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Courses

Literature

Adaptation

ADAPTATION: A writer is a reader moved to imitation. Appropriation, repurpose, pastiche, hybrid, sampling, remix, in conversation, mash up. Everyone knows that when you steal, steal from the best. When we write we may borrow the structure of a sonata, the plot from a story, the tang and tone of a novel, and characters from our own lives. Is everything we write adaptation? We will read 3-5 works of literature, watch movie and musical adaptations, adapt a fairy tale, a poem, a news item, an inanimate object, a song, and a short story. Prerequisites: None.

  • Sherry Kramer | SP2011 | W, 2:10PM- 6:00PM | DRA2111.01
  • Sherry Kramer | SP2014 | W, 2:10PM- 6:00PM | DRA2111.01

Art of the Sonnet: Conventions and Inventions

The sonnet, from the Italian sonnetto, or little song, has a long and rich history as a poetic form, described by contemporary poet Laynie Browne as "a controlled measure of sound and space within which one can do anything. An invitation." This course will invite you to study the sonnet in-depth, both as a traditional form obsessively employed by William Shakespeare and the 14th-century Italian poet Petrarch, and as an innovative, elastic lyric enjoying a surge in popularity among contemporary writers, some of whom have exploded the form in radical ways. Expect to read the poetry of Petrarch, Shakespeare, Wyatt, Keats, Gerard Manley Hopkins, John Berryman, Ted Berrigan, Olena Kalytiak Davis, D.A. Powell, M.A. Vizsolyi, and Jen Bervin. Students will write two critical papers and weekly responses to the reading, and will additionally have a number of creative writing assignments involving the sonnet form. Prerequisites: Submit writing sample--either 4-6 poems or a brief academic paper on a literary subject--to mdumanis@bennington.edu by November 7th. Class list will be posted by November 14th on the Literature bulletin board on the second floor of the Barn.

  • Michael Dumanis | SP2013 | W, 2:10PM- 6:00PM | LIT4113.01

Aspects of the Novel

E.M. Forster's Aspects of the Novel (1927) is a delightful slim volume that is itself of the same high literary level as the novels that Forster describes. We will read some of Forster's own work, a selection of the books he writes about, and discuss his observations and theories. Students will write two papers.

  • Annabel Davis-Goff | FA2014 | TF, 2:10PM- 4:00PM | LIT4193.01

Bowen and Powell

Elizabeth Bowen and Anthony Powell provide a record of England life - social, political, and cultural - from the end of the First World War until the 1960s. Anthony Powell is England's answer to Proust. In his celebrated twelve-volume novel (of which we will read the first six volumes), Powell gives a full, fascinating and entertaining view of fifty years of English history, society and culture. Elizabeth Bowen was an Anglo-Irish novelist and short story writer. Her novels describe political tension, love, and war. She is admired for her description of landscape, her descriptions of London during the Blitz, her use of light and time in evoking atmosphere, and her ability to depict the nuances of romance and small moments of social awkwardness. Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor.

  • Annabel Davis-Goff | SP2013 | TF, 2:10PM- 4:00PM | LIT4156.01

Charles Dickens: Novels and Biography

Dickens' novels are works of approachable genius, transmitted through their comedy, pulsing energy and relentless life. They also reflect fictional shapings of Dickens' life, obsessions in the man that regularly recur in the art. We will be reading a biography of Dickens, three of his major novels, including the two most autobiographical, David Copperfield and Great Expectations, and some pertinent criticism. The classroom conversation will be a mixture of narrative patterns noted, themes observed and traced, meanings analyzed and proposed, with close reading and regular student participation essential. Prerequisites: None.

  • Doug Bauer | FA2013 | MTh, 2:10PM- 4:00PM | LIT2284.01

Cheever and Updike

John Cheever (1912-1982) and John Updike (1932-2009), both closely associated with "The New Yorker," were two of the foremost American writers of the twentieth century. In this course we will read numerous works by each author. We will concentrate on short stories but will also read some novels, including (probably) Cheever's "Falconer" and Updike's "Rabbit, Run." Prerequisites: None.

  • Brooke Allen | FA2012 | TF, 4:10PM- 6:00PM | LIT2280.01

Comedy

Funny then, funny now, funny forever. What makes a great comedy great? In this course we'll examine the development of comic form and its relation to the social and aesthetic context that produces great comic drama. We'll begin with classical comedy, reading plays by Aristophanes, Plautus and Terence, then move to neoclassical comedy with Moliere, Jonson, and Shakespeare, followed by the Restoration writers Wycherley and Congreve. Finally, we'll look at their direct descendant, Oscar Wilde, and conclude with a couple of 20th century experimental playwrights. We'll also investigate comic theory in essays by Frye, Bergson, Meredith and others. Students will write two essays. Prerequisites: Previous work in Drama or Literature at Bennington.

  • Kathleen Dimmick | FA2011 | W, 2:10PM- 6:00PM | DRA4220.01

Conrad and Nabokov

Vladimir Nabokov wrote his first nine novels in Russian. After the publication of Lolita - his most successful and widely read work - in the English language, he wrote, "My private tragedy, which cannot, and indeed should not, be anybody's concern, is that I had to abandon my natural idiom, my untrammeled, rich, and infinitely docile Russian tongue for a second-rate brand of English." Joseph Conrad was born in the Ukraine, and spent twenty years as a merchant seaman. When at the age of 38, he wrote his first novel, he did so in his third language, English. These two writers have had a lasting influence on the literary style of their adopted language. We will read novels, stories, and nonfiction by both men. Students will write two essays. Prerequisites: None.

  • Annabel Davis-Goff | SP2013 | MTh, 4:10PM- 6:00PM | LIT2196.01

Cultural Legacies of Argentina's "Dirty War"

The Gentlemen's Coup of 1976 ushered in years of terror, the forced disappearances of 30,000 citizens and the establishment of hundreds of secret torture centers. Unprecedented in scope and complexity, this period of state terrorism had been foretold, in precise detail, by Argentina's greatest living playwright (Griselda Gambaro), who would be forced into exile by the regime. We will study not only the repression itself, but also selected texts by Gambaro, the poet Juan Gelman, the novelist Marta Traba, as well as works of visual and cinema artists of the repressive 1970s and their complicated aftermath. Prerequisites: None.

  • Marguerite Feitlowitz | SP2011 | MTh, 10:10AM-12:00PM | LIT2164.01
  • Marguerite Feitlowitz | SP2013 | MTh, 10:10AM-12:00PM | LIT2164.01

Dada and Surrealism

This course will survey early-20th-century avant-garde literary movements, with a focus on Dada, Surrealism, and Futurism. We will consider these movements as responses to First World War, the fragmentation of empire, and the increased mechanization of society. We will then explore their legacy in more contemporary aesthetic practices, including Oulipo, chance methods, conceptual poetry, and Neosurrealism. We will play surrealist games with language and image, as we familiarize ourselves with the work and ideas of such figures as Apollinaire, Tristan Tzara, Marinetti, Andre Breton, Vladimir Mayakovsky, Velimir Khlebnikov, Kurt Schwitters, Robert Desnos, and Hugo Ball. Students will be responsible for two essays, a presentation, and a series of short surrealist and Dadaist experiments. Prerequisites: None.

  • Michael Dumanis | SP2013 | MTh, 2:10PM- 4:00PM | LIT2189.01

Dante's Inferno

We will read all of Dante's Inferno in a variety of highly creative English translations. As an introduction to this transcendently great work of the very early fourteenth century we also study a number of ancient poetic texts dealing with the "underworld passage" theme, including Homer and Virgil. Arriving at Dante's era, we look into some of Dante's other verse, including his early love poetry; after reading the Inferno we examine later parts of The Divine Comedy. Dante will be considered as a poet, a religious thinker, and an exiled politician enraged at the bad governance of his native Florence. Students will be encouraged to debate Dante's poetic inventions as well as his principal social concerns -- moral complacency, violence, contrition, carnal weakness, suicidal depression, political corruption, and so forth. In this course some other Tuscan cultural achievements of this period, the Trecento, will also be scrutinized for their sheer beauty. Students who can read or speak Italian will be encouraged to read Dante in the original. Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor.

  • Dan Hofstadter | SP2012 | W, 2:10PM- 4:00PM | LIT4271.01

Devotional Poets

To be devoted is to attempt single-mindedness: to exclude all other subjects but the subject one is devoted to. A devotion also indicates an act of contemplation based in a perception of beauty. Historically, poets have fixed their devotions on God; gradually, poets chose nature as their subject; more recently, devotional poets have sought their objects in human bodies, though the spirit of devotion has remained the same. This course will introduce students to devotional poets from the oral tradition to the present. We will begin with the Bible and St. John of the Cross. We will then look at the work of selected Metaphysical (John Donne, George Herbert), Victorian (Emily Dickinson, Gerard Manley Hopkins), Modern (John Berryman, William Everson), and Contemporary (Carl Phillips, Fanny Howe) poets. Three papers, one recitation, discussion. Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor. List of participants will appear on the Literature bulletin board by November 8.

  • Katie Peterson | SP2011 | MTh, 2:10PM- 4:00PM | LIT4316.01

Don Quixote: "The First and Most Completest Novel"

We will immerse ourselves in the first European novel, Cervantes' 1605 tale of the wandering knight, his faithful Sancho Panza, and the cast of hundreds they meet along their way through La Mancha. We will read Edith Grossman's new translation of Don Quixote, as well as biographical sources (such as Cervantes in Algiers, on the author's years of captivity by the Barbary Pirates), and contextual materials (such as Rosa Menocal's The Ornament of the World, on pre-1492 Christian-Muslim-Jewish Spain). We will also consider Cervantes' influence over the centuries, on writers such as Sterne, Diderot, Borges, and Calvino. Prerequisites: None.

  • Marguerite Feitlowitz | FA2013 | MTh, 10:10AM-12:00PM | LIT2182.01

Double Portrait: Of a Lady and Her Novel

We'll be examining Henry James's The Portrait of a Lady from several perspectives, starting with a close reading of the novel itself. As well, we'll be reading Michael Gorra's recently published Portrait of a Novel, which uniquely blends criticism, biography, historical context and earned authorial speculation as a guide to James's life during the time he was writing his book and the ways in which his personal experience influenced the particular fiction he was creating. We might also be including other works of fiction and criticism Gorra mentions as relevant to a full appreciation of James's masterpiece. Prerequisite: None.

  • Doug Bauer | FA2013 | MTh, 10:10AM-12:00PM | LIT2223.01

Early American Literature

From the Puritans first unpromising glimpse aboard the Mayflower of this "hideous & desolate wilderness, full of wild beats and wild men," America has inspired, even required, bold new feats of language and the imagination to capture it in literature. This course will survey the beginnings of the American literary tradition, from the poetry of Anne Bradstreet and the salacious genre of the captivity narrative to the sermons and tracts of America's first great religious thinker, Jonathan Edwards; we'll also delve into American fiction from Washington Irving to the Gothic tales of Edgar Allan Poe.

  • Benjamin Anastas | FA2014 | MTh, 8:10AM-10:00AM | LIT2197.01

Eastern European Literature and Cinema

In this course we will examine contemporary literature and cinema from Eastern Europe from the Cold War to the present, exposing the intricacies of daily life in a region where the past is always present. The cinematic and literary texts will be drawn from the former East Bloc nations and their successor states in post-Communist Europe, including iconoclastic writers and film directors such as Dubravka Ugresic, Semezdin Mehmedinovic, Andrzej Wajda, Dorota Maslowska, Ilya Khrzhanovsky, and the 2009 Nobel Prize recipient Herta Müller. We will also consider the exiled artist's more detached yet no less poignant perspective on political events, as exemplified by the work of expatriate writers such as the Bosnian Aleksandar Hemon and the Czech Milan Kundera. Prerequisites: None.

  • Alexandar Mihailovic | SP2012 | MTh, 2:10PM- 4:00PM | LIT2171.01

Ecopoetics: Origins of Environmental Literature

In this course, we will look at the ways in which writers have shaped our thinking about nature, the environment, sustainability, and rural living and will place particular emphasis on the intersection between language and our thinking about the natural world. For starters, we will study works by Virgil, poets of the English Romantic era, New World travel journals, and accounts of first encounters between Europeans and indigenous people. In addition to poems, we will read essays and longer works of nonfiction by authors such as Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Walt Whitman, and Emily Dickinson, though the main body of reading will be poetry. Prerequisites: None.

  • Mark Wunderlich | SP2012 | W, 2:10PM- 4:00PM | LIT2290.01

Eighteenth-Century England: History and Literature

An exploration of England in the "long eighteenth century", when the nation lurched through the rapid series of cultural changes that would eventually define its course into modernity. Beginning with the Restoration in 1660, we discuss Empire and Enlightenment, in addition to the South Sea Bubble, the Industrial Revolution, and the culture of the coffee house. The course will be taught in two parts. In the second half of the term we will read the work of eighteenth-century writers such as Defoe, Sterne, and Burney. Carol Pal will teach the first half of the term. Annabel Davis-Goff will teach the second half of the term. Prerequisites: None.

  • Annabel Davis-Goff | SP2011 | TF, 2:10PM- 4:00PM | LIT2213.01
  • Carol Pal | SP2011 | TF, 2:10PM- 4:00PM | LIT2213.01

English as a Second Language

This course will provide the opportunity to review grammar, punctuation, diction, and sentence structure with an emphasis on paragraph and essay construction. Additional work is offered in oral expression, aural comprehension, and analytical reading. The instructor may also introduce the interpretation of literature and the writing of critical essays. Prerequisites: None.

  • Wayne Hoffmann-Ogier | FA2011 | , - | LIT2101.01
  • Wayne Hoffmann-Ogier | FA2012 | , - | LIT2101.01
  • Wayne Hoffmann-Ogier | FA2013 | , - | LIT2101.01
  • Wayne Hoffmann-Ogier | SP2011 | , - | LIT2101.01
  • Wayne Hoffmann-Ogier | SP2012 | , - | LIT2101.01
  • Wayne Hoffmann-Ogier | SP2013 | , - | LIT2101.01
  • Wayne Hoffmann-Ogier | SP2014 | , - | LIT2101.01
  • Wayne Hoffmann-Ogier | FA2014 | T, 4:10PM- 6:00PM | LIT2101.01

English Literature in the Age of Sensibility

This course is devoted to writing in the period between 1790 and the 1840's, when fiction and poetry had begun to reflect domestic life, everyday speech, and the nuances of friendship, romantic passion, and parenthood. We will read major novels by Jane Austen, the Brontës, and Ann Radcliffe, and study poetry and prose by Keats, Byron, and Shelley. We will attend in particular to the role of women, not only in Austen and the Brontës but also, for instance, in Shelley's "The Cenci," which concerns the circumstances behind judicial murder of a woman. Students will write two essays. Prerequisites: None.

  • Dan Hofstadter | SP2011 | WF, 2:10PM- 4:00PM | LIT2128.01

Enlightenment Prose

This course will introduce students to the major prose writers of the Enlightenment and to the ideas that inspired them. Authors covered will include Voltaire, Montesquieu, Rousseau, Diderot, Hume, Smith, Locke, Gibbon, Jefferson, Paine, and others. Prerequisites: None.

  • Brooke Allen | SP2013 | TF, 2:10PM- 4:00PM | LIT2321.01

Exodus

This seven-week course focuses on the second book of the Bible. Full of earthly incident (oppression, banishment, plagues, exile) and numinous drama (God's revealing himself to Moses, the Covenant, the giving of the Ten Commandments), Exodus has not only been a foundational text for Jews, but has also been a reference for liberation movements throughout history. We will delve into the text from a variety of viewpoints and historical contexts. Prerequisites: None.

  • Marguerite Feitlowitz | SP2012 | MTh, 4:10PM- 6:00PM | LIT2320.01

Fitzgerald and Hemingway

F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway were arguably the preeminent literary figures in America in the first quarter of the Twentieth century. Their work and their lives were both closely intertwined and dramatically contrasting. Each came from the conservative Midwest. Each enjoyed stunning early success. Each made his permanent mark in a very different fashion as a revolutionary prose stylist. Each was a close observer of social and cultural behavior both at home and abroad, chronicling lives of appetitive wealth, expatriate searching, the exhilaration and tragic costs of war. As well, they were, at various times in their lives, confidants and rivals as they struggled with the equally destructive perils of ambition and addiction. Among their lasting works, we will read The Sun Also Rises, The Great Gatsby, The Nick Adams stories, The Crack-Up, A Moveable Feast, Tender is the Night, The Last Tycoon, and others. Prerequisites: None.

  • Doug Bauer | FA2011 | MTh, 10:10AM-12:00PM | LIT2275.01
  • Doug Bauer | FA2014 | TF, 2:10PM- 4:00PM | LIT2275.01

Fundamentals of Reading and Writing Poetry

How are poems made? What are poems for? What is the relationship between music, movement, visual pattern and poetry? What do we mean when we say something is "poetic?" In this course, students will find answers to these questions by reading poems, meeting and listening to visiting poets, writing their own poems and writing and speaking critically about contemporary and canonical works. This will not be a traditional workshop course, but a hybrid of sorts in which students will gain an understanding of the fundamental work of reading and writing, understanding and appreciating poems. Attendance at all Poetry at Bennington events will be required. Prerequisites: None.

  • Mark Wunderlich | FA2014 | W, 2:10PM- 4:00PM | LIT2323.01

Genesis

Genesis is the first book in a compilation known collectively as the Bible. It is a text of enormous literary value, and one of our earliest historical chronicles, providing foundational material for Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Yet how many of us know what it actually says? How did it come together, what is the narrative, and how does it relate to the ideas and events of the ancient world? We closely examine this surprising and contradictory work both as a text, and as a primary source for understanding the world that produced it. Prerequisites: None.

  • Carol Pal | FA2013 | TF, 2:10PM- 4:00PM | HIS2220.01
  • Carol Pal | FA2011 | TF, 10:10AM-12:00PM | HIS2220.01

Genres and Forms of Poetry

This course will closely examine various genres of poetry, including the narrative poem, the elegy, the ode, the ekphrastic, the prose poem, the pastoral, the aubade, the list poem, and the erasure. Students will also be introduced to traditional prosody and acquire a familiarity with writing in meter, and will read poetry written in such traditional forms as the villanelle, the sestina, the pantoum, and the ghazal. Each week students will read a collection of poems (or its equivalent) in a given genre. Weekly critical response papers and creative assignments on each of the genres or forms, and one longer critical paper. Prerequisites: Email an attachment of five poems to mdumanis@bennington.edu by April 29th and please specify any poetry courses taken previosuly. Class list will be posted by May 6 on the Literature bulletin board on the second floor of the barn.

  • Michael Dumanis | FA2013 | W, 4:10AM- 6:00PM | LIT4164.01

German Poetry & Poetics: Rilke, Trakl and Celan

In this course we will examine in depth the ways in which the work of several major German-language poets responded to the cataclysmic events of World War I (Trakl and Rilke), World War II and the Holocaust (Celan). Though each of these writers saw themselves as breaking from the poetic traditions of the time, we will see how their work was embedded in the cultural landscape of the post Austro-Hungarian Empire and how their work continues to influence writers today. To frame our study, we will also look at work of the late Romantic poet Holderlin, and some poets whose work responds to and echoes that of these writers. Readings will be in English though some knowledge of German is helpful. Prerequisites: Permission of instructor. Please email Mark Wunderlich by May 2 with a brief statement of interest. A class list will be posted by May 7 on the Literature bulletin board on the second floor of the Barn.

  • Mark Wunderlich | FA2012 | TF, 10:10AM-12:00PM | LIT4248.01

Greek Historians as Literature

Precisely where the accounts of the major Greek historians stand in relation to fact is a matter of massive, ongoing scholarly inquiry. However that may be, the works of Herodotus, Thucydides, and Plutarch have always been regarded as brilliant contributions to literary art, albeit in different ways. Herodotus is a raconteur, venturing into the realm of folktale, fantasy, and homespun ethnography. Thucydides (whom we might call a journalist) reconstructs diplomatic overtures and public speeches, fashioning thereby not only a picture of the doubts and ethical quandaries of people in conflict but also a subtle portrait of himself. Plutarch, coming much later, studies character, notably in the case of Alcibiades, the intellectual general whose interests, or vanity, or ideals led him to switch sides in wartime. How is truth established in such accounts? Who is to be believed? How is a story-telling style maintained, and how does it help or undermine the writer's authority? Influential texts by such authors as Sophocles and Plato will also be discussed, especially those bearing on clashes between the citizen and the state. Prerequisites: Writing sample & permission of instructor.

  • Dan Hofstadter | SP2014 | ThF, 2:10PM- 4:00PM | LIT4187.01

Hans Christian Andersen

Hans Christian Andersen (1805-75) is one of the most famous names in world literature, but the Hollywoodization of his most famous stories--not to mention of his own biography--have obscured, for many, the delicate, painful artistry of his incomparable tales. In this class we will read a wide selection of Andersen's stories, including classics like "The Emperor's New Clothes," "The Steadfast Tin Soldier," "The Little Mermaid," and "The Snow Queen" as well as many lesser-known ones. We will also read Andersen's autobiographical "Fairy Tale of My Life" and selections from his diaries. Prerequisites: None.

  • Brooke Allen | SP2014 | TF, 2:10PM- 4:00PM | LIT2285.01

Historical Fictions/Fictional Histories

In this Honors Seminar, we will consider the demands and complexities of working with history in fiction. When, where, why, and how do facts abet and/or intrude on the creation of plot, character, place, framing, rhythm, and other details of style in novels and stories? How do questions of representation selection and emphasis, vocabulary and tone, pacing and texture, affect the writing of history? What is the role of rationality in fiction? Of irrationality in history? On what basis do we extend our trust to the historian? To the fictional narrator? These are but a few of the questions we will ponder over the course of the term. Along with novels and stories (Dinesen, Yourcenar, Bolano, Toibin, Appelfeld, Piglia, Sebald), we will read texts in which major historians describe, analyze, and meditate upon the practice of their discipline. In addition to critical papers, students will have the opportunity to write original historical fictions. Prerequisites: Submit writing sample to mfeitlowitz@bennington.edu by May 2. Class list will be posted by May 7 on the Literature bulletin board on the second floor of the Barn.

  • Marguerite Feitlowitz | SP2011 | T, 2:10PM- 6:00PM | LIT4165.01

History of Theater I

This course examines the history and aesthetics of the theater, including the development of staging, production, and acting methods and styles. In the fall of 2012 we will read representative plays from Ancient Greece through seventeenth-century Restoration England. Along with the plays, we'll look at critical and theoretical essays that elucidate the historical context and dramatic conventions of these works. Students will take midterm and final exams and write one essay. Prerequisites: None.

  • Kathleen Dimmick | FA2012 | MTh, 4:10PM- 6:00PM | DRA2153.01
  • Kathleen Dimmick | FA2014 | MTh, 4:10PM- 6:00PM | DRA2153.01

History of Theater II: Modern Drama

This course examines the history and aesthetics of the theater, including the development of staging, production, and acting methods and styles. In the fall of 2011 we will read representative plays from the modern canon, beginning with the experiments in Naturalism in the nineteenth century through twentieth century modernism to the contemporary drama of today. Along with the plays, we'll look at critical and theoretical essays that elucidate the historical context and dramatic conventions of these works. Students will write one essay and take midterm and final exams. Prerequisites: None.

  • Kathleen Dimmick | FA2013 | MTh, 4:10PM- 6:00PM | DRA2154.01
  • Kathleen Dimmick | FA2011 | MTh, 4:10PM- 6:00PM | LIT2130.01

Honors Seminar on Twain

According to Sam Clemens himself, "The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who can't read them." In this course, we'll read several ""good books""-along with stories, essays, and letters-penned by one of the most prolific and complex of American writers. One of the funniest, too, so we can expect to have a good time, in the midst of a rigorous reading and writing load. Among the works we'll read are The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Pudd'nhead Wilson, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, and portions of Innocents Abroad, and Life on the Mississippi, as well as selected shorter works of fiction and nonfiction. Students will keep reading journals, give presentations, and write critically and creatively, including an extended critical paper. Prerequisites: Writing sample (critical essay) and pre-registration interview. Writing sample is due on the first day of pre-registration.

  • Rebecca Godwin | SP2014 | MTh, 8:10AM-10:00AM | LIT4527.01

Honors Seminar: "Aspects of the Novel"

E.M. Forster's Aspects of the Novel (1927) is a delightful slim volume that is itself of the same high literary level as the novels that Forster describes. We will read some of Forster's own work, a selection of the books he writes about, and discuss his observations and theories. Students will write two papers. Prerequisites: E-mail Annabel Davis-Goff by October 31 at ADavis-Goff@bennington.edu with a statement of interest in the course. A class roster will be posted by November 4 on the Literature bulletin board on the second floor of the Barn.

  • Annabel Davis-Goff | SP2012 | TF, 2:10PM- 4:00PM | LIT4585C.01

Honors Seminar: George Orwell

Perhaps more than any other writer of his century, George Orwell (1903-1950) combined a penetrating political intelligence with significant literary gifts. In this class we will read most of Orwell's novels ("Burmese Days," "Keep the Aspidistra Flying," "Coming Up for Air," "Animal Farm," "1984") and major non-fiction works ("Down and Out in Paris and London," "The Road to Wigan Pier," "Homage to Catalonia"), along with a number of Orwell's brilliant political and literary essays. There will be two major papers. Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor. Please submit a writing sample by April 29. List will be posted May 6.

  • Brooke Allen | FA2013 | TF, 4:10PM- 6:00PM | LIT4135.01

Honors Seminar: Historical Fictions

In this Honors Seminar, we will consider the demands and complexities of working with history in fiction. When, where, why, and how do facts abet and/or intrude on the creation of plot, character, place, framing, rhythm, and other details of style in novels and stories? How do questions of representation selection and emphasis, vocabulary and tone, pacing and texture, affect the writing of history? What is the role of rationality in fiction? Of irrationality in history? On what basis do we extend our trust to the historian? To the fictional narrator? These are but a few of the questions we will ponder over the course of the term. Along with novels and stories (Dinesen, Yourcenar, Bolaño, Toibin, Appelfeld, Piglia, Sebald), we will read texts in which major historians describe, analyze, and meditate upon the practice of their discipline. In addition to critical papers, students will have the opportunity to write original historical fictions. Prerequisites: Submit writing sample to mfeitlowitz@bennington.edu by May 2. Class list will be posted by May 7 on the Literature bulletin board on the second floor of the Barn.

  • Marguerite Feitlowitz | FA2012 | W, 2:10PM- 4:00PM | LIT4365.01

Honors Seminar: Map to a Masterpiece

We'll be reading some of the principal works that Henry James, as a young aspiring novelist, absorbed and analyzed in the process of actively forming his own aesthetic, culminating in his first great novel, The Portrait of a Lady. It's a highly various and idiosyncratic tracing and the reading list will reflect it, drawn from among Turgenevs Sportsmans Sketches, Eliots Middlemarch, Maupassants stories, Zolas Nana, Robert Louis Stevensons Treasure Island, and Emersons Self-Reliance, culminating in The Portrait of A Lady itself, where we'll take note of how the writers James embraced influenced the classic work he wrote. There will be oral presentations and brief written essays, leading to a substantive final paper. Please submit a sample, no longer than four pages, of your critical writing by the end of the day, April 29th, to dbauer@bennington.edu.

  • Doug Bauer | FA2014 | TF, 10:10AM-12:00PM | LIT4273.01

Honors Seminar: The Lyric Essay

The lyric essay is, by its own fence-sitting name, neither wholly poem nor wholly essay: It is a hybrid in which the essayist may begin breaking into lines of verse, or in which the poet considers a lengthier argument too rangy for the confines of a syllable count. In this course we will read Whitman's Specimen Days, Dickinson's letters, Milosz's ABC's, short essays by Virginia Woolf, Joan Didion, Julio Cortazar, Anne Carson and a score of other very contemporary writers whose work is uncomfortable with typical genre labels. Students will write critical papers, give brief presentations and create their own lyric essays. Prerequisites: Email writing sample to markcwunderlich@aol.com by May 1. Class list will be posted by May 8 on the Literature bulletin board on the second floor of the barn. Corequisites: Students are required to attend Literature Evenings alternate Wednesdays, 7 - 8pm

  • Mark Wunderlich | FA2011 | W, 2:10PM- 6:00PM | LIT4520.01

Honors Seminar: Theory and Practice of Dramaturgy

In this course we'll look at the history and practice of dramaturgy and introduce some tools and methods of that practice, including text analysis, editing, and adaptation. Along with assignments on individual texts, students will observe rehearsals in DRA4376 Directing II and prepare rehearsal notes. The student's major work for the term will be the preparation of a Protocol, or Preproduction Casebook. Prerequisites: Advanced work in Drama or Literature.

  • Kathleen Dimmick | FA2012 | W, 2:10PM- 6:00PM | LIT4340.01

How to Read a Poem

What is a poem? How are poems put together? What do we call the parts of a poem? How do we describe what a poem says and contains? In this course we will read various poems from different eras and establish a vocabulary for discussing them. Students will also learn how to write about poems and will write and revise an essay. As part of this course, students will be expected to attend lectures and readings of visiting poets. Prerequisites: None.

  • Mark Wunderlich | FA2012 | TF, 2:10PM- 4:00PM | LIT2181.01

How to Read a Story

The challenge in this class will be to read and then to write critically about great literature with an appreciation of its aims and ambitions, and with earned opinions regarding the writers intentions. (In this effort you'll be reading criticism of the works that will inform but not dictate your own carefully considered views.) All that while also retaining the immediate pleasure of immersing yourselves in the universe of a compelling story. Both these engagements -- the delight we take in the tale and the satisfactions we get from delving for its meanings -- are necessary if we're to take away all we can from that which we read. We will likely read and -- re-read -- Chekhov's The Lady with the Lap Dog, Hemingway's Big Two-Hearted River and Carver's Where I'm Calling From, stories which beckon us to pay closer than close attention to both the worlds presented on the page and their suggested worlds beyond. Prerequisites: None.

  • Doug Bauer | FA2012 | W, 2:10PM- 4:00PM | LIT2179.01
  • Doug Bauer | FA2014 | W, 2:10PM- 4:00PM | LIT2179.01

How to Read a Translation

The history of the world is in great measure a history of translation. We will focus on Great Ages of Translation, compare and contrast multiple translations of particular texts, and consider the dynamic of "originality" with regard to literary translation. We will also study translation as a means of bearing witness to repression, war, atrocity, and its importance to asylum hearings and court cases. We will consider the cultural implications of the body in medical translation and in testimony on sexual violence. Prerequisites: None.

  • Marguerite Feitlowitz | SP2013 | MTh, 4:10PM- 6:00PM | LIT2187.01

If This Be a Man: Italian Writers Under the Nazis

Of the countries occupied by the Nazis, Italy was in important ways unique: although officially Fascist, it was not ideologically anti-Semitic, yet Italian Jews still suffered the signature atrocities of the Nazis. Our readings are by writers who bore witness to particular aspects of the Italian repression: Giorgio Bassani, whose elegant fiction documents the creeping marginalization of privileged assimilated Jews; Natalia Ginsburg, who lived in forced internal exile and whose husband was murdered by the Nazis; Primo Levi, whose account of his year in Auschwitz is one of the essential-and miraculously humane--documents of that ordeal. Prerequisites: None.

  • Marguerite Feitlowitz | FA2012 | MTh, 4:10PM- 6:00PM | LIT2350.01

James Joyce's Ulysses

The course consists of a close reading of the text, chapter by chapter, supplemented by lectures and brief related readings in Irish literature and history. There will be enough references made to Dubliners and Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man that students will benefit from a familiarity with these writings, although they are not required reading. Course requirements consist of two papers: a mid-term of 8-12 pages, and a final of the appropriate length for the topic. Prerequisites: Critical writing sample to deirdrebair@att.net by November 1. Class list will be posted by November 9 on the Literature bulletin board on the second floor of the barn.

  • Deirdre Bair | SP2011 | MW, 10:10AM-12:00PM | LIT4274.01

Jane Austen and George Eliot

Jane Austen (1775-1817) and Mary Anne Evans, who adopted the pen-name George Eliot (1819-1880), wrote a number of novels that rate among the most powerful produced in Great Britain during the nineteenth century. These works still astonish readers with their sensitivity to hidden or nameless emotions, to the subtleties of conversation, and to the complexities of domestic life. In the case of George Eliot, who worked as a German-language translator and journalist as well as a ficton writer, a fierce yet compassionate intelligence is deployed in the social analysis of all the most influential families in a small Midlands city. The structure of many of thse novels retains even today its power to perplex and amaze- Austen's Emma, a sort of mystery story, veils its very nature as a mystery much of the way through its unfolding- so we'll study a number of critical interpretations of our chief readings, such as Henry James on Eliot and Vladimir Nabokov on Mansfield Park. Substantial essay writing will be required. Prerequisites: Must submit a writing sample by November 7th. Class lists will be posted November 14. (students who have taken The Age of Sensibility not eligible).

  • Dan Hofstadter | SP2013 | F, 8:10AM-12:00PM | LIT4341.01

Johnson and Boswell

Samuel Johnson (1709-84) was recognized as the greatest man of letters of his day, the last and most monumental exponent of Augustan values in English literature. James Boswell (1740-95) was an amusing, often buffoonish young Scot who came to London in 1762 and charmed his way into the Master's good graces. Their long friendship would result in what many still consider the greatest biography in the English language, Boswell's Life of Johnson. We will read the Life of Johnson as well as numerous other works by the two men. From Johnson, the poems "London" and "The Vanity of Human Wishes"; his philosophical novella, Rasselas; a number of his influential essays; and excerpts from his ground-breaking Dictionary of the English Language and his Lives of the Most Eminent English Poets. We will compare the two very different narratives that grew from the two men's trip to Scotland in 1773: Johnson's serious Journey to the Western Islands of Scotland and Boswell's irreverent Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides. We will also read Boswell's bawdy London Journal. Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor.

  • Brooke Allen | FA2011 | TF, 4:10PM- 6:00PM | LIT4262.01

Kipling

Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936) was the most popular poet and fiction writer of the late Victorian era. He is nowadays, in many circles, the most reviled, perceived as embodying the very spirit of British imperialism. In this class we will explore Kipling's poetry, short stories, and a couple of longer books (probably "Kim" and "Stalky & Co.") in some depth, attempting to draw our own conclusions about his literary gifts and his place in the British canon. Prerequisites: None.

  • Brooke Allen | FA2013 | MTh, 4:10PM- 6:00PM | LIT2192.01

Late Twentieth Century British Fiction

1960 to 2000. We will read English and Irish novels which reflect the literature and culture of final forty years of the Twentieth Century. Reading will include Anita Brookner, John Banville, Penelope Fitzgerald, Kazuo Ishiguro. Students will write two essays. Prerequisites: None.

  • Annabel Davis-Goff | FA2013 | TF, 2:10PM- 4:00PM | LIT2195.01

Literary Biography

We will explore a historical overview of the genre before turning to textual analysis of some leading figures about whom many biographies have been written. Among the subjects are James Joyce, John Keats, Virginia Woolf, and Sylvia Plath. Students will write two papers on aspects of biography that we will explore during classroom discussion. These can include (among others) methodology, comparative analysis, or actual biographical research and writing. Course requirements: two papers, one at mid-term, the other a final. Length should be appropriate to the subject but a minimum of eight pages is required. Prerequisites: None.

  • Deirdre Bair | SP2011 | MW, 2:10PM- 4:00PM | LIT2263.01

Literary Diaries and Journals

Great diaries open a window onto past worlds: seventeenth century England has never been better depicted than through the diaries of Samuel Pepys, while France's Goncourt brothers have provided unparalleled warts-and-all portraits of their great contemporaries. Diaries also give us intimate visions of their authors, though as readers we must wonder exactly what impression the diarist is trying to make, and for whom he or she is writing. In this course we will consider the work of diarists such as John Evelyn, Pepys, the Duc de Saint-Simon, Lord Byron, Stendahl, the Goncourts, Dorothy Wordsworth, Leo Tolstoy, Robert Louis Stevenson, Alice James, Robert Musil, Franz Kafka, Virginia Woolf, and Christopher Isherwood. Prerequisites: None.

  • Brooke Allen | SP2012 | TF, 10:10AM-12:00PM | LIT2229.01

Literary Left Bank Paris - Between the Wars

At the turn of the century, an artistic community flourished on the left bank of the Seine, drawing artists and expatriates to Montparnasse. Many artists answered Ezra Pound's mandate to "make it new," resulting in significant modernist texts, progressive publishing endeavors, and small magazines. Two American women-Gertrude Stein and Natalie Barney-ran celebrated salons and nurtured the emerging literary culture. We will read authors such as Djuna Barnes, Hemingway, James Joyce, and Gertrude Stein with a focus on language and exploration of selfhood, mindful of the world events and social atmosphere that shaped les Années Folles (the crazy years).

  • Megan Mayhew-Bergman | FA2011 | MTh, 8:10AM-10:00AM | LIT2165.01

Literature of the Renaissance

The European Renaissance was one of the most exciting moments in history, a time in which long-held assumptions and hierarchies were overturned by groundbreaking scholars, artists, and explorers. In this class we will examine this vibrant period through the works of its great writers and thinkers. Readings will cover poetry, drama, autobiography, epic, the essay, exploration narrative, art theory, and satire, and will probably include works by Petrarch, Erasmus, Pico della Mirandola, Sir Thomas More, Montaigne, Machiavelli, Castiglione, Benvenuto Cellini, Vasari, Ariosto, Spencer, Marlowe, and Bernal Diaz de Castillo. Prerequisites: None.

  • Brooke Allen | FA2011 | TF, 10:10AM-12:00PM | LIT2265.01

Literature of World War I

In this course we will read fiction, poetry, and autobiography written during and directly after the war, by writers who experienced the conflict either on the battlefield or the home front. Authors considered will probably include Robert Graves, Siegfried Sassoon, Erich Maria Remarque, Jaroslav Hasek, Frederic Manning, Isaac Rosenberg, Wilfred Owen, Edmund Blunden, Henri Barbusse, Vera Brittain, and others. Prerequisites: None.

  • Brooke Allen | FA2012 | TF, 10:10AM-12:00PM | LIT2345.01

Literature: Special Projects

Students who are working on sustained writing projects-such as a long critical essay, a full-length play, a group of short stories or short plays, a novel, a collection of poems, a long poem, a screenplay, a longer piece of nonfiction, etc.-will meet twice weekly. We will discuss relevant models (the reading list will be tailored to the class members' interests) and the individual projects as they progress. Students not concentrating in Literature are also welcome to apply. Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor or a writing sample submitted to ADavis-Goff@bennington.edu by May 1. Class list will be posted by May 8 on the Literature board on the second floor of the barn. Corequisites: Students are required to attend Literature Evenings alternate Wednesdays, 7 - 8pm

  • Annabel Davis-Goff | FA2011 | TF, 2:10PM- 4:00PM | LIT4796.01

Masters of Style

This course is founded on the belief that the way to a writer's personal style and voice is through the close study, absorption, and imitation of others'. We will be reading and replicating many contemporary master stylists, from Doctorow to DeLillo to Toni Morrison to Denis Johnson to Amy Hempel, and others. In every case, we will conduct a three-part examination of the work being considered: an analysis of the intentions and themes; an oral report concerning some aspect of style; and an original piece that tries to reproduce the writer's style as closely as possible. NB: The goal here is creative expression through close imitation. It requires students to check their own styles-and their investments in them-at the door. Prerequisites: Email up to four pages of literary critical prose to dbauer@bennington.edu by May 1 at noon. Class list will be posted by May 8 on the Literature bulletin board on the second floor of the barn. Corequisites: Students are required to attend Literature Evenings alternate Wednesdays, 7 - 8pm

  • Doug Bauer | FA2011 | W, 2:10PM- 4:00PM | LIT4362.01
  • Doug Bauer | FA2013 | W, 2:10PM- 4:00PM | LIT4362.01

Modernist Monuments: Yeats, Pound and Eliot

This course will provide an in-depth exploration of poetry and critical work of three founding figures of English-language modernist literature: William Butler Yeats, Ezra Pound, and T.S. Eliot. We will also, time permitting, consider works by other major authors of the modernist movement, including Thomas Hardy, W.H. Auden and Gertrude Stein. At its inception, the modernist movement seemed to promise "a way of controlling, of ordering, of giving shape and a significance to the immense panorama of futility and anarchy which is contemporary history" (T.S.Eliot). What became of this initial impulse as the modernist movement continued to mature? Students will write critical papers and participate in weekly close readings of key texts. Prerequisites: Please send a statement of interest to Mark Wunderlich at mwunderlich@bennington.edu by April 29. Class lists will be posted by May 6 on the Literature bulletin board.

  • Monica Youn | FA2013 | M, 4:10PM- 6:00PM | LIT4218.01

Modernist Poetry

In the early twentieth century, mainly between the two world wars, Modernist poets broke from Romantic and Victorian poetic traditions to "make it new," so said Ezra Pound. The poets of this time used various strategies of innovation, but some similarities can be discovered. Modernists often privileged difficulty over clarity, the imagination over realism, skepticism over conviction, and fragmentation over coherence. Poets of the Harlem Renaissance and feminist poets shared these tactics, yet many rooted their work in political realities and chose clarity over abstraction. In this class, we will read a poet a week, focusing our attention on incisive readings of several poems and the poet's own critical writing. Poets may include Hardy, Yeats, Williams, Stein, Eliot, Pound, H.D., Stevens, Hughes, Frost, Moore, and Loy. At the end of the course, we will read from the Objectivists, inheritors of Modernism and transitional figures to Postmodernism. Students can expect to write two essays, take two exams, write weekly close readings, recite poems, and give a presentation on a critical essay. Prerequisites: None.

  • Camille Guthrie | FA2011 | TF, 10:10AM-12:00PM | LIT2367.01

Origins of the English Novel

The first English novel appeared more than a hundred years after the publication (and translation into English) of Don Quixote. Where did the English novel come from? And how did it develop? We will read Defoe, Richardson, Fielding, among others. Students will write two essays. Prerequisites: By May 2 please contact Annabel Davis-Goff via email at davisgoff@benninton.edu with a statement about your interest in the course. A course roster will be posted on May 7 in Barn 247 and on the Literature bulletin board on the second floor of the Barn.

  • Annabel Davis-Goff | FA2012 | TF, 2:10PM- 4:00PM | LIT4145.01

Paradise Lost

We will immerse ourselves in John Milton's epic poem Paradise Lost (1667). Composed by Milton while blind, the more than 10,000 lines of blank verse profoundly changed our understanding of the biblical story of the Fall. We will examine some of the many sources Milton drew upon for the poem-including Homer, Virgil, Ovid, Saint Augustine, and Guillaume du Bartas. And, we will study some of the texts and artworks that Paradise Lost influenced and inspired, including William Blake's and Salvador Dalì's illustrations of the epic; the Romantic poets' envisioning of a new kind of hero based on Milton's Satan; Ronald Johnson's poetic erasure of the first books of the text; and Phillip Pullman's culling of the plot in the His Dark Materials series. Assignments may include weekly close readings, a presentation, a recitation, two essays, two exams, and creative responses to the poem. Prerequisites: None.

  • Camille Guthrie | SP2012 | TF, 2:10PM- 4:00PM | LIT2264.01

Pathways: An Introduction to Writing

Beginning writers will explore the steps of the writing process as a path for discovery and communication. Weekly papers explore several modes of writing, including description, nonfiction narrative, and both analytical and argumentative essays. The course primarily emphasizes the art of essay construction by focusing on rhetorical patterns, by introducing research techniques, and by using critical reasoning skills to explore and to amplify ideas. The class routinely uses group editing and other collaborative techniques in a discussion setting and gives special attention to the development of editing and rewriting skills. It also sharpens analytical reading ability through careful analysis of literature. The schedule includes individual tutorials. Prerequisites: None.

  • Wayne Hoffmann-Ogier | FA2011 | MW, 2:10PM- 4:00PM | LIT2110.01
  • Wayne Hoffmann-Ogier | FA2012 | MW, 2:10PM- 4:00PM | LIT2110.01
  • Wayne Hoffmann-Ogier | FA2013 | MW, 2:10PM- 4:00PM | LIT2110.01
  • Wayne Hoffmann-Ogier | FA2014 | MW, 2:10PM- 4:00PM | LIT2110.01

Plague: History and Literature

"Plague" is a term that terrifies. In history, literature, and medicine, it works at a deep and awful level. But what are the component parts of this horror? During the first half of the term, we will read novels that treat epidemics both literally and metaphorically: Maugham, Camus, Saramago, etc. In the second half of the term we will examine the pre-modern precursors for these texts. We read and analyze documents produced during historical episodes of plague, from the Plague of Athens in 430 B.C. to the Plague of London in 1665. Annabel Davis-goff will teach the first half of the term. Carol Pal will teach the second half of the term. Students who have previously taken HIS2111 The History of Medicine to 1800 may not enroll in this course. Prerequisites: None.

  • Annabel Davis-Goff | SP2011 | TF, 4:10PM- 6:00PM | HIS2157.01
  • Carol Pal | SP2011 | TF, 4:10PM- 6:00PM | HIS2157.01

Practicum: National Undergrad Literary Anthology

This two-credit course will focus on reading, selecting, and editing material for plain china, an on-line literary anthology featuring the work of undergraduate students across the country. The work will result in monthly on-line publication. We're looking for reader/editors in poetry, fiction, and nonfiction; interest in art direction and computer knowledge welcome. This course will be conducted almost entirely on-line, via Skype and Google Docs. Plenty of work for two creditsit's also plenty rewarding. Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor.

  • Rebecca Godwin | FA2011 | , - | LIT4360.01
  • Rebecca Godwin | FA2012 | , - | LIT4360.01
  • Rebecca Godwin | FA2014 | M, 12:00PM- 2:00PM | LIT4360.01
  • Rebecca Godwin | FA2013 | M, 12:10PM- 2:00PM | LIT4360.01

Prosody: Poetry in Form

Prosody, or the study of the structure of poetry and verse, is essential work for any student of poetry. In this course, we will read through the history of English verse in order to understand the historical trajectory of the art. Students will learn about and write various verse forms, including Anglo-Saxon verse, villanelles, pantoums, sestinas, sonnets and rhetorical forms, such as the ode and the elegy. Students will also write critical essays and memorize and recite poems. Prerequisites: None.

  • Mark Wunderlich | FA2011 | TF, 10:10AM-12:00PM | LIT2369.01

Re-Creating the Classics

"Why read the classics?" Italo Calvino famously asked. What does it mean to be "contemporary"? Why is it that our meditations on, and debates with, these landmark works never seem to be "settled"? Why is it that some of our most deeply experimental, politically combative, and visionary writers continually find inspiration in canonical works? In our exploration of these questions we will read a series of classic works with their radical re-creations: Sophocles' Antigone/Griselda Gambaro's Antigona Furiosa: The Tempest/Auden's The Sea and the Mirror; Robinson Crusoe/Coetzee's Foe; Jane Eyre/Jean Rhys' Wide Sargasso Sea. We will also consider the ways in which fresh waves of scholarship and new translations may effectively re-create works we thought we "knew." Prerequisites: None.

  • Marguerite Feitlowitz | FA2011 | MTh, 10:10AM-12:00PM | LIT2318.01

Reading & Writing Poetry in the Age of Social Medi

This course is a writing workshop designed to investigate, challenge, and use contemporary methods of production and distribution of poetry. Working on the page and online, we will write and read poems in relationship to online culture, popular culture, social media (Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram) and platforms of communication such as texts messages, email, YouTube, etc. What does it mean for the poet to be seemingly personal or impersonal on the internet or the page? What does it mean for the poet to withhold, alter, create, and reimagine a history (personal or otherwise) on these platforms? We will study early and modern poetic "brand-makers" such as Walt Whitman, Allen Ginsberg, Anne Sexton and others. We will think about the internet and poetry as countercultural forces. Prerequisites: By April 29, please email 3 to 5 pages of poetry as well as a brief statement describing your engagement with social media to adimitrov@gm.slc.edu. Please include any links to your own blogs, Twtter, Tumblr, Instagram accounts, etc. Admitted students will be notified by email, and a class list will be posted on the Literature Board on May 5.

  • Alex Dimitrov | FA2014 | F, 2:10PM- 6:00PM | LIT4254.01

Reading and Writing Memoir

Memoir is a democratic genre; anyone can write autobiography. We will read and critique memoirs from different eras that vary by artistic approach and intent, including works by Nabokov, Joan Didion, Nick Flynn, Lucy Grealy, Leonard Michaels, Jo Ann Beard, and Edward Abbey. The class will discuss creative liberty and truth, the authorial "I," narcissism, excess, and the act of confession. We will also identify techniques for giving vitality to scene, dialogue, and characters. With an eye toward narrative strategy, the class will spend significant time composing and refining individual work. Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor. Email writing sample of 3 to 5 pages to mmayhew-bergman@bennington.edu no later than October 31. A class list will be posted by November 4 on the Literature bulletin board on the second floor of the Barn. Corequisites: Students who are enrolled in this course are required to attend Literature Evenings (every second Wednesday, 7pm)

  • Megan Mayhew-Bergman | SP2012 | MTh, 10:10AM-12:00PM | LIT4154.01

Reading and Writing Personal Essays

"In a personal essay," writes Philip Lopate, "the writer seems to be speaking directly into your ear, confiding everything from gossip to wisdom." In this class, we'll read and talk and write about a range of essays, from the earliest to the most contemporary. Inspired by glorious example, we'll start small, making forays into the form as we work towards producing longer essays. Intensive involvement in reading, writing, and talking is an absolute requirement. Among the likely texts: The Best American Essays of the Century, edited by Joyce Carol Oates, and The Art of the Personal Essay, edited by Philip Lopate. Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor. Email creative writing sample of 3 to 5 pages to rgodwin@bennington.edu no later than November 1. Class list will be posted by November 8 on the Literature bulletin board on the second floor of the barn.

  • Rebecca Godwin | SP2011 | W, 8:20AM-12:00PM | LIT4212.01

Reading and Writing Poetry

Students will examine the choices other writers make in their work, through reading a range of selections in contemporary and 20th-century poetry. We will also devote time to discussions of prosody, poetic form, and structure. We will then examine the choices we ourselves make in our work and turn in a new poem every week, each generated through a assignment or prompt. Students will write critical response papers, and will prepare a final portfolio of poems at the end of the term. Prerequisites: By May 2 please submit a writing sample of 5-7 poems to Michael Dumanis at mdumanis@bennington.edu. A course roster will be posted on May 7 on the Literature bulletin board on the second floor of the Barn. Corequisites: Students who are enrolled in this course are required to attend Literature Evenings (every second Wednesday, 7pm)

  • Michael Dumanis | FA2012 | W, 2:10PM- 4:00PM | LIT4313.01
  • Michael Dumanis | SP2014 | W, 2:10PM- 4:00PM | LIT4313.01

Reading and Writing Poetry: Color, Text, and Sound

In this poetry course, students will investigate relationships between color, text, and sound, and consider this relationship closely by looking at the work of pets, writers, and theorists who have thought extensively about the connections between color and language. Our reading list will include work by Maggie Nelson, Anne Carson, Gertrude Stein, Daniel Tammet, William Gass, Bernadette Mayer, Hannah Weiner, Ludwig Wittgenstein, and David Batchelor, among others. By examining the connections between color and language, the course will train students in the ability to break down lived experience into more basic sensual components- such as smell or sound-- and incorporate these components into their own poetry writing. Students will do weekly critical and creative exercises and will turn in both a final poetry manuscript and critical essay by the end of the course. Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor. If interested in this course, please contact Mark Wunderlich, Michael Dumanis, or Dorothea Lasky (dottielasky@gmail.com).

  • Dorothea Lasky | SP2013 | Th, 2:10PM- 6:00PM | LIT4342.01

Reading and Writing Poetry: The Lyric Tradition

In this course we will read from the lyric tradition of poetry and use its wildly-varying content and forms to develop our own writing. A lyric poem, in simple terms, must be brief, be one (Coleridge), be "the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings" (Wordsworth), and finally, be intensely personal and subjective (Hegel). This tradition--the lyric's brevity, harmony, and subjectivity--has been often tested and expanded, especially by poets of the 20th century and after. We will read work from the Classical period, the Renaissance, the Romantic era, Modernism, and from contemporary poetry; there will be a special focus on the Romantic poets, as their innovations came to define what we call the lyric poem today. Students will read a poet or more a week and write mimetic exercises to expand their poetic skills. We will write a lot: inspired imitations and our own work. In addition, there will be critical responses, an independent study of a contemporary poet, recitations, and a final portfolio of revised poems due at the end of the semester. Prerequisites: Email a sample of poetry (3-5 pages) to cguthrie@bennington.edu by November 1. Class list will be posted by November 8 on the Literature bulletin board on the second floor of the barn.

  • Camille Guthrie | SP2011 | TF, 10:10AM-12:00PM | LIT4238.01

Reading and Writing Poetry: The Poet's Toolkit

In this course, students will hone and sharpen their poetic craft through an extensive focus on the materials and techniques of their art form. Starting from the basic building block of the poem - the individual word or sound, students will engage in a series of exercises that are designed to deepen their appreciation of structure, craft, and form. We will devote special attention to the ways in which poetry can participate in the characteristic techniques of other artists whose works serve as exemplars for certain formal strategies. In addition to weekly creative writing assignments, students will write critical response papers, and will prepare a final portfolio of poems at the end of the term. Prerequisites: Please submit a writing sample of 5 poems to Mark Wunderlich at mwunderlich@bennington.edu by April 29. Class list will be posted by May 6 on the literature bulletin board. Please note that students enrolled in this course are required to attend Literature gatherines on Wednesday evenings.

  • Monica Youn | FA2013 | T, 6:30PM- 8:20PM | LIT4251.01

Reading and Writing Satire

In this class, students will read and watch a series of classic satires, using the techniques they learn from them as models for their own satirical work. The course will most likely include works by Aristophanes, Lucian, Juvenal, Petronius, Sir Thomas More, Moliere, Twain, and Orwell. We will also be looking at the work of more recent satirists in film and television. Students will be expected to write several satires over the course of the term. Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor. Please submit a writing sample by email to ballen@bennington.edu, no later than November 7. The class list will be posted on November 14.

  • Brooke Allen | SP2013 | TF, 4:10PM- 6:00PM | LIT4115.01

Reading and Writing Short Stories

This is a course for fiction writers on how to write a short story, a genre we'll define using the formula first proposed by Edgar Allan Poe: a work of fiction that can be read in one sitting. Students can expect to read about forty stories over the semester from a wide range of periods and traditions; write frequent exercises to begin the term; and produce two complete stories that will be workshopped. We will study closely how creative choices and the exercise of conscious literary style combine to produce "infinite riches in a little room" (Christopher Marlowe).

  • Rebecca Godwin | SP2012 | W, 8:20AM-12:00PM | LIT4211.01
  • Rebecca Godwin | SP2014 | W, 8:20AM-12:00PM | LIT4211.01
  • Benjamin Anastas | FA2014 | W, 2:10PM- 4:00PM | LIT4219.01
  • Benjamin Anastas | SP2014 | W, 2:10PM- 4:00PM | LIT4219.01

Reading and Writing: The Novel

What is the novel and how is it constructed? This course will treat the novel, primarily, as an exercise in form, and take students on in-depth tour of the traditions as they have evolved: the epistolary novel, the picaresque, the bildungsroman, the sturdy "realist" or "naturalist" novel, metafiction in its many different guises. We'll read from the novel's beginnings in the 18th Century (Richardson, Sterne) through the 19th (Flaubert, Gogol, Henry James, Twain) and the 20th (Virginia Woolf). We'll also dissect the contemporary meta-fictions of Jeannette Winterson, David Mitchell, and Percival Everett. Students are expected to write frequent exercises in fiction writing and produce the beginning of a novel of their own for a final project. Prerequisites: Students must submit a writing sample to be considered for the class.

  • Benjamin Anastas | FA2013 | MW, 4:10PM- 6:00PM | LIT4326.01

Readings in Chaucer

Our overriding aim is simple: to read, discuss, write about, and generally immerse ourselves in Geoffrey Chaucer's masterworks, The Canterbury Tales and Troilus and Criseyde. In that process, we'll aim to get sufficiently comfortable with Middle English to read, delight in, and even imitate that rich language. We'll also consider something of Chaucer's life and times as necessary corollaries to understanding his work, and dip into the colossal industry that constitutes Chaucerian scholarship. As we focus on the works as literature, students will do plenty of reading aloud, discussing, and writing regularly assigned brief responses and two longer papers, in addition to presentations, OED exploration, and online discussion. Prerequisites: None.

  • Rebecca Godwin | SP2012 | MTh, 4:10PM- 6:00PM | LIT2124.01

Readings in Contemporary Poetry

How do we read poems? How do contemporary poets speak to the concerns of our present circumstances? How do living poets reinvent the tradition of the art? In this course, which is based on the Poetry at Bennington readings and lectures, we will read, discuss and write about the work of the visiting poets and have the opportunity to hear them read their own work and discuss their own relationship to reading and thinking about poems. Some of the authors we will study include Mary Jo Bang, Lucie Brock-Broido, Jericho Brown and others. Prerequisites: Previous enrollment in a poetry course at Bennington, or permission of instructor. Please send a brief statement of interest and a list of completed poetry course to mwunderlich@bennington.edu by November 7th. Class lists will be posted by November 14th.

  • Mark Wunderlich | SP2013 | MTh, 2:10PM- 4:00PM | LIT4114.01

Readings in Melville

In Moby-Dick, Ishmael tells the reader: But I have swam through libraries and sailed through oceans; I have had to do with whales with these visible hands; I am in earnest; and I will try. In this course we will immerse ourselves in Herman Melville's first book Typee, the novel Moby-Dick, as well as the short prose works The Encantadas, Benito Cereno, Billy-Budd, Sailor, and Bartleby, The Scrivener. In the microcosm of a whaling, slave, or war ship, or in a Manhattan office, Melville investigates the deepest questions about art, nature, god, democracy, humanity, power, and fate. (Among other things!) We will also read critical and biographical essays to understand Melville's preoccupying themes, to situate his work in American history, and to grasp the profound influence his writing has had on modern culture. Students will keep a weekly reading journal, give presentations, take two exams, and write two analytical essays. Welcome to the hunt. Prerequisites: None.

  • Camille Guthrie | SP2013 | TF, 10:10AM-12:00PM | LIT2241.01

Recent Fiction From India and Pakistan

In this class we will look at novels and stories that have been published by Indian and Pakistani writers over the last twenty years, in the context of the history of the post-Partition subcontinent. We will read works by an array of authors, possibly including Aravind Adiga, Rohinton Mistry, Mohsin Hamid, Mohammed Hanif, Mirza Waheed, Amit Chaudhuri, H.M. Naqvi, and Amitav Ghosh. Prerequisites: None.

  • Brooke Allen | SP2011 | MTh, 10:10AM-12:00PM | LIT2132.01
  • Brooke Allen | FA2013 | TF, 2:10PM- 4:00PM | LIT2132.01

Richard Wright and James Baldwin

"As writers we were about as unlike as any two writers could possible be," James Baldwin wrote of his early mentor and sometimes rival Richard Wright. "We were linked together, really, because both of us were black." Now that both writers have been canonized, we can read their major works together, side by side, and identify the resonances and irreconcilable differences that make Black Boy and Go Tell it On the Mountain, Another Country and Native Son, just as memorable for readers in our time as they were when they were published. We'll survey the careers of both American masters as they quarreled with history and found their own principled solutions to America's race problem.

  • Benjamin Anastas | FA2014 | MTh, 10:10AM-12:00PM | LIT2193.01

Roman Poetry and "The Metaphisical I"

This course will examine several key Ancient Roman Poets and connect the work of these poets to a handful of contemporary American poets. the poets will be studied under the lens of "The Metaphysical I", a concept, inspired by Aristotle. Our reading list will include: Catullus, Horace, Virgil, Ovid, Juvenal, and Martial. American Poets read will include Walt Whitman, Frank O'Hara, Sylvia Plath, and Eileen Myles. We will also read scholarly and creative translations of the poet Catullus by American poets Bernadette Mayer, Louis Zufofsky and Brandon Brown. Over the semester, students will complete two essays, give an in-class presentation, and complete a set of responses to a series of creative exercises influced by our reading. Prerequisites: None.

  • Dorothea Lasky | SP2013 | W, 2:10PM- 6:00PM | LIT2283.01

Russian Jewish Literature

The roots of modern Russian Jewish literature reach back into the Pale of Settlement of the pre-revolutionary era. The vibrant cosmopolitan city of Odessa on the Black Sea provided an important model for the style and political stance of Jewish literature written in Russian, especially evident in the humor of Ilf and Petrov, the reconditioned nineteenth-century novelistic style of Valentin Kataev, the bold prose experiments of Isaac Babel, and the Zionism of Vladimir Jabotinsky. The Russian Jewish experience provided a distinct perspective onto Stalin's purges and the second World War, as reflected in the uncompromising poetry and memoirs of Osip Mandelstam and Evgeniya Ginzburg, and the path-breaking journalism of Vasily Grossman. The work of contemporary authors such as David Bezmozgis, Gary Shteyngart, Dina Rubina, Lara Vapnyar and Wladimir Kaminer reflects a cross-cultural range of style and subject matter, inspired by the complexity of the immigrant experience in Europe, North America, and the Middle East. Students will be expected to write three short papers requiring close readings of particular texts, and a research term paper. Prerequisites: None.

  • Alexandar Mihailovic | FA2012 | MTh, 4:10PM- 6:00PM | LIT2203.01

Satire

Satire has proved a remarkably resilient and even stable genre, from the plays of Aristophanes in the fifth century BC up to The Colbert Report. How can we define satire? Does it have any rules, any standards and styles that persist across the centuries? How does the satirist disguise his voice and hide behind different personae? What are the satirist's technical tools? How does the good-natured Horatian satire differ from the savage Juvenalian variety, and are these categories still useful when it comes to current examples of the genre? In this course we will read works by Aristophanes, Lucian, Horace, Juvenal, Petronius, Erasmus, More, Cervantes, Moliere, Swift, Dryden, Pope, Voltaire, Austen, and, moving into the modern age, George Orwell, Evelyn Waugh, and Terry Southern. We will frequently refer to present-day examples (SNL, The Onion, et al.) insofar as they relate to the classic works under discussion and help contribute to a working definition of satire. Students will write two essays. Prerequisites: None.

  • Brooke Allen | SP2011 | MTh, 2:10PM- 4:00PM | LIT2155.01

Schools and Movements in American Poetry

This course will survey the evolution of, and revolutions in, the American poetry of the last half-century by exploring the work of various aesthetically and culturally linked groups of American poets that came to prominence in the decades following the Second World War: the Beats, the Confessional Poets, the Black Mountain School, the San Francisco Renaissance, the New York School, Deep Image poets, the Black Arts Movement, New Formalists, and L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E poets. As we wade into the impassioned debates surrounding each of these movements to better understand what precisely constitutes a "school" of poetry, we will read poems, manifestos, and essays representative of the aesthetic of each movement, and trace connections these diverse currents in American poetry have with one another. The course will conclude by examining various new schools and movements that contemporary critics have labeled, including Elliptical poetry, documentary or "investigative" poetics, and The New Sincerity. Our course texts will include Paul Hoover's anthology Postmodern American Poetry and several collections of poetry. In addition to two papers and a presentation, students will be expected to attempt writing four mimetics, including a Confessional poem, a New York School poem, a Deep Image poem, and a L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E poem. Prerequisites: None.

  • Michael Dumanis | FA2012 | MTh, 2:10PM- 4:00PM | LIT2315.01

Seminar on Virginia Woolf

In this seminar, we will focus intensively on the fiction and nonfiction of Virginia Woolf (1882-1941) whose enormous output, experimental techniques, and intellectual reach revolutionized the form and subject matter of both the novel and the essay. As a thinker and social critic, Woolf is artful, radical, and full of complication - foundation for modern feminism and pacifism, and a touchstone for a whole spectrum of literary, cultural, and political critics. We will study early and major novels (Jacob's Room, Mrs. Dalloway, To the Lighthouse, Orlando, The Waves), the literary and cultural essays from The Common Reader, as well as A Room of One's Own and Three Guineas. We will also read steadily from her Diaries, which provide one of the most intimate, sustained, and complex renderings of the day-to-day process of writing. Students will present their own work in a myriad of forms: individual and group presentations; brief essays; and an extended critical/research paper. Prerequisites: Email critical writing submission to mfeitlowitz@bennington.edu by April 29. Class list will be posted by May 8 on the Literature bulletin board on the second floor of the barn.

  • Marguerite Feitlowitz | FA2011 | W, 2:10PM- 4:00PM | LIT4526.01

Shakespeare: Comedies and Romances

In his comedies (Much Ado About Nothing, As You Like It, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Twelfth Night, etc.) and in his late so-called "romances" (Cymbeline, A Winter's Tale, Pericles, and The Tempest), Shakespeare presents us with a vision of the stage as a place of transformation and delight, of cognition and recognition. In forests, islands, glades, and gardens, the characters lose and find their lives and loves--and the magic of play-acting, of stage-craft itself, is the medium of discovery. Students will read, discuss, and write about the plays--along the way pondering such questions as: What is Comedy? What is Farce? Why prose, and why poetry? Prerequisites: None.

  • Mark Wunderlich | FA2013 | TF, 10:10AM-12:00PM | LIT2215.01
  • Mark Wunderlich | SP2012 | TF, 10:10AM-12:00PM | LIT2215.01

Shakespeare: The History Plays

We will read and watch seven of Shakespeare's history plays (two Roman and five English). We will examine the historical background of each play, the sources from which Shakespeare drew his material, and a range of critical responses to the plays. Classes will also include discussion, written responses, and some student recitals (optional) of selected scenes or speeches. Students will write two essays. Prerequisites: None.

  • Annabel Davis-Goff | FA2012 | W, 2:10PM- 6:00PM | LIT2214.01
  • Annabel Davis-Goff | SP2011 | W, 2:10PM- 6:00PM | LIT2214.01

Shakespeare: The Poetry

Idealized love. Painful friendship. Bitter affairs. Homoerotic passions. Lovers' triangles. Poetic rivals. Relentless Nature. Fleeting time. Artistic immortality. These subjects are just some of those meditated upon in Shakespeare's sonnets. In this course, we will study the sonnets attentively and deeply, and examine sonnets written by his predecessors, Petrarch, Wyatt, and Sidney. In addition to learning about the history of metaphor, we will read The Rape of Lucrece, a sexual, political poem and Venus and Adonis, an erotic narrative poem. Of course, we will not forget the various songs and lyrics from the plays. Students can expect to write two analytical essays, take two exams, keep a weekly journal, read critical essays, memorize sonnets, and write creative responses to our readings. Prerequisites: None.

  • Camille Guthrie | FA2014 | TF, 10:10AM-12:00PM | LIT2218.01

Shakespeare: The Tragedies

We will read and watch six of Shakespeare's Tragedies, and will read the sources from which Shakespeare drew his material. Students will write two essays, and are expected to participate in discussion based on careful reading of the plays. Please note there will be two evening film screenings, times to be arranged. Prerequisites: None.

  • Annabel Davis-Goff | FA2011 | Th, 2:10PM- 6:00PM | LIT2217.01
  • Annabel Davis-Goff | SP2014 | W, 2:10PM- 6:00PM | LIT2217.01

Steal this Book: Literature of the 60's & 70's

The 1960s and 70s have been so thoroughly trivialized by the culture wars that Timothy Learys mantra Turn on, tune in and drop out has become the eras defining slogan. But the counter-culture helped produce some of the most genre-breaking literature we have, and this course will dive into the alternative canon for a long, strange trip among the famous, the forgotten, and the just plain weird. We'll read work by the Beats (Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, Hettie Jones), the Merry Pranksters (Ken Kesey) and harder to define misfits like Norman Mailer, Grace Paley, Rudy Wulitzer, and Richard Brautigan. We'll also read indispensable documents like The Autobiography of Malcolm X, the key works of New Left philosophy, and the SDS's "The Port Huron Statement," the manifesto for a youth-revolution that helped make the world we live in. Prerequisites: None.

  • Benjamin Anastas | FA2013 | MW, 10:10AM-12:00PM | LIT2248.01

Style and Tone in Nonfiction Writing

This introductory course focuses on the weekly writing of extended essays, including nonfiction narrative, personal essay, literary criticism, research writing, and the analytical essay. It gives particular attention to developing individual voice and command of the elements of style. The class incorporates group editing in a workshop setting with an emphasis on re-writing. It also involves the analysis and interpretation of a variety of texts and explores writing across the curriculum. The course concentrates on the effective use of logic and rhetorical patterns in developing a thesis. The schedule includes individual tutorials. Prerequisites: None.

  • Wayne Hoffmann-Ogier | FA2011 | Th, 2:10PM- 6:00PM | LIT2104.01
  • Wayne Hoffmann-Ogier | FA2012 | Th, 2:10PM- 6:00PM | LIT2104.01
  • Wayne Hoffmann-Ogier | FA2013 | Th, 2:10PM- 6:00PM | LIT2104.01
  • Wayne Hoffmann-Ogier | FA2014 | Th, 2:10PM- 6:00PM | LIT2104.01
  • Wayne Hoffmann-Ogier | SP2011 | Th, 2:10PM- 6:00PM | LIT2104.01
  • Wayne Hoffmann-Ogier | SP2012 | Th, 2:10PM- 6:00PM | LIT2104.01
  • Wayne Hoffmann-Ogier | SP2013 | Th, 2:10PM- 6:00PM | LIT2104.01
  • Wayne Hoffmann-Ogier | SP2014 | Th, 2:10PM- 6:00PM | LIT2104.01

Swift and Pope

This class will concentrate on the Augustan authors Jonathan Swift (1667-1745) and Alexander Pope (1688-1744). We will read many of the two writers' major works: from Pope, "Essay on Criticism," "Essay on Man," "The Rape of the Lock," "The Dunciad," "Imitations of Horace," "Epistle to Dr Arbuthnot," and "Moral Essays"; from Swift, "Gulliver's Travels," "A Modest Proposal," "Journal to Stella," "Drapier's Letters," "Battle of the Books," "Tale of a Tub," and "An Argument Against Establishing Christianity."

  • Brooke Allen | FA2014 | MTh, 2:10PM- 4:00PM | LIT4252.01

Tell Me About It: Memoir in Form and Practice

Memoir is the stepchild of the literary canon, frequently maligned (see James Frey) and yet still perennially popular, stretching back to the Colonial-era bestseller A Narrative of the Captivity, Sufferings and Removes of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson (1770). We will read widely in the tradition of memoir--from Henry Adams to Mary Karr; from Speak, Memory to Sean Wilsey's Oh the Glory of it All--and students will write personal essays of their own, culminating in a substantial final project. Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor. Please submit a writing sample by email to banastas@bennington.edu, no later than November 7. The class list will be posted on November 14.

  • Benjamin Anastas | SP2013 | MW, 2:10PM- 4:00PM | LIT4116.01

The American Short Story

This course will trace the path and growth of the story through the 20th century. Early masterly practitioners, some now obscure, include Susan Glaspell, Jean Toomer, and Benjamin Rosenblatt, as well as Sherwood Anderson. An evolving complexity in form and voice can be discerned, decade upon decade, in the stories of Hemingway, Cather, Katherine Anne Porter, Faulkner, Fitzgerald, Nabokov, Jean Stafford, Cheever, O'Connor, Roth, Malamud, and on through Bellow, Ozick, Alice Munro and others. Importantly, the conditions and concerns of the culture and the times are reflected in the works and these external influences will be noted and examined. Prerequisites: None.

  • Doug Bauer | FA2012 | MTh, 2:10PM- 4:00PM | LIT2312.01

The Anglo-Irish Novel

The contribution to British literature by the politically powerful, Protestant, land-owning, Anglo-Irish is substantial and important. We will read Maria Edgeworth and Somerville & Ross as representatives of the Ascendancy, as well as novels that reflect the political changes of the 1920s, and life, after Irish independence, for the descendents (actual and literary) of this formerly powerful section of Irish society. Students will write two essays and some shorter papers. Prerequisites: None.

  • Annabel Davis-Goff | SP2012 | TF, 4:10PM- 6:00PM | LIT2167.01

The Art of Criticism

We live in a time where criticism has been democratized by message boards and the desire for increased Web traffic encourages polemics and manifestos. How can we become better readers, generate insight, and contribute meaningful ideas to ongoing conversations about contemporary literature? This class explores the way in which we absorb and speak critically about books, and the art of constructing and defending arguments. We will read creative contemporary work by Annie Proulx, Jonathan Franzen, and Jennifer Egan, and the critical work of Zadie Smith, James Wood, Wyatt Mason, Sven Birkerts and Edmund Wilson. Students will develop techniques for analyzing work, and through response papers will gain valuable experience in argument construction. Discussion points include the relevance of gender in critique, assessment of prose quality, and the return of realism. Prerequisites: None.

  • Megan Mayhew-Bergman | SP2012 | M, 2:10PM- 4:00PM | LIT2178.01

The Art of Literary Translation

It may be that the closest, most interpretative and creative reading of a text involves translating from one language to another. Questions of place, culture, epoch, voice, gender, and rhythm take on new urgency, helping us deepen our skills and sensibilities in new ways. The seminar has a triple focus: comparing and contrasting existing translations of a single work; reading translators on the the art and theory of translation; and the creation of your own translations. We will also consider translation as an act of bearing witness to cultural and political crisis, and as a means of encoding messages that would otherwise be censored. You will have two options for a final project: a manuscript of original translations, accompanied by an introduction; or an extended literary essay on the issues at play in this course. You may work in any genre, from French, Spanish, Italian, or Portuguese. Prerequisites: Proficiency in French, Spanish, Catalan, or Italian. Please arrange an interview with the instructor prior to October 25.

  • Marguerite Feitlowitz | SP2012 | MTh, 10:10AM-12:00PM | LIT4319.01
  • Marguerite Feitlowitz | FA2013 | TF, 10:10AM-12:00PM | LIT4319.01

The Art of Portraiture

We study a range of painters, sculptors, and photographers (Michelangelo, Leonardo, Vermeer, Rembrandt, Goya, Giacometti, Picasso, Bacon, Freud, Neel, among others) along with literary works in which the creation and portrayal of character is paramount. Our work will be based upon close readings of texts and analyses of technique. Students will have the opportunity to do creative as well as critical work. Prerequisites: Please email a statement of interest and critical or creative writing sample of no more than ten pages to Marguerite Feitlowitz by November 7. A course roster will be posted on November 14 in Barn 247 and on the Literature bulletin board on the second floor of the Barn.

  • Marguerite Feitlowitz | SP2013 | W, 2:10PM- 4:00PM | LIT4106.01

The Classical Style

In much of the 16th and 17th centuries, Europeans were concerned to identify the characteristics of classicism. This, they felt, was the one style suitable for all the arts, yet its elaboration proved elusive. In this course we will first look at the characteristics of the classic style already elaborated in antiquity, in Tragedy, for instance; next, at how Shakespeare used North's Plutarch translation to fashion Coriolanus, his most classical play, and at how Racine, with his deeply Christian concerns, reprised Euripides (already a less-than-classical writer). Illustrations from classic art (early Michelangelo, Raphael, Sebastiano del Piombo, etc.) and classicizing Baroque masters (Guido Reni, Guercino, Poussin) will be shown to vivify the discussion. Students will write two essays. Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor. Submit a brief statement of interest to DHofstadter@bennington.edu by November 1. Class list will be posted by November 8 on the Literature bulletin board on the second floor of the barn.

  • Dan Hofstadter | SP2011 | WF, 10:10AM-12:00PM | LIT4112.01

The Comedy of Manners

The comedy of manners is a form of social comedy that examines the manners of an insular group, generally of the upper or upper-middle classes. In this class we will read a number of these comedies--mostly novels but a few plays as well. Authors covered may include Oliver Goldsmith, Anthony Trollope, Elizabeth Gaskell, Samuel Butler, Edith Wharton, E.M. Forster, Oscar Wilde, Noel Coward, and Nancy Mitford. Prerequisites: None.

  • Brooke Allen | FA2014 | MTh, 4:10PM- 6:00PM | LIT2207.01

The Comical History (?) of The Merchant of Venice

The Comical History of the Merchant of Venice, or Otherwise Called the Jew of Venice is one of Shakespeares most vexing plays. England had expelled its Jews in 1290, yet tensions surrounding this absent people persisted, sometimes finding violent public expression, as happened shortly before the composition of this play. Shylock (The Jew of Venice), one of Shakespeares most complicated characters, has engendered an exceptionally rich performance history, as we will see from a selection of English and international films from various epochs. But there is even more to this play: the unease that may underlie homogeneity; anxiety about the Other; sudden economic shifts; the performance of genderand coming full circle, the issue of genre which enfolds a host of questions about humanity. Prerequisites: None.

  • Marguerite Feitlowitz | FA2011 | MTh, 4:10PM- 6:00PM | LIT2212.01

The Jazz Age Revisited

"It was an age of miracles, it was an age of art, it was an age of excess, and it was an age of satire," F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote in his epitaph to the Jazz Age. It was something else too: a social and literary revolution, fueled by new communications technology, music, popular entertainment, the end of racial segregation, and a creative renaissance in a neighborhood in Upper Manhattan called Harlem. Modernism, the Bohemians of Greenwich Village and Montparnasse, the lawlessness of the Prohibition era are all a part of the cultural backdrop. We'll read the leading lights of the literary scene in New York and in Paris (Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Gertrude Stein, Djuna Barnes) and their counterparts in booming Harlem: Countee Cullen, Jean Toomer, James Weldon Johnson, and Nella Larsen. Prerequisites: None.

  • Benjamin Anastas | SP2014 | MTh, 10:10AM-12:00PM | LIT2304.01

The Literature and Philosophy of Innocence

Poet Wallace Stevens writes: "There may always be a time of innocence. There is never a place." Accused criminals plead not guilty; they do not plead innocent, though they are innocent until proven guilty. English poet William Blake wrote two books called The Songs of Innocence and The Songs of Experience, and though he would let you purchase Innocence on its own, you could only acquire Experience if you also bought Innocence. Is innocence a time, a place, or a state of mind, and is it forever lost? Writing and philosophy have much to say on the subject. This course brings together readings in which innocence is a central concern. Topics to be discussed might include: the garden of Eden, and Paradises, generally considered; the link between sexual innocence and political innocence; the slaughter of the innocents; children and childhood; and, of course, guilt. Readings will include: the book of Genesis, Rousseau, William Blake, William Wordsworth, Henry James, Thomas Hardy, Bertolt Brecht, C.S. Lewis, Penelope Fitzgerald, Louise Gluck. Students will write two papers. Prerequisites: None.

  • Katie Peterson | SP2011 | MTh, 4:10PM- 6:00PM | LIT2127.01

The Literature of Artistic Obsession

Creativity itself--elixir and torment, liberation and bondage, enchantment, exhilaration and irresistible adventure has from time immemorial inspired great works of literature. Our readings will embrace a spectrum of artistic obsession: protagonists caught in the throes of creative fixation; the artist who tries madly to impose himself, according to his own impossible terms, on society; the artist or art work that becomes a grail to an obsessed scholar, biographer or translator. Among the authors whose books we will read are Balzac, James, Kafka, Bernhard, Ozick, Toibin, Coetzee, and Tsypkin. Prerequisites: None.

  • Marguerite Feitlowitz | FA2012 | MTh, 10:10AM-12:00PM | LIT2250.01

The Long Story, The Novella

These are most difficult forms, and yet literary history is full of treasures. We will read Kleist, Poe, Melville, Mann, James, Wilde, Tanizaki, Sarraute, Camus, Roth, Duras, Ozick, Penelope Fitzgerald, Munro, and Claire Messud, among others. Students will have creative, as well as critical, writing assignments. Prerequisites: None.

  • Marguerite Feitlowitz | SP2012 | W, 2:10PM- 4:00PM | LIT2129.01

The Making of a Poem

How are poems made? What do we mean when we say something is "lyrical" or "poetic?" How do poets reward readers for the gift of their attention? In this course we will read the work of the poets who will come to campus as part of Poetry at Bennington and look at the strategies they use to shape poems that are distinctive, satisfying and rigorous. We will also examine their poetic antecedents, influences and mentors as a way of understanding their work in larger contexts. Please note that this course is a two-credit, fourteen-week course meeting once a week. In addition to class time, you will be required to attend all Poetry at Bennington events. Prerequisites: Permission of instructor. Please send a brief paragraph declaring your interest in the course to mwunderlich@bennington.edu by April 29. A course list will be posted on the Literature bulletin board by May 1.

  • Mark Wunderlich | FA2013 | F, 2:10PM- 4:00PM | LIT4117.01

The New York School of Poetry

This course will serve as an immersion in the work of several major American poets of the 1950s and 1960s, noted for their humor, irreverence, disjunctive experimentation, charm, and wildness, and collectively known as the New York School. We will begin by focusing on the original generation of New York School poets: John Ashbery, Frank OHara, Kenneth Koch, James Schuyler, and Barbara Guest. We will also study the Abstract Expressionist painters who were these poets contemporaries and close friends, discuss connections between New York School poets and the French surrealists of the early 20th century, and examine the New York School against the cultural, political, and social landscape of 1960s New York. We will then trace the influence of the New York School on subsequent generations of writers, reading the work of Ted Berrigan, Joe Brainard, Bernadette Mayer, Eileen Myles, Anne Waldman, Joseph Ceravolo, Hannah Weiner, Dean Young, Joshua Beckman, Dorothea Lasky, and Lisa Jarnot. Students are responsible for presentations, weekly response papers, and two longer critical projects. Prerequisites: None.

  • Michael Dumanis | FA2013 | MTh, 2:10PM- 4:00PM | LIT2198.01

The Political Novel

This class will examine the political novel as it has developed throughout the world since the late nineteenth century, under political regimes as various as Stalin's Russia, Kenyatta's Kenya, and Pinochet's Chile. Readings will include works by Anthony Trollope, Sinclair Lewis, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Milan Kundera, Ngugi wa Thiong'o, and Roberto Bolano. Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor.

  • Brooke Allen | SP2012 | TF, 4:10PM- 6:00PM | LIT4160.01

The Post-Civil War American Novel

American novels in the Gilded Age charted the rise of the industrial era and the growth of an immensely wealthy new class of capitalists in the former capital cities of culture. We will read works by Edith Wharton, who wrote about the last days of the American aristocracy, Theodore Dreiser, one of thirteen children of poor German immigrants, and William Dean Howells, elder statesman of the novel of middle-class manners. These authors not only track a period of great literary and social uproar but also offer interesting lessons in authorial point of view. Prerequisites: None.

  • Anne Heller | FA2011 | MW, 8:00AM-10:00AM | LIT2190.01

The Romantic Poets

Toward the end of the 18th century, writers, thinkers and artists began to react against the rationalism of the Enlightenment, the coming Industrial Revolution and the political claustrophobia of Europe, and they set out on a new path. The result was the Romantic movement, and it gave us some of the most enduring poetic works. In this course, we will look at both the German and English poets of the Romantic Era, and consider their lives, the contexts in which they wrote, and most importantly, the poems themselves, paying particular attention to the ways in which these writers wrote and thought about the natural world. Poets will include Emily Bronte, John Keats, Shelley, Blake and John Clare, as well as the Germans Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Schiller, the Grimm Brothers, and Hoelderlin. In addition to poems, we'll read Wuthering Heights, German fairy tales, and we'll discuss the ways in which this cultural movement opened the doors environmental conservation, psychology and nationalism.

  • Mark Wunderlich | FA2014 | TF, 2:10PM- 4:00PM | LIT2249.01

The Scriptorium

Defined as a "place for writing," our scriptorium will function as a class for beginning writers and for those who want to brush-up on their essay-writing skills. Essai means a trial or attempt, so much of our time will be occupied with writing in class probatively; responding to masterful examples of the essay form critically and creatively; and editing and revising collaboratively. We will read to write and write to read, starting with the inventor of the essai, Montaigne; other readings may include work by Arendt, Barthes, Darwin, Douglass, DuBois, Emerson, Freud, Kafka, Keats, Nietzsche, Plato, Sedgwick, Shakespeare, Shonagon, Sontag, Thoreau, Woolf. Most importantly, in our writing we will practice how to formulate a thesis, develop an argument, and provide supporting evidence. Every week, students can expect to study a text, write a short response, and write and revise in class; during the term, we will rework several pieces into longer essays. Our schedule includes library lessons, grammar review, and individual conferences. Prerequisites: None.

  • Camille Guthrie | FA2011 | TF, 2:10PM- 4:00PM | LIT2131.01
  • Camille Guthrie | FA2012 | TF, 10:10AM-12:00PM | LIT2131.01
  • Camille Guthrie | SP2012 | TF, 10:10AM-12:00PM | LIT2131.01

The Scriptorium: Critical Theories

Our scriptorium, a "place for writing", will function as a class for beginning writers for those students who want to improve their essay skills. We will read to write and write to read, following the originator of the form, Montaigne. Much of our time will be occupied with writing probatively, as essai means "trial" or "attempt". This particular class will examine model examples of theory and criticism, with a focus on cultural studies and popular culture. We will practice various essay structures with the aim of developing persuasive, well-supported thesis; in addition, we will revise collaboratively and study grammar. Our aim is to learn to write more genuinely with complexity, imagination, and accuracy. Authors may include the following: Barthes, Benjamin, Foucault, Haraway, Berger, Sontag, Mulvey, Said, Freud, Tompkins, de Beauvoir, Wilde, Baudelaire, Baudrillard, Kosofsky, Sedgwick, Hooks, and Butler. Prerequisites: None.

  • Camille Guthrie | FA2014 | TF, 2:10PM- 4:00PM | LIT2227.01
  • Camille Guthrie | FA2013 | TF, 10:10AM-12:00PM | LIT2227.01

The Scriptorium: Ekphrasis

Defined as a "place for writing," our scriptorium will function as a class to explore the many manifestations of ekphrasis, which can be simply defined as an artistic description of a work of art, a rhetorical device in which one medium of art responds to another. In this writing-intensive course, we will study classical and modern examples of ekphrasis and create our own responses to works of art. While we develop our reading and writing skills, we will learn new ways to do research, integrate evidence, and argue a persuasive thesis. We will ask ourselves these pressing questions: in which ways can we accurately and imaginatively describe a work of art? How can we capture a work's meaning, form, and effect on the audience? What are the conflicts and possibilities between literature and the visual arts? Texts may include readings from Homer, Ovid, Freud, Keats, Shelley, Wilde, Rilke, Auden, Williams, Loy, Stevens, Barthes, Ashbery, Sontag, Young. Prerequities: None.

  • Camille Guthrie | SP2013 | TF, 2:10PM- 4:00PM | LIT2225.01
  • Camille Guthrie | SP2014 | TF, 10:10AM-12:00PM | LIT2225.01

The Writer Abroad

We will explore the rich tradition of writing by travelers, émigrés and exiles to locate common themes in travel literature across continents and historical periods. Why is it that so many writers have been compelled to go abroad in order to find themselves? How does the writer's relationship to language change when surrounded by another? How does the writer make the "foreign" his or her own? Readings for the term will include travel writing in multiple genres (essays, journals, fiction, poetry, etc.) from Goethe to Rebecca Solnit, and students will be expected to write a number of brief exercises and two longer original pieces of their own. Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor. By May 2 please submit a writing sample of 3-5 pages to Veronica Jorgensen at vjorgensen@bennington.edu. A course roster will be posted on May 7 on the Literature bulletin board on the second floor of the Barn. Corequisites: Students who are enrolled in this course are required to attend Literature Evenings (every second Wednesday, 7pm)

  • Benjamin Anastas | FA2012 | MW, 10:10AM-12:00PM | LIT4120.01

This is Not a Novel: Experimental American Fiction

In this course, we will examine the attempts of various American writers to come up with alternatives to the conventions of realist narrative fiction that have dominated American literary history. We will read writers from the last half-century that have employed with modernist and postmodern techniques as metafiction, resistance of closure, authorial intrusion, collage, indeterminacy, pastiche, stream of consciousness, surrealism, defamiliarization, paradox, and hybridity. Selected writers will include John Barth, Donald Barthelme, Sarah Shun-Lien Bynum, Lydia Davis, Ben Marcus, David Markson, Carole Maso, Tim O'Brien, Thomas Pynchon, and David Foster Wallace, among others. Students will be responsible for weekly critical responses, two longer analytical papers, and several experimental fictions. Prerequisites: None.

  • Michael Dumanis | SP2014 | MTh, 2:10PM- 4:00PM | LIT2211.01

Through Syntax to Style: a Grammar of Writing

"Syntax" is the aspect of grammar concerned with the relationships of words in a language, with how they fit together to create meaning. By exploring various English syntactical structures, we will discover a variety of ways to combine the same words to say slightly different things. The course will rely heavily on the linguistic work of Noam Chomsky. We will write a number of short, pithy essays in which syntax and punctuation will make a great difference. The ability to control syntax is critical for all writing, both expository and, more importantly, creative.

  • John Gould | SP2013 | TF, 2:10PM- 4:00PM | LIT2169.01
  • John Gould | FA2013 | TF, 10:10AM-12:00PM | LIT2169.01
  • John Gould | SP2012 | TF, 10:10AM-12:00PM | LIT2169.01
  • John Gould | SP2014 | TF, 10:10AM-12:00PM | LIT2169.01

Transcendentalism and its Discontents

A comprehensive survey of Transcendentalism through the writing of its major figures (Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Margaret Fuller) as well as more overshadowed club members like Orestes Brown, Bronson Alcott and Ellery Channing. We will explore the debate the movement set off among thinkers of the time and come to a keen understanding of transcendentalism not just as a philosophical ideal, but as a radical new way of living that only could have flowered in the roiling America of the 1830s and 1840s. Students will write frequent responses to their reading throughout the term and two papers. Prerequisites: None.

  • Benjamin Anastas | SP2013 | MTh, 10:10AM-12:00PM | LIT2208.01

Turgenev and Flaubert

Ivan Sergeyevich Turgenev (1818-1883), the great Russian novelist, left his homeland in 1854 and spent most of the rest of his life in Paris, where he died. Though he wrote in Russian, he was also a writer of pan-European cultural connections, his closest friends being Pauline (Garca) Viardot, a distinguished Spanish-born opera singer and composer, and Gustave Flaubert (1821-1880), the novelist. This course is devoted to Turgenev and Flaubert in the belief that their fiction, their ideas on technique, their personal papers, their shared values and also their conflicts - illuminate both figures. The major works of the two friends will be covered, as well as diaries, literary reviews, and correspondence, including Flauberts exchange with George Sand, the central female writer of the period, and Turgenevs letters to Pauline Viardot. Prerequisites: None.

  • Dan Hofstadter | FA2011 | TF, 2:10PM- 4:00PM | LIT2204.01
  • Dan Hofstadter | SP2014 | ThF, 8:10AM-10:00AM | LIT4204.01

Voltaire and Rousseau

Francois Marie Arouet de Voltaire and Jean-Jacques Rousseau were towering figures not only of the age of Enlightenment but of all Western intellectual history. Their subjects ranged from philosophy to politics to religion to history to education; their works remain as readable and provocative as they were 250 years ago. Great radicals in their time who are still politically polarizing today, they did as much as any thinkers have done to bring the modern world into being. In this class we will read a broad range of works, including Voltaire's ""Letters From England,"" "Philosophical Dictionary," "Treatise on Tolerance," "Candide," "Zadig," and "Micromegas," and Rousseau's "Confessions," "Emile," parts of "Julie," and the major political essays. There will be two papers. Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor.

  • Brooke Allen | SP2014 | TF, 4:10PM- 6:00PM | LIT4143.01

Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson

In this course we will examine the work and worlds of these two canonical American poets. We will read the poems and letters of Dickinson and the poems and prose of Whitman, paying special attention to his lifelong masterwork, Leaves of Grass. We will also dip into the biographies of these authors and attempt to place them within the context of 19th century literature and culture. Students will also read, discuss and write critical prose, present research in class and complete creative assignments. Prerequisites: None.

  • Mark Wunderlich | SP2014 | TF, 2:10PM- 4:00PM | LIT2199.01

War and Peace

War and Peace, Vanity Fair, and Shirley are novels that are set during the Napoleonic Wars. Charlotte Bronte's novel is set in a Yorkshire deeply affected by the Peninsular wars, Tolstoy describes both Napoleon's Russian campaign and the domestic and social life of a huge range of characters, and Thackeray's greatest novel reaches its climax with the Battle of Waterloo. Students will write two essays. Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor.

  • Annabel Davis-Goff | FA2013 | MTh, 4:10PM- 6:00PM | LIT4108.01

Welty, Woolf, O'Connor: Inside the Writing Life

In this class, we will explore the writing process by considering the work of three writers who had plenty to say about it. We'll read Virginia Woolf's A Writer's Diary, Eudora Welty's One Writer's Beginnings, and selections from Flannery O'Connor's A Habit of Being and Mystery and Manners, along with novels and short fiction by these prolific writers, including To the Lighthouse, The Optimist's Daughter, The Complete Stories of O'Connor, and others. In addition to critical papers, students keep their own writing journals. Come prepared to read, write, and discuss with vigor and rigor. Prerequisites: None.

  • Rebecca Godwin | SP2011 | MTh, 8:10AM-10:00AM | LIT2237.01

Willa Cather and Katherine Anne Porter

Cather and Porter are two of the seminal writers of the first half of the 20th century and currently, one could argue, two of the most critically undervalued. They're fascinatingly paired, both biographically and artistically, their personal and professional lives chronologically coincidental, geographically overlapping and, in the end, emphatically dissimilar. We'll be reading a representative selection of short fiction and novels, likely including, among others, Cather's Song of the Lark, My Mortal Enemy, The Professor's House and A Lost Lady, and Porter's Collected Stories and Pale Horse, Pale Rider, looking in each writer's work for the compelling rendering of her original rural and adopted urban landscape, Cather starting in Nebraska, Porter in Texas, and both settling in Greenwich Village. As well, we'll examine the ways in which the fiction reflects their fierce social independence, their political attitudes and their literary influences. Prerequisites: None.

  • Doug Bauer | FA2012 | MTh, 10:10AM-12:00PM | LIT2123.01

William Faulkner and the Agrarians

The Southern Agrarian movement, which gave rise to the New Criticism in the 1940s and 1950s, favored a return to the supposedly Jeffersonian virtues of the pre-Civil War South. William Faulkner, writing in rural isolation about the same region at the same time, regarded antebellum Southern culture with a critical eye and, as time went on, with an emphasis on universal humanistic values. The Agrarians reacted against modernist literary techniques and trends; Faulkner mastered them. Yet both wrote most passionately in opposition to the commercial culture of mid-20th century mainstream America, and their best work continues to provide a fascinating critique of our own time and place. We will read works by Faulkner, Robert Penn Warren, and Allen Tate. Prerequisites: None.

  • Anne Heller | FA2011 | MW, 10:10AM-12:00PM | LIT2194.01

William Maxwell: Writer and Editor

William Maxwell was an editor at the New Yorker for forty years; he was also one of the twentieth century's great American writers. We will read three of his novels and a selection of the stories he edited. These will include work by Mavis Gallant, Shirley Hazzard, and Frank O'Connor. This course is suitable for students of all levels. Prerequisites: None.

  • Annabel Davis-Goff | FA2014 | MTh, 4:10PM- 6:00PM | LIT2281.02

Worlds Within Worlds: Place in Literature

A great work of art is a world unto itself, which is not to say it was created in isolation from the so-called real world or from other invented worlds. How does a text draw us into its orbit and what literary elements function to keep us there? We will define place liberally, and study the way a variety of writers in multiple genres handle geography, flora, fauna, kinship, history, myth, as well as characters' habits of mind, belief, and speech. Expect to write every week, in myriad forms. A longer final project will be due at the end of term. Prerequisites: Email writing sample to mfeitlowitz@bennington.edu by November 1. Class list will be posted by November 8 on the Literature bulletin board on the second floor of the barn.

  • Marguerite Feitlowitz | SP2011 | W, 2:10PM- 6:00PM | LIT4110.01

Wounded Literature: Trauma & Representation

This course will be a study of the paradox of trauma literature. Stories that compel their telling, yet are unassimilated and unspeakable, these works grow out of disasters on an individual and/or collective scale. To better understand Anne Whiteheads assertion that writers "have frequently found that the impact of trauma can only adequately be represented by mimicking its forms and symptoms, so that temporality and chronology collapse, and narratives are characterized by repetition and indirection," we will read representative narratives by authors including Toni Morrison, Juan Goytisolo, Art Spiegelman, Slavoj Zizek, and W.G. Sebald, in conversation with major theoretical contributions by Freud, Herman, Caruth, LaCapra, and Whitehead. This will be a reading and writing-intensive course. Prerequisites: None.

  • Sarah Harris | SP2014 | MTh, 10:10AM-12:00PM | LIT2262.01

Writing Essays about Literature

Writing Essays is an introduction to writing clearly-constructed and logically-argued essays in response to reading, analyzing, and appreciating literary genre, including poetry, short stories, essays, plays, and novels. The course offers an analysis of the technical elements in literature: imagery, symbolism, metaphor, point of view, tone, structure, and prosody. The class reviews a variety of strategies for exploring both substance and style through close readings, for effectively incorporating quotations, scholarly research, and critical theories, and, finally, for writing with vividness, energy, and economy. The workshop setting emphasizes collaborative editing and substantial rewriting. Individual conferences are included. Prerequisites: None.

  • Wayne Hoffmann-Ogier | SP2011 | MW, 2:10PM- 4:00PM | LIT2102.01
  • Wayne Hoffmann-Ogier | SP2012 | MW, 2:10PM- 4:00PM | LIT2102.01
  • Wayne Hoffmann-Ogier | SP2013 | MW, 2:10PM- 4:00PM | LIT2102.01
  • Wayne Hoffmann-Ogier | SP2014 | MW, 2:10PM- 4:00PM | LIT2102.01

Writing Landscape

"Nature is our widest home," Edward Hoagland once wrote, and the workshop would examine why this is so. The course would consider how the cycles, rhythms, and disturbances of the natural world have always had a place in American letters. Some students would have the opportunity to use their observations from and experience in fieldwork as raw material from which to develop finished essays that may touch on a wider sphere of experience; other students would explore what it is about closely observing nature that can breathe life into writing. The exchange between these two realms of interest would be vital to the course and encourage students to evaluate their own ideas about environmental issues and values. Themes, and the personal essays assigned, might address evolving ideas of wilderness; continuity; discontinuity; transformation; scale; displacement and loss. Reading might include works by Henry Thoreau, Ralph Waldo Emerson, John Wesley Powell, John Burroghs, John Muir, Wendell Berry, Edward Hoagland, John McPhee, Gretel Ehrlich, and Verlyn Klinkenborg. Prerequisites: None.

  • Akiko Busch | FA2014 | MTh, 4:10PM- 6:00PM | LIT2201.01