Group 1 (Writing, Pedagogy, and Literacy)

7017 Life Lines: The Art and Craft of Biographical Writing

A. Swan/M, W 2–5

Ever since Plutarch brought Alexander the Great blazingly to life in his seminal Lives (second century CE), biography has illuminated history from the inside out, giving us the story—and the players—firsthand. Life Lines: The Art and Craft of Biographical Writing will be an exploration of the genre at its best. What do great biographies have in common—and how do they differ? How are scenes set, facts organized, context provided? And is there, finally, such a thing as “truth” in biography—and especially autobiography? This class will explore the many ways a writer can tease out the “figure under the carpet,” as Leon Edel, the biographer of Henry James, put it. We will also practice the art ourselves, either by writing something autobiographical or else researching and writing a chapter of a biography. (There will be a field trip to the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum.) (This course may be used to satisfy a Group 4 requirement.)

Texts: Telling Lives: The Biographer’s Art, ed. Marc Pachter (excerpts only, provided in class); James Boswell, The Life of Samuel Johnson, intro. Christopher Hibbert (Penguin Classics, 1986 abridged edition ONLY); Lytton Strachey, Eminent Victorians (Penguin); Frank McCourt, Angela’s Ashes (Scribner); Paul Horgan, Lamy of Santa Fe—excerpts only (Wesleyan); Willa Cather, Death Comes for the Archbishop (Vintage); Benita Eisler, O’Keeffe and Stieglitz: An American Romance (Penguin).

7101 Antiracist Writing Pedagogies

A. Baker-Bell/T, Th 9–12

This course will engage students critically and reflectively in the work of antiracism. In addition to exploring antiracist theories in the overlapping fields of Composition-Literacies Studies, English Education, and Teacher Education, we will explore antiracist theories by scholars from a variety of disciplines, backgrounds, and experiences. While this course will center intersectional approaches to antiracist pedagogies, it will push students beyond consuming simple cookie-cutter strategies and pedagogical approaches. For this reason, all of the course work will provide students with experience translating theory and research on antiracist pedagogies into practice. In addition to teaching strategies, students will have an opportunity to try out and observe a variety of antiracist teaching approaches.

Texts: Ijeoma Oluo, So You Want to Talk about Race? (Seal); Ibram X. Kendi, How to Be an Antiracist (One World); Robin DiAngelo, White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk about Racism (Beacon); Eddie Moore, Ali Michael, Marguerite W. Penick-Parks, The Guide for White Women Who Teach Black Boys (Corwin). Other course readings will be made available via PDF.

7107 Linguistic Justice

A. Baker-Bell/M, W 9–12

This course will introduce students to antiracist and critical language pedagogies surrounding various U.S.-based Englishes that are stigmatized. Though we will engage critically and reflectively with a variety of linguistic codes, Black or African American Language (BL or AAL) will be our primary language of study. That is, this course will not examine all stigmatized Englishes; instead, it will provide you with a window into understanding how linguistic hegemony impacts BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color). Upon exiting this course, students will have an understanding of how disciplinary discourses, curricular choices, and pedagogical practices are complicit in the reproduction of linguistic inequity in schools and society; have an understanding that students learn best in environments where they can use their cultural and linguistic resources to support their learning; have an understanding of how to work against racial and linguistic inequities by creating humane classrooms where students and teachers learn to use language and literacy in critical, transformative, and empowering ways; have a respect for all language, dialects, and speakers; and have the facility to translate sociolinguistic knowledge, theory, and research into classroom practice. Additional readings will be provided.

Texts: April Baker-Bell, Linguistic Justice: Black Language, Literacy, Identity, and Pedagogy, (Routledge/NCTE, Spring 2020); Rosina Lippi-Green, English with an Accent: Language, Ideology, and Discrimination in the United States, 2nd ed. (Routledge), Vershawn Ashanti Young, Other People’s English: Code-Meshing, Code-Switching, and African American Literacy (Parlor); Angie Thomas, The Hate U Give (HarperCollins).


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

7290 Teaching, Reading (and Enjoying) Poetry

B. Smith/M, W 9–12

Anyone who likes music ought to like poetry; yet students (and sometimes, secretly, their teachers) often approach poetry with anxiety, if not downright hostility. This course is designed to change such attitudes. We shall begin by locating sound and rhythm in the body. Grounding ourselves in those physiological sensations, we shall proceed, period by period, to read, discuss, and enjoy some of the English language’s greatest designs on our bodies and imaginations. Participants in the seminar will be asked to carry out three writing projects: an essay in criticism, a plan for teaching one or more of the poems, and some poetry of their own devising. (This course may be used to satisfy a Group 3 requirement.)

Texts: The Norton Anthology of Poetry, ed. Margaret Ferguson, 6th ed. (Norton).

7441 Literary Knowledge, Literary Pleasure, Literary Argument: An Introduction to Graduate Studies

L. Engle/T, Th 2–5

This course introduces students to advanced literary study through reading one collection of poems, John Donne’s Songs and Sonets; one play, William Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra; and two short novels, Jane Austen’s Persuasion and Ursula Le Guin’s The Word for World Is Forest, along with interpretive and contextualizing materials I’ll provide. Students will write analytically; write imitatively; recontextualize historically, philosophically, and personally; remake through performance; and present through teaching and formal argument. Designed with incoming students in mind, the course should be fun for students at all stages. (This course may be used to satisfy a Group 3 requirement.)

Texts: John Donne, Songs and Sonets, 2nd ed., ed. Theodore Redpath (Harvard); William Shakespeare, Antony and Cleopatra, ed. Michael Neill (Oxford); Jane Austen, Persuasion, ed. Gillian Beer (Penguin); Ursula K. Le Guin, The Word for World Is Forest, 2nd ed. (Tor).


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

7290 Teaching, Reading (and Enjoying) Poetry

B. Smith/M, W 9–12
See description in Group 2 offerings.

7360 Austen, C. Brontë, Thackeray, Dickens

J. Nunokawa/T, Th 2–5

Our general aim will be to study the social character of four exemplary 19th-century novels in ways that take full measure of literary form and affect. We will be guided by big and little questions such as these: How do Victorian novels transform the pursuit of economic interests into dramas of romantic and erotic desire? How do they transform dramas of romantic and erotic desire into stories of economic interest? How are fascinations and anxieties about foreign races brought home to the domestic scene? How are questions of social class and individual character handled? What is the relation between verbal facility and social class in the Victorian novel, and how is this relation represented? How does the form of the Victorian novel extend, intensify, and expose the systems of social surveillance that developed in the 19th century? Why and how does the Victorian novel labor to produce bodily discomfort, both for those who inhabit it and for those who read it? How does the culture of capitalism haunt the Victorian novel? How does the Victorian novel imagine its relation to other fields of knowledge; for example, to the social sciences emerging at the same period and, like the novel, taking society itself as their object?

Texts: Jane Austen, Emma; Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre; William Makepeace Thackeray, Vanity Fair; Charles Dickens, Our Mutual Friend (all in Penguin editions).

7441 Literary Knowledge, Literary Pleasure, Literary Argument: An Introduction to Graduate Studies

L. Engle/T, Th 2–5
See description in Group 2 offerings.


Group 4 (American Literature)

7017 Life Lines: The Art and Craft of Biographical Writing

A.Swan/M, W 2–5

See description in Group 1 offerings.

7588 American Modernism

L. Hammer/T, Th 9–12

American modernism was a revolutionary cultural movement braiding art and daily life, in which writing and art were political and spiritual pursuits. Absorbing, but also resisting, the example of new European art and literature, modernism in this country articulated specifically American forms of thought and expression. Focused on the period from the Armory Show (1913) to the stock market crash (1929), our course will examine this transformative moment against the backdrop of New York City and in regional settings from New England to New Mexico. While centering on poetry and fiction, we will read literature in the light of visual art and music, and in the context of First-Wave Feminism, the New Negro, Flaming Youth, and self-consciously modern visions of democratic culture and American history. Students will prepare two papers and a presentation, choosing between critical and more pedagogically oriented options. Artists include Georgia O’Keeffe, Alfred Stieglitz, Walker Evans, and Marsden Hartley. We will take field trips to museums and sites associated with American modernism in Santa Fe, Abiqui, and Taos.

Texts: Robert Frost, A Boy’s Will and North of Boston (Dover); Sherwood Anderson, Winesburg, Ohio (Penguin); William Carlos Williams, Spring and All (New Directions); John Dos Passos, Manhattan Transfer (Houghton Mifflin); Jean Toomer, Cane (Norton); Langston Hughes, The Weary Blues (Knopf); F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby (Scribner); Hart Crane, The Bridge (Liveright).

7673 Writing With, Against, and Beyond the Alphabet: Mexican American Reinventions

D. Baca/M, W 9–12

We will investigate how Mexican American writers challenge basic assumptions ingrained in the Western understanding of written communication and its ties to alphabetic literacy, settler colonialism, civilizing missions, and unregulated global capitalist expansion. Common assumptions about writing depend upon the alphabet as a precondition for literacy, thereby obscuring pictographic and non-logosyllabic inscription practices that still circulate among Mexican-origin communities. Our analysis of media-rich texts will account for a plurality of transmission practices that are unmistakably tied to the Valley of Mexico, greater Mexico, and México Ocupado. Finally, we will examine how Mexican American aesthetic expressions rooted in lived and livable experiences foster decolonizing relationships to body politics and to each other as well as to the natural world. We will practice this relationality by cooking together, guided by regional, plant-based foodways of Río Grande basin peoples.

Texts: Gloria Anzaldúa, Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza (Aunt Lute); Guillermo Gómez-Peña, Codex Espangliensis: From Columbus to the Border Patrol (City Lights); José Manuel Mateo, Migrant: The Journey of a Mexican Worker (Harry N. Abrams); Carlos Aceves, Nine Seasons: Beyond 2012: A Manual of Ancient Aztec & Maya Wisdom (Indigenous Cultures Institute); Valerie Martínez, And They Called It Horizon: Santa Fe Poems (Sunstone Press); Ana Castillo, So Far from God (Norton); Paul Martínez Pompa, My Kill Adore Him (Notre Dame); Ilan Stavans, El Iluminado (Basic Books); Luz Calvo and Catriona Esquibel, Decolonize Your Diet: Plant-Based Mexican-American Recipes for Health and Healing (Arsenal Pulp).

7675 Santa Fe as Cultural Performance

M. Cadden/M, W 2–5

In this course, we will attempt to identify the roles a variety of literary, visual, and performing arts have played in the “creation” and ongoing “curation” of the city of Santa Fe. Two Native American trickster traditions—those involving Coyote and Kokopelli—will provide us with a theoretical lens through which to explore the region’s history of self-reinvention and its attraction for artists from elsewhere who wanted to reinvent themselves (Cather, O’Keeffe, D. H. Lawrence, etc.). Pueblo dances; trips to museums, galleries, restaurants, the Santa Fe Opera; an architectural tour; and other excursions involving ancient and newly invented traditions will provide us with most of our “primary texts”—examples of how Santa Fe performs itself today. Texts of the more conventional variety will ground us in the worlds of words that have been used to express the region’s beauty and to shape its narrative. The instructor will provide a course packet of additional readings. Enrolled students will be charged a supplemental fee of $450 to cover the costs of tickets and transportation.

Texts: Lewis Hyde, Trickster Makes This World: Mischief, Myth, and Art (FSG); David Grant Noble, Santa Fe: History of an Ancient City (School for Advanced Research); Chris Wilson, The Myth of Santa Fe (New Mexico); Richard Erdoes and Alfonso Ortiz, American Indian Trickster Tales (Penguin); Denis Slifer, Kokopelli: The Magic, Mirth, and Mischief of an Ancient Symbol (Gibbs Smith); Sterbini and Rossini, The Barber of Seville (online libretto); Mozart and Schikaneder, The Magic Flute (online libretto); Arrell Morgan Gibson, The Santa Fe and Taos Colonies: Age of the Muses 1900–1942 (Oklahoma); Willa Cather, The Professor’s House (Vintage); Mabel Dodge Luhan, Winter in Taos (Southwest Heritage); D. H. Lawrence, Mornings in Mexico and Other Essays (Cambridge).

7812 Creating Solo Performance: From Literature to Life

J. Fried/M, W 2–5

See description in Group 6 offerings.


Group 5 (World Literature)

7778 World Wide Westerns: Film and Fiction across Borders

J. Wicke/T, Th 2–5

World Wide Westerns explores the genre of the “Western” in film and literature. Often viewed as quintessentially American, Westerns from their inception incorporate global perspectives and alternative narratives that are worldwide in scope. Not simple Wild West shootouts, with tropes from six-guns to sunsets, outlaws to deserts, instead the Western is an origin story that serves as a narrative about justice. If the frontier creates American democracy yet justifies its invasion of territory, the Western genre offers a myth where personal freedom and the public good are reconciled—or not. The Western captures the world’s imagination as a compelling aesthetic merges with the politics of justice, playing out in the border zone. Infusing theories of the borderlands, decoloniality, and the indigenous, emphasizing social justice questions of gender, race, class, and nature inherent in every Western, to trace the genre’s global impact and its revolutionary revival. Short pieces by Mark Twain, William Cody, Frederick Jackson Turner, James Joyce, Franz Kafka, Jorge Luis Borges, Gloria Anzaldúa, Frantz Fanon, Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o, and Édouard Glissant will be provided.

Texts: John Rollin Ridge, The Life and Adventures of Joaquín Murieta (Penguin); L. Frank Baum, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (SeaWolf); Willa Cather, The Professor’s House (Vintage); Leslie Marmon Silko, Ceremony (Penguin); Hernan Diaz, In the Distance (Coffee House); Tommy Orange, There, There (Vintage).

Films: Edwin Porter, The Great Train Robbery (1903); D. W. Griffith, Ramona (1910); Alice Guy Blaché, Algie the Miner and Two Little Rangers (1912); Romaine Fielding, Rattlesnake (1911); Oscar Micheaux, Symbol of the Unconquered (1920) and The Exile (1931); Edwin Carewe, Ramona (1928); John Ford, Stagecoach (1939) and The Searchers (1956); Robert Montgomery, Ride the Pink Horse (1947); Moustapha Alassane, Return of an Adventurer (1966); Sergio Leone, Once Upon a Time in the West (1968); Perry Henzell, The Harder They Come (1972); Charles Burnett, The Horse (1973); Takashi Miike, Sukiyaki Western Django (2007); Ana Lily Armirpour, A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (2014); Warwick Thornton, Sweet Country (2017); Chloé Zhao, The Rider (2018)


Group 6 (Theater Arts)

7812 Creating Solo Performance: From Literature to Life

J. Fried/M, W 2–5

Inspired by the Bread Loaf Acting Ensemble’s practices in the classroom, this course will adopt the actor’s process to examine themes of reinvention, renewal, and identity through characters in American literature. As the culmination of this investigation, each student will produce a five-minute solo play for the Bread Loaf community, with a particular focus on the “solo actors,” the loners, outcasts, visionaries, and explorers who exist outside the American mainstream. Students will build their scripts from individual reading lists, chosen in consultation with the instructor before the term begins, and will dig deeply into those texts to ground their characters. Students will meet regularly with the instructor outside the class hours for one-on-one rehearsals. The course is created for nonactors; no experience required. Bring your creativity! (This course may be used to satisfy a Group 4 requirement.)