Middlebury

 

Dan Brayton

Associate Professor of English and American Literatures

Email: 
Phone: work802.443.3264
Office Hours: Fall Term: Tuesday and Thursday 11:00 - 12:15, Wednesday 9:00 - 12:00 and by appointment
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Dan Brayton is Associate Professor of English and American Literatures and a member of  the Environmental Studies Program. He teaches courses on the literature of the sea, environmental literature, early modern drama (including Shakespeare), utopias and dystopias, regional literature, and world literature. He earned his doctorate at Cornell in 2001 and has published in Publications of the Modern Language Association, English Literary History, Forum for Modern Language Studies, Shakespeare Quarterly, Scribners’ British Writers series, and WoodenBoat. He has also had visiting appointments at Sea Education Association and the Williams-Mystic Program in Maritime Studies and has taught courses on tall ships in the Atlantic, Pacific, and the Caribbean. He has served as the Literature, Art, and Music section editor of the journal, Coriolis: the Interdisciplinary Journal of  Maritime Studies. His monograph, Shakespeare's Ocean: An Ecocritical Exploration (University of Virginia Press 2012)won the Northeast Modern Language Association Book Award, and his co-edited volume Ecocritical Shakespeare (with Lynne Dickson Bruckner) was published in 2011.

 

Courses

Courses offered in the past four years.
indicates offered in the current term
indicates offered in the upcoming term[s]

CMLT 0101 - Intro to World Literature      

Introduction to World Literature
This course is an introduction to the critical analysis of imaginative literature of the world, the dissemination of themes and myths, and the role of translation as the medium for reaching different cultures. Through the careful reading of selected classic texts from a range of Western and non-Western cultures, students will deepen their understanding and appreciation of the particular texts under consideration, while developing a critical vocabulary with which to discuss and write about these texts, both as unique artistic achievements of individual and empathetic imagination and as works affected by, but also transcending their historical periods. 3 hrs. lect./disc.

CMP CW LIT

Spring 2012

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CMLT 0500 - Independent Study      

Independent Study
Approval Required

Winter 2013

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CRWR 0560 - Special Project: Writing      

Special Project: Creative Writing
Approval Required.

Fall 2012, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Spring 2014

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CRWR 0701 - Senior Thesis:Creative Writing      

Senior Thesis: Creative Writing
Discussions, workshops, tutorials for those undertaking one-term projects in the writing of fiction, poetry, or creative nonfiction. (Formerly ENAM 0701)

Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Spring 2014

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CRWR 0711 - Senior Thesis: Creative Writ.      

Senior Thesis: Creative Writing
Discussions, workshops, tutorials for those undertaking two-term projects in the writing of fiction, poetry, or creative nonfiction. (Formerly ENAM 0711)

Fall 2012, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Winter 2014, Spring 2014

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ENAM 0103 - Reading Literature      

Reading Literature
This course seeks to develop skills for the close reading of literature through discussion of and writing about selected poems, plays, and short stories. A basic vocabulary of literary terms and an introductory palette of critical methods will also be covered, and the course's ultimate goal will be to enable students to attain the literary-critical sensibility vital to further course work in the major. At the instructor's discretion, the texts employed in this class may share a particular thematic concern or historical kinship. 3 hrs. lect./disc.

CW LIT

Fall 2011, Fall 2013

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ENAM 0227 - Nature, Culture, Poetry      

Encounters With the Wild: Nature, Culture, Poetry (I)
Civilization is often defined against wilderness. The two ideas are not exclusive but mutually constitutive, for wilderness and the wild turn out to be central to notions of the civil and the civilized. Poets have long been preoccupied by the boundaries and connections between these ideas. The word "poetry" itself comes from a Greek word for "craft" or "shaping"; thus, poetry implies the shaping of natural elements into an artful whole. In this course we will examine the literary history of this ongoing dialectic by reading and discussing masterpieces of Western literature, from ancient epics to modern poetry and folklore. As we do so we will rethink the craft of poetry, and the role of the poet, in mapping the wild. Readings will include Gilgamesh, The Odyssey, sections of The Bible and Ovid's Metamorphoses, Beowulf, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Tempest, and poems by Wyatt, Marlowe, Jonson, Donne, Marvell, Pope, and Thompson. (This course counts toward the ENVS Literature focus and the ENVS Environmental Non-Fiction Focus) lect./disc.

CMP EUR LIT

Fall 2011, Spring 2014

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ENAM 0243 - Maritime Literature & Culture      

Maritime Literature and Culture (II)
Writers have long found the sea to be a cause of wonder and reflection. A mirror for some and a desert for others, the sea has influenced the imaginations of writers throughout history in vastly different ways. In this course we will read a variety of literary works, both fiction and non-fiction, in which the sea acts as the setting, a body of symbolism, an epistemological challenge, and a reason to reflect on the human relationship to nature. Readings will be drawn from the Bible, Homer's Odyssey, Old English Poetry, Shakespeare, Tennyson, Kipling, Conrad, Melville, Hemingway, Walcott, O'Brian, and others. 3 hrs. lect./disc.

LIT

Fall 2010, Spring 2013, Fall 2014

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ENAM 0416 - Nature of Shakespeare      

The Nature of Shakespeare (Pre-1800)
The plays and poems of William Shakespeare contain some of the best-known commentary on nature, human nature, and the relationship between the two. In this seminar we will focus on what Shakespeare wrote about the physical environment and humanity's relationship to it. As we read selections from the sonnets, narrative poems, histories, comedies, tragedies, and romances, along with a substantial amount of scholarship, we will pay particular attention to such topics as forests, the sea, human-animal relations, floral symbolism, the discursive construction of gender, and the supernatural. Texts will include Venus and Adonis, The Rape of Lucrece, selected sonnets, Richard III, As You Like It, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Henry V, Hamlet, Macbeth, King Lear, Pericles, and The Tempest. 3 hrs. sem.

EUR LIT

Spring 2011

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ENAM 0445 / ENVS 0445 - Novels Environmental Justice      

Recent Novels of Environmental Justice
In recent years environmental justice has emerged as a major topic in the humanities. This intersection of environmentalism and social justice is motivated by a concern for the differential access to natural resources (clean water, clean air, tillable land) afforded to different groups of people within particular social systems. Students will encounter these themes through the reading of many global Anglophone novels, including Waterland, by Graham Swift; The Hungry Tide, by Amitav Ghosh; Animal's People, by Indra Sinha; A Thousand Acres, by Jane Smiley; Ceremony, by Leslie Marmon Silko; and Disgrace, by J.M. Coetzee. 3 hrs. sem.

CMP LIT

Spring 2014

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ENAM 0500 - Special Project: Lit      

Special Project: Literature
Approval Required.

Fall 2010, Spring 2011, Fall 2011, Winter 2012, Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Winter 2013, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Winter 2014, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Spring 2015

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ENAM 0560 - Special Project: Writing      

Special Project: Creative Writing
(Approval Required)

Fall 2010, Spring 2011, Fall 2011, Spring 2012

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ENAM 0700 - Senior Essay: Critical Writing      

Senior Thesis: Critical Writing
Individual guidance and seminar (discussions, workshops, tutorials) for those undertaking one-term projects in literary criticism or analysis. All critical thesis writers also take the essay workshop (ENAM 700Z) in either Fall or Spring Term.

Fall 2010, Spring 2011, Fall 2011, Spring 2012, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Spring 2015

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ENAM 0701 - Senior Essay: Creative Writing      

Senior Essay: Creative Writing
Discussions, workshops, tutorials for those undertaking one-term projects in the writing of fiction, poetry, or creative nonfiction.

Fall 2010, Spring 2011, Fall 2011, Spring 2012

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ENAM 0710 - Senior Thesis: Critical Writ.      

Senior Thesis: Critical Writing
Individual guidance and seminar (discussions, workshops, tutorials) for those undertaking two-term projects in literary criticism or analysis. All critical thesis writers also take the thesis workshop (ENAM 710z) in both Fall and Spring terms.

Fall 2010, Spring 2011, Fall 2011, Spring 2012, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Spring 2014

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ENAM 0711 - Senior Thesis: Creative Writ.      

Senior Thesis: Creative Writing
Discussions, workshops, tutorials for those undertaking two-term projects in the writing of fiction, poetry, or creative nonfiction.

Spring 2011, Spring 2012

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ENAM 1021 - Fictions of the Far North      

Fictions of the Far North
The far north is the setting for a significant body of North American literature in English. Both “far” and “north” are relative terms defined by cultural parameters rather than strict geographic coordinates. In this discussion-based course we will read novels, short stories, and poems set in Alaska, Newfoundland, the shores of Hudson Bay, and northern Vermont, including such works as The Shipping News, by Annie Proulx; Where the Rivers Flow North, by Howard Frank Mosher; Due North, by Mitchell Smith; Jack London’s short stories of the Klondike, and poems by Robert Service. We will pay particular attention to how these works represent the human relationship to high latitude ecosystems. (Not open to students who have taken FYSE 1370)

LIT NOR WTR

Winter 2013

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ENVS 0215 / ENAM 0215 - Nature's Meanings      

Topic determined by the instructor - please refer to the section.

NOR

Spring 2011, Fall 2012, Fall 2013

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ENVS 0401 - Environmental Studies Sr Sem      

Environmental Studies Senior Seminar
A single environmental topic will be explored through reading, discussion, and individual research. Topics will vary from semester to semester, but will focus on issues with relevance to the local region and with interdisciplinary dimensions, such as temperate forests, lake ecosystems, or public lands policy. The class involves extensive reading, student-led discussions, and a collaborative research project. (Senior standing; ENVS 0112, ENVS 0211, ENVS 0215, and GEOG 0120) 3 hrs. sem./3 hrs. lab

Spring 2012

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ENVS 0500 - Independent Study      

Independent Study
A one- or two-semester research project on a topic that relates to the relationship between humans and the environment. The project, carried out under the supervision of a faculty member with related expertise, must involve a significant amount of independent research and analysis. Students may enroll in ENVS 0500 no more than twice for a given project. (Approval only)

Fall 2010, Winter 2011, Spring 2011, Fall 2011, Winter 2012, Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Winter 2013, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Winter 2014, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Spring 2015

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ENVS 0700 - ES Senior Honors Work      

Senior Honors Work
The final semester of a multi-semester research project on a topic pertinent to the relationship between humans and the environment. Students may enroll in ENVS 0700 only once. (Previous work would have been conducted as one or two semesters of an ENVS 0500 Independent Study project.) The project, carried out under the supervision of a faculty member, will result in a substantial piece of writing, and will be presented to other ENVS faculty and students in a public forum. (Senior standing; ENVS 0112, ENVS 0211, ENVS 0215, GEOG 0120, and ENVS 0500; Approval only)

Fall 2010, Winter 2011, Spring 2011, Fall 2011, Winter 2012, Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Winter 2013, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Winter 2014, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Spring 2015

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ENVS 1020 - Vermont Waters      

Vermont Waters: Maritime History and Aquatic Culture of the Champlain Valley
Vermont has a rich maritime history and a diversity of aquatic cultural traditions. Lake Champlain was once a watery superhighway between New York and Montreal. The state fossil is a Beluga whale skeleton from the Pleistocene. The first American woman to be licensed as a master mariner was Philomena Daniels of Vergennes. The “Flatiron skiffs” of Lake Dunmore attest to the region’s lively recreational history. In this course we will read works of environmental, cultural, and material history, as well as works of fiction by environmental novelists, that focus on the waters of Vermont. We will also collaborate with local community partners in studying material artifacts, oral history, and photographs that document Vermont’s aquatic culture. We will also contribute to its material culture by building a canoe and a skiff with local craftsmen. The reward for the students is a deeper understanding of the history and complexity of their environment and the chance to work with neighbors.

HIS NOR WTR

Winter 2011

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FYSE 1303 - Rewriting Shakespeare      

Rewriting Shakespeare
The boundary between creative writing and critical thinking is not always a clear one. Novelists, poets, and playwrights respond to other creative writers in their own work, borrowing elements of plot, character, and theme as they reshape existing material. Shakespeare borrowed from prior writers, and recent writers have woven aspects of his works into their own, occasionally with great success. In this seminar we will read, discuss, and write about three plays by Shakespeare in conjunction with three literary texts that respond to or “rewrite” them. Hamlet will be paired with Tom Stoppard’s Rosenkrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, King Lear with Jane Smiley’s A Thousand Acres, and The Tempest with Gloria Naylor’s Mama Day.

CW LIT

Fall 2010

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FYSE 1370 - Fiction Northern New England      

Fictions of Northern New England
In this seminar we will read recent works of fiction set in northern New England. Our goals will be to develop critical thinking, reading, writing, and speaking skills while becoming more familiar with the region where you are attending college. Our focus will be the cultural, social, and economic circumstances that shape character and setting. Readings will include Where the Rivers flow North, by Howard Frank Mosher; In the Fall, by Jeffrey Lent; The Cider House Rules, by John Irving; Olive Kitteredge, by Elizabeth Strout; Affliction, by Russell Banks; Empire Falls, by Richard Russo; The Beans of Egypt, Maine, by Carolyn Chute. 3 hrs. sem.

CW LIT NOR

Fall 2012, Fall 2014

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IGST 0402 / ENVS 0402 - World Rivers, Lit., Policy      

World Rivers, Transboundary Stories: Global Literature and Environmental Policy
Rivers are vital features in the lives of people, nations, and the environment. In this interdisciplinary course we will draw on literary studies and environmental policy to explore how narratives about rivers are constructed and the significance of these stories for how we manage transboundary rivers, which flow across physical, political, and cultural borders. We will draw on literature from around the world, such as The Hungry Tide, by Amitav Ghosh, and Adrift on the Nile, by Naguib Mahfouz, and on historical, legal, political and scientific sources in order to discuss concepts in transboundary river policy, such as freedom of navigation, the watershed, and integrated water resources management. We will examine how these concepts, in turn, shape literary narratives. This course is equivalent to ENVS 0402. 3 hrs. sem.

CMP LIT

Spring 2013

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