Department of English

Charlotte Fiehn


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E 343J • Literature And Social Justice

36475 • Fall 2021
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM PAR 204
CDIIWr

E 343J  |  Literature and Social Justice

Previously offered as E360S.1.

Instructor:  Fiehn, C

Unique #:  36475

Semester:  Fall 2021

Cross-lists:  none

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

Description:  What do “humanitarianism” and “human rights” have to do with the humanities?  In what ways can literature contribute to a consideration of these pressing questions in the early 21st century?  In a globalizing culture, our interest will be both international and domestic, looking at ways in which personal stories contribute to political histories.  In focusing on topics of “social justice,” we will consider such questions as environmental justice, women’s rights, children, immigration and refugees.

Texts (subject to change):  Atwood: The Handmaid’s Tale; Cisneros, The House on Magno Street; Herrera: Signs Preceding the End of the World; Morrison, Beloved; Ozick: The Shawl; Rankine: Citizen: An American Lyric; Wiesel: Night; plus+ additional sources and resources, electronic and otherwise.

Requirements & Grading:  The class will be conducted as much as possible as a seminar and discussion and attendance will be emphasized.  In addition to readings, writing assignments will include weekly reaction responses, two short critical essay, and final paper (which will count for 75% of the final grade).

Attendance and participation = 15% of the final grade.

E 349S • Virginia Woolf

36510 • Fall 2021
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM PAR 105
(also listed as WGS 345)

E 349S  l  8-Virginia Woolf

Instructor:  Fiehn, C

Unique #:  36510

Semester:  Fall 2021

Cross-lists:  WGS 345.40, 46310

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

Description:  In this reading-intensive course, we will be examining some of the major fictional works of Virginia Woolf.  We will explore several of Woolf’s self-described “sketches” or short stories; we will read Woolf’s major novels and modernist manifestos (essays).  Some of the areas of inquiry the class will be exploring are the value and limitations of high modernism, aesthetics and politics, English literary heritage and tradition, and feminism (Woolf’s critiques of patriarchy, war, and fascism).

Texts:  Selected essays, including “Modern Fiction” (1925). The Voyage Out (1915); Jacob’s Room (1922); Mrs. Dalloway (1925); The Waves(1931); The Years (1937); Between the Acts (1942).

Requirements & Grading:  Class participation (10% of final grade); Response essays (300 words) (30% of final grade); 2 short papers (4-5 pages) (30% of final grade); Prospectus/bibliography and semester paper (8-10 pages) (30% of final grade).

This is a reading-intensive, seminar-style analysis and discussion-based course; to succeed in the class, students must make sure to keep up with the reading assignments.  If you are too busy to do heavy reading, you might want to enroll in another class.  Students must also demonstrate that they have completed the required reading and have thought about it--analyzed it closely, rigorously, critically, and creatively.

E 349S • George Eliot

36514 • Fall 2021
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM PAR 204

E 349S  l  17-George Eliot

Instructor:  Fiehn, C

Unique #:  36514

Semester:  Fall 2021

Cross-lists:  n/a

 

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

Description:  George Eliot (1819-1880) is an enigma. Born Mary Ann Evans, she was an exact contemporary of Queen Victoria and one of the most successful English writers of the nineteenth century.  When she began publishing fiction in 1857, she was a sensation almost immediately, adding to the controversy because hardly anyone knew her real identity.  Her works – particularly Mill on the Floss (1860), Silas Marner (1861), and Middlemarch (1871-72) – continue to make the cut for must-read lists.  Middlemarch ranks among the best novels of all time, celebrated by Virginia Woolf as “one of the few novels written for grown up people.”  But just what is it that makes George Eliot so engaging and relevant to readers today?  In this class, we will explore the works that made her (or her pseudonym) a household name, Scenes of Clerical Life (1858) and Adam Bede (1859).  We will examine her semi-autobiographical novel, The Mill on the Floss (1860) and her “exotic” work, Romola, set in 15th century Florence.  Breaking with tradition for most Eliot classes, we will also consider some of Eliot’s poetry, particularly her long narrative poem, The Spanish Gypsy, which puts questions of form, race, and gender front and center.  Finally, we will wrap things up by examining Eliot's acclaimed novel, Middlemarch (1871-72), and her last novel, Daniel Deronda (1876).  Throughout the course, we will also supplement our reading with critical and biographical material, and excerpts from the select BBC adaptations of Eliot’s novels.

Primary Texts:  Scenes of Clerical Life (Oxford University Press) ISBN: 9780199689606; Adam Bede (Oxford University Press) ISBN: 9780199203475; The Mill on the Floss (Oxford University Press) ISBN: 9781551114675; Romola (Oxford University Press) ISBN: 9781551117577; The Spanish Gypsy* (Routledge) ISBN: 978-0367876159; Middlemarch (Oxford University Press) ISBN: 9780198815518;Daniel Deronda (Oxford University Press) ISBN: 9780199682867; Ebook versions are available and The Spanish Gypsy may be read online via George Eliot Archive.

Requirements & Grading:  Class participation (10% of final grade); Response essays (500 words) (30% of final grade); 2 short papers (4-5 pages) (30% of final grade); Prospectus/bibliography and semester paper (8-10 pages) (30% of final grade).

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