Department of English and Comparative Literature
The Department of English and Comparative Literature is a vibrant and diverse department with a global reach. Our course offerings present a diversity of approaches to the study, production, and appreciation of literary and nonliterary texts. We pursue a four-fold mission to:
- explore the history and significance of American, British, and world literatures;
- promote interdisciplinary connections and incorporate the study of culture, theory, and history into our research and courses;
- offer training in rigorous thinking, precise analysis, and critical reading; and
- foster practical skills in rhetoric, composition, and expression in essays, creative pieces, even emerging forms of digital media.
- Comparative Literature Minor
- Composition, Rhetoric, and Digital Literacy Minor
- Creative Writing Minor
- English Minor
- Global Cinema Minor
- Latina/o Studies Minor
- Medicine, Literature, and Culture Minor
Daniel Anderson, David J. Baker, A. Reid Barbour, Marsha Collins, María DeGuzmán, Florence Dore, Eric S. Downing, Mary Floyd-Wilson, Philip Gura, Jordynn Jack, Heidi Kim, Laurie Langbauer, Michael A. McFee, Jeanne Moskal, Eliza Richards, Bland Simpson, Jane F. Thrailkill, Joseph S. Viscomi, Daniel Wallace, Jessica Wolfe.
Inger S. Brodey, Gabrielle Calvocoressi, Danielle Christmas, Pamela Cooper, Tyler Curtain, Candace Epps-Robertson, Rebecka Rutledge Fisher, Gregory Flaxman, Stephanie Elizondo Griest, Ylce Irizarry, Martin Johnson, Meta DuEwa Jones, Shayne Legassie, Theodore H. Leinbaugh, Inga Pollmann, Kimberly Stern, Matthew Taylor, Rick Warner.
Gabriel Bump, Taylor Cowdery, H.M. Cushman, Tyree Daye, Stephanie DeGooyer.
Leslie Frost, Bradley Hammer, David Ross.
Teaching Associate Professors
Marc Cohen, Elyse Crystall, Cynthia Current, S. Michael Gutierrez, Hilary Lithgow, Courtney Rivard, Henry Veggian, Wendy Weber.
Teaching Assistant Professors
Sarah Boyd, Graham Culbertson, Joseph Fletcher, Michael Gadaleto, Steven Gotzler, Kendra Greene, Elizabeth Gualtieri-Reed, Destiny Hemphill, Sophia Klahr, Matthew O'Wain, Soren Palmer, Ruby Pappoe, Shane Peterson, Adam Price, Hill Taylor, Joseph Telegen, Karen Tucker, Angela Velez, Kym Weed-Buzinski, Ross White.
Hassan Melehy, Morgan Pitelka, Michael Silk.
Adjunct Associate Professors
Terrence Holt, Sharon James, Pamela Lothspeich, Timothy Marr, Alicia Rivero, Yaron Shemer, Gabriel Trop, Ariana Vigil, Robin Visser, Nadia Yaqub.
Adjunct Assistant Professors
Janice Koelb, Petal Samuel.
William L. Andrews, Christopher M. Armitage, Laurence G. Avery, James W. Coleman, Jane M. Danielewicz, Alan C. Dessen, Rosa Palmer Durban, Connie C. Eble, Kathleen Flanagan, Joseph M. Flora, Marianne Gingher, Larry Goldberg, J. Lee Greene, Minrose Gwin, William R. Harmon, Howard M. Harper Jr., Trudier Harris, Mae Henderson, Fred Hobson, Susan Irons, Randall Kenan, Clayton Koelb, Ritchie D. Kendall, George A. Kennedy, Edward D. Kennedy, Joy S. Kasson J. Kimball King, George S. Lensing Jr., Diane R. Leonard, Allan R. Life, Erika Lindemann, C. Townsend Ludington Jr., G. Mallary Masters, Megan Matchinske, John P. McGowan, Lawrence Naumoff, Margaret A. O’Connor, Patrick P. O’Neill, Maggie O'Shaughnessey, Daniel W. Patterson, Julius R. Raper III, Mark L. Reed, Thomas J. Reinert, Richard D. Rust, Ruth Salvaggio, James Seay, Alan R. Shapiro, Richard A. Smyth, Philip A. Stadter, Thomas A. Stumpf, Beverly Taylor, James Thompson, Weldon E. Thornton, Linda Wagner-Martin, David Whisnant, Joseph S. Wittig, Charles G. Zug III.
Comic books, Manga, and the graphic novel have almost vanished from the realm of serious literature. Recently, graphic literature has addressed controversial topics and reached readers across the globe. We will explore graphic literature's unique ability to be a medium for the marginal and oppressed in the 21st century.
This is a first-year seminar that analyzes the changing values and relationship of curiosity and the imagination over time. We will examine literary texts and cultural artifacts (maps, paintings, chronicles, instruments of discovery, and more) to study how attitudes towards curiosity and imagination have evolved over time, and how working together, they now fuel invention, innovation, and artistic achievement. Authors studied include Apuleius, Cervantes, Galileo, Mary Shelley, and more. Reserved for First-Year students only.
Specials topics course. Content will vary each semester.
Fulfills a major core requirement. Major works of literature central to the formation of Western culture from antiquity to 1750. Considers epic, lyric, drama, and prose; core authors such as Homer, Virgil, Dante, and Milton.
Fulfills a major core requirement. This course focuses on the literary mode of romance, with particular attention to cross-cultural contact and exchange from classical antiquity to the present in both European and non-European literature. Honors version available.
This course offers students a survey of mutually supportive developments in literature and the visual arts from classical antiquity until around 1700. Fulfills a major core requirement. Honors version available.
Fulfills a major core requirement. This course examines comparative literary texts in literature and political philosophy in the context of developments in political thought and practice from classical Greece through the French Revolution.
Fulfills a major core requirement. This course examines developments in literary and scientific thought, including the literary depiction of the disciplines of natural philosophy, including magic, cosmology, natural history, and physiology.
Fulfills a major core requirement. An introduction to some of the major texts of 19th- and 20th-century literature, focusing on periods of romanticism, realism, and modernism and with some attention given to parallel developments in the arts and philosophy. Honors version available.
Fulfills a major core requirement. Using readings in literature and philosophy, as well as film screenings, this course explores comparative literature's reconciliation over time of its own, predominantly Western, lineage with other non-Western textual traditions.
Fulfills a major core requirement. The focus of this course is inquiry into how we theorize the existence of the African diaspora, cultural identity/-ies, and the role that performance plays in the articulation of experiences.
Fulfills a major core requirement. This course studies the intersection between word and image, especially verbal and photographic cultural production, in the representation of the Americas in the hemispheric sense from the mid-18th century to present.
Fulfills a major core requirement. Introduces students to representative literary and intellectual texts from 1750 to the present and to relevant techniques of literary analysis. Works originally written in foreign languages are studied in translation. Honors version available.
Fulfills a major core requirement. This course surveys the visual arts, in particular painting and photography, from roughly 1750 to the present. Pictorial traditions, styles, and genres (as well as the traditions of critical writing that respond to them) will be considered from a proto-cinematic perspective. Theater and the novel may also be examined comparatively.
This course is designed to introduce students to the field of global cinema and, thence, to the methods of comparativist film study.
This viewing-intensive course introduces students to topics and traditions in film and other media.
Why do we laugh, cry, cringe, or scream at the movies? We will study emotionally intense genres such as melodrama, comedy and horror to think about effective responses to films. Students practice film analysis, gain an overview over genre cinema, and study approaches to emotion, affect, and the body.
Studies in African American, Asian American, Hispanic American, Native American, Anglo-Indian, Caribbean, and other films that touch on themes of race and ethnicity in the American context.
An introduction to the literatures of Eastern Europe, including consideration of political influences on literary creation within different cultural traditions.
This course traces the interconnected evolutions of cinema and modern urban life. Versions of the course may address the problem of the city in the abstract or focus on how filmmakers have treated one or more specific cities (New York, Hong Kong, Cairo, Buenos Aires, Rome, Mexico City, Mumbai, Tokyo, etc.).
Fulfills a major core requirement. This course examines the fiction of Jane Austen and her literary and cultural influence across the globe. We will see echoes of Austen in novels and films from around the world and explore how her work transcends generational, cultural, and geographical boundaries. What is the secret of her global appeal? Honors version available.
Fulfills a major core requirement. Close study of Cervantes' Don Quixote, its reception and impact on varied works of world literature.
Fulfills a major core requirement. Recommended preparation, ENGL 225 or familiarity with at least four Shakespeare plays. Explores the afterlife of Shakespeare's plays from a transnational and multidisciplinary perspective, paying attention to the ways in which several of his plays have been dislocated and reconstituted for different audiences and different artistic and political aims.
Traces major points of convergence among the thematic concerns of medieval literature, global cinema, and academic constructions of "the Middle Ages." Considers the aesthetic and technological development of film and of medieval painting, sculpture, and dramatic performance.
The desert-island scenario involves a sophisticated and culturally central thought experiment in which the constraints of history and society are suspended and human nature is exposed in its essence. This course considers the permutations of this scenario in film and fiction from around the world.
This course introduces students to modern Korea through the lens of the city. It explores the changing shape of urban space on the Korean peninsula as well as the central role that visions of the city and of city life have played in the development of modern Korean literature, television, and film.
This course introduces students to the history of North and South Korean film and television through the lens of gender and sexuality. In so doing, it explores the multiple forms of the Korean self and the diverse shapes that Korean identity has taken across the modern and contemporary eras.
This course leverages the trope of martial arts to examine forms of resistance and counterculture in the Chinese-speaking world. Contextualizing visual representations of martial arts within moments of profound sociopolitical transformations in China and beyond, we will explore the many complexities and dilemmas of political action, in particular the tension between justice and violence, emotion and motion, self-assertion and self-sacrifice, traditional chivalry and radical commitment, as well as between local allegiance and transnational alliance.
This course introduces students to debates in classical and post-classical film theory. Likely topics include medium specificity; the ideological functions of narrative cinema; film theory's investments in psychoanalysis, linguistics, semiotics, and phenomenology; the advent of digital media; feminism; national and transnational cinema; spectatorship; authorship; genre theory; and film and philosophy.
This course surveys twentieth- and early twenty-first-century Korean literature through the lens of representations of the body. Bringing together works of fiction, poetry, drama, and secondary scholarship, it explores how modern Korean literature has imagined the body, defined its multiple natures and identities, and delineated its shifting boundaries. Honors version available.
This course examines spiritual motifs in Asian literature by Indigenous writers in China and Taiwan. Works by Tibetan, Mongol, Uyghur, Kazakh, Bunun, Tao, Hui, Yi, and Wa writers express spiritual principles from a wide variety of beliefs and cosmologies, including Tibetan and Mongolian Buddhism, Islam, Shamanism, Animism, and Christianity. As forced assimilation threatens native languages and cultural heritage, Indigenous writers function as "priests of culture," providing spiritual inspiration by lyrically evoking powers beyond the human. Honors version available.
This communications-intensive course familiarizes students with the theory and practice of comparative literature: the history of literary theory; translation; and literature combined with disciplines such as music, architecture, and philosophy. Honors version available.
Familiarizes students with the theory and practice of comparative literature. Against a background of classical poetics and rhetoric, explores various modern literary theories, including Russian formalism, Frankfurt School, feminism, psychoanalysis, deconstruction, new historicism, and others. All reading in theory is paired with that of literary texts drawn from a wide range of literary periods and national traditions.
This course examines popular culture in Southeast Asia as a response to colonialism, nationalism, modernization, the state, and globalization. Topics include theater, film, pop songs, television, rituals, and the Internet.
This course traces the development of horror in film and writing from the 18th-century European novel to contemporary Asian film. Theoretical readings will embrace a range of disciplines, from literary and film theory to anthropology, feminism and gender studies, and psychoanalysis.
Comparative and interdisciplinary study of feasting and its philosophical underpinnings, with special attention to the multiple purposes and nuances of food and feasting in literature, film, and the visual arts. Honors version available.
We will examine the binaries of sacred and profane love, transgression and the law, self and the other, human diversity and inclusiveness in classical Persian poetry. We will explore the intersections of class, gender, sexuality, religion, etc. We will explore the poems inside their historical, cultural, and social contexts.
This course surveys world cinema in the attempt to identify the disjunctions that sever past and present. This course will ask the most basic questions: What is the nature of modernity? What are the challenges of modernity? How does the modern experience differ across the globe?
This course explores literature written in prisons, particularly under the Islamic Republic. Students will read documents to understand human rights (and violations thereof) from a historical perspective. Since literature, film, philosophy, and theory offer invaluable perspectives, we will examine their contributions in the reflection on human rights in Iran's prisons.
This seminar provides students with a general introduction to Marxist thought with particular attention to its critical importance for interpreting the role of ideology in modern literature. Readings and class discussions in English. Previously taught as GSLL 251.
Explores how human interaction with the natural world is represented in the literary, visual, and performing arts from Roman fresco to the ecological art and fiction of the 21st century. Students conduct mentored research at Ackland Art Museum with peer and faculty feedback at every stage.
Examines Western views of India and Indian culture and how these views differ from the way Indians in India and Indian immigrants in the West understand themselves and express their relationship to India through novels and travelogues.
This course investigates the complex relations between cinema and politics in particular national and/or global contexts. Examining not merely films with narratives about politically charged themes but also the political and ideological nature of filmic representation itself, this course focuses on questions that link politics and aesthetics.
This course examines the work of one or several film directors who went into exile during the Third Reich to discuss: How does the experience of exile influence film style? What are theories and histories of exile and exile cinema, and how do they relate to other approaches to film, via national film histories, genre, style, etc.? How does a biography of exile relate to so-called auteur theory? Readings and Discussions in English.
Explores important German films of 1919 to 1933, locating them in their artistic, cultural, and historical context. Treats the contested course of Weimar film history and culture and provides a theoretically informed introduction to the study of film and visual materials. Films with English subtitles; readings and discussions in English.
Examines exciting new directions in German and Austrian cinema from the past 20 years. By analyzing weekly films, students develop skills in film analysis and criticism; read reviews, interviews, and film-theoretical texts; write a film review; and produce a critical essay. Films with English subtitles; readings and discussions in English. Students may not receive credit for both GERM 267 and 367.
This course examines the roles and representations of Jews in the world of the theater from Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice to the present, considering dramas, operas, musicals, film adaptations, and films. Readings and discussions in English.
A study of the role of Jews and the "Jewish question" in German culture from 1750 to the Holocaust and beyond. Discussions and texts (literary, political, theological) in English. Previously offered as GERM 270.
Introduction to feminist aesthetics and film theory by the examination of the representation of women in German cinema from expressionism to the present. All materials and discussions in English. Previously offered as GERM/WGST 250.
This course explores the major developments of German cinema. All films with English subtitles. Readings and discussions in English. Previously offered as GERM 275.
Analyzes literature of pilgrimage, a literal or figurative journey of transformation, from a variety of times and cultures from classical antiquity to the present, including such works as Apuleius' Golden Ass, Cervantes' Persiles, and Basho's Narrow Road to the Deep North.
Traces the development of European short fiction from the 12th through the 17th centuries, taking brief looks backward toward the ancient world and forward to the modern short story.
Considers fairy tales from several different national traditions and historical periods against the backdrop of folklore, literature, psychoanalysis, and the socializing forces directed at children. Students may not receive credit for both GERM 279/CMPL 279 and GSLL 54.
This course introduces students to the methods of genre theory and analysis as they pertain to cinema. The course may either provide a survey of several different genres or examine a particular genre in depth as it has evolved historically. National and/or transnational dimensions of popular genres may be emphasized.
A critical look at varieties of cinematic representation and memorialization of the Holocaust, from those countries of Europe where it mostly took place. Taught in English. All films in (or subtitled in) English. Previously offered as SLAV 281.
Survey of masterpieces of Russian literature in the context of their cinematic adaptations. Lectures and readings in English.
We will explore the unique possibilities of comics in the form of graphic medicine: namely comics that thematize physical and mental health. How do comic artists work through issues of trauma and pain? How do artists with chronic illness and disabilities articulate their experience through comics? This course engages with the Medical Humanities, seeking to bring together students of medicine along with students of the humanities to contemplate how we communicate physical and mental illness.
Traces the development of European short fiction from the 12th through the 17th centuries, taking brief looks backward toward the ancient world and forward to the modern short story. Previously offered as CMPL 277. Honors version available.
Analyzing the relationship between the diaspora communities and their new surroundings by drawing on theories of migration, narration, and identity, we will examine the literature born out of this discourse. We will shed light on the historical, cultural, and aesthetic value of this literary production in the Middle East.
Study of classical writers' influence on selected genres of English poetry. Honors version available.
The development of a women's literary tradition in the works of such writers as George Sand, George Eliot, Isak Dinesen, Colette, Virginia Woolf, Gertrude Stein, Marguerite Duras, Nathalie Sarraute, Marguerite Yourcenar.
This course surveys European "new wave" cinemas post-1945. Movements in Italy, France, the Czech Republic, Britain, Poland, Germany, and other national or transnational contexts may be examined. Movements in Asia, Latin America, and North America may be considered. Or the course may focus on one or two new waves.
A consideration of authors of the Beat Generation, including Jack Kerouac, Diane di Prima, William S. Burroughs, and Allen Ginsberg, particularly with regard to their interest in narrative depictions, poetics, and other meditations that bear on crossing national and territorial borders.
Cross-cultural definitions of heroism, individualism, and authority in film and fiction, with emphasis on tales or images that have been translated across cultures. Includes films of Ford, Kurosawa, and Visconti. Honors version available.
Authors' use of narrative techniques to create the separation between heroines and their fictional societies and sometimes also to alienate readers from the heroines. Austen, Flaubert, Ibsen, Arishima, Tanizaki, Abe.
Examines the complex aesthetic relationship between cinema and nature through a range of different genres, traditions, and theoretical frameworks. Films in which natural landscape, animals, and/or plant life receive special attention may be addressed. Thinkers as disparate as Kant, Thoreau, and recent proponents of eco-critical perspectives may be deployed.
Examines the presentation of medical practice in literature from the mid-19th century to the present. Readings include some medical history, novels, stories, and recent autobiographies of medical training. Honors version available.
A study of the structure of various types of modernist and postmodernist narrative, including texts by such writers as Proust, Faulkner, Camus, Hesse, Duras, Mann, Woolf, Robbe-Grillet, Kundera, Simon.
Literary portrayal of adolescence in times of cultural upheaval. Although adolescence is often considered a transitional period from carefree childhood to responsible adulthood, we focus on works that explore adolescence primarily as a creative quest for a more meaningful way of life than the one bequeathed by the previous generation.
Films of the major directors of the French New Wave of the 1950s through the 1970s, including Jean-Luc Godard, François Truffaut, and Eric Rohmer. Examination of earlier films informing these directors. The impact of the New Wave on global cinema. In English. Recommended preparation: FREN 260 or CMPL 143 or the equivalent.
Study of French cinema from 1895 through 1950, including early French film, silent cinema, surrealism, poetic realism, and postwar cinema. Concepts and vocabulary for film criticism. Conducted in English. Recommended preparation: FREN 260 or CMPL 143 or the equivalent.
Study of French cinema from 1950 to the present, including postwar cinema, the New Wave, and the French film industry in the age of globalization. Concepts and vocabulary for film criticism. Conducted in English. Recommended preparation: FREN 260 or CMPL 143 or the equivalent.
Course topics vary from semester to semester.
This course serves as an introduction to research methodologies, theories, and the university resources available to students seeking to perform cutting-edge research in the humanities. The goal of the course is to produce a substantial research project. The capacities developed in this course as well as the project itself could be used as the basis for grants, scholarships, internship applications, or an honors thesis. Taught in English. Honors version available.
Advanced Undergraduate and Graduate-level Courses
Overview of those realms of modern and contemporary thought and writing that are known as, and closely associated with, "critical theory."
This course examines the shifting nature of the cinematic medium in relation to both traditional photography and newer digital forms of image production. The aesthetic, ethical, and ontological aspects of cinema are explored in light of emergent technological and cultural conditions that demand a full-scale reconsideration of cinema's specificity.
This course introduces students to postcolonial literature and theory. The main focus in the course is on literary texts and literary analysis. However, we will use postcolonial theory to engage critically with the primary texts within a postcolonial framework. We will explore language, identity, physical and mental colonization, and decolonization.
Comparative study of representative works on literary and cultural theory or applied criticism to be announced in advance.
Study of select examples of Western medieval literature in translation, with particular attention paid to the development of different genres, subjects, styles, and themes. Texts may be drawn from, among others, the French, Spanish, German, English, and Italian literary traditions, and may range in date from the eighth to the fifteenth centuries.
Readings of major works of medieval European literature in translation from the 12th to 15th centuries, focusing on topics such as courtship, marriage, adultery, homoeroticism, domestic violence, mystical visions, and prostitution.
Discussion of the major works of Petrarch, Boccaccio, Machiavelli, Castiglione, Ariosto, Tasso, Rabelais, Ronsard, Montaigne, Cervantes, and Erasmus. Honors version available.
English, French, and German 18th-century narrative fiction with emphasis on epistolary novel. The relation of the novel to the Enlightenment and its counterpart, the cult of sentimentality, and on shifting paradigms for family education, gender, and erotic desire.
Research-intensive course that explores how the Romantic movement beginning in 18th-century Europe has shaped the world we experience now. Topics vary and include revolutionary republicanism; slavery and abolition; quests for originality, expressiveness, and spiritual renovation; critiques of progress and modern urban culture; and revaluations of the natural world.
An exploration of Realism and Naturalism in European and American literature, focusing on the movements' philosophical, psychological, and literary manifestations in selected texts.
This course examines surrealism as an inter-art development between the First and Second World Wars. Taking a comparativist view, it focuses mainly on cinema but explores surrealist literature, painting, and sculpture as well. Much of the course traces the continuing relevance of surrealist practices in contemporary cinema.
An exploration of the period concept of modernism in European literature, with attention to central works in poetry, narrative, and drama, and including parallel developments in the visual arts.
Aestheticism as a discrete 19th-century movement and as a major facet of modernism in literature and literary theory. Authors include Kierkegaard, Baudelaire, Nietzche, Huysmans, Wilde, Mann, Rilke, Nabokov, Dinesen, Barthes, Sontag.
This course traces Milan Kundera's literary path from his communist poetic youth to his present postmodern Francophilia. His work will be compared with those authors he considers his predecessors and influences in European literature. Taught in English. Some readings in Czech for qualified students.
History and theory of tragedy as a distinctive literary genre and as a more general literary and cultural problem. Authors include Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, Shakespeare, Racine, Goethe, Nietzsche, Wagner, Mann, Samuel I and II, Faulkner. Also engages theorists, ancient and modern.
The main currents of European drama from the end of the 19th century to the present. Includes Chekhov, Strindberg, Pirandello, Lorca, Brecht, Anouilh.
An introduction to many different forms of medieval drama and pageantry, including plays, tournaments, public executions, and religious processions. Plays, artwork, and texts from a range of Western European countries, ranging in date from the eighth to the 16th centuries, may be considered.
Vladimir Nabokov's novel Lolita (1955) became a global phenomenon due to its unflinching portrayal of pedophilia. This course will delve deeper into the novel's moral complexity, its international context, and its reflection in mass culture, including movies by Stanley Kubrick (1962) and Adrian Lyne (1997). Taught in English; some readings in Russian for qualified students.
This seminar provides students across the humanities with an overview of the historical and cultural relevance of German media theories. We will discuss the distinction between "art" and "medium", the role of technology and techniques, as well as the interaction of media theory and practice with politics. Films with English subtitles; readings and discussions in English.
This course explores "queer" expressions in Chinese literature and visual culture from 1949 through the twenty-first century. It surveys a combination of all-time classics and lesser-known cultural texts featuring non-heteronormative sexual desire and gender-bending performance. We mobilize queer as a broad site of critique beyond Western models of the concept, asking not only how queer challenges normative bodyminds, but also how it negotiates notions of age, family, race, and the neoliberal order.
Philosophical readings of literary texts, including novels, plays, and poems.
The study of the influence of Western texts upon Japanese authors and the influence of conceptions of "the East" upon Western writers. Goldsmith, Voltaire, Soseki, Sterne, Arishima, Ibsen, Yoshimoto, Ishiguro.
An examination of central trends in 20th-century narrative.
Love and sexuality in literary works from various historical periods and genres. Authors include Sappho, Plato, Catullus, Propertius, Ovid, Dante, Petrarch, Shakespeare, LaClos, Goethe, Nabokov, and Roland Barthes.
Examines the history of the British Empire and the role of peace, war, defense, diplomacy, and letters in shaping Britain's presence on the world stage. Honors version available.
Topics vary from semester to semester.
Examines aesthetic, political, historical, and philosophical aspects of essay films in international cinema, focusing on examples by directors such as Chris Marker, Orson Welles, Harun Farocki, Agnes Varda, Errol Morris, and Jean-Luc Godard.
This seminar allows comparative literature majors to work on an independent project to synthesize their curricular experience, and it introduces them to current, broadly applicable issues in comparative literature. Previously offered as CMPL 500.
Readings vary from semester to semester. The course is generally offered for three credits.
This course comparatively explores the relationship between cinema and painting. Drawing on methods and concepts from art history, and considering photography as an intermediary between painting and film, this course considers the aesthetic, political, and philosophical dimensions of the frame.
This course introduces students to the specific contours that the Cold War accrued in East Asia. Focusing on literature and film, it explores what the fall of the Japanese Empire and the emergence of the post-1945 world meant across the region.
This course explores the social, cultural, political, and economic contexts in which films are made and exhibited and focuses on shared intra-regional cinematic trends pertaining to discourse, aesthetics, and production.
This research seminar contextualizes the contemporary explosion of Chinese science fiction within modern Chinese intellectual history and SF studies worldwide. We read globally influential novels such as The Three-Body Problem and trace several waves of the genre's century-long evolution within Chinese literature. We ask how threats of global annihilation, the exhaustion of environmental resources, discoveries in virology, epigenetics, and innovations in cybernetics intersect with global development, climate migration, decolonization, and structures of race and class.
In this course, we will explore the multiple, shifting, and often contested diasporic subjectivities represented and produced in Korean diaspora cinemas; these subjectivities encompass various Korean diaspora communities in Asia, Central Asia, Europe, and the Americas.
An investigation of the social, political, and literary uses of corpses in the Middle Ages.
Permission of the instructor. Reading knowledge of a language other than English recommended. Starting from the proposition that cultural literacy would be impossible without reliance on translations, this course addresses fundamental issues in the practice, art, and politics of literary translation. Previously offered as SLAV 560.
Recommended preparation, FREN 370 (for students taking the course for French credit), or one course from ENGL 225 to ENGL 229, or one course from CMPL 120 to CMPL 124. Study of French-English literary relations in the Renaissance, focusing on literary adaptation and appropriation, poetics, political writing, and related areas. Conducted in English; students may do written work in French for major or minor credit.
British and continental Arthurian literature in translation from the early Middle Ages to Sir Thomas Malory.
An examination of medieval engagements with the foreign and the extent to which those engagements challenged conventional ways of thinking about the world.
Required preparation, one course from CMPL 120-129. Analysis of the Baroque as an aesthetic movement, including major, representative literary works, comparisons of literature and the visual arts, and the study of theories of the Baroque and Neo-Baroque. Authors studied may include Tasso, Racine, Cervantes, and Shakespeare, among others.
Multidisciplinary examination of texts and other media of the Americas, in English and Spanish, from a variety of genres. Two years of college-level Spanish or the equivalent strongly recommended.
Required of all students reading for honors in comparative literature.
Required of all students reading for honors in comparative literature.
Each student will complete a service-learning internship and compose a multimedia documentary about the experience using original text, photos, audio, and video.
How do computers change the study of literature? How do images tell stories? How is writing evolving through photo essays, collages, and digital video? Students investigate these and related questions. Honors version available.
The seminar's purpose is to explore the African American slave narrative tradition from its 19th-century origins in autobiography to its present manifestations in prize-winning fiction and film.
Examination of literary and cinematic works that expose the cultural impact World War I had on contemporary and future generations. Honors version available.
This first-year seminar emphasizes contemporary autobiographical writing by and about women. Students investigate questions of self and identity by reading and writing four genres of life writing: autobiography, autoethnography, biography, and personal essay. Both traditional written and new media composing formats will be practiced. Students may not receive credit for both ENGL 55H and ENGL 134H. Honors version available.
This class will investigate the forms and cultural functions of science fiction using films, books, and computer-based fictional spaces (Internet, video games, etc). Honors version available.
Course will examine the aesthetic and cultural functions and implications of textual images of photography and photographs in United States Latina/o short stories from the 1960s to the present. Honors version available.
This first year seminar will use literature, film, and popular culture to explore different expressions of masculinity and femininity in the African American and Black diasporic context. Students will evaluate how artists use gender and sexuality for social critique and artistic innovation.
This course will focus on issues of intellectual freedom and censorship, with particular attention to the ways in which these issues are racialized. Why do people ban books? What makes a book "scandalous" or "immoral"? Honors version available.
William Blake, the visionary poet, artist, and printmaker of the British Romantic period, has had enormous influence on modern art and popular culture. Using the Blake Archive, a hypertext of Blake's poetry and art, we will study key Blake works as well as the digital medium that enables us to study these works in new ways and performances and adaptations of them.
This course explores trends in online communication, emphasizing composition for the Web. The study of these writing activities is linked with a focus on innovation and on entrepreneurship.
This course examines the medieval concept of courtly love, or fin amour in a range of classical, medieval, and early modern texts. Questions that it might consider include the following: How does courtly love differ from modern visions of ideal love? Why is courtly love so often adulterous? And what is the relation of sex to love, in both the present and in the past?
This course explores the human struggle to make sense of suffering and debility. Texts are drawn from literature, anthropology, film, art history, philosophy, and biology. Honors version available.
This first-year seminar will introduce students to college-level critical analysis, writing, and oral communication by exploring representations of the 9/11 attacks and the "war on terrorism" in literature and popular culture.
This is a course about literature and war and what they might teach us about each other. Our work will be oriented around one central question: what, if anything, can a work of art help us see or understand about war that cannot be shown by other means? Students may not receive credit for both ENGL 73 and ENGL 161.
In this course, students will study epic and anti-epic strains in Western literature, reading key texts in the epic tradition from Homer and Virgil through the 20th century in light of various challenges to that tradition and tensions within it.
The aim of the course is to give beginning university students the requisite research skills to allow them to appreciate and to contribute to an understanding of the past by directly experiencing and interpreting records from the past. Students will actually get to work with historical documents, some more than 200 years old.
This seminar focuses on biography, specifically on persons and places in Chapel Hill. Students will engage in basic research to create a final project around a person or place of their choice from any field or profession. Students will design and produce the biography in any format, from print to digital.
This course will explore the concept of globalization by focusing on the Asian diaspora, particularly the artistic and cultural productions that document, represent, and express Global Asians.
Class members will reflect upon Brontë's Jane Eyre (1847) in its original contexts and study subsequent novels and films that engage with it. What makes a literary work a "classic"? How do later readers' concerns affect their responses? Lovers of Jane Eyre are welcome, as are newcomers and skeptics.
Our objective throughout will be to analyze how literary art simultaneously demonizes and celebrates the "miracle of the marketplace" and those financial pioneers that perform its magic. Honors version available.
This course is a cross-cultural and intermedial exploration of the imagery of the Great City in high modernist works of literature, art, and film.
This course focuses on the fiction of Jane Austen and its representations in film. Honors version available.
This course will explore stories about the Japanese American internment from first person memoirs to contemporary fiction. We will also examine the ramifications, historic and legal, of the internment post-9/11.
Content varies by semester. Honors version available.
Required for incoming students with SAT Evidence-Based Reading and Writing or ACT scores below a threshold set by the department. Please visit the department Web site for the most updated scores. The courses focuses on academic writing in a variety of contexts. Workshop format involves frequent writing and revision.
This college-level course focuses on written and oral argumentation, composition, research, information literacy, and rhetorical analysis. The course introduces students to the specific disciplinary contexts for written work and oral presentations required in college courses. Students may not receive credit for both ENGL 102 and ENGL 102I, 105, or 105I.
This college-level course focuses on written and oral argumentation, composition, research, information literacy, and rhetorical analysis. The course introduces students to one specific disciplinary context for written work and oral presentations required in college courses: natural sciences, social sciences, humanities, law, business, or medicine. Students may not receive credit for both ENGL 105 and ENGL 102, 102I, or 105I.
This course introduces students to the new field of critical game studies, which uses rhetorical and literary theories to explore the impact that games have on our culture. Students will analyze the impact of immersive narratives on players and explore issues of representation and identity by playing through selected games and reading core texts. No gaming experience or equipment is needed.
This course uses a rhetorical approach to explore the concept of data. Questions of race, gender, class and other markers of identity will guide our analysis of how data is rhetorically used to shape knowledge in our contemporary world. This course is especially well suited for those in the WEDP concentration in English & Comparative Literature as well as those interested in fields such as data science, social media, technical communication, and digital humanities.
A study of the development of English from its Proto-Indo-European origins to modern English, with emphasis on how events and contacts with other languages influenced the vocabulary of English. Course previously offered as ENGL 314.
Fulfills a major core requirement. This course examines how writing has evolved from ancient times to the present, with a focus on how writing technologies (from clay tablets to typewriters, pictographs to emojis) have shaped written languages and writing instruction. Activities will include making cylinder seals, writing with wax tablets, composing videos and comic books.
Fulfills a major core requirement. In this course, students will draw on classical rhetoric--the ancient art of persuasion--to analyze how people argue today, in online contexts. We will use rhetoric to examine the strategies internet trolls use, what makes a post go viral, and whether online arguments can actually change people's minds.
This course examines video games as narrative texts through game play and game design. By the end of the semester, students will develop and create an original interactive narrative video game using the open-source software Twine. Through this making-centered course, students will study existing non-linear narratives to explore the basic principles of writing and examine the needs and expectations of the audience/viewer/player for immersive/interactive media and that of established media.
Today, writers in almost every profession use visual evidence persuasively and effectively. How do we interpret and analyze those messages? How do we generate effective visuals that avoid misleading audiences? That is the domain of visual rhetoric, an area of study we will explore in this course. This course is useful for those planning careers in science, computer science, technical communication, business, and data science as well as those interested in cultural and historical aspects.
Survey of medieval, Renaissance, and neoclassical periods. Drama, poetry, and prose. Fulfills a major core requirement. Honors version available.
Fulfills a major core requirement. Seminar focusing on later British literature covering the Romantic, Victorian, and Modern periods--great foundation for studying later periods. Honors version available.
Fulfills a major core requirement. A survey of literary movements over the course of American history. Movements studied include romanticism, naturalism, realism, modernism, and post-modernism. Poe, Melville, Hawthorne, Dickinson, Wharton, Fitzgerald, Ellison, Morrison. Honors version available.
Novels and shorter fiction by Defoe, Austen, Dickens, Faulkner, Wolfe, Fitzgerald, Joyce, and others. Honors version available.
Fulfills a major core requirement. The literature of the present generation.
A course designed to develop basic skills in reading poems from all periods of English and American literature.
Drama of the Greek, Renaissance, and modern periods.
Course emphasizes literature, critical thinking, and the writing process. Students explore the relationship between thinking, reading, and writing by studying poetry, fiction, drama, art, music, and film.
A study of approximately six major American authors drawn from Emerson, Thoreau, Hawthorne, Melville, Stowe, Whitman, Clemens, Dickinson, Chesnutt, James, Eliot, Stein, Hemingway, O'Neill, Faulkner, Hurston, or others.
Fulfills a major core requirement. Studies in African American, Asian American, Hispanic American, Native American, Anglo-Indian, Caribbean, gay-lesbian, and other literatures written in English. Honors version available.
Intended for sophomores and first-year students. A writing-intensive introductory workshop in fiction. Close study of a wide range of short stories; emphasis on technical problems. Composition, discussion, and revision of original student stories. Students may not receive credit for both ENGL 130 and ENGL 132H. This course (or ENGL 132H) serves as a prerequisite for other courses in the fiction sequence of the creative writing program.
Intended for sophomores and first-year students. A writing-intensive introductory workshop in poetry. Close study of a wide range of published poetry and of poetic terms and techniques. Composition, discussion, and revision of original student poems. Students may not receive credit for both ENGL 131 and ENGL 133H. This course (or ENGL 133H) serves as a prerequisite for other courses in the poetry sequence of the creative writing concentration and minor.
Intended for first-year honors students. A writing-intensive introductory workshop in fiction. Close study of a wide range of short stories; emphasis on technical problems. Composition, discussion, and revision of original student stories. Students may not receive credit for both ENGL 130 and ENGL 132H. This course (or ENGL 130) serves as a prerequisite for other courses in the fiction sequence of the creative writing concentration and minor.
Intended for first-year honors students. A writing-intensive introductory workshop in poetry. Close study of a wide range of published poems and of the basic terms and techniques of poetry. Composition, discussion, and revision of a number of original poems. Students may not receive credit for both ENGL 131 and ENGL 133H. This course (or ENGL 131) serves as a prerequisite for other courses in the poetry sequence of the creative writing concentration and minor.
First-year honors students only. This course focuses on women's life writing, including autobiography, biography, autoethnography, personal essay. Includes theories of life writing. Students will read contemporary works in each genre and write their own versions. Students may not receive credit for both ENGL 55 and ENGL 134H.
First-year honors students only. Study of literary forms (epic, drama, lyric, novel), beginning in the fall term and concluding in the spring, with three hours credit for each term. Students should consult the assistant dean for honors or the Department of English and Comparative Literature for offerings.
Students explore the many areas of the publishing industry and practice basic skills widely used in publishing, including submissions management, copy editing, proofreading, and book and ebook design. Through hands-on practice and meetings with experts in the field, students develop a solid foundation in publication design and the editorial process. Students may not receive credit for both ENGL 136 and ENGL 351.
In this course students learn to study emergent relationships between print and digital literary cultures. In addition to reading and discussion, the course requires that students conduct original research (individual and also collaborative) in both print and digital formats.
Intended for sophomores and first-year students. An introductory workshop in creative nonfiction, a genre that is rooted in fact and composed in artful prose. Through readings and writing prompts, we will explore the full spectrum of the genre, including memoir, travelogues, nature writing, literary journalism, lyric essays, and visual autobiography. We will workshop and revise student essays as well. This course serves as a prerequisite for other courses in the creative writing concentration and minor.
Introduces students to concepts in queer theory and recent sexuality studies. Topics include queer lit, AIDS, race and sexuality, representations of gays and lesbians in the media, political activism/literature.
This course will be a basic introduction to literatures in English from Africa, the Caribbean, South Asia, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and other Anglophone literary traditions.
This course offers an introduction to the technical, formal, and narrative elements of the cinema. Honors version available.
Examines the ways culture shapes and is shaped by film. This course uses comparative methods to contrast films as historic or contemporary, mainstream or cutting-edge, in English or a foreign language, etc.
Introductory course on popular literary genres. Students will read and discuss works in the area of mystery, romance, westerns, science fiction, children's literature, and horror fiction.
Readings in and theories of science fiction, utopian and dystopian literatures, and fantasy fiction.
Studies in classic and contemporary mystery and detective fiction.
This course examines the complexities and pleasures of horror, from its origins in Gothic and pre-Gothic literatures and arts. Topics include psychology, aesthetics, politics, allegory, ideology, and ethics.
In this class students will practice composing in contemporary digital writing spaces. Students will study theories of electronic networks and mediation, and their connections to literacy, creativity, and collaboration. Students will also develop their own multimedia projects using images, audio, video, and words. Topics include the rhetoric of the Internet, online communities, and digital composition.
Introduces students to methods of literary study. Students learn to read and interpret a range of literary works, develop written and oral arguments about literature, and conduct literary research.
Survey of American literature from 1789-1900. Students will gain expertise in the major literary movements of the century in their historical contexts. Fulfills a major core requirement.
Survey of American literature in the twentieth century covering the major literary movements of the century: realism, modernism, postmodernism, and contemporary. Fulfills a major core requirement.
What did people think about sex, and how did they do it, before Darwin, Stonewall, and the Sexual Revolution? This course will introduce students to the rich and varied history of sex, sexuality, and gender in Western culture before 1700. Topics to be considered may include the evolution of marriage, same-sex love in the classical world, trans identities in medieval Europe, and the history of true love.
This course investigates the history of race (as an idea) and racism (as a practice) in Western culture, from the very first discussions of race in classical antiquity until 1700. Topics to be considered may include the history of slavery, the origins of "scientific" racism, early examples of resistance to racial prejudice, and the historical intersection of race with gender and class.
This course examines various visual texts, including graphic novels and emerging narrative forms, and explores how meaning is conveyed through composition, the juxtaposition and framing of images, and the relationship between words and images. Students create their own visual narratives.
This course is a multigenre introduction to postcolonial literatures. Topics will include postcolonial Englishes, nationalism, anti-imperialism, postcolonial education, and the intersections between national and gender identities in literature. Previously offered as ENGL 463. Honors version available.
This is a class about literature and war and what each might teach us about the other. We will consider a range of texts and center our work around this question: what, if anything, can a work of art help us see or understand about war that might not be shown by other means? Students may not receive credit for both ENGL 73 and ENGL 161.
This course will introduce students to the key critical concepts, debates, and questions of practice in the interdisciplinary field of health humanities. Students will draw on humanities methods to analyze topics related to human health, illness, and disability. Topics to be considered may include narrative medicine, disability studies, chronic illness, graphic medicine, health activism, mortality, and healthcare systems.
Introduction to major questions of Latina/o Studies through an examination of literature, culture, the visual arts, and music. Topics include imperialism, colonialism, labor, decolonization, nationalism, ethnicity and other aspects of identity and identification, and new rubrics. Previously offered as ENGL 364. Honors version available.
This course is a survey of children's literature (broadly defined in terms of age range and medium), which considers the current significance of the genre, focusing on its reception in terms of contemporary experience and concerns.
Introduction to a popular genre, cultural context, group of writers, or contemporary issue in literature, composition, and/or film.
Introduces students to the field of literary studies while emphasizing a single writer, group, movement, theme, or period. Students conduct research, develop readings, and compose literary interpretations.
An introduction to the study of creativity and aesthetic expression in everyday life, considering both traditional genres and contemporary innovations in the material, verbal, and musical arts.
Substantial practice in those techniques employed in introductory course. A workshop devoted to the extensive writing of fiction (at least two short stories), with an emphasis on style, structure, dramatic scene, and revision.
An intensification of the introductory class. A workshop devoted to close examination of selected exemplary poems and the students' own poetry, with an emphasis on regular writing and revising. This course serves as a prerequisite for other courses in the poetry sequence of the creative writing concentration and minor.
An intermediate-level workshop in creative nonfiction that focuses on a particular sub-genre, such as memoir, travel writing, food writing, or nature writing. Students will workshop and revise their own original compositions as well. This course can be repeated under a different professor or sub-genre. This course serves as a prerequisite for other courses in the nonfiction sequence of the creative writing concentration and minor.
In this writing-intensive workshop, we will explore the ever-expansive category of Young Adult ("YA") Literature, examining genre, plot, and character through our own writing, in addition to YA novels, novel excerpts, and craft essays.
An intermediate-level creative writing workshop intended for students who have already taken ENGL 130 or ENGL 132H, this course focuses on the art and craft of fiction that features visible politics. Rather than encouraging a didactic approach to storytelling, this course teaches students to ask better questions of themselves and their readers. Instead of using storytelling as a tool for propaganda, students will learn how well-crafted fiction can combat false narratives, social injustices, and tyranny.
An introductory course in descriptive English linguistics that studies the sounds, word-building processes, and sentence structures of current English as well as general notions of correctness and variation. Previously offered as ENGL 313.
A historical and critical examination of regional, social, and stylistic variation in English in the United States, including correctness, legal and educational issues, and the influence of mass media. Previously offered as ENGL 315. Honors version available.
Content of course varies with instructor, but students are given a sense of the chronological, stylistic, and thematic development of American poetry over two centuries. Previously offered as ENGL 348. Honors version available.
The development of the American novel from the late 18th century through the 20th century. May proceed chronologically or thematically. Previously offered as ENGL 347. Honors version available.
Instructors choose authors or topics from the period before 1900. The course may be organized chronologically or thematically, but is not intended as a survey. Previously offered as ENGL 344. Honors version available.
Instructors choose authors or topics from the period 1900 to 2000. The course may be organized chronologically or thematically, but is not intended as a survey. Previously offered as ENGL 345. Honors version available.
Fulfills a major core requirement. An introduction to Chaucer's major poetry: Troilus and Criseyde, the "dream" poems (e.g., Parliament of Fowls), and The Canterbury Tales. Previously offered as ENGL 320. Honors version available.
This course surveys the canonical works of Old and Middle English literature from the eighth to the 15th centuries, with the sole exception of the poetry of Geoffrey Chaucer. Topics to be considered may include the development of courtly love, the history of meter, religious visions and visionary experience, and the birth of modern English. Previously offered as ENGL 319. Honors version available.
Fulfills a major core requirement. A survey of representative comedies, tragedies, histories, and romances by William Shakespeare. Honors version available.
A survey of Renaissance drama focusing on contemporaries and successors of Shakespeare during the Elizabethan and Jacobean periods. Honors version available.
Poetry and prose of the earlier English Renaissance (from 1485 until 1600), including More, Wyatt, Sidney, Spenser, Bacon, and Marlowe. Honors version available.
Poetry and prose of the later English Renaissance (from 1600 until the early 1660s), including Donne, Jonson, Bacon, Herbert, Burton, Browne, Marvell, Herrick, and others. Honors version available.
Fulfills a major core requirement. A study of Milton's prose and poetry in the extraordinary context of 17th-century philosophy, politics, religion, science, and poetics, and against the backdrop of the English Civil War. Honors version available.
Poetry and prose of the Victorian period, including such writers as Tennyson, the Brownings, Arnold, the Brontës, Dickens, G. Eliot. Previously offered as ENGL 439. Honors version available.
Focuses on particular forms, authors, or issues in the period. Previously offered as ENGL 436. Honors version available.
Students will read novels in English, including Joyce, Woolf, and Proust, to explore how writers from across cultures created new strategies to represent the late 19th and 20th century worlds of imperialism, science, and experiment. Previously offered as ENGL 355. Honors version available.
Fulfills a major core requirement. This course focuses on both the novels of Jane Austen and their fate since publication in the early 19th century. They have inspired countless imitations, over 150 sequels and continuations, and more than 30 full-length films. We will trace the transmission and transformation of the original texts across time and cultures. Previously offered as ENGL 340.
A survey of 18th-century fiction from Behn to Austen. Previously offered as ENGL 333. Honors version available.
A survey of Restoration and 18th-century drama from Etheredge to Sheridan. Previously offered as ENGL 332. Honors version available.
Important novelists in the tradition, from Austen to Wilde. Previously offered as ENGL 338. Honors version available.
Twentieth-century poetry in English, approached historically, thematically, formally, politically, and aesthetically. Previously offered as ENGL 350. Honors version available.
An introductory exploration of key topics in the literatures of the Caribbean basin, Bermuda, and the Caribbean diaspora.
This course focuses on the life and works of one of the most striking personalities of the nineteenth century: Oscar Wilde. In addition to reading numerous works by Wilde (including short fiction, poetry, drama, fairy tales, and critical essays), we consider the scientific, religious, and aesthetic contexts that shaped Wilde's work.
The study of an individual Victorian writer, a group (such as the Pre-Raphaelites), a theme (such as imperialism), or genre (such as Victorian epic or the serialized novel). Previously offered as ENGL 442.
An in-depth single-author course examining the fiction and non-fiction writings of Virginia Woolf.
This course focuses on gender and sexuality by examining the history, theory, politics, and aesthetics of queer identities in film and possibly other audiovisual media. Questions of representation, authorship, genre, and performance are addressed, either in national or transnational contexts.
The first goal of this super course is to give students real tools for how to address multiple modes of difference and identity formations like race, gender, class, and sexuality.
Devoted to British Romantic-period literature's engagement with a literary mode (such as the Gothic) or a historical theme (such as war or abolition) or to an individual author. Previously offered as ENGL 441. Honors version available.
The writings, contexts, and legacy of William Faulkner. Fulfills a major core requirement.
This course focuses on performances in cinema, as well as the concept of stardom. This course surveys a diverse range of performances across cinema history, through a variety of different genres and production modes. Close attention is paid to actorly expression, and to the creation of star images in media.
Historical, theoretical, and analytical approaches to the intersection of nation and cinema. This course may focus on films made within a particular nation or serve as a comparative analysis of the cinemas of several nations.
In this course, students consider the relationship between space and place in literature or film. Honors version available.
This course provides an introduction to concepts of media studies as they bear on the critical examination of cinema, television, and other cultural forms. Students explore different theoretical perspectives on the role and power of media in society in influencing social values, political beliefs, identities, and behaviors.
This course places students behind the camera and in front of the screen as they alternate between creative and critical approaches to cinema. They learn how to practice the basic principles of narrative film production (producing, directing, cinematography, editing, and sound design) while engaging critically with key debates in film theory and criticism (semiotic, cognitive, psychoanalytic, feminist, and phenomenological). Honors version available.
In this hands-on gaming course, students decipher the narrative design of video games while exploring the legacy of cinema to gameplay. They also apply critical gaming concepts (agency, world-building, point of view, authorship, representation, narrative choice, play) to evaluate cinema as a ludic and participatory artform beyond conventional narrative elements.
An introduction to literary criticism in English studies, with an emphasis on historical developments from Plato to the present. Honors version available.
Focused study of how issues of gender shape literary themes, characters, and topics, and the composition and reception of literary texts. Honors version available.
This course brings together literary and ethnographic methods to explore narratives of illness, suffering, and healing, and medicine's roles in these processes. Themes include illness narratives, outbreak narratives, collective memory and healing from social trauma, and healers' memoirs.
Considers texts in a comparative ethnic/race studies framework and examines how these texts explore historical and contemporary connections between groups of people in the United States and the Americas. Honors version available.
Introductory exploration of the relation between science and literature, as well as the place and value of both in the contemporary world. Honors version available.
This interdisciplinary course will examine what it means to grow up Latina/o through an exploration of childhood narratives, linguistic debates, education policies and legislation, and censored books.
An introduction to key topics that focus on questions of representation at the intersections of medicine, literature, and culture. Honors version available.
This course will introduce students to the key critical concepts, debates, and questions of practice in the emerging scholarly field of disability studies.
This course introduces students to the study of Asian American literature and culture. The focus of the course may include examining coming-of-age novels, immigration narratives, or other genre explorations.
This service-learning course is partnered with a charter school, and together UNC-Chapel Hill and high school students will explore issues of race in American literature and culture.
This course focuses on the life and writings of a specific African American author. In addition to examining numerous texts by the author, we will consider the cultural, political, and artistic contexts that shaped the author's work. Fulfills a major core requirement.
Approaches to the literary interpretation of drama through consideration of PlayMakers Repertory Company's current season, stressing original research into literary history, genre, and social and cultural contexts.
This course introduces major texts and current themes, from Joyce to the postcolonial, in Irish writing from 1800 to 2000.
Covers literary and other social texts associated with the legacies of population transfers and the movements, forced or voluntary, of people across borders. Course previously offered as ENGL 365.
Students will analyze and compose various types of travel literature, such as voyage, pilgrimage, and tour, in terms of literary conventions, historical conditions, and considerations of gender, ethnicity, economics, empire, and religion. Honors version available.
Students will analyze and compose different forms of life writing such as autobiography, biography, and autoethnography. Readings will include theories of autobiography and selected literature. Honors version available.
An overview of the tradition of children's literature, considering the ways those books point to our basic assumptions about meaning, culture, self, society, gender, and economics. The course stresses original student research and oral and written presentation. Honors version available.
In this course students will read early 20th-century poetry, fiction, films, and criticism, and consider the ways these works constituted, defined, and challenged the phenomenon known as literary modernism.
Through readings in a wide range of genres, this course will examine major factors and influences shaping Jewish American literature and culture in the 20th century.
Focused study of a popular genre, cultural context, group of writers, or contemporary issue in literature and/or composition.
A survey of illustrated books for children in Britain and America considering both image and text. The course stresses original student research and oral and written presentation. Honors version available.
An examination of youth in culture through a range of texts that focus on the aesthetic, historical, and social factors grounding the depiction of youth in the past and its experience and representation today. The course stresses original student research and oral and written presentation.
An opportunity to gain credit for an internship in a field related to the study of English, such as publishing, teaching, business writing, or law. Available to majors with at least a 2.5 GPA. Requirements include portfolio of work completed for the internship, meetings with the academic advisor, and a 4000-word writing project related to the internship.
Guides students through the processes of developing an original research topic, conducting research, and analyzing research, leading students to produce a high-quality presentation of their findings. Topic varies by instructor but may focus on literary studies or closely-related arenas such as medical humanities, digital humanities, and creative writing, among others. Honors version available.
Advanced practice with writing for professional audiences, based on attention to theories of genre, audience, rhetoric, and style. Students will develop skills in professional writing, editing, copyediting, proofreading, and publishing.
Advanced practice with writing about health from medical and humanistic perspectives, ranging from grant proposals to qualitative research articles to the personal illness narrative.
A course focused on writing in professional settings focused on the arts and humanities. Students will compose documents such as funding proposals, performance reviews, artists' statements, or promotional educational materials. Includes oral, written, and digital compositions.
Advanced course focused on writing for professional audiences in non-profit, public policy, social justice, and social entrepreneurship settings. Includes oral, written, and digital compositions. Students will compose documents such as grant proposals, policy reports, websites, public presentations, or multimedia videos to advance social causes.
Advanced course focused on adapting scientific and technical content to public or non-expert audiences in oral, written, and digital forms. Assignments may include composing professional reports, developing multimedia instructions for a product, or developing an interactive exhibit.
Advanced practice with business and professional oral, written, and multimedia forms. Students will develop business proposals, reports, plans, and professional oral presentations for professional audiences.
Advanced practice with oral, written, and digital composition for legal settings.
A workshop for people interested in writing plays, focusing on elements that make them work on stage, such as characterization, climax, dialogue, exposition, momentum, setting, and visual effects.
An occasional intermediate course that may focus on such topics as living writers, poetic forms, flash fiction, or imitation. Permission of the program director.
Studies of syntax, parts of speech, types of sentences, wordplay, the narrative and non-narrative power of words, prose style, and the relationships between language, rhythm, and culture culminate with students performing a selection of the comedic and dramatic sketches written during the semester.
A study of fairy tales as historical artifacts that reveal the concerns of their times and places, as narrative structures capable of remarkable transformation, and as artistic performances drawing upon the expressive resources of multiple media, intended to challenge conventional presuppositions about the genre.
Students will focus on learning skills and strategies to deliver effective oral presentations. The course will be organized around an individual research project that will culminate in a major presentation following the "best practices" of that discipline. During the semester, students will deliver presentations of various lengths and genres and will learn effective use of media support. Course standards will emphasize professional-level expectations and current "best practices" in the field.
This class explores writing in and about contemporary social media spaces. The course focuses on developing writing projects that study and participate in online social networks. Topics include the rhetoric of the Internet; collaboration online; information ethics; amateur content creation; networks and social interaction; networks and literacy; data and privacy; and remix composition.
This class studies composing in a variety of modes, including visuals, moving images, gestures, sounds, and words. Students develop projects using image, audio, and video editors, examining how multimedia fits within the history of rhetoric and writing and relates with concerns such as purposes, audiences, contexts, arguments, genres, and mediums. Honors version available.
This course examines one of the most adventurous decades in U.S. film history, from the "Auteur Renaissance," to independent cinema, through to the politically conscious reconfiguration of popular genres. Films are discussed in the context of social changes and anxieties in the years surrounding Watergate and the Vietnam War.
This instructional course gives students the opportunity to make video essays. Students learn how to use creative audiovisual media tools, in particular those related to the moving image. Students gain familiarity with digital production and editing technology, which they use as instruments of critical expression and argumentation.
This course explores the wide range of drama produced in England between the 1570s and 1640s, including work by Shakespeare and his many rivals. Honors version available.
An introduction to one or two intellectual movements of the Renaissance, such as humanism, the protestant reformation, the baroque, or the scientific revolution, through the examination of both literary and non-literary texts of the period.
This course explores the contributions of the Middle Ages, and of medieval women, to the history of feminism and women's writing. Over the course of the semester, we will explore four different types of work by and about women: literary writing, theological writing, life writing, and the performance of identity and dramatic character. Along the way, we will also read selections from contemporary feminist theory, including Sara Ahmed, Lauren Berlant, Luce Irigaray, and Judith Butler.
Students will study Renaissance literature through one or more contemporary theoretical lenses, which might include feminist theory, queer theory, cultural materialism, new historicism, or psychoanalytic theory. Texts may range in date from the early 16th century to the late 20th and early 21st century.
A survey of British literature from Dryden to Paine. Honors version available.
This course examines the technical and aesthetic revolutions in the fine arts of the English Romantic Period, focusing on lyrical poetry, landscape painting, and original printmaking and works by Wordsworth, Turner, and Blake. Honors version available.
This course introduces students to developments in modern tabletop gaming. Students will analyze the mechanics and thematics that tabletop games use to create narratives. Particular attention will be paid to the values and stories that emerge from the decisions made by designers. This course culminates in a capstone project in which students create their own tabletop game. No prior experience with tabletop gaming is required.
This course pairs selected canonical works of U.S. literature (short stories, poems, essays, and short novels) with films that adapt or translate the original text for cinema. Works range from westerns and war movies to psychological thrillers, biopics, and comedies. By comparing text and film, the course deepens students' understanding of both aesthetic forms and traces the sometimes conflicting ideals, myths, and narratives that gave shape to different historical versions of American national identity. Honors version available.
Students learn the basics of book production, including acquisitions, developmental editing, copy editing, layout and book design, marketing, and digital publication by working on titles in production at a national press and meeting with professionals in the industry.
Course studies contemporary British and American fiction through representative works. Intellectual and aesthetic, historical and cultural emphases. May include works from the Anglophone diaspora. Honors version available.
This course examines factors shaping British/Commonwealth literature in the 20th century, especially the world wars and the dismantling of the British Empire. We will investigate themes of both nostalgia and anticipation: ways of remembering the past of England and the Empire, and of describing the future of British culture(s).
This course will focus on important poets and poetic movements in the United States in the long twentieth century. Special attention paid to writings by poets about what poetry is and does: critiquing social injustice, expressing alternative identities, exploring disordered mental states, communicating otherwise unintelligible experiences, etc. Movements may include: the Harlem Renaissance, Modernism, Confessionalism, the Black Arts Movement. We will also read poets who don't belong to any movement and poets writing today.
This course introduces students to United States Latina feminist theories, literatures, and cultures. Through a blend of genres, students explore historical foundations of Latina feminisms, examining the relationship between Latina feminisms and United States Third World feminisms, and analyze literary and cultural representations of feminist praxis.
This course will explore contemporary Asian American literature and theory and will examine how Asian American literature fits into, yet extends beyond, the canon of American literature.
This course covers writings by Asian American women and examines issues of gender, race, and sexuality.
This course focuses on events of particular import in Asian American history and how they are recounted in a variety of interdisciplinary texts. Events may include the Japanese American incarceration, refugee movements, immigration, or others, at the instructor's discretion. Honors version available.
Theories of feminist criticism in relation to general theory and women's writing. Honors version available.
Covers literary works associated with one or more of the major historical migrations, forced and voluntary, and present-day works engaged with globalization.
Survey of writers and literary and cultural traditions from the beginning of African American literature to 1930. Honors version available.
Survey of writers and literary and cultural traditions from 1930 to 1970. Honors version available.
Survey of writers and literary and cultural traditions from 1970 to the present. Honors version available.
This interdisciplinary course explores how issues of health, medicine, and illness are impacted by questions of race in 20th-century American literature and popular culture. Specific areas covered include pain, death, the family and society, reproduction, mental illness, aging, human subject experimentation, the doctor-patient relationship, pesticides, and bioethics. Honors version available.
This course will consider the themes of globalization and regionalism through an examination of narratives featuring Asians/Asian Americans in the American South. Honors version available.
An introduction to Southern literature, with emphasis on the 20th-century: fiction, poetry, drama, essays. Representative authors include Faulkner, Wolfe, Williams, Warren, Hurston, Wright, Ransom, Tate, Welty, Chappell, McCullers, O'Connor. Honors version available.
The study of fiction, poetry, plays, and essays by Southern American women writers of the past 200 years, continuing to the present.
A broad survey of the cultures of the Celtic-speaking areas, notably Ireland, Wales, Scotland, and Brittany, with special emphasis on language and literature.
An introduction to the history and practice of film criticism.
This course examines one or more topics in film history, focusing on specific periods. The scope may be national or transnational. Films are analyzed for how they address and reflect key historical developments. Restricted to any undergraduate student who is a Sophomore, Junior, or Senior with a GPA or 3.0 or higher, OR any First-Year student. Honors version available.
The course introduces students to the complex narrative, aesthetic, and rhetorical relationship between literature and cinema.
This course investigates the rich and complex relationship between literature and other mass media. Previously offered as ENGL 281. Honors version available.
This class studies the composition and development of podcasts, paying attention to the unique affordances and drawbacks of podcast technologies. Students develop, research, script, and record podcasts in several genres, including topical, interview, and storytelling formats, while learning practical editing techniques using industry-standard software.
Explores various connections of literature and law, including literary depictions of crime, lawyers, and trials; literary conventions of legal documents; and/or shared problems in interpretation of law and literature.
This course explores how gender and sexuality shapes the literature, politics, and public culture of South Asian immigrant communities in Europe, Africa, the Americas, and other locations outside the Indian subcontinent.
A study of Canadian literature in English from the late 18th century to the present, with emphasis on 20th-century writing and on the novel.
What was modernism? When was modernism? Where was modernism? Reading literature and visual art from 1890 to 1940 in Europe, America, and Africa will be key to finding answers.
This course introduces students to the aims and concerns of authorship study in film through discussion of a major filmmaker's body of work. The course may focus predominantly on a single figure or may compare two or more figures who share certain affinities of theme or style.
An intensive study of a single writer, group, movement, theme, or period. Honors version available.
Students research, refine, and compose a portfolio of advanced written work for professional audiences or publication. Each portfolio will contain an array of written work that demonstrates the student's versatility as a writer, researcher, and editor. The portfolio is intended for presentation to professional audiences, potential employers, prospective graduate programs, and/or publication. Previously offered as ENGL 492.
Permission of the department. Intensive reading on a particular topic under the supervision of a member of the staff.
Museums have long been considered repositories for artifacts and sites of pedagogy, far removed from contemporary visual practices. And yet, today's museums are full of moving images, from interactive displays to IMAX theaters to screen-based art. In this class we will consider interactions between the cinema and the museum. Topics to be addressed include immersive viewing technologies, film and ethnography, expanded cinema, virtual reality, and installation art. This course includes visits to campus museums.
Advanced Undergraduate and Graduate-level Courses
This course combines frequent writing practice with discussions of rhetorical theories and strategies for teaching writing. The course examines ways to design effective writing courses, assignments, and instructional materials.
This course considers learning to write from three vantage points: personal, social, and contextual. Emphasis on theory, reflective practice, and pedagogy for peer tutoring.
How do communities resist oppression through writing? This course examines texts and methods related to the study of social movements. Students will work with archival materials at Wilson Library to research social justice movements at UNC and in the South. Previously offered as ENGL 316. Honors version available.
In addition to surveying key works of creative nonfiction throughout the ages - from Montaigne in the 16th century to Solnit, Rankine, and Urrea in the 21st - we will be composing (and peer-reviewing) our own explorations of every subgenre, including memoir, literary journalism, travel writing, flash nonfiction, and the lyric essay, with an eye toward publication.
Permission of the program director. A continuation of the intermediate workshop with emphasis on the short story and novella. Extensive discussion of student work and revisions in class and in conferences with instructor.
Permission of the program director. A continuation of the intermediate workshop, with increased writing and revising of poems. Extensive discussion of student poetry in class and in conferences with instructor.
This is a course in popular-songwriting collaboration, a workshop with constant presentation of original songs and close-critiquing of these assignments. Varied assignments including songs for soloists, duos, trios, quartets, and chorus; ballads, folk, jazz, blues, art, and musical-theater songs, etc.
This course is a collaborative exploration of popular-song lyric writing, requiring numerous drafts written to varied existing musical models - narrative ballads; hymns; folk, theater, jazz, art, R&B, R&R, and worldbeat songs, etcetera - to be tried out and worked on in class, as well as in conference.
This course provides a history of documentary cinema since the beginnings of the medium and surveys different modes and theoretical definitions; or the course may focus largely on a certain mode (such as ethnographic, observational, first-person, cinema vérité, politically activist, found footage compilation, or journalistic investigation). Honors version available.
This advanced technical writing course will help you develop skills in developing professional documents with a focus on document design, user experience, project management, and technical editing. You will assess the documentation needs for a client, propose a document or set of documents to fulfill that need, and then produce polished, professional documents for that client. These materials will lead to a professional portfolio you can share with potential employers.
"Archives" are documents - manuscripts, photographs, recordings, diaries, letters, and other materials - that are so valuable they need to be preserved in a special place. In this course, the instructor will guide students as they conduct original research in literary archives, such as online databases or physical archives (at Wilson Library, for example). We will learn how to formulate research questions and how to identify key documents. Previously offered as ENGL 342.
This course examines Renaissance literature through the lens of cultural themes, issues, and problems that were important to Renaissance authors and readers. Texts may be drawn from, among others, the English, French, German, Italian, and Spanish literary traditions, and may range in date from the 15th to the 17th centuries.
Survey of works by Blake, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Byron, Percy and Mary Shelley, Keats, and others. Honors version available.
A junior- or senior-level course devoted to in-depth exploration of an author, group of authors, or topic in American literature to 1860. Honors version available.
Intensive study of one or more authors or a topic in American literature from the Civil War through 1900. Honors version available.
A junior- or senior-level course devoted to in-depth exploration of an author, group of authors, or a topic in American literature from 1900 to 2000. Honors version available.
American women authors from the beginnings to the present. Honors version available.
This course brings together theories of collective and individual memory with questions of aesthetics and narrative while exploring global connections between memory and literature.
Examines current issues in literary theory such as the question of authorship, the relation of literary texts to cultural beliefs and values, and to the formation of identities. Honors version available.
Permission of the instructor. Designed for students accepted as mentors to the Scholars' Latino Initiative (SLI). Students will take this course during their first year as SLI mentors to prepare them as effective mentors to Latina/o high school students. Students cannot receive credit for both ENGL 267 and 467.
Study of particular aspects of African American literature, such as the work of a major writer or group of writers, an important theme, a key tradition, or a literary period. Honors version available.
A rigorous combination of field work, lab work, and colorful, original contemporary writing on the natural world will help tell the story of our many, evolving North Carolina coasts. Combining marine science and the creative literary arts, this immersive course will explore issues of change over many eras. This combination of social, cultural, and scientific observation will lead to imaginatively constructed, well-written non-fiction reportage about one of North America's most productive, compelling, and challenging regions.
The study of a particular topic or genre in the literature of the United States South, more focused than students will find in ENGL 373.
Students will explore the history of computer-assisted humanities scholarship, from its beginnings in computational linguistics, media studies, and humanities computing to its current incarnation as "digital humanities." The course will provide an introduction to the field and to digital research methodologies and prepare students to develop their own digital projects. Previously offered as ENGL 530.
This Course-based Undergraduate Research Experience (CURE) course interrogates the rhetoric of data construction and management by positioning students as "critical makers" in a digital humanities project. Previously offered as ENGL 353.
Oral storytelling may seem old-fashioned, but we tell true (or possibly true) stories every day. We will study personal narratives (about our own experiences) and legends (about improbable, intriguing events), exploring the techniques and structures that make them effective communication tools and the influence of different contexts and audiences.
Introduces major topics in the interdisciplinary field of critical security studies. Critically analyzing the public construction of risk and security in military, technological, informational, and environmental domains, the course explores major theories that attempt to make sense of the transnational proliferation of violence and risk in historical and contemporary contexts.
The student will have an opportunity to concentrate on researching topics and texts central to the study of health, medicine, culture, and ethics. Central topics may include representations of genetics, cloning, reproduction, and biotechnology. Honors version available.
Permission of the program director. An occasional advanced course, which may focus on such topics as advanced creative nonfiction, editing and publishing, the lyric in song and collaboration between lyricists and composers, the one-act play, and short-short fiction.
This course introduces students to research methods in film studies. While this course will provide a broad survey of methods one might employ in film studies research of all kinds, the course may be restricted to a particular research topic.
Recommended for students in junior or senior year of study. Intensive mentored research, service learning, field work, or creative work. Requires 30 hours of research, writing, or experiential activities, culminating in a written project.
Examines the ways knowledge from other disciplines can be brought to bear in the analysis of literary works. Questions of disciplinary limits and histories will also be addressed.
Offered as part of summer study abroad programs in Oxford, London, and Stratford-on-Avon. Students experience plays in performance and as texts, and discuss their literary, dramatic, cultural, and historical aspects. Honors version available.
An opportunity to gain credit for an internship in a field related to the study of health humanities, such as science writing, health non-profit work, and qualitative research. Available to majors with at least a 3.0 GPA. Requirements include regular journal entries, meetings with a faculty advisor, and a final report of 10-15 pages.
This course introduces advanced undergraduate and graduate students to topics, methods, and concepts in health humanities through practical learning experiences.
Sociologist Arthur Frank asserts that "whether ill people want to tell stories or not, illness calls for stories." This seminar explores narrative approaches to suffering, healing, and medicine's roles in these processes. Students learn literary and anthropological approaches to examine medically themed works from a range of genres.
An introduction to English literature from the eighth to the 15th century, focusing on the primary works of Old English and Middle English literature.
Students will learn to read Old English, the Germanic language spoken by the Anglo-Saxons in Britain from about the middle of the fifth century until the time of the Norman Conquest. Students will study Beowulf, "Caedmon's Hymn", and other selections in poetry and prose.
British and continental Arthurian literature in translation from the early Middle Ages to Sir Thomas Malory.
This course will examine drama written and performed in England from 1570 to 1640, situating Shakespeare's plays in relation to others in his generation.
An investigation of important texts by 19th-century women writers that considers issues of gender in relation to other important considerations--tradition, form, culture--with an introduction to the chief scholarly and critical problems of this period.
A study of literary works written in English concerning World War I, or the Spanish Civil War and World War II, or the Vietnam War. Honors version available.
The focus is on Shakespeare's various treatments of war in his plays: all his Roman histories, most of his English histories, all his tragedies, even some of his comedies.
Examines contemporary theoretical issues and critical approaches relevant to the study of literature.
A history of literary criticism from the Greeks to mid-20th century, focusing on recurrent concerns and classic texts that are indispensable for understanding the practice of literary criticism today.
This course explores literature, performance art, film, and photography by Latinas and Latinos whose works may be described as "queer" and that question terms and norms of cultural dominance.
This course explores Latina/o literature about photography in relation to photography by "queer" Latina/o artists and, through this double focus, poses certain questions about identity, subjectivity, and culture.
An examination of phenomenology, the "philosophy of experience." Taking the perspective that literature helps clarify our experience, we will engage in readings of various genres--poetry, autobiography, fiction, and drama--as we examine how literature not only records experience, but also shapes it through a distinct method of reasoning.
Digital literature explores how literary works are composed for, shaped by, and studied in electronic environments. Course texts range from books to electronic fiction and poetry to video games. Hands-on activities give students a chance to develop their own literary projects--either as electronic literary works or as digital scholarship.
This course explores issues and methodologies related to online teaching. Topics include instructor-student dynamics in the online classroom, opportunities for extending the classroom through online platforms, trends in online pedagogy, and development of online teaching portfolios.
Students will investigate theories and practices of editing in multimedia, digital environments. Students will explore histories of textual editing, research major humanities projects, examine trends and toolsets related to developing scholarly digital materials, and collaborate with one another and with campus entities to develop an online digital humanities project.
This course provides a rigorous introduction to various theories (aesthetic, narrative, historical, political, psychological, philosophical) inspired by cinema.
This course examines aesthetic and social aspects of contemporary cinema, television, and/or other media. Previously offered as ENGL 580. Honors version available.
Multidisciplinary examination of texts and other media of the Americas, in English and Spanish, from a variety of genres. Two years of college-level Spanish or the equivalent strongly recommended.
This mixed level undergraduate and graduate student course examines queer LatinX literature from the 1970s to the present as it intersects with ecological and environmental concerns. We pay close attention to LatinX cultural productions that approach ecology and environmental justice from queer perspectives and that queer ecological concerns from minoritized perspectives.
Selected topics in literary studies, composition, digital media, and related fields. Topic varies by semester.
Restricted to senior honors candidates. First semester of senior honors thesis. Independent research under the direction of an English department faculty member.
Restricted to senior honors candidates. Second semester of senior honors thesis. Essay preparation under the direction of an English department faculty member.
Restricted to senior honors candidates. The first half of a two-semester seminar. Each student begins a book of fiction or creative nonfiction (25,000 words) or poetry (1,000 lines). Extensive discussion of student work in class and in conferences.
Restricted to senior honors candidates. The second half of a two-semester seminar. Each student completes a book of fiction, creative nonfiction, or poetry. Extensive discussion of student work in class and in conferences with instructor.
Guides students through the processes of developing an original research topic, conducting research, and analyzing research, leading students to produce a high-quality presentation of their findings. Topic varies by instructor but may focus on literary studies or closely-related arenas such as medical humanities, digital humanities, and creative writing, among others.