Department of English

Fall 2021 205 courses

205-03: Food and Justice

Days, Time: TR, 10:00-11:15

CRN: 90691

This course uses literature to examine social and political power structures and critically analyze inequality and injustice in the US. This course has an immersive learning component, so we will be exploring the way food has been a means of both oppression and liberation for marginalized populations. We will examine the cultural aspects of food in life and literature and work with various community partners in Cincinnati and Detroit to help improve social, health, and economic outcomes.

205-15: Israel and Palestine: Us, Them, and Us

Online no set times

CRN: 90703

Israel and Palestine has been a place of division and unrest since even before the formal establishment of the state of Israel in 1948. A number writers have been using literature to capture and share their experience living in a state of protracted conflict and to challenge perceived injustice committed by their own community and the Other. This course will examine works from Israelis, Palestinians, and Israeli-Palestinians and consider how to improve outcomes for all parties.

205-19: Israel and Palestine: Us, Them, and Us

Online no set times

CRN: 90707

Israel and Palestine has been a place of division and unrest since even before the formal establishment of the state of Israel in 1948. A number writers have been using literature to capture and share their experience living in a state of protracted conflict and to challenge perceived injustice committed by their own community and the Other. This course will examine works from Israelis, Palestinians, and Israeli-Palestinians and consider how to improve outcomes for all parties.

205-31: Resist, Reshape, Retell

Days, Time: TR, 10:00-11:15

CRN: 95897

205-24: Resist, Reshape, Retell

Days, Time: TR, 11:30-12:45

CRN: 94503

Our focus in this section of Literature and the Moral Imagination will be the way literary texts inherently reflect or interrogate ethical or moral action, and how various stakeholders in literary works (characters, authors, and, yes, we the readers) “read” the world around them and resist, reshape or retell what they see. How do authors/characters/readers deal with challenges to their beliefs? Or challenges to social norms, or competing values? The course is designed to provide opportunities for us to examine these questions, and to assess how the knowledge, beliefs, and values we bring to literature affect our understanding of the works we read. We’ll be looking at all sorts of topics, including love, family, justice, and public and private history.

ENGL 205-09H: Shakespeare & Fiction

Days, Time: MWF, 1:00-1:50

CRN: 90697

ENGL 205-13H: Shakespeare & Fiction

Days, Time: MWF, 12:00-12:50

CRN: 90701

In this course we will study a handful of plays by William Shakespeare, including comedy, tragedy, history, and romance. We will also examine a variety of modern novels inspired by Shakespeare’s works. Class discussion and written assignments will focus on each work individually, as well as considering intertextual connections between the drama and the fiction.

205-06: Iconoclasts/ Iconography: What is seeing.

Days, Time: TR, 11:30-12:45

CRN: 90694

What is seeing. This section of Literature & the Moral Imagination focuses on the way that the visible and invisible organizes our beliefs and values. 

205-07: Pan African Women Novelists

Days, Time: TR, 2:30-3:45

CRN: 90695

Pan African Women Novelists—This section of Literature & the Moral Imagination focuses on the works of African American, African British, Senegalese, Kenyan and Haitian novelists. 

205-25: Diversity and Identity

Days, Time: TR, 2:30-3:45

CRN: 95348

205-14: Diversity and Identity

Days, Time: TR, 10:00-11:15

CRN: 90702

This course focuses on how identity is constructed by and through factors such as race, class, gender, ethnicity, sexuality, ability, religion, and age as well as the intersections of these social categories. We will consider how these categories shape power relations between individuals and groups, the relation of the individual to society, and how much of our identity formation entails assimilating to dominant cultural norms and expectations. This course fulfills the Diversity Curriculum Flag as well as serves as an elective for the Peace and Justice Studies minor and the Gender and Diversity Studies major and minor.

205-16: Memory and Morality

Days, Time: MWF, 9:00-9:50

CRN: 90704

“Memory and Morality” will consider the ethical implications tied to memory. At both a personal and community level, our ability (indeed obligation) to remember the past is challenged by multiple factors. We will consider some of the practical ways in which human memory works according to recent brain science (explaining how we mis-remember and forget events), as well as society’s power structures that actively manipulate memory (leading to misrepresentation, denial, and misunderstanding of crucial narratives). Course texts explore a breadth of genres and include Alison Bechdel’s graphic novel Fun Home, Toni Morrison’s short story “Recitatif,” Ariel Dorfman’s play Death and the Maiden, and Allen Ginsberg’s poem Howl.

205-20: Life-Changing Journeys

Days, Time: MWF, 1:00-1:50

CRN: 93718

205-02: Life-Changing Journeys

Days, Time: MWF, 10:00-10:50

CRN: 90690

The course focuses on different kinds of journeys, especially those that transform the travelers: internal and external journeys, time travel, travel as exploration, pilgrimage, quests, travel in outer space, forced journeys, and journeys to freedom. The reading will invite discussion of encounters with racial prejudice and bigotry, cultural and gender conflict, humans’ quests for meaning and purpose, and heroism in the face of fear or death. We will read mostly contemporary fiction, but the course also includes some essays, short stories, and film.  

205-10: #OwnVoices: Authorial Identity in Young Adult Fiction

Days, Time: MWF, 10:00-10:50

CRN: 90698

205-12: #OwnVoices: Authorial Identity in Young Adult Fiction

Days, Time: MWF, 11:00-11:50

CRN: 90700

This course will focus on #OwnVoices in young adult (YA) literature. #OwnVoices is a hashtag movement that seeks to center stories of diverse groups by authors from those diverse groups. #OwnVoices moves beyond representation and diversity by asserting that stories from marginalized or underrepresented groups are best told by authors whose lived experience reflects the characters whose stories they tell. In this course, we will study the online movements for diverse stories and the debate about who gets to tell them. We will focus in particular on #OwnVoices in YA fiction, and how #OwnVoices representation is particularly critical to coming-of-age stories.

205-28: The Anthropocene/add Peace and Justice Studies minor attribute

Days, Time: MWF, 1:00-1:50

CRN: 95809

205-04: The Anthropocene/ add Peace and Justice Studies minor attribute

Days, Time: MWF, 2:00-2:50

CRN: 90692

According to scientists, historians, and cultural observers, we are living in the Anthropocene, a new geological epoch caused by human activity. While experts disagree about when exactly the Anthropocene started, it’s clear that we—people—have profoundly modified the atmosphere, ocean ecology, and even the ground beneath our feet. We’ve changed the planet in ways that imperil our own long-term survival and thriving (not to mention that of countless other species).

What does it mean to live in the Anthropocene? How should we proceed as a society—and how should we cope, as individuals and as collectives, with feelings of fear, guilt, and frustration? This section of 205 focuses on the Anthropocene, using literature to examine the challenges we face as a “force of nature.” We’ll read two novels, as well as some poetry and creative nonfiction. Each course unit is anchored by one or more key concepts from an important thinker on culture and the Anthropocene.

205-01: Familial Obligations

Days, Time: MWF, 8:00-8:50

CRN: 90689

205-08: Familial Obligations

Days, Time: MWF, 9:00:9:50

CRN: 90696

205-05: Familial Obligations

Days, Time: MWF, 11:00-11:50

CRN: 90693

In addition to improving reading comprehension, writing and oral presentation skills. Students will 1) describe and examine the multifaceted character of society and how the inclusion of different perspectives can influence on one’s world view, 2) examine the diverse, complex, and interdependent nature of people while focusing on perspectives on familial obligations

205-27: Melodrama and Telenovelas

Days, Time: MWF, 10:00-10:50

CRN: 95808

205-30: Melodrama and Telenovelas

Days, Time: MWF, 3:00-4:15

CRN: 95810

In this course, we will read contemporary Mexican American women’s literature through the lens of the telenovela-traditionally a Spanish -language serial drama or soap opera-to examine ethical issues concerning race/ethnicity, gender, class, nation, immigration, language, and violence. We will explore representations of “the sensational” and humor in novels and English-language telenovelas as a means of social and ethical critique.

ENGL 205-11: Secret Identities

Days, Time: MWF, 2:00-2:50

CRN: 90699

ENGL 205-18: Secret Identities

Days, Time: MWF, 11:00-11:50

CRN: 91831

What is identity? Can a person have more than one identity, and, if so, is one of those identities more authentic than the others? How do people construct identities? When and how and why do we hide certain identities and adopt others instead? What are the potential consequences of such masking? What are the potential consequences of unmasking?

In this section of ENGL 205, we will explore these and similar questions, using popular U.S. literature from the past 100 years. By analyzing identity in these works, this course aims to provide greater insight into the construction and presentation of identities in society. It does so in the hope that, by recognizing and appreciating the diversity of identities surrounding us, we can better understand the people we encounter, better hear their stories, and better share our own

205-21: Black Transnationalism

Days, Time: TR, 1:00-2:15

CRN: 90708

In this course, students will explore the global circulation of people of African descent. They will be presented with works that trace the intellectual interactions among Black writers, artists, and activists across national and cultural contexts. Thus, the course will also highlight the global dimensions of Black nationalist, pan-Africanist, and negritude movements (among many others).  It is from this perspective that students will familiarize themselves with the ways in which people of African descent, situated in different parts of the globe, have sought to identify commonalities in their struggles, both in the past as well as in the present era of Black Lives Matter