The Bread Loaf School of English

 

North Carolina Campus, 2013 Courses

Group I (Writing, Pedagogy, and Literacy)

 

7150   Writing for Publication: Teachers Writing about Teaching and Learning/B. Moss/M, W 2–4:45
K-12 classroom teachers are becoming more active in their classrooms as teacher-researchers who understand their classrooms as sites of scholarly inquiry. While most teacher research is used primarily to enhance instruction and student learning and is rarely publicly disseminated, more teachers are finding that sharing the results of their own classroom-based inquiry is a powerful form of professional development. This is a course that supports that sharing by focusing on teachers writing about their own teaching experiences, student learning, and/or current issues in education. Conducted in a workshop format, this course will focus primarily on teachers writing for publication. We will examine the rhetorical conventions and ideologies of published scholarship, particularly teacher-research, in journals, edited collections, and single-authored books. You will be expected to identify a site of publication for an essay/article on which you will work intensively throughout the course. Small class size and the workshop format will allow each member to receive extensive feedback and to carry out ongoing revision as the writing progresses. Participants in this course should already be involved in classroom research that will generate a traditional print article or a multimodal publication. Data should already be collected. For the first day of class, bring a one-page, single-spaced description of your article. Our goal is to have publishable pieces at the end of the term.

Texts: JoBeth Allen, A Critical Inquiry Framework for K-12 Teachers (Teachers College); Valerie Kinloch, Crossing Boundaries (Teachers College); Mike Rose, Back to School (New Press); Catherine Compton-Lilly, Re-Reading Families (Teachers College); Gerald Graff and Cathy Birkenstein, They Say/I Say, 2nd ed. (Norton). Issues of the Bread Loaf Teacher Network eJournal, College Composition and Communication, English Journal, and other selected readings will be available at Bread Loaf.  

 

 

Group II (British Literature through the Seventeenth Century)

 

 

7210a   Chaucer/P. DeMarco/T, Th 2–4:45

Chaucer was the first English writer who aspired to become a poet of lasting fame, the first to emerge out of the shadows of anonymity and construct himself as an "author" in our modern sense of the term. Even though his habitual narrative persona was modest and self-effacing, he took on a daunting range of genres. In this course, we'll study The Canterbury Tales intensively, moving from Chaucer's refined explorations of the psychology of love, to his fast-paced tales of sexual exploits and urban cunning, to his more serious, philosophical explorations of what it means to act as a meaningful agent in the world. With the help of background readings, we will consider how Chaucer situated himself in relation to his royal patrons while also registering the social dynamism of a vibrant commercial London urban center. Our discussions will range as broadly as Chaucer's interests, but will certainly include questions of identity (gender, class) and subjectivity ("the self" as it was shaped by pre-modern ideals of communal/corporate belonging). We will also consider how the Tales invite their Christian readers to engage imaginatively with "other" faiths (Judaism, Islam) and cultures (especially pagan antiquity). Gaining a solid working knowledge of Chaucer's Middle English is one goal of the course, but no previous experience is assumed or needed. A day trip to a rare book collection will allow us to view medieval manuscripts of Chaucer's era first hand. 

Texts: The Canterbury Tales, 2nd ed., ed. R. Boenig and A. Taylor (Broadview; please purchase this edition, which includes source texts as well as Chaucer's complete text); Chaucer: An Oxford Guide, ed. Steve Ellis (Oxford) provides background readings in the culture of the era; the 14 chapters of Part I, "Historical Contexts," should be read before our first meeting.

 

7270   Shakespeare and Race/M. Floyd-Wilson/M, W 2–4:45

What constituted racial difference in Shakespeare’s age? In an age of discovery and overseas travel, the early modern English encountered a growing number of non-English "others," not only face-to-face but in written accounts as well. Drawing on historical sources as well as current scholarship in race studies, this course will examine and contextualize the representation of these foreign “others” on the Shakespearean stage. Some of our questions will be: What was the significance of skin color? What were the connotations of blackness and whiteness? Did early modern writers have a coherent theory of the inheritance of shared traits? How did the discourses of sexuality, gender, and religion inform racialism and ethnology? When and why were ethnological concepts derived from classical texts accepted or modified? In particular, we will consider to what degree the portraits of Aaron, Othello, Cleopatra, Caliban, and Shylock exemplify or challenge early modern ethnic stereotypes. Since some of the most discriminatory writing in the period was aimed at the Irish and the Scots, we will also investigate how the English constructed their own identity by demonizing their British neighbors.  

Texts: William Shakespeare, Titus Andronicus, ed. Alan Hughes (New Cambridge), Antony and Cleopatra, ed. Ania Loomba (Norton Critical), Othello: Texts and Contexts, ed. Kim Hall (Bedford), The Merchant of Venice: Texts and Contexts, ed. M. Lindsay Kaplan (Bedford), Macbeth: Texts and Contexts, ed. William C. Carroll (Bedford), The Tempest: A Case Study in Critical Controversy, ed. Gerald Graff and James Phelan (Bedford/St. Martin’s); Ben Jonson, The Masque of Blackness (available digitally online; no need to buy); Ania Loomba, Shakespeare, Race, and Colonialism (Oxford); Christopher Marlowe, The Jew of Malta (any edition); Race in Early Modern England: A Documentary Companion, ed. Ania Loomba and Jonathan Burton (Palgrave Macmillan). 

 

Group III (British Literature since the Seventeenth Century)

 

7404   Modern British Drama/M. Cadden/M, W 9–11:45

This course surveys work written for—or in any case produced on—the British stage over the past 120 years or so, with a special though not exclusive focus on plays that attempt to anatomize British “society.” We’ll begin, paradoxically, with Henrik Ibsen, the Norwegian who awakened writers like Wilde and Shaw as to how a dramatist might establish “a voice” within a medium that usually insists on a variety of voices, as well as to how that voice might work to resist or sometimes, again paradoxically, to define the social, political, philosophical, religious, and sexual pieties of their times and places. If all this sounds a bit ponderous, please be advised that comedy will play no small role in the theatrical strategies deployed by these playwrights in their simultaneous attempts to teach and to entertain. Students should be prepared to discuss the Ibsen plays at the first class.  

Texts: The following plays, with the exception of the Ibsen plays, can be read in any edition. Henrik Ibsen, A Doll House and Ghosts in Four Major Plays, Vols. I and II,trans. Rolf Fjelde (Signet); Oscar Wilde, An Ideal Husband and The Importance of Being Earnest; George Bernard Shaw, Mrs. Warren's Profession, Major Barbara, Heartbreak House; Noel Coward, Private Lives and Design for Living; Terence Rattigan, The Browning Version and The Deep Blue Sea; Samuel Beckett, Waiting for Godot, Happy Days, Play, and Rockaby; John Osborne, Look Back in Anger and The Entertainer; Harold Pinter, The Homecoming and Betrayal; Caryl Churchill, Cloud Nine and Top Girls; Tom Stoppard, Arcadia and The Invention of Love.   

 

Group IV (American Literature)

  

7511a   “It Would Unfit Him for Slavery”: The First Century of African American Literature/D. Jones/T, Th 2–4:45

Shortly after Frederick Douglass first began to learn how to read and write, his master halted the lessons and declared literacy “would unfit” Douglass for slavery. The question becomes: What was it about the written and read word that made men, women, and children fit for freedom? A turn to the first century of African American literature will help us answer this question. In this course, we will read a broad array of forms—e.g., autobiographical narratives, drama, novels, pamphlets, and poetry—as means to explore how black writers, both slave and free, crafted a literature with which to assert themselves as full participants in the American experiment. At the same time, we will consider how the authorial voice and literary aesthetic they developed not only articulated their experiences but also broadened meanings of American freedom, citizenship, and democracy. 

Texts: Phillis Wheatley, Complete Writings (Penguin); Olaudah Equiano, The Interesting Narrative and Other Writings (Penguin); David Walker, Appeal (Penn State); William Wells Brown, The Escape; or, A Leap for Freedom (Cosimo Classics); Frederick Douglass, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass Written by Himself and Harriet Jacobs, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl (both in one vol., Modern Library); Frank J. Webb, The Garies and their Friends (CreateSpace); Pamphlets of Protest: An Anthology of Early African American Protest Literature, ed. Richard Newman, Patrick Rael, and Phillip Lapsansky (Routledge). Students should also purchase The Origins of African American Literature: 1680–1865 (Virginia). Other primary and secondary readings will be available online in the spring.

  

7587   American Fiction: 1929/M. Cadden/T, Th 9–11:45

1929 was a bad year for Wall Street but a good year for American fiction. We’ll begin with the novel that put Asheville on the literary map, Thomas Wolfe’s Look Homeward, Angel, for the insight it might offer into the place in which we find ourselves this summer and as a portal into thinking about our texts as products of a particular moment in time. Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury will offer an alternative version of how to represent the American South circa 1929.  Hemingway’s A Farewell to Arms and a selection of Fitzgerald’s stories will raise questions about Americans at home and abroad. A glimpse at stories by Katherine Anne Porter and Dorothy Parker, as well as three novels of the Harlem Renaissance—Nella Larsen’s Passing, Wallace Thurman’s The Blacker the Berry, and Jessie Redmon Fauset’s Plum Bun—will work to alter the stereotypical image of 1920s American literature. We’ll conclude with Hammett’s Red Harvest, a dystopian detective novel and the harbinger of the noir sensibility just around the corner.  

Texts: Thomas Wolfe, Look Homeward, Angel (Scribner); William Faulkner, The Sound and the Fury (Vintage); Ernest Hemingway, A Farewell to Arms (Scribner); F. Scott Fitzgerald, “The Last of the Belles” and “The Swimmers” in The Short Stories of F. Scott Fitzgerald, ed. Matthew Bruccoli (Scribner); Katherine Anne Porter, “Theft” and “The Jilting of Granny Wetherall” in The Collected Short Stories (Harvest/Harcourt); Dorothy Parker, “Big Blonde” in Collected Stories (Penguin); Nella Larsen, Passing (Modern Library); Wallace Thurman, The Blacker the Berry (Dover); Jessie Redmon Fauset, Plum Bun (Beacon); Dashiell Hammett, Red Harvest (Vintage).

 

7591a   Faulkner/S. Donadio/M, W 9–11:45

An intensive reading of the major works, for those interested in securing a comprehensive grasp of this author's artistic achievements during the most important phase of his career. 

Texts: William Faulkner, The Sound and the Fury; Sanctuary; As I Lay Dying; Light in August; Absalom, Absalom!; The Wild Palms; Go Down, Moses; Collected Stories. Except for the Collected Stories (Vintage paperback), these works are all included in the Library of America volumes devoted to William Faulkner: Novels 1926-1929; Novels 1930-1935; Novels 1936-1940; Novels 1942-1954. (There is also a fifth volume that includes works published in the author’s final years.) Throughout the session, all of our detailed discussions will refer to the first four Library of America volumes, which students are expected to purchase—new or used—in advance. These durable hardbound volumes are available at discount from numerous sources, and in addition to containing extremely useful chronologies and notes, they represent a wiser and significantly more economical investment than any paperback editions. 

 

Group V(World Literature)

  

7714   Vengeance/P. DeMarco/T, Th 9–11:45

O what a brilliant day it is for vengeance!” —Aeschylus, ancient Greek playwright

The vengeance plot—or revenge as a theme—can be found in virtually every historical era of literature. In this course we will study a rich variety of treatments of vengeance beginning with ancient epic (Homer, The Iliad) and tragedy (Seneca, Thyestes and Agamemnon), turning to medieval epic (Dante, Inferno), and concluding with early modern drama (Shakespeare, Titus Andronicus). We'll examine how ancient value systems centered on honor/shame-shaped poetic ideals of the avenging hero, justice, and fate. As we turn to medieval literature, we'll explore the ways in which emerging judicial institutions and Christian theologies of atonement posed challenges to ancient ideals of vengeance and reappropriated earlier ideas of honor, vengeance, and pity. To enrich our understanding of our own culture's preoccupation with vengeance, we'll study the representation of vengeance in the modern western (Kill Bill, Quentin Tarantino, director) and in modern renditions of classical narratives (Medea, Lars Von Trier, director). We will also examine theologies of divine vengeance, legal articulations of vengeance as a way to restore the balance to the scales of justice (as in the eye-for-an-eye code of the lex talionis), and efforts to cast "revenge as a kind of wild justice" (Francis Bacon) outside the bounds of reason and civilized conduct. Finally, we'll draw on contemporary scholarship on the psychology of anger to better understand the motives that drive individuals to revenge, the goals that the avenger seeks, the pleasures (and, perhaps surprisingly, the lack of satisfaction) that the pursuit of vengeance provides.  

Texts: Homer, The Iliad, ed. Bernard Knox, trans. Robert Fagles (Penguin); Seneca: The Tragedies: The Complete Roman Drama in Translation, Vol. I, trans. David Slavitt (John Hopkins); Dante, The Divine Comedy of Dante Alighieri: Vol. I, Inferno, trans. Robert Durling (Oxford); William Shakespeare, Titus Andronicus, ed. Jonathan Bate (Arden 3rd Series). Please use the editions listed here since other editions differ quite markedly.  

  

7757   Performance Theory and the Trope of Performance/D. Jones/T, Th 9–11:45

Without question, "performance" has become a watchword of the twenty-first century. From the workplace to the stock market; from technological and scientific developments to student evaluations; from cars to the arena of sports: we use the trope of performance to conceptualize outcomes and determine value. Yet performance also refers to the live cultural processes with which societies understand themselves, reckon with their histories, and project their futures: namely, film, music, oratory, religious worship, ritual, and theater, among others. This course familiarizes students to key concepts and terms in the study of performance. We will also track their ironic relation to our contemporary world: as economic, political, and sociocultural discourses mandate that we "perform or else," these discourses also disparage cultural performance practices as wasteful and inefficient.

Texts: Critical Theory and Performance, ed. Janelle Reinelt and Joseph Roach (Michigan); Ramón H. Rivera-Servera, Performing Queer Latinidad: Dance, Sexuality, Politics (Michigan); Rebecca Schneider, Performing Remains: Art and War in Times of Theatrical Reenactment (Routledge). All other readings will be available online in the spring via the Course Hub.