Autumn 2013 Courses

Creative Writing

Beginning Poetry Writing (CRWR 10300/30300, section 01)

This course will be rich in original material-making. We will encounter the works of John Ashbery, Elizabeth Bishop, Marianne Moore, Eleni Sikelianos, Catherine Theis, Frank O’Hara, Denise Levertov, George Oppen, W.S. Merwin, and Basho, among others. Braiding together readings of canonical writers, in-class writing assignments, and our reflection on student’s original poetry, we will develop as practitioners of the art. We will investigate human rituals as practices of meaning-making in various landscapes, and explore what it means to be in harmony and in tension with our natural world—what do rituals mean in terms of the art of being human? In order to create fruitful images and metaphors in our own original work, we will imagine poetry in deep relationship to a multitude of art forms (architecture, music, painting, dye transfer, décollage, the screenplay, monument building, etc.) through examining the works of, for example, Adolf Loos, Germaine Tailleferre, Joan Mitchell, Pierre Le Hors, Alec Soth, Aspen Mays, Chris Marker, Joseph Beuys and Adam Ekberg. One original poem will be due weekly.

Instructor: Jessica Savitz. Day and Time: Mondays, 9:30 AM to 12:20 PM

Beginning Poetry Writing (CRWR 10300/30300, section 02)

How many students begin poetry in a class? Even those who have yet to write poetry are filled with ideas about it. But in this workshop we shall strive forgetfully to begin as though we were the first poets, deciding on the principles we shall follow in fabricating poems and to what ends (if any). Exemplary reading will be introduced according to these decisions, as we create our poetic culture.

Instructor: John Wilkinson. Day and Time: Thursdays, 9:00 to 11:50 AM

Advanced Poetry Workshop: Pound and Bunting (CRWR 23108/43108)

In this workshop, the work of Ezra Pound and Basil Bunting, one of Pound’s primary disciples, will serve to guide our lessons and experiments. By way of a close reading of Pound’s poetry and a scrutiny of his poetic practices, as well as a close reading of Bunting’s poetry, including his lyrics and long-form poems, students will generate poetry making use of techniques derived from Pound and Bunting, including lyric inventions, odes, Imagist and Vorticist experiments, para-translation, mythic re-enactment, song forms, rhymes, and polemics. The goal of this workshop is to come away from the works of Pound and Bunting with an understanding functioning at the level of composition, enacted in your own poems. Additionally, we will read prose by both poets, to which you will attempt responses. Texts include Ezra Pound’s New Selected Poems, selections from his literary essays, and Bunting’s Complete Poems.

Instructor: Peter O’Leary. Day and Time: Tuesdays, 12:00 to 2:50 PM.



British Poetry of the Long 1930s (ENGL 20220/30220)

W. H. Auden dominated the poetic landscape of his time and his influence has been powerfully felt in later English and American poetry. Less celebrated British poetry of the 1930s and early 1940s offers a fascinating range of modernist and counter-modernist aesthetic strategies negotiating political crisis. This course will encounter Marxist, Scottish nationalist, quasi-Fascist, Surrealist, collage, feminist, and proletarian poets. The poetic response to the Spanish Civil War will be a special focus.

Instructor: John Wilkinson. Days and Times: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 3:00 to 4:20 PM.

Picturing Words/Writing Images (Studio) (ENGL 24319/34319, section 01)

What is the relationship between reading and looking? Images in mind and images on paper—words in mind and on the page—we will explore the intersection of these different ways to think, read, and look, as we make poems, drawings, paintings, etc., in class. We will investigate the problem of representing language as it is expressed in the work produced in class. Studying works by contemporary visual artists like Jenny Holzer and Ann Hamilton, and practicing poets such as Susan Howe and Tom Phillips will inform our investigation. The course will feature visits to our studio by contemporary poets and visual artists, who will provide critiques of student work and discussion of their own ongoing projects. These visitors will help to frame our artistic and literary practice within the ongoing conversation between word and image in modern culture. We will ask, what are the cognitive, phenomenological, social, and aesthetic consequences of foregrounding the pictorial/visual aspect of alphabetical characters?

Instructors: Srikanth “Chicu” Reddy and Jessica Stockholder. Day and Time: Wednesdays, 1:30 PM to 4:20 PM

Poets in Dark Times (ENGL 24411/34382)

Hannah Arendt published once a collection of remarkable essays under the title Men in Dark Times. One of her heroes was Bertolt Brecht, a poet of genius and of a questionable political and philosophical agenda. The class will examine similar theme: how some of the important poets, all of them marked by the aesthetic of Modernism, coped with the darkness of XX century history.

We will read Bertolt Brecht but also Gottfried Benn, another important German poet and very different from Brecht, Wislawa Szymborska, Polish poetess, Vladimir Holan, a Czech poet who had spent his difficult life in Prague and Charles Simic, an American poet born in Belgrade, a writer spanning two continents.

We’ll read and discuss these poets; students will be required to participate actively in the conversations and to write a final paper. Undergraduates can attend the class with my consent.

Instructor: Adam Zagajewski. Day and Time: Mondays, 1:30 to 4:20 PM.

Modern French Poetry in Translation (ENGL 26707/FREN 26113)

Course description not available.

Instructor: Rosanna Warren. Days and Times: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10:30 to 11:50 AM.

Yeats and Auden (ENGL 36720, section 01)

A study of two monumental poets of the English language in the 20th century. The course will integrate close readings of poems with consideration of historical and cultural contexts, and will examine contrasts and continuities between these two different conceptions of modern poetic art.

Instructor: Rosanna Warren. Day and Time: Tuesdays, 1:30 PM to 4:20 PM



Survey Of Greek Lit-1: Poetry (GREK 32700)

Greek poetry, including drama, from Homer to Callimachus. Lectures and discussions will be concerned chiefly with genre, style, meter, and rhetorical structure. There will be some close study of passages chosen to exemplify problems of interpretation or to display the major themes in each poet's work.

Instructor: Sarah Nooter. Days and Times: Mondays and Wednesdays, 10:30 to 11:50 AM.

Vergil’s Aeneid (LATN 21300/31300, section 01)

Since many students have greater familiarity with the first half of the Aeneid, we will focus on the second half. Books 8, 10, and 12 will be read in entirety in Latin, with substantial selections from books 7, 9, and 11; we will also read the whole poem in translation. Topics of interest include: foundation and refoundation, the epic genre, the relation of myth to history, contemporary politics, and the social function of literature.

Instructor: Michele Lowrie. Day and Time: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 1:30 PM to  2:50 PM


German, French, Italian, Russian, and Spanish

Rilke, Sonnets to Orpheus (GRMN 27813, section 01)

This seminar will engage in close readings of Rilke's famous volume of poems. Supplementary readings will address some of the fundamental issues raised by the poems: the sonorous universe of poetry and the nature of the voice; the "Orphic" dimension of poetry; the religious and profane meanings of praise in relation to mourning. We will furthermore compare the treatment of the voice by Rilke with its treatment by another Prague writer: Franz Kafka. Excellent reading knowledge of German required.

Instructor: Eric Santner. Day and Time: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 9:00 AM to 10:20 AM

Poésie et Récit au Moyen Âge (FREN 22000/32000, section 01)

Ce cours examinera les capacités et les possibilités narratives de la poésie du Moyen Âge, ainsi que les rapports entre l'écriture lyrique et le récit. Nous nous concentrerons sur le dit narratif et les textes hybrides.

Instructor: Daisy Delogu. Day and Time: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10:30 AM to 11:50 AM

Giacomo Leopardi (ITAL 24700, section 01)

II corso prevede la letture di Operette morali, passi scelti dello zibaldone, e una serie di poesie. Partendo dal Cantico del gallo silvestre, nelle operette morali, si cercher di mettere in duscussione l'idea completamento negative del "pessimisno leopardiano". Si moster un percorso di pensieri leopardiani dove la negazione e le "vedute pessimistche" fanno parte d'un lungo discorso antropologico. Quello che emerge un uso del pensiero che non da intendere come costruttivo, ma "dissipatorio." un'altra e diversa forma di energia che, nel dissipare o dissolvere le aspettative del futuro, permette di vedere uno stato particolare dell'essere.

Instructor: Armando Maggi. Day and Time: Mondays and Wednesdays, 3:00 PM to 4:20 PM

Poesia lirica del '500 (ITAL 25500/35500, section 01)

This course studies the complex Petrarchan and anti-Petrarchan poetic movement in sixteenth-century Italy. We will study in detail a number of major poetic figures, from Pietro Bembo, to Monsignor Della Casa, but also Michelangelo and Ludovico Ariosto. Special attention will be given to several women poets, such as Vittoria Colonna and Veronica Gambara. We will also study the technical aspects of Renaissance lyric poetry (verses, rhetorical devices, etc.) in its relationship with Petrarch's Canzoniere. We will also read some important self-commentaries that fundamental poets such as Torquato Tasso wrote about their own poetic compositions.

Instructor: Armando Maggi. Day and Time: Monday and Wednesdays, 1:30 PM to 2:50 PM

Pushkin And His Age (RUSS 24101/34101, section 01)

This course approaches the Golden Age of Russian culture through the prism of the artistic and intellectual legacy of its most influential writer. We read and analyze Pushkin's poetry, prose fiction, essays, and critical works in the context of the critical, philosophical, and political debates of his time. We also consider writers such as Rousseau, Montesquieu, Karamzin, Balzac, Chaadaev, and Belinsky. Texts in English or the original; classes conducted in English.

Instructor: Daria Khitrova. Day and Time: Monday and Wednesdays, 3:00 PM to 4:20 PM

El concepto en la poesia de Gongora (SPAN 26013/36013, section 01)

La poesa gongorina es la expresin ms alta del Barroco hispnico. Gngora es la piedra de toque de cualquier lector. Tradicionalmente se ha acusado a la poesa de Gngora de oscura e ininteligible. Igualmente se ha sealado al poeta como el adalid de un movimiento llamado "culteranismo", opuesto al "conceptismo", comandado por Quevedo. Nada ms falso: no hay tales escuelas ni mucho menos se encuentran contrapuestas: ni Gngora es "culterano", ni Quevedo "conceptista". Es ms, el eje de la lrica gongorina es la elaboracin de conceptos complejos. Este curso pretende dejar atrs estas falsas categoras histrico-literarias y desterrar la alegada "oscuridad gongorina", para mostrar que la poesa de Gngora es la ms transparente que se ha compuesto jams en lengua espaola, porque es la ms objetiva, racional y aquilatada. Es compleja, pero totalmente difana. El objetivo del curso es que los alumnos aprendan a leer los poemas de Gngora, a descubrir que en ellos se encuentran todos los elementos necesarios para su comprensin. Gngora es el, tal vez, el poeta ms grande del mundo hispnico; el nico al que se puede calificar de perfecto; el proceso de aprendizaje que propongo puede resultar muy estimulante, pues permite el acceso a la perfeccin gongorina, y ejercita la capacidad de lectura en los niveles ms altos, agudos y finos.

Instructor: Martha Tenorio. Day and Time: Monday and Wednesdays, 4:30 PM to 5:50 PM