid, A Small Place

Requirements: one short mid-term paper (4-6 pages), a final paper (7-9 pages), and a final exam.

Eng 254 - Science Fiction

Professor Nnedi Okorafor
T Th       2:00 - 3:20
Reg. No. 23577

In this course, we will examine a sampling of today's most cutting edge speculative fiction novels and short stories (from science fiction to fantasy) in order to gain an appreciation and understanding of literature. Course objectives include:

1. the defining of genres.
2. the uses of speculative fiction for entertainment, prediction, and  social commentary.
3. understanding the narrative devices of characterization, plot, and theme.
4. understanding critical standards and literary values.

Eng 254 - Science Fiction

Brad Romans
MWF     11:00 - 11:50
Reg. No. 23578

Science Fiction occupies a strange position in a literary   no-mans-land—it is both looked-down upon as “sub-literary” and held up as avant-garde playground for imagining social problems, their effects and their solutions. It is this last quality that we’ll work on in this class, as we will treat Science Fiction as a means of reading extremes. Literature always responds to its historical moment, and science fiction pushes that response past the point of lived reality. Science fiction’s social utility lies in this quality, allowing complex pasts, presents and futures to play themselves out.

We’ll begin the semester with some antique texts that don’t properly “belong” in the science fiction canon. We’ll read excerpts from Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels—a text that responds with great force and imagination to its historical moment. We’ll transition into proto-Science Fiction by reading both Edgar Allan Poe and Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, a novel that problematizes the definition of “human”—an issue we’ll talk about later in the semester. At the apogee of the industrial revolution, H. G. Wells and Jules Verne write fantastical tales and social allegories that firmly establish the “science” in science fiction. We’ll look toward the World’s Fairs for some “real world” interventions into culture before looking to early films for some assistance with imagining robots, metropolises, and space travel. We’ll spend time with pulp publications, the Futurists, Modernist attempts at grappling with near-human entities; later, we’ll read Golden Age texts that establish a firm foundation for interfacing with technology. Toward the end of the semester, work on new wave science fiction and its humanistic re-writing of communication, sexuality, individualism and privacy by reading Octavia Butler and others. This class will also delve into Afrofuturism, as problems of racial alienation in the twentieth century manifest themselves in the works of George Schuyler, funk bands Parliament/Funkadelic, artist Jean-Michel Basquiat and composer Sun Ra. Finally, we’ll wrap up with a foray into the cyberpunk genre and a gesture toward the future of science fiction with Kazuo Ishiguro’s novel Never Let Me Go.

This course will give students a unique perspective on history, race, class, gender, politics and communication as imagined by scientists, writers, philosophers, artists, and musicians. This course is designed to look closely at the call-and-response between culture and what culture produces; namely, texts that push beyond the limits of the possible and into the realm of the hypercritical. Science Fiction maintains its standing as the genre that goes boldly where no others will.

I require no prior knowledge of the material, and this class is designed for majors and non-majors alike. This class requires regular attendance and participation, short response papers, two 5-7 page essays and an exam.

Eng 258 - Mysteries

Professor Susan Eilenberg
T Th       11:00 12:20
Reg. No. 23580

To have a mystery novel you need at a minimum a body and a question about how, why, and at whose hand it came to be dead.  There exist innumerable mysteries that focus upon these things:  the wounds suggestive of torture, the gory and psychopathic processes of murder, and the unpleasant and dangerous route the detective follows in uncovering the gruesome facts. 

Those mysteries we shall avoid.   In this class we shall read instead the mystery novel that presents itself as civilized diversion, as amusing puzzle, as game of wit--an occasion for the production of wit and the display of lightly worn erudition, a form of drawing room comedy or even (sometimes) romance.  Our detectives will not be police officers but instead outsiders-- drunks, addicts, precocious children, debutantes, former suspects, idle aristocrats, idler academics. 

What is it about the mystery novel that allows it to turn with such extravagant squeamishness from the grossness and tedium of murder and conviction?  We shall read work from Arthur Conan Doyle, Dorothy Sayers, Michael Innes, Ngaio Marsh, Raymond Chandler (and possibly too Josephine Tey, Peter Dickinson, Sarah Caudwell, or Alan Bradley) to seek clues to this mystery.

I will ask each student to write four brief response papers, a midterm exam, and a longer paper due at the end of term.  There will be occasional quizzes.  Intelligent participation will be encouraged; attendance will be mandatory.

Eng 258 - Mysteries

Professor David Schmid
MWF     9:00 - 9:50
Reg. No. 22473

For decades, mystery novels have been dismissed as "potboilers," not worthy of serious critical attention. Whatever one may think of the literary merits of mysteries, there is no denying the fact that they have proved to be a remarkably resilient and diverse form of popular fiction. The aim of this course is to survey a selection of both the most important examples of mystery writing and recent attempts to "update" the genre. Our focus throughout the semester will be on the narrative techniques used by these writers to create character, structure plot, and maintain suspense. We can tell a lot about a society from the way it discusses crime and punishment. Therefore, we will also study how these novels and short stories   provide miniature social histories of the periods in which they were written.

Course Texts

Edgar Allan Poe The Dupin Tales (“The Murders in the  Rue Morgue,” “The Mystery of Marie Roget,” “The Purloined Letter”)
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle   Six Great Sherlock Holmes Stories
Agatha Christie The ABC Murders
Dashiell Hammett The Maltese Falcon
Raymond Chandler The Big Sleep
Chester Himes Cotton Comes to Harlem
Jim Thompson The Killer Inside Me
Sara Paretsky Blood Shot
Barbara Wilson Murder in the Collective

We will also watch and discuss two movies: Billy Wilder's  Double Indemnity (1944), and Christopher Nolan’s Memento (2000).

Attendance and keeping up with the reading are mandatory, participation is extremely desirable. There will be three five-to-seven-page papers, and reading notes throughout the semester.

Eng 268 - Irish Literature

Marion Quirici
MWF     11:00 - 11:50
Reg. No. 21843

Though writing may be regarded as a safe or inconsequential exercise, many Irish writers are wary of the potential of their task to be either as constructive as sustained manual labor, or as destructive as any act of violence. Seamus Heaney in “Digging” famously declares, “Between my finger and my thumb / The squat pen rests, snug as a gun. […] I’ll dig with it.” In this course, we will observe the intense interaction between literary production and consumption and the making of a nation. To the establishment of Irish independence, literary enterprise was as important as political. In Ireland, political ideologies developed and cultural debates took place in a variety of venues, from the graveside of patriot O’Donovan Rossa to the Abbey Theatre to the pages of little magazines and newspapers. We will, therefore, consider Irish writing from across the generic spectrum—poetry, plays, and novels—as well as exploring forms not traditionally deemed literary: political essays and speeches; newspaper and magazine editorials.  Modernists of international stature, such as James Joyce and William Butler Yeats, number among our diverse group of authors, as do the poets, playwrights, and revolutionaries of the Irish Revival. The second half of the semester will introduce us to a selection of mid-century novels before concluding with contemporary drama. Our interrogation of these authors and their work will of necessity engage the historical contexts of colonialism and anticolonial agitation, independence and neutrality, economic stagnation, religious authority and sectarian conflict, censorship, exile, and emigration. Consultation of materials in the Poetry Collection will grant students  privileged access to artifacts that document Irish history as it unfolds. Whether we are digging for potatoes with Seamus Heaney or taking tea with Molly Keane, our  attention will always be   attuned to the ways in which the local translates to the global.

Authors considered will include Lady Augusta Gregory, W. B. Yeats, Pádraic Pearse and the  poets of the Irish Revolutionary Brotherhood, James Joyce, Molly Keane, Seán O’Faoláin, Myles na gCopaleen, Edna O’Brien, Christy Brown, Seamus Heaney, Brian Friel, Tom   Murphy, Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill, and Conor McPherson.

No preliminary knowledge of Irish history or literature is required. Students are expected to keep up with the weekly reading, participate in class discussions and an online discussion board, take a midterm exam, and write two formal essays.

Eng 271 - African American Literature

Professor Jang Wook Huh
MWF   1:00 - 1:50
Reg. No. 23638

This lecture course is an introductory survey of African American literature. Spanning the period from the turn of the twentieth century to the present, we will consider a range of work in a variety of genres, including autobiography, fiction, poetry, drama, and nonfiction prose. We will re-conceptualize the African American literary and cultural tradition by focusing on its aesthetic contributions, its political capacities, and its interactions with diverse racial and ethnic groups within and beyond the U.S. borders. Tracing African American literary history in both local and global contexts, we will explore how black writers engage with racial formation, dispossession, notions of freedom, citizenship, and diaspora. We will also examine the influence of visual culture (such as paintings, photography, and film) on African American literature, and vice versa. Main authors may include Charles Chesnutt, Paul Laurence Dunbar, W. E. B. Du Bois, Jean Toomer, Langston Hughes, Richard Wright, Gwendolyn Brooks, James Baldwin, Amiri Baraka, and Toni Morrison.  

Eng 273 - Women Writers

Professor James Holstun
T Th       9:30 - 10:50
Reg. No. 23581

In this course, we’ll read a wide variety of twentieth-century global novels and short fiction by women, all in English or English translation. Our texts will include

Kang Kyong-ae, “The Underground Village” (Occupied Korea, 1936): short story about disability and peasant struggle in Japan-occupied Korea. We’ll read some other stories by Kang and other Korean women.

Tillie Olsen, Yonnondio (US, 1930s/1974): motherhood, work, battering, and class struggle in the American West and Midwest of the 1930s.

Mahasweta Devi Mother of 1084 (Bengal/India, 1974): A bourgeois mother undergoes a political awakening while investigating the death of her son in a revolutionary movement. We’ll also read some of Devi’s Breast Stories and her stories about Indian peasant life.

Nawal el Saadawi, God Dies by the Nile (Egypt, 1974): a short novel about peasants, patriarchy, and vengeance by the notable Egyptian feminist activist. We’ll also read some of her feminist theory.

Isabel Allende, House of the Spirits (Chile, 1982): a   magical realist family saga and reflection on the Pinochet dictatorship. One of the most-acclaimed twentieth-century novels in Spanish.

Tsitsi Dangarembga, Nervous Conditions (Zimbabwe, 1988): colonialism, race, schooling, and a Rhodesian girl’s coming of age.

Nnedi Okorafor, Who Fears Death (US 2010): rape, magic, tribal struggle, and anti-patriarchy in a devastated future Africa, by this new member of the UB English Department faculty.

This course is fine for non-majors as well as majors. We’ll talk about women’s work, literary form, sexuality, patriarchy, and feminism. We’ll discuss what distinguishes women’s writing and experience in different nations, what unifies them. You’ll be writing biweekly informal short essays (ten minutes’ or so writing), a short mid-semester paper, and an end-of-semester revision and expansion of it. If you’re buying your texts on your own, please contact me to make sure you have the right editions. Happy to talk with you about the course: jamesholstun@hotmail.com.

Eng 276 - Literature and Law

Professor Arabella Lyon
MWF     9:00 - 9:50
Reg. No. 22474

Open any good newspaper, and human rights stories abound.  Human rights talk has emerged as a powerful tool used in the construction of citizenships, histories, nation states, geopolitical boundaries, and human duty. Often human rights are considered laws or as having  legal force, but as Joseph Slaughter notes, they are “a notoriously feeble legal regime” (24). In fact, Amatrya Sen stresses their lack of legal standing, arguing that their (legal) existence is less important than their “really strong ethical pronouncements as to what should be done” (Idea 357).  That is, the human rights may have more ethical force than legal force.

In this course, we examine human rights as represented in the law and in literature.  We will consider the importance of human rights law in relationship to the importance of literary and rhetorical or political representations of human rights claims.  The course will address a series of questions that will make us better readers of human rights law, advocacy, and representation. We will consider:  Who can speak and advocate for whom?  How are human rights defined in law, literature, and film? How are gender, race, nationality, class, age depicted within popular culture and legal/political documents?  How is the subject of human rights violation constructed, and for what purpose to whose advantage?  To answer these questions, the course will begin with some readings that structure human rights law, for example, Thomas Paine, The Rights of Man and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.  Most of the work of the course, however, will consist of interpreting documentary film, fiction, journalistic pieces, and poetry as they pertain to law and politics.  At the end, we might read Rigoberta Menchú’s testimonio of the Guatemalan genocide, I, Rigoberta Menchú,and Nnedi Okorafor’s post-apocalyptic fantasy, Who Fears Death, comparing the ways in which testimony and fiction represent and respond to genocide.

In addition to be being evaluated through participation, quizzes, and short reading responses,  you will have to write two five-page papers that address an aspect of literature and the law as seen through human rights concerns.

Short list of Human Right advocacy websites:

Consider some web pages demonstrating a range of the issues of representation:

Amnesty International Sites:
www.amnesty.org
              
www.700women.org
  
www.unitedforpeace.org
    
www.feminist.org  

Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom
www.wilpf.org
www.now.org

My Favorite: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oJLqyuxm96k

Eng 276 - Literature and Law

Katrin Rowan
MWF     11:00 - 11:50
Reg. No. 24253

What stories can law tell?  How can story-making shape our perceptions of legal systems?  This course will examine how legal and literary writing, as mutually-embedded modes of expression, employ language and narrative structure to address fundamental questions of justice, equity, and fairness.  In considering these questions ourselves, we will evaluate depictions of law in a variety of genres, including classical tragedy (Sophocles’ Antigone), the novel (Franz Kafka’s The Trial), short fiction (Susan Glaspell’s “A Jury of Her Peers”), and film (Sidney Lumet’s Twelve Angry Men).  We will simultaneously analyze landmark judicial decisions and other legal documents to ask how rhetoric and storytelling enable the making and interpretation of law.  Our discussions will consider topics of social justice, racial and gender equity, punishment, and censorship (among others) to explore the tension between literature rich in multiple meanings and legal writing’s objective of certainty. This course welcomes students interested in literature, rhetoric, legal study, and criminal justice.

Eng 281 - Special Topics: The 20th Century

Professor Damien Keane
MWF     10:00 - 10:50
Reg. No. 22475

The Twentieth Century

Several years before its close, the twentieth century was famously dubbed the “age of extremes.” This moniker reflected not only a sense of the century’s intense ideological turbulence, but additionally the recognition of increasingly “normalized” experiences of one extreme or another – or of several extremes at once. In this course, we will examine how twentieth-century literary and cultural works responded to, and even participated in, political agitation and social normalization. In doing so, the course will serve as an introductory survey of some of the kinds of questions that have been asked by critics about literary and (semi-literary) writing. By following the interactions of these three components (historical events, literary representations, critical responses), students will have the opportunity to work on their own critical reading and writing skills, through practical assignments geared toward English majors (declared or intended) and non-majors alike.

Course readings will be selected from among the works of: James Baldwin, Samuel Beckett, Kay Boyle, J.M. Coetzee, Joan Didion, Daphne du Maurier, Ralph Ellison, Max Frisch, Graham Greene, George V. Higgins, Primo Levi, Yukio Mishima, Frank O’Connor, Kenzaburo Oe, George Orwell, Jean Rhys, Dalton Trumbo, H.G. Wells, and Virginia Woolf.

Students will be required to write several short response papers (2–3 pages), a shorter essay (4–5 pages), and a longer essay (7–8 pages), and to take a final exam.               

Eng 281 - Special Topics: Sound, Image, Text

Professor Dimitri Anastasopoulos
T Th    3:30 - 4:50
Reg. No. 23587

This course explores what we mean by the Postmodern. We'll look at a constellation of contemporary artifacts from the scenes of contemporary music, literature, sound art, visual art, pop culture, advertising, and film. Our goal will be to examine the impact of texts and arts on the ways we think and act. Over the course of the semester, we’ll put a range of contemporary artifacts into unexpected relationships to see how conceptions of  Postmodernity continue to influence 21 century culture. By watching documentaries and film, reading advertisements and magazine covers, listening to jazz, punk and hip hop, reading novels and poems, and meeting visiting writers, we’ll work to challenge common assumptions about the spaces and places in which we live.

Eng 301 - Criticism

Professor Graham Hammill
T Th    11:00 12:20
Reg. No. 20858                

What is literature? How does it work? What is its purpose? What relations exist between author and text? Reader and text? Text and the world? Throughout the semester, we will explore these questions by focusing on the craft of literary criticism. Intended especially for  English majors and minors, this course will introduce you to the mechanics of criticism, including close reading and research methods, as well as to more theoretical forms of interpretation. Over the course of the semester, we will read a broad range of philosophical and theoretical works that grapple with the nature of literature, the experience of reading, and the place of literature and culture in the world.

Eng 301 - Criticism

Professor Ming Qian Ma
MWF   2:00 2:50
Reg. No. 19830

Designed as a survey class, English 301 is intended  to introduce students to literary criticism of the 20th-Century, with an emphasis on the post-1960s period. Chronological in approach, it will study the representative texts of various schools of criticism, focusing on the basic terms, concepts, and methodologies. The  goals of this course are 1) to learn  and  understand  the  principles and  paradigms of each kind of criticism; 2) to become critically aware of not only the ramifications but also the limitations of literary theory; 3) to   rethink and question such notions as “innocent  reading” or “purely spontaneous  response”; and 4) to learn a range of interpretative methods.

The primary texts for the course are:

Literary Theory: An Anthology,  2nd. Edition. Edited by Julie Rivkin and Michael Ryan, Blackwell, 2004. (ISBN: 1-4051-0696-4)

Billy Budd and Other Tales, by Herman Melville, with a new introduction by Joyce Carol Oates. Signet Classic, 1998. (ISBN: 0-451-52687-2)

(Supplementary reading  materials in criticism will be distributed when needed.)

Class requirements include regular attendance, active participation in class discussions, quizzes, response papers to readings, and a  6-8 page term paper at end of the course.

Eng 301 - Criticism

Professor Ewa Ziarek
MW         3:30 4:50
Reg. No. 20712

THEORETICAL  APPROACHES TO LITERATURE This course is offered for students who would like to be more self-conscious about their interpretation of literature.   What  do we mean when we use such common terms  in  our  critical vocabulary as  "author," “desire,” "language," "narrative," "discourse," "power," "difference," "interpretation," "representation"?   How  are some  of these terms re-defined  by considerations of gender and race? What are the assumptions underlying our readings of literary texts and culture?  These and other questions will guide our analysis of several important critical essays in contemporary literary theory.  The course will try to articulate and  clarify the  main  positions, issues, and stakes in current critical debates.  We will start with the exploration of the new linguistic perspectives  introduced by Saussure, and discuss how Saussure's analysis of language becomes a model of structural analysis of literature and culture. Then we will explore challenges to structuralism represented by deconstruction (Derrida), biopolitics (Foucault), psychoanalysis  (Freud, Lacan), feminist analyses  of race and gender (Butler, Henderson), imperialism and post-colonialism (Said, Spivak). In order to see in practice how these various theoretical approaches affect our reading of literature, we will study in depth two literary texts, Conrad's Heart of Darkness and Achebe, Things Fall Apart from various critical perspectives.

Requirements: class presentations, intelligent  participation in class discussions, annotated bibliography, and short research paper with drafts and revisions, midterm, final.

English 309 - Shakespeare: Early Plays

Professor Barbara Bono
Lectures are MW from 9:00 - 9:50

Students must register for the course by enrolling in one of the following recitation sections on Friday--either:

Section 1     9:00 - 9:50 Reg. No.  21069

Section 2     9:00 - 9:50 Reg. No.  18150

Section 3  10:00 - 10:50 Reg. No.  18023

Section 4  11:00 - 11:50 Reg. No.  17477

This Fall Semester course on Shakespeare’s earlier works will begin with his self- conscious gestures of mastery in the virtually interchangeable romantic tragedy Romeo and Juliet (1594-96) and romantic comedy A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1594-96). During the course of the semester we will then go on to read selections from his second tetralogy of history plays— Richard II (1595), 1 Henry IV (1597), and Henry V (1598-99)—and his series of romantic comedies—Twelfth Night (1599-1600)—as  complementary treatments of the fashioning of authority from without, through the recreation of a myth of divine kingship, and from within, through the reproductive consent of women.

Format:

Monday and Wednesday large class lecture and Friday discussion sections. Weekly Worksheets. Two medium-length  (c.  5-10   pp.)  formal, graded, analytic and argumentative papers.   Midterm and cumulative final examinations.

Texts:

The Norton Shakespeare, ed. Stephen Greenblatt, et. al. (or  any  good  student  edition  of  the  plays you  may happen already to own—if you have questions please consult the instructor at the beginning of the course) and The Bedford Companion to Shakespeare: An Introduction with Documents,  ed. Russ McDonald.

This course satisfies an Earlier Literature requirement.

Eng 310 - Shakespeare, Late Plays

Professor Susan Eilenberg
T Th   2:00 - 3:20
Reg. No. 23589

This course will be devoted to a reading of Shakespeare’s later plays, including the mass of great tragedies (Hamlet, Lear, Othello, Macbeth) and a few of the romances (The Winter’s Tale, TheTempest). All his life Shakespeare has been interested in the space of impossibility made possible:  it has been the space of playful wit, flaunted theatricality, amusing or outrageous paradox.  As the playwright develops this space of paradox sheds its boundaries and grows ever more uncanny.  The characters of the late tragedies and romances face what cannot be faced, bear what cannot be borne--and as one character cries to another, “Thy life’s a miracle,” we meditate upon the tragic lie he tells that is at the same time a tragic truth.  It is this disbelieved fiction of goodness--born of madness and delusion and chicanery and revenge but intimating  something else, pointing mysteriously toward what King Lear calls the “chance which does redeem all sorrows / That ever I have felt,” upon which the tragedies brood.  It is this fiction too upon which the romances build their fictions of that which lies on the other side of loss, out beyond grief--not resurrection, perhaps, but that which may be just as welcome.  All this will be our matter.  I will ask each student to write a midterm exam, a handful of brief response papers, a longer graded paper, and a final exam.  There will be occasional quizes.  Intelligent participation will be encouraged; attendance will be mandatory.

This course satisfies an Earlier Literature requirement

Eng 319 - Eighteenth Century Literature

Professor Ruth Mack
T Th   12:30 - 1:50
Reg. No. 24820

How do books make us feel?  In answering these questions, we’ll look at the techniques literary writers use to represent emotions and to provoke emotional responses in their readers. What kinds of characters and environ-ments do they create in order to do so? How is it possi-ble to generate feeling out of typed words on a page?  The eighteenth century provides an important context for answering these questions. At this moment in Britain, the first novels were written and philosophers speculated for the first time about the term “sympathy.” Popular works of fiction included Laurence Sterne’s A Sentimental Journey and Henry Mackenzie’s The Man of Feeling. The gothic genre emerged, in both fiction and poetry, with the aim of filling its readers with pleasurable terror. In this course, we’ll examine how both literary and philosophical texts define the emotions and their relation to the individual person. As part of our investigation of “feeling,” we’ll think about how it works to connect people to each other and even to define what makes up society in the first place.  Course texts will include a wide range of material, from major philosophical works to gothic novels, from poetry to personal journals: John Locke, An Essay Concerning Human Understanding; Eliza Haywood, Love in Excess; Edmund Burke, A Philosophical Enquiry in to the Origin of Our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful; Adam Smith, The Theory of Moral Sentiments; Horace Walpole, The Castle of Otranto; James Boswell, London Journal

This course satisfies an Earlier Literature requirement.

Eng 324 - 19th Century British Novel

Kate Brown
T Th   2:00 - 3:20
Reg. No. 24254

This course will explore the pleasures and challenges of fiction by focusing on the nineteenth-century novel.  Our reading will cover a range of novelistic modes, including realism, fantasy, sensationalism, and naturalism.  Many of the assigned texts center on monstrous secrets and the shock of their exposure.  Looking at the different ways novels figure the unspeakable, we will ask why its exposure is pursued, how the experience of shock registers on characters and the narrative itself, and who survives the encounter.  In so doing, we will illuminate changes in the ways the Victorian novel represents both the possibilities and the costs of readerly pleasure, narrative coherence, affective relations, and personal efficacy.  TEXTS will be chosen from among the following:  Mary Shelley, Frankenstein; Emily Bronte, Wuthering Heights; Charlotte Bronte, Jane Eyre; Charles Dickens, Great Expectations; Mary Elizabeth Braddon, Lady Audley’s Secret; Thomas Hardy, Tess of the D’Urbervilles; Robert Louis Stevenson, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde; Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray.  Course requirements include active class participation, frequent brief response papers, two formal essays, and a final.

Eng 333 - American Literature to Civil War

Professor Ken Dauber
T Th   9:30 - 10:50
Reg. No. 22480

This course will survey American literature from its beginnings to the Civil War, including some of the most important works of Benjamin Franklin, James Fenimore Cooper, Poe, Emerson, Thoreau, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Frederick Douglass, Hawthorne, and Melville.  We will discuss such topics as democratic writing, the representation of slavery, the form of the romance, and the "making" of American literature in a time when England served as the great influence to be undone as a model for writing in English.  Throughout we will be asking "What makes American literature American?"  "Is there such a thing as "American" writing, philosophy, literature."  Are such questions still pertinent ones.

Eng 338 - Novel in the U.S.

Professor Robert Daly
T Th 3:30 - 4:50
Reg. No. 17430

This course is open to students from all majors and does not presume any prior knowledge of its subject. I shall define terms and provide contextual information as we go along.  To start with a recent voice, in 20I3 Alan H. Goldman, Kenan Professor of Humanities at William and Mary, linked reading novels with preparing for life outside them: “Novels . . . challenge us to continuously interpret as we read,” thereby “broadening our repertoire of responses to situations that might arise” in our lives. Earlier scholars had already started the theoretical argument in this direc-tion. In 2006 Amanda Anderson, English department chair at Johns Hopkins, argued, “We must keep in mind that the question, How should I live? is the most basic one” and “must acknowledge the priority of normative questions and the fundamentally practical structure of  human action and understanding.” In 2007 Jonathan Culler, of Cornell University, added that literature aids our “engagements with otherness,” affords us “a mental calisthenics, a practice that instructs in exercise of agency,” enables us both to “sympathize” and to “judge,” offers us a theoretical knowledge “that migrates out of the field in which it originates and is used in other fields as a frame-work for rethinking broad questions,” and gives us an intellectual toolkit to read “novels as a force for imagining the communities that are nations.” In 2012 Jeffrey Nealon, from Penn State University, argued for reading literature as a preparation for living in the larger world that includes but is not   limited to language and literature. He suggests that we have “relied on a kind of linguistic nostalgia, clinging to the life raft of the hermeneutics of suspicion,” and he suggests that we need to move from “the hermeneutics of suspicion” to a “hermeneutics of situation,” our own situations as well as those of the texts. They and others will help, but mostly we shall read the texts themselves closely, in detail and in context. We shall read them in the contexts of both their times and ours.  We shall pay attention to the cultural conversations and the cultural work of the novel in our time and place.  We shall read, within the reciprocal economies of their cultural contexts, some modern, postmodern, and con-temporary American novels, along with some in which the borders between these categories seem quite permeable.  In works by Edith Wharton, Willa Cather, Sherwood Anderson, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Thomas Pynchon, John Gardner, Toni Morrison, Amy Tan,  Susan Power, and Annie Dillard. We shall explore  questions of representation and agency, of literature and life.  We shall consider these texts as both representative (participating in the cultural conversations of their times) and hermeneutic (affording practice and skills in the arts of interpretation).  Each student will write two preliminary examinations, each preceded by a careful review in class, a take-home final examination, and a research essay on a subject of his or her own choosing. There will be a handout on how to write research essays. Though I shall provide a good deal of information on modes of reading, the central focus of the course will remain on the novels, their relations with each other, and their use as a propaedeutic to aspects of living well in American culture.

Eng 339 - American Poetry: University Honors

Professor Stacy Hubbard
T Th   8:30 - 9:50
Reg. No. 24431

UNIVERSITY HONORS SECITON  Today, many people perceive poetry to be a highly spe-cialized, arcane, difficult and baffling way of speaking and writing—something that lies outside ordinary life and lan-guage use. But in the history of American society, poetry has played crucial roles in both private and public life and been as popular and widely absorbed as television is today. In Puritan New England, poetry helped people to sift through doubts about their faith in God and their fate in the wilderness; in the nineteenth century, it helped people to work through grief at the loss of loved ones and to protest public injustices, such as slavery; it also provided a way for people to reconcile themselves to revolutionary new scientific knowledge—the infinite universe, evolution, geologic time. In the twentieth century, poetry played an important role in every social movement and political up-heaval, from the women’s movement, to worker’s movements, to the Civil Rights Movement, and the anti-war protests of the 60s; in the twenty-first century, poetry articulates environmental thought, responses to terror and engagements with the digital world.  This course will focus on ideas about the ordinariness of American poetry and the presence of ordinary life within poetry—the local, the daily, the mundane, the familiar. We will begin with the premise that everyone can read poetry with enjoyment and insight, and that reading poetry is a source of both private and shared pleasures. We will spend some time discussing the basic elements of poetry—what makes it like or different from other kinds of lan-guage use—and techniques for reading, performing, and explicating poems. We will then dig into some of the great American poets and theorists of poetry in order to find out how and why American poets have worked so hard to infuse poetry with the elements of everyday life—labor, the household, weeds and gardens, politics, newspapers, advertising and popular music--and what this has had to do with forging American identities. Among poets we’ll read are Anne Bradstreet, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, William Carlos Williams, Robert Frost, Langston Hughes, Gertrude Stein, Marianne Moore, Wallace Stevens, Gwendolyn Brooks, A.R. Ammons, Charles Bernstein, Harryette Mullen and Lynn Hejinian. We will read aloud, dig into dictionaries, write blogs and wikis together, attend some poetry readings, examine manuscripts and letters in the university’s Poetry Collection, write essays about poetry, make some imitations/comics/videos/Prezis of poems, and participate in the Library of Congress’s Favorite Poem video project.  Most of all, we will engage poetry as a vital, dynamic and constantly evolving language that is deeply imbedded in everyday life.  No particular background in writing or reading poetry is required for this class, and students from all majors are welcome.

Eng 346 - Comparative Ethnic Lits

Professor Jang Wook Huh
MWF  10:00 - 10:50
Reg. No. 23640

New York: Urban Realism of a  Different Color 

In 1890, the so-called “dean of American letters” William Dean Howells declared, “There’s only one city that belongs to the whole country, and that’s New York.” His metonymic presentation of New York acknowledges the multiethnic metropolis as cultural capital that catered to the national reading public’s cosmopolitan taste at the turn of the century. But this metaphor of New York as a national microcosm also extends the demographic margin of the nation into emerging urban ghettoes and slums of immigrant and migrant populations. In this course, we will examine the ways in which racial and  ethnic neighborhoods play a critical role in producing aesthetic forms such as realist fiction, urban sketches, and ethnic caricatures in American literature and culture. In mapping a narrative cartography of representing ethnic New York in literature, film, and photography, we will explore the following topics: the urban picturesque and the production of race, spatial memory and citizenship, and the intersection of race and sexuality in Harlem nightclubs. Main authors may include Wong Chin Foo, José Martí, Jacob Riis, Abraham Cahan, James Weldon Johnson, Claude McKay, Ann Petry, and Paule Marshall. This course is open to all students who are interested in literary forms, urban culture, immigrant history, the African diaspora, and comparative race and ethnicity.    

This course satisfies a Breadth of Literary Study.

Eng 356 - Popular Culture

Professor Alan Spiegel
T Th   9:30 - 10:50
Reg. No. 21324

This course will be a study of the world's most popular genre narratives:  Westerns, Crime films, Horror, Sci-fi and Adventure Romance.  A psychological probe into the collective dreamlife of American men and women in terms of the nature, origins, and development of some of the most durable stories ever told.  We'll discuss the writ-ings of Freud, Jung, and Northrop Frye; and then examine a whole raft of popular novels and films less as art and more as a species of myth, artifact, and dream-data;  and in this manner, work our way through the fears, lusts and biases of the  Republic from the mid-nineteenth century to the present.  Books include (probably) Tarzan of the Apes, The Day of the Locust, The Maltese Falcon, Double Indemnity, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, The Time Machine, and others; Films:  The Searchers, Scarface, The Cat People, Gilda, Alien, and more.    

Students should be prepared to read, see, and talk a lot, keep a  journal and take an exam.

Eng 357 - Contemporary Literature

Angela Facundo
W (eve)  7:00 - 9:40
Reg. No. 24304

This section studies literary texts that are well-established in the contemporary canon as well as contemporary texts that integrate visual components into their structure. One could characterize Post-1945 literature as incredibly split by a series of ambivalences, all of which point to the question of how we become subjects. The devastation of WWII—concentration camps, the climaxes of nationalist fervor, the rise of the totalitarian subject—has reverberated through the second half of the twentieth century and into the new millennia. The question remains: what violence and reparation is the gendered, sexualized, classed, racialized self capable of? Aesthetic forms and themes in contemporary literature address the crisis that explores the complicities and agencies of the human subjectivity. An ambivalence arises between what some may call the “postmodern condition” and the necessity of identity  politics. Is it the task of the artist to “undo” preconceived subjectivity or to articulate subjectivity? As the course progresses, our inquiry will transition from how texts reflect on visual pleasure to how texts integrate visual components into their structure. This course explores the postwar ambivalences that split aesthetic and political  subjectivity, revolving around four thematic modules: race, sexuality, narrative paranoia, and visual pleasure.

Eng 374 - Bible as Literature

Professor Diane Christian
M (eve)  7:00 - 9:40
Reg. No. 22483

The course will consider major texts of the Hebrew and Christian Bibles from Genesis to Revelation. The primary emphasis will be on reading the texts accurately, and secondarily on looking at the great interpretive traditions—religious, artistic, historical, anthropological, and psycho-logical. We’ll look, for example, at the iconography of the Adam and Eve story, Freud’s rewriting of Moses in Moses and Monotheism, some moviemakers’ revisions of Moses and Christ, and Biblical presentation of violence and sacrifice. We’ll also read cartoonist R. Crumb’s recent rendering of Genesis.  Two hourly exams and one ten-page paper.

This course satisfies an Early Literature requirement.

Eng 377A - Mythology of the Americas

Professor Dennis Tedlock
T Th  9:30 - 10:50
Reg. No.  19130

Myths not only create imaginal worlds that offer alternatives to the life world, but also offer keys to the interpretation of the life world itself, revealing a mythic level of significance in everyday events.  Myths also give shape and meaning to dreams and visions, and dreams and visions give rise to further myths.  We will try to catch those moments when the mythic world comes in contact with the world of xperience.  We will undertake a close reading of selected myths from the Americas, attempting to enter imaginal worlds and to look back at the life world from a distance.  We will consider myths that come down to us from storytellers, speechmakers, singers, and dramatists.  In addition to readings, lectures, videos, and discussions, there will be guest appearances by Native American storytellers. 

This course satisfies an Early Literature OR  a Breadth of Literature requirement

Eng 379 - Film Genres: Shakespeare

Professor Barbara Bono
M W  1:00 - 2:50
Reg. No. 23591

Shakespeare: The Movie 

If William Shakespeare were alive today—and he had the chance—he’d almost certainly be working in the movies.  The wealth and playfulness of his language, the vividness of his imagery, the strength and subtlety of his action, the mordancy of his politics, the tact of his collaborations and movement among contending patronage and power groups, and the shrewdness of his business sense all argue that he would have found a place there as a character actor, a cinematographer, a scriptwriter, or most likely a director-producer, the Martin Scorcese of his day.  Modern film returns the compliment, incessantly redramatizing and adapting his works for new sensibilities, new occasions.  In this class we will screen, discuss and write about a film adaptation or cluster of film adaptations of Shakespeare’s works every week.  Successful completion of at least one college-level Shakespeare course or its equivalent is a prerequisite of this offering (if you have any doubt about your readiness for the course, please e-mail me at bbono@buffalo.edu with a description of your preparation), and in every case I will assume careful and informed reading of the play texts under discussion.  Screenings will usually take place during the first session of the week: please be prepared to stay overtime for some of the longer films (e.g. Arika Kurosawa’s Ran at 160 minutes).  In addition to a good student text of Shakespeare’s plays (I will order copies of The Norton Shakespeare), required course texts will included Russ McDonald’s The Bedford Companion to Shakespeare, 2nd edition: Timothy Corrigan’s A Short Guide to Writing About Film, 4th edition: and Courtney Lehmann’s Shakespeare Remains: Theater to Film, Early Modern to Postmodern; as well as certain required article-length pieces on library electronic course reserve.  During the course of the semester you will be asked to submit 8 brief (1-2 page typewritten pages) informed but informal response papers (which will fuel our Thursday discussion sections), a prospectus for a 15-25 page final paper (reviewed with me in individual conference), and the polished final paper.  Our examination of plays and films will be driven by a critical and appreciative sense of the aesthetic, political and cultural work these productions did in Shakespeare’s day and continue to do in our own.   

This section of ENG 379, for Fall 2014 only, will satisfy an earlier literature requirement.

Eng 383A - Studies in World Literature: Arab Lit

Professor James Holstun
T Th   12:30 - 1:50
Reg. No. 22469

The novel became a leading genre of Arabic literature in the twentieth century, amid Arab struggles with colonial-ism, patriarchy, authoritarian rule, and with the capitalist transformation of traditional society. Reflecting on and participating in these struggles, Arab writers from the At-lantic to the Persian Gulf produced a brilliant body of fiction, from richly-detailed realist narratives to introspective autobiographical novels to modernist comic and ex-perimental writing. We will read and discuss a selection of this work, by women and men, communists and aesthetes, Muslims, Christians, Jews, and atheists, including, —Naguib Mahfouz, Midaq Alley (Egypt, 1947): a richly detailed realist novel about daily life in backstreets Cairo in the 1940s by this 1988 winner of the Nobel Prize for literature. —Ghassan Kanafani, Men in the Sun and Other Stories (Diaspora Palestine, 1963): the Nakba and the struggles of the Persian Gulf proletariat.  —Tayeb Salih, Season of Migration to the North (Sudan, 1966): a classic modernist novel about  colonialism, cultural contact, and murder, in dialogue with Conrad’s Heart of Darkness. Sometimes called the greatest novel in Arabic. —Etel Adnan, Sitt Marie Rose (Lebanon, 1978): her avant garde novella in the form of a Sophocle-an play about a Christian woman abducted and executed by other Christians during the Lebanese Civil War. —Alifa Rifaat, Distant View of a Minaret (Egypt, 1983): stories about Islamic piety, married life, feminist struggle, and a lesbian jinn-snake. —Shimon Ballas, “Iya” (Iraq/Israel, 1980s?): a Jewish fami-ly’s exile from Iraq from the perspective of a Muslim maid they leave behind. —Abdulrahman Munif, Endings (Iraq/Saudi Arabia, 1998): drought, modernization, and story-telling in the desert vil-lage of al-Tiba.  I don’t assume you have any previous knowledge of the subject matter. No examinations. I’ll ask you to write regular informal short essays on our reading assignments, a short paper at mid-semester, and a revision and expansion of this paper at the end of the semester. The University Bookstore and Queen City Imaging will stock our texts. We’ll start with Mahfouz—I’ll send you some study guides if you want to read over the summer. If you buy your own texts, please check with me first so that you have the right editions: jamesholstun@hotmail.com.  

This course satisfies a Breadth of Literature requirement.

Eng 385 - Studies in Literature of African Diaspora

Professor Hershini Young
MWF 10:00 - 10:50
Reg. No. 21620

This class samples black literature from all over the diaspora.  Like a DJ mixing various elements of sound, we will learn a little from this place and a little from that place.  Moving across genres as varied as science fiction and graphic mystery novels, we listen carefully to the sonic boom of rage, resistance and despair that echoes back and forth across the  Atlantic.  Ghosts, the mothers of murderers, and the children of slavery all speak their stories, asking us to walk a little of the way with them towards re-memory and perhaps, redemption. 

This course satisfies a Breadth of Literature requirement.

Eng 387 - Women Writers

Professor Hershini Young
MWF  12:00 - 12:50
Reg. No. 22484

This class will introduce students to contemporary literature by women of color.  Looking at novels by authors such as Louise Erdrich and Emily Raboteau, the class will disrupt dominant feminist genealogies to look at work by women whose concerns both overlap and differ from mainstream First World feminists.  Issues of how race is always gendered and how gender accumulates meaning through racial histories will be stressed.  The role of violence in shaping gender will be examined.  We will also pay close attention to issues of genre—the reading list includes graphic novels, plays, novels and short stories and requires various types of writing and performance.

Eng 390 - Creative Writing: Poetry

Professor Myung Mi Kim
Thursdays (eve)  7:00 - 9:40
Reg. No. 21847

The primary goal of our work together is to generate new writing and further, new ways of thinking about  poetry and poetics. Through a linked series of writing exercises, readings in contemporary American poetry, and intensive workshops, you will deepen your vision, sense of craft, and relationship to writing as a process.  This series of reading and writing experiments, as well as your participation in attentive readings of each other's work, will invigorate your practice of poetry. 

Further, the University at Buffalo is widely acknowl-edged as one of the most exciting, vital sites for the study of contemporary American poetry today, and this course will offer you numerous chances to hear and talk with a diverse group of poets and scholars of poetry who will be visiting Buffalo during Fall, 2014. 

Basic requirements for the course include:  active engagement with writing exercises, written responses to assigned readings, in-depth preparation for workshops, and a significant poetry writing project which will serve as the basis for a final portfolio. 

Pre-requisite: ENG 205, 206 or 207 : Introduction, Poetry, Fiction, or equivalent.

This course counts as an English Elective, as well as toward the Creative Writing Certificate.

Eng 391 Creative Writing: Fiction

Professor Nnedi Okorafor
T Th 11:00 - 12:20
Reg. No. 20885

The purpose of this class is to help students develop their creative writing skills. Students will read short stories in order to examine various elements of the craft. However the course will be mostly comprised of writing short stories, workshopping them and revising them.  Pre-requisite: ENG 205, 206 or 207 : Introduction, Poetry, Fiction, or equivalent. 

This course counts as and English Elective, as well as toward the Creative Writing Certificate.

Eng 394 - Writing Workshop: Writing for The Spectrum

Jody Kleinberg Biehl
Mondays  5:00 - 6:20
Reg. No. 20311

Love print and online journalism?  Want to write and get your work published?  Looking for a way to make your resume look fabulous?  How about getting a chance to see the way UB really works--and getting to talk to the important people on campus?  (Not to mention working with cool students and making good friends.)  The Spectrum, UB's student newspaper, needs students who are aggressive, self-motivated, and willing to meet deadlines on a weekly basis.  As a writer for one of The Spectrum's desks (such as  campus news, features, or sports), you'll be required to report and write at least twelve stories over the course of the    semester that will be published in the paper. You'll also be required to at-tend weekly classes every Monday at 5:00 p.m. to discuss the week’s papers, news on campus and how you can better your researching, reporting and writing skills. At the end of the semester, you will be required to submit a portfolio of the work you have done for the paper over the course of the semester.   Prior experience in journalism is a plus, but not absolute-ly necessary.  At the very least, you need to be a capable writer with solid basic writing skills. Completion of English 201 or its equivalent is a  minimum qualification before registering, and English 193 is also a good idea, either before you sign up for this workshop or in con-junction with it.  You will be expected to attend a mandatory organizational meeting that will be held at the beginning of the semester.  Please check The Spectrum for details.  If you have any questions, please stop in to The Spectrum offices and ask. 

This course counts as and English Elective, as well as  toward the  Journalism Certificate Program.

Eng 394 - Writing Workshop: The Spectrum Photographers

Jody Kleinberg Biehl
Mondays   4:30 - 5:50
Reg. No. 18633

Eng 398 - Ethics in Journalism

Bruce Andriatch
Tuesdays (eve)  7:00 - 9:40
Reg. No. 22652

Is it ever OK to break the law to get a story? When is it the right decision to publish a rumor? How do you know whether a picture that likely will offend readers and   viewers should be used anyway? Ethics in Journalism pushes students to examine how every action a journalist makes in gathering, organizing and presenting the news requires a value judgment. The course covers media credibility, steps in ethical decision-making, handling anonymous and unreliable sources, accuracy letters, conflict of interest and the difference between reporting and exploiting grief. The course uses the Society of Professional Journalists code of ethics as a model and guideline. Students study a range of historical scenarios, including Watergate, as well as hypothetical cases. They debate the instructor and each other and participate in a panel that takes a position on an ethical conflict and defends it. Students read and discuss the decisions and mistakes of journalists who have come before them and analyze the dilemmas unfolding in newsrooms today.

This course counts as and English Elective, as well as toward the Journalism Certificate Program.

Eng 399 - Journalism: Editing

Charles Anzalone
Thursdays (eve)   7:00 - 9:40
Reg. No. 20709

Editing: Cyberspace, Content Production and Nurturing the Conscientious Writer  

Editing and writing complement each other. Writers with top editing skills make themselves and those around them better writers. And those who write well often make the best editors. This journalism certificate course boasts a simple but life-changing claim: Anyone who makes the effort will come out a stronger and more versatile writer. Guaranteed.  This course mixes online experience and traditional liter-ary skills essential for any medium in today's communication world. Successfully completing Editing 399 means owning the confidence and proficiency that allows you to blog, chat, produce script for video -- as well as having the solid writing foundation to write articles, online or in print. If your job is to produce content – or you hope to one day have that job -- this course will show you how to do it better.   Editing 2014 is as an advanced writing course, but we takes all sincere writing candidates. It’s perfect – necessary, actually – for journalism certificate students. (How can someone be a journalism student without an editing course?)  We’ve also had frequent success with students who have the insight to see how journalism improves any writing they want to do. Any writing at all.  Students write a variety of work – online and print – then serve as editors for class partners. Imagine a course that builds you into a storyteller that makes writing a pleasure and powerful asset in your communications toolbox, not something to worry about or fear. We’ll also examine how the same editing and writing techniques become use-ful in videos, movies and other media. And for those who enter the class as accomplished, experienced writers, consider the value of embracing the kind of non-fiction journalism that brings out strong emotions – laughter, sadness, outrage, common humanity. Then learning how to do the same in your writing, or how to bring that out as an editor.  Imagine being comfortable and confident in your writing and editing skills, rather than a source of anxiety. Consider this course a door to a superior writing consciousness. 

This course counts as and English Elective, as well as toward the Journalism Certificate Program.

Eng 399 - Journalism: Science Journalism

Jody Kleinberg-Biehl
T Th  11:00 - 12:20
Reg. No. 22470

SCIENCE JOURNALISM  This is a writing class for scientists and a science class for writers. In it, students will learn the basics of science journalism by focusing on a different topic each week. Topics may include disease, wellness, mental health, environment and technology, medical breakthroughs, fitness, alternative health, neuroscience, psychology and many other push-button issues. If a science story is making the news, we will be talking about it in class and analyzing how the topic is covered and by whom. Students will learn to evaluate scientific claims, find story ideas on the UB campus and in medical and scientific journals, and translate technical material into compelling prose.  Students will explore a variety of writing forms, including blog posts, short essays, profiles and long-form magazine-style pieces. The course fulfills a requirement for the journalism certificate program. 

This course counts as and English Elective, as well as toward the Journalism Certificate Program.

Eng 399 - Journalism: Sports Journalism

Keith McShea
Mondays (eve)  7:00 - 9:40
Reg. No.  24389

SPORTS JOURNALISM  Learn how to make sport come alive in words – capture the drama, the pressure, the pivotal moments and the personalities that make the headlines -- and lurk behind them. 

This class will help you understand what it means to be a sports journalist and help you gain a deeper insight into what it takes to cover athletics -- from the big business of professional sports to a high school soccer game. The class will teach you to talk, write and think about what competition means and what it means to your audience. It will teach you the best way not only to report the scores and the winners, but how to tell the longer stories that go beyond the day-to-day action in the arenas and stadiums. You will be covering games, writing profiles, columns and keeping blogs. You will also learn about the pivotal -- and sometimes dangerous -- role social media plays in sports today. The instructor, an award-winning Buffalo News sports reporter, will use real-life examples and current sports stories to animate the class. He’ll talk about what it’s like in the locker rooms and why sometimes the best stories happen off the field.  

This course counts as and English Elective, as well as toward the Journalism Certificate Program.

Eng 400 - English Honors Seminar: Gothic Literature

Professor Joseph Valente
T Th  12:30 - 1:50
Reg. No. 24420

Beginning in the late 18th century, a rich tradition of Gothic literature unfolded in Ireland. With its thematic focus on issues of inheritance, usurpation, imprisonment, and sexuality warped by tyrannical power, the Gothic mode of novel and drama answered in complex and powerful ways to the colonial vicissitudes of Irish life, specifically, the circumstance of plantation, whereby English and Scottish subjects came across St. George’s channel and appropriated not only Irish land but in some respects Irish ethnic identity. Precisely for this reason, however, it was the doppelganger motif of Gothic literature, the twinning of protagonists and antagonists, identified in their very rivalry, that most effectively allegorized the relationship between colonizer and colonized on the Emerald Isle. In this course, we will be reading both classic Gothic texts and those typically categorized otherwise which nonetheless bear, as a result of their geo-political origins, the signature attributes of the genre. From this combination, we will aim to trace the fit of literary form and historical situation, taking the Irish context as both our focus and our laboratory.

Eng 404 - Medieval Studies

Professor Randy Schiff
MWF  10:00 - 10:50
Reg. No. 23592

Arthurian Romance Literature linked with King Arthur was immensely popular throughout medieval Europe. Our course will be centered in a survey of Arthurian romances from Britain and France, with lectures introducing students to pre-modern culture and history. We will begin with the chronicle by Geoffrey of Monmouth that launched Arthurian myth’s popularity throughout Europe, and then read works by Chrétien de Troyes, whose romances feature subjects such as Lancelot’s love, Yvain’s transformation, and Perceval’s Grail-Quest. To study the Celtic background of much Arthuriana, we will read from Marie de France’s lais, and then explore the mythological world of the Mabinogion. We will engage with the English tradition by studying its two preeminent writers: the Gawain-poet and Thomas Malory, whose Morte Darthur remains the most influential statement on Arthurian myth. 

All students will be required to participate in class discussion, to write one 6-8 page paper and one 10-15 page paper, make one formal presentation, and take two exams. 

This course satisfies an Early Literature Requirement

Eng 417 - Topics in American Literature

Professor Joseph Conte
Wednesdays    4:00 - 6:40
Reg. No.  24255

The path of immigration into the United States extends from the halls of Ellis Island to the globalized migration of the twenty-first century.  First-generation immigrants are often driven to these shores by the blight of poverty or the sting of religious or political persecution; hope to make for themselves a fabled but often factitious “better life”; and are riven between the desire to retain old-world customs and language and the appeal of new-world   comforts and technological advances.  Second-generation immigrants face the duality of a national identity—striving to become recognized as “real Americans”—and an ethnic heritage that they wish to honor and sustain but which marks them as always an “other.”  Here we encounter the hyphenated status of the preponderance of “natural born” American citizens.  The third-generation descendent will have only indirect or acquired familiarity with his or her ethnic heritage; the loss of bilinguality or at best a second language acquired in school; and frequently a multiethnic identity resulting from the complex scrabble of American life in a mobile, suburban, and professional-ized surrounding. We will read a selection of both fiction and mem-oir that reflect the immigrant experience in this country.  Jacob Riis documents the penury and hardship of tenement life among the newly arrived underclass in How the Other Half Lives (1890). Anzia Yezierska’s Bread Givers (1925) treats the conflict between a devout, old-world Jewish father and a daughter who wishes to be a modern independent woman. In Pnin (1957), the trilingual writer Vladimir Nabokov features a professor of Russian at a thinly disguised American college who becomes embroiled in academic conspiracies.  Jerre Mangione’s memoir of growing up in the Sicilian community of Rochester, NY portrays ethnicity that is insular, protective of its “imported from Italy” values, and yet desperate to find recognition as an authentic version of Americanness.  In his long career as an English teacher and barroom raconteur, Frank McCourt preserved the harrowing story of his youth in New York and Limerick, Ireland for Angela’s Ashes (1997); like so many immigrant families, the McCourts re-emigrated between transatlantic failures.  Junot Díaz, in The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (2007), follows the “Ghetto Nerd,” his voluptuous sister and hot-tempered mother between urban-industrial Paterson, New Jersey and their Dominican homeland.  In coordination with the UB Humanities Institute’s first annual Humanities Festival, whose theme will be “Migration Nation:  Moving Stories,” we will read the recently published memoir by Gary Shteyngart, Little Failure (2014).  Shteyngart will read from and talk about his work at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery on September 26.  As time permits, we will screen a couple of films related to our authors, possibly including Big Night (1996) and Angela’s Ashes (1999).  Additional nonfiction and critical readings will be assigned on UB Learns throughout the semester.  Course requirements include participation in UB Learns discussion boards for the assigned readings; a midterm paper; and a final essay that will integrate nonfiction, cultural and literary sources.

Eng 435 - Advanced Creative Writing: Fiction

Professor Christina Milletti
Mondays (eve)  7:00 - 9:40
Reg. No. 18207

Novelist Paul West advises young writers: “Don’t grapple with language. Let language grapple with phenomena.” This advanced workshop is specifically designed to give students the opportunity to engage other students’ work and to receive substantial feedback on their fictions-in-progress: to help students wrestle with, and refine, their craft. While the goal of this course is to help students produce two polished fictions, our conversations will most frequently focus on how young writers can more carefully craft their writing strategies by developing their ear for language. If, as Blanchot poses, fiction is “impoverished” by nature, writers must carefully sediment with words the worlds they create in order to make their narratives seem “real” to the reader. This course will encourage students to consider the nature of that “authenticity”: how the writers’ use of language helps produce, challenge, or   resist the representations of the phenomena she creates. In this class, we will not only read and share work by published and unpublished writers, but also meet with several visiting novelists and short story writers to discuss their work and the shifting scene of contemporary fiction. 

This course counts as and English Elective, as well as   toward the Creative Writing Certificate.

Eng 438 - Film Directors

Professor Bruce Jackson
Tuesdays (eve)  7:00 - 9:40
Reg. No.  20654

This class is an experiment in looking at and talking about films.  It’s a regular UB class, but the general public is welcome to attend.  We meet in the Market Arcade Film and Art Center in downtown Buffalo on Tuesday nights.  (There’s a well-lighted, monitored, free parking lot directly opposite the theater’s Washington Street entrance. The theater is directly opposite Metrorail’s Theater District station.) 

The two of us introduce each film, we screen it, we take a short  break, and then we talk about the film with the students and anyone  in the audience who wants to join us.  The non-student part of the  audience has been running over 200 people for each screening, about  half of whom stay for the discussions. 

The Buffalo Film Seminars are grounded in two underlying  assumptions.  The first is that watching a good film on a television set is like reading a good novel in Cliff’s Notes or Classic Comics:  you may get the contour of the story but not the experience of the work.  Movies were meant to be seen big, in the company of other  people.  The second is that a conversation among people of various ages and experiences about a good movie they’ve all just seen can be interesting and useful. 

We try to pick films that will let us think and talk about genre, writing,  narrative, editing, directing, acting, context, camera work, relation to sources.  The only fixed requirement is that they have to  be great films--no films of "academic" interest only.  You can go to www.buffalofilmseminars.com for the latest information on the schedule, as well as a full list of all the films we’ve programmed in  the first fourteen series, and other infor-mation about the screenings and the class. 

At the first meeting of the class (in the lobby of the theater), registered students get a series pass that provides free admission to all of that semester's films.  Since we show films and talk about them  in the same class meeting, and since a few of the films each semester  are long, we some-times go well past the class-ending time in the UB schedule.  Usually we're done by 10:30. 

There are no exams. Students have to maintain a note-book/diary  reflecting their reactions to all the screenings, discussions and  print and listserv readings. The note-books will be collected and graded three times during the term. 

*Since spring 2000, this class has taken place at the Market Arcade Theater in downtown Buffalo. The building is owned by the City of Buffalo and is now up for sale. A decision about the sale is supposed to be made by mid-June. At this point, we don’t know if the class will be at the Market Arcade in September or at the Amherst Theater, across Main Street from the UB South Campus. It will be at one of those two places. We’ll let every who registers before the first class know what is going on via MyUB some time in August. And you can check our website - http://buffalofilmseminars.com - for updates over the summer.

Eng 441 - Contemporary Cinema

Professor Alan Spiegel
T Th  12:30 - 1:50
Reg. No. 23594

A study in authorship, the director as sole owner and proprietor of his material, using some of the world’s great filmmakers as examples: Hitchcock, Fellini, Billy Wilder, Kurosawa, and Martin Scorsese. I plan for two films per director - one early, one late - to show developments in concept and style. 

We’ll be looking at a handful of the greatest films ever made: Seven Samurai, Psycho, 8 1/2, Sunset Boulevard, Raging Bull, and much more. 

In Addition to the above, students will get a lot of prac-tice in reading movies seriously (that is, closely); in writing about them, in translating images into words.

There will be a final; there will be quizzes, and probably a journal.  Background in film is not required.

Eng 495 - Supervised UG Teaching

Rhonda Reid
T Th   9:30 - 10:50
Reg. No.  22640

English 495 introduces students to theories of writing and writing consultancy.  

The skills developed in this class will help students to leverage writing skills into professional contexts and provide experience with teaching and mentoring in both real and virtual environments.  Students who have completed the course are eligible to apply as writing consultants in the Center for Writing Excellence. 

2014-2015

2013-2014

2012-2013

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Undergraduate Course Listing