Middlebury

 

John McWilliams

College Professor

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Phone: work802.443.5316
Office Hours: Fall 2014: Tuesdays and Thursdays 1:30 - 3:00 pm, Wednesdays 3:00 - 4:00 pm, and by appointment
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Since appointment as College Professor of Humanities, John McWilliams has been teaching a course in “The Bible and American Literature” for Middlebury’s Religion Department.  His most recent book, New England’s Crises and Cultural Memory, explores the changing historical understanding of Puritanism as the defining component of New England culture.

Curriculum Vitae

 

Courses


indicates offered in the current term
indicates offered in the upcoming term[s]

AMST 0246 - American Painting to 1920      

American Painting: Beginnings to the Armory Show
This course is an introduction to American painting from 17th century limner portraits to the rise of modernism in the twentieth century, with special attention to Copley, Cole, Church, Homer, Eakins, Sloan, and Bellows. Although we will trace the development of traditional categories of painting (landscape, portraiture, genre), our purpose will be to discover what the paintings tell us about the changing values and tastes of American culture. (Formerly HARC/AMCV 0246) 3 hrs. lect.

ART HIS NOR

Spring 2014

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AMST 0500 - Independent Study      

Independent Study
Select project advisor prior to registration.

Fall 2012, Fall 2013, Fall 2014

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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 2014

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FYSE 1230 - Fictions of Growing Up      

Fictions of Growing Up
One kind of novel that has retained great appeal is the so-called ‘novel of education’ (German bildungsroman ) which traces the individual’s growth from adolescence into adulthood. We will read some of the best known “novels of education” written in English (by Charles Dickens, Charlotte Bronte, James Joyce, Edith Wharton, J.D. Salinger, and Jeffrey Eugenides). We will consider whether the novels confirm the findings of important psychologists (Freud, Erikson, Maslow) about adolescence and maturity. Through extensive reading, writing, and discussion we will learn to express ourselves with greater clarity, accuracy, and power. 3 hrs. sem.

CW LIT

Fall 2012

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HARC 0246 - American Painting to 1920      

American Painting: Beginnings to the Armory Show
This course is an introduction to American painting from 17th century limner portraits to the rise of modernism in the twentieth century, with special attention to Copley, Cole, Church, Homer, Eakins, Sloan, and Bellows. Although we will trace the development of traditional categories of painting (landscape, portraiture, genre), our purpose will be to discover what the paintings tell us about the changing values and tastes of American culture. (Formerly HARC/AMCV 0246) 3 hrs. lect.

ART HIS NOR

Spring 2014

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HIST 0202 / AMST 0202 - The American Mind      

The American Mind
We will consider the history of influential American ideas, and ideas about America, from the Revolution to the present, with particular regard to changing cultural contexts. A continuing question will be whether such a consensus concept as “the American Mind” has the validity long claimed for it. Among many writers we will read are Thomas Jefferson, Alexis de Tocqueville, William James, Martin Luther King, Reinhold Niebuhr and Betty Friedan. (Previously taught as HIST/AMST 0426)

HIS NOR

Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Fall 2014

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LITS 0701 - Independent Reading Course      

Independent Reading Course
Intended for majors in literary studies preparing for the senior comprehensive examinations. At the conclusion of this course, students will take a one-hour oral examination (part of the senior comprehensive examination) in a specialization of their choice. (Approval Required) (Staff)

Fall 2014

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RELI 0278 / ENAM 0278 - Protestant or Puritan      

Protestant or Puritan? AR
What is in a name? The community of English Reformers known as "Puritans," some of whom emigrated to New England, were part of the larger Reformation group called "Protestants." The connotations of the two terms are quite different. We will begin by assessing their quest for reform by reading the New Testament, Calvin, and Milton. We will then explore "Puritanism" in America. We will study writings by John Winthrop, Edward Taylor, and Jonathan Edwards, as well as the image of American Puritanism in literature by Hawthorne, Arthur Miller, and Robert Lowell. We will conclude by considering the transformation of "Puritan" ideas in the social thought of Reinhold Niebuhr. 3 hrs. lect./disc.

CMP LIT NOR PHL

Spring 2013

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RELI 0279 / ENAM 0279 - Bible and American Literature      

The Bible and American Literature AR, WT
In this course we will study American literary responses to the spiritual and social demands of Christianity as expressed in select Biblical passages and narratives. We will examine how writers of different times and regions responded to this tradition, raising and exploring such questions as: How is Christian conduct to be defined in a political democracy? In an increasingly secular society, can a life lived “in imitation of Christ” result in more than victimization? How can a minister, serving a worldly congregation, know the degree to which his words are sacred or profane? Writers will include Stowe, Melville, Eliot, West, Baldwin, and Robinson. 3 hrs. lect.

LIT NOR PHL

Fall 2012, Fall 2013, Fall 2014

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