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ENGLISH 318. (3) MODERN BRITISH AND AMERICAN NOVEL. Major twentieth-century novelists in English are read, including Conrad, Joyce, D. H. Lawrence, Graham Greene, Hemingway, Faulkner, and Steinbeck. Offered: spring semester of evennumbered years. ENGLISH 320. (3) THE SHORT STORY. Readings are drawn from American, British, and European short stories, and from criticism and theory of fiction. Authors may include Poe, Hawthorne, James, Twain, O. Henry, Lardner, Hemingway, and Faulkner; Joyce, Saki, Maugham, Mansfield, D. H. Lawrence, and H. G. Wells; Maupassant, Chekhov, Pushkin, Kafka, Garcia Márquez, and Thomas Mann. Offered: spring semester of odd-numbered years. ENGLISH 322. (3) CONTEMPORARY FICTION. Readings are drawn from the work of major novelists writing in English since 1945, with emphasis on fiction written since the 1970s. The reading list, which reflects the cultural diversity of highly regarded writers in the contemporary period, evolves as new authors emerge or established figures produce new works of fiction. Authors taught recently include Tim O’Brien, Kazuo Ishiguro, Jane Smiley, Toni Morrison, Julian Barnes, and Cormac McCarthy, among many others. Innovations in narrative technique are considered in relation to the novels’ thematic content. Offered: fall semester of even-numbered years. ENGLISH 323. (3) CONTEMPORARY POETRY. This course is a survey and study of contemporary poetry. The course will focus on poetry written from the 1970s to the present, though earlier work may be read to provide appropriate perspective. Though mostly centering on English-language verse (primarily American and British writers), the reading list also gives attention to contemporary poetry in translation. The course focuses closely on contemporary form and prosody (not forgetting that free-verse is not free from verse, and that formal poetry is not free of its informalities) as well as content, attempting to take into its ambit a wide range of poets, styles, and concerns. Offered: fall semester of odd-numbered years.

ENGLISH 326. (3) THE CIVIL WAR AND AMERICAN IDENTITY IN THE 19th CENTURY. This course explores the shifting terrains of American literature in the mid to late nineteenth century as the crisis of the Civil War spurs important questions about national belonging. Among a divided citizenry, American literature joins the debate, goes to battle, and attempts to reconcile. We will analyze how the aims of nineteenth century literary movements—such as Transcendentalism and Regionalism—intersect with the objectives of political rhetoric and create deep impressions on the cultural landscape. This course aims to investigate not only the discourse that surrounded the Civil War in the nineteenth century but the implications of that discourse in how we remember and reimagine the Civil War in the present day. ENGLISH 330. (3) CHAUCER. The Canterbury Tales, Troilus and Criseyde, and other main poems of Chaucer are studied. Attention is given to the literary and cultural background of Chaucer’s works. Most readings are in Middle English, but prior knowledge of the Middle English language is not required. Offered: fall semester of odd-numbered years. ENGLISH 334. (3) SPECIAL TOPICS IN SHAKESPEARE. A thematic consideration of some of Shakespeare’s works in their cultural and literary contexts and an introduction to literary criticism and scholarship in Shakespeare studies. Primary readings may include selections from the long narrative poems, the sonnets, and the tragedies, comedies, histories, and romances. Offered: spring semester. ENGLISH 335. (3) MILTON. A seminar on the writings, life, and times of John Milton. The course begins with close reading of Milton’s early works (for example, “L’Allegro,” “Il Penseroso,” “Lycidas,” and Comus), his sonnets, and selected prose, including “Of Education,” “Areopagitica,” and sections of Christian Doctrine. Most of the semester is then devoted to careful study of Paradise Lost, Paradise Regained, and Samson Agonistes. Offered: fall semester of even-numbered years.

Profile for Hampden-Sydney College

Academic Catalogue 2019-20  

Academic Catalogue 2019-20