Special Topics Course Descriptions

Summer Session 3 - Online
ENGL399: Zombies and Dystopias - Robert Ficociello
This course reviews the history of the zombie in pop culture and its connection to dystopian narratives. Students analyze recent literature, TV, and film about zombies and classic dystopian novels.

Fall 2019 Monday, Wednesday, Friday 11:45 am - 12:45 pm
ENGL299: LGBTQ Narratives in America - Robert Ficociello
This course introduces the key themes in LGBTQ+ critical theory, literature, film, and pop culture in America from the early 20th century to the present. Particular attention will focus on how LGBTQ identities intersect with other American categories of gender, race, ethnicity, class, culture and nationalism.

Fall 2019 Tuesday, Thursday 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm
ENGL399: Women and Literature - Melissa Rampelli
The nineteenth century saw a proliferation of women’s writing as well as shifts in conceptions around the idealized image of the “Angel in the House” and the angel’s literary and cultural doppelgangers: the “Fallen Woman” and the “Madwoman.” At the heart of these tropes were debates about the nature and proper uses of women’s minds and bodies concerning education, morality, marriage, virtue, motherhood, and extra-domestic work. By the end of the nineteenth century, a new image for womanhood had emerged—the “New Woman”—, bringing with it notions of women’s independence and education as well as cultural anxiety around women’s new economic and political roles and the dissolution of marriage.

Our course will be divided into three units: “The Angel and the Fallen Woman”; “The Angel and the Madwoman”; and “The New Woman.” We will study how nineteenth-century women writers took up and responded to these images of “woman” and the literary and social contributions they made in doing so. Our emphasis will be on: reading closely to appreciate the literary techniques writers used to question and/or (re)construct gender expectations and their intersection with class, race, and sexuality; building relationships between women’s writing and historical and literary context to appreciate the women writers’ social and aesthetic contributions; and evaluating and responding to literary criticism to deepen our own thinking.