Vermont Campus, 2018 Courses

Group 1 (Writing, Pedagogy, and Literacy)

7000 Poetry Workshop: Poetry of Humanity and Hope

R. Forman/T, Th 2-4:45

In this workshop we will explore poetry of humanity and hope while incorporating tai chi, qi gong and communal principles to bring a focused energy of flow to one’s writing life. Each session starts with centering and energetic exercises, engages writing and critique, and ends with a clearer understanding of writing technique. Together we will focus on energetic flow and what this can bring to the page, the discussion of moving texts/published poems, and critique of student work. Students will regularly engage in exercises designed to generate new writing, and everyone will submit a final portfolio of revised work at the end of the session.

Texts: Lucille Clifton, Blessing the Boats (BOA); Martín Espada, Alabanza (Norton); Patricia Smith, Blood Dazzler (Coffee House); Kim Addonzio, Ordinary Genius: A Guide for the Poet Within (Norton); Stephen Mitchell, Tao Te Ching (Harper Perennial). Additional readings will be available in the summer.

7001 Poetry and the Graphic Arts

G. Lewis/M, W 2-4:45

Poetry is usually considered as a time-based art. However, since the beginning, it has also drawn on its own existence as a spatial art.

This course will consider the history of poetry which is particularly concerned with its visual presence on the page – through medieval illuminated manuscripts, George Herbert’s concrete poems (and, after him, those of Dylan Thomas), William Blake’s marriage of lyric, epic and engraving, to Edward Lear and Stevie Smith’s poems’ dialogues with the poets’ own illustrations, up to Ian Hamilton Finlay’s experiments in poems which appeal to the eye and explore the possibilities of graphic poems. We will also consider how this theme applies to ekphrastic poems – writing which describes visual art. We’ll learn the basics of how to print on Bread Loaf’s letterpress. In conjunction with the poems read in each session (provided in class), we will do writing exercises in and out of class; these will build up into your own visual-poetic portfolio. No previous experience of poetry or drawing are needed.

7005 Fiction Writing

S. Choi/T, Th 2-4:45

This workshop will focus on the craft of fiction through examination of student work, analysis of exemplary published works of fiction, and completion of exercises spotlighting characterization, plot, narrative voice, dialogue, and description. Students will be expected to share works in progress, provide constructive criticism to their fellow writers, generate new work in response to exercises and prompts, and complete reading assignments. Prior to coming to Bread Loaf, students should read the following short stories from the required text: “First Love and Other Sorrows” by Harold Brodkey, “Jon” by George Saunders, and “The Bear Came Over the Mountain” by Alice Munro. Additional works of short fiction will be assigned throughout the session.

Texts:  My Mistress’s Sparrow Is Dead, ed. Jeffrey Eugenides (Harper Perennial).

7006b Creative Nonfiction

G. Lewis/T, Th 2-4:45

This writing workshop will explore the nature of fact and how to deploy it in original creative nonfiction. What is a fact? Is it an objective truth that cannot be disputed? The word comes from the Latin factum, neuter past participle of facere ‘to do.’ However, if facts are made things, then information belongs to the realm of art. To what degree is nonfiction fictional after all? Each class will combine three elements: discussion of students’ work, practical exercises to stimulate new approaches, and short readings (to be provided). Together we’ll explore how the link between the aesthetics and ethics of nonfiction and ask: is it important to tell the truth in nonfiction? If so, whose truth?

7006c Creative Nonfiction: The Almanac

R. Sullivan/M-Th 9:35-10:50

Do we write the world or does the world write us? This class will examine experimental creative nonfiction through a consideration of place. Students will be asked to consider their place in various landscapes—in the Green Mountains, in New England, in the East Coast, as well as in wherever they call home. We will study different modes of creative nonfiction but focus especially on the calendar, the almanac, and the diary, each as a method of examining the landscape as it relates to time and as a way of examining the idea of nature itself. Readings will include the Georgics, Walden, selections from J. B. Jackson’s A Sense of Place, a Sense of Time, and My Emily Dickinson by Susan Howe. We will consider connections between the visual arts and nonfiction, looking, for example, at the work of Nancy Holt and her husband, Robert Smithson, and we will explore the work of John Cage. Students will be required to keep a weather log, to write numerous short pieces, and to compose weathergrams, among other things.

Texts:  Henry David Thoreau, Walden and Other Writings (Modern Library); Virgil, Virgil’s Georgics, trans. Janet Lembke (Yale); J. B. Jackson, A Sense of Place, a Sense of Time (Yale); Black Nature: Four Centuries of African American Nature Poetry, ed. Camille T. Dungy (U. of Georgia); Susan Howe, My Emily Dickinson (New Directions).

7008 Critical Writing

J. Fyler/M-Th 9:35-10:50

This course starts from the premise that all writing is creative, that the best expository prose engages its audience's minds and imaginations. Our workshop will offer practice in writing critical essays, and some ideas for teaching others how to write them. We will discuss various ways to generate an idea, but will focus primarily on the processes of revision and rethinking that can transform a first draft into a finished paper. One of the texts for the course (Maguire and Smith) offers lively examples of the critical essay in action; the others present tools for writing and rewriting. Some of our work will be in small groups and in individual meetings; some of the writing could involve reworking critical papers from earlier Bread Loaf courses, or papers currently under construction. We will aim to produce clear thinking and effective rhetoric, conveyed with the inflections of an individual voice.

Texts:  H. D. Fowler, A Dictionary of Modern English Usage: The classic first edition. (Oxford); Stanley Fish, How to Write a Sentence, and How to Read One, Reprint ed. (Harper, 2012); Richard A. Lanham, Revising Prose, 5th ed. (Pearson); Laurie Maguire and Emma Smith, 30 Great Myths about Shakespeare (Wiley-Blackwell); Steven Pinker, The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person's Guide to Writing in the 21st Century (Viking).

7009a & 7009b Multigenre Writing Workshop

D. Huddle/7009a: M-Th 8:10-9:25 / 7009b: M-Th 11-12:15

This workshop will emphasize student writing: producing, reading, discussing, and revising short stories, poems, and essays. Along with reading and discussing model compositions, we will write in at least two genres each week, and we will spend at least half our class time reading and discussing students’ manuscripts.

Texts: The Georgia Review (Spring 2018); The Threepenny Review (Spring 2018). Journals will be available through the Middlebury College Bookstore.

7018 Playwriting

D. Clubb/M, W 2-4:45

This course concerns itself with the many ways we express ourselves through dramatic form. An initial consideration of the resources at hand will give way to regular discussions of established structures and techniques. Members of the class are asked to write a scene for each class meeting. Throughout the course we will be searching for new forms, new ways of ordering experience, new ways of putting our own imaginations in front of us.

7019 Writing for Children

M. Stepto and S. Swope/M, W 2-4:45

Stories for children, like stories for adults, come in many colors, from dark to light, and the best have in common archetypal characters, resonant plots, and concise, poetic language. Using new and classic texts as inspiration, we will try our hands writing in a variety of forms. The first half of the course will be a story-generating boot camp; students will write a rough draft of a new story for each class. In the second half, students will continue with new work and, with an eye to shaping a final project, revise some of what they’ve written. We will also add critical readings to the mix. Students should come to the first class having read Wally’s Stories, The Witches, and “Hansel and Gretel” and “Rapunzel” from the Philip Pullman collection. The artistically inclined should bring their art supplies with them to campus. All books for this class, including the picture books, will be on reserve in the library.

Texts: Roald Dahl, The Witches (Puffin); Philip Pullman, Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm (Penguin); A. A. Milne, The House at Pooh Corner (Puffin); William Steig, The Amazing Bone (Square Fish); P.D. Eastman, Go, Dog, Go! (Random House); James Barrie, Peter Pan (Puffin); Janet Schulman, You Read to Me & I’ll Read to You (Knopf); Virginia Hamilton, The People Could Fly: American Black Folktales (Knopf); Beatrix Potter, Peter Rabbit, Benjamin Bunny, Squirrel Nutkin, and Jemima Puddle-Duck (all Warne); William Steig, Sylvester and the Magic Pebble (Aladdin); Margaret Wise Brown, Goodnight Moon (HarperCollins); Wolf Erlbruch, Death, Duck, and the Tulip (Gecko); Natalie Babbitt, Tuck Everlasting (Square Fish); Molly Bang, The Grey Lady and the Strawberry Snatcher (Aladdin) and Picture This (SeaStar); Jon Klassen, This Is Not My Hat (Candlewick); Lemony Snicket and Jon Klassen, The Dark (Little Brown); Felix Salten, Bambi (Barton); Dr. Seuss, Horton Hatches the Egg (Random); Maurice Sendak, Where the Wild Things Are and In the Night Kitchen (both HarperCollins); Gabrielle Vincent, A Day, A Dog (Front Street); Mo Willems, Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus (Hyperion); Vivian Paley, Wally’s Stories (Harvard); Nathaniel Hawthorne, A Wonder Book: Heroes and Monsters of Greek Mythology (Dover); Carlo Collodi, Pinocchio (Puffin); Neil Gaiman, The Graveyard Book (HarperCollins); E. B. White, Charlotte’s Web (HarperCollins); I. B. Singer, Zlateh the Goat, and Other Stories (HarperCollins), Kate diCamillo, Raymie Nightingale (Candlewick).

7040b Holding Place: Long-form Writing about Landscape

R. Sullivan/M-Th 8:10-9:25

How do writers inhabit a place, and how does a place inhabit their books? In this course, students will examine various literary tools as well as the tools of the geographer in order to construct their own place-based works or site histories. In working toward that goal, we will look for inspiration in the way selected books and long-form journalism describe particular places, towns, cities, or regions, and we will consider the ways in which ongoing conversations about that place (political, social, environmental) figure into the landscape. (This course may also be used to satisfy a Group 4 requirement.)

Texts: Tove Jansson, The Summer Book (NYRB); John McPhee, The Pine Barrens and Encounters with the Archdruid (both Farrar, Straus and Giroux); Mindy Thompson Fullilove, Root Shock (New Village); Lorraine Anderson, Sisters of the Earth: Women’s Prose and Poetry About Nature (Vintage).

7045 Memoir Workshop: Telling Stories, Finding Meaning

C. Savageau/T, Th 2-4:45

In writing memoir, we are telling stories from our lives. But how do we decide which ones to tell? And why should anyone care? In this workshop, students will practice the art of telling stories to the page, and begin to develop their storytelling voices. Through class exercises they will learn how to generate and organize story ideas, retrieve memories, find thematic threads, and use sensory language and narrative strategies. Readings from successful memoirs will provide examples of strong voices, the possibilities of form, the struggle for meaning, and of how creative storytelling and truth intersect. Students will write in response to exercises and prompts, share work, and provide constructive criticism to fellow writers. Optional: Final public reading.

Texts: The texts will be available in a course packet through the Middlebury College Bookstore.

7124 Queer Pedagogies in Writing Studies

E. Pritchard/M-Th 8:10-9:25

This course examines studies at the intersections of writing studies, LGBTQ studies, and queer theory to engage, complicate, and contribute to the scholarly conversation called “queer pedagogies.” We will begin with a historiography of how writing instruction and LGBTQ studies began to engage one another. Next, we will turn to studies focused specifically on teacher and student identity in writing classrooms. In addition, we will examine works that have addressed productive tensions in queer pedagogies scholarship, with special attention to texts that help us interrogate the ways race, class, citizenship, gender, disability, and other identities corroborate and complicate queer pedagogies. Students will be responsible for regular readings, participation in critical class discussions, a short essay, and a final project designing a course unit with a writing assignment wherein they would employ queer pedagogies in their teaching.

Texts: Harriet Malinowitz, Textual Orientations: Lesbian and Gay Students and the Making of Discourse Communities (Heinemann); Mollie Blackburn, Interrupting Hate: Homophobia in Schools and What Literacy Can Do About It (Teachers College). A course packet of select articles and book chapters will be available through the Middlebury College Bookstore.

7148 Literacy Education and American Film

E. Pritchard/T, Th 2-4:45

This course centers on the question: How can cinematic narratives of literacy education help us to transform as teachers and individuals inside and outside of the classroom? We will explore some of the meanings of literacy by scholars who define it through historical, political, and cultural contexts, alongside films that depict literacy education in relationship to identity and difference. Students will write short critical essays that will be the basis on which we begin critical discussions of issues raised by course readings and films. These essay assignments will also provide opportunities to explore implications for our teaching and learning experiences in relationship to contemporary debates regarding critical literacies, social justice education, and critical race, feminist, and LGBTQ pedagogies in reading and writing instruction. The course will deepen the students’ knowledge base, teaching philosophies, and classroom practices by employing film to explore the infinite complexities, contradictions, contestations, possibilities, and rewards of literacy education in our lives. (This course may also be used to satisfy a Group 4 requirement.)

Texts: bell hooks, Teaching to Transgress (Routledge). A course packet of select articles and reviews will be available through the Middlebury College Bookstore.

7151 Teaching, Writing, Publishing

B. Brueggemann/M-Th 11-12:15

Teaching about writing and writing about teaching: these two have strong crossings (and of course, much meaning in the life of Bread Loaf teachers). In this course we will explore this chiasmus (crossing) between teaching and writing through a journey into many genres: fiction, nonfiction (memoir and essay); teaching lesson plans; interviews; poetry; and even guides for writing a teaching statement/philosophy. Our goal is also to publish writing about teaching.

Texts: Bill Roorbach, Writing Life Stories: How to Make Memories Into Memoirs, Ideas Into Essays, And Life Into Literature, 2nd ed. (Writer's Digest); Mike Rose, Lives on the Boundary (Penguin); Frank McCourt, Teacher Man (Scribner); Julie Schumacher, Dear Committee Members (Anchor); The Teacher's Body:  Embodiment, Authority, and Identity in the Academy, eds. Diane Freedman and Martha Stoddard Holmes (SUNY); What I Didn’t Know: True Stories of Becoming a Teacher, ed. Lee Gutkind (In Fact).


Group 2 (British Literature: Beginnings through the 17th Century)

7210 Chaucer

J. Fyler/M-Th 8:10-9:25

This course offers a study of the major poetry of Geoffrey Chaucer. We will spend roughly two-thirds of our time on the Canterbury Tales and the other third on Chaucer’s most extraordinary poem, Troilus and Criseyde. Chaucer is primarily a narrative rather than a lyric poet: though the analogy is an imperfect one, the Canterbury Tales is like a collection of short stories, and Troilus like a novel in verse. We will talk about Chaucer’s literary sources and contexts, the interpretation of his poetry, and his treatment of a number of issues, especially gender, that are of perennial interest.

Texts: The Riverside Chaucer, ed. L. D. Benson (Oxford or Houghton Mifflin); Boethius, The Consolation of Philosophy, trans. Richard Green (Martino); Woman Defamed and Woman Defended, ed. Alcuin Blamires (Oxford); Chaucer, Troilus and Criseyde, ed. Stephen Barney (Norton).

7230 The Faerie Queene

S. Wofford/M, W 2-4:45

This course offers an immersive introduction to The Faerie Queene in its wider literary and political contexts, including selections from classical and Renaissance epic (Vergil, Ovid, Ariosto Tasso); and questions emerging from Reformation religion and/or Elizabethan politics. Some reading in theories of allegory and ideology will complement our focus on the poem as epic. We will also look more briefly at the visual tradition of representing epic and romance, including mythological paintings, emblem books, iconography, and Renaissance mythography (Cartari, Conti and others). We will rethink the convergences and divergences of epic, allegory, and romance as they help to shape questions of gender, nation, ideology, and ethics. In preparation for the first class meeting, students should read only the first two cantos of Book One and the Letter to Raleigh (found in the back or front of the book).

Required Texts: (1) The Faerie Queene, ed. A. C. Hamilton (Longman). The second edition, published in 2001 by Pearson Education/Longman and republished by Routledge in 2007, is preferable. The first edition is also acceptable. (2) We will read significant selections of Ovid’s Metamorphoses. I recommend the translation by A. D. Melville, in the Oxford World Classics Series, or the bilingual English-Latin in the revised Loeb Library. The Metamorphoses is available online in many different English translations and in Latin, but it is nice to have the whole book in your hands.

Recommended texts: (1) Angus Fletcher, Allegory: Theory of a Symbolic Mode. I will make assigned selections available to the class but you may want easy access to more. (2) I also recommend three texts from Routledge’s New Critical Idiom series: Jeremy Tambling, Allegory (2010); Barbara Fuchs, Romance (2004); Paul Innes, Epic (2013). These short guides are very useful teaching tools as well.

7250 Shakespearean Afterlives

M. Cadden/M-Th 8:10-9:25

This course will focus primarily on some of Shakespeare's "afterlives" of the past twenty years. Although his reputation rests on his work, Shakespeare was invented in the 18th century as something beyond a "mere" playwright. We'll take a brief look at the start of this phenomenon with David Garrick's Stratford Jubilee in 1769, then study some recent recycling of “the Shakespearean” in theater, film, fiction, dance, opera, television, actor’s autobiographies, and theatrical institutions and festivals. Our key Shakespeare texts will be Othello, The Winter’s Tale, and The Tempest. Evening showings of the performance-based texts will be arranged. (This course may also be used to satisfy a Group 3 requirement.)

Texts: William Shakespeare, Othello (any modern ed.); Lolita Chakrabati, Red Velvet (Methuen); Felicity Kendal, White Cargo: A Memoir (Penguin); William Shakespeare, The Winter’s Tale (any modern ed.); Jeanette Winterston, The Gap of Time (Hogarth); William Shakespeare, The Tempest (any modern ed.); Margaret Atwood, Hag-Seed (Hogarth).

Films: James Ivory, Shakespeare Wallah (1965); Vishal Bhardwaj, Omkara (2006); Christopher Wheeldon and Joby Talbot, The Winter’s Tale (Ballet, 2015); Thomas Adès, The Tempest (Opera, 2004); Peter Wellington, Slings and Arrows (Season One, 2003).

7254 Shakespeare and the Politics of Hatred

A. Rodgers/M-Th 11-12:15

This course approaches Shakespeare’s plays via three principal perspectives. First, we will work closely with Shakespeare’s canvas – his language – in order to gain a greater understanding of his craft and medium. Second, we will cultivate an understanding of the role of the early modern professional stage, and Shakespearean stage in particular, as venue for cultural critique and ideological reinforcement of early modern English cultural biases, anxieties, and instabilities. Finally, we will consider how and why Shakespeare still speaks to us as audiences, readers, and scholars in the twenty-first century. To provide a tighter focal lens for these endeavors, we will explore the plays we read largely through a particular analytic—that of hatred —that still plays a significant role in our own world some 400 years later. Plays include Romeo and Juliet, Titus Andronicus, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Much Ado About Nothing, The Merchant of Venice, Macbeth, Othello, and The Tempest.

Texts: The Norton Shakespeare, 3rd ed., ed. Stephen Greenblatt, et. al. (Norton); The Bedford Companion to Shakespeare, 2nd ed., ed. Russ McDonald (Bedford/St. Martin's).

7273 Disability and Deformity in British Literature

B. Brueggemann/M, W 2-4:45

Literature of all cultures and histories is rife (and ripe) with representations of disability and/or deformity—once we know how to look for it. But why, and how, does the condition of the bodyinfirm or whole, crippled or complete, abnormal or extraordinarymatter in literature? Using the lens of critical disability studies applied to British literature, we will explore this primary question. Beginning with Chaucer’s Wife of Bath and Shakespeare’s Richard III, we will consider the following primary questions (and surely more): how do ideas about disability and deformity in British literature create and then enforce the divide between “normality” and “abnormality”?; what are the plots, metaphors, and character moves that disability/deformity makes in this literature?; what did it mean to "have a body" (deformed, disabled, and “normal” as well) and how are these bodily forms expressed in this literature?; how does genre (form)— drama, poetry, essay/memoir, fiction—matter in the representation and interpretation/reception of a disabled body in literature? (This course may also be used to satisfy a Group 3 requirement.)

Texts: William Hay, On Deformity: An Essay, ed. Kathleen James-Cavan (English Literary Studies); William Shakespeare, Richard III, ed. Barbara A. Mowat and Paul Werstine (Simon & Schuster/Folger); Mark Haddon,The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (Vintage); Bernard Pomerance, The Elephant Man: A Play (Grove); Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre (Penguin); Nina Raine, Tribes (Nick Hern); Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden, Centennial ed. (Signet); David Lodge, Deaf Sentence (Penguin).

7275 Trauma in the Premodern World

A. Rodgers/M, W 2-4:45

When Lady Macbeth’s doctor tells her husband that he cannot cure her madness, Macbeth asks: “Canst thou not minister to a mind diseased, / Pluck from memory a rooted sorrow, / Raze out the written troubles of the brain?” Although “trauma” was not used to describe a psychological state until the nineteenth century, Macbeth’s query suggests that premodern subjects both understood and experienced the sorts of psychic injury the term denotes. Our overarching goal as a class will be to address the question: how was trauma understood, expressed and represented in premodern European culture?. Primary material will include Foxe’s Book of Martyrs (selections), selections from Boccaccio’s The Decameron, Thomas More’s prison letters, Thomas Kyd’s The Spanish Tragedy, William Shakespeare’s Hamlet and Macbeth, Thomas Middleton’s The Revenger’s Tragedy and Daniel Defoe’s History of the Plague in London. A variety of theoretical readings on trauma will also be assigned.

Texts: Sigmund Freud, The Freud Reader, ed. Peter Gay (Norton); Aphra Behn, Oronooko (Penguin); Cathy Caruth, Unclaimed Experience: Trauma, Narrative and History, (Johns Hopkins); Daniel Defoe, A Journal of the Plague Year, ed. John Berseth (Dover); William Shakespeare, Titus Andronicus (any ed.); William Shakespeare, Hamlet (any ed.); John Webster, The Duchess of Malfi, ed. Kathy Casey (Dover).


Group 3 (British Literature: 18th Century to the Present)

7250 Shakespearean Afterlives

M. Cadden/M-Th 8:10-9:25

See description under Group 2 offerings.

7273 Disability Studies in British Literature 1600-Present

B. Brueggemann/M, W 2-4:45

See description under Group 2 offerings.

7361 Interpreting Great Expectations

I. Armstrong/M-Th 9:35-10:50

After a close reading of the text of Great Expectations,  we will collaborate as groups on the following as ways of interpreting Dickens’s novel: art work, photography, sound, movement. We will aim to produce a final exhibition of our work. You will keep a course diary, and there will be a critical essay at the end of the course. If you like to work in groups, share discussion, and are happy with taking intellectual risks with non-formal ways of interpreting literature this will be a productive course for you. But remember that these forms of interpretation are exacting.

Texts: Charles Dickens, Great Expectations, Deluxe ed. (Penguin).

7453 Modern British and American Poetry

M. Wood/M-Th 8:10-9:25

W. H. Auden said poetry makes nothing happen, and Marianne Moore said she disliked it. Other modern poets have had other doubts and complaints. This course will consider six American and British poets who have in their different ways sought to give poetry a hard time. Poetry will no doubt be all the better for the ordeal, and that possibility too will be part of our subject, along with some of the historical and social reasons for the worry, and some of the things that happen because of poetry after all. (This course may also be used to satisfy a Group 4 requirement.)

Texts: Marianne Moore, Complete Poems (Penguin); W. H. Auden, Collected Poems (Vintage); John Berryman, Collected Poems (Farrar, Straus and Giroux); J. H. Prynne, Poems (Bloodaxe); Claudia Rankine, Citizen (Graywolf); Jorie Graham, Fast (Ecco).

7455 Fiction of Empire and its Aftermath in Modern South Asia

M. Sabin/T, Th 2-4:45

Some of the most compelling modern and contemporary writers have come from the areas of South Asia formerly known as British India. In avoiding the now outdated but still common term “postcolonial” as a frame for their work, this course means to explore how new literary representations of past and present have changed along with the societies themselves during the now 70+ years since independence in the sub-continent. Our discussions will address the following complex (and often controversial) issues shaping the forms as well as the content of the literature:  the emergence of a new indigenous plutocracy to replace colonial elites; new and continuing schisms between regional, ethnic, and religious groups; the complexities of emigration to a newly prominent diaspora and a literary class trying to sustain dual (or cosmopolitan) identity; the increasing challenges to English as a literary language for representing non-English-speaking peoples; new variations of older conflicts about the status of women in South Asian society, especially women as represented by women writers themselves. We will begin with the most notable English writers directly engaged with British India in the late colonial period:  Kipling, E.M. Forster and Orwell. We will then jump forward to the impressive repertory of English-language writing from the post-colonial period, with attention also to equally impressive short stories translated from Bengali and from Urdu. We will conclude with some attention to the preoccupations of more contemporary writing. This course moves fast, so it is crucial to do a substantial amount of reading before arrival, at least A Passage to India, Clear Light of Day, and Kartography. Specific assignments in some shorter primary texts and some critical reading will be available in the summer. The text of Pinjar may be hard to find other than in slightly used copies ordered online. A film from this translated text will accompany the reading. (This course may also be used to satisfy a Group 5 requirement.)

Texts: Rudyard Kipling, Selected Stories (Penguin); E.M. Forster, A Passage to India (Mariner); Anita Desai, Clear Light of Day (Mariner); Amrita Pritam, Pinjar: The Skeleton and Other Stories (Tara); Amitav Ghosh, Shadow Lines (Mariner); Saadat Hasan Manto, Kingdom’s End: Selected Stories (Penguin); Kamila Shamsie, Kartography (Bloomsbury); Mohsin Hamid, How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia (Riverhead Books).


Group 4 (American Literature)

7040b Holding Place: Long-form Writing about Landscape

R. Sullivan/M-Th 8:10-9:25

See description under Group 1 offerings.

7148 Literacy Education and American Film

E. Pritchard/T, Th 2-4:45

See description under Group 1 offerings.

7453 Modern British and American Poetry

M. Wood/M-Th 8:10-9:35

See description under Group 3 offerings.

7591 Faulkner

S. Donadio/M, W 2-4:45

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; 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. Throughout the session, all of our detailed discussions will refer to the first three 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, represent a significantly more economical investment than any paperback editions.

7640 Modern American Drama

M. Cadden/M-Th 11-12:15

After a look at some of the acknowledged classics of modern American drama by O’Neill, Wilder, Miller, Williams, Hansberry, and Albee, we will turn to an extraordinarily diverse and theatrically innovative set of plays works written for the theater over the past 25 years, including plays by Tony Kushner, August Wilson, David Henry Hwang, Paula Vogel, Lynn Nottage, and Branden Jacobs-Jenkins. The Bread Loaf Acting Ensemble will greatly facilitate our efforts to analyze how these plays work in performance. Students will also be expected to watch film versions of some of the plays at their convenience.

Texts: Eugene O’Neill, Long Day’s Journey into Night (Yale); Thornton Wilder, Our Town (Perennial); Arthur Miller, Death of a Salesman (Penguin); Tennessee Williams, A Streetcar Named Desire (Signet); Lorraine Hansberry, A Raisin in the Sun (Vintage); Edward Albee, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (Signet); Tony Kushner, Angels in America, Parts 1 and 2 (TCG); August Wilson, Joe Turner’s Come and Gone (Plume); David Henry Hwang, M. Butterfly (Plume); Paula Vogel, How I Learned to Drive in The Mammary Plays (TCG); Lynn Nottage, Sweat (TCG); Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, Appropriate (TCG).

7656 African American Poetry since 1960

R. Stepto/M-Th 9:35-10:50

Our discussion begins with a review of what modernist poets Gwendolyn Brooks, Robert Hayden, and Langston Hughes ventured and accomplished in their last decades of writing. Then we turn to the following poets: Derek Walcott, Amiri Baraka, Audre Lorde, Lucille Clifton, Michael Harper, Marilyn Nelson, Yusef Komunyakaa, Rita Dove, Elizabeth Alexander, and Natasha Trethewey. We will study how these contemporary poets create odes, sonnets, and ballads; pursue a written art based upon vernacular and performance models; and align themselves with artistic, cultural, and social movements. Special attention will be given to contemporary practices of the history poem (heroines, heroes, the wars, civil rights, migrations, the “Black Atlantic,” etc.). Visual art and music will always be near at hand (to quote Michael Harper, “the music, jazz, comes in”). Students are encouraged to bring to the class any literary, visual, or musical materials that they feel engage the poems we are studying. Students will be expected to complete two writing assignments. Everyone will also participate in one or more presentation groups. Reading ahead before the summer is strongly advised.

Texts: The Vintage Book of African American Poetry, ed. Michael Harper and Anthony Walton (Vintage); Derek Walcott, Selected Poems (Farrar, Straus and Giroux); Amiri Baraka, The Leroi Jones/Amiri Baraka Reader (Basic Books); Audre Lorde, Undersong (Norton); Lucille Clifton, Blessing the Boats (BOA); Michael Harper, Songlines in Michaeltree (U. of Illinois); Marilyn Nelson, The Fields of Praise (Louisiana State) and A Wreath for Emmett Till (Houghton Mifflin); Yusef Komunyakaa, Neon Vernacular (Wesleyan); Rita Dove, Selected Poems (Vintage); Elizabeth Alexander, American Sublime (Graywolf); Natasha Trethewey, Native Guard (Mariner).

7671 Gender and Sexuality in North American Native Literature

C. Savageau/M-Th 9:35-10:50

In this course, we will look at expressions of non-binary gender and sexuality outside the hetero-normative in the work of North American Native writers and poets in the context of colonialism, genocide, resistance, sovereignty, and specific national/tribal traditions. Over the past thirty years, Two-Spirit has become an umbrella term in the Native LGBTQ community. Two-Spirit people may identify as LGBT, Queer, or in tribally specific ways. We’ll read texts that challenge homophobia/transphobia, that witness multiple layers of oppression, that reclaim understandings of gender and sexuality rooted in specific tribal traditions, that imagine futuristic and fantastic indigenisms, and that celebrate the erotic as a creative force inextricably linked with issues of sovereignty and survivance. Additional readings will be available in the summer.

Texts: Sovereign Erotics: A Collection of Two-Spirit Literature, ed. Qwo-Li Driskill, Daniel Heath Justice, Deborah Miranda, Lisa Tatonetti (U. of Arizona); Love Beyond Body, Space, and Time, ed. Hope Nicholson (Bedside); Beth Brant, Food and Spirits (any edition; currently out of print; several copies will be on reserve in the library); Craig Womack, Drowning in Fire (U. of Arizona); Deborah Miranda, Raised by Humans (Tía Chucha); Chip Livingston, Owls Don’t Have to Mean Death (Tincture); Louise Erdrich, The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse (Harper Collins); Daniel Heath Justice, Kynship: The Way of Thorn and Thunder, Book One (Kegedonce); Janice Gould, Doubters and Dreamers (U. of Arizona).

7686 American Print Cultures

K. Marshall/M-Th 9:35-10:50

This course is a celebration of print materiality in American literary history. Students will undertake a comparative study of print, type, paper, and letterforms in early American letters through the American Renaissance, and then in the contemporary “post-print” era, which has seen a resurgence of interest in the form of the book and in artisanal print work. The course will have three hands-on sessions developed collaboratively with Middlebury special collections, including a session on early American manuscripts and typescripts, a typewriter workshop, and a session on bookmaking and artists’ books. Readings will range from early engagements with printing and African-American print culture (Wheatley, Franklin, Dickinson) to contemporary texts obsessed with print (Sexton, Howe, Plascencia, Hall, Bolaño). Our studies will, naturally, bring us into contact with the Bread Loaf Printer’s Cabin and its capabilities, not only for the production of printed work but also for the access it provides to serious thinking about the weight, heft, and infrastructure of language in printed form. Students should aim to read the assigned texts ahead of time, as these will be supplemented by targeted readings from contemporary studies of print culture and textual materiality.

Texts: Salvador Plascencia, The People of Paper (Mariner); Phillis Wheatley, Complete Writings, ed. Vincent Carretta (Penguin); Susan Howe, That This (New Directions); Steven Hall, The Raw Shark Texts (Cannongate); Emily Dickinson, The Gorgeous Nothings (New Directions); Roberto Bolaño, 2666 (Picador); Anne Sexton, Selected Poems (Mariner); Benjamin Franklin, Autobiography (Oxford).

7691 Our Realisms

K. Marshall/M-Th 8:10-9:25

Does every generation get the realism it deserves? In this course, students will read texts that represent in varied ways the status of realism in the contemporary American novel. Although the destiny of the novel as a genre, and the American novel in particular, is often tied to the destiny of realism by scholars and writers, the current definitions of realism are the subject of heated debate among authors, academics, and public intellectuals. Because of these debates, the critical language to describe realism has exploded, and, in addition to reading key novels from the contemporary literary world, we will investigate contemporary realist vocabularies by examining the correspondences and distinctions between speculative, peripheral, capitalist, lyrical, and weird realisms, among others. Our discussions will focus on eight key contemporary novels, which should be read before the summer begins, and on a select set of readings (available in the summer) from novel theory and contemporary literary journalism and criticism.

Texts: All available in recent paperback editions. Don DeLillo, Zero K (Scribner); Colson Whitehead, The Underground Railroad (Anchor); George Saunders, Lincoln in the Bardo (Random House); Annie Proulx, Barkskins (Scribner); Ruth Ozeki, A Tale for the Time Being (Penguin); Marilynne Robinson, Housekeeping (Picador); Tom McCarthy, Remainder (Vintage); Teju Cole, Open City (Random House).


Group 5 (World Literature)

7457 Disenchantment, Fantasy, and Belief

T. Curtain/M-Th 11-12:15

Realist fiction generally occupies a central place in arguments about culture and human values in contemporary literary theory. Fantasy fiction, or a literature of enchantment, occupies no place—or if it does show up, it occupies no place of honor. This course will tell a story about the role of fantasy within the history of literary criticism at the "theory turn" (generally from the mid-1950s to the 1960s), carrying the narrative forward into the present. The central question: what happened to the fantastic? Occluded or ignored, for the most part, but why? From J.R.R. Tolkien to Ursula K. LeGuin, from William Morris to Steven Erikson, from Diane Duane to China Miéville: fantasy fiction writers have generated millions of words over the past hundred years or so. We will read a few of those words, starting with J.R.R. Tolkien's keystone text, The Lord of the Rings. We will then reach backwards into the nineteenth century to take up William Morris and other British proto-fantasists, and then return to the present to engage contemporary fiction of the fantastic. Should we agree with Max Weber when he writes, "The fate of our times is characterized by rationalization and intellectualization and, above all, by the 'disenchantment of the world” ("Wissenschaft als Beruf,” 1917)? How has the disenchantment hypothesis scripted our understanding of literature and culture of the last 300 years? What role does fantasy fiction play as a reaction formation to a disenchanted culture, if any? Within a secular world, have we been stripped of the capacity for belief, and does fantasy satisfy a hunger for belief?

Texts: J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings (The Fellowship of the Rings, The Two Towers, The Return of the King) (Mariner); J.R.R. Tolkien, The Silmarillion (Mariner); Lord Dunsany, In the Land of Time (Penguin); Philip Pullman, The Golden Compass (Yearling); Richard K. Morgan, The Steel Remains, The Cold Commands, and The Dark Defiles (all Del Ray/Random House); Patrick Rothfuss, The Name of the Wind (DAW Books); George R.R. Martin, A Game of Thrones (A Song of Fire and Ice #1) (Bantam); A.S. Byatt, Little Black Book of Stories (Vintage); N. K. Jemisin, The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms (Orbit); Nnedi Okorafor, Who Fears Death (DAW Books); Max Weber, "Science as a Vocation" (1917) (Hackett).

7705 The Novel before the Novel: Ancient Prose Fiction and its Vicissitudes

F. Zeitlin/T, Th 2-4:45

What are novels and where do they come from? What is the history of the so-called romance novel, on the one hand, and the comic and picaresque form, on the other? This course takes a close look at a form of ancient – Greek and Roman – prose fiction that arose in the ancient Mediterranean under the Roman Empire. The plots of the (Greek) erotic narratives combine a mixture of romantic love and adventure, involving an always young, well-born, and beyond beautiful hero and heroine in travels to distant lands, spectacular misfortunes (bandits, pirates, unwelcome rivals), and an eventual reunion ending in marriage. On the Roman side, the settings of low-life realism frame comic, bawdy, and sensational story-telling, replete with sex, fraud, theft, magic, and ghosts, along with irreverent allusions to other genres. Once dismissed as trivial or popular literature, unworthy heirs of the classical tradition, the ancient novel has come into its own, with theorists such as Mikhail Bakhtin, Michel Foucault, and Northrop Frye drawing attention to its importance in discussions of eros, the body, gender, self-representation, literary self-consciousness, intertextuality, ekphrasis, and rhetoric, along with awareness of cultural margins, ethnic identity, class and race, and literary reception. Taking up these issues, this course will examine four romances:  Chariton’s historiographical Chaereas and Callirhoe; Achilles Tatius’ sexy Leucippe and Clitophon, Longus’ pastoral romance, Daphnis and Chloe, and Heliodorus’s masterpiece, Charicleia and Theagenes aka Ethiopiaka. On the Roman side, we will read Petronius’ wicked Satyricon and Apuleius’ baroque The Golden Ass or Metamorphoses. Students may elect for their final papers to study later works in the European tradition that are indebted to these influences, ranging from medieval to modern in such authors as Cervantes, Sir Philip Sidney, Shakespeare, and F. Scott Fitzgerald. The editions listed below are preferred; additional materials will be available in the summer.

Texts: Collected Ancient Greek Novels, ed. Bryan Reardon, 2nd ed. (U. of California); Leucippe and Clitophon by Achilles Tatius, trans. Tim Whitmarsh, Reissue ed. (Oxford); Greek Fiction: Callirhoe, Daphnis and Chloe, Letters of Chion, ed. Helen Morales (Penguin); Petronius, Satyricon, trans. Sarah Ruden (Hackett); Apuleius, The Golden Ass, trans. E.J. Kenney (Penguin). Recommended: The Cambridge Companion to the Greek and Roman Novel, ed. Tim Whitmarsh (Cambridge).

7745 The Novel in Europe

M. Wood/M-Th 11-12:15

Novels have a long history and are almost everywhere and yet the genre is hard to define. This course will look closely at six European novels (French, English, Russian, German, and Italian) written over four centuries, studying them for their own sakes but also holding questions about the genre in mind. We shall be seeking not so much a categoric definition as a sense of the genre’s history and preoccupations, the ways in which it reflects and does not reflect a social world, and how it differs from other genres like romance and epic.

Texts: Madame de Lafayette, The Princesse de Clèves (Oxford); Jane Austen, Persuasion (Dover); Gustave Flaubert, Sentimental Education (Penguin); Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Idiot (Vintage); Franz Kafka, The Trial (Schocken); Italo Calvino, If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler (Harcourt Brace Jovanovich).

7765 Chekhov and the Drama

M. Katz/M-W 2-4:45

A study of Chekhov's major dramatic output with an attempt to situate him in both the Western and Russian contexts. We begin with Ivan Turgenev's A Month in the Country (1850) and Henrik Ibsen’s The Wild Duck (1884). We turn to Chekhov’s early work, his vaudevilles, including The Bear (1888), The Proposal (1888), and The Anniversary (1891). Then we concentrate on his four major plays: The Seagull (1896), Uncle Vanya (1889; 1897), Three Sisters (1900), and Cherry Orchard (1903). In addition to reading and analyzing these works, students will act short scenes from the plays, view excerpts from Russian, British, and American productions, and discuss selected critical essays. We then return to the Russian and Western contexts with Maxim Gorky’s The Lower Depths (1902) and George Bernard Shaw’s Heartbreak House: A Fantasia in the Russian Manner on English Themes (1919).

Texts: Rose Whyman, Anton Chekhov (Routledge); Ivan Turgenev, A Month in the Country, trans. Isaiah Berlin (Penguin); Henrik Ibsen, The Wild Duck, trans. Michael Meyer (Norton); Anton Chekhov, The Plays of Anton Chekhov, trans. Paul Schmidt (Harper); George Bernard Shaw, Heartbreak House (Penguin); Maxim Gorky, The Lower Depths (Dover).

7768 Stolen Years: Youth Under the Nazis in World War II

F. Zeitlin/M, W 2-4:45

This course examines the experiences of childhood and adolescence, male and female, under the Nazis in World War II as witnessed, remembered, and represented through a variety of means and genres in text and image. Through their writings, two 16-year-olds in 1944, Anne Frank (Dutch) and Elie Wiesel (Hungarian), are probably the best-known adolescents of this period. But our reading introduces a host of other remarkable voices that attest to the creative power of the written word to grapple with the extraordinary and often unspeakable, along with a selection of relevant films. These readings are meant to challenge us as to how to reconcile the child-self with the adult-narrating-self; how to represent versions of the trope, 'coming of age,’ in such appalling conditions, along with issues of ethical complexity (and complicity), and finally, the significance of gendered differences. Although we focus on the fate of Jewish youth, who were specific targets of genocidal policy, not just unintended victims, we will also attend to others in the occupied countries (Poland, USSR, Hungary, Italy, Romania, France, Netherlands) as well as in Germany itself. Some recurrent themes: childhood and its ramifications (metaphorical or otherwise): coming of age: (premature, foreshortened, achieved): memory, recollection, and retrospection (with attendant problems), confused identities with evidence of emotional trauma as well as coping mechanisms of resilience and adaptation. Students are expected to attend a number of film screenings, in addition to class meetings. Supplementary materials will be available in the summer. Please try to get a headstart before the course with Dwork’s opening chapters of Children With a Star and briefly review the history of the Third Reich 1933-45 (many timelines available on the web).

Texts: Debórah Dwork, Children With a Star, Reprint ed. (Yale, 1993); Laurel Holliday, Children in the Holocaust and World War II (Washington Square); Jerry Spinelli, Milkweed, Reprint ed. (Ember, 2010); Michal Glowinski, Black Seasons (Northwestern); Imre Kertész, Fatelessness, Reprint ed. (Vintage, 2004); Cordelia Edvardson, Burned Child Seeks the Fire (Beacon); Saul Friedländer, When Memory Comes, First ed. (Other Press, 2016); Georges Perec, W, or The Memory of Childhood (Godine); Louise Murphy, The True Story of Hansel and Gretel (Penguin); Aharon Appelfeld,Tzili: The Story of a Life (Schocken); Magda Denes, Castles Burning: A Child’s Life in War (Norton); Carl Friedman, Nightfather (Persea).

Films: Agniewzka Holland, Europa, Europa (1991); Andrei Tarkovsky, Ivan’s Childhood (1962); Andrzej Wajda, Korczak (1990); Feliks Falk, Joanna (2010); Lajos Koltai, Fateless (2005); Roberto Benigni, Life is Beautiful (1997); Louis Malle, Au Revoir les Enfants (1987); Karel Kachyna, The Last Butterfly (1991); Cate Shortland, Lore (2012); Eli Cohen, Under the Domim Tree (1994).


Group 6 (Theater Arts)

7807 Using Theater in the English Classroom
A. Brazil/T, Th 2-4:45
Theater can offer students the opportunity to viscerally enter and deeply understand—and own—a text. In the tradition of the Bread Loaf Acting Ensemble, this course will explore ways to use performance to excavate a text; its goal is for students to have the tools to do this work with their own students in their year-round classrooms. Working collaboratively as actors, we’ll employ choral readings, find and theatricalize events, find where a piece hits us emotionally, and create its physical life from there. The work we make in class may culminate in an original piece for the Bread Loaf community. We’ll be working with a variety of texts exploring some of the essential questions raised in A Tale of Two Cities, this summer’s main theatrical production. All material will be available as a course packet. Though performance is central to the course, the emphasis is not on acting; no previous acting experience is required. Students must be available to rehearse a great deal outside of class.

Texts: Eileen Landay and Kurt Wootton, A Reason to Read: Linking Literacy and the Arts (Harvard). A course packet containing all other texts will be available through the Middlebury College Bookstore.