English and Comparative Literature

http://english.columbia.edu/

Departmental Office: 602 Philosophy; 212-854-3215
http://www.english.columbia.edu

Director of Undergraduate Studies: Prof. Molly Murray, 406 Philosophy; 212-854-4016; mpm7@columbia.edu

Departmental Adviser:
Prof. Molly Murray, 406 Philosophy; mpm7@columbia.edu

The program in English fosters the ability to read critically and imaginatively, to appreciate the power of language to shape thought and represent the world, and to be sensitive to the ways in which literature is created and achieves its effects. It has several points of departure, grounding the teaching of critical reading in focused attention to the most significant works of English literature, in the study of the historical and social conditions surrounding literary production and reception, and in theoretical reflection on the process of writing and reading and the nature of the literary work./p>

The courses the department offers draw on a broad range of methodologies and theoretical approaches, from the formalist to the political to the psychoanalytical (to mention just a few). Ranging from the medieval period to the 21st century, the department teaches major authors alongside popular culture, traditional literary genres alongside verbal forms that cut across media, and canonical British literature alongside postcolonial, global, and trans-Atlantic literatures.

At once recognizing traditional values in the discipline and reflecting its changing shape, the major points to three organizing principles for the study of literature—history, genre, and geography. Requiring students not only to take a wide variety of courses but also to arrange their thinking about literature on these very different grids, the major gives them broad exposure to the study of the past, an understanding of the range of forms that can shape literary meaning, and an encounter with the various geographical landscapes against which literature in English has been produced.

Advising

Students are not assigned specific advisers, but rather each year the faculty members serving on the department’s Committee on Undergraduate Education (CUE) are designated undergraduate advisers (see above). Upon declaring a major or concentration in English, students should meet with the director of undergraduate studies or a delegated faculty adviser to discuss the program, especially to ensure that students understand the requirements.

Students must fill out a Major Requirements Worksheet early in the semester preceding graduation. The worksheet must be reviewed by an adviser and submitted to 602 Philosophy before the registration period for the final semester. The worksheet is available in the English Department or on-line at http://english.columbia.edu/undergraduate/major-requirements. It is this worksheet—not the Degree Audit Report (DAR)—that determines eligibility for graduation as an English major or concentrator.

Course Information

Lectures

Generally, lectures are addressed to a broad audience and do not assume previous course work in the area, unless prerequisites are noted in the description. The size of some lectures is limited. Senior majors have preference unless otherwise noted, followed by junior majors, followed by senior and junior non-majors. Students are responsible for checking for any special registration procedures on-line at http://english.columbia.edu/courses.

Seminars

The department regards seminars as opportunities for students to do advanced undergraduate work in fields in which they have already had some related course experience. With the exception of some CLEN classes (in which, as comparative courses, much material is read in translation), students’ admission to a seminar presupposes their having taken ENGL UN3001 Literary Texts, Critical Methods. During the three weeks preceding the registration period, students should check http://english.columbia.edu/courses for application instructions for individual seminars. Applications to seminars are usually due by the end of the week preceding registration. Students should always assume that the instructor’s permission is necessary; those who register without having secured the instructor’s permission are not guaranteed admission.

Departmental Honors

Writing a senior essay is a precondition, though not a guarantee, for the possible granting of departmental honors. After essays are submitted, faculty sponsors deliver a written report on the essay to the department’s Committee on Undergraduate Education (CUE), with a grade for the independent study and, if merited, a recommendation for honors. CUE considers all the essays, including sponsor recommendations, reviews students’ fall semester grades, and determines which students are to receive departmental honors. Normally no more than 10% of graduating majors receive departmental honors in a given academic year.

The Degree Audit Reporting System (DARS)

The DAR is a useful tool for students to monitor their progress toward degree requirements, but it is not an official document for the major or concentration, nor should it replace consultation with departmental advisers. The department’s director of undergraduate studies is the final authority on whether requirements for the major have been met. Furthermore, the DAR may be inaccurate or incomplete for any number of reasons—for example, courses taken elsewhere and approved for credit do not show up on the DAR report as fulfilling a specific requirement.

Online Information

Other departmental information—faculty office hours, registration instructions, late changes, etc.—is available on the departmental website.

Professors

  • James Eli Adams
  • Rachel Adams
  • Branka Arsic
  • Christopher Baswell (Barnard)
  • Sarah Cole
  • Julie Crawford
  • Nicholas Dames
  • Jenny Davidson
  • Andrew Delbanco
  • Kathy Eden
  • Brent Edwards
  • Stathis Gourgouris
  • Farah Jasmine Griffin
  • Jack Halberstam
  • Saidiya Hartman
  • Marianne Hirsch
  • Jean E. Howard
  • Sharon Marcus
  • Edward Mendelson
  • Frances Negrón-Muntaner
  • Robert O’Meally
  • Julie Peters
  • Ross Posnock
  • Austin E. Quigley
  • Bruce Robbins
  • James Shapiro
  • Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak (University Professor)
  • Alan Stewart
  • Colm Toibin
  • Gauri Viswanathan
  • William Worthen (Barnard)
  • David M. Yerkes

Associate Professors

  • Denise Cruz
  • Patricia Dailey
  • T. Austin Graham
  • Erik Gray
  • Matt Hart
  • Eleanor Johnson
  • Molly Murray
  • Joseph Slaughter
  • Dennis Tenen
  • Jennifer Wenzel

Assistant Professors

  • Joseph Alvarez
  • Lauren Robertson
  • Dustin Stewart
  • Hannah Weaver

Lecturers

  • Paul Grimstad
  • Sue Mendelsohn
  • Aaron Ritzenberg
  • Maura Speigel
  • Nicole B. Wallack

Guidelines for all English and Comparative Literature Majors and Concentrators

Declaring a Major in English

Upon declaring a major in English, students should meet with either the director of undergraduate studies or a departmental adviser to discuss the program. Students declaring a major should obtain a Major Requirements Worksheet from 602 Philosophy or on-line, which outlines the requirements.

Additional information, including events and deadlines of particular relevance to undergraduates, is provided at http://english.columbia.edu/undergraduate, the department’s undergraduate homepage. The sidebar on this page provides links to pages with details about undergraduate advising, major and concentration requirements, course options and restrictions, registration procedures, the senior essay, and writing prizes, as well as links to downloadable worksheets for the major and concentration and to course distribution requirement lists, past and present. For detailed information about registration procedures, students should consult http://english.columbia.edu/courses, which explains the requirements and enables students to monitor their own progress.

Newly declared majors should contact the undergraduate assistant in 602 Philosophy Hall and request that their names be added to the department’s electronic mailing list for English majors and concentrators. Because important information now routinely is disseminated through e-mail, it is crucial that students be on this list.

Literary Texts, Critical Methods

The introductory course ENGL UN3001 Literary Texts, Critical Methods, together with its companion seminar, ENGL UN3011 Literary Texts, Critical Methods seminar, is required for the English major and concentration. It should be taken by the end of the sophomore year. Fulfillment of this requirement is a factor in admission to seminars and to some lectures. This once-a-week faculty lecture, accompanied by a seminar led by an advanced graduate student in the department, is intended to introduce students to the study of literature. Students read works from the three major literary modes (lyric, drama, and narrative), drawn from premodern to contemporary literature, and learn interpretative techniques required by these various modes or genres. This course does not fulfill any distribution requirements.

Senior Essay

The senior essay program is an opportunity for students to explore in depth some literary topic of special interest to them, involving extensive background reading and resulting in an essay (8,000–15,000 words) that constitutes a substantial and original critical or scholarly argument. Students submit proposals in September of their senior year, with acceptance contingent upon the quality of the proposal and the student’s record in the major. Students who are accepted are assigned a faculty sponsor to supervise the project, from its development during the fall semester to its completion in the spring. It is for the spring semester, not the fall, that students officially register for the course, designated as ENGL UN3999 Senior Essay. Senior essays are due in early April.

Course Options and Restrictions

  1. No course at the 1000-level may be counted toward the major.

  2. Speech courses may not be counted toward the major.

  3. Two writing courses or two upper-level literature courses taught in a foreign language, or one of each, may count toward the major, though neither type of course fulfills any distribution requirement. Writing courses that may be applied toward the major include those offered through Columbia’s undergraduate Creative Writing Program and through Barnard College.

  4. Comparative literature courses sponsored by the department (designated as CLEN) may count toward the major. Those sponsored by other departments (e.g. CLFR - Comp Lit French, CPLS - Comp Lit and Society) are not counted toward the major without permission of the director of undergraduate studies. Literature courses taught in English in language departments do not count toward the major.

  5. No more than two courses taken during the summer session may be counted toward the major.

  6. Courses offered through the Barnard English Department may count toward the major or concentration. Before taking Barnard courses, students should verify with the director of undergraduate studies whether and how such courses may count toward the major.

  7. For courses taken abroad or at other American institutions to count toward the major, students must obtain approval of the director of undergraduate studies.

  8. To register for more than 42 points (including advanced standing credit) in English and comparative literature, a student majoring in English must obtain permission of the director of undergraduate studies.

  9. No more than five courses taken elsewhere may be applied to the major, four to the concentration.

  10. One independent study (for at least 3 points) may count toward the major but cannot satisfy any distribution requirements; likewise, the Senior Essay may count toward the major but fulfills no requirements. Students may not count both an Independent Study and the Senior Essay toward the major.

  11. Courses assigned a grade of D may not be counted toward the major.

  12. Only the first course taken to count toward the major can be taken Pass/D/Fail.


Major in English

Please read Guidelines for all English and Comparative Literature Majors and Concentrators above.

Ten departmental courses (for a minimum of 30 points) and, in the process, fulfillment of the following requirements. See course information above for details on fulfilling the distribution requirements.

  1. ENGL UN3001 Literary Texts, Critical Methods and ENGL UN3011 Literary Texts, Critical Methods seminar
  2. Period distribution: Three courses primarily dealing with periods before 1800, only one of which may be a course in Shakespeare
  3. Genre distribution: One course in each of the following three generic categories:
    • Poetry
    • Prose fiction/narrative
    • Drama/film/new media
  4. Geography distribution: One course in each of the following three geographical categories:
    • British
    • American
    • Comparative/global (comparative literature, postcolonial, global English, trans-Atlantic, diaspora)

Course Distribution Lists are available in the department and on-line at http://english.columbia.edu/course-distribution-lists to help students determine which courses fulfill which requirements. A single course can satisfy more than one distribution requirement. For example, a Shakespeare lecture satisfies three requirements at once: not only does it count as one of the three required pre-1800 courses it also, at the same time, fulfills both a genre and a geography distribution requirement (drama and British, respectively). Courses not on the distribution list may count toward the major requirements only with the permission of the director of undergraduate studies. Two writing courses or upper-level literature courses taught in a foreign language, or one of each, may count toward the ten required courses.


Concentration in English

Please read Guidelines for all English and Comparative Literature Majors and Concentrators above.

Eight departmental courses and, in the process, fulfillment of the following requirements. See course information above for details on fulfilling the distribution requirements.

  1. ENGL UN3001 Literary Texts, Critical Methods and ENGL UN3011 Literary Texts, Critical Methods seminar
  2. Period distribution: Two courses dealing with periods before 1800, only one of which may be a course in Shakespeare
  3. Genre distribution: Two courses, each chosen from a different genre category (see above)
  4. Geography distribution: Two courses, each chosen from a different geography category (see above)

See the Course Distribution Lists, available in the department or on-line at http://english.columbia.edu/course-distribution-lists, to determine which courses fulfill which requirements. All of the restrictions outlined for the English major also apply for the concentration in English.


Comparative Literature Program

Students who wish to major in comparative literature should consult the Comparative Literature and Society section of this Bulletin.

Fall 2022

Introduction to the Major

ENGL UN3001 Literary Texts, Critical Methods. 4 points.

Prerequisites: Students who register for ENGL UN3001 must also register for one of the sections of ENGL UN3011 Literary Texts, Critical Methods.

This course is intended to introduce students to the advanced study of literature. Students will read works from different genres (poetry, drama, and prose fiction), drawn from the medieval period to the present day, learning the different interpretative techniques required by each. The course also introduces students to a variety of critical schools and approaches, with the aim both of familiarizing them with these methodologies in the work of other critics and of encouraging them to make use of different methods in their own critical writing. This course (together with the companion seminar ENGL UN3011) is a requirement for the English Major and Concentration. It should be taken as early as possible in a student's career. Fulfillment of this requirement will be a factor in admission to seminars and to some lectures.

Fall 2022: ENGL UN3001
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ENGL 3001 001/12953 F 10:10am - 11:25am
313 Fayerweather
Erik Gray 4 75/75
Spring 2023: ENGL UN3001
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ENGL 3001 001/13142 W 2:10pm - 3:25pm
Aud Earl Hall
Frances Negron-Muntaner 4 83/75

ENGL UN3011 Literary Texts, Critical Methods seminar. 0 points.

Prerequisites: Students who register for ENGL UN3011 must also register for ENGL UN3001 Literary Texts, Critical Methods lecture.

This seminar, led by an advanced graduate student in the English doctoral program, accompanies the faculty lecture ENGL UN3001. The seminar both elaborates upon the topics taken up in the lecture and introduces other theories and methodologies. It also focuses on training students to integrate the terms, techniques, and critical approaches covered in both parts of the course into their own critical writing, building up from brief close readings to longer research papers.

Fall 2022: ENGL UN3011
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ENGL 3011 001/14863 M 12:10pm - 2:00pm
511 Kent Hall
Geoffrey Lokke 0 13/15
ENGL 3011 002/14865 M 12:10pm - 2:00pm
302 Fayerweather
Kaagni Harekal 0 15/15
ENGL 3011 003/14866 M 12:10pm - 2:00pm
607 Hamilton Hall
Tyler Grand Pre 0 16/15
ENGL 3011 004/14868 M 6:10pm - 8:00pm
652 Schermerhorn Hall
Johannah King-Slutzky 0 15/15
ENGL 3011 005/14870 M 6:10pm - 8:00pm
502 Northwest Corner
Mieko Anders 0 15/15
Spring 2023: ENGL UN3011
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ENGL 3011 001/13237 M 4:10pm - 6:00pm
405 Kent Hall
Sophia Pedatella 0 15/15
ENGL 3011 002/13239 M 2:10pm - 4:00pm
568 Alfred Lerner Hall
Alice Clapie 0 15/15
ENGL 3011 003/13243 M 12:10pm - 2:00pm
607 Hamilton Hall
Yea Jung Park 0 15/15
ENGL 3011 004/13748 M 10:10am - 12:00pm
607 Hamilton Hall
Anirbaan Banerjee 0 6/15
ENGL 3011 005/14542 M 10:10am - 12:00pm
507 Philosophy Hall
Ruilin Fan 0 9/15

Medieval

ENGL UN3943 ENGLISH TRANSLATIONS OF THE BIBLE. 4.00 points.

English translations of the Bible from Tyndale to the present

Fall 2022: ENGL UN3943
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ENGL 3943 001/10238 T 2:10pm - 4:00pm
337 Seeley W. Mudd Building
David Yerkes 4.00 17/18

ENGL UN3564 It’s All Rotten: A Seminar on Pleasure. 4.00 points.

This seminar is inspired by a passage from Clarice Lispector’s last novel, Breath of Life: “It’s all rotten. I feel it in the air and in the people frightened and starving huddled in a crowd. But I believe that in the depths of rottenness there exists—green sparkling redeeming and promised-land—in the depths of the dark rottenness there shines clear and captivating the Great Emerald. The Great Pleasure. But why this desire and hunger for pleasure? Because pleasure is the height of the truthfulness of a being. It’s the only struggle against death.” The plan is to study the nature of pleasure and its representations across a series of ancient, medieval, and modern texts, keeping an eye on this insight, namely, that our belief in pleasure is found, not unlike the beauty of a still life whose objects have long decayed, in the midst of our sense of the rottenness of things, their decomposing, fermenting, and sometimes disgusting ephemeral nature. Filling our conceptual picnic basket with some ancient theories of pleasure, we will wander among medieval and Renaissance gardens in order to arrive upon the Romantic and decadent shores of modernity with a fresh sense of pleasure’s truth and taste for its question

Fall 2022: ENGL UN3564
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ENGL 3564 001/18304 W 4:10pm - 6:00pm
201a Philosophy Hall
Nicola Mascandiaro 4.00 16/18

ENGL GU4091 Introduction to Old English Language & Literature. 3 points.

(Lecture). This class is an introduction to the language and literature of England from around the 8th to the 11th centuries. Because this is predominantly a language class, we will spend much of our class time studying grammar as we learn to translate literary and non-literary texts. While this course provides a general historical framework for the period as it introduces you to the culture of Anglo-Saxon England, it will also take a close look at how each literary work contextualizes (or recontextualizes) relationships between human and divine, body and soul, individual and group, animal and human. We will be using Mitchell and Robinson's An Introduction to Old English, along with other supplements. We will be looking at recent scholarly work in the field and looking at different ways (theoretical, and other) of reading these medieval texts. Requirements: Students will be expected to do assignments for each meeting. The course will involve a mid-term, a final exam, and a final presentation on a Riddle which will also be turned in.

Fall 2022: ENGL GU4091
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ENGL 4091 001/10100 M W 11:40am - 12:55pm
503 Hamilton Hall
Patricia Dailey 3 18/54

ENGL GU4239 TROILUS & CRISEYDE AND ITS NEIGHBORS. 3.00 points.

The central task of this lecture will be a slow and attentive reading of Chaucer’s great romance Troilus and Criseyde, across the entire semester. Each week, in addition, we will read and discuss a wide range of related materials, to include: theoretical strategies (especially the post-Lacanian notion of the neighbor), iconography and manuscript setting, genre affiliations (romance, epic, historiography, philosophy), the broader Trojan narrative tradition, the medieval city, the medieval imagination of the antique past, earlier and later texts in dialogue with Troilus (Boethius, Ovid, Statius’ Thebaid, Lydgate’s Troy Book and Henryson’s Testament of Cresseid, Spenser and Shakespeare), Troilus and Chaucer’s own textual past and future. At the same time, the lecture will explore what recent theoretical statements about the neighbor and hospitality can bring to our reading of Troilus, both in terms of its place in a broad textual tradition, and in terms of its plot, urban setting, and thematics of intimacy. Readings will draw from Derrida, Kenneth Reinhard, Slavoj Zizek, and others. Toward this end, each student will select a “neighborly” text, from any period, to read with and against Troilus. While the course will be relevant to medievalists, it is consciously designed equally to serve (and it is hoped, to attract) students from very different periods. Non-medievalists will be encouraged to draw upon their expertises, both in period and theoretical methodology)

Fall 2022: ENGL GU4239
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ENGL 4239 001/15967 M W 2:40pm - 3:55pm
407 Barnard Hall
Christopher Baswell 3.00 5/30

Renaissance

ENGL UN3335 Shakespeare I. 3 points.

Enrollment is limited to 60.

(Lecture). This course will cover the histories, comedies, tragedies, and poetry of Shakespeare’s early career. We will examine the cultural and historical conditions that informed Shakespeare’s drama and poetry; in the case of drama, we will also consider the formal constraints and opportunities of the early modern English commercial theater. We will attend to Shakespeare’s biography while considering his work in relation to that of his contemporaries. Ultimately, we will aim to situate the production of Shakespeare’s early career within the highly collaborative, competitive, and experimental theatrical and literary cultures of late sixteenth-century England.

Fall 2022: ENGL UN3335
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ENGL 3335 001/10099 M W 10:10am - 11:25am
503 Hamilton Hall
James Shapiro 3 46/54

ENGL UN3343 The Surveillance of Women in Renaissance Drama & Culture. 4 points.

Concentrating on the drama of early modern England, this course will investigate a culture of surveillance regarding women’s bodies in the period. We will give special focus to the fear of female infidelity, the theatrical fascination with the woman’s pregnant body, and the cultural desire to confirm and expose women’s chastity. We will read plays in which women are falsely accused of adultery, in various generic contexts (such as William Shakespeare’s 


Cymbeline and Much Ado About Nothing), along with plays in which women actually commit infidelity (such as the anonymous Arden of Faversham and Thomas Middleton’s A Chaste Maid in Cheapside). Focusing on a different play each week, we will ask: what does it take, ultimately, to believe women about their fidelity? At the same time, what is the effect of being doubted on women themselves? We will also give consideration to the particular resources of dramatic form, paying attention to moments in plays that coerce spectators themselves into mistaken judgments about women.


We will supplement our reading of drama with pamphlets, advice literature, poems, church court cases, and ballads, in order to place these plays within a broader and more varied culture of female surveillance in early modern England. Finally, we will work to recover past strategies of liberation from this surveillance in the plays we read, in women’s writing that warns against male betrayal, and in dramatic and historical instances of female cross-dressing.

Fall 2022: ENGL UN3343
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ENGL 3343 001/10101 M 12:10pm - 2:00pm
507 Philosophy Hall
Lauren Robertson 4 15/18

ENGL GU4933 SPENSER. 3.00 points.

This course centers on the writing of Edmund Spenser, early modern England’s self-styled national poet. We will devote much of our attention to The Faerie Queene; a complex, strange, profound, and often funny poem that entwines romance and epic, it is Spenser’s major poetic achievement. Characterized by turns as Elizabethan propaganda (Karl Marx called Spenser “Elizabeth’s arse-kissing poet”) and a studied critique of Tudor political mythology, The Faerie Queene’s allegory is everywhere engaged with the challenges, dangers, and delights of reading itself. As part of our assessment of Spenser’s poetry, we will confront his role as secretary to Lord Arthur Grey during England’s brutal colonization of Ireland. Taking Spenser’s poetic and political careers together, this course will uncover the deeply contradictory aims of writing in the early modern humanist tradition, which questioned traditional class hierarchies and imagined new ways of fashioning the self at the same time that it helped to sanction England’s burgeoning imperial ambitions

Fall 2022: ENGL GU4933
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ENGL 4933 001/12557 M W 2:40pm - 3:55pm
503 Hamilton Hall
Lauren Robertson 3.00 16/54

18th and 19th Century

CLRS GU4011 Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, and the English Novel [in English]. 3 points.

A close reading of works by Dostoevsky (Netochka Nezvanova; The Idiot; "A Gentle Creature") and Tolstoy (Childhood, Boyhood, Youth; "Family Happiness"; Anna Karenina; "The Kreutzer Sonata") in conjunction with related English novels (Bronte's Jane Eyre, Eliot's Middlemarch, Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway). No knowledge of Russian is required.

Fall 2022: CLRS GU4011
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
CLRS 4011 001/10580 M W 10:10am - 11:25am
516 Hamilton Hall
Liza Knapp 3 34/50
CLRS 4011 AU1/16763 M W 10:10am - 11:25am
516 Hamilton Hall
Liza Knapp 3 2/2

ENGL UN3893 Rivers, Oceans, Seas: Water in Early and Pre-1865 American Literature. 4.00 points.

This course explores the trope, motif, theme, and concept of water antebellum American literature. From Columbus’s “discovery” of the “New” world to the Puritans’ transatlantic pursuit of religious and political freedom; from the Middle Passage which brought slaves to the Americas to erect what soon became the United States, to Lewis and Clarke’s expansive exploration of the country on the Mississippi River—the liquid element plays a decisive role, historical as well as artistic, factual as well as fictional, in the way Americans represented themselves (and others) to themselves. In this class we will explore how and why, to what aesthetic or political end, early and pre-Civil War American literature employed different bodies of water—rivers and oceans—that eventually led to the modernist invention of the stream of consciousness as it was championed, in psychology and literature respectively, by the James brothers. We will investigate water’s literal presence in the writings of Bradford, Equiano, and Thoreau; its deployment as a symbol and allegory in Whitman, Dunbar, Sansay and Stowe; or its articulation as a psychological notion in Brockden Brown; as a philosophical concept in Melville and Poe; and as a generic device in Emerson and Dickinson. Our central task will be to explore the effects that aquatic environments and marine ecosystems have on human bodies and minds. How do they enhance and in what way do they dissolve our "mainland" conceptions of personhood, identity, memory, and/or history? How does the difference between water and land, liquid and firm environs shape the way we comprehend the world and our place in it

Fall 2022: ENGL UN3893
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ENGL 3893 001/18303 M 2:10pm - 4:00pm
317 Hamilton Hall
Vesna Kuiken 4.00 11/18

ENGL GU4402 Romantic Poetry. 3 points.

Open to all undergraduates and graduate students.

(Lecture). This course examines major British poets of the period 1789-1830. We will be focusing especially on the poetry and poetic theory of William Blake, William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Lord Byron, Percy Shelley, and John Keats. We will also be reading essays, reviews, and journal entries by such figures as Robert Southey, William Hazlitt, and Dorothy Wordsworth.

Fall 2022: ENGL GU4402
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ENGL 4402 001/10239 T Th 10:10am - 11:25am
141 Uris Hall
Erik Gray 3 45/60

ENGL GU4732 PLACES FOR POETRY. 4.00 points.

This seminar asks how poetry claims places. The poets come mostly from Britain or its former colonies. The poems range from the seventeenth century all the way to the present day, with the majority (around 60­–65% of the schedule) drawn from the long eighteenth century. In that period, an age of increased urbanization inside Britain’s borders and increased mobility around its expanding empire, the main distinction that organized cultural conversations about place was the divide between the town and the country. But poems about the virtues of rural life often spoke from a distressed urban perspective, and poems about the dynamism of the city frequently described it from the viewpoint of an outsider or newcomer. What the eighteenth century can teach us about the poetry of place, then, is that it might secretly be poetry of movement, poetry about how one seemingly stable location (or type of location) might pick up and go somewhere else. Building on this basic insight, we will wrestle with larger questions about how shareable the poetry of place can be. Does staying faithful to a single place—its grainy specificity, its deep history, its rich tradition—risk making a poem unintelligible elsewhere? To what extent does a place-based poem need to shed its local attachments and try to speak a more universal language? How can a poem communicate its rootedness with people who don’t have roots in the same spot? When is a poem an extension of place, and when is it an escape from it? Instead of proceeding chronologically, our seminar will largely be arranged by settings that various English, Scottish, Irish, Caribbean, Indian, and American poets have sought to evoke. For the first ten weeks of the term, we will move from one type of place to another: from country houses to city streets, battlefields to bridges, churchyards to shipyards, walking paths to railway stations, outer islands to outer space. For the final few weeks, we will shift our arrangement and sample several major poets of place—one or two from the eighteenth century, one or two from the following centuries. Your final project for the class will imaginatively map the poetry of one of the places that you claim or that claims you

Fall 2022: ENGL GU4732
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ENGL 4732 001/12556 T 2:10pm - 4:00pm
303 Hamilton Hall
Dustin Stewart 4.00 17/18

20th and 21st Century

ENGL UN3351 FAMILY FICTIONS: MEMOIR, FILM AND THE NOVEL. 4.00 points.

This course will explore cinematic, novelistic and memoirist renderings of “family cultures,” family feeling, the family as narrative configuration, and home as a utopian/dystopian and oneiric space. Explorations of memory, imagination and childhood make-believe will interface with readings in psychoanalysis and in the social history of this polymorphous institution. A central goal of the course is to help each of you toward written work that is distinguished, vital and has urgency for you. Authors will include Gaston Bachelard, Alison Bechdel, Jessica Benjamin, Sarah M. Broom, Lucille Clifton, Vivian Gornick, Lorraine Hansberry, Maggie Nelson and D.W. Winnicott; and films by Sean Baker, Ingmar Bergman, Alfonso Cuaron, Greta Gerwig, Lance Hammer, Barry Jenkins, Elia Kazan, Lucretia Martel, Andrei Zvyagintsev and others

Fall 2022: ENGL UN3351
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ENGL 3351 001/12544 W 12:10pm - 2:00pm
522c Kent Hall
Maura Spiegel 4.00 15/18

ENGL UN3567 August Wilson’s America. 4.00 points.

From 1983 until his death in 2005, August Wilson wrote and produced the American Century Cycle: ten plays, each set in a different decade of the twentieth century, examining the past and present of Black life in America. Since 2005, and especially with the development of the Black Lives Matter movement, attention on conditions of American Black life—its challenges, joys, struggles, tragedies, triumphs, and journeys—has increased and deepened. We will read the entirety of Wilson’s Cycle (plus the autobiographical coda) with the goals, first, of unpacking and understanding his characterizations and critique of Black life and America and, second, of examining how well those characterizations and critiques extend beyond Wilson’s death into our own time

Fall 2022: ENGL UN3567
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ENGL 3567 001/18306 T 12:10pm - 2:00pm
201 80 Claremont
Patrick Maley 4.00 13/18

ENGL UN3633 Literature and American Citizenship. 4 points.

Prerequisites: Permission of instructor.

(Seminar). Who is a citizen? How has the notion of citizenship changed in American history? Questions of American citizenship - who can claim it and what it entails -- have been fiercely contested since the founding of the United States. Scholars have articulated various ways of conceptualizing citizenship: as a formal legal status; as a collection of state-protected rights; as political activity; and as a form of identity and solidarity. In this seminar, we'll explore the role that literature and literary criticism have played in both shaping and responding to the narratives and civic myths that determine what it means to be an American citizen.

Fall 2022: ENGL UN3633
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ENGL 3633 001/10241 M 12:10pm - 2:00pm
311 Fayerweather
Aaron Ritzenberg 4 12/18

ENGL UN3636 COLLECTIONS: CONTEMPORARY AMERICAN SHORT STORIES. 4 points.

In this course, we will examine short stories as a particularly American form. The short story has been notoriously difficult to define, but one key characteristic of the genre is its presumed compact form alongside its compelling expansiveness. Short stories constantly toggle back and forth between the compressed and the broad. In the United States, the genre of short story has a long history of articulating and imagining an individual or community’s changing and fraught relationship to transnational, national, and local dynamics (represented, for example, nineteenth and early twentieth-century authors such as Edgar Allan Poe, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Mary Wilkins Freeman, Sui Sin Far, Washington Irving, Charles Chestnutt, Mark Twain, Sarah Orne Jewett, Tillie Olsen, José García Villa, and Carlos Bulosan). Today, this catalog of writers can be matched with another list of contemporary North American short story authors featured on our syllabus: Jhumpa Lahiri, Chimamanda Adichie, Daniel Alarcón, Mohsin Hamid, George Saunders, Ted Chiang, Mona Award, Lydia Davis, Vanessa Hua, R. Zamora Linmark, Otesha Moshfegh, and Leanne Simpson. Some of the writers on this list are veterans of the short story form. Others are authors who recently published debut collections. As we work through our reading list, we will attempt to analyze not only individual short stories, but also what marks these books as collections. What might hold these texts together? What disrupts the unifying principles of a collection? And most importantly, what do short stories offer—in terms of representations of American life and culture and its complexity—that other forms do not?

Fall 2022: ENGL UN3636
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ENGL 3636 001/10242 T 12:10pm - 2:00pm
707 Hamilton Hall
Denise Cruz 4 18/18

ENGL UN3648 Comics, Health, and Embodiment. 4 points.

Deformed, grotesque, super/transhuman and otherwise extraordinary bodies have always been a central feature of comics. However, the past ten years have seen a surge of graphic narratives that deal directly with experiences of health and illness, and that are recognized as having significant literary value. This course will focus on graphic narratives about healthcare, illness, and disability with particular attention to questions of embodied identities such as gender, sexuality, race, and age. Primary texts will include the work of Alison Bechdel, Roz Chast, CeCe Bell, David Small, Allie Brosch, and Ellen Fourney. We will study the vocabulary, conventions, and formal properties of graphic literature, asking how images and text work together to create narrative. We will consider whether graphic narrative might be especially well suited to representations of bodily difference; how illness/disability can disrupt conventional ideas about gender and sexuality; how experiences of the body as a source of pain, stigmatization, and shame intersect with the sexualized body; and how illness and disability queer conventional sexual arrangements, identities, and attachments. While studying the construction of character, narrative, framing, color, and relationship between visual and print material on the page, students will also produce their own graphic narratives.

Fall 2022: ENGL UN3648
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ENGL 3648 001/10243 W 2:10pm - 4:00pm
401 Hamilton Hall
Rachel Adams 4 16/18

ENGL UN3712 Henry James & Edith Wharton. 4 points.

James & Wharton, America's two greatest novelists in the half century after the civil war and the eve of the first world war, were friends and fellow cosmopolitans, at home in the US  & Europe, chroniclers of an emerging transatlantic urban modernity traversing New York, London, Paris, Rome, Geneva. Their fiction often portrays glamorous surfaces and intricate social texts that their brilliant heroines --Isabel Archer  of The Portrait of a Lady & Lily Bart of The House of Mirth,  for example--negotiate with wit and subtlety, confusion and daring,  amidst fear and fascination. They find themselves immersed in bruising plots--crafted by society's disciplinary imperatives and by their creators, the latter standing in uneasy complicity with the social order even as they seek its transformation.  Giving female protagonists unprecedented boldness and ambition, Wharton & James chart how intense exertion of will and desire collides with "the customs of the country," to cite the title of a great Wharton novel. We will read the three novels mentioned above as well as Wharton's Summer & Ethan Frome and James's "Daisy Miller," Washington Square & The Ambassadors.

Fall 2022: ENGL UN3712
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ENGL 3712 001/10244 Th 12:10pm - 2:00pm
613 Hamilton Hall
Ross Posnock 4 14/18

ENGL UN3805 The Political Novel. 4.00 points.

Is the political novel a genre? It depends on your understanding both of politics and of the novel. If politics means parties, elections, and governing, then few novels of high quality would qualify. If on the other hand “the personal is the political,” as the slogan of the women’s movement has it, then almost everything the novel deals with is politics, and few novels would not qualify. This seminar will try to navigate between these extremes, focusing on novels that center on the question of how society is and ought to be constituted. Since this question is often posed ambitiously in so-called “genre fiction” like thrillers and sci-fi, which is not always honored as “literature,” it will include some examples of those genres as well as uncontroversial works of the highest literary value like Melville’s “Benito Cereno,” Ellison’s “Invisible Man,” and Camus’s “The Plague.”

Fall 2022: ENGL UN3805
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ENGL 3805 001/10245 M 4:10pm - 6:00pm
522c Kent Hall
Bruce Robbins, Orhan Pamuk 4.00 18/18

CLEN GU4199 Literature and Oil. 3 points.

This course will investigate the connections between literary/cultural production and petroleum as the substance that makes possible the world as we know it, both as an energy source and a component in the manufacture of everything from food to plastic. Our current awareness of oil's scarcity and its myriad costs (whether environmental, political, or social) provides a lens to read for the presence (or absence) of oil in texts in a variety of genres and national traditions. As we begin to imagine a world "beyond petroleum," this course will confront the ways in which oil shapes both the world we know and how we know and imagine the world. Oil will feature in this course in questions of theme (texts "about" oil), of literary form (are there common formal conventions of an "oil novel"?), of interpretive method (how to read for oil), of transnational circulation (how does "foreign oil" link US citizens to other spaces?), and of the materiality (or "oiliness") of literary culture (how does the production and circulation of texts, whether print or digital, rely on oil?). 

Fall 2022: CLEN GU4199
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
CLEN 4199 001/10246 M W 8:40am - 9:55am
Room TBA
Jennifer Wenzel 3 67/90

CLEN GU4550 Narrative and Human Rights. 3 points.

(Lecture). We can't talk about human rights without talking about the forms in which we talk about human rights. This course will study the convergences of the thematics, philosophies, politics, practices, and formal properties of literature and human rights. In particular, it will examine how literary questions of narrative shape (and are shaped by) human rights concerns; how do the forms of stories enable and respond to forms of thought, forms of commitment, forms of being, forms of justice, and forms of violation? How does narrative help us to imagine an international order based on human dignity, rights, and equality? We will read classic literary texts and contemporary writing (both literary and non-literary) and view a number of films and other multimedia projects to think about the relationships between story forms and human rights problematics and practices. Likely literary authors: Roberto Bolaño, Miguel de Cervantes, Assia Djebar, Ariel Dorfman, Slavenka Drakulic, Nuruddin Farah, Janette Turner Hospital, Franz Kafka, Sahar Kalifeh, Sindiwe Magona, Maniza Naqvi, Michael Ondaatje, Alicia Partnoy, Ousmane Sembène, Mark Twain . . . . We will also read theoretical and historical pieces by authors such as Agamben, An-Na'im, Appiah, Arendt, Balibar, Bloch, Chakrabarty, Derrida, Douzinas, Habermas, Harlow, Ignatieff, Laclau and Mouffe, Levinas, Lyotard, Marx, Mutua, Nussbaum, Rorty, Said, Scarry, Soyinka, Spivak, Williams.

Fall 2022: CLEN GU4550
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
CLEN 4550 001/10247 M W 5:40pm - 6:55pm
310 Fayerweather
Joseph R Slaughter 3 56/90

ENGL GU4604 American Modernism. 3 points.

(Lecture). This course surveys cultural responses to the historical, technological, intellectual, and political conditions of modernity in the United States. Spanning the period from the turn of the century to the onset of World War II, we will consider the relationship between key events (U.S. imperialism, immigration, World War I, the Jazz age, the Great Depression); intellectual and scientific developments (the theory of relativity, the popularization of Freudian psychoanalysis, the anthropological concept of culture, the spread of consumer culture, Fordism, the automobile, the birth of cinema, the skyscraper); and cultural production. Assigned readings will include novels, short stories, and contemporary essays. Visual culture--paintings, illustrations, photography, and film--will also play an important role in our investigation of the period. Past syllabus (which will be somewhat revised).

Fall 2022: ENGL GU4604
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ENGL 4604 001/10248 T Th 4:10pm - 5:25pm
310 Fayerweather
Ross Posnock 3 21/40

CLEN GU4771 The Literary History of Atrocity. 3 points.

Sometime around the publication of Garcia Marquez’s classic novel One Hundred Years of Solitude in 1967, novelists who wanted to make a claim to ethical and historical seriousness began to include a scene of extreme violence that, like the banana worker massacre in Garcia Marquez, seemed to offer a definitive guide to the moral landscape of the modern world. This course will explore both the modern literature that was inspired by Garcia Marquez’s example and the literature that led up to this extraordinary moment—for example, the literature dealing with the Holocaust, with the dropping of the atomic bomb, with the Japanese invasion of China in the 1930s, and with the Allied bombing of the German cities. It will also ask how extraordinary this moment in fact was, looked at from the perspective of literature as a whole, by inspecting earlier examples of atrocities committed in classical antiquity, in the Crusades, against Native Americans and (in Tolstoy) against the indigenous inhabitants of the Caucasus. Before the concept of the non-combatant had been defined, could there be a concept of the atrocity? Could a culture accuse itself of misconduct toward the members of some other culture? In posing these and related questions, the course offers itself as a major but untold chapter both in world literature and in the moral history of humankind.

Fall 2022: CLEN GU4771
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
CLEN 4771 001/12956 M W 11:40am - 12:55pm
310 Fayerweather
Bruce Robbins 3 45/60

Special Topics

ENTA UN3701 Drama, Theatre, Theory. 4 points.

Prerequisites: Instructor's permission.

(Seminar). Theatre typically exceeds the claims of theory. What does this tell us about both theatre and theory? We will consider why theatre practitioners often provide the most influential theoretical perspectives, how the drama inquires into (among other things) the possibilities of theatre, and the various ways in which the social, spiritual, performative, political, and aesthetic elements of drama and theatre interact. Two papers, weekly responses, and a class presentation are required. Readings include Aristotle, Artaud, Bharata, Boal, Brecht, Brook, Castelvetro, Craig, Genet, Grotowski, Ibsen, Littlewood, Marlowe, Parks, Schechner, Shakespeare, Sowerby, Weiss, and Zeami. Application Instructions: E-mail Professor Austin Quigley (aeq1@columbia.edu) with the subject heading "Drama, Theatre, Theory seminar." In your message, include basic information: your name, school, major, year of study, and relevant courses taken, along with a brief statement about why you are interested in taking the course. Admitted students should register for the course; they will automatically be placed on a wait list, from which the instructor will in due course admit them as spaces become available.

Fall 2022: ENTA UN3701
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ENTA 3701 001/12958 W 4:10pm - 6:00pm
301m Fayerweather
Austin Quigley 4 12/18

ENGL UN3792 FILM AND LAW. 4.00 points.

Prerequisites: the instructor's permission.

From its beginnings, film has been preoccupied with law: in cops and robbers silent films, courtroom drama, police procedural, judge reality show, or all the scenes that fill our media-saturated world. What do films and other audio-visual media tell us about what it’s like to come before the law, or about such substantive issues as what counts as murder, war crimes, torture, sexual abuse? How do films model the techniques that lawyers use to sway the passions of their audiences? How do they model the symbolism of their gestures, icons, images? If films and other audio-visual media rewrite legal events, what is their effect: on law? on legal audiences? How is the experience of being a film spectator both like and unlike the experience of being a legal subject? This course investigates such questions by looking at representations of law in film and other audio-visual media. We will seek to understand, first, how film represents law, and, second,how film attempts to shape law (influencing legal norms, intervening in legal regimes). The seminar’s principal texts will be the films themselves, but we will also read relevant legal cases and film theory in order to deepen our understanding of both legal and film regimes.

Fall 2022: ENGL UN3792
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ENGL 3792 001/12959 W 6:10pm - 8:00pm
111 Milstein Center
Julie Peters 4.00 16/18

ENGL UN3798 ASPECTS OF THE NOVEL. 4.00 points.

The novel is the dominant literary form of the last three centuries; its variations are numberless, its spread global. What can be said then about what a novel is, or how a novel works? What are some of the ways the form of the novel has been understood? This seminar is an introduction to the study of the novel as a formal and cultural phenomenon, taking in examples from the eighteenth century to the twenty-first, while attending to major landmarks in the “theory of the novel.”

Fall 2022: ENGL UN3798
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ENGL 3798 001/12547 T 4:10pm - 6:00pm
652 Schermerhorn Hall
Nicholas Dames 4.00 13/15

ENGL UN3891 INTRO TO CLASSICAL RHETORIC. 4.00 points.

Prerequisites: the instructor's permission.
Prerequisites: the instructor's permission. (Seminar). This course examines rhetorical theory from its roots in ancient Greece and Rome and reanimates the great debates about language that emerged in times of national expansion and cultural upheaval. We will situate the texts of Plato, Isocrates, Aristotle, Cicero, Quintilian, and others in their historical contexts to illuminate ongoing conversations about the role of words and images in the negotiation of persuasion, meaning making, and the formation of the public. In the process, we will discover that the arguments of classical rhetoric play out all around us today. Readings from thinkers like Judith Butler, Richard McKeon, Robert Pirsig, and Bruno Latour echo the ancients in their debates about hate speech regulation, the purpose of higher education, and the ability of the sciences to arrive at truth. We will discover that rhetoricians who are writing during eras of unprecedented expansion of democracies, colonization, and empire have a great deal to say about the workings of language in our globalizing, digitizing age. Application instructions: E-mail Professor Sue Mendelsohn (sem2181@columbia.edu) by April 11 with the subject heading Rhetoric seminar. In your message, include basic information: your name, school, major, year of study, and relevant courses taken, along with a brief statement about why you are interested in taking the course. Admitted students should register for the course; they will automatically be placed on a wait list, from which the instructor will in due course admit them as spaces become available

Fall 2022: ENGL UN3891
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ENGL 3891 001/10237 T 8:10am - 10:00am
401 Hamilton Hall
Susan Mendelsohn 4.00 11/18

AMST UN3930 Topics in American Studies. 4 points.

Please refer to the Center for American Studies website for course descriptions for each section. americanstudies.columbia.edu

Fall 2022: AMST UN3930
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AMST 3930 001/10028 T 2:10pm - 4:00pm
317 Hamilton Hall
Hilary-Anne Hallett 4 14/18
AMST 3930 002/10029 T 10:10am - 12:00pm
317 Hamilton Hall
James Shapiro 4 10/18
AMST 3930 003/10030 W 12:10pm - 2:00pm
317 Hamilton Hall
John McWhorter 4 7/18
AMST 3930 004/11089 W 10:10am - 12:00pm
317 Hamilton Hall
Roosevelt Montas 4 22/18
AMST 3930 005/12000 F 10:10am - 12:00pm
317 Hamilton Hall
Michael Hindus 4 11/18

ENGL GU4879 QUEER LITERATURE, CULTURE AND THEORY. 3.00 points.

This class will ask you to read a set of novels, theoretical essays and engage works from queer cinema, TV and music, in order to think deeply about sexuality, identity, desire, race, objects, relationality, being, knowing and becoming. We will consider sexuality, desire and gender not as a discrete set of bodily articulations, nor as natural expressions of coherent identities so much as part of the formulation of self that Avery Gordon names “complex personhood.” Beginning with a film from the UK that rereads queerness back through a history or labor and ending with a film made entirely on the iPhone and that stages queerness as part of an alternative articulation of Hollywood, we will explore new and old theories of queer desire. Through the readings, discussions, and assignments, you will develop critical analytical skills to consider social change movements with particular attention to how sex, gender, race, class, sexuality, sexual orientation, and other systems of power shape people’s everyday lives. We will trace the entanglements of narrativity and subjectivity, desire and language, difference and representation and we will explore queer theories of being, knowing and becoming

Fall 2022: ENGL GU4879
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ENGL 4879 001/15048 M W 2:40pm - 3:55pm
209 Havemeyer Hall
Jack Halberstam 3.00 59/90

ENGL GU4898 THE BILDUNGSROMAN: COMING OF AGE IN THE NOVEL. 3.00 points.

The bildungsroman is the modern, realist version of the hero’s quest. Instead of slaying dragons and weaving spells, the protagonist of the bildungsroman struggles with what it means to become an adult – or to refuse to. Also known as the novel of development or coming-of-age novel, the bildungsroman typically focuses on growth and development, the cultivation of the self, and the tensions between individual and society, idealism and realism, dreamy inertia and future-oriented action. The reading list spans coming-of-age novels from Germany, France, England, and the United States, from the 1790s through the 2010s. Lectures will focus on the novel as a literary form in dialogue with other literary works; with historical events; and with ideas drawn from philosophy, psychology, and sociology. The course will address questions that include: what is society, what is a self, and what is the shape of a human life? What fosters human development and what thwarts it? How do coming-of-age novels engage with social norms concerning love, work, personhood, and maturity? The earliest novels of development focused on the dilemmas faced by white, middle-class men; how have subsequent works represented the challenges that non-dominant subjects encounter? This is a 3-point lecture course. In accordance with university guidelines, you should expect to spend about six hours per week outside of class doing the course reading, which will consist entirely of novels and vary from ~150 to ~300 pages per week

Fall 2022: ENGL GU4898
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ENGL 4898 001/13589 T Th 6:10pm - 7:25pm
614 Schermerhorn Hall
Sharon Marcus 3.00 67/90

ENGL GU4975 PRISON LITERATURE. 4.00 points.

Prison literature—poems, plays, memoirs, novels, and songs written in prison or about prison—constitute a significant part of American literature. Prisons expose many of the systemic inequalities of American life, above all those based on racism and the enduring legacies of slavery. Using the tools of critical race theory, feminism, and class analysis, this course will explore the forms of cultural expression that have emerged in relationship to the American prison experience. Though the course will touch on the rise of convict leasing, chain gangs, and work farms as part of the penal system under Jim Crow, the main focus will be on developments in the U.S. prison system and in prison literature since the 1960s, roughly from the prison writing of George Jackson, Angela Davis, and Malcolm X to the outpouring of contemporary fiction and poetry about prison life by Jesmyn Ward, Colin Whitehead, Rachel Kushner, and Reginald Betts. This is the era of what Michelle Alexander has called “the new Jim Crow,” the rise of mass incarceration, the partial privatization of the penal system, and the growth of supermax facilities. Among the questions we will explore together are these: What tools and techniques do writers use to construct the prison experience? What are the affordances offered by various genres (drama, autobiography, poetry, the novel) for exploring the prison system and the systems of oppression that converge at that site? Does some literature of incarceration perpetuate damaging discourses about “felons,” or does it revise and complicate stereotypes and narratives about incarcerated individuals? How do narratives involving change, conversion, growing up, or being defeated operate in various genres of prison literature? What role do mourning, witnessing, testifying, and resistance play in such writing? What is the imagined audience of various genres of prison writing, that is, for whom is it written? What ethical and political demands does such writing make on us as readers, citizens, activists?

Fall 2022: ENGL GU4975
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ENGL 4975 001/12966 T 10:10am - 12:00pm
612 Philosophy Hall
Jean Howard 4.00 12/18

University Writing

ENGL CC1010 UNIVERSITY WRITING. 3.00 points.

ENGL CC/GS1010: University Writing, is a one-semester seminar designed to facilitate students’ entry into the intellectual life of the university by teaching them to become more capable and independent academic readers and writers. The course emphasizes habits of mind and skills that foster students’ capacities for critical analysis, argument, revision, collaboration, meta-cognition, and research. Students read and discuss essays from a number of fields, complete regular informal reading and writing exercises, compose several longer essays, and devise a research-based project of their own design. Courses of Instruction ENGL CC1010 University Writing. 3 points. ENGL CC/GS1010: University Writing (3 points) focuses on developing students’ reading, writing, and thinking, drawing from readings on a designated course theme that carry a broad appeal to people with diverse interests. No University Writing class presumes that students arrive with prior knowledge in the theme of the course. We are offering the following themes this year: UW: Contemporary Essays, CC/GS1010.001-.099 UW: Readings in American Studies, CC/GS1010.1xx UW: Readings in Gender and Sexuality, CC/GS1010.2xx UW: Readings in Film and Performing Arts, CC/GS1010.3xx UW: Readings in Urban Studies, CC/GS1010.4xx (will be sharing 400s with Human Rights) UW: Readings in Climate Humanities, CC/GS1010.5xx (will be sharing 500s with Data & Society) UW: Readings in Medical Humanities, CC/GS1010.6xx UW: Readings in Law & Justice, CC/GS1010.7xx UW: Readings in Race and Ethnicity, CC/GS1010.8xx University Writing for International Students, CC/GS1010.9xx For further details about these classes, please visit: http://www.college.columbia.edu/core/uwp

Fall 2022: ENGL CC1010
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ENGL 1010 005/15348 M W 10:10am - 11:25am
502 Northwest Corner
Megan Lonsinger 3.00 14/14
ENGL 1010 015/15349 M W 1:10pm - 2:25pm
201d Philosophy Hall
Kirkwood Adams 3.00 14/14
ENGL 1010 016/16085 M W 2:40pm - 3:55pm
201d Philosophy Hall
Glenn Gordon 3.00 14/14
ENGL 1010 021/18423 M W 4:10pm - 5:25pm
104 Knox Hall
Therese Cox 3.00 13/14
ENGL 1010 023/18496 M W 4:10pm - 5:25pm
408a Philosophy Hall
Brianne Baker 3.00 14/14
ENGL 1010 032/18424 T Th 10:10am - 11:25am
201d Philosophy Hall
Emily Weitzman 3.00 14/14
ENGL 1010 034/18425 T Th 11:40am - 12:55pm
408a Philosophy Hall
Austin Mantele 3.00 14/14
ENGL 1010 035/18426 T Th 11:40am - 12:55pm
116 Knox Hall
Julia Bannon 3.00 14/14
ENGL 1010 036/15351 T Th 11:40am - 12:55pm
201d Philosophy Hall
Emily Foster 3.00 13/14
ENGL 1010 039/16078 T Th 1:10pm - 2:25pm
201d Philosophy Hall
Elena Dudum 3.00 14/14
ENGL 1010 048/18432 T Th 4:10pm - 5:25pm
408a Philosophy Hall
Celine Aenlle-Rocha 3.00 14/14
ENGL 1010 053/18435 T Th 4:10pm - 5:25pm
507 Lewisohn Hall
Austin Mantele 3.00 13/14
ENGL 1010 054/18746 T Th 2:40pm - 3:55pm
507 Lewisohn Hall
Catherine Suffern 3.00 14/14
ENGL 1010 055/18744 M W 8:40am - 9:55am
307 Mathematics Building
Gabrielle DaCosta 3.00 14/14
ENGL 1010 109/15352 M W 11:40am - 12:55pm
201d Philosophy Hall
Hannah Gold 3.00 14/14
ENGL 1010 122/18437 M W 4:10pm - 5:25pm
201b Philosophy Hall
Jessica Campbell 3.00 13/14
ENGL 1010 128/15353 T Th 8:40am - 9:55am
652 Schermerhorn Hall
Susanna Kohn 3.00 14/14
ENGL 1010 151/18458 T Th 5:40pm - 6:55pm
116 Knox Hall
Kirkwood Adams 3.00 10/14
ENGL 1010 203/15355 M W 8:40am - 9:55am
652 Schermerhorn Hall
Levi Catherine Hord 3.00 14/14
ENGL 1010 217/15356 M W 2:40pm - 3:55pm
502 Northwest Corner
Ashley Thomas 3.00 13/14
ENGL 1010 226/15357 M W 5:40pm - 6:55pm
201d Philosophy Hall
Natalie Adler 3.00 14/14
ENGL 1010 237/15358 T Th 11:40am - 12:55pm
201b Philosophy Hall
Connor Spencer 3.00 13/14
ENGL 1010 245/15359 T Th 2:40pm - 3:55pm
201d Philosophy Hall
Genevieve Shuster 3.00 14/14
ENGL 1010 311/15360 M W 11:40am - 12:55pm
315 Hamilton Hall
Jehbreal Jackson 3.00 14/14
ENGL 1010 320/15361 M W 4:10pm - 5:25pm
652 Schermerhorn Hall
Alice Clapie 3.00 14/14
ENGL 1010 329/15362 T Th 8:40am - 9:55am
502 Northwest Corner
Abigail Melick 3.00 13/14
ENGL 1010 331/15363 T Th 10:10am - 11:25am
652 Schermerhorn Hall
Alessia Palanti 3.00 14/14
ENGL 1010 340/15364 T Th 1:10pm - 2:25pm
201b Philosophy Hall
Claudia Grigg Edo 3.00 13/14
ENGL 1010 407/15365 M W 10:10am - 11:25am
201d Philosophy Hall
Grant Miner 3.00 13/14
ENGL 1010 408/18745 M W 5:40pm - 6:55pm
418 International Affairs Bldg
John Fitzgerald 3.00 14/14
ENGL 1010 419/18422 M W 2:40pm - 3:55pm
307 Mathematics Building
Seth Cosimini 3.00 14/14
ENGL 1010 447/18431 T Th 4:10pm - 5:25pm
212a Lewisohn Hall
Therese Cox 3.00 13/14
ENGL 1010 504/15367 M W 10:10am - 11:25am
201b Philosophy Hall
Ruilin Fan 3.00 14/14
ENGL 1010 512/18419 M W 1:10pm - 2:25pm
506 Lewisohn Hall
Elizabeth Walters 3.00 14/14
ENGL 1010 527/15368 T Th 8:40am - 9:55am
201d Philosophy Hall
Julia Ryan 3.00 14/14
ENGL 1010 541/15370 T Th 1:10pm - 2:25pm
476b Alfred Lerner Hall
Margaret Banks 3.00 14/14
ENGL 1010 546/18430 T Th 2:40pm - 3:55pm
502 Northwest Corner
Adam Winters 3.00 13/14
ENGL 1010 549/18439 T Th 4:10pm - 5:25pm
307 Mathematics Building
Michael Schoch 3.00 14/14
ENGL 1010 606/15371 M W 10:10am - 11:25am
307 Mathematics Building
Meg Zhang 3.00 14/14
ENGL 1010 613/15372 M W 1:10pm - 2:25pm
502 Northwest Corner
Angelica Modabber 3.00 13/14
ENGL 1010 625/15373 M W 5:40pm - 6:55pm
201b Philosophy Hall
Ayesha Verma 3.00 12/14
ENGL 1010 630/15374 T Th 10:10am - 11:25am
502 Northwest Corner
Kristie Schlauraff 3.00 14/14
ENGL 1010 733/15376 T Th 10:10am - 11:25am
201b Philosophy Hall
Wally Suphap 3.00 13/14
ENGL 1010 738/18427 T Th 1:10pm - 2:25pm
502 Northwest Corner
Pichaya Damrongpiwat 3.00 14/14
ENGL 1010 743/18428 T Th 2:40pm - 3:55pm
408a Philosophy Hall
Celine Aenlle-Rocha 3.00 14/14
ENGL 1010 808/15377 M W 11:40am - 12:55pm
201b Philosophy Hall
Tejan Waszak 3.00 13/14
ENGL 1010 818/16092 M W 2:40pm - 3:55pm
652 Schermerhorn Hall
Shanelle Kim 3.00 14/14
ENGL 1010 824/15378 M W 5:40pm - 6:55pm
307 Mathematics Building
Stephanie Wambugu 3.00 13/14
ENGL 1010 842/15379 T Th 2:40pm - 3:55pm
652 Schermerhorn Hall
Amy Barenboim 3.00 14/14
ENGL 1010 844/15380 T Th 2:40pm - 3:55pm
307 Mathematics Building
Catherine Fisher 3.00 14/14
ENGL 1010 850/15381 T Th 5:40pm - 6:55pm
502 Northwest Corner
Gabriella Etoniru 3.00 14/14
ENGL 1010 902/15382 M W 8:40am - 9:55am
502 Northwest Corner
Charles Green 3.00 13/14
ENGL 1010 910/18418 M W 11:40am - 12:55pm
506 Lewisohn Hall
Elizabeth Walters 3.00 14/14
ENGL 1010 914/15383 M W 1:10pm - 2:25pm
652 Schermerhorn Hall
Alina Shubina 3.00 13/14
ENGL 1010 952/18340 T Th 5:40pm - 6:55pm
501 International Affairs Bldg
Justin Snider 3.00 14/14
Spring 2023: ENGL CC1010
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ENGL 1010 002/14897 M W 8:40am - 9:55am
201b Philosophy Hall
Gabrielle DaCosta 3.00 14/14
ENGL 1010 013/14898 M W 1:10pm - 2:25pm
502 Northwest Corner
Austin Mantele 3.00 14/14
ENGL 1010 014/14899 M W 1:10pm - 2:25pm
318 River Side Church
Jason Ueda 3.00 14/14
ENGL 1010 017/14901 M W 2:40pm - 3:55pm
408a Philosophy Hall
Jessica Campbell 3.00 14/14
ENGL 1010 018/14902 M W 2:40pm - 3:55pm
201d Philosophy Hall
Glenn Gordon 3.00 14/14
ENGL 1010 019/14903 M W 2:40pm - 3:55pm
Mpr River Side Church
Elena Dudum 3.00 14/14
ENGL 1010 021/14904 M W 4:10pm - 5:25pm
307 Mathematics Building
Seth Cosimini 3.00 14/14
ENGL 1010 022/14906 M W 4:10pm - 5:25pm
502 Northwest Corner
Austin Mantele 3.00 14/14
ENGL 1010 033/17212 T Th 10:10am - 11:25am
201d Philosophy Hall
Emily Foster 3.00 14/14
ENGL 1010 035/14908 T Th 10:10am - 11:25am
502 Northwest Corner
Brianne Baker 3.00 14/14
ENGL 1010 039/14910 T Th 11:40am - 12:55pm
201b Philosophy Hall
Emily Weitzman 3.00 14/14
ENGL 1010 040/14911 T Th 11:40am - 12:55pm
502 Northwest Corner
Brianne Baker 3.00 14/14
ENGL 1010 042/14912 T Th 1:10pm - 2:25pm
201b Philosophy Hall
Emily Weitzman 3.00 14/14
ENGL 1010 054/18030 T Th 4:10pm - 5:25pm
652 Schermerhorn Hall
Andrew Slater 3.00 14/14
ENGL 1010 055/14913 T Th 5:40pm - 6:55pm
502 Northwest Corner
Michael Schoch 3.00 14/14
ENGL 1010 056/14914 T Th 5:40pm - 6:55pm
201d Philosophy Hall
Julia Bannon 3.00 13/14
ENGL 1010 112/14918 M W 1:10pm - 2:25pm
408a Philosophy Hall
Jessica Campbell 3.00 14/14
ENGL 1010 141/14919 T Th 1:10pm - 2:25pm
201d Philosophy Hall
Kirkwood Adams 3.00 13/14
ENGL 1010 143/14920 T Th 1:10pm - 2:25pm
652 Schermerhorn Hall
Hannah Gold 3.00 14/14
ENGL 1010 220/14921 M W 2:40pm - 3:55pm
652 Schermerhorn Hall
Genevieve Shuster 3.00 14/14
ENGL 1010 227/14922 M W 5:40pm - 6:55pm
408a Philosophy Hall
Natalie Adler 3.00 14/14
ENGL 1010 244/14923 T Th 1:10pm - 2:25pm
408a Philosophy Hall
Kendall Collins 3.00 14/14
ENGL 1010 245/17216 T Th 2:40pm - 3:55pm
476b Alfred Lerner Hall
Evyan Gainey 3.00 14/14
ENGL 1010 249/14924 T Th 2:40pm - 3:55pm
502 Northwest Corner
Ashley Thomas 3.00 14/14
ENGL 1010 252/14925 T Th 4:10pm - 5:25pm
307 Mathematics Building
Connor Spencer 3.00 14/14
ENGL 1010 324/14926 M W 4:10pm - 5:25pm
201b Philosophy Hall
Adrian Guo-Silver 3.00 14/14
ENGL 1010 325/15460 M W 4:10pm - 5:25pm
104 Knox Hall
Geoffrey Lokke 3.00 14/14
ENGL 1010 332/14927 T Th 8:40am - 9:55am
307 Mathematics Building
Abigail Melick 3.00 12/14
ENGL 1010 346/14929 T Th 2:40pm - 3:55pm
408a Philosophy Hall
Jehbreal Jackson 3.00 14/14
ENGL 1010 353/17427 T Th 1:10pm - 2:25pm
476a Alfred Lerner Hall
Claudia Grigg Edo 3.00 14/14
ENGL 1010 406/14955 M W 10:10am - 11:25am
307 Mathematics Building
Grant Miner 3.00 14/14
ENGL 1010 415/14930 M W 1:10pm - 2:25pm
Mpr River Side Church
Tyler Grand Pre 3.00 14/14
ENGL 1010 416/14931 M W 2:40pm - 3:55pm
307 Mathematics Building
Seth Cosimini 3.00 14/14
ENGL 1010 436/14932 T Th 10:10am - 11:25am
201b Philosophy Hall
Eman Elhadad 3.00 14/14
ENGL 1010 438/14933 T Th 11:40am - 12:55pm
652 Schermerhorn Hall
Therese Cox 3.00 14/14
ENGL 1010 447/14934 T Th 2:40pm - 3:55pm
652 Schermerhorn Hall
Mieko Anders 3.00 14/14
ENGL 1010 504/14935 M W 10:10am - 11:25am
502 Northwest Corner
Adam Winters 3.00 14/14
ENGL 1010 508/14936 M W 11:40am - 12:55pm
201b Philosophy Hall
Elizabeth Walters 3.00 14/14
ENGL 1010 510/14937 M W 11:40am - 12:55pm
502 Northwest Corner
Adam Winters 3.00 14/14
ENGL 1010 531/14938 T Th 8:40am - 9:55am
201b Philosophy Hall
Julia Ryan 3.00 14/14
ENGL 1010 550/14939 T Th 4:10pm - 5:25pm
502 Northwest Corner
Michael Schoch 3.00 14/14
ENGL 1010 603/14940 M W 8:40am - 9:55am
307 Mathematics Building
Angelica Modabber 3.00 14/14
ENGL 1010 607/14941 M W 10:10am - 11:25am
201b Philosophy Hall
Meg Zhang 3.00 14/14
ENGL 1010 623/14942 M W 4:10pm - 5:25pm
201d Philosophy Hall
Ayesha Verma 3.00 13/14
ENGL 1010 630/14943 T Th 8:40am - 9:55am
652 Schermerhorn Hall
Kristie Schlauraff 3.00 14/14
ENGL 1010 705/14944 M W 10:10am - 11:25am
201d Philosophy Hall
Wally Suphap 3.00 14/14
ENGL 1010 711/14945 M W 11:40am - 12:55pm
652 Schermerhorn Hall
Kaagni Harekal 3.00 14/14
ENGL 1010 734/14946 T Th 10:10am - 11:25am
307 Mathematics Building
Celine Aenlle-Rocha 3.00 14/14
ENGL 1010 737/14947 T Th 11:40am - 12:55pm
201d Philosophy Hall
Pichaya Damrongpiwat 3.00 14/14
ENGL 1010 809/14948 M W 11:40am - 12:55pm
201d Philosophy Hall
Tejan Waszak 3.00 14/14
ENGL 1010 828/14949 M W 5:40pm - 6:55pm
201d Philosophy Hall
Stephanie Wambugu 3.00 14/14
ENGL 1010 848/14950 T Th 2:40pm - 3:55pm
307 Mathematics Building
Amy Barenboim 3.00 14/14
ENGL 1010 851/14951 T Th 4:10pm - 5:25pm
201d Philosophy Hall
Catherine Fisher 3.00 14/14
ENGL 1010 857/14952 T Th 5:40pm - 6:55pm
307 Mathematics Building
Gabriella Etoniru 3.00 13/14
ENGL 1010 901/14953 M W 8:40am - 9:55am
502 Northwest Corner
Charles Green 3.00 14/14
ENGL 1010 926/14954 M W 5:40pm - 6:55pm
201b Philosophy Hall
Justin Snider 3.00 14/14

Senior Essay Methods Seminar

ENGL UN3795 SENIOR ESSAY RESEARCH METHODS. 3.00 points.

The senior essay is, for most English majors, the most substantial research you will have produced to this point in your intellectual life. As seniors tackle their essays, they discover that the methods they used to write smaller projects often don’t transfer to a project of this size. The English Senior Essay Seminar prepares English majors to make the leap to this longer project. It guides you through the process of crafting your proposal and teaches the research methods that you will rely upon to complete your thesis in the spring. In the process, you will learn what researchers have discovered about how seasoned scholars research and write. This learning prepares you for the next stage of your writing career, whether it be in graduate school or the workplace. By the end of the semester, you will produce about 20 pages of writing toward your senior essay, some of it in rough draft form and some more polished. That writing includes an evolving set of research questions, a literature review, a senior essay proposal, an outline, and partial rough drafts of two sections of your essay

Fall 2022: ENGL UN3795
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ENGL 3795 001/18301 F 2:10pm - 4:00pm
401 Hamilton Hall
Susan Mendelsohn 3.00 11/18
ENGL 3795 002/18302 W 6:10pm - 8:00pm
522c Kent Hall
Yea Jung Park 3.00 15/18

Spring 2023

Introduction to the Major

ENGL UN3001 Literary Texts, Critical Methods. 4 points.

Prerequisites: Students who register for ENGL UN3001 must also register for one of the sections of ENGL UN3011 Literary Texts, Critical Methods.

This course is intended to introduce students to the advanced study of literature. Students will read works from different genres (poetry, drama, and prose fiction), drawn from the medieval period to the present day, learning the different interpretative techniques required by each. The course also introduces students to a variety of critical schools and approaches, with the aim both of familiarizing them with these methodologies in the work of other critics and of encouraging them to make use of different methods in their own critical writing. This course (together with the companion seminar ENGL UN3011) is a requirement for the English Major and Concentration. It should be taken as early as possible in a student's career. Fulfillment of this requirement will be a factor in admission to seminars and to some lectures.

Fall 2022: ENGL UN3001
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ENGL 3001 001/12953 F 10:10am - 11:25am
313 Fayerweather
Erik Gray 4 75/75
Spring 2023: ENGL UN3001
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ENGL 3001 001/13142 W 2:10pm - 3:25pm
Aud Earl Hall
Frances Negron-Muntaner 4 83/75

Medieval 

ENGL UN3920 MEDIEVAL ENGLISH TEXTS. 4.00 points.

Prerequisites: the instructor's permission.
The class will read the poem Sir Gawain and the Green Knight in the original Middle English language of its unique surviving copy of circa 1400, and will discuss both the poem's language and the poem's literary meritThe class will read the poem Sir Gawain and the Green Knight in the original Middle English language of its unique surviving copy of circa 1400, and will discuss both the poem's language and the poem's literary merit

Spring 2023: ENGL UN3920
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ENGL 3920 001/13181 T 2:10pm - 4:00pm
401 Hamilton Hall
David Yerkes 4.00 15/18

CLEN GU4015 Vernacular Paleography. 4 points.

This class is designed to introduce graduate students (and some advanced undergraduates) to the paleography of English vernacular manuscripts written during the period ca. 700 -1500, with brief excursions into Latin and into French as it was written on the Continent.


The purpose of the course is fourfold: (1) to teach students how to make informed judgments with regard to the date (and sometimes place) of origin, (2) to provide instruction and practice in the accurate reading and transcription of medieval scripts, (3) to learn and use the basic vocabulary of the description of scripts, and (4) to examine the manuscript book as a product of the changing society that produced it and, thus, as a primary source for the study of that society and its culture.


In order to localize manuscripts in time and place, we also examine aspects of the written page besides the script, such as the material on which it is written, its layout and ruling, the decoration and illustration of the text, the provenance, and binding.   We also examine the process of manuscript production itself, whether institutional, commercial, or personal.  The history of book production and of decoration and illumination are thus considered part of the study of paleography, as is the history of patronage and that of libraries.  Manuscripts are among the most numerous and most reliable surviving witnesses to medieval social and intellectual change, and they will be examined as such.


To become proficient in the study of manuscripts it is necessary to look at manuscripts, as well as to read about them.  The more time you are able to spend looking at manuscripts critically, in the manuals and in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library, the greater will be your first-hand experience and hence your reliable knowledge.

Spring 2023: CLEN GU4015
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
CLEN 4015 001/13115 T Th 12:10pm - 2:00pm
Chang Rm Butler Library
Christopher Baswell 4 5/12

ENGL GU4790 ADVANCED OLD ENGLISH. 4.00 points.

Prerequisites: Students must have previous knowledge of Old English -- minimum one semester.

The aim of this course is twofold: one, to provide an advanced-level course in Old English literature involving weekly translation; and two, to explore the shape and possibilities of what “Anglo-Saxon spirituality” might be. The primary texts we will be translating will consist in homilies, poetry, treatises, sermons, hymns, prayers, penitentials, letters, and so called “secular” poetry like riddles. We will aim at covering selected materials from the four main manuscripts of Anglo-Saxon poetry (Vercelli, Junius, Nowell, and Exeter) to examine the extent to which they celebrate or veil theological interests. Part our time will involve assessing the prevalent distinction between secular and religious cultures, the relation between materiality and the spiritual, the role of affect in cultivating belief and piety, and the relation between Christian and non-Christian cultures and beliefs. Secondary theological materials will be read in translation including Paschasius Radbertus, Ratramnus, Hincmar, Alcuin, Aldhelm, Jerome, Gregory, and Augustine. Selections of Old Norse mythology and runic texts will also be included. The class will explore the of the role of the church in Anglo-Saxon England, debates about the impact of the Benedictine Reform, and the relation between art and theology.

Spring 2023: ENGL GU4790
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ENGL 4790 001/13197 M 4:10pm - 6:00pm
612 Philosophy Hall
Patricia Dailey 4.00 7/18

ENGL GU4791 Visionary Drama. 3 points.

(Lecture). This class is designed to interrogate the genre-boundary that has traditionally separated visionary writings from dramatic ones in the study of English medieval literature. Although this separation has long existed in scholarship, it is deeply problematic, and produces an understanding of the relationship between private devotion and publically performed religious ritual that is untenable, and does considerable violence to our understanding of the medieval imagination. As we will see, notionally "private" visionary writings and notionally "public" dramatic writings have a great deal in common, not just in terms of their overt content, but also in terms of their formal construction, their poetic devices, their favorite rhetorical maneuvers, and their articulated relationship with history and English literature. The works we will read this term are all phenomenally strange, many of them extremely difficult because of their unfamiliarity. For this reason, we will divide the semester into three sections: the first will deal with the famous medieval cycle dramas, which narrate events from the New Testament. The second section will transition to examine three important visionary texts that were written between 1370 and 1430, contemporaneous with the efflorescence of dramatic composition and performance in England, and two late Antique visionary texts that inspired them. The final section of class will turn to examine the so-called "morality plays," which emerge just slightly after the cycle dramas and after the visionary works we will have read. Since all of these works are linguistically challenging, we will work with translations in certain instances (Piers Plowman, Julian of Norwich, Margery Kempe). For all of the other works, we will be reading in Middle English, but you are welcome to consult translations, online summaries, or anything else that helps you get up to speed on what´s going on in the plays. Bear in mind, however, that your midterm and final will be based on the Middle English texts, so you do need to make a serious effort to read them (except in the case of Piers Plowman, which will be in modern English).

Spring 2023: ENGL GU4791
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ENGL 4791 001/13198 T Th 10:10am - 11:25am
702 Hamilton Hall
Eleanor Johnson 3 60/60

Renaissance

ENGL UN3336 Shakespeare II. 3 points.

(Lecture). Shakespeare II examines plays from the second half of Shakespeare’s dramatic career, primarily a selection of his major tragedies and his later comedies (or “romances”).

Spring 2023: ENGL UN3336
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ENGL 3336 001/13151 M W 10:10am - 11:25am
503 Hamilton Hall
Alan Stewart 3 54/54

CLEN GU4122 The Renaissance in Europe II. 3 points.

Major texts of the Renaissance both south and north of the Alps, including those of Petrarch, Valla, Machiavelli, Castiglione, Erasmus, Thomas More, and Montaigne, with special emphasis on diverse style of early modern writing and the habits of reading they encouraged. 

Spring 2023: CLEN GU4122
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
CLEN 4122 001/13123 M W 11:40am - 12:55pm
503 Hamilton Hall
Kathy Eden 3 48/54

18th and 19th Century

ENGL UN3626 Great Short Works of American Prose. 4 points.

The aim of this course is to read closely and slowly short prose masterworks written in the United States between the mid-19th century and the mid-20th century, and to consider them in disciplined discussion.  Most of the assigned works are fiction, but some are public addresses or lyrical or polemical essays.  We will read with attention to questions of audience and purpose: for whom were they written and with what aim in mind: to promote a cause, make a case for personal or political action, provoke pleasure, or some combination of all of these aims? We will consider the lives and times of the authors but will focus chiefly on the aesthetic and argumentative structure of the works themselves.

Spring 2023: ENGL UN3626
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ENGL 3626 001/13168 M 4:10pm - 6:00pm
317 Hamilton Hall
Andrew Delbanco 4 12/18

ENGL UN3789 AMERICAN NATURE WRITING TO 1900. 4.00 points.

The course is a survey of canonical texts from the American Literary Canon, with emphasis on how these writers experienced the natural world. Some of them had to deal with extreme cold, others with tropical heat. Some of them encountered abundance, others sparsity and famine. They all encountered new life forms – from marine life to birds, reptiles and animals. They had to cope with frequent earthquakes and hurricanes, and classify newly discovered species of vegetal life. What they saw, however, was read not only through the lenses of natural history, but also theologically and politically. For some, the natural world was rich with signs sent by God for them to interpret, for others it was a political space that they organized according to the a theocratic or plantation logic. The class will therefore also pay special attention to politics, and investigate how the ecological spaces that the colonists encountered shaped their politics and ethics

Spring 2023: ENGL UN3789
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ENGL 3789 001/13179 M 2:10pm - 4:00pm
507 Philosophy Hall
Branka Arsic 4.00 19/18

ENGL UN3991 Romantic Margins. 4 points.

British literature of the Romantic period, from the late eighteenth to the early nineteenth century, displays a fascination with what is on the margins.  This manifests itself most memorably in the unprecedented focus on socially marginalized figures – the beggars, madmen, abandoned women, and solitary wanderers who populate the pages of Romantic poetry and fiction.  The author too is often figured as an outsider in this period, someone whose authority derives specifically from his or her position of marginality, looking in from the fringes.  Geographically, the peripheries of the island of Great Britain (Wales and especially Scotland) were major sites of literary experimentation in the Romantic era, while the south coast of England attracted particular interest because of the constant threat of invasion from France during these years.  And of course Romantic writers famously exploited textual margins: many of the major literary works of the period make innovative use of footnotes, glosses, and other paratextual apparatus.  This course considers these various aspects of Romantic marginality and the intersections between them.  In addition to the work of more canonical authors (William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Walter Scott, Mary Shelley), we will be reading poems, novels, essays, and letters by writers, especially women, whose work has historically been marginalized.  Application instructions: E-mail Prof. Gray (eg2155@columbia.edu) with your name, school, major, year of study, and relevant courses taken, along with a statement (one paragraph, no more than one page) about why you are interested in taking the course. Please also attach a recent paper from a literature course — or, if this is your first such course, on any humanities subject. (**NOTE: Please do not spend any time or effort worrying about or revising the paper you submit. It will be consulted ONLY if the course is oversubscribed, so please just attach whatever you have.) Admitted students should register for the course; they will automatically be placed on a wait list from which the instructor will in due course admit them as spaces become available.

Spring 2023: ENGL UN3991
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ENGL 3991 001/13225 Th 12:10pm - 2:00pm
522c Kent Hall
Erik Gray 4 11/18

ENGL GU4404 Victorian Poetry. 3 points.

Open to all undergraduates (regardless of major) and graduate students.

(Lecture). This course examines the works of the major English poets of the period 1830-1900. We will pay special attention to Alfred Tennyson and Robert Browning, and their great poetic innovation, the dramatic monologue. We will also be concentrating on poems by Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Christina Rossetti, Matthew Arnold, A. E. Housman, and Thomas Hardy.

Spring 2023: ENGL GU4404
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ENGL 4404 001/13184 M W 10:10am - 11:25am
330 Uris Hall
Erik Gray 3 43/60

20th and 21st Century

ENGL GU4622 African-American Literature II. 3 points.

(Lecture). This survey of African American literature focuses on language, history, and culture. What are the contours of African American literary history? How do race, gender, class, and sexuality intersect within the politics of African American culture? What can we expect to learn from these literary works? Why does our literature matter to student of social change? This lecture course will attempt to provide answers to these questions, as we begin with Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God (1937) and Richard Wright's Native Son (1940) and end with Melvin Dixon's Love's Instruments (1995) with many stops along the way. We will discuss poetry, fiction, drama, and non-fictional prose. Ohter authors include Ralph Ellison, James Baldwin, Gwendolyn Brooks, Malcom X, Ntzozake Shange, Audre Lorde, and Toni Morrison. There are no prerequisites for this course. The formal assignments are two five-page essays and a final examination. Class participation will be graded.

Spring 2023: ENGL GU4622
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ENGL 4622 001/13190 T Th 10:10am - 11:25am
503 Hamilton Hall
Farah Griffin 3 54/54

ENGL GU4110 Avant-Garde Feminist Poetry. 3 points.

This course will wrangle with three simple-seeming, but actually fraught and electrified questions: what does it mean to be “feminist”? What is “poetry” in the contemporary American poetry world? And what is “avant-garde?” One could read a thousand books of poetry to answer these questions, but in this course, we’ll stick to works written by women between 1990 and today. We will pay sustained, careful attention to poetic form and structure, and we will look at how formal experimentation might intersect with ethical and political realities. And, as a heuristic device, we’ll read two or three works by individual authors, to get a sense of their evolution over the course of a period of their careers.

Spring 2023: ENGL GU4110
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ENGL 4110 001/13183 T Th 8:40am - 9:55am
702 Hamilton Hall
Eleanor Johnson 3 60/60

ENGL UN3042 Ulysses. 4 points.

The seminar will look at the structure of the novel, its plan, with special attention paid to ‘The Odyssey’, but also to the variations in tone in the book, the parodies and elaborate games becoming more complex as the book proceeds. We will examine a number of Irish texts that are relevant to the making of ‘Ulysses’, including Robert Emmett’s speech from the dock, Yeats’s ‘The Countess Cathleen’ and Lady Gregory translations from Irish folk-tales.

Spring 2023: ENGL UN3042
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ENGL 3042 001/13148 T 12:10pm - 2:00pm
613 Hamilton Hall
Colm Toibin 4 18/18

ENGL UN3286 Freaks & Aesthetes in Fifties Families. 4 points.

Prerequisites: E-mail Professor Ross Posnock (rp2045@columbia.edu ) with the subject heading "seminar application." In your message, include basic information: your name, school, major, year of study, and relevant courses taken, along with a brief statement about why you are interested in taking the course. Admitted students should register for the course; they will automatically be placed on a wait list from which the instructor will in due course admit them as spaces become available.

We will read J.D. Salinger's Glass Family fiction, which features a group of hyper-articulate New York prodigies who experiment with Eastern religion, Robert Lowell's prose and poetry in  Life Studies, a breakthrough in "confessional" subject matter, and Carson McCuller's novel A Member of the Wedding,about the coming of age of a Southern tomboy. We will also watch and discuss Nicholas Ray's film Rebel Without a Cause with James Dean, the most famous portryal of teenage rage and angst. All these works narrate crises of conformity in postwar America--the much advertised sense of "alienation"--and dramatize the possibility of alternative values and improvised families.

Spring 2023: ENGL UN3286
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ENGL 3286 001/13149 T 12:10pm - 2:00pm
309 Hamilton Hall
Ross Posnock 4 18/18

ENTA UN3970 MAJOR 20TH CENTURY PLAYWRIGHTS. 3.00 points.

Prerequisites: the instructor's permission.
The course will trace the pattern of the evolving theatrical careers of Henrik Ibsen and Harold Pinter, exploring the nature of and relationships among key features of their emerging aesthetics. Thematic and theatrical exploration involve positioning the plays in the context of the trajectories of modernism and postmodernism and examining, in that context, the emblematic use of stage sets and tableaux; the intense scrutiny of families, friendships, and disruptive intruders; the experiments with temporality, multi-linearity, and split staging; the issues raised by performance and the implied playhouse; and the plays' potential as instruments of cultural intervention. Two papers are required, 5-7 pages and 10-12 pages, with weekly brief responses, and a class presentation. Readings include major plays of both writers and key statements on modernism and postmodernism. Application Instructions: E-mail Professor Austin Quigley (aeq1@columbia.edu) with the subject heading "Ibsen and Pinter seminar." In your message, include basic information: your name, school, major, year of study, and relevant courses taken, along with a brief statement about why you are interested in taking the course. Admitted students should register for the course; they will automatically be placed on a wait list from which the instructor will in due course admit them as spaces become available

Spring 2023: ENTA UN3970
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ENTA 3970 001/13214 W 4:10pm - 6:00pm
301m Fayerweather
Austin Quigley 3.00 12/18

ENGL GU4956 THE ASIAN AMERICAN NOVEL. 4.00 points.

What does it mean to write an Asian American novel? In this seminar, we will explore this question by examining a range of novels written by Asian American authors. I use the term “Asian American” to underscore its political importance as an identity and community formation that consolidated in the late 1960s. These novels we will read were published from the early twentieth century to as recently as earlier this calendar year. Some are bestsellers, prize winners, or have been deemed as pivotal to the development of Asian American literature and its history. Others are not. Some are well known authors; others are newer or emergent writers. Some feature characters who are Asian or Asian American. Others explicitly questions our assumptions and expectations regarding literary and cultural representations of Asians and Asian Americans. Across their work, these authors are nevertheless held together in part by their engagement with transnational relations in Asia and North America, including U.S. expansion across to the Pacific, migration and immigration legislation, labor exclusions and political resistance, and the changing dynamics of the United States in the wake of a so-called global Asian century. A guiding principle will inform our work: Asian American writers have long been interested in theorizing the novel as an artistic, literary, and political form. While the content of these novels will of course be important, we will also examine how Asian American writers have explicitly experimented with the form of the novel as a genre, including romance, bildungsroman, hybrid creative nonfiction, speculative fiction, postmodern palimpsest, YA novel, apocalyptic dystopia. To guide us in this goal, we will read scholars who have theorized the novel as a genre, we’ll also situate this work alongside the substantial history of Asian American literary scholarship on the novel

Spring 2023: ENGL GU4956
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ENGL 4956 001/13203 F 10:10am - 12:00pm
612 Philosophy Hall
Denise Cruz 4.00 12/18

CLEN GU4565 Postcolonial Theory. 4 points.

This course will examine the major debates, contested genealogies, epistemic and political interventions, and possible futures of the body of writing that has come to be known as postcolonial theory. We will examine the relationships between postcolonial theory and other theoretical formations, including post-structuralism, feminism, Marxism, and Third Worldism. We will also consider what counts as “theory” in postcolonial theory: in what ways have novels, memoirs, or revolutionary manifestos, for example, offered seminal, generalizable statements about postcoloniality? How can we understand the relationship between the rise of postcolonial studies in the United States and the role of the U.S. in the post-Cold War era? How do postcolonial theory and its insights about European imperialism contribute to analyses of contemporary globalization?

Spring 2023: CLEN GU4565
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
CLEN 4565 001/13127 M 4:10pm - 6:00pm
1102 International Affairs Bldg
Joseph R Slaughter 4 15/18

CLEN GU4742 WORLD FICTION SINCE 1965. 3.00 points.

In the period since 1965, fiction has become global in a new sense and with a new intensity. Writers from different national traditions have been avidly reading each other, wherever they happen to come from, and they often resist national and regional labels altogether. If you ask the Somali writer Nuruddin Farah whether the precocious child of Maps was inspired by Salman Rushdie´s Midnight´s Children, he will answer (at least he did when I asked him) that he and Rushdie both were inspired by Sterne´s Tristram Shandy and Grass´s The Tin Drum. At the same time, the human experiences around which novelists organize their fiction are often themselves global, explicitly and powerfully but also mysteriously. Our critical language is in some ways just trying to catch up with innovative modes of storytelling that attempt to be responsible to the global scale of interconnectedness on which, as we only rarely manage to realize, we all live. Authors will include some of the following: Gabriel Garcia Márquez, Jamaica Kincaid, W.G. Sebald, Elena Ferrante, and Zadie Smith

Spring 2023: CLEN GU4742
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
CLEN 4742 001/13131 M W 10:10am - 11:25am
516 Hamilton Hall
Bruce Robbins 3.00 54/54

ENGL GU4943 CRITICISM AND POLITICS. 4.00 points.

“Poetry makes nothing happen.” So wrote W. H. Auden, encapsulating one of the most powerful concepts in literature for the last 100 years: literature is not meant to do anything in the world, it is not directly interventionist; it is meant to stand the test of time but not to intervene in the politics of the moment or change the views of readers. This is the orthodoxy of modernism and its entrenched legacies. In this course, we will explore an alternate model of literary self-assessment: the desire to effect real changes in one’s society. “Books that Change the World” is offered as a thought exercise, a new way to conceptualize literary self-understanding and value. We will read works mostly from the 20th century, with several forays into the 19th and 21st, wondering how, if at all, these might aim to stimulate new ways of reading, thinking, responding, and indeed writing, in an activist spirit. The course is organized thematically and chronologically, with works from the U.S., England, Canada, India, and elsewhere. Each week we will read a novel (some novels are spread across two weeks), and these will often be paired with other materials, such as visual works, other literary materials, theoretical readings, etc. Themes to which these activist works are geared include: slavery and abolition; working conditions; gender and patriarchy; war and revolution; race and racism; and environmental crisis. This is a discussion seminar, and each student is expected to participate in every class meeting. The primary written work for the course is a final paper on a book of your choosing; the question will be, what work would you add to our syllabus, and why? The paper is an explanation/defense of your selection, with critical reading of the text itself along with appropriate context, and it is due at the end of the semester. Students concerned about work management can meet with me to come up with a different time-table. Weekly reading responses, posted to the Canvas page, are also required. In addition, after the first two weeks, we will begin each class with a short student presentation on the material (an outline is also required, to be shared with the group). Your grade for the course will be determined as follows: final paper (30%); presentation and outline (20%); class participation and reading responses (50%). Please note the heavy weight toward classroom participation and reading responses. If participating in class is not comfortable for you, please see me early on and we can work out some alternatives. The goal for our classroom is to be inclusive and to stimulate a positive, active learning environment for all

Spring 2023: ENGL GU4943
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ENGL 4943 001/16668 M W 2:40pm - 3:55pm
503 Hamilton Hall
Bruce Robbins 4.00 39/54

ENGL GU4932 ESSAYISM. 4.00 points.

In the second decade of the 21 st century there is more critical attention than ever before on the essay as a literary genre and a cultural practice that crosses media, registers, disciplines, and contexts. The concept of “essayism” was redefined by the Robert Musil in his unfinished modernist novel, The Man Without Qualities (1930) from a style of literature to a form of thinking in writing: “For an essay is not the provisional or incidental expression of a conviction that might on a more favourable occasion be elevated to the status of truth or that might just as easily be recognized as error … ; an essay is the unique and unalterable form that a man’s inner life takes in a decisive thought.” In this course will explore how essays can increase readers’ andwriters’ tolerance for the existential tension and uncertainty we experience both within ourselves as well as in the worlds we inhabit. As Cheryl Wall argues, essays also give their practitioners meaningful work to do with their private musings and public concerns in a form that thrives on intellectual as well as formal experimentation. The course is organized to examine how practitioners across media have enacted essayism in their own work and how theorists have continued to explore its aesthetic effects and ethical power

Spring 2023: ENGL GU4932
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ENGL 4932 001/13202 W 10:10am - 12:00pm
569 Alfred Lerner Hall
Nicole Wallack 4.00 16/18

Special Topics

ENGL UN3394 How Writers Think: Pedagogy and Practice. 4 points.

Prerequisites: Permission of instructor.

(Seminar). This course uses contemporary philosophies of research and writing to train students to become writing center and library consultants. Readings will highlight major voices in rhetoric and composition research, with an emphasis on collaborative learning theory. We will ground our study in hands-on teaching experiences: students will shadow Columbia Writing Center consultants and research librarians and then practice strategies they learn in consultation with other students. Those who successfully complete this course will be eligible to apply for a peer writing consultant job in the Columbia Writing Center. This course is co-taught by the director of the Writing Center and the undergraduate services librarian.

Spring 2023: ENGL UN3394
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ENGL 3394 001/13154 W 8:10am - 10:00am
401 Hamilton Hall
Susan Mendelsohn 4 18/18

ENGL GU4561 Children's Literature. 3 points.

This is a historical survey of literature written principally for children (primarily narrative), which will explore not only the pleasures of imagination but the varieties of narrative and lyric form, as well as the ways in which story-telling gives shape to individual and cultural identity. Drawing on anonymous folk tale from a range of cultures, as well as a variety of literary works produced from the late 17 th century to the present, we’ll attend to the ways in which changing forms of children’s literature reflect changing understandings of children and childhood, while trying not to overlook psychological and formal structures that might persist across this history. Readings of the primary works will be supplemented by a variety of critical approaches—psychoanalytic, materialist, feminist, and structuralist—that scholars have employed to understand the variety and appeal of children’s literature.

Spring 2023: ENGL GU4561
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ENGL 4561 001/13188 M W 2:40pm - 3:55pm
233 Seeley W. Mudd Building
James Adams 3 45/45