Spring Intersession 2013 Course Descriptions
Engl. 304.001: The Bible as Literature
The Bible is the text with the most significant influence on western literature. This non-doctrinal examination of the Bible is an invaluable tool for students of literature and will increase their cultural literacy. We will read the Bible like a literary anthology, aiming to familiarize the students with the major parts of the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures and to become conversant in the most influential stories, myths, and images from the Judeo-Christian tradition. We will study the Biblical texts as we would study other literature, emphasizing authorship, character, plot, setting, theme, literary modes and genres–including allegories, apocalyptic literature, beatitudes, blessings, etiologies, folktales, genealogies, historical narratives, laments, laws, legal commentary, letters, parables, prayers, prophetic poetry, proverbial wisdom, royal decrees, sayings, stories of healing, theophanies, and tribal lists–as well as use literary analysis, methods of inquiry, and terminology, such as allegory, irony, metaphor, parallelism, personification, puns, simile, symbolism, and gender. Our discussions will concentrate not only on the structure and meaning of individual works but also on the ways in which these works reflect the historical people and times that produced them.
315.001: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Southwest Studies
M 5/20–F 5/24, 9:00-5:00
This introductory course will focus on representations of the Southwest as they appear in various literary genres and visual mediums. We will begin by considering some of the dominant paradigms that define the Southwest and use these definitions to analyze various texts. The class will come to know the major literary figures and histories associated with the Southwest, as well as lesser known writers and histories of the region. Through an interdisciplinary approach that crosses genres and mediums, students will develop a perspective about the Southwest that combines history and criticism; tourism and cultural critique; aesthetics and critical analysis. Assignments include reading workshops, group work, field trips, exams and response papers.
English 315.003: Reading and Writing Memoir
5/13-5/24/13 MTWRF 11:00-4:00
This course will focus on how we read, write and explore the particular non- fiction genre of Memoir. What is memory? How true is it? What are the licenses we can use in writing memoir. We will read some interesting memoirs, readily available from Amazon such as Salman Rushdie’s memoir, “Joseph Anton” and Joan Didion’s Year of Magical Thinking. I invite you also to find other memoir’s that interest you. We will use Julia Cameron’s Artist’s Way and Natalie Goldberg’s Writing down the Bonesas our guides for writing. We will use lots of film and You Tube sources. I plan to have fun exploring our memoires and writing them down in a literary fashion, looking at models to say what is literary.
321.001: Intermediate Fiction Workshop
M 5/13-F 5/17 10:00-3:00; Hybrid
This course will help students develop technique in writing fiction. Exercises and workshops will focus on various concerns involved in the writing of fiction, such as developing scenes and plot, creating tension, setting, dialogue, characterization, theme, style and tone. Students will read stories by a range of writers, including Tim O’Brien, Alice Munro, Jamaica Kincaid, Sherman Alexie, among others. This course will also involve some emphasis on the way working in other genres (nonfiction, drama, poetry) can inform the writing of fiction. A final portfolio of 20 pages of fiction (exercises and two more developed pieces) will be due at the end of the course. We will engage in a number of fun exercises throughout the course, designed to get creativity flowing.
388.010: Film and Literature of the Southwest
M 5/13–S 5/18, 9:30–4:30
This intersession course focuses on the complex traditions of literature and film linked to the American Southwest. From narratives of encounter and oral traditions to dime novels and genre fiction, we will investigate how the Southwest is represented as unique region, vexed borderland, or site of global pasts and futures in poetry, fiction, and film. We will ground various works in their specific historical and cultural contexts while also addressing shifting discourses about the Southwest in terms of land and the built environment, rich cultural traditions in modern settings, and persistent and emergent forms of narrative and visual representation. Texts include Leslie Marmon Silko’s Storyteller, Ana Castillo’s So Far from God, and Cormac McCarthy’s No Country for Old Men. Course requirements include informal and formal writing assignments, group projects, and one exam.