Timothy Billings

Professor of English and American Literatures

 work(802) 443-2550
 Summer: By appointment only.
 on leave academic year


M.A., Sinology, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, December 2007

* Middlebury Summer Language School, Classical Chinese, Middlebury College, 2006

Ph.D., English Literature, Cornell University, January 1997

M.A., English Literature, Cornell University, June 1994

M.F.A., Poetry, Cornell University, January 1992

* Inter-University Program in Chinese Language and Literature (Stanford Center), Taipei, Taiwan, Summers of 1990 & 1992

B.A., with Distinction in English Literature, Pomona College, 1987


Awards and Honors

Aldo and Jeanne Scaglione Prize for an Outstanding Translation of a Literary Work, MLA 2008, awarded for Stèles / 古今碑錄, by Victor Segalen: A Facsimile Critical Edition, co-authored with Christopher Bush.  Wesleyan University Press, 2007.

American Academy in Rome, Visiting Scholar, "Sinological Research at the Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana and the Archivio dei Gesuiti," Rome, Italy,March-April 2007

Undergraduate Collaborative Research Fund Award, "Preparing a Glossary for Matteo Ricci's Jiaoyou lun 交友論" with Liz Lyons and Julio Chong, Middlebury College, Spring 2007

Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, New Directions Fellowship, "Sinological Methods for Renaissance Travel Writing," School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, 2006-2007

Ada Howe Kent Award, for research, "Chinese Editions of Shakespeare," Taipei, Taiwan, Middlebury College, January 2006

NEH Summer Institute Grant, "Handwritten Worlds of Early Modern England," Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington, D.C. June-July 2005

Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation Publication Subvention Award, "A Facsimile Critical Edition of Victor Segalen's Stèles / 古今碑錄 from Wesleyan University Press," May 2005

Shakespeare Association of America Annual Open Paper Contest Winner, "Squashing the Shard-Borne Beetle Crux," March 2005

Folger Shakespeare Library Short-term Research Fellowship, "Glossing Shakespeare: Reading the Plays from the Bottom of the Page," Washington D.C., July-August 2004

Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation, co-recipient of a major grant for "Shakespeare in Asia," an international conference at Stanford University, January 2004

NEH Fellowship (half-year grant), "Bilingual Critical Edition of Victor Segalen's Stèles," January-June 2003

Bogliasco Foundation Fellowship, "Bilingual Critical Edition of Victor Segalen's Stèles," Residency Grant, Bogliasco, Italy, March-April 2003

Undergraduate Collaborative Research Fund Award, "Reading Chinese Sources for Victor Segalen's Stèles," with Anna Bautista, Middlebury College, Spring 2003

Camargo Foundation Fellowship, "Bilingual Critical Edition of Victor Segalen's Stèles," Residency Grant, Cassis, France, September-December 2002

Freeman Foundation Fellowship, "U.S. and East Asia: A Search for Common Values," Salzburg, Austria, Salzburg Seminar, June 2001

Ada Howe Kent Award, curricular development, "Shakespeare in London and Stratford," London and Stratford, U.K., Middlebury College, June 2001

Presidential Fellowship, "Salzburg Seminar: Shakespeare Around the Globe," Salzburg, Austria, Middlebury College, February 2000

Guilford Memorial Dissertation Award, for doctoral dissertation, "Illustrating China: Emblem, Autopsy, and Utopia in Early Modern European Writing," advisors: Tim Murray, Barbara Correll, Walter Cohen, Naoki Sakai; Cornell University, May 1997

Mellon Dissertation Completion Fellowship, one year of support for dissertation writing, English Department, Cornell University, 1995-96

Martin Sampson Teaching Award, for distinguished graduate student teaching, English Department, Cornell University, 1995

Hu Shih Memorial Award, curricular development, "Contemporary Chinese Cinema," Taipei, Taiwan, Cornell East Asia Program, Cornell University, Summer 1992

FLAS Fellowship Award, Mandarin, Inter-University Program in Chinese Language and Literature (Stanford Center), Taipei, Taiwan, Cornell University, Summer 1992

Hu Shih Memorial Award, "Taiwanese New Wave Cinema," Taipei, Taiwan, Cornell East Asia Program, Winter 1991

Chasen Memorial Long-Poem Prize, for M.F.A. thesis, "Fu / 復: The Point of Return" (original poetry and translation), Cornell University, 1990

Sage Graduate Fellowship, M.F.A. in poetry, Cornell University, 1988-89

Best Senior Critical Essay Prize, Pomona College, 1987

Best Senior Creative Writing Prize, Pomona College, 1987


Teaching Experience


Professor of English and American Literatures, Middlebury College (2010-)


Introduction to Literary Theory (ENAM 205): Fall 2010

Reading Literature (ENAM 103): Fall 2010

Shakespeare and History (HIST/ENAM 350): Spring 2011

Chinese Poetry in the Far West (ENAM 325): Spring 2011


Associate Professor of English, Middlebury College (2005-)

English Renaissance Drama (ENAM 216): Spring 2010

Shakespearean Sources (ENAM 429): Spring 2010

Shakespeare: Extreme Sonnets: Winter Term 2009

Literature and Philosophy of Friendship (First Year Seminar), Fall 2009

Chinese Poetry in the Far West (ENAM 325): Fall 2008

Foundations of English Literature: Chaucer, Spenser, Milton, Fall 2008, Spring 2009

Women and 17th-Century Theatre (Senior Seminar), Spring 2006, Spring 2008

Interpretation of Literature (ENGL 203), Spring 2006

Shakespeare: The Man and the Myth (First Year Seminar), Fall 2005, Fall 2007

Shakespeare and Contexts (ENGL 330), Fall 2005, Fall 2007, Spring 2009, Fall 2009

Senior Comprehensive Program, Winter 2007


Assistant Professor of English, Middlebury College (1998-2005):

World Literature (LI101), Spring 2005, Fall 2003, Spring 2002, Fall 2000

Renaissance Zoography(ENGL 1006), Winter 2005

Shakespeare and Contexts (ENGL 330 and EL 321), Spring 2004, Fall 2004, Fall 2001, Spring 2001, Spring 2000, Fall 1998

Renaissance Drama (EL 324 and ENGL 216), Spring 2005, Spring 2004, Fall 1999, Spring 2008

Foundations: Chaucer, Shakespeare, Milton (ENGL 204), Fall 2004, Spring 2000, Spring 1999

Shakespeare and the Politics of Appropriation (Senior Seminar, EL 400), Fall 2003

Nature's Renaissance (EL 311), Spring 2002

Shakespeare in London and Stratford (*Off-campus Course, EL 003), Winter 2002

Renaissance Emblem Literature (First Year Seminar, FYS 003), Fall 2001

Renaissance Melancholy (EL 032), Winter 2001

Interpretation of Literature (EL 203), Spring 2001, Fall 1998

Shakespeare: The Movie (Senior Seminar, EL 423), Fall 2000, Spring 1999

Senior Comprehensive Program, Winter 2000 and Winter 1999

Dreams of Cleopatra (First Year Seminar, FYS 013), Fall 1999

Independent Study in Writing Poetry (EL 700-701), Fall 2004, Spring 1999, Fall 1998


Visiting Assistant Professor, Colgate University (1997-98):

17th Century Literature: Topics in Theory and Early Modern Literature (ENGL 386), Spring 1998

Approaches to Literature and Culture:  Dreams of Cleopatra (ENGL 205), Spring 1998, Fall 1997

Creative Writing Workshop (ENGL 217), Fall 1997

Understanding China: Culture, Identity, and the "West" (CORE 165), Fall 1997


Lecturer, Cornell University (1996-1997):

Introduction to Drama: Renaissance and Restoration (ENGL 272), Fall 1996

Freshman Writing Seminar: Dreams of Cleopatra (Engl 105), Spring 1997


Graduate Teaching Assistantships, Cornell University (1993-94):

Shakespeare (ENGL 327), Fall 1994, for Barbara Correll; Fall 1993, for Gordon Teskey


Graduate Instructor, Freshman Writing Seminars, Cornell University, (1989-93):

Shakespeare and Film (ENGL 127), Spring 1993

Writing About Film (ENGL 108), Spring 1995, Spring 1991, Spring 1992

Contemporary Chinese Cinema (Asian Studies, AS 108), Fall 1992

Literatures of Fantasy (ENGL 165), Fall 1989, Spring 1990


M.F.A. Lecturer, Cornell University (1990-91):

Creative Writing: Poetry and Fiction (ENGL 280), 1990-91



On Friendship: One Hundred Maxims for a Chinese Prince / Jiaoyou lun 交友論 (1595), by Matteo Ricci, edited and translated. Columbia University Press, 2009.

Stèles / 古今碑錄, by Victor Segalen: A Facsimile Critical Edition, co-authored with Christopher Bush.  Wesleyan University Press, 2007.  (Winner of the Aldo and Jeanne Scaglione Prize for an Outstanding Translation of a Literary Work, MLA 2008, and a Publication Subsidy Award from the Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation, July 2005. ☞http://www.steles.org).


Other Selected Publications


"La Chine Illustreé of Athanasius Kircher," in Hidden Treasure: 175 Years of the National Library of Medicine. Washington, D.C., National Library of Medicine. Forthcoming in 2011.

"Glossing Shakespeare in Chinese Translation: Liang Shiqiu, Zhu Shenghao, and 暴風雨 (The Tempest)." Shakespeare Yearbook, Vol. 17: Shakespeare and Asia, ed. Yang, Lingui, Douglas A. Brooks, and Ashley Brinkman. New York: Edwin Mellen Press, 2010.

"Untranslation Theory: The Nestorian Stele and the Jesuit Illustration of China." Sinographies: Writing China, ed. Eric Hayot, Haun Saussy, and Steven Yao (Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, 2007), 89-114.

"Masculine in Case: Grammar Lessons and Gender Identity in Hic Mulier and The Merry Wives of Windsor." Class, Boundary and Social Discourse in the Renaissance, ed. Alexander C. Y. Huang, I-Chun Wang, and Mary Theis (Taiwan: National Sun Yat-sen University, 2007), 87-106.

"The Emperor of China His Letter to the Queene / 1600," The Folger Institute: From the Archive: Handwritten Worlds of Early Modern England [a transcription and translation with notes of a two-page manuscript letter purporting to be an Italian translation of a Chinese letter to Queen Elizabeth] (Folger MS V.a. 321)

"Squashing the Shard-Borne Beetle Crux: A Hard Case with a Few Pat Readings," Shakespeare Quarterly, vol. 56, no. 4 (Winter 2005): 434-47.


"Two New Sources for Shakespeare's Bawdy French" (Notes and Queries, vol. 2, no. 52, June 2005): 49-51. ☞https://academic.oup.com/nq/article/52/2/202/1096228

"Jesuit Fish in Chinese Nets: Athanasius Kircher and the Translation of the Nestorian Tablet," Representations, vol. 87 (Summer 2004), 1-42. ☞http://www.jstor.org.ezproxy.middlebury.edu/stable/10.1525/rep.2004.87.1.1

"Caterwauling Cataians:  The Genealogy of a Gloss," Shakespeare Quarterly, vol. 54, no. 1 (Spring 2003): 1-28.  ☞ http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/shakespeare_quarterly/v054/54.1billings.pdf and also http://www.jstor.org/stable/3844118

"New Books on Shakespeare and Film": review essay (6,000 words) on Shakespeare on Film, ed. Robert Shaughnessey,and Shakespeare: The Movie, eds. Richard Burt and Lynda Boose, in Medieval and Renaissance Drama in England, vol. 13 (2001): 235-241.

"Cataians 的爭論和 Cathay 的誤用 — 莎劇中關於'中國人'的注譯" trans. Zhang Qian, Xiju Yishu (Shanghai) 97 (May 2000): 32-41. [A different version of the study of "Cataian" in Shakespeare emphasizing Chinese translations and Chinese criticism.]

"Visible Cities: The Heterotopic Utopia of China in Early Modern European Writing," Genre: Forms of Discourse and Culture, 30 (Fall/Winter 1997): 105-134. [Special issue on "Space, Place, and Signs in Early Modern Studies," ed. Bernadette Andrea.]

Victor Segalen's "Éloge du jade" and "Trahison fidèle," from Stèles, translated with Christopher Bush, in The Yale Book of Twentieth Century French Poetry, ed. Mary Ann Caws (Yale UP, 2004), 86-88.

Review of Shashibiya: Staging Shakespeare in China (Hong Kong UP, 2004), by Li Ruru, Shakespeare Quarterly, vol. 57, no. 4 (Winter 2006), 462-64.




Imagining China: The View from Europe (1550-1700) / 映像中國,歐洲觀點 (1550–1700)," guest curator, Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington, D.C., September-January, 2009-2010.  [The season-leading exhibition in the Great Hall featuring rare European books and maps from the Folger collection, late Ming and early Qing Chinese books from the Library of Congress as well as porcelains from the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore.


Invited Lectures

* "Looking for Matteo's Other Self in the Jiaoyou lun (Essay on Friendship)," for The World of Matteo Ricci, Penn State University, January 2011

* "Imagining China: The View from Europe (1550–1700)," Folger Shakespeare Library, September 2009: a discussion of highlights and backgrounds for the Folger Exhibition on display.

* "Shakespeare in China," South Street Seminar, May 2009: a luncheon lecture at the Middlebury College president's house to the Trustee Spouses Association.

*  "Untranslation Theory: Rendering Steles from China to France, Kircher to Segalen," by invitation, Smith College, 9 March 2009.

* "Remaking Monuments: Impressions of the Nestorian Stele in Europe," by invitation, University of Pennsylvania, History of Material Texts Seminar, 10 November 2008.

* "Much Virtue in If, or Playing What You Will in As You Like It." Weston Playhouse Theatre Co., Teacher’s Workshop, keynote address, Weston, Vermont, March 2008.

*  "Glossing Shakespeare in Chinese, or: Heteroglosses and How We Read," by invitation, Pomona College, January 2007.

*  "Glossing Shakespeare in Chinese, or: Heteroglosses and How We Read," by invitation, Queen's University Belfast, October 2006.

*  "The Great City of China: the 'Long Wall' in Early European Texts," by invitation, SUNY Buffalo, October 2005, for an international conference on The Roles and Representations of Walls in the Reshaping of Chinese Modernity sponsored by the departments of History and Asian Studies.

*  "Squashing the Shard-Borne Beetle Crux," paper read as winner of the Annual Open Paper Contest of the Shakespeare Association of America, Annual Convention, Bermuda, March 2005.

*  "Fausse French Enough: Shakespeare's French and the Texts of Henry V," Cornell University, October 2003, by invitation, for Making the Text, a conference on medieval and early modern texts sponsored by the Cornell Department of English.

*  "Shakespeare and the Value of Difference," by invitation, Freeman Foundation Seminar, Salzburg, Austria, June 2001 (see Workshops below).

*  "Caterwauling Cataians:  Annotating Shakespeare's 'Heathen Chinee,'" by invitation, Renaissance Colloquium, Harvard University, December 2000.

*  "The Most Womanly Woman: 2,000 Years of Representing Cleopatra," by invitation, Humanities Colloquium, Colgate University, April 1998.

*  "Character-Building: Chen Kaige's King of the Children and the Cinematic Hieroglyph," by invitation, East Asia Program Faculty Research Group, Cornell University, 1995.

*  "一個美國詩人眼中的臺灣女性文學" [An American Poet's Perspective on Taiwanese Women's Writing], by invitation, keynote address in Mandarin, National Younger Writers' Association Conference, Taipei, 1993.


Pre-Show Lectures


*  "Re-framing the Shrew," The Baltimore Shakespeare Festival, Baltimore, MD, July 2008: a pre-show lecture sponsored by the Baltimore chapter of the Middlebury Alumni Association.


*  "No Gentlemen in Verona (and a Bit with a Dog)," The Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington, D.C., November 2004: a pre-show lecture and discussion on the adaptation of The Two Gentlemen of Verona at The Folger Shakespeare Theatre, sponsored by the Washington chapter of the Middlebury College Alumni Association.

*  "Margaret Edson's W;t and the Poetry of John Donne," The Brigg's Opera House, White River Junction, Vermont, April 2000: a Sunday afternoon pre-performance lecture on what you need to know about Donne and his poetry to make the most of Edson's play.

Conference Papers


RSA (Renaissance Society of America) Annual Convention, Venice, Italy, April 2010: Panel Chair for Early Modern England and Islamic Worlds, and Organizer for Reorienting the East:  "Matteo Ricci’s Chinese De Amicitia (1595)"

ACLA (American Comparative Lit. Assoc.) Annual Convention, Harvard University, March 2009:  "Global Friendship: Matteo Ricci and the Sharing of Wealth"

MLA (Modern Language Assoc.) Annual Convention, Chicago, December 2007:  "Slubbering the Gloss and Other Crucial Pleasures," Shakespeare Division Panel

Shakespeare, les français, les France, Université Paris (3) Diderot, Paris, June 2007: "Editing Shakespeare’s French"

ISA (International Shakespeare Assoc.) World Shakespeare Congress, Brisbane, Australia, June 2006: Seminar Co-chair with Zhang Chong for Shakespeare In/To Other Tongues


ACLA Annual Convention, Princeton University, April 2006:  "Where the Meanings, Are: Internal Difference and the Edited Shakespearean Text"


SAA (Shakespeare Assoc. of America) Annual Convention, Philadelphia, April 2006:  "Fausse French Enough: Shakespeare's French and the Texts of Henry V (revision)"

ACLA Convention, Penn State University, March 2005: Seminar Co-chair with Haun Saussy for Re-Orienting Empire: The Topos of Imperial Asia(s):  "The Glyphomantic Turn: Subversive Ideography and the Cinematic Hieroglyph"  [SAA Annual Convention, Bermuda, March 2005: see "Invited Lectures"]

MLA (Modern Language Assoc.) Annual Convention, Philadelphia, December 2004: "Liang's Labours Lost: or, Glossing 'Shashi' in Chinese Translations"

SAA Annual Convention, New Orleans, April 2004: 
"Fausse French Enough: Shakespeare's French and the Texts of Henry V"

ACLA Annual Convention, Ann Arbor, April 2004:
"Relocating Translation: On Gayatri Spivak's Death of a Discipline"

SAA Convention, Victoria B.C., April 2003:  Chair of Advanced Research Seminar: "Shakespeare in Asian Tongues."

ACLA Annual Convention, San Juan, Puerto Rico, April 2002:
"Mots cachés:  Bilingual Reading and the Manuscripts of Victor Segalen's Stèles"

ACLA Annual Convention, Boulder, April 2001:
"Monumental Materiality:  Victor Segalen's Stèle Nestorienne"

Cairo International Conference of Comparative Literature, Cairo University, November 2000:  "Monumental Materiality: Victor Segalen's Stèle Nestorienne"

MLA Annual Convention, Chicago, December 1999:  "Fansi-Maps"

AAS (Association for Asian Studies) Annual Convention, Boston, March 1999: "Presumptions of Perspective:  European Figures in the Late Ming"

RSA, Los Angeles, March 1999:  "Fansi-Maps"

ACLA Annual Convention, Montreal, April 1999: Seminar Chair for Ideology and the East: The Division of East and West in Literary Transnationalism;  "Witnessing Cathay:  How Benedict Goes Discovered China"

ACLA Annual Convention, Austin, March, 1998:  "The Nestorian Tableau:  Jesuit Identity and the Illustration of China"

SAA Annual Convention, Cleveland, March, 1998: "Cauterwauling Cataians and the Catachresis of Cathay: Glossing Shakespeare's 'Heathen Chinee'"

NYCAS (New York Coalition for Asian Studies) & CeMERS Joint Conference, Binghamton,   October, 1997:  "The Chinese Utopolis:  Market-square, Microcosm"

AAS Annual Convention, Chicago, March 1997:  "The ABCs of Hieroglyphic Reading: from Athanasius Kircher to Stanley Kwan"

GEMCS (Group for Early Modern Cultural Studies), Panel Chair, 1996:
"The China Cabinet of Dr. Kircher"

Occasional Papers

* "Making Friends with the Kangxi Zidian 康熙字典." Written as a bibliographic exercise, this occasional paper outlines the basic facts of the Kangxi imperial dictionary (1716) and provides the first translation into a European language of the emperor's preface (御製康熙字典序).  See link on Wikipedia.


Seminars, Workshops, Etc.

* Middlebury Alumni College, "Shakespeare’s Sonnets," Breadloaf Campus, Vermont, August 2010.  Taught an intensive, four-day residential seminar on Shakespeare’s sonnets to Middlebury Alumni aged from 30 to 90.

* Literary Consultant for Twelfth Night, directed by Alex Draper, Wright Theatre, Middlebury College, 2008.

* NEH Summer Institute, "The Handwritten Worlds of Early Modern England," directed by Stephen May at the Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington, D.C., June-July 2005.  A six-week long collaborative, intensive study by specialists for specialists of Renaissance manuscripts centered around the collection at the Folger Library.

*  Shakespeare in Asia: An International Conference (Stanford University), April 2004. Co-organizer and co-grantwriter, with Patricia Parker and Haun Saussy.

*  U.S. and East Asia: A Search for Common Values, Freeman Foundation Seminar, June 1-June 6, 2001, Salzburg, Austria.  By invitation, a seminar comprised of previous fellows of the Salzburg Seminar in different disciplines, all of whom work on some aspect of relations between "East" and "West," especially East Asia and the United States.

*  Shakespeare Around the Globe, Salzburg Seminar (no. 374), February 23-March 1, 2000, Salzburg, Austria.  A week-long conference/workshop on the adaptation, translation, and reception of Shakespeare in universities and theatres around the world, including participants from 37 countries.

*  Appropriations, a workshop of invited participants on topics of textual and cultural translation around the "East" and "West," directed by Haun Saussy, Stanford University, May, 2000.  

*  "Race in the Renaissance Classroom," a workshop at the SAA Convention, Montreal, Canada, April 2000: participant.

The Uses of Cartography, a workshop of the Atlantic History Seminar, Harvard University, April 1999: participant.

*  First International Dunhuang Seminar on Art & Society, June-July 1998, Dunhuang, P.R.C.  A month-long, intensive, inter-disciplinary seminar for faculty and graduate students on the ancient art, religion, and material culture of this "Silk Route" site, at the Thousand Buddha Caves (莫高窟) in the Gobi desert.  Directed by Wu Hong and Ning Qiang.



Course List: 

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

CMLT 0317 / ENAM 0317 - Lost & Found in Translation      

Lost & Found in Translation
In this course we will explore the fundamental philosophical, sociological, and linguistic questions raised by translingual communication through a survey of the greatest theoretical writings on translation together with a comparative study of multiple translations of coherent sections from major works such as the Bible, the Iliad, One Thousand and One Nights, and the Tao Te Ching, as well as other shorter texts. Questions to be considered include: How much does language determine how we think? How much of language is culture? What is unique to translating sacred texts, poetry, “exotic” languages, and dead languages? How do we define the “untranslatable”? Are translators traitors, drudges, or artists? Can machines translate? 3 hrs. lect./disc. AAL CMP LIT NOA

Spring 2015, Fall 2016

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CMLT 0500 - Independent Study      

Independent Study
Approval Required

Fall 2015, Fall 2016

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CRWR 0560 - Special Project: Writing      

Special Project: Creative Writing
Approval Required.

Fall 2016, Fall 2017, Spring 2018, Fall 2018, Spring 2019

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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.

Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Spring 2017, Fall 2017, Spring 2018, Fall 2018, Spring 2019

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ENAM 0103 - Reading Literature      

Reading Literature
Please refer to each section for specific course descriptions. CW LIT

Fall 2014, Spring 2017

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ENAM 0204 - Foundations of English Lit.      

Foundations of English Literature (I) (Pre-1800)
Students will study Chaucer's Canterbury Tales and Milton's Paradise Lost, as well as other foundational works of English literature that may include Shakespeare, non-Shakespearean Elizabethan drama, the poetry of Donne, and other 16th- and 17th-century poetry. 3 hrs. lect./disc. EUR LIT

Spring 2018

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ENAM 0216 - The Tragedy of Revenge      

The Tragedy of Revenge (I)
In this course we will explore the vogue for mutilation, murder, madness (real and feigned), torture, vengeful ghosts, plot twists, and meta-plays within plays, all combined with macabre humor and plenty of blood for an afternoon’s entertainment on the English stage circa 1600. Why must revenge be so ghastly and so utterly irresistible? Readings include masterpieces of dramatic literature by Thomas Kyd, George Chapman, Christopher Marlowe, John Marston, William Shakespeare, Thomas Middleton, and John Webster. In addition to examining the moral, ethical, historical, and social implications of the genre in its own day, we will compare them with how fictional narratives of vengeance and vigilantism seem to function for popular audiences today. 3 hrs. lect/disc. EUR LIT

Fall 2014

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ENAM 0311 / ENVS 0311 - Nature's Renaissance      

Nature’s Renaissance: Ecostudies and Early English Literature (Pre-1800) (I)
In this course we will study a wide variety of literary and non-literary texts (from lyric poetry to proto-scientific and philosophical essays) that highlight both traditional and changing conceptions of “nature” pre-dating the genre of nature-writing as it has evolved over the last two hundred years. We will read these works using the tools of modern ecocriticism (with an emphasis on class, race, gender, ecology, and environmental justice) while also striving to understand these works in historical context. Topics include the microscopic and the macrocosmic, “freaks” of nature, the human/animal, bestiaries and early zoography, angling, hunting, hawking, the pastoral, country houses, harvest festivals, fair land use and enclosure, poetic inspiration, human anatomy, biological determinism, and artifice. Readings may include Spenser, Jonson, Marvell, Lanyer, Herrick, Walton, Milton, Finch, Montaigne, and Bacon, among others. 3 hrs. lect. EUR LIT

Spring 2016

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ENAM 0325 / CMLT 0325 - Chinese Poetry in the Far West      

Chinese Poetry in the Far West
Although Tang poetry is recognized as one of the great achievements of world literature, much of its beauty is often lost in translation. In this course—intended for students with no knowledge of Chinese—we will thus devote a significant portion of our time learning from scratch how to read Tang poetry in the original by studying the most common characters and the most fundamental grammatical structures found in the Tang “sonnet.” We will also discuss such topics as: differences between Chinese and European poetics; theories of translation and intercultural adaptation; Orientalist fantasies of the ideogram; and the impact of Chinese poetry on Imagism. Students will study and write multiple translations in various styles. Readings will include both poetry and critical theory. No knowledge of Chinese is necessary. 3 hrs. lect./disc. CMP LIT

Spring 2017

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ENAM 0330 - Shakespeare's Career      

Shakespeare’s Career (I) (Pre-1800)
In this course we will study the whole arc of William Shakespeare's literary career from the earliest histories, comedies, and non-dramatic poetry to the more mature tragedies and romances, with an eye to understanding Shakespeare’s development as a writer in his own time. How might the plays have resonated for his first audiences on stage, and how have subsequent readers drawn their own meanings from the published texts? Reading one play a week, we will pay close attention to such dramaturgical issues as Shakespeare’s construction of character and of plot, his adaptation of sources, and his modes of versification, as well as the ethical, political, and commercial implications of Shakespeare’s works during his lifetime, some of which stand in contrast with what we learn from them today. 3 hrs. lect./1 hr. disc./3 hrs. screen. EUR LIT

Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Fall 2016, Fall 2017

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ENAM 0413 - Turning Turk: Muslims & Moors      

Turning Turk: Muslims, Moors, and Renegades on the Early English Stage (I) (Pre-1800)
People tend to think that popular fears about youth converting to Islam in predominantly Christian countries is a contemporary phenomenon, but the threat and seduction of Islamic power—and the specter of “turning Turk”—loomed large in the early English imagination, and was dramatized in over a dozen Elizabethan and Jacobean plays. In this course we will study the most significant of these plays together with critical and historical readings that reveal the full extent of English encounters with the Ottoman empire and the Arab world in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, with attention to the construction of race, ethnicity, and national identity. Readings will include Peele, Greene, Daborne, Massinger, Heywood, Dekker, Marlowe, and Shakespeare, among others. 3 hrs. sem. (Diversity)/ EUR LIT

Spring 2016

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ENAM 0459 - Poetics of Protest      

Poetics of Protest: Political Poetry from Sonnet to Slam
In this course we will study the art, history, theory, politics, and practice of American poetry that is explicitly aimed at protesting various forms of social injustice, beginning with the Harlem Renaissance and through the most recent experiments in the spoken word form. Students will write a research essay integrating a range of critical sources with their own analysis, but the course is also designed to help students develop techniques for powerfully expressing political dissent through poetry. The flexible syllabus will include the likes of Claude McKay, Countee Cullen, Helene Johnson, Langston Hughes, W.E.B. Du Bois, Richard Wright, Allen Ginsberg, Charles Bernstein, Gwendolyn Brooks, Audrey Lorde, Adrienne Rich, Amiri Baraka, Nikki Giovanni, Claudia Rankin, Ashley Jones, Saul Williams, Denice Frohman, Alysia Harris, Rachel McKibbens, Taylor Mali, and others. Coursework will include reading poetry and critical essays, viewing videos, listening to recordings, composing and performing (or recording) one poem, and attending one live event. 3 hrs. sem. (Diversity)/ AMR LIT NOR

Spring 2018

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ENAM 0500 - Special Project: Lit      

Special Project: Literature
Approval Required.

Fall 2014, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Winter 2016, Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Winter 2017, Spring 2017, Fall 2017, Winter 2018, Spring 2018, Fall 2018, Winter 2019, Spring 2019

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ENAM 0700 - Senior Thesis: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 Senior Thesis Workshop (ENAM 700Z) in either Fall or Spring Term.

Fall 2014, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Spring 2017, Fall 2017, Spring 2018, Fall 2018, Spring 2019

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ENAM 1027 / CMLT 1027 - England's Ovid      

England’s Ovid: Grabbing Back the Myth (I) (Pre-1800)
In this course we will read Ovid’s Latin compendium of foundational mythical stories, the Metamorphoses, in two important early modern English translations: 1) the 16th-century version by Arthur Golding (the very one that Shakespeare read), which Ezra Pound called “the most beautiful book in the English language”; and 2) the 17th-century version by George Sandys, which contains allegorical commentaries and elaborate synoptic engravings. We will discuss these myths with an emphasis on gender politics and oral storytelling, and sometimes discuss how they reemerge in English literature. We will also examine a rare first edition of the Sandys edition (1623) which is owned by Middlebury College’s Special Collections, in addition to a modern annotated edition. The material for the course contains literary and graphic depictions of sexual violence, which will be critiqued from an unapologetically feminist perspective. EUR LIT WTR

Winter 2016, Winter 2018

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FYSE 1272 - Lit.& Philosophy of Friendship      

Literature and Philosophy of Friendship
In this seminar we will explore major works of literature and philosophy from earlier centuries on the ideal of friendship. What are the traditional obligations of “true” friendship? Are they different from those of the Facebook age? Is friendship like love? Is true friendship between the sexes possible? Does racial difference affect friendship? Is homoeroticism or homophobia part of friendship? Readings include Plato, Aristotle, Plutarch, Cicero, Shakespeare, Montaigne, Bacon, Kant, Emerson, and Thoreau as well as selected texts in non-European traditions. Special emphasis will be placed on grammar, rhetorical style, public speaking, and multimedia presentation. 3 hrs. sem. E CW EUR LIT

Fall 2015

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FYSE 1491 - Shakespeare's Sonnets      

Shakespeare's 'Nasty' Sonnets
Of the sex triangle that structures William Shakespeare’s enigmatic series of sonnets, Stephen Booth has quipped: “Shakespeare was almost certainly homosexual, bisexual, or heterosexual.” Of the 154 poems, most people know only one or two of the most innocent (“Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?”), but the series as a whole has scandalized prudish readers for centuries with its confessions of heterosexual lust, homoerotic love, envy, jealousy, misogyny, abjection, pride, and some moping—all in some of the most exquisite verse ever composed in English. In this course we will examine, discuss, and write about the language of Shakespeare's sonnets and their literary historical context as well as the range of critical theories (and sometimes utterly wacky notions) about their mysterious contents, including those from the likes of Oscar Wilde, George Bernard Shaw, and William Wordsworth. This is a feminist, queer-friendly, sex-positive course. 3 hrs. sem. CW LIT

Fall 2017

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Program in Gender, Sexuality and Feminist Studies

Chellis House Women's Resource Center
56 Hillcrest Road
Middlebury College
Middlebury, VT 05753