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ENG 392

Genre: Advanced Topics

Study of works drawn from a specific literary genre or subgenre. Examples include Confessional Poetry, The Early Novel and Revenge Tragedy.

Distribution Area Prerequisites Credits
1 course

Fall Semester information

Karin Wimbley

392A: Genre: Adv Topics: The Politics of Representation in the Graphic Novel

As a medium that uses both text and image to tell stories, the graphic novel now enjoys legitimacy as a genre warranting serious intellectual consideration by scholars and critics alike. This 300-level interdisciplinary course investigates fiction and nonfiction graphic novels to explore how graphic storytelling (re)creates new cultural circuits of representation and knowledge. In this course, we will discover the stylistic diversity of this genre, both aesthetically and textually. We will also develop the visual literacy skills to better interrogate the characteristics and tropes operative in these graphic narratives. Lastly, we will engage with current scholarship to situate ourselves in the larger conversations about this form of visual storytelling. Graphic novel sub-genres explored in this course include: utopian/dystopian narratives; high art productions; punk and cyber punk aesthetics; and the autobiography and memoir. Course texts include Alan Moore's Watchman, Marjane Satrapi's Persepolis, Alison Bechdel's Fun Home, Charles Burns' Black Hole, and Wilfred Santiago's In My Darkest Hour, to name a few.

Spring Semester information

Istvan Csicsery-Ronay

392A: Genre: Adv Topics: War and Peace

This course is devoted to the close reading of War and Peace, one of the most celebrated and innovative -- and heftiest -- novels in world literature. Because of its length, War and Peace is rarely studied in classrooms in its entirety. This course will be the exception. We will study the novel's artistry, along with the historical backgrounds of the Napoleonic Wars, Russian and European history of Tolstoy's time, and the broad influence the novel has had on modern literature and philosophy.

Fall Semester information

Susan Hahn

392A: AdvTps:Genre: Narrative Conundrum and Unreliable Narrators

What difference does it make who is telling the story and why? We will survey a range of narrative conventions (many of which started as "inventions") looking at novels and short stories, some classic, some recently published, to examine the problems of what have been called "reliable/unreliable" narrators. What are the artistic and philosophical implications of perspective? Is there ever really a reliable narrator? Some readings might include: The Good Soldier (Ford), Edgar Allan Poe short stories, A Lost Lady (Cather), Wuthering Heights (Bronte), Old School (Woolfe), Under the Feet of Jesus (Viramontes), All He Ever Wanted (Shreve).

Michael Sinowitz

392B: AdvTps:Genre: Marriage and Monsters in the Victorian Novel

The Victorian era may very well be the golden age of the novel. It was a time when, arguably, the most popular authors were also among the best authors. The novels of this time showed a broad interest in concerns about the public world, but also, importantly, the space where the public and personal met, the institution of marriage. For this, we can look at Jane Austen's novels as popularizing a concern with the marriage plot. Perhaps a bit more surprisingly, the authors of this era also showed a recurring interest in monsters. Frankenstein's creature is a forerunner to the era that produced both Mr. Hyde and Dracula. Yet they were also intrigued by characters that veered towards the monstrous or seemingly monstrous characters that could be startlingly, powerfully human. This course, then, will explore a range of prominent Victorian writers, including Charles Dickens, George Eliot, Robert Louis Stevenson, and Emily Bronte, and pay particular attention to the recurring interest in marriage and monsters.