2020-21 Faculty

Acting Chair
Christopher Baswell (Professor)

Acting Associate Chair
Patricia Denison (Senior Lecturer)

Professors
James Basker (Richard Gilder Professor of Literary History)
Yvette Christiansë (Director, Africana Studies Department; Ann Whitney Olin Professor of English and Africana Studies)
Lisa Gordis (Ann Whitney Olin Professor of English)
Achsah Guibbory
Kim Hall (Lucyle Hook Professor of English and Africana Studies)
Ross Hamilton (Director, Film Studies Program)
Saskia Hamilton (Vice Provost; Director, Women Poets at Barnard)
Jennie Kassanoff (Professor of English; Adolph S. and Effie Ochs Professor of American Studies and History)
Monica Miller (Dean, Faculty Diversity and Development; Professor of English and Africana Studies)
Peter Platt (Ann Whitney Olin Professor of English)
William Sharpe

Associate Professor
Rachel Eisendrath (Director, Medieval and Renaissance Studies Program)

Professor of Professional Practice
Hisham Matar (Professor of Professional Practice in English and Asian and Middle Eastern Cultures)

Assistant Professors
Jayne Hildebrand

Term Assistant Professors
Atefeh Akbari Shamirzadi
Kristin Sánchez Carter

Senior Lecturers
Pamela Cobrin (Co-Director, First-Year Seminar Program; Director, Writing Program; Director, Speaking Program)
Peggy Ellsberg
Wendy Schor-Haim (Director, First-Year Writing Program)
Maura Spiegel (Term)
Timea Szell (Director, Creative Writing Program)
Margaret Vandenburg

Lecturers
Meredith Benjamin (Lecturer in First-Year Writing)
Benjamin Breyer (Lecturer in First-Year Writing)
Vrinda Condillac (Lecturer in First-Year Writing)
Daniela Kempf (Director, Speaking Program)
Cecelia Lie-Spahn (Lecturer in English; Director, First-Year Writing Workshop Program; Associate Director, First-Year Writing Program)
Andrew Lynn (Lecturer in First-Year Writing)
Alexandra Watson (Lecturer in First-Year Writing)

Anna Quindlen Writer in Residence
Jennifer Finney Boylan

Distinguished Journalist in Residence
Maria Hinojosa

Post-Doctoral Fellows
Duygu Ula (Post-Doctoral Fellow in First-Year Writing)
Penelope Meyers Usher (Post-Doctoral Fellow in First-Year Writing and First-Year Writing Workshop)

Adjunct Associate Professors
Jonathan Beller
Catherine Barnett (Visiting Writer)
Nellie Hermann (Visiting Writer)
Alexandra Horowitz
Mary Beth Keane (Visiting Writer)
Ellen McLaughlin (Visiting Writer)
Kathleen Tolan (Visiting Writer)

Adjunct Assistant Professors
Alex Dimitrov (Visiting Writer)
Regan Good (Visiting Writing)
Liana Finck (Visiting Writer)
Chelsea Frazier
Brionne Janae (Visiting Writer)
Eliza Minot (Visiting Writer)
Malena Watrous (Visiting Writer)

Adjunct Lecturers
Kristi Cassaro
Maureen Chun
Monica Cohen
Mary Cregan
Mary Helen Kolisnyk
Linn Cary Mehta
John Pagano
Eugene Petracca
Jennifer Rosenthal

Adjunct Associates
Elizabeth Auran
Shelly Fredman
Quincy Jones
Francesca Ochoa
Nina Sharma

Jump to a Section

Requirements for the Major
American Literature Concentration
Creative Writing Concentration
Film Studies Concentration
Theatre Concentration
Requirements for the Minor

Requirements for the Major

A major program consists of at least ten courses. Six of the ten must be taken at Barnard or Columbia.

ENGL BC3193Critical Writing (Best taken in the sophomore year.)4
ENGL BC3159 and ENGL BC3160 The English Colloquium. 18
Two courses in literature written before 1900. 26-8
Three electives chosen from the entire English Department offering, excluding The English Conference. One of these courses must be a literature class. 39-12
Two senior seminars given by the Barnard English Department. 48
A course in American literature. It can simultaneously fulfill other requirements (elective, before 1900, etc.) where appropriate.3-4

Concentrations in the Major

American Literature

An English major with a concentration in American literature consists of 10 courses. Six of the 10 must be taken at Barnard or Columbia. Students interested in an American literature concentration should consult with Prof. Lisa Gordis.

ENGL BC3193Critical Writing (Best taken in the sophomore year.)4
ENGL BC3159 and ENGL BC3160 The English Colloquium. 18
Two courses in literature written before 1900. One of these courses must be either 26-7
American Literature to 1800
American Literature, 1800-1870
One survey course on American literature between 1871 and the present, either3
American Literature, 1871-1945
American Literature since 1945
An additional American literature course.3-4
An elective chosen from the entire English Department offering, excluding The English Conference. 33-4
Two senior seminars, one of which must focus on American literature.8

Creative Writing

An English major with a concentration in creative writing consists of 11 courses. Six of the 11 must be taken at Barnard or Columbia. The creative writing concentration differs from the others in that students must submit an application to be considered for it.

Interested majors must be in the second semester of their junior year to apply.  Applications are due by the last day of the advanced registration period in that semester (occurring in mid-April for the spring semester or in mid-November for the fall semester). The application deadline for English majors who are second semester juniors in fall 2020 is 11:59 pm ET on Friday, November 20, 2020. The application deadline for English majors who are second semester juniors in spring 2021 is 11:59 pm ET on Friday, April 9, 2021.

Applications must consist of 15-20 pages of prose (including fiction, personal narrative, creative non-fiction or playwriting) and/or poetry writing, and must be submitted online via the Barnard Creative Writing Concentration Application Form.

Students interested in a creative writing concentration should consult with Dr. Timea Szell or Nia Judelson.

ENGL BC3193Critical Writing (Best taken in the sophomore year.)4
ENGL BC3159 and ENGL BC3160 The English Colloquium. 18
Two courses in literature before 1900. 26-8
Two creative writing courses, preferably one introductory and one advanced.6
Introductory writing courses include
Creative Non-Fiction: Making Facts Sing
Creative Non-Fiction: The Gendered Memoir
Creative Non-Fiction
Advanced writing courses include
Advanced Poetry Writing II
Advanced Projects in Prose Writing
Fiction Writing: Longer Forms
Invention, Revision, and Imagination
Creative Nonfiction: The Queer Story
What's Your Story Anyway?—Trauma Resistance through Creative Writing
NEW YORK IN TEN OBJECTS
American Lives, American Stories
Two electives chosen from the entire English Department offering, excluding The English Conference. One of these electives must be a literature class. The other elective may be in literature or creative writing. 36-8
One senior seminar given by the Barnard English Department. 44
A Senior Project 54
A course in American literature. It can simultaneously fulfill other requirements (elective, before 1900, etc.) where appropriate.3-4

Footnotes

Film Studies

An English major with a concentration in film studies consists of 11 courses. Six of the 11 must be taken at Barnard or Columbia. Students interested in a film studies concentration should consult with Prof. Ross Hamilton.

ENGL BC3193Critical Writing (Best taken in the sophomore year.)4
ENGL BC3159 and ENGL BC3160 The English Colloquium. 18
Two courses in literature before 1900. 26-8
A literature elective. The literature elective may be chosen from the entire English Department offering, excluding The English Conference.3-4
An introductory course on film and film theory. This course can be either3
FILM BC3201INTRO FILM & MEDIA STUDIES3
or FILM UN1000 Introduction to Film and Media Studies
A course on screenwriting. Select one of the following.3
SCREENWRITING FUNDAMENTALS
ADVANCED SCREENWRITING
A film course selected from among specific offerings at Barnard or Columbia. This course must be approved by the Director of Film Studies Program.3-4
Two senior seminars given by the Barnard English Department, one of which must focus on film. 38
A course in American literature. It can simultaneously fulfill other requirements (elective, before 1900, etc.) where appropriate.3-4

Theatre

An English major with a concentration in theatre consists of 11 courses. Six of the 11 must be taken at Barnard or Columbia. Students interested in a theatre concentration should consult with Prof. Patricia Denison or Prof. Pamela Cobrin.

ENGL BC3193Critical Writing (Best taken in the sophomore year.)4
ENGL BC3159 and ENGL BC3160 The English Colloquium. 18
Two courses in literature before 1900. 26-8
A literature elective. The literature elective may be chosen from the entire English Department offering, excluding The English Conference.3-4
Select one of the following options.10-11
Option A:
Western Theatre Traditions:Classic to Romantic
WESTRN THTR TRAD: MODERN
One dramatic literature seminar
Option B:
One theatre history course
Two dramatic literature seminars
One senior seminar given by the Barnard English Department. 34
A Senior Project 44
A course in American literature. It can simultaneously fulfill other requirements (elective, before 1900, etc.) where appropriate.3-4

Requirements for the Minor

A minor consists of at least five English courses (three of which must be qualifying Barnard or Columbia courses). Please note that Comparative Literature courses cannot count towards the minor.

Select one course from either Chaucer, Shakespeare, or Milton.3
Chaucer:
Chaucer Before Canterbury
Canterbury Tales
Shakespeare:
Shakespeare in Performance
Shakespeare I
Shakespeare II
Milton:
Milton
Two additional courses in literature before 1900. 16-8
Two electives from the entire English Department offering, excluding the English Conference.6-8

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Colloquia Substitutions
Courses in Literature before 1900
Courses in American Literature
Substituting with Courses from Other Departments

Colloquia Substitutions

ENGL BC3159 and ENGL BC3160 are required of English majors in the junior year.  All sections of BC3159 (fall semester) are on the literature of the Renaissance; all sections of BC3160 (spring semester) are on the literature of the Enlightenment.

Students may substitute three courses for the two semesters of Colloquium.  At least one of these three must cover literature before 1660 (i.e., Medieval or Renaissance); one other must cover literature of the 17th or 18th century (i.e., The Age of Enlightenment); the last can cover either literature before 1660 or literature of the 17th or 18th century.

Students may also take one Colloquium and two substitutions, as long as one of the substitutions covers literature of the same period as the Colloquium it replaces.  The other substitution may cover either literature of that same time period or literature of the time period of the other Colloquium.

In either case, one of the courses used as a substitute for either the fall or spring Colloquium will also count towards satisfying the "before 1900" requirement.

Please note that only one Colloquium substitution in total may be a Shakespeare course.

To see if other courses may qualify, consult with your major adviser or the Chair of the English Department.

Courses which can serve as a Medieval/Renaissance substitution include

ENGL BC3154Chaucer Before Canterbury
ENGL BC3155Canterbury Tales
ENGL BC3165The Elizabethan Renaissance: The Complete Nondramatic Poetry of Marlowe and Shakespeare
ENGL BC316617TH-CENTURY PROSE & POETRY 1
ENGL BC3167Milton 1
ENGL BC3169Renaissance Drama
ENGL BC3170LITERATURE & SCIENCE 1600-1800 1
ENTH BC3190Diabolical Drama of the Middle Ages
Only one substitution may be a Shakespeare course
Shakespeare in Performance
Shakespeare I
Shakespeare II

Courses which can serve as an Age of Enlightenment substitution include

ENGL BC316617TH-CENTURY PROSE & POETRY 1
ENGL BC3167Milton 1
ENGL BC3170LITERATURE & SCIENCE 1600-1800 1
ENGL BC3173The Eighteenth-Century Novel
ENGL BC3174The Age of Johnson
ENGL BC3179American Literature to 1800

Courses in Literature Written before 1900

If you have substituted two or three courses for the Colloquium requirement, one of the substitutions will count towards fulfillment of this requirement. To see if a course not listed here may qualify for this requirement, consult your major adviser and the Chair of the English Department.

Qualifying courses in literature written before 1900 can include

ENGL BC1982American Fiction
ENGL BC3129Explorations of Black Literature: Early African-American Lit. 1760-1890
ENTH BC3136Shakespeare in Performance
ENGL BC3141MAJOR ENGLISH TEXTS I
ENTH BC3145Early American Drama and Performance: Staging a Nation
ENGL BC3154Chaucer Before Canterbury
ENGL BC3155Canterbury Tales
ENGL BC3163Shakespeare I
ENGL BC3164Shakespeare II
ENGL BC3165The Elizabethan Renaissance: The Complete Nondramatic Poetry of Marlowe and Shakespeare
ENGL BC316617TH-CENTURY PROSE & POETRY
ENGL BC3167Milton
ENGL BC3169Renaissance Drama
ENGL BC3170LITERATURE & SCIENCE 1600-1800
ENGL BC3173The Eighteenth-Century Novel
ENGL BC3174The Age of Johnson
ENGL BC3176The Romantic Era
ENGL BC3177Victorian Age in Literature: The Novel
ENGL BC3178Victorian Poetry and Criticism
ENGL BC3179American Literature to 1800
ENGL BC3180American Literature, 1800-1870
ENTH BC3190Diabolical Drama of the Middle Ages
ENGL BC3215VICTORIAN SCIENCE&SCIFI
ENGL BC3204WORLD LITERATURE REVISITED I

Courses in American Literature

To see if a course not listed here may qualify for this requirement, consult your major adviser and the Chair of the English Department.

Qualifying courses in American literature can include1

ENGL BC1982American Fiction
AFEN BC3009Toni Morrison: An Ethical Poetics
ENGL BC3129Explorations of Black Literature: Early African-American Lit. 1760-1890
ENGL BC3130The American Cowboy and the Iconography of the West
ENTH BC3139MODERN AMERICAN DRAMA & PERFORMANCE
ENTH BC3144Black Theatre
ENTH BC3145Early American Drama and Performance: Staging a Nation
AFEN BC3148Literature of the Great Migration: 1916-1970
ENGL BC3179American Literature to 1800
ENGL BC3180American Literature, 1800-1870
ENGL BC3181American Literature, 1871-1945
ENGL BC3183American Literature since 1945
ENGL BC3196HARLEM RENAISSANCE LITERATURE
ENGL BC3214Latinx and the ICE/Prison Industrial Complex—Access and Strategies for News Coverage
ENGL BC3250Introduction to US Latinx Literature
ENGL BC3281Illegal Is Not a Noun: Disrupting Narratives of the Immigrant Experience
ENGL BC3291Fictions of Law and Custom: Whiteness in American Literature
ENGL BC3292QNYC
AFEN BC3815The Worlds of Ntozake Shange and Digital Storytelling
AFEN BC3816The Worlds of Ntozake Shange and Digital Storytelling
ENGL BC3906Sr. Sem: Black Literature Now
ENGL BC3908Sr. Sem: The American Sublime
ENGL BC3911Senior Seminar: Write to Vote
ENGL BC3916Sr. Sem: Gender, Sexuality and the American Stage: Performing the Body Politic
ENGL BC3919SENIOR SEMINAR: BLACK ECOLITERATURE
ENGL BC3920Senior Seminar: Migration, Immigration, and the Borders of American Literature
ENGL BC3927Senior Seminar: "a d—d mob of scribbling women": Nineteenth-century American Women Writers

Substituting with Courses from Other Departments

ENGL BC3193 Critical Writing must be taken in the Barnard English Department.  

To Qualify as a Substitution

For a literary period requirement, the substituting course must cover material from the same literary period covered by the course it is replacing, not just include some of that period's material in a larger range of literature.  With the approval of the Chair of the Barnard English Department, one literature course taken outside the department in English translation or in another language can count as an elective.  If your adviser or the Chair is not familiar with the course (even if given at Columbia), you must provide the syllabus.

Please note that the English Department requires that six of the ten courses required for graduation as an English major be taken at Barnard or Columbia.

Jump to a Category

Writing
Creative Writing
Speech
Theatre
Language and Literature
Senior Seminars and Independent Studies
Cross-Listed Courses

Writing

ENGL BC3101 THE WRITER'S PROCESS. 4.00 points.

Prerequisites: Application process and permission of instructor.
Prerequisites: Application process and permission of instructor. Exploration of theory and practice in the teaching of writing, designed for students who plan to become Writing Fellows at Barnard. Students will read current theory and consider current research in the writing process and engage in practical applications in the classroom or in tutoring. Writer’s Process is only open to those who applied to and were accepted into the Writing Fellows Program. Note: This course now counts as an elective for the English major

Fall 2021: ENGL BC3101
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ENGL 3101 001/00391 T Th 2:40pm - 3:55pm
Room TBA
Pamela Cobrin 4.00 0/15
ENGL 3101 002/00392 T Th 2:40pm - 3:55pm
Room TBA
Cecelia Lie-Spahn 4.00 1/15

ENGL BC3102 Academic Writing Intensive. 4 points.

Academic Writing Intensive is a small, intensive writing course for Barnard students in their second or third year who would benefit from extra writing support. Students attend a weekly seminar, work closely with the instructor on each writing assignment, and meet with an attached Writing Fellow every other week. Readings and assignments focus on transferable writing, revision, and critical thinking skills students can apply to any discipline. Students from across the disciplines are welcome. This course is only offered P/D/F. To be considered for the course, please send a recent writing sample to wschorha@barnard.edu, ideally from your First-Year Writing or First-Year Seminar course, or any other writing-intensive humanities or social sciences course at Barnard (no lab reports please).

Spring 2021: ENGL BC3102
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ENGL 3102 001/00242 W 10:10am - 12:00pm
Online Only
Wendy Schor-Haim 4 9/9
Fall 2021: ENGL BC3102
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ENGL 3102 001/00393 W 10:10am - 12:00pm
Room TBA
Wendy Schor-Haim 4 8/8

ENGL BC3103 The Art of the Essay. 3 points.

Prerequisites: Students who are on the electronic waiting list or who are interested in the class but are not yet registered MUST attend the first day of class.

(Formerly called Essay Writing.) Essay writing above the first-year level. Reading and writing various types of essays to develop one's natural writing voice and craft thoughtful, sophisticated and personal essays. This course is not offered to first-years. 

Fall 2021: ENGL BC3103
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ENGL 3103 001/00394 M 11:00am - 12:50pm
Room TBA
Margaret Ellsberg 3 12/12
ENGL 3103 002/00395 T 12:10pm - 2:00pm
Room TBA
0. FACULTY 3 12/12
ENGL 3103 003/00396 W 12:10pm - 2:00pm
Room TBA
Alexandra Watson 3 12/12

ENGL BC3104 The Art of the Essay. 3 points.

Prerequisites: Students who are on the electronic waiting list or who are interested in the class but are not yet registered MUST attend the first day of class.

Essay writing above the first-year level. Reading and writing various types of essays to develop one's natural writing voice and craft thoughtful, sophisticated and personal essays. 

Spring 2021: ENGL BC3104
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ENGL 3104 001/00243 T 2:10pm - 4:00pm
Room TBA
Shelly Fredman 3 9/12
ENGL 3104 002/00244 T 12:10pm - 2:00pm
Room TBA
Vrinda Condillac 3 11/12
ENGL 3104 003/00245 W 12:10pm - 2:00pm
Room TBA
Alexandra Watson 3 12/12

Creative Writing

A writing sample is required to apply to all Barnard creative writing courses. As space is limited in creative writing courses, not all students who apply are guaranteed admittance.

Students are unable to self-register for Barnard creative writing courses. Interested students who have submitted writing samples may put the course on their online schedule, which will automatically place them on the wait list. If they are accepted, the instructor will take them off the wait list, but until that time no one is officially registered for the class.

The summer 2021 submission deadline for all creative writing courses is 11:59 pm ET on Sunday, April 25, 2021. Please see the Applying to Creative Writing Courses page of the English Department website for directions.

The Creative Writing Admission Lists page of the English Department website will update with admission lists as the department receives them from the professors.  If an admission list is not posted for a course before its first meeting, attend it.

Please note: if you are accepted into a creative writing course, attendance at the first meeting of the course is mandatory.  If you do not show up for the first class, your spot may be given to someone else.

ENGL BC3105 FICTION & PERSONAL NARRATIVE. 3.00 points.

Writing sample required to apply. Instructions and the application form can be found here: https://english.barnard.edu/english/creative-writing-courses. Note that section 2 of this course is priority Barnard first-year students; transfer and returning students will be accommodated if there is room in the course. Short stories and other imaginative and personal writing

Fall 2021: ENGL BC3105
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ENGL 3105 001/00398 W 4:10pm - 6:00pm
Room TBA
Timea Szell 3.00 0/12
ENGL 3105 002/00399  
0. FACULTY 3.00 0/12

ENGL BC3106 Fiction and Personal Narrative. 3 points.

Writing sample required to apply. Instructions and the application form can be found here: https://english.barnard.edu/english/creative-writing-courses. Short stories and other imaginative and personal writing.

Spring 2021: ENGL BC3106
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ENGL 3106 001/00246 W 4:10pm - 6:00pm
Room TBA
Timea Szell 3 12/12

ENGL BC3107 Introduction to Fiction Writing. 3 points.

Writing sample required to apply. Instructions and the application form can be found here: https://english.barnard.edu/english/creative-writing-courses. Practice in writing short stories and autobiographical narrative with discussion and close analysis in a workshop setting.

Fall 2021: ENGL BC3107
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ENGL 3107 001/00400 Th 11:00am - 12:50pm
Room TBA
0. FACULTY 3 0/12

ENGL BC3108 INTRO TO FICTION WRITING. 3.00 points.

Writing sample required to apply. Instructions and the application form can be found here: https://english.barnard.edu/english/creative-writing-courses. Practice in writing short stories and other forms of fiction with discussion and close analysis in a workshop setting

Spring 2021: ENGL BC3108
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ENGL 3108 001/00249 T Th 10:10am - 12:00pm
Room TBA
Nellie Hermann 3.00 9/12

ENGL BC3110 Introduction to Poetry Writing. 3 points.

Writing sample required to apply. Instructions and the application form can be found here: https://english.barnard.edu/english/creative-writing-courses. Varied assignments designed to confront the difficulties and explore the resources of language through imitation, allusion, free association, revision, and other techniques.

Fall 2021: ENGL BC3110
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ENGL 3110 001/00401 Th 2:10pm - 4:00pm
Room TBA
Brionne Janae 3 0/12

ENGL BC3113 Playwriting I. 3 points.

Writing sample required to apply. Instructions and the application form can be found here: https://english.barnard.edu/english/creative-writing-courses.

,

The class will explore a broad range of approaches to playwriting in a workshop setting. Each week, students will write in response to prompts that are designed to explicate different elements and principles of the form. The work will culminate at the end of the semester with the writing of a one act play. Classes will largely be spent reading and discussing students’ work but students will also be choosing from a wide selection of plays to read two each week.

Fall 2021: ENGL BC3113
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ENGL 3113 001/00402 M 4:10pm - 6:00pm
Room TBA
Ellen McLaughlin 3 0/12

ENGL BC3114 Playwriting II. 3 points.

Writing sample required to apply. Instructions and the application form can be found here: https://english.barnard.edu/english/creative-writing-courses. What makes a play alive? Often a playwright is surprised into their strongest work. The practices of experimentation and analysis, curiosity and audacity lead to new possibilities. Students will read and respond to plays, identifying elements and strategies, and each week bring in fragments and scenes written in response to weekly prompts. By the middle of the semester, students will choose the piece that feels the most viable and develop it into what in most cases will be a thirty page play.   NOTE: Playwriting I (ENGL BC3113) is NOT a prerequisite, and students need not have written a play before.

Spring 2021: ENGL BC3114
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ENGL 3114 001/00248 T 4:10pm - 6:00pm
119 Milstein Center
Kathleen Tolan 3 9/12

ENGL BC3115 Story Writing I. 3 points.

Writing sample required to apply. Instructions and the application form can be found here: https://english.barnard.edu/english/creative-writing-courses. A workshop in writing, with emphasis on the short story.

Fall 2021: ENGL BC3115
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ENGL 3115 001/00403 T 11:00am - 12:50pm
Room TBA
Nellie Hermann 3 0/12

ENGL BC3116 Story Writing II. 3 points.

Prerequisites: Some experience in writing of fiction. Conference hours to be arranged.

Writing sample required to apply. Instructions and the application form can be found here: https://english.barnard.edu/english/creative-writing-courses. Advanced workshop in writing, with emphasis on the short story. Some experience in the writing of fiction required. Conference hours to be arranged.

Spring 2021: ENGL BC3116
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ENGL 3116 001/00250 M 11:00am - 12:50pm
Room TBA
Mary Keane 3 10/12

ENGL BC3117 Fiction Writing. 3 points.

Writing sample required to apply. Instructions and the application form can be found here: https://english.barnard.edu/english/creative-writing-courses. Assignments designed to examine form and structure in fiction.

Spring 2021: ENGL BC3117
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ENGL 3117 001/00251 T Th 2:10pm - 4:00pm
119 Milstein Center
Jennifer Boylan 3 9/12
Fall 2021: ENGL BC3117
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ENGL 3117 001/00404 W 2:10pm - 4:00pm
Room TBA
Weike Wang 3 0/12

ENGL BC3118 Advanced Poetry Writing I. 3 points.

Writing sample required to apply. Instructions and the application form can be found here: https://english.barnard.edu/english/creative-writing-courses. Weekly workshops designed to generate and critique new poetry. Each participant works toward the development of a cohesive collection of poems. Readings in traditional and contemporary poetry will also be included.

Fall 2021: ENGL BC3118
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ENGL 3118 001/00405 W 11:00am - 12:50pm
Room TBA
Catherine Barnett 3 0/12

ENGL BC3120 Creative Non-Fiction: Making Facts Sing. 3 points.

Not offered during 2021-22 academic year.

Writing sample required to apply. Instructions and the application form can be found here: https://english.barnard.edu/english/creative-writing-courses. This course will challenge students to take on what are considered either difficult topics (e.g. in science and math) or "mundane" topics and create convincing and clear narratives therefrom. We will consider writing from John McPhee, Natalie Angier, Oliver Sacks, Nicholson Baker, and others. Through iterative writing exercises, research, and interviews, students will learn how to breathe life into complex material.

ENGL BC3122 Creative Non-Fiction: The Gendered Memoir. 3 points.

Writing sample required to apply. Instructions and the application form can be found here: https://english.barnard.edu/english/creative-writing-courses. A workshop in writing short autobiographical story with particular attention to the role gender plays in shaping experience. Focus on student writing, along with readings from the work of authors such as Augusten Buroughs; Alice Sebold; Alison Bechdel; Mary Karr, and others.

,

PLEASE NOTE: This course has been renumbered. It was previously ENGL BC3120, section 3 and has not changed in content.

Spring 2021: ENGL BC3122
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ENGL 3122 001/00263 T Th 2:10pm - 4:00pm
113 Milstein Center
Jennifer Boylan 3 9/12

ENGL BC3125 Advanced Poetry Writing II. 3 points.

Writing sample required to apply. Instructions and the application form can be found here: https://english.barnard.edu/english/creative-writing-courses. A further study of poetic practice for committed student-writers with experience in writing and reading poems. In the classroom, student poems and ideas about poetics are shared, questioned, and critiqued. There will also be readings in and critical interpretation of traditional and contemporary poetry.

Spring 2021: ENGL BC3125
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ENGL 3125 001/00267 W 4:10pm - 6:00pm
Room TBA
Regan Good 3 12/12

ENGL BC3126 Advanced Projects in Prose Writing. 3 points.

Not offered during 2021-22 academic year.

Prerequisites: Writing sample required to apply: required cover sheet and instructions are available here: http://english.barnard.edu/forms-procedures/forms. Students cannot add this course to their schedules until after they are admitted.

Writing sample required to apply. Instructions and the application form can be found here: https://english.barnard.edu/english/creative-writing-courses. Independent projects in imaginative writing in prose, including the genres of fiction, nonfiction, memoir, novellas, inter-related stories, and others. Class meetings consist of a few initial lectures on narrative followed by workshops focused on student writing in progress.

ENGL BC3134 Creative Non-Fiction. 3 points.

Writing sample required to apply. Instructions and the application form can be found here: https://english.barnard.edu/english/creative-writing-courses. Explores how to write essays based on life, with some comics and cartooning thrown in. 

Fall 2021: ENGL BC3134
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ENGL 3134 001/00408 Th 12:10pm - 2:00pm
Room TBA
Liana Finck 3 0/12

ENGL BC3150 Invention, Revision, and Imagination. 3 points.

Not offered during 2021-22 academic year.

Writing sample required to apply. Instructions and the application form can be found here: https://english.barnard.edu/english/creative-writing-courses. A creative writing workshop in fiction, devoted to the imaginative process, and most specifically, to the arts of invention and revision. In addition to considering the wellspring of creative ideas themselves, students will write stories in a variety of lengths—moderate, long, and as short-shorts. Through this process, apprentice writers will become intimate with the most essential aspect of creating imaginative work: the dedication to seeing one’s ideas morph and grow over time.

ENGL BC3152 Creative Nonfiction: The Queer Story. 3 points.

Not offered during 2021-22 academic year.

Writing sample required to apply. Instructions and the application form can be found here: https://english.barnard.edu/english/creative-writing-courses. Stories created and edited in this creative nonfiction workshop will focus on the lives and experiences of LGBTQ people. Written work may include essays, memoir, reportage, and other nonfiction. This work will be augmented by lectures, trainings, and reading about media representation of queer lives.   

ENGL BC3208 What's Your Story Anyway?—Trauma Resistance through Creative Writing. 3 points.

Writing sample required to apply. Instructions and the application form can be found here: https://english.barnard.edu/english/creative-writing-courses. In this class we will explore the process of healing from trauma through the art of storytelling. We will ground ourselves in the writing of Latina authors whose work demonstrates the resistance from erasure in the United States. The goal of the class is to understand the connection between trauma and healing, through storytelling and creative writing. Moreover, we will develop three pieces of creative non-fiction that will encompass this relationship over the three different lenses of place, person and personal experience.

Fall 2021: ENGL BC3208
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ENGL 3208 001/00429 Th 9:00am - 10:50am
Room TBA
Maria Hinojosa 3 0/12

ENGL BC3223 NEW YORK IN TEN OBJECTS. 4.00 points.

"New York in Ten Objects" introduces students to the creative possibilities of the podcast. Drawing on the possibilities of interdisciplinary analysis and creative non-fiction, this course aims to use quotidian objects to critically engage with the city, re-rendering those objects extraordinary and telling untold stories. The starting points for our investigation are ten concrete objects – some iconic, some ironic, but all characteristic of New York City. Beginning with these objects, students will develop projects, in small groups and individually, that connect these objects with a broader societal movement, cultural idea, political cause, or scientific development significant to past or present New York City life. To prepare students to develop their projects in an audio medium, we will first become familiar with a range of current podcasts, and will begin to break down the elements of podcast-storytelling as practiced today. Through workshops with IMATS in a weekly lab session and hands-on experience, students will learn how to collect audio interviews, ambient sound, and to record voice-over narration. Every student will outline their ideas, develop scripts, and produce a podcast by layering and editing their audio files. In the end, this course will investigate how the popular medium of the podcast can serve as a locus of local conversation and public intellectual activity. Students will learn how ordinary objects can breathe life into a story and how audio stories can advance critical analysis. Applications are due by 1 August: https://forms.gle/GVPYWdCxQjrsv1Ex6. Please note that this seminar is limited to 14 students. You will be notified of your acceptance or non-acceptance to the course before the first day of classes. After receiving admittance into the course, you MUST come to the first class to secure your seat

Fall 2021: ENGL BC3223
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ENGL 3223 001/00434 T Th 10:10am - 12:00pm
Room TBA
Alexandra Horowitz 4.00 0/14

ENGL BC3229 American Lives, American Stories. 3 points.

Writing sample required to apply. Instructions and the application form can be found here: https://english.barnard.edu/english/creative-writing-courses.


In this class we will discuss the narrative of the "American" story, and how stories of immigrants and minority identities redefine and complicate it. The goal of the class is to investigate how writers frame a sense of identity in relation to the "American ideal". We will explore this theme through three creative non-fiction pieces each focusing on a different perspective of place, person, and personal experience. What are your stories, and what makes them "American"?

Spring 2021: ENGL BC3229
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ENGL 3229 001/00319 Th 9:00am - 10:50am
308 Diana Center
Maria Hinojosa 3 7/12

Speech

Registration in these courses is limited.

ENGL BC3121 Public Speaking. 3 points.

Prerequisites: Enrollment limited to 14 students. Open only to undergraduates, preference to seniors and juniors. Attend first class for instructor permission. Registering for the course only through myBarnard or SSOL will NOT ensure your enrollment.

This course will introduce you to principles of effective public speaking and debate, and provide practical opportunities to use these principles in structured speaking situations. You will craft and deliver speeches, engage in debates and panel discussions, analyze historical and contemporary speakers, and reflect on your own speeches and those of your classmates. You will explore and practice different rhetorical strategies with an emphasis on information, persuasion and argumentation. For each speaking assignment, you will go through the speech-making process, from audience analysis, purpose and organization, to considerations of style and delivery. The key criteria in this course are content, organization, and adaptation to the audience and purpose. While this is primarily a performance course, you will be expected to participate extensively as a listener and critic, as well as a speaker.

Spring 2021: ENGL BC3121
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ENGL 3121 001/00255 T Th 1:10pm - 2:25pm
Room TBA
Daniela Kempf 3 13
ENGL 3121 002/00260 T Th 11:40am - 12:55pm
Room TBA
Patricia Denison 3 14
Fall 2021: ENGL BC3121
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ENGL 3121 001/00406 T Th 1:10pm - 2:25pm
Room TBA
Daniela Kempf 3 52

ENGL BC3123 Rhetorical Choices: the Theory and Practice of Public Speaking. 4 points.

Prerequisites: Application process and permission of instructor. Enrollment restricted to Barnard students.

Speaking involves a series of rhetorical choices regarding vocal presentation, argument construction, and physical affect that, whether made consciously or by default, project information about the identity of the speaker. In this course students will relate theory to practice: to learn principles of public speaking and speech criticism for the purpose of applying these principles as peer tutors in the Speaking Fellow Program. Note: This course now counts as an elective for the English major.

Fall 2021: ENGL BC3123
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ENGL 3123 001/00407 T Th 11:40am - 12:55pm
Room TBA
Pamela Cobrin, Daniela Kempf 4 9/14

Theatre

For those interested in doing an English major with a concentration in theatre, please see the course-listed courses section below for the Theatre Department's course descriptions for THTR UN3150 Western Theatre Traditions: Classic to Romantic and THTR UN3151 Western Theatre Traditions: Modern.

ENTH BC3136 Shakespeare in Performance. 4 points.

Shakespeare's plays as theatrical events. Differing performance spaces, acting traditions, directorial frames, theatre practices, performance theories, critical studies, cultural codes, and historical conventions promote differing modes of engagement with drama in performance. We will explore Shakespeare's plays in the context of actual and possible performance from the Renaissance to the twenty-first century.

Spring 2021: ENTH BC3136
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ENTH 3136 001/00273 W 12:10pm - 2:00pm
Room TBA
Patricia Denison 4 14/16

ENTH BC3139 MODERN AMERICAN DRAMA & PERFORMANCE. 4.00 points.

Modern American Drama and Performance in an era of cultural contestation. What is united about the United States? How are the important claims of cultural difference related to the intercultural claims of shared community? Is there a place for historical continuity in the modernist pursuit of change? How have these issues been addressed in the emergence and development of modern drama and performance in America? Questions such as these will be addressed in the context of theatrical exploration, performance history, and social change. Canonical and experimental playwrights include Rachel Crothers, Susan Glaspell, Georgia Douglas Johnson, Eugene O’Neill, Clifford Odets, Thornton Wilder, Tennessee Williams, Arthur Miller, Lorraine Hansberry, Edward Albee, Suzan-Lori Parks, Sarah Ruhl, and Dominique Morisseau.

ENTH BC3144 Black Theatre. 4 points.

Not offered during 2021-22 academic year.

Prerequisites: Enrollment limited to 16 students.

Exploration of Black Theater, specifically African-American performance traditions, as an intervening agent in racial, cultural, and national identity. African-American theatre artists to be examined include Amiri Baraka, Kia Corthron, W.E.B. Du Bois, Angelina Grimke, Langston Hughes, Georgia Douglas Johnson, Adrienne Kennedy, Suzan-Lori Parks, Adrian Piper, and August Wilson. Fulfills one (of two) required courses in dramatic literature for Theatre/Drama and Theatre Arts major.

ENTH BC3145 Early American Drama and Performance: Staging a Nation. 4 points.

Competing constructions of American identity in the United States date back to the early republic when a newly emerging nation struggled with the questions: What makes an American American? What makes America America? From colonial times forward, the stage has served as a forum to air differing beliefs as well as medium to construct new beliefs about Nation, self and other. The texts we will read, from colonial times through WWI, explore diverse topics such as politics, Native American rights, slavery, labor unrest, gender roles, and a growing immigrant population.

Spring 2021: ENTH BC3145
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ENTH 3145 001/00294 T Th 2:10pm - 4:00pm
Ll001 Milstein Center
Pamela Cobrin 4 17/18

ENTH BC3190 Diabolical Drama of the Middle Ages. 3 points.

Not offered during 2021-22 academic year.

Hell bursts onto the European stage at the end of the Middle Ages. Satan and his attendant devils, although present in earlier forms of Christian drama, become a defining feature of the dramatizations of Christian history and morality in Late Medieval England. The devils of these plays are disruptive, anarchic, seductive and repulsive. They are rhetorically bewitching and morally dangerous. This course will pay close attention to these devils and their devilry. What do they do? How do they speak? What do they know and what choice do they have in being so diabolical? Rather than viewing devils simply as spiritual antagonists, instead we will investigate them as complex creatures doing serious theological work in the difficult and spiritually tumultuous towns of late medieval England. Through close critical inquiry, contextual reading and some of our own imaginative stagings, we will explore the central role of the "diabolic" in late medieval drama and its sometimes troubling vision of Christian life.

Language and Literature

ENGL BC1982 American Fiction. 3 points.

Not offered during 2021-22 academic year.

An introduction to race, gender, indigeneity, colonialism and class in American fiction from the 18th to the mid-20th century.  Writers include Rowson, Hawthorne, Melville, Stowe, Dunbar, James, Zitkala-Sa, Wharton, Faulkner, and Brooks. 

AFEN BC3009 Toni Morrison: An Ethical Poetics. 4 points.

Toni Morrison set herself a challenge: to engage language in complex literary ways in order to reveal the ‘fact’ of race in the lived experiences of Americans—those made to bear the burden of being ‘raced,’ those exercising the prerogative of ‘racing,’ and those who imagine that none of this applies to them. We travel with her artistic path from The Bluest Eye to her later novels to learn how her choice to create figurative, logical narratives seek their own understanding of the ethics of what she called the “manageable, doable, modern human activity” of living in ‘the house of race.’

ENGL BC3098 The English Conference: The Lucyle Hook Guest Lectureship. 1 point.

The English Conference: The Lucyle Hook Guest Lectureship is a two to four-week course each semester on a special topic presented by a visiting scholar. The series was endowed by a gift from Professor Emerita of English Lucyle Hook to bring our students and faculty the perspective of scholars of literature in English working outside the College community. It can only be taken for pass/fail for 1 point. Students must attend all four class sessions and write a final paper in order to receive credit for this course.


To see the dates/times that The English Conference will meet this semester, the current course description, and the biography of the visiting scholar, please visit the English Department website: https://english.barnard.edu/english/english-conference.

ENGL BC3129 Explorations of Black Literature: Early African-American Lit. 1760-1890. 3 points.

Not offered during 2021-22 academic year.

Prerequisites: Enrollment limited to 18 students.

Poetry, prose, fiction, and nonfiction, with special attention to the slave narrative. Includes Wheatley, Douglass, and Jacobs, but emphasis will be on less familiar writers such as Brown, Harper, Walker, Wilson, and Forten. Works by some 18th-century precursors will also be considered.

ENGL BC3130 The American Cowboy and the Iconography of the West. 3 points.

We will consider the image and role of the cowboy in fiction, social history, film, music, and art. Readings will include Cormac McCarthy's The Border Trilogy.

Spring 2021: ENGL BC3130
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ENGL 3130 001/00597 T Th 4:10pm - 5:25pm
Room TBA
Margaret Ellsberg 3 14/16
ENGL 3130 001/00597 T Th 5:40pm - 6:55pm
Room TBA
Margaret Ellsberg 3 14/16

AFEN BC3134 Unheard Voices: African Women's Literature. 4 points.

How does one talk of women in Africa without thinking of Africa as a 'mythic unity'? We will consider the political, racial, social and other contexts in which African women write and are written about in the context of their located lives in Africa and in the African Diaspora.

ENGL BC3141 MAJOR ENGLISH TEXTS I. 3.00 points.

Not offered during 2021-22 academic year.

Prerequisites: Enrollment limited to 25 students.
A chronological view of the variety of English literature through study of selected writers and their works. Autumn: Beowulf through Johnson

Fall 2021: ENGL BC3141
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ENGL 3141 001/00409 M W 1:10pm - 2:25pm
Room TBA
Margaret Ellsberg 3.00 13/25

ENGL BC3142 Major English Texts II. 3 points.

A chronological view of the variety of English literature through study of selected writers and their works. Spring: Romantic poets through the present.

Spring 2021: ENGL BC3142
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ENGL 3142 001/00278 T Th 10:10am - 11:25am
Room TBA
Ross Hamilton 3 9/25

ENGL BC3143 Middle Fictions: Long Stories, Short Novels, Novellas. 3 points.

Not offered during 2021-22 academic year.

Discussion of fictions between 60-150 pages in length. Authors include James, Joyce, Mann, Nabokov, Cather, Welty, West, Porter, Olsen, Trevor.

ENGL BC3146 Walk This Way. 3 points.

What's in a walk?  This course undertakes an interdisciplinary study of a fundamental human activity, focusing on philosophical and aesthetic treatments of human locomotion.  After first examining the history of walking as a social, economic, religious, and political activity, the course will concentrate on urban walking and how it has been represented in text and image from ancient times to the present.  Topics will include walking as introspection, escape, recreation, and discovery; walking and gender; the psychogeography of walking, walking in the city, etc.  Readings from Austen, Wordsworth, Dickens, Thoreau, Whitman, Joyce, Woolf, O'Hara, De Certeau, and many others.  Images from film, painting, and photography to be provided by student research.  Ditto for musical strolls.

Spring 2021: ENGL BC3146
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ENGL 3146 001/00288 T Th 2:40pm - 3:55pm
Room TBA
William Sharpe 3 37/40
Fall 2021: ENGL BC3146
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ENGL 3146 001/00410 T Th 10:10am - 11:25am
Room TBA
William Sharpe 3 40/40

ENGL BC3147 Introduction to Narrative Medicine. 4 points.

Not offered during 2021-22 academic year.

Prerequisites: Post-bacc students require instructor permission.

Narrative Medicine was designed to give doctors and healthcare professionals a more profound understanding of, and empathy for, the experience of illness. It teaches how to listen and what to listen for. While the skills developed are directly applicable to the practice of medicine, they are also important in any field in which human relationships are central: business, law, architecture, social work, and the creative arts. The multidisciplinary course entails a rigorous integration of didactic and experiential methodology to develop a heightened awareness of self and others and build a practical set of narrative competencies.

AFEN BC3148 Literature of the Great Migration: 1916-1970. 3 points.

Not offered during 2021-22 academic year.

Prerequisites: Enrollment limited 18 students.

Explores, through fiction, poetry, essays, and film, the historical context and cultural content of the African American migration from the rural south to the urban cities of the north, with particular emphasis on New York, Chicago, Detroit, and Philadelphia.

ENGL BC3151 Bad Feelings: The Uses of Literature in Difficult Times. 4 points.

Not offered during 2021-22 academic year.

This course will explore the purposes of literary study--and, by extension, humanistic education--during periods of turmoil. Working in sustained dialogue with one another, we will explore the treatment of emotions such as despair, anxiety, loss, fury & ecstasy in a wide variety of literary texts, ranging from literature that is ancient (e.g., Sophocles, Euripides) to early modern (William Shakespeare, Margaret Cavendish) to modern (Virginia Woolf, Ralph Ellison, Elena Ferrante). In the process, we will explore various schools of critical theory, such as Aristotle’s Poetics (including the ancient theory of catharsis), psychoanalysis, and feminism, in a context where the stakes of these intellectual traditions will come to the fore. ​

ENGL BC3154 Chaucer Before Canterbury. 3 points.

Not offered during 2021-22 academic year.

Chaucer's innovations with major medieval forms: lyric, the extraordinary dream visions, and the culmination of medieval romance, Troilus and Criseyde. Approaches through close analysis, and feminist and historicist interpretation. Background readings in medieval life and culture.

Fall 2021: ENGL BC3154
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ENGL 3154 001/00411 T Th 8:40am - 9:55am
Room TBA
Eugene Petracca 3 5

ENGL BC3155 Canterbury Tales. 3 points.

Not offered during 2021-22 academic year.

Chaucer as inheritor of late-antique and medieval conventions and founder of early modern literature and the fiction of character.  Selections from related medieval texts.

ENGL BC3159 The English Colloquium. 4 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Reason and Value (REA)., BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Literature (LIT)., BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Ethics and Values.

Prerequisites: Enrollment limited to Barnard English majors.

In the Renaissance colloquium we will examine English and European imaginative and intellectual life from the sixteenth to mid-seventeenth centuries. Defined by humanism, the Protestant Reformation, and revolution, this was a period of ideological struggle on many levels. Long-held ways of ordering the world came under increasing strain-and sometimes ruptured irreparably. Writers discussed and debated the aims of human knowledge, retooled old literary forms for new purposes, scrambled to take account of an expanded awareness of the globe, and probed the tension between belief and doubt. Throughout this process, they experimented with new literary styles to express their rapidly changing worldviews. This is an intensive course in which we will take multiple approaches to a variety of authors that may include Petrarch, Erasmus, Machiavelli, Castiglione, More, Rabelais, Luther, Calvin, Montaigne, Spenser, Bacon, Marlowe, Shakespeare, Milton, and Behn, among others.

Fall 2021: ENGL BC3159
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ENGL 3159 001/00412 T 12:10pm - 2:00pm
Room TBA
Atefeh Akbari Shahmirzadi 4 12/12
ENGL 3159 002/00413 Th 2:10pm - 4:00pm
Room TBA
Achsah Guibbory 4 12/12
ENGL 3159 003/00414 Th 12:10pm - 2:00pm
Room TBA
Ross Hamilton 4 12/12
ENGL 3159 004/00415 W 12:10pm - 2:00pm
Room TBA
Eugene Petracca 4 10/12

ENGL BC3160 The English Colloquium. 4 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Reason and Value (REA)., BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Literature (LIT)., BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Ethics and Values.

Prerequisites: Enrollment limited to Barnard English majors.

In the Enlightenment colloquium we will look at English and European imaginative and intellectual life during the late seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. During this period, writers tried in new ways to reconcile the tensions between reason and religion. Categories of thought that underlie our world today were taking shape: secularity, progress, the public and the private, individual rights, religious tolerance. Writers articulated principles of equality in an era of slavery. Literary forms like the novel, which emerges into prominence during this period, express in irreducibly complex ways these and other changes. In this intensive course, we will study from multiple angles a variety of authors that may include Hobbes, Dryden, Locke, Spinoza, Lafayette, Defoe, Swift, Pope, Richardson, Voltaire, Fielding, Johnson, Diderot, Sterne, and Wollstonecraft, among others.

Spring 2021: ENGL BC3160
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ENGL 3160 001/00298 Th 11:00am - 12:50pm
Room TBA
Achsah Guibbory 4 16/14
ENGL 3160 002/00301 M 2:10pm - 4:00pm
Room TBA
Jayne Hildebrand 4 14/14
ENGL 3160 003/00303 T 4:10pm - 6:00pm
Room TBA
Andrew Lynn 4 15/14
ENGL 3160 004/00655 M 6:10pm - 8:00pm
Ll001 Milstein Center
Eugene Petracca 4 12/14

ENGL BC3163 Shakespeare I. 3 points.

A critical and historical introduction to Shakespeare's comedies, histories, tragedies, and romances. Please note that you do not need to take ENGL BC3163: Shakespeare I and ENGL BC3164: Shakespeare II in sequence; you may take them in any order.

Fall 2021: ENGL BC3163
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ENGL 3163 001/00416 M W 8:40am - 9:55am
Room TBA
Peter Platt 3 51/60

ENGL BC3164 Shakespeare II. 3 points.

Prerequisites: Enrollment limited to 60 students.

Critical and historical introduction to selected comedies, histories, tragedies, and romances by Shakespeare. Please note that you do not need to take ENGL BC3163: Shakespeare I and ENGL BC3164: Shakespeare II in sequence; you may take them in any order.

Spring 2021: ENGL BC3164
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ENGL 3164 001/00305 T Th 4:10pm - 5:25pm
Room TBA
Rachel Eisendrath 3 52/60

ENGL BC3165 The Elizabethan Renaissance: The Complete Nondramatic Poetry of Marlowe and Shakespeare. 3 points.

Not offered during 2021-22 academic year.

In this course, we will read the complete nondramatic poetry of Christopher Marlowe and William Shakespeare, working closely through sonnets, epyllia (mini epics), and translations. How do Marlowe and Shakespeare put into play inherited and new ideas about history, gender, sexuality, politics, law, God, race, matter, print, and literary form (especially the sonnet)?

ENGL BC3166 17TH-CENTURY PROSE & POETRY. 3.00 points.

The seventeenth century was a century of revolution, giving birth to modern ways of thinking, and calling into question many of the old ways. In the early years, many were affected by melancholy, some believing the world was approaching the endtimes. England experienced plagues, particularly in London, and other catastrophes. So we might find some affinity with our own current situation, facing new challenges, our world turned upside down, which is what many people felt during that time. Out of all of this turmoil, however, came great literature including lyric poems by John Donne and others exploring love and desire, doubt and faith, sex and God. Donne also wrote a series of Devotions grappling with mortality over a course of 23 days when he was suffering from typhus or relapsing fever and almost died. Others turned to find solace in the natural world and friendship (Amelia Lanyer, Katherine Philips, Henry Vaughan). Robert Burton wrote a book on melancholy, which he kept adding to. Francis Bacon thought a revolution in science could redeem the world. Thomas Browne, a physician as well as writer, tackled the problem of intolerance and religious conflict. Thomas Hobbes thought only a firm (authoritarian?) government could reestablish peace and security, while Gerard Winstanley (a “Leveller”) thought that owning land (and money) was the source of all war and misery. Transgressive women had their own ideas. The Quaker leader Margaret Fell defended women's right to preach. We will read selections from these and other writers, understanding them in their historical context and with a sense of their current resonance.The seventeenth century was a century of revolution, giving birth to modern ways of thinking, and calling into question many of the old ways. In the early years, many were affected by melancholy, some believing the world was approaching the endtimes. England experienced plagues, particularly in London, and other catastrophes. So we might find some affinity with our own current situation, facing new challenges, our world turned upside down, which is what many people felt during that time. Out of all of this turmoil, however, came great literature including lyric poems by John Donne and others exploring love and desire, doubt and faith, sex and God. Donne also wrote a series of Devotions grappling with mortality over a course of 23 days when he was suffering from typhus or relapsing fever and almost died. Others turned to find solace in the natural world and friendship (Amelia Lanyer, Katherine Philips, Henry Vaughan). Robert Burton wrote a book on melancholy, which he kept adding to. Francis Bacon thought a revolution in science could redeem the world. Thomas Browne, a physician as well as writer, tackled the problem of intolerance and religious conflict. Thomas Hobbes thought only a firm (authoritarian?) government could reestablish peace and security, while Gerard Winstanley (a “Leveller”) thought that owning land (and money) was the source of all war and misery. Transgressive women had their own ideas. The Quaker leader Margaret Fell defended women's right to preach. We will read selections from these and other writers, understanding them in their historical context and with a sense of their current resonance

Fall 2021: ENGL BC3166
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ENGL 3166 001/00417 T Th 11:40am - 12:55pm
Room TBA
Achsah Guibbory 3.00 17

ENGL BC3167 Milton. 3 points.

Not offered during 2021-22 academic year.

Paradise Lost and selections of Milton's earlier poetry and prose (defenses of free press, divorce, individual conscience, political and religious liberty) read within the context of religious, political, and cultural history (in early modern England and Europe but also, to some extent in America), but with a sense of connection to present issues. Ends with Mary Shelley's Frankenstein as rewriting of Paradise Lost.

ENGL BC3169 Renaissance Drama. 3 points.

Prerequisites: Enrollment limited to 25 students.

This class will examine English drama at the moment when it arose as a major art form. In Renaissance London, astonishingly complex plays emerged that reflected the diverse urban life of the city, as well as the layered and often contradictory inner life of the individual. This poetically rich theater was less concerned with presenting answers, and more with staging questions—about gender, race, religion, literary tradition, love, sex, authority, and class. In this course, we will try to tap into this theater’s cosmopolitan, enlivened poetics by studying not only Shakespeare, but also the various other major authors who constituted this literary world: Christopher Marlowe, Ben Jonson, Thomas Dekker, Thomas Middleton, John Webster, and the female playwright Aphra Behn.

ENGL BC3170 LITERATURE & SCIENCE 1600-1800. 3.00 points.

The "Scientific Revolution" began in England in the early seventeenth century, with the experiments of John Dee and the reforming projects of Francis Bacon, to culminate in Isaac Newton’s discovery of the natural laws of motion. This was also a period of great literary innovation, from Shakespeare’s plays and the metaphysical poetry of Marvell and Donne, to the new genre of the novel. This course will explore both the scientific and literary "revolutions" – indeed we will attempt to put them in a kind of conversation with one another, as poets and scientists puzzled over the nature of spirit, body, and the world

Spring 2021: ENGL BC3170
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ENGL 3170 001/00683 M W 5:40pm - 6:55pm
Room TBA
Ross Hamilton 3.00 37/54

ENGL BC3171 The Novel and Psychoanalysis. 3 points.

Not offered during 2021-22 academic year.

The novel in its cultural context, with an accent on psychoanalysis (but no required reading).  Austen, Emily Bronte, Dickens, Hardy, D.H. Lawrence, Didion, Duras, and W.G. Sebald.

ENGL BC3173 The Eighteenth-Century Novel. 3 points.

Not offered during 2021-22 academic year.

In the seventeenth century, a new genre appears across Europe: the novel. Why does it appear?  What accounts for its increasing popularity across the eighteenth century? What role does it play, in personal psychology as well as society? To puzzle these questions, we will place the development of the novel within the history of art, philosophy and science, as well as psychology and literary theory. Novels by Mme. de La Fayette, Aphra Behn, Daniel Defoe, Henry Fielding, John Cleland, the Marquis de Sade, William Godwin, and Jane Austen. Readings in Benjamin, Adorno, Foucault, Elias, Moretti, and others.  

ENGL BC3174 The Age of Johnson. 3 points.

Not offered during 2021-22 academic year.

The works of Johnson, Boswell, and their contemporaries in historic context; rise of the novel (Richardson, Fielding, and Sterne); poets from Pope to Blake and Wordsworth; women writers from Carter to Collier to Wollstonecraft; working class writers; topics include slavery and abolition in literature, the democratization of culture, and the transition to romanticism.

ENGL BC3176 The Romantic Era. 3 points.

Romantic writers in their intellectual, historical, and political context, with reference to contemporary movements in philosophy, music, and the plastic arts. Authors include Blake, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Byron, P.B. Shelley, and Keats. An emphasis on close reading of the poetry.

Spring 2021: ENGL BC3176
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ENGL 3176 001/00611 M W 4:10pm - 5:25pm
Room TBA
Ross Hamilton 3 44/80

ENGL BC3177 Victorian Age in Literature: The Novel. 3 points.

“We have become a novel-reading people,” wrote Anthony Trollope in 1870. “Novels are in the hands of us all; from the Prime Minister down to the last-appointed scullery maid.” This course will consider why the novel was so important to Victorian culture and society. What made the Victorian novel such a fertile form for grappling with the unprecedented cultural changes of the nineteenth century? To address this question, we will explore how Victorian novels both responded to, and participated in, major social and cultural shifts of the period, including industrialism and urbanization; colonialism and empire; the changing status of women, sexuality, and marriage; the emergence of Darwinism; class conflict and social reform; and the expansion of education and literacy. This course will also consider more broadly what novels are for, and what the Victorians thought they were for. Do novels represent the world as it really is, or do they imagine it as it ought to be? What kinds of solutions to social and political problems can novels offer? Can novels ethically improve (or corrupt) their readers? We will consider these issues in the context of realism, Victorian literature’s trademark genre, but we’ll also explore an array of other genres, such as the industrial novel, the Bildungsroman, the sensation novel, detective fiction, and gothic fiction. Authors include Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, Charlotte Brontë, George Eliot, Wilkie Collins, and others.

Spring 2021: ENGL BC3177
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ENGL 3177 001/00306 M W 10:10am - 11:25am
Room TBA
Jayne Hildebrand 3 29/30

ENGL BC3178 Victorian Poetry and Criticism. 3 points.

Not offered during 2021-22 academic year.

Poetry, art, and aesthetics in an industrial society, with emphasis on the role of women as artists and objects. Poems by Tennyson, Arnold, Christina and D.G. Rossetti, Swinburne, and Elizabeth and Robert Browning; criticism by Ruskin, Arnold, and Wilde; paintings by the Pre-Raphaelites and Whistler; photographs by J.M. Cameron.

ENGL BC3179 American Literature to 1800. 3 points.

This course surveys American literature written before 1800. While we will devote some attention to the literary traditions that preceded British colonization, most of our readings will be of texts written in English between 1620 and 1800. These texts--histories, autobiographies, poems, plays, and novels--illuminate the complexity of this period of American culture. They tell stories of pilgrimage, colonization, and genocide; private piety and public life; manuscript and print publication; the growth of national identity (political, cultural, and literary); Puritanism, Quakerism, and Deism; race and gender; slavery and the beginnings of a movement towards its abolition. We will consider, as we read, the ways that these stories overlap and interconnect, and the ways that they shape texts of different periods and genres.

Fall 2021: ENGL BC3179
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ENGL 3179 001/00418 M W 11:40am - 12:55pm
Room TBA
Lisa Gordis 3 18

ENGL BC3180 American Literature, 1800-1870. 3 points.

Texts from the late Republican period through the Civil War explore a range of intersecting literary, political, philosophical, and theological issues, including the literary implications of American independence, the status of Native Americans, the nature of the self, slavery and abolition, gender and woman's sphere, and the Civil War. Writers include Washington Irving, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Walt Whitman, Henry David Thoreau, Frederick Douglass, Margaret Fuller, Edgar Allan Poe, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Herman Melville, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Harriet Jacobs, and Emily Dickinson. 

Spring 2021: ENGL BC3180
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ENGL 3180 001/00308 M W 1:10pm - 2:25pm
Room TBA
Lisa Gordis 3 21

ENGL BC3181 American Literature, 1871-1945. 3 points.

This interdisciplinary course situates late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century American literature within the context of historical and cultural change. Students read works by Whitman, Twain, James, Griggs, Wharton, Faulkner, and Hurston alongside political and cultural materials including Supreme Court decisions, geometric treatises, composite photography and taxidermy.

Spring 2021: ENGL BC3181
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ENGL 3181 001/00309 T Th 1:10pm - 2:25pm
Room TBA
Kristin Carter 3 25/50
Fall 2021: ENGL BC3181
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ENGL 3181 001/00419 T Th 11:40am - 12:55pm
Room TBA
Jennie Kassanoff 3 35

ENGL BC3183 American Literature since 1945. 3 points.

In the wake of World War II, the so-called American Century rises out of the ashes of fascism, haunted by the specter of bombs blurring the boundary between victory and defeat.  An ideological civil war ensues, punctuated by literary resistance to grand narratives and their discontents.  Authors include Ellison, O’Connor, Ginsberg, Bishop, Pynchon, Robinson, Merrill, Morrison, Didion, and Wallace.

Fall 2021: ENGL BC3183
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ENGL 3183 001/00420 T Th 4:10pm - 5:25pm
Room TBA
Margaret Vandenburg 3 55/55

ENGL BC3185 Modern British and American Poetry. 3 points.

Poetry written in English during the past century, discussed in the context of modernism, postmodernism, literary theory, and changing social and technological developments.  Students will participate in shaping the syllabus and leading class discussion.  Authors may include Yeats, Williams, Eliot, Moore, Bishop, Rich, Ginsberg, Stevens, O' Hara, Plath, Brooks, Jordan, Walcott, Alexie, and many others.

Spring 2021: ENGL BC3185
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ENGL 3185 001/00310 T Th 10:10am - 11:25am
Room TBA
William Sharpe 3 30/35
Fall 2021: ENGL BC3185
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ENGL 3185 001/00421 T Th 8:40am - 9:55am
Room TBA
William Sharpe 3 29/40

ENGL BC3188 The Modern Novel. 3 points.

Not offered during 2021-22 academic year.

Examines formal changes in the novel from nineteenth-century realism to stream of consciousness, montage, and other modernist innovations. Social and historical contexts include World War I, urbanization, sexuality and the family, empire and colonialism. Works of Henry James, E. M. Forster, Ford Madox Ford, Joseph Conrad, Virginia Woolf, James Joyce.

ENGL BC3189 Postmodernism. 3 points.

This course considers how Postmodernism's profound distrust of language and narrative transforms the form and function of literature. Writers include Stoppard, Pynchon, Didion, Morrison, Robinson, Coetzee, Ishiguro, Wallace, Ashbery, and Hejinian.

Spring 2021: ENGL BC3189
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ENGL 3189 001/00311 T Th 2:40pm - 3:55pm
Room TBA
Margaret Vandenburg 3 37/55

ENGL BC3192 Exile and Estrangement in Global Literature. 4 points.

Not offered during 2021-22 academic year.

 “...but she had no worldly wisdom; her powers were unadapted to the practical business of life; she would fail to defend her most manifest rights, to consult her most legitimate advantage. An interpreter ought always to have stood between her and the world.”
,Charlotte Brontë on her late sister the novelist Emily Brontë.
,This course examines the development of literary fiction in response to history. Through a diverse selection of books—novels, novellas, and verse—spanning nearly 2400 years, we will investigate the seemingly contradictory condition of the author as both outsider and insider.
,We will look at how writers from various backgrounds have addressed social and political alienation, national and personal crisis, through narrative. The uniqueness of the texts lies not just in how implicated they are in history, but in their resistance against generalization and intolerance.
,Two areas of critical concern govern the selection: Romanticism brings to focus responses to estrangement and injustice; and Modernism is seen as individual expression to alienation and exile. However, implicit also is the desire to complicate the distinction between those two schools. What unites these concerns, however, is how our writers’ artistic commitment, as both witnesses and participants, creates an opportunity for literature to reveal more than the author intends and, on the other hand, more than what power desires.

Fall 2021: ENGL BC3192
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ENGL 3192 001/00422 W 10:10am - 12:00pm
Room TBA
Hisham Matar 4 15/15

ENGL BC3193 Critical Writing. 4 points.

(Formerly called Literary Criticism & Theory.) Provides experience in the reading and analysis of literary texts and some knowledge of conspicuous works of literary criticism. Frequent short papers. Required of all English majors before the end of the junior year. Sophomores are encouraged to take it in the spring semester even before officially declaring their major. Transfer students should plan to take it in the fall semester.

Spring 2021: ENGL BC3193
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ENGL 3193 001/00312 W 10:10am - 12:00pm
502 Diana Center
Atefeh Akbari Shahmirzadi 4 11/10
ENGL 3193 002/00313 M 12:10pm - 2:00pm
502 Diana Center
Mary Cregan 4 10/10
ENGL 3193 003/00314 W 4:10pm - 6:00pm
Room TBA
Lisa Gordis 4 3/10
ENGL 3193 004/00315 W 12:10pm - 2:00pm
Room TBA
John Pagano 4 10/10
Fall 2021: ENGL BC3193
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ENGL 3193 001/00423 T 2:10pm - 4:00pm
Room TBA
Jayne Hildebrand 4 10/10
ENGL 3193 002/00424 T 12:10pm - 2:00pm
Room TBA
Mary Cregan 4 5/10
ENGL 3193 003/00425 M 4:10pm - 6:00pm
Room TBA
Maura Spiegel 4 7/10
ENGL 3193 004/00426 T 6:10pm - 8:00pm
Room TBA
Margaret Vandenburg 4 10/10

ENGL BC3195 Modernism. 3 points.

Psychoanalysis, world war, and shifting gender paradigms inspire fragmented narratives, stream-of-consciousness prose, and improbable blends of erudition and the avant-garde. Stylistic innovation notwithstanding, Modernism authorizes a remarkably traditional literary canon. Special attention will be devoted to how seminal manifestos, most notably "Tradition and the Individual Talent" and A Room of One's Own, frame the movement's embattled aesthetics. Works by Eliot, Woolf, Barnes, Faulkner, Hemingway, Joyce, Lawrence, Pound, Stein, Toomer, and Yeats.

Fall 2021: ENGL BC3195
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ENGL 3195 001/00427 T Th 2:40pm - 3:55pm
Room TBA
Margaret Vandenburg 3 50/55

ENGL BC3196 HARLEM RENAISSANCE LITERATURE. 4.00 points.

In the summer of 2021, Home to Harlem will focus on the writing and collaboration of Zora Neale Hurston and Langston Hughes in the 1920s. We will explore the cultural history and aesthetic debates that animated Harlem in the 1920s by reading them through the work (poetry, fiction, essays, plays) of Barnard and Columbia’s own, who, for a time juggled student life in Morningside Heights and the joys and challenges of being major players in the Harlem or New Negro Renaissance. Hurston and Hughes navigated the demands of being an artist and representative of "the race" in both similar and different ways. They worked together to shape the Renaissance according to their radical visions and were friends and collaborators until they famously fell out. The goal of this class is to plot the individual and collective artistic growth and experimentation of Hurston and Hughes, as well as create a digital timeline and rendering of their individual and collaborative development. To that end, this class will use either or both of the digital tools Scalar and Timeline.js in creative and collaborative ways. The class will partner with the Digital Humanities Center at Barnard for workshops on these digital tools that will be linked to all of the course assignments and final projects. No prior experience with these tools is necessary

ENGL BC3204 WORLD LITERATURE REVISITED I. 3.00 points.

(Please note that you do not need to take ENGL BC3204 World Literature Revisited I and ENGL BC3205 World Literature Revisited II in sequence; you may take them in any order.) What/where/whom constitutes the world in World Literature? Traditionally, why have some types of writing and inscription been privileged over others when determining the category of literature? How can we read and trace literary influence across these literatures without reducing them to a mere repetition of the same themes and ideas? Finally, we will think about the role that translation plays in the production and politics of World Literature and how the issue of translation differentiates between the disciplines of Comparative Literature and World Literature.This course will be taught over one year. Taking both halves of the course is recommended, but not required. In the first semester, we will deal with ancient texts until around the 14th century, and our focus will be origin stories and epic narratives, lyric poetry, and sacred/religious texts

Fall 2021: ENGL BC3204
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ENGL 3204 001/00428 T Th 10:10am - 11:25am
Room TBA
Atefeh Akbari Shahmirzadi 3.00 15/25

ENGL BC3205 World Literature Revisited II. 3 points.

(Please note that you do not need to take ENGL BC3204 World Literature Revisited I and ENGL BC3205 World Literature Revisited II in sequence; you may take them in any order.)


As a discipline, World Literature dates back to the early 19th century and Goethe’s concept of weltliteratur. Yet, despite the fact that Goethe was well-versed in the literature of the “Orient” and he emphasized their centrality in weltliteratur, the languages that he spoke of and underlined within the formation of this literature were mostly German and Romance languages. Institutionally speaking, not much has changed over the past couple of centuries. More often than not, studying the literature of locations such as the Middle East, Africa, or East Asia takes place in Area Studies departments, and offerings of these areas’ literatures in Comparative Literature departments are few and far in between.  

 

In World Literature Revisited I, we imagined what a survey of World Literature in a literary studies department could look like, as we dealt with ancient texts until around the 14th century, with a focus on origin stories and epic narratives, lyric poetry, historical narratives, and sacred/religious texts. In World Literature Revisited II, we will continue to investigate and challenge the categories of “Eastern” and “Western” literature and think through the categories of “world” and “literature” in the course title. In this part of the course, we will work on (classical, early modern, and modern) drama, modern poetry, and the novel, with a particular focus on reading in comparison adaptations, appropriations, and literary responses.


What/where/whom constitutes the world in World Literature? How can we read and trace literary influence across these literatures without reducing them to a mere repetition of the same themes and ideas? Finally, we will think about the role that translation plays in the production and politics of World Literature, particularly when it comes to adaptations and appropriations, and how the issue of translation differentiates between the disciplines of Comparative Literature and World Literature.

Spring 2021: ENGL BC3205
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ENGL 3205 001/00316 T Th 1:10pm - 2:25pm
Ll017 Milstein Center
Atefeh Akbari Shahmirzadi 3 24/30

ENGL BC3207 THE 'GLOBAL' NOVEL. 3.00 points.

"Yes, globalization can produce homogeneity, but globalization is also a threat to homogeneity." --Kwame Anthony Appiah, "The Case for Contamination," New York Times Magazine, 2006 Thinking through the arguments both in favor of and against globalization, particularly in the realm of cultural productions, in this course we will discuss the "global" novel. To that end, we will read essays from The Global Novel: Writing the World in the 21st Century about works such as Americanah, Snow, and The Reluctant Fundamentalist (along with the novels themselves) to investigate what is meant by "global" and what the criteria for including novels in this categorization are. We will also consider whether there is an erasure of cultural difference and nuance in reading novels using a globalizing perspective in order to render them more approachable for a (primarily) US audience. In order to think through and challenge this category of the global, we will also read novels that can be roughly categorized as postcolonial. We will thus consider how struggles for independence and the desire to locate one’s identity either within freshly liberated nation-states or in the process of immigrating to former metropoles could give rise to cultural and psychological anxieties. We will also consider the manner in which late-stage capitalism could indeed push toward homogenized senses of self that manifest in a category such as the "global novel" and whether arguments could be made in favor of such homogenization. Ultimately, we will think about the politics of globalization and the desire to include in or exclude from the “global” certain locations, cultural products, or peoples

Spring 2021: ENGL BC3207
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ENGL 3207 001/00317 T Th 4:10pm - 5:25pm
328 Milbank Hall
Atefeh Akbari Shahmirzadi 3.00 24/30

ENGL BC3214 Latinx and the ICE/Prison Industrial Complex—Access and Strategies for News Coverage. 4 points.

This course encompasses themes of race, ethnicity, mass incarceration, and immigration in the modern United States, with special attention to the stories of Latinx people. We will consider the roles of journalistic writing, documentaries, and personal narratives in shaping public policy and attitudes towards lives behind bars. Guest speakers will also provide personal experiences to help reframe our own narratives and perspectives on these issues. The course’s primary goal is to challenge the process of how stories of race, immigration, and mass incarceration are written, by developing scholarly pieces.

Fall 2021: ENGL BC3214
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ENGL 3214 001/00430 Th 2:10pm - 4:00pm
Room TBA
Maria Hinojosa 4 22/22

ENGL BC3215 VICTORIAN SCIENCE&SCIFI. 3.00 points.

Although Victorian fiction is best known today for its realist commitment to representing the world “as it really is,” especially in genres such as the courtship novel and the Bildungsroman, Victorian novelists also wrote during an age of enthusiastic scientific inquiry that questioned and revised the very fabric of the reality that realist genres purported to represent. This course will accordingly explore the more adventurous and speculative fiction of the Victorian period that was most closely attuned to these new ways of representing and thinking about reality. How did new scientific developments such as evolutionary theory in biology, and the atomic theory in physics, reshape how writers viewed the relationships between human and animal, self and other, space and time, body and mind? How did departing from traditional realist modes enable Victorian science fiction writers to explore the ethical, social, and political implications of scientific theories in ways that scientific prose may not have envisioned? In this course we will read major works of Victorian fiction, by such authors as Mary Shelley, H.G. Wells, H. Rider Haggard, Robert Louis Stevenson, and others, alongside selections of scientific prose in such fields of Victorian science as biology, physics, mathematics, anthropology, and psychology. Throughout the course, we will understand “science” to include both major developments in the history of science, such as the emergence of evolutionary thought, as well as more eccentric Victorian areas of inquiry, such as phrenology, mesmerism, telepathy, and degeneration. The first three units into which the course is divided each explore a major field of Victorian science alongside a major conceptual category that it challenged and altered: biology and the nature of the human; psychology and the constitution of the self; the physical sciences and the nature of space and time. In each unit, we will investigate how writers’ engagements with these conceptual questions led them to experiment with literary categories such as character, narration, and plot. The course will close with a unit on texts that more broadly address Victorian conceptions of progress, technology, and development. In addition to these specific thematic and formal questions, we will think broadly about how the Victorians understood the value of science and technology in relation to the arts and to literature, and ask what their answers to these questions can offer us as we navigate similar questions today. What does scientific thinking offer to literature, and what kinds of questions can literature answer that scientific prose cannot? Do technological and scientific progress open up utopian vistas for humanity’s future, or are they more likely to lead to dystopian nightmares? Throughout the course, we will explore the resources that the literary imagination offers for thinking through the social consequences of scientific theories

Fall 2021: ENGL BC3215
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ENGL 3215 001/00431 T Th 10:10am - 11:25am
Room TBA
Jayne Hildebrand 3.00 35/35

ENGL BC3250 Introduction to US Latinx Literature. 3 points.

This course introduces students to a growing body of work by Latina and Latino writers in the United States, and engages with the critical tools necessary for analyzing a field of inquiry and practice that continues to reframe itself, right down to the label “Latinx.”  What does that name include, and what does it exclude, in cultural productions born of conflicts of origin, language, race, gender, sexuality, and nationality? For some understanding of context, we will turn to the history and pressures of transnational migration, exile, assimilation, bilingualism and queerness as these variously affect the means and modes of the literary productions with which we're concerned. At the same time, the course will emphasize the invented and hybrid nature of Latinx literary and cultural traditions, and it will investigate the place of those inventions in the larger framework of American intellectual and literary traditions. Readings will be drawn from work written primarily in English, but we will also consider graphic novels, Latinx performance, and works in translation. Authors studied may include Rudolfo Anaya, Americo Paredes, Piri Thomas, Cherríe Moraga, Richard Rodriguez, Cristina García, Ana Castillo, Victor Hernández Cruz, Lorna Dee Cervantes, Junot Díaz, Coco Fusco, Yuri Herrera, and Juana María Rodriguez. 

 

Fall 2021: ENGL BC3250
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ENGL 3250 001/00435 M W 10:10am - 11:25am
Room TBA
Kristin Carter 3 28/30

ENGL BC3252 Contemporary Media Theory. 4 points.

Prerequisites: Sophomore standing. Enrollment limited to 18 students. Attend first class for instructor permission. Registering for the course only through myBarnard or SSOL will NOT ensure your enrollment.

Explores the transformation of sociality, consciousness and geo-politics by and as media technologies during the long 20th century. Students will read influential works of media analysis written during the past century, analyze audio-visual analog and digital media, and explore political theory and media theory written since the rise of the internet. Final projects on contemporary media forms.

Fall 2021: ENGL BC3252
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ENGL 3252 001/00436 W 4:10pm - 6:00pm
Room TBA
Jonathan Beller 4 18/18

AFEN BC3253 Before Black Lives Matter. 4 points.

Black Lives Matter is an American phenomenon. This course situates BLM in relation to other and earlier movements in the Global South and elsewhere. Through textual analysis and critical reading, we take up the discursive, rhetorical, and poetical strategies of opposition to marginalization, criminalization, and racial othering. 

Fall 2021: AFEN BC3253
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AFEN 3253 001/00001 Th 12:00pm - 2:00pm
Room TBA
Yvette Christianse 4 46/99

ENGL BC3281 Illegal Is Not a Noun: Disrupting Narratives of the Immigrant Experience. 4 points.

This course engages with narratives about detention and deportation in the modern United States, with special attention to the stories of Latinx people. We will analyze how journalistic writing, documentaries, and personal narratives shape public policy and American attitudes about the "the immigrant experience." What are these narratives, how are they told, and what are their implications? How do writers disrupt these narratives? We will develop four scholarly essays over the course of the semester to investigate these questions.

Spring 2021: ENGL BC3281
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ENGL 3281 001/00318 Th 2:10pm - 4:00pm
504 Diana Center
Maria Hinojosa 4 17/22

ENGL BC3291 Fictions of Law and Custom: Whiteness in American Literature. 3 points.

This course examines "white" American identity as a cultural location and set of discourses and traditions with a history—in Mark Twain’s terms, "a fiction of law and custom." What are the origins of "Anglo-Saxon" American identity? What are the borders, visible and invisible, against which this identity has leveraged position and power? How have these borders shifted over time, and in social and cultural space? How has whiteness located itself at the center of political, historical, social and literary discourse, and how has it been displaced? How does whiteness mark itself, or mask itself, in literature and in larger cultural practices? What does whiteness look like, sound like, and feel like from the perspective of the racial "other"? And in what ways do considerations of gender and class complicate these other questions?

ENGL BC3292 QNYC. 3 points.

The cultural history of New York City is inextricable from the history of LGBTQI+ life. American poetry, theatre, ballet, opera, and visual art would be unrecognizable if New York had not been a hub for LGBTQI+ people. In this sprawling city, life could be characterized equally by its anonymity as by the sometimes exacting bonds of its many tight-knit sub-communities. This course will provide a survey of LGBTQI+ literature and some related arts based in the city, starting in the colonial era and extending to the present day.

Spring 2021: ENGL BC3292
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ENGL 3292 001/00320 T Th 11:40am - 12:55pm
Room TBA
Christopher Baswell, Rachel Eisendrath 3 32/34

ENRE BC3810 LITERARY APPROACHES TO BIBLE. 4.00 points.

Interpretive strategies for reading the Bible as a work with literary dimensions. Considerations of poetic and rhetorical structures, narrative techniques, and feminist exegesis will be included. Topics for investigation include the influence of the Bible on literature

Spring 2021: ENRE BC3810
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ENRE 3810 001/00321 M W 2:10pm - 4:00pm
Room TBA
Margaret Ellsberg 4.00 9/16
Fall 2021: ENRE BC3810
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ENRE 3810 001/00455 W 11:00am - 12:50pm
Room TBA
Margaret Ellsberg 4.00 14/14

AFEN BC3815 The Worlds of Ntozake Shange and Digital Storytelling. 4 points.

Prerequisites: Enrollment limited to 12 students. Permission of the instructor required. Interested students should complete the application at http://bit.ly/Ntozake2019. Students should have taken a course beyond the intro level from ONE of the following areas: American Literature (through the English Department), Africana Studies, American Studies, Theatre or Women's Studies. Students who successfully complete into this course will be eligible to take the second half of the course in Spring 2019. NOTE: There will be three extra sessions scheduled in the Digital Humanities Center.

A poet, performance artist, playwright and novelist, Ntozake Shange's stylistic innovations in drama, poetry and fiction and attention to the untold lives of black women have made her an influential figure throughout American arts and in Feminist history.  This semester will examine Shange's works in the context of political and artistic organizing by women of color in the 1970s and 80s. In addition to our analysis of primary texts, students will be introduced to archival research in Ntozake Shange’s personal archive at Barnard College.  This in-depth exploration of Shange's work and milieu is complemented with an introduction to digital tools, public research and archival practice. You can find more information and apply for the course at http://bit.ly/Ntozake2019. On Twitter @ShangeWorlds.

AFEN BC3816 The Worlds of Ntozake Shange and Digital Storytelling. 4 points.

Prerequisites: AFEN BC3815 or equivalent.

This course has a prerequisite and an application: http://bit.ly/AFEN3816. This hands-on, project based course introduces students to the use of digital tools and sources to organize and manage their archival research, creatively interpret their findings, and communicate their results to the public. This semester, the course is somewhat different from the usual research course in that, rather than simply going more deeply into the course focus, you will be asked to apply your knowledge to make new things. Working with the Barnard Digital Humanities Center, you will develop projects that teach some aspect of Shange's work and or feminist movements. But while making these new things, we will have ongoing discussions about the nature of digital life and evolving protocols for digital work. You will make plans to visit the archive appropriate to your project (in most cases this will be the Barnard Archives, but they might include sites such as The Billy Rose Theatre Division at the NYPL, or the Amiri Baraka collection at Columbia University) as well as doing background reading for your project.  By the end of the semester, you'll have sharpened your research skills while also acquiring digital, teamwork, and project management skills that will be useful in other classes and beyond.

Senior Seminars and Independent Studies

An FAQ about the senior seminar enrollment process can be found on the Special Enrollment Procedures page of English Department website.

ENGL BC3901 Senior Seminar: Women of Color in the US Public and Private Cultures. 4 points.

Not offered during 2021-22 academic year.

Enrollment limited to Barnard senior English majors. This course will explore cultural production and consumption by "women of color" in the U.S., with a focus on the way various groups have negotiated the presumed gap between private experience and public or political form.  Historical, social, and cultural connections and disjunctions between African-American, Arab-American, Asian-American, Native American, Latina, and other women will be examined, especially in the context of feminism, cultural nationalism, and the scholarly discipline and practice of critical legal feminism and critical race studies.  We will explore the varied ways in which family, labor, and leisure practices can place women of color in social positions which blur the distinction between private and public culture, and which call for a reconsideration of the notion of "experience," itself. Authors and critics to be considered may include Louise Erdrich, Cherríe Moraga, Valeria Luiselli, Chela Sandoval, Maxine Hong Kingston, Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, Cathy Hong Park, Mohja Kahf, and Chandra Mohanty.

ENGL BC3902 SENIOR SEMINAR: NEW MILLENNIAL AMERICAN FICTION. 4 points.

Remember Y2K, the fear that the internet would implode at the stroke of midnight on January 1, 2000? Conspiracy theories notwithstanding, have 9/11, COVID-19, and virtual reality derailed the American experiment? Apocalyptic dread inspired by the new millennium may be a self-fulfilling prophecy, exacerbating the impact of increasingly virulent culture wars. Have the form and content of American fiction been irrevocably transformed by such cultural cataclysms? Novels by Don DeLillo, Emily Fridlund, Edward P. Jones, Chang-rae Lee, Ben Lerner, Valeria Luiselli, Jenny Offill, Kevin Powers, and Ocean Vuong.

Spring 2021: ENGL BC3902
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ENGL 3902 001/00598 W 11:00am - 12:50pm
Room TBA
Margaret Vandenburg 4 10/10

ENGL BC3903 Senior Seminar: Poets in Correspondence. 4 points.

Not offered during 2021-22 academic year.

(Formerly ENGL BC3997; this course has been renumbered but has not changed in content.) How do poets' letters inform our understanding of their poetry? From the eighteenth to the twentieth century, poets have used their intimate correspondence to "baffle absence," as Coleridge remarked. This course will examine the ways several masters of the letter (including Cowper, Keats, Dickinson, Eliot, Bishop, and Lowell, among others) shaped their prose to convey spontaneity in paradoxically artful ways, illuminating their major work as poets and making the private letter a literary form in its own right.

ENGL BC3904 Senior Seminar: Charles Dickens. 4 points.

(Formerly ENGL BC3997; this course has been renumbered but has not changed in content.) Charles Dickens: the life, the works, the legend, in as much detail as we can manage in one semester. Reading will be selected by the class, and may include Pickwick Papers, A Christmas Carol, David Copperfield, Bleak House, and selections from his friend John Forster's Life of Charles Dickens.. Special emphasis will be given to the question of what "Dickensian" means, in the context of Dickens's literary style, his genius for characterization, his love of conviviality, and Victorian extremes of wealth and poverty. . Students will be expected to share in creating the syllabus, presenting new material, and leading class discussion. 

ENGL BC3905 Sr. Sem: Amazing Grace: English and American Antislavery Literature. 4 points.

Not offered during 2021-22 academic year.

Prerequisites: Sign up through the "SR Seminar" section of myBarnard. Enrollment limited to senior Barnard English majors.

Drawing on poems, plays, slave narratives, fiction and other genres, by both famous and non-canonical writers from 1660 to 1865, this seminar explores the ways that writers helped end slavery. Authors include Defoe, Johnson, Wheatley, Equiano, Blake, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Longfellow, Alcott, Stowe, Douglass, Melville, and Harriet Jacobs, among others. Final projects may take the form of extended critical essays or original anthologies.

ENGL BC3906 Sr. Sem: Black Literature Now. 4 points.

Not offered during 2021-22 academic year.

Prerequisites: Sign up through the "SR Seminar" section of myBarnard. Enrollment limited to senior Barnard English majors.

(Formerly ENGL BC3997; this course has been renumbered but has not changed in content.) Examines contemporary African American literature, in particular the ways in which recent authors are reconceiving literary notions of blackness. Beginning in the 1980s with the emergence of "post-soul" literature, this class explores the ways in which authors one or two generations after the Civil Rights Movement reconfigure their sense of racial "belonging" and notions of how to write "blackness" into a text. Authors may include Ellis, Whitehead, Southgate, Everett, Senna, Sapphire, Beatty, Toure, Packer, Johnson and Morrison.

ENGL BC3907 Senior Seminar: The Brontës. 4 points.

Not offered during 2021-22 academic year.

Prerequisites: Sign up through the "SR Seminar" section of myBarnard. Enrollment limited to senior Barnard English majors.

Enrollment limited to Barnard senior English majors. In this course, we will closely study the works of the three Brontë sisters, Charlotte, Emily, and Anne. Although the Brontës are famous for their secluded lives on the moors of Yorkshire, their novels brilliantly engage many of the most urgent cultural concerns of the Victorian era, including poverty and social alienation; colonialism and empire; psychology, desire, and repression; religious belief and spirituality; the role of art and the imagination; and, especially, the social, economic, and political condition of women in the nineteenth century. We’ll explore these topics and others through readings of the Brontës’ major novels (Jane Eyre, Villette, Wuthering Heights, and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall), as well as some of their less well-known works, including their poetry and their astonishing juvenile literary experiments. We’ll also consider the enduring influence of the Brontës' novels in film and literature; additional texts may thus include recent film adaptations of the novels, as well as works such as Jean Rhys’s Wide Sargasso Sea and Daphne Du Maurier’s Rebecca.

ENGL BC3908 Sr. Sem: The American Sublime. 4 points.

Not offered during 2021-22 academic year.

(Formerly ENGL BC3998; this course has been renumbered but has not changed in content.) "The empty spirit / In vacant space": gothicism, transcendentalism, and postmodern rapture. Traces of the sublime in the American literary landscape, featuring Poe, Melville, Emerson, Whitman, Dickinson, Stevens, Bishop, Didion, and Robinson.

ENGL BC3909 Sr. Sem: The Family in Fiction & Film: The Poetics of Growing Up. 4 points.

Enrollment limited to Barnard senior Film Studies majors and Barnard senior English majors concentrating in Film Studies. We will look closely at 20th and 21st-Century stories of family life in novels, memoirs, a few children’s books, and movies in many genres, from melodramas to sitcoms.  Authors include Gaston Bachelard (The Poetics of Space), D.W. Winnicott (On Playing and Reality), Ta-Nehisi Coates, Maggie Nelson, Toni Morrison, Alison Bechdel, Jonathan Franzen, J.D. Salinger, Astrid Lindgren and Vivian Gornick.  Films by Sean Baker, Ingmar Bergman, Wes Anderson, Jennifer Kent, Barry Jenkins, Tamara Jenkins, Hirokazu Kore-eda, Elia Kazan, Richard Linklater, Lance Hammer, Mike Mills, King Vidor, Andrei Zvyagintsev, and others.  

Spring 2021: ENGL BC3909
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ENGL 3909 001/00322 Th 4:10pm - 6:00pm
Room TBA
Maura Spiegel 4 16/17

ENGL BC3910 Sr. Sem: Sexuality, Sin, and Spirituality. 4 points.

Not offered during 2021-22 academic year.

(Formerly ENGL BC3997; this course has been renumbered but has not changed in content.) The first half of the course is grounded in readings from Bible, Augustine, Petrarch and Donne, but the second half with move to later texts including Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter, and Flannery O'Connor stories. We will discuss as a class other texts we might want to add.  For their senior essays, students will come up with their own topics and may explore the relation and intersection between sexuality, sin, and spirituality up into the present, and cross-culturally.

ENGL BC3911 Senior Seminar: Write to Vote. 4 points.

Not offered during 2021-22 academic year.

This seminar investigates the literary antecedents and cultural aftermath of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, with special attention to gendered and racial narratives of the ballot. Authors include Walt Whitman, Paul Lawrence Dunbar, Thomas Dixon, Jr., William Faulkner, Zora Neale Hurston, Fannie Lou Hamer and Alice Walker.

ENGL BC3912 SENIOR SEMINAR: INTOLERANCE, TOLERANCE, AND STORIES OF RESILIENCE. 4.00 points.

Enrollment limited to Barnard senior English majors. Intolerance seems worse than ever these days, not just in the world but in America, which is more polarized than ever. It comes in so many forms, ever morphing into new forms, though it has a history, one we keep struggling to revise, to make our world and our society inclusive and embracing of difference. This course is an effort to explore the issue of intolerance from a historical and literary emphasis, taking a transhistorical and transnational scope. We begin in seventeenth century England (very brief readings from Donne, Milton, Locke) when the concept and word "toleration" emerged. It initially concerned religion and freedom of "conscience," but later expanded to the issues of women's equality, race, and eventually sexuality (though religion is often never far from these issues). Though we begin with brief selections from the seventeenth century, we quickly move to various texts about resistance, resilience, and attempts to assess the damages and look towards change. We start with Mary Wolstonecraft on The Rights of Women, and then move to the twentieth and twenty-first century, considering a variety of genres, mainly (but not exclusively) writings by women. We will read a very brief selection from anthropologist Mary Douglas and then Isabel Wilkerson’s Caste (at least the first three sections, culminating in the "eight pillars of caste"). Wilkerson is particularly important as she triangulates caste in India, anti-Semitism, and racism/slavery in America. Texts: W.G. Sebold’s The Emigrants (on the effects of the holocaust); Deborah Feldman’s Unorthodox (a woman’s resistance of Ultra Orthodox Judaism; there’s also a wonderful Netflix series based on this book and a second one); Toni Morrison’s Others; Tayari Jones, An American Marriage (complex intersection of racism, injustice, and the complexity of love and marriage); Jeanette Winterson, Oranges are not the Only Fruit (religion, homosexuality, and love between women); (optional) Arundhati Roy, The God of Small Things; pehaps Stephanie Land, Maid (poverty); ending with Tara Westhover’s bestseller, Educated. I know this is too much. I’ve listed Land and Roy as books to consider. One theme of the course is that religion is never far from the issues of intolerance and racism. This is not to attack religion, but to suggest how often religion and the Bible have been (mis)used to bolster or legitimize intolerance. We will not have time for all of these books. Some are simply recommended, depending on your individual interest. Students in the class are encouraged to suggest other books. Each student will create a topic for their senior essay that allows them to explore their own interests

Spring 2021: ENGL BC3912
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ENGL 3912 001/00323 T 12:10pm - 2:00pm
Room TBA
Achsah Guibbory 4.00 12/11

ENGL BC3913 SENIOR SEMINAR: BAD ROMANCE. 4 points.

Romance: the quest for the one true love. This seminar will read romances that go wrong, that end catastrophically, that damage lovers or leave victims along the way. Reading bad romances will illuminate the consuming fantasy of the romance genre, as well as a range of emotions – rage and revenge, narcissism and self-protection, obsession and oblivion – that surface in their wake. We will also look at shifting interpretations of these powerful emotions, from Plato, to the Galenic theory of the humors, to the sociology of court-culture, to Freudian and finally contemporary neurobiological explanations of feelings. Students are welcome to propose texts of their own interests to open this course to the widest range of interests. Weekly individual tutorials with Professor Hamilton on weekends are offered but optional.


Readings: Euripides, Medea and Sophocles, Antigone. Malory, Sir Tristram de Lyonesse and Shakespeare, Othello. Mme de Lafayette, The Princesse de Cleves. Emily Bronte, Wuthering Heights. Miranda July, The First Bad Man and Curtis Sittenfield, Prep. Finally we will view Lina Wertmuller, Swept Away by an Unusual Destiny in the Blue Sea of August, Wong Kar Wai, In the Mood for Love, and Derek Cianfrance, Blue Valentine.

ENGL BC3914 Sr. Sem: Exploring the 18th Century. 4 points.

Not offered during 2021-22 academic year.

This seminar will explore selected topics in the 18th century, including the transformation in print culture and development of new genres such as the novel, biography, and popular journalism; the emergence of women writers; the interplay between canonical authors and newcomers such as working class and Black writers; the literature of slavery and abolition; poetic experimentation; and the turn to Romanticism. Writers include Behn, Defoe, Pope, Johnson, Richardson, Sterne, Wheatley, Blake, Cowper, Equiano, Boswell, Wollstonecraft, Wordsworth, and Austen. Students will be invited to propose additional writers for our weekly discussions and to include in their projects writers beyond the syllabus.

ENGL BC3915 Sr. Sem: Late Shakespeare: Visions and Revisions. 4 points.

Not offered during 2021-22 academic year.

Shakespeare’s last plays as both experimental and re-visionary. Topics will include aesthetics, philosophy, politics, sexuality, and gender, as well as post-1950 literary criticism’s reconstruction of these final plays. Probable texts: Othello, King Lear, Antony and Cleopatra, The Winter’s Tale, and The Tempest.

ENGL BC3916 Sr. Sem: Gender, Sexuality and the American Stage: Performing the Body Politic. 4 points.

Not offered during 2021-22 academic year.

(Formerly ENGL BC3998; this course has been renumbered but has not changed in content.) This seminar investigates how American theatre/performance, as read through the lens of gender and sexuality, operates as a cultural force.  Simply put, the U.S. is obsessed with sex; theatre/performance has proven a fertile medium for America’s expression of this obsession. Exploring texts from the seventeenth through the twenty-first centuries, we will consider how performance intersects with the nation state’s desire to regulate how we “practice” gender both publicly and behind closed doors. How is performance, which always includes gendered/raced/classed/sexualized bodies, situated in relationship to ideas of a national body politic?  How does the American nation state hinge on how gender and sexuality are performed both on-stage and off?  Authors include John Winthrop, Dion Boucicualt, Lillian Hellman, Tennessee Williams, David Henry Hwang, Michel Foucault, Jose Muñoz, Jill Dolan, Suzan-Lori Parks, Holly Hughes, Tony Kushner, Lisa Kron, Margaret Cho and performance groups Split Britches, Five Lesbian Brothers, Pomo Afro Homos.

ENGL BC3917 Senior Seminar: Words and Pictures: The Intersection of Literary and Visual Art. 4 points.

Not offered during 2021-22 academic year.

Enrollment limited to Barnard senior English majors. In this class we will explore literary texts that focus on visual experience, especially painting and sculpture. What kinds of questions do these texts raise about the nature of aesthetic experience? How does what we mean by aesthetic experience change through time? Our readings will range from ancient to modern: Homer, Ovid, Chaucer, Spenser, Marlowe, Shakespeare, Herder, Barthes, Woolf, Ishiguro, Dove, Howe, Sebald, among others. We will also read widely in the history of aesthetic philosophy and critical theory.

ENGL BC3918 Senior Seminar: Late Victorian and Modern Drama. 4 points.

Not offered during 2021-22 academic year.

Drama in a period of rapid transition.  The interaction of changing social structures and performative traditions. Protest plays, problem plays, and plays pursuing new social and aesthetic possibilities vie for attention and authority. Our seminar will explore fluid relationships between realism and theatricalism, historicism and modernism, convention and invention, adaptation and interpretation.  We will read texts, view films and stage adaptations, and attend NYC production.  Playwrights may include Dion Boucicault, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, Arthur Wing Pinero, Patrick Marber, Elizabeth Robins, Evelyn Glover, Oscar Wilde, George Bernard Shaw, Henrik Ibsen, Anton Chekhov, Caryl Churchill, Noel Coward, and Emma Rice.

ENGL BC3919 SENIOR SEMINAR: BLACK ECOLITERATURE. 4 points.

Spring 2021: ENGL BC3919
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ENGL 3919 004/00664 Th 4:10pm - 6:00pm
Room TBA
Chelsea Frazier 4 8/10

ENGL BC3920 Senior Seminar: Migration, Immigration, and the Borders of American Literature. 4 points.

This course will explore representations of voluntary and forced migration as a path toward understanding the formation of literary traditions and histories in the US and the Americas. How do we think about immigrant literature if the immigrant was here before the literature? Where does American literature begin and end if a mobile subject carries her words across borders and genres?  In addition to reading fictional and non-fictional narratives of cultural literacy and migration by writers like Frederick Douglass, Julia Alvarez, and Valeria Luiselli, we’ll examine the ways in which contemporary discourses of relocation generate surprising returns to what we might recognize as the proto-exceptionalist and/or post-apocalyptic foundations of American literature and culture.

ENGL BC3921 Senior Seminar: Women Writers in the Long 18th Century. 4 points.

Not offered during 2021-22 academic year.

From Aphra Behn and Anne Bradstreet at the end of the 17th century to Jane Austen in the early 19th, women writers had a widespread, prolific, and influential presence in the history of English literature. This seminar will examine some of the major women writers, along with lesser known figures, with attention to texts in many genres, from drama and poetry to the novel and prose nonfiction, and to the literary culture of the larger Atlantic world. Students can devise their seminar projects either as anthologies with critical apparatus or as long critical essays, focused on individual writers, selected texts, or thematic and critical ideas that span the era. 

ENGL BC3922 Senior Seminar: Latinx Feminisms. 4 points.

Not offered during 2021-22 academic year.

This course also serves as the American Literature concentration senior seminar. 


This course approaches Latinx feminist practice as a highly contested and still-evolving site of cultural production. Among the issues to be explored: Latinx participation in feminist coalition-building across linguistic, racial, ethnic, gender, class, and national borders; Latinx writers' negotiation and critique of cultural theory and practice; and the relationship of Latinx feminist activism to other political movements and practices in the Americas, including religion and spirituality, queer latinidad, and nationalist, anti-colonial and anti-capitalist movements. Authors studied may include Cherríe Moraga, Gloria Anzaldúa, Cristina García, Norma Alarcón, María Pilar Aquino, Achy Obejas, Julia Álvarez.

ENGL BC3923 Senior Seminar: Shakespeare, Race, and Appropriation. 4 points.

This course reads “Shakespeare” in relationship to concepts of cultural capital and racial "property" drawn from performance studies and critical race theory. We will use the rich afterlife of Shakespeare’s plays to examine connections between literary appropriation, social power and constructions of race, gender and sexuality. Class readings focus primarily on revisions of two Shakespeare plays, but also consider more evanescent citations and evocations of Shakespeare, his plays, and his characters.

ENGL BC3924 Senior Seminar: Common Languages. 4 points.

Not offered during 2021-22 academic year.

Enrollment limited to Barnard senior English majors. Are humans, alone among the species, caught in the clutches of a death drive? This course revives “the dream of a common language,”* ways to elude the tragic trajectory of alienation. Writers include Paul Auster, J. M. Coetzee, Mohsin Hamid, David Malouf, Claudia Rankine, *Adrienne Rich, Juan José Saer, and Virginia Woolf.  

ENGL BC3926 Senior Sem: Tradition and Nonconformity: Marlowe, Shakespeare, Woolf, Borges, and Baldwin. 4 points.

Not offered during 2021-22 academic year.

How does a literary lineage develop by challenging its own perceived norms? How can tradition itself be, in other words, unconventional? Focusing on the work of Christopher Marlowe, William Shakespeare, Virginia Woolf, Jorge Luis Borges, and James Baldwin, we will study texts that suggest the complexity of each author's engagement with his or her literary inheritances.

ENGL BC3927 Senior Seminar: "a d—d mob of scribbling women": Nineteenth-century American Women Writers. 4 points.

(Formerly ENGL BC3997.06; this course has been renumbered but has not changed in content.)  In 1855, Nathaniel Hawthorne complained that American publishing was "wholly given over to a d--d mob of scribbling women," and that he could not hope to compete with women writers for popularity or sales.  Yet Hawthorne's texts were canonized as American classics, while texts by nineteenth-century women writers were largely ignored by the academy until late in the twentieth century.  This course considers a variety of texts by nineteenth-century American women, including novels, short fiction, poetry, and journalism. We'll consider women's writing and women's reading through a variety of lenses, including domesticity and women's sphere, political action and suffrage, slavery and abolition, the economics of writing and publishing, sentimentality and anger, and canon formation and literary merit.  Authors include Elizabeth Stuart Phelps, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Susan Warner, Fanny Fern, Harriet Jacobs, Elizabeth Drew Stoddard, Louisa May Alcott, Emily Dickinson, Sarah Winnemucca Hopkins, Nellie Bly, Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, and Mary E. Wilkins Freeman.

ENGL BC3936 Senior Seminar: The Novel and Economic Justice. 4 points.

The industrial revolution inspired novelists to explore the ways in which money, or the lack of it, forms or deforms our characters. It also inspired the writings of Karl Marx, the great theorist of economic justice. In this seminar we will read five of the greatest nineteenth-century novels – Godwin’s Caleb Williams, Austen’s Persuasion, Flaubert’s Madame Bovary, Eliot’s Middlemarch and Hardy’s Jude the Obscure – alongside Marx’s most influential writings. We will pay special attention to Marxist notions of materialism; alienation and human flourishing; capital and labour; classes; and ideology. Special emphasis will also be given to the Marxist approach in the study of culture, the role of intellectuals (such as ourselves) and the relationship between capitalism and culture – through theorists like Gramsci, the Frankfurt School, and Raymond Williams.

ENGL BC3996 SPECIAL PROJECT IN ENGLISH. 1.00 point.

Application required: https://english.barnard.edu/english/independent-studies. Senior English majors who are concentrating in writing and who have completed two creative writing courses will normally take this Special Project in combination with an additional creative writing course. Senior English majors who are concentrating in theatre and who have completed three courses in theatre history/dramatic literature will normally take this Special Project in combination with an additional dramatic literature course. For both writing and theatre concentrators, this combined special project counts in place of one senior seminar. In certain cases, ENGL BC3999 may be substituted for the Special Project. In rare cases, the English Department Chair may permit an English major not concentrating in writing or theatre to take ENGL BC3996 in combination with another course

Spring 2021: ENGL BC3996
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ENGL 3996 001/00336  
Timea Szell 1.00 2/12
ENGL 3996 002/00339  
Nellie Hermann 1.00 0/12
ENGL 3996 003/00341  
Kathleen Tolan 1.00 0/12
ENGL 3996 004/00343  
Mary Keane 1.00 1/12
ENGL 3996 005/00346  
Jennifer Boylan 1.00 0/12
ENGL 3996 006/00348  
Jennifer Boylan 1.00 2/12
ENGL 3996 007/00350  
Regan Good 1.00 1/12
ENGL 3996 008/00351  
Maria Hinojosa 1.00 1/12
Fall 2021: ENGL BC3996
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ENGL 3996 001/00441  
Timea Szell 1.00 0/5
ENGL 3996 002/00442  
0. FACULTY 1.00 0/5
ENGL 3996 003/00443  
0. FACULTY 1.00 0/5
ENGL 3996 004/00444  
Brionne Janae 1.00 0/5
ENGL 3996 005/00445  
Ellen McLaughlin 1.00 0/5
ENGL 3996 006/00446  
Nellie Hermann 1.00 0/5
ENGL 3996 007/00448  
Weike Wang 1.00 0/5
ENGL 3996 008/00449  
Catherine Barnett 1.00 0/5
ENGL 3996 009/00450  
Liana Finck 1.00 0/5
ENGL 3996 010/00451  
Maria Hinojosa 1.00 0/5
ENGL 3996 011/00452  
Alexandra Horowitz 1.00 0/5

ENGL BC3999 Independent Study. 4 points.

Application required: https://english.barnard.edu/english/independent-studies. Senior majors who wish to substitute Independent Study for one of the two required senior seminars should consult the chair. Permission is given rarely and only to students who present a clear and well-defined topic of study, who have a department sponsor, and who submit their proposals well in advance of the semester in which they will register. There is no independent study for screenwriting or film production.

Spring 2021: ENGL BC3999
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ENGL 3999 001/00352  
Timea Szell 4 1/5
ENGL 3999 002/00353  
Andrew Lynn 4 1/12
Fall 2021: ENGL BC3999
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ENGL 3999 001/00453  
4 0/3
ENGL 3999 002/00454  
4 0/3

Cross-Listed Courses

DNCE BC3000 From Page to Stage: Interactions of Literature and Choreography. 3 points.

A survey of how dance and embodied performance adapt textual sources and even generate text. How do moving bodies enhance or subvert words in order to tell a story, and whose story do they tell? Includes the study of plays, poems, and political speech; and of ballet, experimental dance, dance-theater, silent film, physical theater, and puppetry

ENGL UN3033 THE EARLY CHAUCER. 3.00 points.

FILM BC3119 SCREENWRITING FUNDAMENTALS. 3.00 points.

Prerequisites: FILM BC3201 or equivalent. Enrollment limited to 12 students. Priority is given to Film Studies majors/concentrations in order of class seniority.
Corequisites: (Since this is a Film course, it does not count as a writing course for English majors with a Writing Concentration.)
Prerequisites: FILM BC3201 or equivalent. Enrollment limited to 12 students. Priority is given to Film Studies majors/concentrations in order of class seniority. Corequisites: (Since this is a Film course, it does not count as a writing course for English majors with a Writing Concentration.) This course is ideal for writers of their FIRST, SECOND AND THIRD screenplays. The first several weeks will focus on STORY: What it is, what it isn’t, how to recognize the difference. How to find your own individual stories that nobody else in the universe can tell. From there we will make the transition to the highly individualized techniques, the strengths and limitations, the dynamics of telling a SCREEN STORY; what to leave in, what to leave out. As Michelangelo puts it—starting with a block of marble and chipping away everything that isn’t David. Through studies of existing screenplays and films in coordination with and hands-on writing exercises which we will share in class, we will develop our skills in all aspects of screenwriting; building fascinating characters, dialogue, story construction (The BIG PICTURE) and scene construction (The Small Picture) Perfection is not the goal; but rather it is to be able to say truly at the end of each day’s writing, “I did the best I could with what I had at the time. (Phillip Roth quoting heavyweight champion Joe Louis)

Spring 2021: FILM BC3119
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
FILM 3119 001/00528 M W 10:00am - 1:00pm
Room TBA
Rubeintz Philippe 3.00 13/12
Fall 2021: FILM BC3119
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
FILM 3119 001/00543 W 10:10am - 1:00pm
Room TBA
0. FACULTY 3.00 0/12

FILM BC3120 ADVANCED SCREENWRITING. 3.00 points.

Prerequisites: FILM BC3201 or equivalent. Enrollment limited to 12 students. Priority is given to Film Studies majors/concentrations in order of class seniority.
Corequisites: (Since this is a Film course, it does not count as a writing course for English majors with a Writing Concentration.)
This course is ideal for writers of their SECOND THROUGH TWELFTH screenplays. The first several weeks will focus on STORY: What it is, what it isn’t, how to recognize the difference. How to find your own individual stories that nobody else in the universe can tell. Through studies of existing screenplays and films in coordination with and hands-on writing exercises which we will share in class, we will develop our skills in all aspects of screenwriting; building fascinating characters, dialogue, story construction (The BIG PICTURE) and scene construction (The Small Picture) Perfection is not the goal; but rather it is to be able to say truly at the end of each day’s writing, “I did the best I could with what I had at the time. (Phillip Roth quoting heavyweight champion Joe Louis)

Fall 2021: FILM BC3120
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
FILM 3120 001/00544 Th 10:10am - 1:00pm
Room TBA
0. FACULTY 3.00 0/12

FILM BC3201 INTRO FILM & MEDIA STUDIES. 3.00 points.

Prerequisites: Open to first-year students. Corequisites: Enroll in the required Discussion Section through FILM BC 3204: Discussion Section. We derive much of our information about the world from visual media. Social networks, television, cinema: all shape our aesthetic sensibilities and our political visions. Yet we often lack a basic understanding of what could be called “visual literacy.” This introductory course gives students the critical tools to analyze how film and other visual media really work – in order to appreciate their artistic and social achievements, as well as to guard against their insidious manipulative devices. In the first part of the semester, we focus on film analysis through a detailed study of the different production phases of filmmaking – from screenwriting and mise-en-scène to editing and film scoring. We pay special attention to the way in which certain stylistic and narrative choices have particular ideological effects. The second part of the course looks at film history through a comprehensive, chronological overview of its main movements and periods, including the coming of sound in Hollywood cinema, post-war Italian Neorealism, the emergence of world auteurs, New Waves of the 1960s and 1970s, etc. Students will use the hermeneutical tools learnt in film analysis to intellectually engage with some masterworks of film history. In the third and final part of the semester, we study the major debates of film theory from perspectives such as auteurism, formalism, psychoanalysis, Marxism, feminism, postcolonial and queer studies, etc. Required screenings include Nanook of the North (Flaherty, 1922), Sunrise (Murnau, 1927), Man with a Movie Camera (Vertov, 1929), Casablanca (Curtiz, 1942), Bicycle Thieves (De Sica, 1948), Rashomon (Kurosawa, 1950), Breathless (Godard, 1960), Belle de Jour (Buñuel, 1967), The Hour of the Furnaces (Solanas, 1968), Seven Beauties (Wertmüller, 1974), Blue Velvet (Lynch, 1986), Paris Is Burning (Livingstone, 1990), and Children of Men (Cuarón, 2006)

Fall 2021: FILM BC3201
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
FILM 3201 001/00545 M 10:10am - 11:25am
Room TBA
Breixo Viejo Vinas 3.00 54
FILM 3201 001/00545 W 10:10am - 12:55pm
Room TBA
Breixo Viejo Vinas 3.00 54

THTR UN3150 Western Theatre Traditions:Classic to Romantic. 3 points.

Dialectical approach to reading and thinking about the history of dramatic theatre in the west, interrogating the ways poetry inflects, and is inflected by, the material dynamics of performance. Course undertakes careful study of the practices of performance, and of the sociocultural, economic, political, and aesthetic conditions animating representative plays of the Western tradition from the classical theatre through the early modern period to early romanticism; course will also emphasize development of important critical concepts for the analysis of drama, theatre, and performance. Specific attention will be given to classical Athens, medieval cycle drama, the professional theatre of early modern England, the rival theatres of seventeenth century France and Spain, and eighteenth-century theatre in England and Germany; topics include the sociology of theatre, the impact of print on conceptions of performance, representing gender and race, and the dynamics of court performance. Writing: 2-3 papers; Reading: 1-2 plays, critical and historical reading per week; final examination. Fulfills one (of two) Theatre History requirements for Theatre/Drama and Theatre Arts majors.

Fall 2021: THTR UN3150
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
THTR 3150 001/00080 M W 10:10am - 11:25am
Room TBA
William Worthen 3 14

THTR UN3151 WESTRN THTR TRAD: MODERN. 3.00 points.

Dialectical approach to reading and thinking about the history of dramatic theatre in the west, interrogating the ways poetry inflects, and is inflected by, the material dynamics of performance. Course undertakes careful study of the practices of performance, and of the sociocultural, economic, political, and aesthetic conditions animating representative plays of the Western tradition from the late eighteenth century to today; course will also emphasize development of important critical concepts for the analysis of drama, theatre, and performance. Specific attention will be given to the ideology of realism and naturalism, the development of epic theatre, the theatre of cruelty, postcolonial performance, and the continuing invention of dramatic forms (theatre of the absurd, speechplays, postdramatic theatre), as well as to the political and theoretical impact of race, gender, sexuality in modern performance culture. Writing: 2-3 papers; Reading: 1-2 plays, critical and historical reading per week; final examination. Fulfills one (of two) Theatre History requirements for Theatre/Drama and Theatre Arts majors

Spring 2021: THTR UN3151
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
THTR 3151 001/00215 M W 10:10am - 11:25am
Room TBA
Paige Johnson 3.00 29/50