ENGL108Global Media and Visual CultureThis course introduces students to a range of theoretical approaches to the study of media. Defining media broadly, we will think about the ways in which media both reflects upon and prompts social transformation and its ever-shifting roles in relation to politics, society, culture, race, class, and gender. A key component of the course will be an examination of the global production and dissemination of culture. Rather than seeing American culture as commanding global markets, we will study how there has always existed a transnational circulation of cultural products.
ENGL150Reading the World: Beyond RealismAn introductory study of works that go beyond realism including attention to their cultural and social contexts. Focus areas may include fantasy, magical realism, or speculative fiction. All Reading the World courses stress the development of critical writing ability, critical thinking, and active discussion.
ENGL151Reading the World: EnvironmentsAn introductory study of literary and cultural texts that articulate how human beings are connected to the natural world. The course will explore how locations and ecosystems shape and are shaped by human systems of meaning. Topics may include gardens, sustainable worlds, urban environments, and deep ecology, among others. All Reading the World courses stress the development of critical writing ability, critical thinking, and active discussion.
ENGL152Reading the World: GenreThis course explores representations of the world through the lens of genre. Just as human understanding emerges from historical and cultural positions, so too does the choice of literary genres (fictional and nonfictional narratives, drama, and poetry) shape meaning. This class will focus on a genre (or a pairing of genres) as a way to examine how aesthetic and historically-rooted dimensions of literary forms give rise to representations of the world. All Reading the World courses stress the development of critical writing ability, critical thinking, and active discussion.
ENGL153Reading the World: Global CinemaAn introduction to the language of cinema, foregrounding historical and theoretical contexts of classical Hollywood cinema (1930-1945) and various aesthetic alternatives from around the world. Requires a weekly film screening outside of class. All Reading the World courses stress the development of critical writing ability, critical thinking, and active discussion.
ENGL154Reading the World: Global StagesAn introduction to drama, focusing either on the theater of a particular region and culture or examining a particular theme from a cross-cultural perspective. Focus areas may include local theater, European theater, world theater's portrayal of ethnic/race relations, among other topics. Students will also consider the relationship of text and performance. All Reading the World courses stress the development of critical writing ability, critical thinking, and active discussion.
ENGL155Reading The World: Identities BorderThis course explores literary and cultural texts addressing the nature of human identity and its development, particularly through issues of difference. Focus may be on one or more of the following: race, class, gender, nationality, sexuality, the body. All Reading the World courses stress the development of critical writing ability, critical thinking, and active discussion.
ENGL156Reading the World: Social JusticeThis course examines social justice from a literary perspective, focusing on a particular issue, event, movement, or historical moment. It will emphasize areas of power difference, such as race and ethnicity, disability/ability, class, gender, and sexuality. All Reading the World courses stress the development of critical writing ability, critical thinking, and active discussion.
ENGL180Contemporary PoetryA study of recent poetry in relationship to post-World War II poetic movements. Textual analysis and socio-political context will be emphasized.
ENGL181Contemporary FictionA study of recent fiction, with emphasis on textual analysis and innovative techniques.
ENGL/SEMN217World Indigenous Literatures: The People and the LandA selective study of the literary traditions and contemporary texts of indigenous peoples around the world, focusing on indigenous communities in regions where Kalamazoo College students study and with a particular emphasis on texts that explore the complex relationships between indigenous communities and the land they claim as their own. This course is a Shared Passages Sophomore Seminar.Prerequisite: Sophomore standing.
ENGL/SEMN218Post-Colonial LiteratureThis course will investigate some of the central issues in the field of post-colonial literature and theory, such as how literature written in the colonial era represented the colonized and impacted those who were depicted and how writers and readers deployed literature as a method of exploring new possibilities of identity. This course is a Shared Passages Sophomore Seminar.Prerequisite: Sophomore only
ENGL219Magical RealismMagical realism is a genre that combines elements of the fantastic with realism often in order to imagine utopias or resist restrictive aspects of society. This course will examine the genre, interrogate its relationship to other genres of fantasy, and consider the relationship between the aesthetic patterns of the genre and its potential for social advocacy. This course is a Shared Passages Sophomore Seminar.Prerequisite: Sophomore standing.
ENGL220African American LiteratureA study of central writers, works, and eras in African American literature with an emphasis on conversations between authors, periods, and movements. In addition to such genres as the slave narrative, autobiography, poetry, and fiction, the class will examine vernacular traditions and their influence on content and aesthetics, including the blues, jazz, and hip hop.
ENGL221African LiteratureThis course will reflect on modern literatures in English from Africa. We will take a multi-genre approach, reading short stories, magic realist novels, and political tracts and reflect on the problems of diaspora in modern postcolonial states, the economic impact of colonial and neo-colonial practices, the policies responsible for dispossession, the use of English as an African language, and the rhetorical and political strategies used to combat forms of oppression.
ENGL222American Indian LiteraturesA selective study of the literary traditions and contemporary texts of American Indian people with a focus on building an interdisciplinary understanding of cultural production.
ENGL224Early Modern Women's Literature: Shakespeare's SistersA study of the women writers that Virginia Woolf termed "Shakespeare's Sisters" when she lamented the lack of early women writers. We'll study these, primarily British, women writers of the period, emphasizing the social, political, economic, and cultural conditions of women's authorship before the nineteenth century.Prerequisite: Sophomore standing or a Reading the World course.
ENGL22519th Century Women's Literature: The Epic AgeA study of British and U.S. women writers of the period, emphasizing social, political, economic, and cultural conditions for women's authorship as well as recurring concerns and themes of women authors and the emergence of African American women's writing.Prerequisite: Sophomore standing or a Reading the World course.
ENGL226Women's Literature 1900-present: Modern VoicesA study of women's writing in English in the 20th and 21st centuries, emphasizing cultural diversity, thematic commonalities, and questions of voice and gender.Prerequisite: Sophomore standing or a Reading the World course.
ENGL/SEMN227Opium & the Making of the Modern WorldThis course traces the social and literary history of opium across the nineteenth, twentieth, and twenty-first centuries. In addition to exploring the drug as a trope of the "exotic East," this course also understands opium as an important catalyst of imperial development and global domination. Analyzing autobiography, poetry, and fiction, the course focuses on depictions of travel and circulation to understand how opium has activated anxieties about gender, sexuality, and race over the last two centuries and to recognize how the illicit drug trade continues to shape current patterns of diasporic movement and global exchange.Prerequisite: Sophomores Only
ENGL230Us Ethnic LiteratureA study of American literary texts primarily of the 20th and 21st centuries, from the perspective of their ethnic origins.
ENGL244Studies in 20th Century LiteratureAn examination of radical departures from conventional technique in the most innovative modern poetry, fiction, and drama. Prerequisite: Sophomore standing or a Reading the World course.
ENGL246Modernism to Millennium: British Literature 1900-PRESENTA study of the literary culture of Britain and Ireland during this period through its literature. The course will highlight the aesthetic innovations that took place over the course of the twentieth century and examine their intersection with their historical context, including imperialism and decolonization, the World Wars, immigration and shifts in ethnic identity, class politics, and challenges to gender and sexual norms.Prerequisite: Sophomore Standing or Reading the World course or Permission
ENGL260Studies in FilmThis course enables an in-depth study of genre, national/regional cinema, or aesthetic movement. Topics vary by year.Prerequisite: Sophomore standing or a Reading the World course or Instructor permission.
ENGL/SEMN264Global ShakespearesShakespeare is the most translated, adapted, performed, and published Western Author. Just what this means to Western and non-Western cultures is at the heart of this course. What does it mean to think of Shakespeare as a colonizing force? What additional ways are there to see the influence of his works? Many cultures have written back to Shakespeare, addressing race, sexuality, gender, and religion from their own cultural perspectives. What do exchanges between differently empowered cultures produce and reproduce? We'll tackle such questions as we read works by Shakespeare and literary/film adaptations from around the globe. And, closer to home, how do different communities in the United States receive and write back to Shakespeare? How do issues of race and class, especially, affect access to Shakespeare? A service learning project with the Intensive Learning Center of the Kalamazoo County Juvenile Home will allow your students there, and our class, to consider those questions. As we work with these students to write their own adaptations of Othello, we'll all consider how writing back to Shakespeare might be a good way to empower students to question the assumptions his plays make. This course is a Shared Passages Sophomore Seminar.Prerequisite: Sophomores Only
ENGL265ShakespeareA study of Shakespeare's histories, comedies, and tragedies. Historical context, various critical perspectives, close textual explication, and analysis of film versions will be subjects for discussion. Prerequisite: Sophomore standing or a Reading the World course.
ENGL266Discoveries: British Literature 1550 -1750A study of British literature emerging during the Renaissance/early modern period. This course will pair literary analysis with investigations of the artistic, political, religious, and social developments of the period, setting the literature amidst the various discoveries of the period. Prerequisite: Sophomore standing or a Reading the World course.
ENGL267Romantic Revolutions: Early 19th Century British LiteratureA study of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction from this tumultuous period of political and social upheaval and artistic innovation, emphasizing connections between cultural background and aesthetic production.Prerequisite: Sophomore standing or a Reading the World course.
ENGL268The Victorians: British Literature 1832-1900A study of British culture of the period through its literature, with emphasis on novels, poetry, and nonfiction. The course focuses on several defining themes of this tumultuous age: imperialism and racism, industrialism and its discontents, the Women Question, Darwin and the crisis of faith.Prerequisite: Sophomore standing or a Reading the World course.
ENGL/AMST269New World Narratives: American Literature 1500-1790A study of the divergent and complementary tales emerging from those settled in or settling "America." Texts include American Indian and European creation myths, exploration narratives, Puritan poetry, captivity narratives, and late 18th century fiction and non-fiction. Prerequisite: Sophomore standing or a Reading the World course.
ENGL/AMST270Reform and Renaissance: U.S. Literature 1790-1865A study of literature emerging during a period of significant social upheavals: the continuing shift from a colonial to an "American" identity, the unsettling of indigenous populations, the movement of European populations westward, and the Slavery and Woman questions. Through an exploration of diverse texts, students will examine a literature shaped by an impulse to transform or reform pre-existing perspectives and genres.Prerequisite: Sophomore standing or a Reading the World course.
ENGL/AMST275American Realisms: U.S. Literature 1865-1914This course examines a variety of approaches to knowing a literary period. We will explore theoretical, socio-historical, formal, and thematic paradigms that can organize our understanding of the wide variety of written and cinematic texts produced in the period between the end of the Civil War and the beginning of World War I. Through a study of the frequently conflicting stories about gender, race, sexuality, art, and Americanness that come to voice during this period, students will challenge and complicate their definitions of literary realism.Prerequisite: Sophomore standing or a Reading the World course.
ENGL/AMST276Modernism and Postmodernism: U.S. Literature 1914 - PresentA study of the rise of a modern aesthetic in the wake of World War I and the postmodern response in the second half of the 20th century with an eye toward the diversity of voices and formal choices that mark this period.Prerequisite: Sophomore standing or a Reading the World course.
ENGL295Chaucer's Art of LoveFew have read Chaucer without delight, especially in his perceptive and candid treatment of the human condition. Our objective is to consider the manner in which Chaucer's poetry reflects and contributes to the changing social structures of fourteenth-century England. Chaucer was both beneficiary and victim of these changes: he was connected by marriage to the court; by service, to the gentry; and through his occupation as controller of customs and clerk of works, to the merchants and bureaucrats of London. His erudition and wit enabled him to exploit the artistic possibilities of his ambiguous and often precarious social position. Our readings and discussions will explore Chaucer's attitude(s) about such topics as language, marriage, religion, justice, social class, commerce, and especially his favorite literary preoccupation--the philosophy of love. Prerequisite: Reading The World course or Sophomore Standing or Instructor Permission
ENGL295Milton Milton is a paradoxical figure: a deeply religious writer who is constantly at odds with religious establishments, a republican political theorist who is mistrustful of the people, a youthful celebrant of virginity who matured into one of the great singers of natural beauty and sexual pleasure. History and literary criticism have treated Milton paradoxically as well. A radical figure, pushed to the margins in his own time, he has come to be seen by many as the very embodiment of established authority. In this course we will study the length and breadth of Milton's career, looking for keys to these paradoxes. In addition, we will explore how Milton, constructs himself as a new kind of writer, one who commands all the resources of classical art and learning but links them to radical politics and reformist poetics. Prerequisite: Reading The World course or Sophomore Standing or Instructor Permission
ENGL390Junior SeminarAn examination of the forces that have shaped or that are currently reshaping literary studies. In focusing upon transnational and cross-cultural connections, the course aims to establish a knowledge of the current status of the discipline and thus encourage students to define their own critical interests. Course will also prepare students for the SIP.Prerequisite: Junior majors.
ENGL435Advanced Literary StudiesSeminars focusing on major figures and movements in English and American literature. May be repeated for credit when content changes. This course is designated as a Senior Seminar through the 2011-2012 academic year. Starting in 2012-2013 some versions of this course will carry Senior Seminar credit and some will not; check the online schedule. Prerequisite: Junior standing.
ENGL436Literary TheoryAn intensive study of selected perspectives in contemporary critical theory. This course is designated as a Senior Seminar for the 2012-2013 academic year.Prerequisite: Junior standing.
ENGL490Senior Seminar: Your Work in the WorldThis course will help students take their next step as writers in the genre of their choice, orienting themselves more fully to what it might mean to work as a professional poet, scholar, critic, non-fiction writer, journalist, essayist, screenwriter, playwright, or fiction writer. The course will ask students to explore models for the type of work they hope to practice; to reflect on their practice as writers from a personal as well as an historical perspective; to write and revise their work; to explore the theories, practices and questions of other genres outside of their primary focus; and to investigate venues beyond K to which they will submit their work. This course is designated as a Senior Seminar.Prerequisite: Majors and other seniors with permission.
ENGL/SEMN495Building the Archive: Baldwin & His LegacyIn February of 1960, James Baldwin delivered an address, "In Search of a Majority," at Stetson Chapel which he later included in his collection of essays, Nobody Knows my Name. This seminar will approach this visit (and Baldwin) as a site of analysis. As an actual event, the occasion left artifacts (correspondence, publicity, newspaper accounts, published essay). The event also can be read within the legacy of other Civil Rights era visitors to the college, including Charles V. Hamilton (co-author of Black Power: The Politics of Liberation) and others. Moreover, as a writer who addressed national and international identity, racial politics (personal and cultural), and sexuality, Baldwin's various writings remain relevant even as they locate themselves within particular historical moments. Through close attention to Baldwin and his milieu, this course will invite students to engage their own experiences and disciplinary knowledge within what has been termed the "archival turn" in recent scholarship.
ENGL593Senior Individualized ProjectEach program or department sets its own requirements for Senior Individualized Projects done in that department, including the range of acceptable projects, the required background of students doing projects, the format of the SIP, and the expected scope and depth of projects. See the Kalamazoo Curriculum -> Curriculum Details and Policies section of the Academic Catalog for more details.Prerequisite: Permission of department and SIP supervisor required.