Spring 2016 Courses: Senior Seminars

ENG 4973.001: Senior Seminar: The Translingual Imagination

Instructor: Steven G. Kellman
Class Time: Thursdays 1:00p.m. - 3:45p.m.
Class Location: MB 2.454

Course Description
Geographical and psychological exile has been the pervasive condition of modern authors - Cortázar, Hemingway, and Kundera in Paris, Singer and García Lorca in New York, Joyce in Zurich, Pound in Italy, Mann in Santa Monica, Solzhenitsyn in Vermont, each stubbornly scribbling in a language alien to their strange new neighbors. However, a remarkable number of men and women have been linguistic exiles: writing, out of choice or compulsion, in a language not learned at their mothers’ knees. It is difficult enough to write well in one’s native language; how much more extraordinary is the accomplishment of Achebe, Beckett, Celan, Conrad, Danticat, Dinesen, Ha Jin, Nabokov, Ngugi, and Pessoa in excelling in a second, third, or even fourth language. With a focus on both fictional and nonfictional narratives as well as poetry, ENGLISH 4973 will examine texts by agile linguistic chameleons. We will be attentive to what they might have in common and to whether language is itself a theme within their narratives. In vivid, varied ways, translingual texts confront the role of language in shaping and even determining our cultures and our selves.


  • Paper #1 (25%)
  • Paper #2 (30%)
  • Class work, quizzes, discussions, and oral presentation (15%)
  • Final Exam (30%)

Required Texts

  • Alameddine, An Unnecessary Woman, ISBN 978-0802122940
  • Beckett, Molloy, ISBN 039417027X
  • Begley, Wartime Lies, ISBN 0449001172
  • Conrad, Heart of Darkness, ISBN 0393955524
  • Dorfman, Heading South Looking North: A Bilingual Journey, ISBN 014028253X
  • Hamilton, The Speckled People: A Memoir of a Half-Irish Childhood, ISBN 9780007156634
  • Hoffman, Lost in Translation: A Life in a New Language, ISBN 970140127737
  • Kellman, ed., Switching Languages: Translingual Writers Reflect on Their Craft, ISBN 0803278071
  • Nabokov, Pale Fire, ISBN 0679723420

ENG 4973.002/WS 4973.003: Senior Seminar: Modernist Women Writers

Instructor: Paul Ardoin
Class Time: Tuesdays 1:00p.m. - 3:45p.m.
Class Location: MB 2.404

Course Description
This senior seminar, cross-listed with Women’s Studies, examines novels, poems, short stories, and essays by key figures in modernist literature. We’ll examine Zora Neale Hurston’s innovative use of language and narrative discourse in Their Eyes Were Watching God, Jean Rhys’s interrogation of the theme of the madwoman in the attic in Wide Sargasso Sea, Dorothy Richardson’s pioneering deployment of stream-of-consciousness techniques in Pointed Roofs, Virginia Woolf’s manifesto on women and writing, A Room of One’s Own, and more, including novels by Nella Larsen and Gertrude Stein, poems by Stein, Marianne Moore, Mina Loy, Amy Lowell, and H.D., and stories by Hurston, Katherine Mansfield, Katherine Anne Porter, and Dorothy Parker. This course will also feature a visit from scholar of transcultural modernist studies, Professor Mary Lou Emery.


  • Presentation
  • Quizzes
  • Annotated Bibliography
  • Course Paper (10-15 pages)

Required Texts

  • Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God, ISBN 9780061120060
  • Larsen, Passing, ISBN 9780142437278
  • Mansfield, The Garden Party, ISBN 9780141441801
  • Richardson, Pointed Roofs, ISBN 9781551117997
  • Rhys, Wide Sargasso Sea, ISBN 9780393308808
  • Stein, Three Lives (w/Tender Buttons), ISBN 9780451528728
  • Woolf, A Room of One's Own, ISBN 9780156030410

ENG 4973.003/AAS 4013.003/WS 4973.002: Senior Seminar: Race, Gender, Class, and Sexuality in Film

Instructor: Kinitra Brooks
Class Time: Thursdays 1:00p.m. - 3:45p.m.
Class Location: MB 2.404

Course Description
This course will examine the intersections of race and gender in mid to late 20th and 21st-Century American film. We will begin with an exploration of the constructions of whiteness and femininity and how these ideas are realized and perpetuated upon the American screen. We will then examine other intersections of race, gender, sexuality and class. How have historical and contemporary representations of women of color and/or queer and/or working-class peoples both subverted and reinforced previous assumptions about whiteness and womanhood? What differences manifest when marginalized peoples write and create their own visual narratives?
The major goal of this course is to teach students how to read films as texts. This includes major genres and themes, camera, audio, lighting, and editing techniques. Students will develop a familiarity with film language and film theory. The course will culminate in a partnered project in which students will perform pre-production on a two-minute film they write and direct using storyboards. No actual film shooting is required.

Required Texts

  • America on Film: Representing Race, Class, Gender and Sexuality at the Movies, Harry M. Benshoff and Sean Griffin
  • Feminist Film Theory: A Reader, Sue Thornham
  • Film Art: An Introduction (9th Edition), David Bordwell and Kristin Thompson

Course Films

No films will be viewed in class. Students are responsible for viewing all the films for that week before attending class.

  • All About Eve (1950)
  • Gidget (1959)
  • Imitation of Life (1959)
  • Some Like it Hot (1959)
  • Psycho (1960)
  • The World of Suzie Wong (1960)
  • Funny Girl (1968)
  • Cleopatra Jones (1973)
  • The Godfather (1972)
  • Claudine (1974)
  • Sugar Hill (1974)
  • Halloween (1978)
  • Norma Rae (1979)
  • She's Gotta Have It (1986)
  • The Joy Luck Club (1993)
  • I Like It Like That (1994)
  • Mi Vida Loca (1994)
  • Eve's Bayou (1997)
  • Titus (1997)
  • Hedwig and the Angry Inch (2001)
  • Real Women Have Curves (2002)
  • Pariah (2011)

Note: Film choices are subject to change.


  • Critical Commentaries (15%)
  • Annotated Bibliography (10%)
  • Quizzes (15%)
  • Midterm Project (30%)
  • Participation (10%)
  • Final Paper (20%)

ENG 4973.004/HON 3233.003: Senior Seminar: Female Development in Literature and Film

Instructor: Bonnie Lyons
Class Time: Thursdays 1:00p.m. - 3:45p.m.
Class Location: MB 1.1.22

Course Description
This seminar will focus on the various ways female characters are represented and developed in literature and film. We will alternate between novels and films throughout the semester to deepen the discussion of female representation in both forms of media.


  • Participation (5%)
  • 7 Short Papers (2-4 pages) & 6 Outlines (40%)
  • Oral Presentation (20%)
  • 5 Annotated Bibliographies (5%)
  • Final Seminar Paper (10-25 pages) (30%)

Required Texts

  • Laurence, Margaret. The Stone Angel
  • Morrison, Toni. The Bluest Eye
  • Oates, Joyce Carol. Foxfire
  • Munro, Alice. Lives of Girls and Women
  • Ng, Fae. Bone
  • Lessing, Doris. The Summer Before the Dark
  • Allison, Dorothy Bastard out of Carolina

ENG 4973.005/WS 4973.001: Senior Seminar: Chicana/Latina Feminist Writes: Gloria Anzaldúa, Sandra Cisneros and Helena Maria Viramontes

Instructor: Sonia Saldívar-Hull
Class Time: Wednesdays 1:00p.m. - 3:45p.m.
Class Location: MB 2.404

Course Description
This seminar will center on three Chicana/Latina feminist writers whose texts have established and enacted contemporary Chicana/Latina feminist theories. Beginning with This Bridge Called My Back we will identify early articulations of U.S. women of color feminisms. The seminar will concurrently examine critical essays that elaborate and challenge those theories as well as additional essays, poetry, and fiction by Gloria Anzaldúa, Sandra Cisneros and Helena María Viramontes. In this English and Women's Studies cross-listed class, students have the opportunity to locate Chicana and women of color feminisms within the larger historical context of the U.S. women’s movement. In addition, students will have the opportunity to engage in critical thinking and further develop their writing skills through weekly writing assignments, an oral presentation, and a seminar paper in two installments.


  • Attendance & Participation (10%)
  • Seminar Facilitation (10%)
  • Weekly Position Papers (30%)
  • Proposal & First Installment (5-8 pages) of Seminar Paper (20%)
  • Final Seminar Paper (16-20 pages) (30%)

Required Texts

  • Anzaldúa, Gloria. This Bridge Called My Back: Writing by Radical Women of Colors, 4th Edition; Borderlands/la frontera: The New Mestiza, 4th Edition; Light in the Dark/Luz en lo oscuro: Rewriting Identity, Spirituality, Reality
  • Cisneros, Sandra. Woman Hollering Creek and other Stories; Caramelo; A House of My Own: Stories from My Life
  • Viramontes, Helena Maria. The Moths and Other Stories; Under the Feet of Jesus; Their Dogs Came With Them

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