I am a Professor of English at D’Youville College in Buffalo, New York.
Eng 111 – Introduction to Literature I: Academic Writing
In this course, students write and present short essays on short fiction, respond to the work of other students verbally in class and in writing on a course website, and write formal essays based on revisions of their course work. In addition, students keep freewriting journals, engage in peer workshops, and produce final portfolios that survey their work in the class.
Texts: Victorian Short Stories, ed. Dennis Denishoff; Franz Kafka, Selected Stories; James Joyce, Dubliners; Charlotte Perkins Gilman, “The Yellow Wallpaper,” James Joyce, “Araby,” Toni Cade Bambara, “The Lesson,” William Faulkner, “Barn Burning,” Flannery O’Connor, “A Good Man is Hard to Find,” James Baldwin, “Sonny’s Blues,” Alice Walker, “Everyday Use,” Nathaniel Hawthorne, “Young Goodman Brown,” Edgar Allan Poe, “The Cask of Amontillado,” Herman Melville, “Bartleby,” Ernest Hemingway, “Hills Like White Elephants,” Raymond Carver, “Cathedral,” Sherman Alexie, “What You Pawn I Will Redeem,” Margaret Atwood, “Death by Landscape,” Shirley Jackson, “The Lottery,” DH Lawrence, “The Rocking-Horse Winner,” Octavia Butler, Parable of the Sower
Eng 112 – Introduction to Literature II: Research Writing
In this course, students examine how authors build arguments in conversation with other critics, how arguments are shaped for particular audiences, and how, as students, they can enter into such conversations in appropriate ways. The course provides extensive practice in writing and critical thinking and includes units on peer reviewing and revision. Course requirements: five essays (summary, critique, synthesis, review, and revision), essay workshops, common error workshops, and participation.
Texts: Graff & Birkenstein, They Say, I Say; Gardner, Writing About Literature. Films: Richard III; Richard III (dir. Loncraine); Richard III (dir. Olivier); Looking for Richard (dir. Pacino). Essays: Kossak, “Laurence Oliver’s Richard III,” Noshpitz, “Richard III: Self-Hatred at Loose in the World,” Hodgdon, “Replicating Richard: Body Doubles, Body Politics,” Johnson, “The Propaganda Imperative: Challenging Mass Media Representations in McKellen’s Richard III,” Donaldson, “Cinema and the Kingdom of Death”
Eng 202 – British Literature II
This course surveys British literature from 1789 through Modernism. Readings focus on four eras: the Romantics; the Victorians; fin-de-siecle writers, aka the Edwardians; and modernism. Readings in poetry and prose occur in historical sequence, and include nonfiction prose selections to provide historical and cultural context.
Texts: Broadview Anthology of British Literature Concise Volume B. Selections: Contexts: Women and Society; Anna Letitia Barbauld, “Washing Day,” “The Rights of Woman”; Jane Austen, from Pride and Prejudice; Wollstonecraft, chapter 2 from A Vindication of the Rights of Women; Wordsworth, Preface to Lyrical Ballads, “[Strange fits of passion I have known],” “Song [She dwelt alone among th’ untrodden ways],” “Lucy Gray,” “I wandered lonely as a cloud”; Blake, “London,” “The Chimney Sweeper,” “Holy Thursday,” “The Human Abstract,” “The Tyger,” “A Song of Liberty”; Contexts: The Natural, The Human, The Supernatural, The Sublime; Coleridge, “Kubla Kahn,” PB Shelley, “Mont Blanc,” Keats, “Ode to a Nightingale” and “Ode on a Grecian Urn”; In Context: The Peterloo Massacre; “ Shelley, “Ode to the West Wind,” “Ozymandias,” “Song to the Men of England” & “England in 1819”; Byron, “Prometheus”; Contexts: The Abolition of Slavery; Mary Prince; Carlyle, from Past and Present “Gospel of Mammonism” & “Captains of Industry”; Dickens, “A Walk in the Workhouse” and “The Story of Little Dombey”; Ruskin, “The Nature of Gothic” Mill, from The Subjection of Women; Robert Browning, “My Last Duchess”; DG Rossetti, “The Blessed Damozel”; Christina Rossetti, “Goblin Market” and “Winter: My Secret”; Prostitution and the Contagious Diseases Act; William Morris, “The Defence of Guinevere”; DG Rosetti, “Jenny”; Augusta Webster, “A Castaway”; Contexts: Race, Empire, and a Wider World; Tennyson, “Ulysses,” “Locksley Hall,” & “The Charge of the Light Brigade”; Arnold, “Dover Beach” & from Culture and Anarchy; Tennyson, “The Lady of Shalott”; Robert Browning, “Fra Lippo Lippi”; Arnold, “Stanzas from the Grande Chartreuse”; Swinburne, “Hymn to Proserpine”; GM Hopkins “God’s Grandeur,” “The Windhover (To Christ Our Lord),” “Not, I’ll not, carrion comfort,” Contexts: Race, Empire, and a Wider World: Conservatives, Liberals, and Empire; Kipling; Joseph Conrad, “The Secret Sharer,” Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, “The Speckled Band,” Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest; The First Wilde Trial; Contexts: War and Revolution; Hardy, “Channel Firing” and “In Time of ‘The Breaking of Nations,’” Housman, “Epitaph on an Army of Mercenaries,” Sassoon; Owen; TS Eliot, “The Waste Land”; Contexts: Work and Working Class Life; Joyce, “Eveline” and “The Dead” ; Virginia Woolf, “Mrs Dalloway in Bond Street”; from A Room of One’s Own; Yeats, “Easter 1916,” “Meditations in Time of Civil War,” “Leda and the Swan,” “Sailing to Byzantium,” “Crazy Jane Talks with the Bishop,” and “The Circus Animals’ Desertion”; Auden, “Spain 1937,” “September 1, 1939,” “In Memory of WB Yeats”; Katherine Mansfield, “The Garden Party”; Jean Rhys, “Let Them Call It Jazz”; Ngugui wa Thiong’o, Decolonising the Mind; Chinua Achebe, “Dead Men’s Path”; Salman Rushdie, “Is Nothing Sacred?”; Beckett, Krapp’s Last Tape; Coetzee, “The Lives of Animals”; Monty Python
Eng 210 – Science Fiction
Eng 216 – World Literature II
As a language, English is the language of global empires–British and American–and the daily language of nations once subject to imperial control. In this class, we will examine how writers outside of the British and American literary context use English to construct literature that responds to the language’s problematic past while making it their own. Recurrent questions we will see are: What makes a people into a nation? What is the difference between the state, the nation, and the individual? How do beliefs, religious or otherwise, affect group identification? And how do interactions with people from elsewhere affect these identifications?
Texts: Coetzee, The Life and Times of Michael K.; Rushdie, The Satanic Verses; Schreiner, Story of An African Farm; Concert of Voices: Njabulo S. Ndebele, “Guilt and Atonement: Unmasking History for the Future,” Es’Kia Mphahlele, “The Coffee-Cart Girl,” Nadine Gordimer, “Is there Nowhere Else We Can Meet?” Alex La Guma, “A Matter of Taste,” Mulk Raj Anand, “Duty,” Saros Cowasjee, “His Father’s Medals,” Bharati Mukherjee, “Hindus,” RK Narayan, “Mother and Son,” Rohinton Mistry, “Swimming Lessons,” Rushdie, “ ‘Commonwealth Literature’ Does Not Exist,” “Outside the Whale,” Louise Bennet, “Anancy an Ticks,” Willi Chen, “Assam’s Iron Chest,” Jack Davis, “White Fantasy—Black Fact,” “Payback,” Anita Desai, “Surface Textures,” Wilson Harris, “Kanaima,” Keri Hulme, “Hooks and Feelers,” Witi Ihimaera, “This Life is Weary,” Eva Johnson, “Murras,” Jamaica Kinkaid, “On Seeing England for the First Time,” VS Naipaul, “B Wordsworth,” “Jasmine,” Ngitji Ngitji, “Possum Woman,” Jean Rhys, “I used to live here once,” Philip Sherlock, “The Warau People Discover the Earth,” Archie Weller, “Pension Day”
Eng 237 – Introduction to Literary Studies: Critical Lenses on Empire
This course will provide students with the necessary skills to work consciously and effectively within the discourse of the discipline. Emphasis will be given to the following: further refinement of close critical reading skills; understanding of literary terms; understanding of basic critical and theoretical terms, concepts, and methodologies; and understanding of genres.
In this course, we will focus on the different critical lenses used to interpret literature, from feminism, psychoanalysis, Marxism, and deconstruction, to post-colonial theory, cultural studies, and new historicism. Power is central to all of these perspectives—who has it, how it is used, and what it does. Readings will span genres, including prose fiction (Conrad’s Heart of Darkness and Shelley’s Frankenstein) and film (Hitchcock’s Psycho). Course requirements include a reading journal, presentations on scholarly essays, two essays responding to critical readings, an annotated bibliography of scholarly work, and a research essay.
Texts: Conrad, Heart of Darkness. Case Studies in Contemporary Criticism; Psycho (dir. Hitchcock) and Kolker, ed., Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho: A Casebook; Shelley, Frankenstein. Case Studies in Contemporary Criticism; Graff and Birkenstein, They Say, I Say; Ryan, An Introduction to Criticism. [Past iterations have included: Shakespeare, The Tempest: A Critical Case Book; Bronte, Jane Eyre: A Critical Case Book; Conrad, Lord Jim: Norton Critical Edition; Jean Rhys, Wide Sargasso Sea: Norton Critical Edition]
Eng 312 – Topics in British Literature: The Gothic
Eng 316 – British Modernism
This course will examine the work of British Modernist writers from approximately 1908-1939. In addition to close critical analysis of the literary texts, the course will explore the cultural contexts of the movement, including its precursors and its influence on British culture. This semester, we will focus our readings on prose works, including Ford’s The Good Soldier, Forster’s Maurice, Joyce’s Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Woolf’s Mrs Dalloway, and Rhys’s Voyage in the Dark. To engage with Modernist poetry, we will read TS Eliot’s The Waste Land as a class, then each student will create a research project on one poet, building a portfolio of materials on the poet and a class presentation during our last week of classes.
Major Texts: Conrad, Heart of Darkness; Ford, The Good Soldier; Forster, Maurice; Joyce, Portrait of the Artist as A Young Man; Woolf, Mrs Dalloway and Room of One’s Own; Rhys, Voyage in the Dark; Eliot, The Waste Land.
Eng 317 – Myth and Literature: Oedipus and the horror of knowing
This course examines connections between myth and literature across genres and historical periods. What does it mean to know? How does the desire to know provide us with some of the pleasures of literary and visual culture? And why do these pleasures often come through the representation of pain? To consider these questions, we will engage this semester with the story of Oedipus in literature and film. Oedipus will lead us inexorably to psychoanalysis, and we will consider the effects of psychoanalysis on literature and film. Course requirements include reading and film responses, in-class presentations, and midterm and final essays.
Major Texts: Sophocles, Oedipus Tyrannus; Freud, Interpretation of Dreams, Three Essays on Sexuality, “The Uncanny”; Hoffman, “The Sandman”; Leader, Introducing Lacan; Laura Mulvey, “Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema”; Storr, Freud: A Very Short Introduction; Grant, ed., The Dread of Difference; Psycho (dir. Hitchcock); Peeping Tom (dir. Powell); Bay of Blood aka Twitch of the Death Nerve (dir. Bava); Halloween (dir. Carpenter); Alien (dir. Scott); Rosemary’s Baby (dir. Polanski); The Shining (dir. Kubrick); Carrie (dir. De Palma); Deep Red (dir. Argento); Ringu (dir. Nakata); The Ring (dir. Verbinski)
Eng 322 – The Novel: Dickens and Eliot
The 300-level novel course is meant to provide students with detailed exposure to a particular interest in the novel. This version of the course guided students through two versions of the triple-decker novel, Dickens and Eliot’s two epic accounts of British society, Our Mutual Friend and Middlemarch, alongside critical readings on the novels and the form. Course requirements include a reading journal, reading quizzes, presentations on British history and culture, annotations of critical readings, and two essays.
Texts: Charles Dickens, Our Mutual Friend; George Eliot, Middlemarch; Eve Sedgwick, from Between Men, Catherine Gallagher, from The Body Economic, Brian Cheadle, “Improvising Character in Our Mutual Friend,” John P. Farrell, “The Partner’s Tale: Dickens and Our Mutual Friend” ELH 66.3 (1999), Nancy Aycock Metz, “The Artistic Reclamation of Waste in our Mutual Friend” Nineteenth-Century Fiction 34.1 (1979), DA Miller, from Narrative and its Discontents, Peter Garrett, from The Victorian Multiplot Novel, Gillian Beer, from Darwin’s Plots, Sally Shuttleworth, from George Eliot and Nineteenth-Century Science
Eng 406 – Critical Theory
This course guides students through major movements in critical theory, in part by reflecting on critical theory’s historical development from Russian formalism to poststructuralism and postcolonial theory. Students were responsible for presentations on individual readings, responses to critics, an annotated bibliography, and a research essay.
Texts: Literary Theory: An Anthology (Blackwell Publishing); Eagleton, Literary Theory: An Introduction; James, Turn of the Screw: A Critical Case Study. Shock Corridor (dir. Fuller). Essays: Shklovsky, “Art as Technique,” Brooks, “The Formalist Critics” & “The Language of Paradox,” Wimsatt, “The Structure of the Concrete Universal,” Bourdieu, “Distinction,” Fish, “Interpretive Communities,” Culler, “The Linguistic Foundation,” Chatman, “Structure of Narrative Transmission,” Barthes, “Mythologies,” Heidegger, “Identity and Difference,” Derrida, “Différance,” Deleuze and Guattari, “A Thousand Plateaus,” Baudrillard, “Simulacra and Simulations,” Freud, “Interpretation of Dreams,” Lacan, “The Mirror Stage…” Fanon, “The Negro and Psychopathology,” Rubin, “Traffic in Women,” Gilbert and Gubar, “The Madwoman in the Attic,” Foucault, “History of Sexuality,” Butler, “Performative Acts and Gender Constitution,” Marx, selections from German Ideology and Capital, Gramsci, “Hegemony,” Althusser, “Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses,” Walter Benjamin, “Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction,” Horkheimer and Adorno, “The Culture Industry,” Dick Hebdige, “Subculture,” Zizek, “Sublime Object of Ideology,” Thompson, “Witness Against the Beast,” Foucault, “Discipline and Punish,” Armstrong, “Some Call It Fiction,” Bahktin, “Discourse in the Novel,” Said, “Jane Austen and Empire,” Spivak, “Three Women’s Texts and a Critique of Imperialism,” Bhabha, “Signs Taken for Wonders,” López, “The Social Construction of Race,” Lowe, “Heterogeneity, Hybridity, Multiplicity: Marking Asian American Differences”
Eng 409 – British Literature and Culture
Secret identities, stolen jewels, furtive trysts, and supernatural threats… In this course, we’ll examine how popular British texts put these devices to use in order to reflect on social problems of money, work, and contemporary life. Readings will include Daniel Defoe’s Roxana (the fictional memoirs of an eighteenth-century courtesan), Wilkie Collins’s The Moonstone (the first British detective novel), and Bram Stoker’s Dracula, as well as prose and poetry to help explore cultural contexts. As a WIP course, requirements include three essays, two peer review letters, two revision projects, and a final essay.
Major Texts include: Collins, The Moonstone; Defoe, Roxana; Stoker, Dracula
State University of New York at Plattsburgh
Eng 338 – Utopias in Literature
This course explored utopias in literature as worlds created to explore what is not but could be. Students read utopian texts and contemporaneous social, political, scientific, and philosophical material to consider how utopian texts try to resolve historically contemporary issues. Course requirements include written homework, class presentations, discussion participation, and two formal essays (one essay analyzes a single text and uses criticism; a second essay analyzes multiple texts).
Texts: Bellamy, Looking Backward, 2000-1887, Butler, Parable of the Sower, Butler, Erewhon, Dick, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, Gilman, Herland, Huxley, Island, LeGuin, The Dispossessed, More, Utopia, Morris, News from Nowhere, Plato, The Republic, Wells, The Time Machine, Zamyatin, We.
Films: Metropolis (1927), Blade Runner (1982), Brazil (1985).
Eng 422 – Globalization in Film and Literature
This course examined how globalization and neoliberalism inform contemporary cinema and how cinema (most especially art film) tries to capture globalization by combining fiction and documentary forms. Course requirements included response papers; presentations on directors; film notes; a research essay analyzing the production, distribution, and aesthetics of one film; one written midterm exam, and a written final exam.
Texts: Steger, Globalization: A Short Introduction; Harvey, A Brief History of Neoliberalism; Conrad, Nostromo; from Globalization, The Greatest Hits: A Global Studies Reader: Joseph Stiglitz, “The Promise of Global Institutions,” Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri, “Preface to Empire,” Roy, “Al Qaeda and the New Terrorists” (GH) & Steger, “From Market Globalism to Imperial Globalism,” Castells, “The New Public Sphere” (GH); PDF selections: Fredric Jameson, “Class and Allegory in Contemporary Mass Culture: Dog Day Afternoon as a Political Film,” David Harvey, “Time-Space Compression,” David Bordwell, “The Art Cinema as a Mode of Film Practice,” Che Guevara, “Guerrilla Warfare,” Casey, from Che’s Afterlife, Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri, “Multitude Against Empire,” Stella Abruzzi, “The Performative Documentary.”
Films: Dog Day Afternoon (1975), Children of Men (2006), Time Out (2001), La Promesse (1996), Che: The Argentine (2008), Hunger (2008), The Battle of Algiers (1965), Four Lions (2010), The Battle for Haditha (2007), Fitzcarraldo (1982), Duck you sucker! (1971), Caché (2005), Let the Right One In (2008).