Fall 2010 Courses - Undergraduate

Undergraduate Course Descriptions - Fall 2010

English 22, MW 12:00-13:15 pm - Sam Maio
Fantasy and Science Fiction: This course, which fulfills a GE: C2
requirement, will examine selected novels and stories of both fantasy
and science fiction by a range of writers from various times and
cultures, including many classics of both genres by E.T.A. Hoffmann,
Edgar Allan Poe, Nikolai Gogol, Franz Kafka, Jules Verne, and H. G.
Wells as well as contemporary works by writers such as Ursula K. Le
Guin, Joyce Carol Oates, and Carlos Ruiz Zaf—n. Students will learn to
read literature intelligently and appreciatively - and hopefully read
these works for pleasure! - while examining the writers and their
fiction within the historical and cultural contexts of their artistic,
thematic, and political intentions. There will be several short writing
assignments, and students will keep a journal of their reading
experiences. (Note: This course cannot be taken for credit in the
English major.)

English 22, MW 15:00-16:15 pm - Adrienne Eastwood
This course will explore utopian and dystopian worlds as they manifest
in Science Fiction from Plato's Republic to Alan Moore's V for
Vendetta. Specifically, we will look at the ways in which the creation
of fantasy worlds operates as a means for both social critique and as a
device to bring about social change. I have selected readings from a
range of historical periods, as well as authors from a variety of cultural
backgrounds to give us an opportunity to compare diverse
perspectives. I also include a unit on graphic novels, which make a
significant contribution both to the genre of Science Fiction and

English 56A, TR 12:00-13:15 pm - Andrew Fleck

English Literature to the Late 18th Century

Major literary movements, figures, and genres from the Anglo-Saxon
period through the eighteenth century. Works and writers may include
Beowulf, Sir Gawain, Chaucer, Spenser, Sidney, Shakespeare, Donne,
Milton, Dryden, Pope, Swift, Fielding, Johnson, Boswell.

English 56B, TR 12:00-13:15 pm - Katherine Harris

British Literature 1800 to Present: Revising, Aftering, Parody &

The Romantic poets began a journey through Nature to find
themselves. The Victorian novelists recognized social injustice. The
Modernists heralded World War I and its destructiveness. The

Postmodernists take all of this, revise, repackage and re-sell to the
20th Century reader. In this, we will read texts that reflect some of the
variety of cultural and historical experiences in Great Britain from
about 1800 to now. The authors to be studied have been selected for
their considerable influence on the future directions of British life and
thought and their ability to startle and compel contemporary readers.
Several readings from a Norton anthology; other selections may
include Frankenstein, Patchwork Girl, Jane Eyre, Wide Sargasso Sea,
The Eyre Affair, Mrs. Dalloway, The Hours, A Clockwork Orange and
Sandman: Endless Nights.

English 68B, MW 10:30-11:45 am - Balance Chow

American Literature

A survey of major and significant texts, movements, and writers
exemplifying the literature of the United States of America, covering
the modern period (from around 1865 to 2000). A variety of stories
and poems will be read from The Heath Anthology of American
Literature (6th edition; Vols. C, D., E). Required: Quizzes and in-class
activities, presentations, two essays, midterm and final exams.

English 71, online - Alan Soldofsky

Introduction to Creative Writing

This section of ENGL 71 will be taught online using Blackboard
instructional technology. In the course, students will read published
works of poetry, creative nonfiction, and short fiction. Guided by
structured lessons from the readings, students will produce original
works of creative writing, incorporating the craft lessons contained in
the model texts. The class will be divided into small writing groups as
well as work together as a class writers' workshop. In the workshop,
all class members will discuss drafts of class members' works, posting
constructive feedback. All class members will also post their writing
on a weekly basis to their small group bulletin board as well as post
comments on others students' writing. In this way, the electronic
writing groups and workshop will function like a "bricks-and-mortar"
writing classroom. While increasing students' knowledge of creative
writing techniques, class members will also explore the traditions of
poetry, creative nonfiction, and fiction that have evolved over the last
several centuries. The ultimate goal for each student is to have drafts
of their creative work completed and regularly critiqued for revision.
Each student will submit to the instructor a small portfolio of
completed writings in each genre: five poems; one work of creative
nonfiction (that cites library or Internet secondary sources); two or
three works of short fiction (totaling at least 4,000 words).

English 71 MW 15:00-16:15 pm/MW 16:30-17:45 pm - Sam Maio
This introductory course, which fulfills a GE: C2 requirement, treats
poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction. Students will study model
works from each genre drawn from many cultures and time periods in
order to learn the basics of form and technique, and then will write
their own original poems, fictive stories, and prose pieces, some of
which will be shared with the class in a workshop setting. We will
begin with brief Italian and French lyric forms of poetry then move to
dramatic and narrative poetry as a transition to prose fiction and
nonfiction. The course will emphasize revision and the development of
students' creative impulses.

English 78, MW 10:30-11:45 am - Adrienne Eastwood

Introduction to Shakespeare: William Shakespeare and Popular

In this course we will grapple with the question: does Shakespeare still
matter in the twenty-first century? Students will study several of
Shakespeare's plays in depth, and then analyze modern film
adaptations of those same works. Some of the pairings we will discuss
include: The Taming of the Shrew - 10 Things I Hate About You (Dir.
Gil Junger); Othello - "O" (Dir. Tim Blake Nelson); Macbeth - Scotland
PA (Dir. Billy Morrissette); Romeo and Juliet - Romeo + Juliet (Dir.
Baz Luhrmann); Hamlet - Hamlet (Dir. Almereyda, with Ethan
Hawke). In each case, we will tease out the decisions made by each
director in their attempt to remake or reinterpret Shakespeare's work.

English 100W, MW 9:00-10:15 am - Paul Douglass

Writing Workshop

An integrated writing and literature course, ENGL 100W aims at
developing an advanced ability in academic writing, building on skills
addressed in English 1A and 1B. The course is designed specifically for
students majoring in English, with an emphasis on close reading of
literary texts, especially poetry. In addition to poetry drawn from a
variety of forms and periods, this section of ENGL 100W will focus on
the fiction and theater of crime and its detection. Detective stories
comprise a genre founded on acts of reading, of texts, people, events,
objects, and actions. The course's readings, activities, essays, and
presentations will be based on the theme of reading and interpretation
that is integral to academic writing, crime literature, and poetry taken
as (in an historical and philosophical sense) the epitome of the literary

English 102, TR 10:30-11:45 am - Nancy Stork

History of the English Language

A survey of the English language from its earliest written form in runic
inscriptions, through Old, Middle, and early Modern English to the
present day. We will read examples from literary texts and consider
language change as revealed in sounds, inflections, words, semantics
and syntax. A fascinating survey of a complex topic. We will read the
earlier texts with the aid of interlinear or facing page translations.

English 103, TR 9:00-10:15/TR 13:30-14:45 pm - Nancy Stork

Modern English

The grammar of modern English, with attention to all levels of the
language -- phonemes, morphemes, parts of speech, phrases, clauses,
and sentences. Examples drawn from literary texts and present day
Internet English. See how just amazing your ability to form sentences
and clauses really is!

English 112A, MW 9:00-10:15 am/MW 10:30-11:45 am - Revathi

Children's Literature

Study of literature for elementary and intermediate grades,
representing a variety of cultures. Evaluation and selection of texts.

English 117, T 16:30-19:15 pm - Andrew Fleck

Film, Literature, and Cultures

Using films and literary works, students will appreciate and understand
the narratives (myths and other stories) that create and define cultural
identity, explore cultural interaction, and illustrate cultural
preservation and cultural difference over time.

English 117, W 19:00-21:45 pm - Noelle Brada-Williams
An exploration and comparison of narrative in film and literature, the
class will focus on cultural definition, change and the interaction
between cultures. We will examine film and literature from many
different continents and compare, among other issues, their
representations of colonialism, gender, sexuality, and their use of
narrative form.

English 123A, MW 13:30-14:45 pm - Balance Chow
Literature for Global Understanding: Americas examines the
literary production and cultural heritage of the Americas -- including
Latin America and the Caribbean / West Indies -- dating back to the
Columbian contact. Issues such as colonialism, slavery, genocide,

race, ethnicity, language, class, gender, religion, cultural hybridity,
modernity, human rights, and indigenous movements will be
exemplified in the writings of significant writers selected from Latin
America and the Caribbean / West Indies area. For Fall 2010, the
major authors covered will include Jorge Luis Borges (Argentina),
Paulo Coelho (Brazil), Pablo Neruda (Chile), Gabriel Garcia Marquez
(Columbia), Carlos Fuentes (Mexico), and Mario Vargas Llosa (Peru).
Authors of the Caribbean and West Indies such as Alejo Carpentier
(Cuba), Edwidge Danticat (Haiti), Franz Fanon (Martinique), and
Jamaica Kincaid (Antigua) will be covered as well. Colonial texts such
as those by Christopher Columbus and Bartolome de las Casas, as well
as indigenous texts such as the Popol Vuh are also represented. Some
knowledge of Spanish, Portuguese, French, and indigenous or Creole
languages will be most welcome. Presentations, short papers,
research project, and exams required; satisfies Advanced GE in Area

English 123B, TR 15:00-16:15 pm - David Mesher

Literature for Global Understanding: Africa

The focus of the course will be on works originally written in English by
novelists from Africa since the middle of the twentieth century, but we
will also read works in translation from other languages, as well as
some drama and, if time permits, poetry. Among the authors who may
be covered are four Nobel laureates in literature -- J.M. Coetzee, Nadine
Gordimer, Naguib Mahfouz, and Wole Soyinka -- as well as writers such
as Chinua Achebe, Ayi Kwei Armah, Tsitsi Dangarembga, Buchi
Emecheta, Nuruddin Farrah, Bessie Head, Ngugi wa Thiong'o, and

English 125A, MW 12:00-13:15 pm - Bonnie Cox

Homer to Dante

This course offers an introduction to some of the major literary works
of the first 2,000 years of Western Culture, works of great genius and
superb craft. They are as much a part of our heritage as that which we
receive from our parents. Our goal this semester is to take possession
of that heritage, like heirs who have come of age, understanding how
these works are connected to each other and to us via a series of
parallel and contrasting patterns of thoughts and feelings that form a
path of human continuity across time and place.

English 130, MW 13:30-14:45 pm - Nick Taylor

Writing Fiction

Prerequisite: English 71. This workshop focuses on the craft of fiction
writing. We will begin the semester by reading works of contemporary

short fiction. You will learn to read as writers, not critics (there is a
difference!). Each student is required to submit two original short
stories for review by the class. Lively participation and written
commentary is required. In lieu of a final exam, you will turn in a
substantial revision of one story.

English 131, W 18:00-20:45 pm - Sam Maio

Writing Poetry

This course is intended for students to strengthen their poetic talents
by learning and practicing new techniques principally drawn from the
English metrical tradition. The aim is for students to progress in the
development of their individual voices and poetic styles. We will begin
by examining the aesthetics of master poets from various time
periods, concentrating on brief Italian and French lyric forms before
moving onto longer dramatic and narrative modes. Students will write
metrical/formal poems as well as vers libre, much of which will be
treated in workshop. (Note: This course is repeatable for credit. A
student must have completed satisfactorily English 71 "Creative
Writing" or obtain Professor Maio's consent before enrolling. Further,
upon both Professor Maio's and Professor Soldofsky's consent, this
course may be open to select MFA students.)

English 133, M 16:00-18:45 pm - Nick Taylor

Reed Magazine

Students in this course make up the editorial staff of Reed, San Jose
State's 63-year-old literary journal. With submissions from 40
countries and all 50 United States, Reed has become an
internationally-recognized venue for contemporary writers and artists.
In the Spring semester, we accomplish a variety of production tasks,
including layout, promotion, distribution, and grantwriting. Note:
Students may take English 133 twice for credit.

English 135, TR 15:00-16:15 pm - Cathy Miller

Writing Nonfiction

This course explores the many faces of Creative Nonfiction. Please
note that this is NOT a who, what, when, where basic journalism
course, nor a technical writing class. You will read a variety of forms of
the genre and learn a great deal about topics other than literature --
which is the beauty of nonfiction. During the semester you'll write a
personal essay, a profile, a travel story, and a feature article. The
various pieces you write will leave a nonfiction record of your world as
you see it today, examining your own life, the physical planet, the

people you share it with, and hopefully look at some of the forces that
are driving them all. Prerequisite English 71.

English 144, TR 9:00-10:15 am - Andrew Fleck

Shakespeare I

Major plays such as Twelfth Night, Henry IV, Part I and Hamlet.

English 146, MW 9:00-10:15 am - Adrienne Eastwood

Maidens, Wives, and Mistresses: Women Behaving Badly in
Later English Renaissance Literature

Women in the seventeenth century had few choices. They were all
expected to remain chaste until marriage, usually living under the
supervision of their male relatives. As wives, they were to have
children, organize and run the complex and extended early modern
household, and obey their husbands until death. But literature is full
of exceptions to this rather dull model of femininity, and it is in these
exceptions that things start to get interesting.

This course will focus on representations of women in literature who,
for whatever reason, behave badly. We will read, for example, about
maidens who have premarital sex, women who refuse to marry,
matrons who cheat, lusty widows, and women who cross-dress. We
will not only read texts written by men who take such women as their
subjects, but we will also read works written by women themselves.
In addition to reading some of the more popular dramatic works of the
century, including Middleton and Dekker's The Roaring Girl, Jonson's
Epicoene, and Ford's Tis Pity She's a Whore, we will also study some of
the more influential poetry and prose of the period including works by
John Donne, John Milton, and Ben Jonson. As an instructive counterpoint
to the dominant male voice, we will also read works by female
authors from the period including Amelia Lanyer, Mary Wroth, and
Margaret Cavendish. This course will cover, in depth, the drama,
poetry, and prose of the seventeenth century, up to 1660.

English 151, MW 15:00-16:15 pm - Alan Soldofsky

Twentieth Century Poetry

In this course we will read selected works by a diverse group of
Modern poets. We will investigate the work of several poets in depth
rather than conduct a shallow survey of the entire field. The poets we
will study have influenced all the work written since their time, or
whose work introduced something new into the canon of Modern and
Contemporary poetry. Included on the reading list are: W.B. Yeats,

T.S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, William Carlos Williams, Wallace Stevens,
Robinson Jeffers, Hart Crane, Marianne Moore, Elizabeth Bishop,

Robert Lowell, Allen Ginsberg, Frank O'Hara, and James Wright.
Students are urged to read as widely as possible, beyond the poets
and on the required reading list.

The class will be conducted in both a lecture/discussion and a seminar
format. We will use Smartboard technology and various sites on the
World Wide Web as well as other electronic materials to enhance
students' understanding of these poets and their works. The class is
open to undergraduate and graduate students. All undergraduate
students will give two individual seminar presentations, based on two
2,000-word term papers that students will write for the class. There
will be a take-home mid-term and take-home final exam. This class is
particularly recommended for students interested in Creative Writing.

English 153A, MW 9:00-10:15 - Noelle Brada-Williams

Eighteenth-Century British Novel

An examination of the origins of the novel in English, the class will
read and analyze a sampling of works by authors such as Austen,
Behn, Burney, Defoe, Fielding, Haywood, Richardson, and Sterne.

Topics may include the epistolary form and other techniques derived
to evoke psychological realism or a sense of immediacy; claims the
novel makes for its own kind of truth; novelists' attempts to distance
themselves from romance writers; and the 18th-century concerns over
changing conceptions of class, gender, and morality.

English 154, M 16:30-19:15 pm - William Wilson

20th Century English and Irish Literature

A survey of significant works of fiction from 1900 to the present.
Works by Joyce, Woolf, Lawrence, Flann O'Brien, Graham Greene,
Amis, Edna O'Brien and Banville. Two short essays, a midterm and a

English 165, TR 13:30-14:45 pm - Persis Karim

Topics in Ethnic American Literature

Focused study of a topic in ethnic American Literature, such as African-
American, Asian American, Latino American, or ethnic autobiography.

English 167, TR 15:00-16:15 pm - Susan Shilinglaw

John Steinbeck: Man, Writer, Ecologist

This course focuses on the rich creative vision of California's Nobel
Prize winning writer, John Steinbeck -- a 2007 inductee into the
California Hall of Fame. We will examine his life and work, his
ecological and social visions, and the reasons for his enduring legacy.

The approach is broadly cultural, as we consider how people, place,
history and science shaped his writing. Indeed, Steinbeck spent his life
writing humans living in place: "Each figure is a population and the
stones -- the trees the muscled mountains are the world -- but
not the world apart from man -- the world and man -- the one
inseparable unit man and his environment. Why they should
ever have been understood as being separate I do not know.
Man is said to come out of his environment. He doesn't know
when." In Steinbeck's fiction and nonfiction, his films and his
journalism human communities and natural communities intersect.
Works to be discussed include The Long Valley, Tortilla Flat, In
Dubious Battle, Of Mice and Men, The Grapes of Wrath, Cannery Row,
East of Eden, The Winter of Our Discontent and selections from his
nonfiction. At the end of the semester, the class will go on a field trip
into "Steinbeck Country."

English 168, TR 13:30-14:45 - David Mesher

The American Novel

This course traces the development of American fiction from the
romance and naturalism to modernism and beyond, considering
changes in the novel as a genre, as well as changes in the
preoccupations expressed within it. Likely works to be read for Fall
2010: Hawthorne's The House of the Seven Gables (1851); Chopin's
The Awakening (1899); Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby (1925); Ellison's
Invisible Man (1952); Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-Five (1969); Roth's
The Counterlife (1986); and Robinson's Gilead (2004).

English 169, MW 10:30-11:45 am - Noelle Brada-Williams

Ethnicity in American Literature

The class will survey representations of ethnic identity in American
literature roughly chronologically. Topics will include assimilation,
internalized oppression, the effect of gender and class on ethnic
identity, and the uses of literary and cultural innovation. It satisfies
area S, upper division GE.

English 176, MW 13:30-14:45 pm - Revathi Krishnaswamy

The Short Story

This course focuses exclusively on the short story. We will read a
cluster of short stories from around the world and consider how the
genre evolved through the 19th and 20th centuries. We will also
examine how different writers approach the craft of writing the short

story. In addition to analyzing stories, you will be given an
opportunity to write and workshop a short story of your own.

English 177, M 18:00-20:45 pm - Andrew Altschul

Twentieth-Century Literature: Postmodernism

In this course we will read novels, stories, and theoretical essays in an
attempt to answer some basic questions about the literary movement
known as postmodernism. The first of these -Is there such a thing as
postmodernism? -is surprisingly difficult to answer. Others, including
When did postmodernism begin and end? and Who is postmodern? and
What are the aesthetic, intellectual, and political positions underlying
the movement?, will be the subject of our discussions, arguments, and
analyses, both in class and on a course blog to which students will
regularly contribute. We will also look at developments in other art
forms - painting, music, film - in an attempt to articulate some larger
ideas about the effects of postmodernity on contemporary culture.
Readings are likely to include fiction by John Barth, E.L. Doctorow,
Toni Morrison, Thomas Pynchon, Kurt Vonnegut, David Foster Wallace,
and Jeanette Winterson; and essays by Hannah Arendt, Jean
Baudrillard, Joseph Conrad, Umberto Eco, and Fredric Jameson.

English 190, TR 10:30-11:45 am - Katherine Harris

Honors: Digital Literature: The Death of Print Culture?

With the evolution of print technology in the early nineteenth century,
authors, reviewers and publishers began descrying the ease with which
someone could call himself or herself an "author." However, the
evolution of language, the dissemination of print materials, the
creation of a larger community has always been part of the human
condition. Now, we call it social networking, an atmosphere in which
readers become users as well as authors and a time when we can
respond to each other virtually but in real time. So, what does this
mean for Literature and the literary? In this course, we will explore the
impact of Web 2.0 on our literary culture by tapping into our existing
digital literacy and digital literature. We will explore, intellectualize
and critically examine the content creation in these social spaces -
even the creation of fiction and poetry as digitally-enhanced, multiple
authored texts, some of them adaptations of 19th Century texts. After
all, didn't Dickens do this when he altered the conclusion of Great
Expectations three times to suit his fans?

English 193, M 16:00-18:45 pm -Revathi Krishnaswamy

Literature of Self-Reflection

This is the capstone course for English majors. The main goal of this
course is to encourage you to reflect on the literature you've read, the
knowledge you've gained, and the papers you've written, while
completing your degree. The course will allow you to read books in
which self-reflection is a major component - works of fiction and nonfiction
spanning different time periods and geographic locations. It will
provide a sense of closure to your undergraduate experience as an
English major through the creation of a portfolio of your essays from
prior courses, the revision of one of those essays, and the production
of a new research-informed essay.

English 193, TR 12:00-13:15 pm - Susan Shillinglaw

This capstone seminar asks students to reflect upon the English major
and themselves as majors in English. Part of that process involves
compiling a folder of essays written as a student of literature. Another
part of this class will involve reflection on a broad theme, the shifting
notions of family and how family has been defined and imagined, from
nuclear families to alternate families. In considering family dynamics
and tensions, we will also discuss the role of reflection in literary
analysis: What is a family? What is the responsibility of the unit, of
each member? And how are these issues reflected in the texts we
read? How does a reader's experience impact his/her appreciation of
family tensions, boundaries, gender relations? Texts include: Anne
Tyler, Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant, Alison Bechdel, Fun Home:
A Family Tragicomic; selections from Walt Whitman and Robert Frost;

J.M. Coetzee, Disgrace; William Faulkner, Go Down, Moses; Anne
Fadiman, At Large, At Small.