Texts for each course are listed in the order in which they appear on the syllabus. Students should complete as much reading as possible before their arrival and bring all required texts to Bread Loaf.

Bread Loaf / Vermont

Teaching, Writing, and Acting for Change Curriculum
Group 1: Writing, Pedagogy, and Literacy
Group 2: British Literature: Beginnings through the 17th Century
Group 3: British Literature: 18th Century to the Present
Group 4: American Literature
Group 5: World Literature
Group 6: Theater Arts

Teaching, Writing, and Acting for Change Curriculum

M. Robinson, curriculum coordinator

The Teaching, Writing, and Acting for Change Curriculum centers on theories and practices for approaching conflict as an opportunity for promoting understanding and positive change. Developed as part of the Kathryn Wasserman Davis Collaborative in Conflict Transformation, its aim is to cultivate strategies and pedagogies for working across differences and toward social justice. The Change courses put storytelling—narrative, language, theater—at the center of the process to provide unique opportunities for collaborative and experiential learning. In addition to class meetings, Change participants will need to attend a few special events that will take place outside the regular class hours.

7104 Transcultural Literacies
D. Wandera/T, Th 2–4:45

Why is it that even when people speak the same language there is a possibility of miscommunicating? How might miscommunications manifest in a classroom as failure to see the other’s worldview? What is the connection between language, culture, and teaching? This writing course is constructed around the concept of languaculture to visualize interconnections between language and culture. With a focus on encounters between different worlds of meaning, participants are invited to disrupt their commonsensical literary ways of being and doing through critical reflection of self-and-other in the world. Course experiences will evoke conversations around the notion of “a world inscribed within language” to make sense of how access to cultural meanings of a text might enhance and/or impede learning in a language arts classroom. Through spotlighting how marginalized students struggle with identity and belonging, participants will explore how teachers can make a positive difference in the lives of the students they teach. Ultimately, participants will produce a multimodal reflexive piece of writing that showcases their appreciation of intrigues, intricacies, complexities, and resourcefulness of ethno-racial and linguistic diversity in the classroom. (This course carries one unit of Group 1 credit.) 

Texts (required editions noted with an asterisk): Michael Agar, Language Shock: Understanding the Culture of Conversation, 1st ed. (William Morrow)*; Allison Skerrett, Teaching Transnational Youth—Literacy and Education in a Changing World (Teachers College Press); Literacy Lives in Transcultural Times, eds. Rahat Zaidi and Jennifer Rowsell, 1st ed. (Routledge); Sonia Nieto, Language, Culture, and Teaching: Critical Perspectives, 3rd ed. (Routledge)*. Additional readings will be provided during the session.

7198 Creative Practice: Reimagining the Classroom
C. Maravich/M–Th 11:15–12:30

The course invites participants to experience how awakening our creativity can transform the ways we teach and build community in our classrooms. We will examine the relationship between our own creativity, our identities, our “teacher identity,” and how we show up in the classroom. We will consider how nurturing our creative capacities can transform conflict, build relationships, and shape change in the classroom. Through our experiences and critical analysis, students will experiment with various pedagogical approaches that include embodiment, storytelling, and teaching artistry. Participants will lead activities, perform, and share teaching practices with one another. Major requirements include a storytelling/performance piece and a comprehensive unit of lesson plans (with an abstract) that will be implemented in participants’ own communities during the academic year. No prior artistic or artistic teaching experience is necessary. (This course carries one unit of either Group 1 or Group 6 credit.)

Texts: Clarissa Pinkola Estés, The Creative Fire: Myths and Stories on the Cycles of Creativity (Sounds True; audiobook)Eric Booth, The Music Teaching Artist’s Bible: Becoming a Virtuoso Educator (Oxfordillustrated ed., 2009);Adrienne Maree Brown, Emergent Strategy: Shaping Change, Changing Worlds (AK Press, 2017).Additional readings (provided during the session) will include work by John Paul Lederach, Twyla Tharp, Gholdy Muhammad, Parker Palmer, and Maxine Greene. 

7580 Zora Neale Hurston: Anthropologist, Folklorist, Novelist, Change Agent
M. Robinson/M, W 2–4:45

In this course, we will collectively explore the work and life of Zora Neale Hurston. The lived experiences of Hurston are paramount to understanding the cultural context of her work, and so both will be course content. Hurston was an anthropologist, and though she made her living as a writer, and much of that writing as fiction, her professional lens with the cultural context of people was always present. This course will focus on that lens as well as on the controversy that Hurston’s work generated among her peers. Alice Walker purchased a marker for Hurston’s grave that reads “Zora Neale Hurston, A Genius of the South, 1901–1960, Novelist, Folklorist, Anthropologist.” This course will explore and interrogate these titles and make meaning of Hurston’s work among them. Ultimately, we will explore whether Zora Neale Hurston was a Change Agent for the people and cultures represented in her work. (This course carries one unit of Group 4 credit.) 

Texts (required editions noted with an asterisk): Zora Neale Hurston, Novels and Stories: Jonah’s Gourd Vine/Their Eyes Were Watching God/Moses, Man of the Mountain/Seraph on the Suwanee/Selected Stories, ed. Cheryl A. Wall (Library of America)*; Zora Neale Hurston and Langston Hughes, Mule Bone: A Comedy of Negro Life (Amistad); Zora Neale Hurston, Dust Tracks on a Road: A Memoir (Amistad/Modern Classics; copies may be available to borrow from Prof. Robinson); Zora Neale Hurston, Barracoon: The Story of the Last Black Cargo, reprint ed. (Amistad)*.

Group 1: Writing, Pedagogy, and Literacy

7005 Fiction Writing
R. Makkai/T, Th 2–4:45

This course will focus on the craft of fiction through examination of student work, analysis of exemplary published works of fiction, and completion of exercises spotlighting such aspects of craft as characterization, plot, narrative voice, dialogue, and description. Students will share works in progress, provide constructive criticism to fellow writers, generate new work in response to exercises and prompts, and complete reading assignments provided by the instructor. In addition to regular reading assignments and short exercises, each student will complete two full short stories and revise one of them. Part seminar and part workshop, this class is appropriate for students with all levels of experience.

Text: Naming the World: And Other Exercises for the Creative Writer, ed. Bret Anthony Johnston (Random House).

7006 Mapping Vermont: Writing about the Green Mountains and Vicinity
R. Sullivan/M–Th 8:15–9:30

Do we write the world or does the world write us? This class will examine experimental creative nonfiction through a consideration of place. We will study different modes of creative nonfiction but focus on the calendar 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 Walden, Virgil’s Georgics, Dawnland Voices, and My Emily Dickinson by Susan Howe, in addition to handouts. We will consider connections between the visual arts and nonfiction, looking, for example, at the work of Nancy Holt and Robert Smithson, and John Cage. Students will be required to keep a weather log. There will be a film screening outside our class time. 

Texts: Henry David Thoreau, Walden and Other Writings (Modern Library); Virgil’s Georgics, trans. Janet Lembke (Yale); Black Nature: Four Centuries of African American Nature Poetry, ed. Camille T. Dungy (U. of Georgia); Susan Howe, My Emily Dickinson (New Directions); Dawnland Voices: An Anthology of Indigenous Writing from New England (ed. Siobhan Senier; fully accessible via Middlebury Library); and numerous handouts and library holds.

7104 Transcultural Literacies
D. Wandera/T, Th 2–4:45
See description in Change Curriculum offerings.

7113 Digital Cultural Rhetoric: Pedagogy and Social Justice 
C. Medina/M–Th 11:15–12:30

This class provides an introduction to digital cultural rhetorics, outlines foundational values, and reflects on what those values look like in practice. Digital spaces examined will include social media, specifically those discourse communities where genres of communication are used to exchange specific information for the purposes of those communities. Social justice issues this course will look at include the politics of interface (who were these technologies designed for?), transformative access (what is access without infrastructure?), and communities in practice (how are the histories of use longer than previously thought?). Students will be invited to compose with new media in relation to social justice issues faced by their students and communities. Pedagogy and how these issues relate to our students’ lived experiences will remain perennial questions throughout this course. Students will prepare a short paper, a podcast, and video.

Texts (all texts are optional): Adam J. Banks, Race, Rhetoric, and Technology: Searching for Higher Ground, (Routledge); Digital Griots: African American Rhetoric in a Multimedia Age (Southern Illinois); Rhetoric and the Digital Humanities, eds. Jim Ridolfo and William Hart-Davidson (U. Chicago).

7190 The Teaching Life: A Creative Exploration 
A. Brazil/S. Swope/M, W 2–4:45

Uniquely, three strands of practice are woven together at Bread Loaf: academics, creativity, and teaching. This course combines all three by embracing teaching as a subject worthy of creative expression. In the session’s first half, taught by Angela Brazil, we’ll work on our feet using a variety of artistic and theatrical practices to collaboratively explore a teacher’s life, generating stories real and imagined, memories, facts, dreamings. In the second half, taught by Sam Swope, we’ll bring that material to the page as we draft and workshop short-form pieces—fiction or nonfiction, poetry or prose, dramatic or lyrical—leading to a final project inspired by the rich and complex lives led by teachers. Readings will be provided by the instructors and available during the session. 

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

7205 The Romance of Arthur
M. Rasmussen/M–Th 11:15–12:30

This course is a study of the literature surrounding the figure of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, from its origins in the early Middle Ages to the present. Readings are drawn from such works as the Arthurian romances of Chrétien de Troyes, the Middle English verse romance Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Malory’s Le Morte Darthur, Tennyson’s Idylls of the King, Twain’s A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, and Bernard Malamud’s The Natural. We will also consider offshoots of Arthurian legend in the visual arts, opera, and such films as Excalibur (1981), Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1976), The Fisher King (1991), and The Green Knight (2021). A short paper will be due midway through the term and a final project at the end. The final project may be an analytical essay or a creative work. The course will include an evening film series, “Movie Knights” (three screenings). (This course may be used to satisfy a Group 5 requirement.) 

Texts (all are required editions):The Romance of Arthur, eds. Norris J. Lacy and James J. Wilhelm, 3rd ed. (Routledge); Sir Thomas Malory, Le Morte Darthur: The Winchester Manuscript, ed. Helen Cooper (Oxford World’s Classics, annotated ed.); Alfred, Lord Tennyson, Idylls of the King, ed. J. M. Gray (Penguin Classics); Mark Twain, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court (Modern Library, 1st ed. with illustrations by Daniel Beard available through used booksellers); Bernard Malamud, The Natural (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, reprint ed.).

7231 Spenser, Milton, and the Epic 
S. Wofford/T, Th 2–4:45

This summer we will read together Spenser’s Faerie Queene (Books 1, 3, and 6), selections from The Shepherd’s Calendar, Milton’s Paradise Lost (focus on Books 1, 2, and 4–9), and Shakespeare’s As You Like It. We will consider the relation of the epics to the many genres they incorporate, including the pastoral-georgic ideal they both draw on and critique, and what knowledge is provided or sought through the differing modes of knowing in each work. We will examine the politics of pastoral and disguise in all three works, and we will consider how these works speak to each other. Examples of pastoral poetry from Virgil and Theocritus to selected early modern and contemporary lyrics will be provided online. Topics to be discussed: Christianity versus the classics; the relation of Spenser and Milton to classical mythology; pastoral and utopian thought and explorations of alternative ontologies; epic and/vs. drama; gender, disguise, and discovery; colonialism, racial and religious difference; and the ethics of pastoral and epic as genres.

Students are encouraged to read Virgil’s Aeneid, Books 1–4, for context before the session, and may dip into Paradise Lost if they wish, but should not read the Spenser ahead of time. Students will prepare two papers and a variety of short weekly writing assignments as well as in-class theater exercises and creative projects and, with a group, will lead part of one class discussion. Class members will also need to attend two evening rehearsals of the summer’s theater productions. 

Texts: Edmund Spenser, Edmund Spenser’s Poetry: A Norton Critical Edition, eds. Anne Lake Prescott and Andrew Hadfield (Norton, 4th ed. best; 3rd ed. also acceptable); John Milton, Paradise Lost: A Norton Critical Edition, ed. Gordon Teskey (Norton, 2nd ed.); Shakespeare, As You Like It, ed. Alan Brissenden (Oxford World Classics) OR Shakespeare, As You Like It: Bedford Texts and Contexts, eds. Pamela Brown and Jean Howard (Bedford/St. Martin’s) but good modern editions such as the Signet Classics, the Folger editions, and traditional anthologies like the Norton Shakespeare are also acceptable.

7246 Exploring Shakespeare: Actor and Audience
B. Steinfeld/T, Th 2–4:45
See description in Group 6 offerings.

7250 Othello and its Afterlives 
D. Britton/M–Th 11:15–12:30

This course will focus on a single play and its legacy—Shakespeare’s Othello. We will begin with an intensive study of Othello, focusing on early modern English views of Islam, race, class, gender, and sexuality. We will then consider how later engagements with the play (performances, visual culture, literary criticism, and adaptations) respond to, revise, reject, and/or redeploy the play’s configurations of identity and power. We will examine Romantic responses to the play (e.g., Samuel Coleridge’s infamous assessment), artistic representations of scenes from the play, the performances of Ira Aldridge and Paul Robeson, Laurence Olivier’s blackface performance, Toni Morrison’s Desdemona, Keith Hamilton Cobb’s American Moor, Jordan Peele’s Get Out, and Caryl Phillips’s The Nature of Blood. I recommend reading or watching productions of Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus and The Merchant of Venice before the term begins. Students may also wish to watch additional film versions of Othello. Students will prepare a presentation and three papers and attend two film screenings.

Texts (required editions noted with an asterisk): William Shakespeare, Othello, ed. E. A. J. Honigmann, (Bloomsbury, 2nd ed.)*; Toni Morrison, Desdemona (Bloomsbury); Keith Hamilton Cobb, American Moor, (Bloomsbury/Methuen); Caryl Phillips, The Nature of Blood (Vintage).

Jordan Peele, Get Out (2017) will be screened on campus and available on DVD during summer session.

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

7300 Theatrical Worlds of the 18th Century 
I. Newman/M–Th 8:15–9:30

Theatrical entertainments of the 18th century were vibrant, colorful, and full of music, song, and dance. The London theater also provided a forum for public opinion, where ideas about political, social, and cultural issues could be tested out before an audience, who were notoriously boisterous and quick to judge. In the theater, ideas about empire, colonialism, Britishness, gender, class, and disability were staged to audiences, whose opinions were given—whether they were asked for or not. In this course we’ll consider entertainments that were performed on the 18th-century London stage—from adaptations of Shakespeare to comic afterpieces, farces, and equestrian entertainments. Along the way we’ll explore the sights and sounds of London’s theatrical culture, encompassing the theater buildings and the surrounding areas, the trades, taverns, and chop houses that depended on the theater for their existence; we’ll ask how audiences behaved, and why there were so many riots.

The course will require students to put together a portfolio of two to three items of work: students will be able to choose from a menu of options, which will include scholarly academic essays, teaching units, public-facing written assignments, and creative options. Please note that we will be experimenting with performance-as-research, so a willingness to participate in (amateurish) performances is required. Where possible, I will screen filmed versions of texts studied (likely two to three texts across the summer), and students will be encouraged to attend.

Texts (all are required editions): John Gay, The Beggar’s Opera and Polly, ed. Hal Gladfelder (Oxford World’s Classics); Oliver Goldsmith, She Stoops to Conquer, ed. James Ogden (Bloomsbury/Methuen Drama). 

Films: All films are recommended and will be screened on campus. Jonathan Miller, Beggar’s Opera (BBC Television,1983); Jamie Lloyd, She Stoops to Conquer (National Theatre, 2012). 

7370 19th-Century British Novel
B. Black/M–Th 9:45–11

This course captures the range of formal and thematic experimentation that characterizes the 19th-century British novel. We will begin with Jane Austen’s final novel, Persuasion. Then we will move from Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights, a vexing but delicious text written by a true teenager, to George Eliot’s Middlemarch, which Virginia Woolf called a novel for genuine grown-ups. Our other texts will be Charles Dickens’s “perfect” novel, Great Expectations; H. Rider Haggard’s weird bestseller, King Solomon’s Mines; and Arthur Morrison’s fierce novel of London’s slums, A Child of the Jago. Queen Victoria once confided in her diary, “I never feel quite at ease or at home when reading a Novel.” Why did she say this? How do we make sense of her attraction to the uncanny wonders of the novel? Together we will examine the vertiginous amplitude of the novel in the century that ensured the genre’s astonishing popularity and witnessed its remarkable development.

Please have Persuasion, our first text, underway in preparation for our first class. Ideally, since this course is reading intensive, students will benefit from any reading they can complete in advance.

Texts (all are required editions): Jane Austen, Persuasion (Penguin); Emily Brontë, Wuthering Heights (Norton Critical ed.); George Eliot, Middlemarch (Oxford World’s Classics); Charles Dickens, Great Expectations (Oxford World’s Classics); H. Rider Haggard, King Solomon’s Mines (Penguin Classics); Arthur Morrison, A Child of the Jago (Broadview).

7435 George Orwell 
S. Goldman/T, Th 2–4:45

In his brief life, George Orwell wrote and published over a million words. In this course we will focus on some of the most enduring of those words. We will read a selection of Orwell’s “narrative essays’” (which can be found in “Facing Unpleasant Facts”), novels (including Animal Farm and 1984), and one of the great books of war reportage, Homage to Catalonia.

Texts (required editions noted with an asterisk): George Orwell, 1984, Unabridged (Signet); George Orwell, Animal Farm (Signet); Rebecca Solnit, Orwell’s Roses (Penguin)*; Sandra Newman, Julia: A Retelling of George Orwell’s 1984 (Mariner)*; Christopher Hitchens, Why Orwell Matters (Basic)*; Anna Funder, Wifedom: Mrs. Orwell’s Invisible Life (Hamish Hamilton)*.

7445 Banning Books and the Harms of Literature
T. Curtain/M–Th 9:45–11

Can words harm? Can sentences, narratives, or novels cause injury, damage, or pain? Is it more than just a metaphor to claim that literature tears the social fabric? In this course, we will explore what is meant by the harms of literature. We will start with 18th-century British legal understandings of harm against the backdrop of a reading of John Cleland’s Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure (1748/9), and then move on to important 19th- and 20th-century legal philosophical and literary texts. We will end the session by (re)thinking contemporary arguments for the regulation and the banning of books. The notion of harm is central to how those cultures understood texts to do things: make people, inculcate beliefs, corrupt cultures, exemplify morals, shatter minds, or create worlds. We will use our readings to reflect on our own tacit understandings of how words both mean and do, and on the role of the writing, reading, and teaching of books. (This course may be used to satisfy a Group 4 requirement.)

Texts: John Milton, Areopagitica (Penguin, 1644); John Cleland, Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure (1748/1749; ebook through Project Gutenberg); Thomas de Quincey, Confessions of an English Opium Eater (Penguin Classics, 1821); John Stuart Mill, On Liberty (Dover, 1959); Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray (Penguin Classics,1890); Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita (Knopf Doubleday, 1989); Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five (Dial Press Trade Paperback, 1969); Toni Morrison, Beloved (Vintage, 1987); Alison Bechdel, Fun Home (Mariner, 2006); Maia Kobabe, Gender Queer: A Memoir (Oni Press, 2019).

Film: Alfred Hitchcock, Psycho (1960) required; screened on campus. 

Group 4: American Literature

7445 Banning Books and the Harms of Literature
T. Curtain/M–Th 9:45–11
See description in Group 4 offerings.

7507 Humbugs and Visionaries: American Artists and Writers before the Civil War
B. Wolf/M, W 2–4:45

This course examines American literature and visual culture in the years before the Civil War, focusing on the ways that writers and artists not only anticipated but helped construct the modern era. We look in particular at mythmakers, prophets, and self-promoters, from poets like Phillis Wheatley and Emily Dickinson to painters like Thomas Cole and Hudson River School artists, to popular entertainers like P. T. Barnum. Topics include visuality and the invention of “whiteness”; landscape and empire; genre painting and hegemony; race and double-coding; domesticity and sentimentalism. Students will write a brief “description” paper (a close reading of an individual image) and, instead of a traditional term paper, create an “Imaginary Exhibition” on a topic of their own choosing.

Texts (course readings will be available on the course Canvas website): Phillis Wheatley, selected poems; Benjamin Franklin, The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin (parts I and II); Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nature and “Experience”; Edgar Allan Poe, “Berenice” and “William Wilson”; Frederick Douglass, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave (1845 version only—not the later versions); Anne Bradstreet, “Contemplations”; Emily Dickinson, selected poems; Herman Melville, “Bartleby, the Scrivener.”

Film: John Sayles, Lone Star (1996/7). Required screening on campus.

7580 Zora Neale Hurston: Anthropologist, Folklorist, Novelist, Change Agent
M. Robinson/M, W 2–4:45
See description in Change Curriculum offerings.

7583 American Memoryscapes
J. Sanchez/T, Th 2–4:45

How do we collectively remember? How is memory shaped, constructed, and appropriated in public spheres? These two questions—in one way or another—deal with public memory, a budding, interdisciplinary field that investigates the way memory forms, persuades, and maintains societies, communities, and cultures. From the memorials dedicated to 9/11 to Confederate monuments, from documentary film and literature to art installations, we will explore how various public artifacts shape our collective memories and understandings of the past. We will specifically focus on American tragedies, race and racism, gamification, and the “everyday.”

We will take a tour to Middlebury to look at how the town is constructed with public memory in mind, and we will have a couple of film screenings (a documentary and a feature film). Students will write a couple of papers that interrogate how public memory is rhetorical and explore public memory in their home areas. The final project will require students to “construct” a public memory (in person, digitally, or other). Readings for the first class will be posted on Canvas before the session.

Text: Stephen Markley, Ohio (Simon & Schuster).

Media (required media noted with an asterisk): Damon Lindelof, The Leftovers* (TV series; access on HBO Max or buy on Amazon); Joel Fendelman, Man on Fire* (documentary; access on Kanopy); Keith Maitland, Tower (documentary; access on Amazon Prime).

7590 Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Faulkner
S. Donadio/M, W 2–4:45

Concentrating on a series of writings published over a dozen years from the mid-1920s to the late 1930s, we will attempt to trace out some of the recurrent patterns, preoccupations, and predicaments that manifest themselves in major works by Hemingway, Fitzgerald, and Faulkner and that result in a dense network of shared imaginative associations and divergent artistic ambitions. Among the issues we will address are the nature and consequences of intimate male-female relationships, the pressure of historical and regional circumstances, and the interplay between authorial self-analysis and comprehensive cultural assessment. Participants should anticipate regular opportunities for related reading and independent research.

Texts (all are required editions): Ernest Hemingway, The Sun Also Rises & Other Writings, ed. Robert W. Trogdon (Library of America); F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby, ed. David Alworth (Norton Critical ed.); William Faulkner, The Sound and the Fury (Vintage,1st ed.); William Faulkner, Sanctuary (Vintage); William Faulkner, Novels 1936–1940 (Library of America); Ernest Hemingway, A Farewell to Arms (Scribner, reprint ed.); F. Scott Fitzgerald, Tender Is the Night (Scribner).

7640 American Drama
O. Eustis/ M–Th 11:15–12:30

Since Angels in America premiered 30 years ago, American drama has been in constant turmoil, producing great works and challenging questions with astonishing regularity. This class will cover the field since 1992, from Angels through August Wilson’s masterpieces to Hamilton and Fat Ham, covering plays that haven’t been produced to plays that have won the Pulitzer Prize. We will coordinate with the resident theater company so we can share performances as well as reading. Sociology, politics, and contemporary society will be at the center of this class as much as art. We will have particular focus on plays from marginalized communities and voices.

Texts: Tony Kushner, Angels in America (Theater Communications Group); Tony Kushner, The Intelligent Homosexual’s Guide to Capitalism and Socialism with Key to the Scriptures (Theater Communications Group); Suzane-Lori Parks, Topdog/Underdog (Theater Communications Group); Suzane-Lori Parks, Father Comes Home from the Wars (Theater Communications Group); Lynn Nottage, Sweat (Theater Communications Group); Richard Nelson, The Gabriels (Theater Communications Group); Annie Baker, Circle Mirror Transformation (Dramatists Play Service); Annie Baker, The Flick (Theater Communications Group); Mona Mansour, The Vagrant Trilogy (Methune Drama); Brandon Jacobs-Jenkins, An Octoroon (Dramatists Play Service); Martyna Majork, Cost of Living (Theater Communications Group); Stephen Adley Guirgis, The Motherfucker with the Hat (Theater Communications Group); Young Jean Lee, Straight White Men (Theater Communications Group); Lin Manuel Miranda, Hamilton (Grand Central Publishing); Lisa Kron and Jeanine Tesori, Fun Home (Samuel French Inc.).

7665 Reading Novellas 
K. Marshall/M–Th 9:45–11

The novella is in its Golden Age, enjoying the attention of major publishers, spawning popular book series, and drawing the attention of readers as the form best suited to our contemporary habits of reading. But what is it about the form, and its history, that informs its current ascendancy in reading culture? In this course we will read across the contemporary novella and several key texts from its history. At stake will be questions of form and how we read, and we will place these texts in conversation with contemporary literary journalism, studies of narrative, and media theory. Our classes will often pair novellas together in conversation and will also engage in experiments in how much time and attention novellas require. Students should plan to bring at least one additional unread novella or be prepared to acquire and read one during the term. At least some of the texts should be read in print form. (This course may be used to satisfy a Group 5 requirement.) 

Texts (required editions noted with an asterisk): Olga Ravn, The Employees: A Workplace Novel of the 22nd Century, trans. Martin Aitken (New Directions); Hanne Ørstavik, ti amo, trans. Martin Aitken (And Other Stories); Jessica Au, Cold Enough for Snow (New Directions); Tarjei Vesaas, The Ice Palace, trans. Elizabeth Rokkan (Peter Owen Publishers); Jon Fosse, Aliss at the Fire, trans. Damion Searls (Fitzcarraldo); Violette Leduc, The Lady and the Little Fox Fur, trans. Derek Coltman (Penguin); Claire Keegan, Small Things Like These (Faber); Cesar Aira, An Episode in the Life of a Landscape Painter, trans. Chris Andrews et al. (New Directions); Nnedi Okorafor, Binti (Tordotcom); Yoko Tawada, The Emissary, trans. Margaret Mitsutani (New Directions); Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness (Oxford World’s Classics/Heart of Darkness and Other Tales)*; Christina Rivera Garza, The Taiga Syndrome, trans. Suzanne Jill Levine and Aviva Kana Dorothy (Publishing Project, reprint ed.); David Mitchell, Cloud Atlas (Random House); Leo Tolstoy, Kreutzer Sonata and Other Stories, ed./trans. David McDuff and Paul Foote (Penguin Classics); Maeve Brennan, The Visitor: An Inquiry Into the Private Ownership of Land (Counterpoint, revised ed.); Tove Jansson, The Summer Book, trans. Thomas Teal (NYRB Classics, later printing ed); Thomas Pynchon, The Crying of Lot 49 (Harper Perennial Modern Classics); Ottessa Moshfegh, McGlue: A Novella (Penguin, reprint ed.); Nella Larsen, Quicksand (Martino); Heinrich von Kleist, The Duel, trans. Annie Janusch (Melville)*.

7811 Production and Dramaturgy
B. McEleney/Th 5–6 and three weekly rehearsals 7–10:30 
See description in Group 6 offerings.

Group 5: World Literature

7205 The Romance of Arthur
M. Rasmussen/M–Th 11:15–12:30
See description in Group 2 offerings.

7665 Reading Novellas 
K. Marshall/M–Th 9:45–11
See description in Group 4 offerings.

7715 Dante and Vergil
J. Fyler/M–Th 8:15–9:30

This course will focus on two major texts in the European literary tradition, Vergil’s Aeneid and Dante’s Commedia. The two are linked because “Virgil” is Dante’s guide on his journey into Hell and up the mountain of Purgatory; he is the guide because Aeneid 6 describes an earlier trip to the underworld, but even more because Dante has the whole Aeneid very much in mind throughout his own great poem. We will also look at a number of allusions to these texts in English and American literature.

Texts (all are required editions): Vergil, Aeneid, Robert Fitzgerald (Vintage); Reading Vergil’s Aeneid: An Interpretive Guide, ed. Christine Perkell (Oklahoma); Dante Alighieri, The Inferno, trans. Robert and Jean Hollander (Anchor); Dante Alighieri, Purgatorio, trans. Robert and Jean Hollander (Anchor); Dante Alighieri, Paradiso, trans. Robert and Jean Hollander (Anchor); Pierre Grimal, The Penguin Dictionary of Classical Mythology, ed. Stephen Kershaw; trans. A. R. Maxwell-Hyslop (Penguin).

7747 The Russian Novel in the 20th Century
M. Katz/M, W 2–4:45

This course provides an introduction to five classic novels of the so-called “silver age” of Russian literature. We begin with Andrei Bely’s symbolist masterpiece, Petersburg. We move on to the controversial and celebrated novel Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak. We follow with Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s literary and political bombshell, One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, followed by Mikhail Bulgakov’s satanic fantasy, Master and Margarita, and conclude with Vladimir Voinovich’s subversive novel of socialist surrealism, The Life and Extraordinary Adventures of Private Ivan Chonkin. Students will prepare two papers.

Texts (all are required editions): Andrei Bely, Petersburg, trans. John Malmstad and Robert Maguire (Indiana); Boris Pasternak, Doctor Zhivago, trans. Max Hayward and Manya Harari (Everyman’s Library); Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, trans. H. T. Willetts (Everyman’s Library); Mikhail Bulgakov, Master and Magarita, trans. Diana Burgin and Katherine Tieman O’Connor (Harry Abrahms); Vladimir Voinovich, The Life and Extraordinary Adventures of Private Ivan Chonkin, trans. Richard Lourie (Northwestern).

7755 Literary Criticism: Theory and Practice 
M. Rasmussen/M–Th 8:15–9:30

In this course, we learn how to use literary theory to see more in the works we study and love. We begin with classic statements by authors from Plato to Susan Sontag, because so much of the conversation begins with them. Then we turn to 20th- and 21st-century critical approaches, from the New Criticism, beginning in the 1930s, to such contemporary methods as gender studies, queer theory, race and ethnic studies, postcolonial theory, the new historicism, and ecocriticism. Each student will adopt a literary work they already know well as a test case for the theories we encounter. Students will produce a short paper midway through the term and a longer paper at the end. In the second half of the term, student groups will lead class discussion.

Text (required edition): The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism, eds. Vincent B. Leitch et al. (Norton, 3rd ed.). Additional readings will be provided.

7767 Ibsen
D. Clubb/M, W 2–4:45

A study of four major works by the great Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen: A Doll’s House, Ghosts, Hedda Gabler, and The Master Builder. Close analysis of the plays will be accompanied by a regular consideration of the ways Ibsen conceives and constructs character, self, time, action, and narrative. Of special interest will be the relation of his dramaturgy to contemporary ideas about theatrical realism, ideas that were to have an extraordinary impact on 20th- and 21st-century theater and filmmaking. Students will prepare several short essays and an extensive class journal. (This course carries one unit of either Group 5 or Group 6 credit.)

Texts (all are required editions): Henrik Ibsen, Ibsen: Four Major Plays, Volume I, trans. Rolf Fjelde (Signet Classics); Henrik Ibsen, Ibsen: Four Major Plays, Volume II, trans. Rolf Fjelde (Signet Classics).

Group 6: Theater Arts

7198 Creative Practice: Reimagining the Classroom
C. Maravich/M–Th 11:15–12:30
See description in Change Curriculum offerings.

7246 Exploring Shakespeare: Actor and Audience
B. Steinfeld/T, Th 2–4:45

In the opening chorus speech of Henry V, the audience is asked “gently to hear” the play that’s about to happen. This class will take on Shakespeare’s texts from the perspective of the actor and the audience—that is, by speaking and hearing the text out loud. We will look closely at scenes and monologues from a wide array of Shakespeare’s plays. Our deep dive into the structure of the language will reveal the substantive differences between verse and prose, as well as the potential for joy and revelation in both. Our aim will be to cultivate an understanding of the plays by exploring the massive amounts of information that they offer about how language can ignite the mind, body, and spirit. Using games, exercises, and rehearsal techniques pioneered by Cicely Berry, Fiasco Theater, and others, our approach will include multiple learning modalities, centering pleasure and process. There will be one final project of the student’s choice. No previous experience in theater is necessary. (This course may be used to satisfy a Group 2 requirement.) 

Text: Shakespeare, The Complete Works of William Shakespeare, eds. John Jowett et al. (Oxford World’s Classics ed, or any hard or digital edition of the complete works).

7767 Ibsen
D. Clubb/M, W 2–4:45
See description in Group 5 offerings.

7811 Production and Dramaturgy

B. McEleney/Th 5–6 and three weekly rehearsals 7–10:30 

This course will give students an opportunity to work alongside members of the Bread Loaf Acting Ensemble as they rehearse and perform a series of staged readings of several modern and contemporary American plays during the session. These include Whitney White’s By the Queen, Lauren Gunderson’s The Book of Will, and Richard Nelson’s Two Shakespearean Actors. Students will participate as actors, assistant directors, and dramaturgs. They must be available for rehearsal at least three evenings a week (generally Sunday–Thursday), including Sunday evenings, and must keep a written journal that will be reviewed on a weekly basis by the instructor. Weekly journal entries (of at least 500 words) will chart emerging understanding of text and performance practice as they reveal themselves through rehearsal. In addition to evening rehearsals, there will be a weekly class meeting from 5 to 6 p.m. on Thursday afternoons. (This course may be used to satisfy a Group 4 requirement.) 

Bread Loaf / Oxford 

Group 1: Writing, Pedagogy, and Literacy
Group 2: British Literature: Beginnings through the 17th Century
Group 3: British Literature: 18th Century to the Present
Group 5: World Literature

Group 1: Writing, Pedagogy, and Literacy

7977 Poetry Detective: Reading and Writing Past Fear
G. Lewis/M–W 11–1

The detective or mystery genre is a key trope in modern popular culture. This workshop will use the tools of sleuth as a way of approaching poems both as a reader and writer. The application of the principles of detection offers a useful way into otherwise daunting works of art. The course will focus on reading and writing as ways of generating new texts. Each class will include writing exercises—to be done either in class or as homework—designed to explore methods raised by the readings. Class readings will be drawn from a wide range of periods and traditions; texts will be supplied in class. Students will be expected, initially, to examine some of the foundational detective genre texts, such as Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Purloined Letter” and Thomas de Quincey’s “On Murder Considered as One of the Fine Arts.” Major requirements include a critical paper plus a poetry portfolio of original work. (This course carries one unit of Group 1 credit and one unit of Group 5 credit.)

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

7909 Medieval and Renaissance Romance 
L. Engle/T, Th 2–5

Arthur, Lancelot and Guinevere, and Tristram and Isolde exemplify tragic love in courtly romance. But romantic love is also funny. This course introduces romance narrative from its medieval European beginnings to its adaptations in Renaissance epic and drama. We will read Arthurian romance, Chrétien through Malory and Spenser, including Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (in translation) and Chaucer and Malory in Middle English. We’ll end with Renaissance romance in Books III and IV of Spenser’s The Faerie Queene and Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale and The Tempest. Students will act, make presentations, and write a seminar paper in stages (prospectus, 8-page conference paper, 5,000-word seminar paper). I hope to arrange a field trip to the Bodleian to examine medieval manuscripts.

Texts (required editions noted with an asterisk): Chretien de Troyes, Arthurian Romances, (Penguin Classics)*; Anonymous, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, eds. Marie Borroff and Laura L. Howes (Norton) (optional); Geoffrey Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales: Seventeen Tales and the General Prologue: A Norton Critical Edition, eds. V. A. Kolve and Glending Olson (Norton)*; Sir Thomas Malory, Le Morte d’Arthur: The Winchester Manuscript, ed. Helen Cooper, annotated ed. (Oxford World’s Classics)*; Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene Books Three and Four, ed. Dorothy Stephens (Hackett)*; William Shakespeare, The Late Romances, ed. David Bevington, New Bantam Shakespeare (Bantam)*.

7916 Performing Disability in Early Modern Drama
K. Williams/T, Th 9:30–Noon

This course explores representations of disability on the English Renaissance stage through theories of disability in the present. We will consider how disability sparks aesthetic experimentation, reading plays primarily by Shakespeare alongside recent works about disability (by Mike Lew, Molly McCully Brown, and JJJJJerome Ellis, for example) and concepts from critical disability studies. As an identity category and register of embodiment—not merely plot device, trope, or character diagnosis—disability evokes the capacity of theater to shape experience. We will ask: how does disability theory illuminate ideas about bodyminds in the early modern theater? And what, in turn, do early modern plays reveal about disability as a resource for theatrical innovation? Major requirements include either a traditional research paper (around 5,000 words), or a creative curation accompanied by a position paper.

Texts (required editions noted with an asterisk): William Shakespeare, Titus Andronicus, eds. Barbara A. Mowat and Paul Werstine (Folger) or any scholarly edition; Ilya Kaminsky, Deaf Republic (Graywolf)*; Mike Lew, Teenage Dick (Nick Hern Books)*; William Shakespeare, Henry IV, Part II, eds. Barbara A. Mowat and Paul Werstine (Folger) or any scholarly edition; Molly McCully Brown, The Virginia State Colony for Epileptics and Feebleminded: Poems, (Persea)*Additional reading—including the unattributed early modern play The Fair Maid of the Exchange (ed. Love) and critical and theoretical selections—will be available on the course Canvas site.

7921 British Theater: Page to Stage
S. Berenson/M, T, Th 10–12:30 and W full day (for performances and travel)

Using the resources of the British theater, this course will examine imagery in dramatic literature. We will attend performances in London and Stratford. In addition to weekly theater attendance and travel time, the class will include discussions, lectures, two writing projects, and collaborative on-your-feet assignments, which will require group preparation outside of regularly scheduled class hours. No previous acting experience is required. This is a class for students who love the theater and understand that the word “image” is the root of the word “imagination.” 

Theater performances have not been finalized but will include plays by Shakespeare, contemporary texts, and several musicals, including Standing at the Sky’s Edge and Cabaret. Enrolled students will be charged a supplemental fee of $850 to cover the costs of tickets and transportation. A questionnaire, a schedule of plays, and a reading list will be circulated in the spring. (This course carries one unit of Group 2 credit and one unit of Group 3 credit.)

7945 Lyric
H. Laird/T, Th 2–4
See description in Group 3 offerings.

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

7921 British Theater: Page to Stage
S. Berenson/M, T, Th 10–12:30 and W full day (for performances and travel)
See description in Group 2 offerings.

7939 British Biography 
A. Swan/M, W 11–1, Writing Critique (optional) W 2–3:30

Ever since James Boswell published, in 1790, his seminal The Life of Samuel Johnson, British biographers have excelled at inventive narratives and strong authorial voices, even shape-shifting the conventional birth-to-death narrative. We will begin with Boswell’s intimate portrait of Johnson and Johnson’s London, then move on to Bloomsbury, with Lytton Strachey’s takedown of the Eminent Victorians and Virginia Woolf’s artful portrait of art critic Roger Fry. After The Quest for Corvo, a biography masquerading as a detective story, we’ll take a brief dip backward to Virginia Woolf’s Orlando, a fictional biography of her lover Vita Sackville-West, whose son Nigel Nicholson wrote Portrait of a Marriage about his philandering mother, long-suffering father—and Virginia Woolf. We’ll then read excerpts from Footsteps, Richard Holmes’s on-the-ground pursuit of his Romantic Age subjects. And we’ll end with one of the greatest literary biographies of any age—Richard Ellmann’s Oscar Wilde. There will be short written responses to the weekly readings and a final project—either an extended essay about one of the books on the syllabus or else an experiment in biographical or memoir writing.

Texts (all are required editions): James Boswell, The Life of Samuel Johnson, ed. Christopher Hibbert (Penguin Classics, abridged ed.); Lytton Strachey, Eminent Victorians, intro. Michael Holroyd (Penguin Classics, rev. ed.); A. J. A. Symons, The Quest for Corvo, intro. A. S. Byatt (NYRB Classics, 1st ed.); Nigel Nicolson, Portrait of a Marriage: Vita Sackville-West and Harold Nicolson (U. Chicago, reprint ed.); Richard Holmes, Footsteps: Adventures of a Romantic Biographer (Vintage); Richard Ellmann, Oscar Wilde (Vintage).

7945 Lyric
H. Laird/T, Th 2–4

Some say lyric began in song; some say in wit. We’ll hold with those who gainsay either/or, to favor the multiplicity—or what is past, or passing, or to come. In other words, this course will attend to the lyric in English in its varying forms from the medieval period to the present, including ballad, concrete, elegy, metaphysical, ode, sonnet, blank, free, code, etc. (plus occasional spoofs). We will look closely and from a distance, minding perspective, mining for innuendo. We will consider various ways the lyric in general and numerous lyrics in particular have been conceived by practitioners and theorists. We will ask not only what it is, but who it’s for, where it happens, and when, how it works, how performed, why not. (If Oxford hosts a relevant song fest or the like, we’ll try to go.) Each of us will also inquire into specific lyric books, look around for what calls itself lyric in our environments, and listen. We may even make some. In short, we shall seek both to fathom and to articulate the myriad difficulties and joys of lyrics. The major requirement will be a long research paper, produced in stages. (This course carries one unit of Group 2 credit and one unit of Group 3 credit.)

Texts (all are required editions): The Norton Anthology of Poetry, 6th ed., eds. Margaret Ferguson et al. (Norton); The Lyric Theory Reader: A Critical Anthology, eds. Virginia Jackson and Yopi Prins (Johns Hopkins, Illustrated ed., 2014). 

7970 Slow Reading Woolf
J. Green-Lewis/T, Th 2–5

In this course, we’ll read some of Woolf’s most innovative fiction in the context of her public and private reflections on art and life. Our primary method will be close—slow!—textual analysis. We’ll focus on three areas: Woolf’s visual emphasis and some of its sources, such as her early interest in photography, writings by her friend Roger Fry, and paintings by Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant; the influence of the past on Woolf’s work, including the long emotional reach of the Stephen family; and Woolf’s changing conception of the self in its relation to others. Please read Mrs. Dalloway for our first meeting. All required secondary reading will be available online during the session.

Texts: Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway (Mariner); Jacob’s Room (Oxford); To the Lighthouse (Mariner); The Waves (Harvest); Selected Essays (Oxford Canada); Moments of Being (Mariner); A Writer’s Diary (Mariner); Hermione Lee, Virginia Woolf (Vintage)(optional).

7975 James Joyce
J. Johnson/T, Th TBA

Students will engage in intensive study of Ulysses in its Hiberno-European, Modernist, and Joycean contexts. We will begin by reading both Dubliners and A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (and Joyce’s poetry, critical essays, Stephen Hero, Exiles, Giacomo Joyce, and Finnegans Wake will all be incorporated into discussions), but the course will be primarily devoted to the reading and study of Ulysses. This work’s centrality to, yet deviation from, the aesthetic and political preoccupations of modernism will be explored. (Class meetings may fall occasionally on days other than T/Th.) 

Texts: James Joyce, Dubliners (any ed.), A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (any ed.), and Ulysses, ed. H. W. Gabler (Vintage). Supplementary texts: Stephen Hero, Exiles, Giacomo Joyce, Finnegans Wake, and Poems and Shorter Writings, ed. Richard Ellmann, A. Walton Litz, and John Whittier-Ferguson (Faber). Students are not expected to buy the supplementary texts.

Group 4: American Literature

7979 Law and Literature: Reimagining Global Freedom
M. Jerng/M–W 10–Noon
See description in Group 5 offerings.

7990 Music and African American Literature
D. Jones/T, Th 11–1

James Baldwin wrote that music has been the cultural arena in which the African American story receives its widest hearing. Why? What does music offer that other forms of culture might not? And what do artists working in other fields make of this reality? This course traces the aesthetic, political, and thematic significance of music in African American literature. We will study a range of literary forms (drama, novel, short story) and musical genres (jazz, hip-hop, blues, classical) across periods. We will also practice the art of music criticism to investigate why writing about music has been so central to black thought and politics. Major requirements include short pieces of music criticism, a presentation, and a final paper. We will also attempt to see live music and theater.

Texts (required edition noted with an asterisk): Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man (Vintage); Toni Morrison, Jazz (Vintage)*; Paul Beatty, Slumberland (Bloomsbury USA).

Group 5: World Literature

7977 Poetry Detective: Reading and Writing Past Fear
G. Lewis/M–W 11–1
See description in Group 1 offerings.

7979 Law and Literature: Reimagining Global Freedom
M. Jerng/M–W 10–Noon

This seminar reads the speculative fiction of Octavia Butler, Cherie Dimaline, Mohsin Hamid, N. K. Jemisin, Hao Jingfang, Victor Lavalle, and Ahmed Masoud, among others. Their uses of historical speculation, post-apocalyptic worlds, dystopia, time travel, technological creation fantasies, and urban fantasy, among others, invite alternative knowledge structures, ways of being, and making (other) realities possible. As such, they both question norms of freedom and personhood that perpetuate anti-black and settler violence, and reimagine them toward building new futures, presents, and pasts. We will put this fiction in dialogue with legal cases, legal theorists, and critical race theorists centering on the law’s reproduction of norms of freedom and personhood, often based on property, contract, and corporations across global contexts. Throughout we will decipher intersections across law and speculative writing in order to reimagine global freedom. 

Major assignments include two 1,250-word response papers that engage with specific interrelations between legal readings and speculative fiction; and a 2,500-word conference paper or speculative fiction essay or a curricular unit. (This course carries one unit of Group 4 credit and one unit of Group 5 credit.) (Course may not be repeated if taken as ENGL 7783.)

Texts (required edition noted with an asterisk): Octavia Butler, Kindred (Beacon Press, 2003); Cherie Dimaline, The Marrow Thieves (DCB, 2017); Mohsin Hamid, Exit, West (Riverhead, 2017); Victor Lavalle, Victor Lavalle’s Destroyer (Boom! Studios, 2018)*; N. K. Jemisin, The City We Became (Orbit, 2020). These five primary works should be read prior to the start of the session. 

7983 The Modern City, 1850–1950 
M. Turner/M, W 10:30–12:30

Between the mid-19th century and the mid-20th century, how we think about and understand “the city” was established in British, American, and European writing and art. With its technological, social, political, and cultural upheavals, the metropolis became not only a key subject but an important problem to be solved. Our emphasis will be on the ways writers (and some artists) imagined the modern metropolis as a place of disorder, a labyrinthine city of Babylon. We’ll anchor our discussions in London, Paris, Lisbon, Berlin, and New York, thinking both about the cultural specificity of each city and the ways broad understandings of modernity emerge. The course is organized both thematically, allowing us to explore some of the key ideas in urban modernity, and chronologically, enabling us to see how the city develops and shifts over time. Writers and artists whom we’ll explore include Charles Dickens, Charles Baudelaire, Emile Zola, Amy Levy, Virginia Woolf, Oscar Wilde, Andre Breton, Sam Selvon and Fernando Pessoa, James MacNeill Whistler, and Jacob Lawrence. 

There will be one final research paper, plus two shorter written pieces (one of which will be a creative exercise related to walking in the city). We’ll take one trip to London as a group, and there will be some film screenings on campus outside of class hours. You should definitely have read the Dickens novel before the first meeting, but try to get through as many of the novels as possible before the summer.

Texts: Charles Dickens, Our Mutual Friend (Penguin Classics); Emile Zola, The Ladies’ Paradise, trans. Brian Nelson (Oxford World’s Classics); John Dos Passos, Manhattan Transfer (Vintage); Andre Breton, Nadja (Penguin Modern Classics); Sam Selvon, The Lonely Londoners (Penguin Moden Classics); Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray (Penguin Classics). 

Bread Loaf / California

Summer Institute in Global Humanities

Institute courses count for at least one unit of Group 5 credit. For group credits, see the descriptions below.

7003 The Poetry of Peace 
R. Forman/M–F 10–Noon

In this workshop we will explore global poetry of peace 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. (This course carries one unit of Group 1 credit and one unit of Group 5 credit.)

Texts: Any edition, though print preferred. Kim Addonizio, Ordinary Genius: A Guide for the Poet Within (Norton, original ed.); Kim Addonizio and Dorianne Laux, The Poet’s Companion: A Guide to the Pleasures of Writing Poetry (Norton, 1st ed.); Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching: A New English Version, trans. Stephen Mitchell (Harper Perennial Modern Classics, reprint ed.). Additional readings will be provided during the session

7103 Perspectives on the Global South: Pedagogy and Praxis 
D. Baca/M–F 10–Noon

This seminar examines the role of so-called developing countries, or the “Global South,” in contemporary approaches to pedagogy, praxis, and English studies. While the Global South numerically consists of the largest number of nations in the world, their impact on literacy studies is largely limited in comparison to their wealthier and more powerful neighbors in the north. Our very understanding of writing and language instruction is structured by Eurocentric scholarship from the Global North. This course will address recent calls for more global approaches to the study of written language. Additionally, this class will consider how writers from the Global South are resisting conditions of inequality and exploitation, and how the developing world has become a significant geography that animates effective approaches to intellectual inquiry and social transformation. Requirements include a final seminar paper. (This course carries one unit of Group 1 credit and one unit of Group 5 credit.)

Texts: Readings include Linda Martín Alcoff, Enrique Dussel, Sinfree Makoni, Walter Mignolo, and Chandra Mohanty. All readings will be posted on Google Drive before the session begins.

7476 Environmental Literature and the Global Imaginary 
D. Denisoff/M–F 9–11

The natural world remains beyond humans’ scientific and imaginative grasp, and our efforts to control it have often been driven by profit and assumptions of our species’ superiority. Concepts such as sustainability, land management, and the granting of personhood are problematic ideas rooted in traditions that continue to institutionalize human privilege. Historically, it has been primarily white European colonizers who have benefited most from these actions, but questions of complicity and acquiescence also need to be addressed. Two hundred years of English scholarship, literature, and film from Britain and other countries such as Australia, Canada, Kumeyaay Nation, New Zealand, and Nigeria will help us gain awareness of the diverse politics—including those of race, gender, desires, ethnicity, class, and labor—behind humans’ understanding of ourselves and the ecologies of which we are a part. Please try to read the short novels and book of poetry and view the films before classes begin. Students will prepare three short reflection pieces, a workshop session, and a major project. (This course carries one unit of Group 3 credit and one unit of Group 5 credit.)

Texts: Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness (Penguin); Patricia Grace, Potiki (U of Hawaii); Helen Habeli, Oil on Water (Norton); Tommy Pico, Nature Poem (Tin House Books).

Films (all films are required and available on streaming sources): Bill Forsyth, Local Hero (1983); Stephan Elliot, The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (1994).

7816 Films About Theater: A Global Dialogue 
M. Cadden/M–F 10–Noon

Some of the best movies ever made focus on the how and why of theatermaking. This course will focus on six classics of Global Cinema—in reverse chronological order—that deploy filmic means to explore how theaters around the world wrestle with artistic, existential, moral, cultural, and professional issues equally central to any serious consideration of moviemaking. They offer compelling snapshots of theater and film history as well as evidence of an international conversation about how stories are told, by whom, and for what reasons. To get some sense of the nature of that conversation, we’ll explore additional films—as well as plays, a novel, and some revolutions in theatermaking—that shaped our “classics.” (This course carries one unit of Group 5 credit and one unit of Group 6 credit.)

Films will be available on Canvas and students are advised to watch the “Classic Six” before the session begins. (Many are available through the Criterion Collection.) For the first class, read the Murakami short stories listed above and watch Drive My Car. Students will be expected to post daily short, informal responses (300 words) about the work we’ll be discussing the following day. Classes will provide the opportunity to discuss a wide variety of films; independent work, to be presented at the culminating Institute Symposium, will focus on some particular aspect of the material we’ve discussed or on another film in this genre.

Texts (required editions noted with an asterisk): Murakami, “Drive My Car,” “Scheherazade,” and “Kino” in Men Without Women (Vintage)*; Chekhov, Uncle Vanya in The Plays of Anton Chekhov (Harper Perennial, trans. Paul Schmidt)*; Butler, The Method: How the Twentieth Century Learned to Act (Bloomsbury)*; Williams, A Streetcar Named Desire (New Directions); Hegemon King says farewell to his queen (Mei Lanfang’s version, translated by Colby, available through instructor)); Lilian Lee, Farewell, My Concubine (Harper Perennial*).

Films (The “Classic Six” all required and available on Canvas): Hamaguchi, Drive My Car; Almodovar, All About My Mother; Kaige, Farewell My Concubine; Carné, Children of Paradise; Lubitsch, To Be or Not To Be; Mizoguchi, The Story of the Last Chrysanthemum.

Other Films (highly recommended and available on Canvas): Malle, Vanya on 42nd Street; Mankiewicz, All About Eve; Kazan, A Streetcar Named Desire; Cassavetes, Opening Night; Farewell My Concubine: The Beijing Opera.

Bread Loaf/Online

Critical Writing Tutorials (CWT)

Critical Writing Tutorials give you an opportunity, in a small group setting, to concentrate on your critical writing as you simultaneously explore a focused area of literary study. The CWT will address key areas of writing practice, including developing a research question and writing voice, framing your argument, revising your prose, and integrating historical, critical, and other scholarly materials into your essay. It will also guide you in the exploration of a select set of primary and secondary readings, opening an illuminating window on a text, author, or idea and providing the ground for your own independent research and writing. Meeting times to be determined by the professor, in consultation with enrolled students. For further information, see https://www.middlebury.edu/school-english/locations/online-tutorials.

7010A Critical Writing Tutorial: On Matter, Nature, and Meaning: A Study of Thoreau’s Walden
R. Johnson/TBD

In their Introductionto Material Ecocriticism, Serenella Iovino and Serpil Oppermann state, “Meaning and matter are inextricably entangled, constituting life’s narratives and life itself.” While most of us likely agree with this statement, few of us devote our lives to exploring its implications as deeply as did Henry David Thoreau. In this course, we will further develop our own critical writing skills while exploring a foundational work in U.S. environmental thought, Walden (1854). We also will delve into contemporary theoretical studies in nature’s materiality—reading in philosophy, literature, material-culture studies, natural history, ecocriticism, and the New Materialism. Along the way, we will pursue the question of how Thoreau’s mid-19th-century work may be relevant to our own era of biodiversity collapse and climate disruption.

This course will occur entirely online in synchronous, prescheduled Zoom meetings totaling approximately five hours each week. Participants will read Thoreau and relevant secondary materials; discuss, dig into, and develop ideas; deliver three brief oral presentations; and draft, revise, and refine their writing, producing roughly 25 pages. (This tutorial carries one unit of Group 1 credit and one unit of Group 4 credit.)

Text: Henry David Thoreau, Walden (1854), ed. J. Lyndon Shanley (Princeton, 2016). Additional resources will be available on our Canvas course site.

7010B Critical Writing Tutorial: Jane Eyre’s World
B. Brueggemann/TBD

We will be entering and exploring the World of Jane Eyre, published by Charlotte Brontë at the age of 31. Jane Eyre is one of the most enduring, enigmatic, engaged texts in the English language. Through discussions and writing, we will consider its genre, style, structure, character development, symbolism, thematic elements; its adaptations (to other media); its feminist and disability studies and autobiographical critical approaches; its enduring appeal and questions. The primary reading is, of course, Jane Eyre (the novel). Students will also be expected to view several media adaptations (the most recent 2011 film, the BBC series, rogue but relevant media, etc.) and individually read and summarize (in a shared annotated bibliography) about three additional secondary sources. Each week will also have a focus on an aspect of writing: literary analysis, critical-creative writing, finding and annotating sources, etc. Five brief weekly writing engagements (250–500 words) and a more extensive final critical-creative engagement project (requiring about 10–15 hours of sustained intellectual labor) are expected. (This tutorial carries one unit of Group 1 credit and one unit of Group 3 credit.)

Text: Charlotte Bronte, Jane Eyre (Norton, 4th ed., 2016).

Directed Research and Writing (DRW) Projects

A closely mentored independent study, the remote Directed Research and Writing (DRW) gives students the latitude to work from any location, the flexibility to set meeting times, the freedom to shape their own course of study, and the choice of earning one or two units of credit.  

Available to returning students and ideal for those in their final Bread Loaf summers, the DRW allows students a sustained opportunity to design and pursue a major critical, creative, or pedagogical project, under the direction of a faculty advisor. 

Find Out More

Request Info

Begin Your Application

Apply Now

Ask a Question

Contact Us