Department of English

Brian Gingrich


Visiting ProfessorPhD, Princeton University

Assistant Professor of Instruction

Biography


Brian Gingrich is the author of The Pace of Fiction: Narrative Movement and the Novel (Oxford UP, 2021). His essays and reviews have appeared in New Literary History, Twentieth-Century Literature, Women’s Studies, and collections on Shakespeare and the short story. He is an affiliate of the International Network for Comparative Humanities, and he has taught courses on film and on literature from both sides of the Atlantic from the nineteenth century to the present.

Courses


E 348 • The Short Story

35680 • Spring 2022
Meets MW 2:30PM-4:00PM PAR 204

E 348  |  The Short Story

Instructor:  Gingrich, B

Semester:  Spring 2022

Unique #:  35680

Cross-listings:  n/a

 

Prerequisites:  Nine semester hours of coursework in English or rhetoric and writing.

Description:  Short stories show us narrative condensed, foreshortened, intensified, laid bare. In flashes of lyricism, comedy, voice, coincidence, and fate, they expose the possibilities of what storytelling in general can be. Yet all too often they are thought of as simple things—quick reads, insufficient novels, mainly American, mainly from the past hundred years. This course offers a view of short fiction in all its underestimated literary-historical significance. Modern American stories appear alongside stories across centuries and nations. We will look not only at narrative in its indispensable parts, but at storytelling as a global human activity.

Texts:  Selections uploaded on Canvas from such writers as Boccaccio, Hoffmann, Poe, Machado de Assis, Maupassant, Chekhov, Joyce, Kafka, Ryonsuke Akutagawa, Jorge Luis Borges, Chinua Achebe, Karen Blixen, Ursula LeGuin, Alice Munro, and Edwidge Danticat

Requirements & Grading:  attendance and participation (15%), weekly writing exercises (20%), two interpretive essays, 4-5 pages (20% each); final exam (25%).

E 372M • American Realism

35750 • Spring 2022
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM PAR 204

E 372M  |  American Realism

Instructor:  Gingrich, B

Semester:  Spring 2022

Unique #:  35750

Cross-listings:  n/a

 

Prerequisites:  Nine semester hours of coursework in English or rhetoric and writing.

Description:  This course captures American literature at one of its most crucial moments of self-definition, when it grapples with the problem of how to present a specifically American reality. Unsurprisingly, we will find that there is no such single reality. There only are the elaborate effects of various attempts to present it—through character consciousness, barriers of class, natural determinism, personal tragedy, and troubled identity-formation. Our goal, then, will be not only to consider the approaches that writers take to defining reality; it will also be to experience the rich complexities that result from reality pushing back. Our historical scope encompasses the years between the 1870 and the 1920, but we will also make use of the occasion, at the end of the course, to reflect on those years by analyzing realism as it is defined in visual media today.

Texts (tentative):  James, The Portrait of a Lady; Howells, The Rise of Silas Lapham; Crane, The Great Short Works; Chopin, The Awakening;Norris, McTeague; Chesnutt The Marrow of Tradition; Dreiser, Sister Carrie; Wharton The House of Mirth; Zitkala Sa, American Indian Stories; The Wire (Season One).

Requirements & Grading:  attendance and participation (15%), weekly writing exercises (20%), two interpretive essays, 4-5 pages (20% each); final exam (25%).

E 338 • Amer Lit: From 1865 To Present

36445 • Fall 2021
Meets MWF 2:00PM-3:00PM PAR 306

E 338 l  American Literature: From 1865 to the Present

Instructor:  Gingrich, B

Unique #:  36445

Semester:  Fall 2021

Cross-lists:  n/a

 

Prerequisites:  Nine semester hours of coursework in English or rhetoric and writing.

Description:  This course examines literature centered in the United States from the end of the Civil War to the present.  Our primary focus will be works of fiction and poetry from realism and Naturalism to modernism and postmodernism, from places like Boston, Chicago, Paris, and San Francisco to Nebraska, Harlem, Oxford (MS), and Santa Fe.  In and around these works, we will encounter powerful cultural forces:  wars, workers, race, empire, wealth, religion, police, cities, suburbs, sex, psychoanalysis, art, mass culture, ecology, a formidable national past to be reckoned with, and an uncertain global future.  Our goal is to think through and analyze these forces so that we can identify their relationships to literary formations and production in order to create a more complex vision of American culture.

Texts: The Norton Anthology of American Literature, Shorter Ninth Edition, Volume 2; additional materials posted online.

Requirements & Grading: participation (15%), reading quizzes and discussion posts (20%), two short analytical writing assignments (30%), final exam (35%).

E 344N • Film Noir

36504 • Fall 2021
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM PAR 306

E 344N  l  Film Noir

Instructor:  Gingrich, B

Unique #:  36504

Semester:  Fall 2021

Cross-lists:  n/a

 

Prerequisite:  Nine semester hours of coursework in English or rhetoric and writing.

Description:  Emerging in the 1940s, already dying in the 1950s, haunting Hollywood ever since, film noir is the most famous cinematic genre that, technically, might not be a genre at all.  This course involves reading, thinking, and examining the core works of what we call film noir in order to comprehend the background and afterlife of its existence.  We will analyze these films, first, of all, for their style—their technical expertise, moods, and performance of an identity.  We will also consider them in the context of earlier European innovations and the restrictions of the U.S. “Hays Code,” as well as for the cultural problems they reflect:  the moral consequences of prewar disenchantment, postwar paranoia, and the anxieties of whiteness and masculinity in the face of alternative American identities.  By the end of the course, we will have seen the most interesting ways that noir filmmaking has been put to use since its heyday, in color, and in a range of blended genres.

Sample Films:  Double Indemnity, Laura, The Big Sleep, Out of the Past, The Lady from Shanghai, In a Lonely Place, The Big Heat, Chinatown, Blade Runner, The Big Lebowski.

Requirements & Grading:  Participation (15%); weekly discussion posts; including a shot analysis and scene analysis assignment (25%); and two film analysis essays (30% each).

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