ENG 505, section 2
Transatlantic Symposium – Transatlantic Space(s): Interstitial Ties between Utopia and Reality
The 21st Transatlantic Students Symposium will bring together students and faculty from Oregon State University, Humboldt University Berlin, the University of Warsaw and other partners. Students will be prepared by seminars held at all participating campuses. We are looking forward to a joint field trip in spring of 2023.
The symposium will provide a chance for critical reflection and analysis of social and political relations throughout space and time, at the backdrop of the multitude of crises affecting our world today, be they the ongoing global pandemic, the war in Ukraine, climate change, social upheaval, the changing role of the transatlantic relationship, and the increasing efforts to come to face with the legacies of colonialism. We will explore the influence and significance of spaces, the cruelty and affordance of spaces, the liberation and limitations through spaces in society, politics and culture.
More details: http://www.trasym.org/trasym21.html
ENG 507, section 1
Literature Teaching Practicum
This course introduces students to the fundamental concepts, techniques, and practices of teaching literature. We cover topics ranging from course design to planning discussion to grading. By the end of the course, students will design a class of their own.
ENG 530, section 1
Studies in Early Modern Literature
This course interrogates intersections of race, disability, and sexuality in five early modern dramatic texts (Titus Andronicus; Dido, Queen of Carthage; The Tragedy of Miriam; The Winter’s Tale; and Samson Agonistes). Designed to be an experiment in the application of a triple lens, the seminar seeks to identify and develop methods that help readers resist the urge to focus on a particular aspect of representation. We will ask: What supports scholars who want to bring into dialogue disparate conversations in fields including early modern critical race studies, queer theory, and disability studies? What might early modern texts—and perhaps the period’s playtexts in particular—have to offer any scholar interested in complex performances of identity?
ENG 565, section 1
Studies in the Novel: Fiction in a Time of Climate Change
TR 10:00 -11:50
For decades, we’ve known that the world is warming rapidly, with increasingly catastrophic (albeit uneven and unpredictable) effects and worse likely to come. Whereas Big Oil has denied and deflected, and politicians have dithered, artists and activists have sought to raise public awareness of global warming via a variety of media and techniques. Accordingly, fiction writers have begun to produce a new subgenre: Cli-Fi (Climate Fiction), which encompasses everything from realistic accounts of contemporary climate anxieties to post-apocalyptic tales of the world after environmental disaster. As it grows in popularity however, Cli-Fi faces a unique set of problems and challenges. In our time of the Anthropocene, which is teaching us (among other things) the long-term dangers of assuming that human needs automatically take precedence over other planetary considerations, should novels abandon their traditional focus on human psychology and behavior? Can they do so without losing their appeal? Which narrative strategies can best make a global process spanning centuries comprehensible to readers? What will it take for fiction not only to effectively reflect our current situation but also to begin to offer imaginative resources for surviving it? To address these questions, we’ll study several recent eco-theoretical approaches to narrative fiction, and we’ll read a wide variety of recent examples of Cli-Fi that may (or may not) prove effective at conveying both the perils and possibilities of life (but whose life?) in and after the Anthropocene. Authors include Fredric Jameson, Jenny Offil, and Kim Stanley Robinson. Recognizing global warming requires much more than assenting to scientific data. Humanity has discovered itself to be implicated in a geological transformation of the Earth, with profound implications for nearly all our reference points in the world. If culture can be used to denote human styles of building, interacting with, and relating to the world, the Anthropocene also indicates a cultural transformation that cannot be described through a rubric of belief. Setting aside questions of fact, how has the immense discourse of climate change shaped culture over the last forty years? What tropes are necessary to comprehend climate change or to articulate the possible futures faced by humanity? How can a global process, spanning millennia, be made comprehensible to human imagination, with its limited sense of place and time? What longer, historical forms aid this imagination, and what are the implications and limits of their use? What is impossible or tremendously difficult for us to understand about climate change? How does anthropogenic global warming challenge the political imagination or invite new organizations of human beings to emerge? How does living in the Anthropocene reconfigure human economies and ecosystems? And finally, how does climate change alter the forms and potentialities of art and cultural narrative?
ENG 570, section 2
Studies in Poetry: Studies in Juxtaposition
Studies in Juxtaposition is for fiction writers, nonfiction, and poets interested in pursuing the study of juxtaposition as a foundational mode of thinking as a writer, building individual pieces, and re-conceiving your writing from the art of craft to the art of sequencing. We’ll examine histories and relationships of juxtaposition, and how learning more about these relationships can help you renew your originality and verve. Writing will be exclusively generative, allowing you to explore new pieces (as well as revise previous ones) without the consequences or pressure of finishing work, such as you might in workshop. Readings include novels, personal essays, and poems, as well as watching films. Studies in Juxtaposition is focused on exploring pathways of thinking as a writer, developing strategies of arrangement and sequencing, and also studying passages of existence in human experience to arouse your interest in your own subjects, forms, identity, and voice — a quadroika of considerations, if not qualities, expected of every writer. Our questions will be: 1) What is associating with what? 2) How is juxtaposition an ordering principle? 3) Where do coherences emerge and where can they be fashioned? 4) What is the new experience of all that? 5) How can you accommodate these ideas into the shapes that make your own writing. The approach will also be geared toward finding ways to fashion your experiences through new writing, principally through what we will call: thinking juxtapositionally. Studies in Juxtaposition is the kind of class every writer needs: an experience to release you into new zones for new writing to emerge, and to learn how to activate your voice and your style.
ENG 580, section 1
Studies in Literature, Culture and Society: First Person Narration
Writing in the first-person can be a confounding and contradictory enterprise: this point of view can feel simultaneously natural and unnatural, accessible and elusive, unconstrained and restricted. Who better to tell the story than a character who takes part in the action and can employ direct observation? Then again, who does that character think she’s talking to? And why is she describing her every action? The narrator speaks directly to the reader in an intimate and often conversational tone. But is he telling the reader everything or keeping some facts concealed? The narrator need not obey formal rhetorical conventions or grammatical rules. On the other hand, the same narrator is unable to use language that does not fit their character or experience.
ENG 585, section 1
Studies in American Literature
One of the casualties of the “post-truth” world we all live in is our sense of a stable, agreed upon past that helps us to make meaning in the present. While polarizing debates regarding American and world history may seem to be a product of the last few years, similar debates crop up in a stylistically and conceptually diverse group of American literary narratives written after 1960 but set in the past. The key questions that we will ask in this course concern the relationship between historicity (the factual status of a given historical account) and these kinds of narratives. We will examine the ways that American postmodern artists recount the events and enduring effects of American slavery, the birth of modern capitalism, the Holocaust of World War II, and the Vietnam War. We will explore the ways in which postmodern skepticism towards “grand narratives” of history influence the plot and style of historical narratives. We will investigate the methods by which literary critics think and write about literature in the wake of this skepticism by bringing into dialogue historical, critical, and creative readings. Finally, we will contemplate ways that future teachers might integrate these ideas into high school and college classrooms to better understand our strange, “post-truth” era. Readings include E.L. Doctorow’s Ragtime, Toni Morrison’s Beloved, Viet Thanh Nguyen’s The Sympathizer, Art Spiegelman’s The Complete Maus, and a variety of historical sources related to the narratives.