ENGL 4910 - Honors Seminar I
Fall. 4 credits.
Enrollment limited to: students in the Honors Program in English or related fields, or by permission of instructor. Seminar 101 may be used as one of three pre-1800 courses required of English majors.
B. Correll, D. Schwarz.
The purpose of the Honors Seminar is to acquaint students with methods of study and research to help them write their senior Honors Essay. However, all interested students are welcome to enroll. The seminar will require a substantial essay that incorporates literary evidence and critical material effectively, and develops an argument. Topics and instructors vary each semester.
Seminar 101: Shakespeare and Marlowe
This honors seminar brings together two of the most striking and influential writers of the early modern period. Pairing and comparing their work introduces questions not only about their sensational lives and texts but also about power (including the power of classical authority), gender/sexuality, literary influence and the work of cultural adaptation. The only prerequisite for the course is an adventurous mind; no previous exposure to the authors is assumed. For students who are familiar with Shakespeare, the goal of this course is to establish a larger cultural and literary context for close and critical study of both writers. We will include some film, as another kind of adaptation, and there will be some reading in (translated) primary sources: Ovid, Virgil, Plutarch.
Seminar 102: Reading Joyce’s Ulysses
Joyce’s masterwork Ulysses, the most influential book of the twentieth century, will be the focus of a fascinating, challenging, and pleasurable odyssey of reading to discover its art and meaning. We shall place Ulysses in the context of Irish culture and literary modernism. We shall discuss critical and theoretical approaches with the goal of preparing you to write your senior Honors thesis. We shall explore the relationship between Ulysses and other experiments in literary modernism—but also in painting and sculpture—and show how Ulysses redefines the concepts of epic, hero, and reader. We shall examine Ulysses as a political novel—specifically, Joyce’s response to Yeats and the Celtic Renaissance; Joyce’s role in the debate about the direction of Irish politics after Parnell; and Joyce’s response to British colonial occupation of Ireland. We shall also consider Ulysses as an urban novel in which Bloom, the marginalized Jew and outsider, is symptomatic of the kind of alienation created by urban culture. No previous experience with Joyce is required.
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