Honors Courses Spring 2023

ENGL 105: Honors Introduction to English

Instructor: Sonya Lancaster
47929 | TuTh 2:30 - 3:45 PM | WES 4020 - LAWRENCE

This course will explore culture by examining three different spaces. The first unit will focus on the artistic space of the stage and use The Tempest to explore how staging a play can inform identity. The second unit will explore culture of home, using a middle-class Victorian novel and humor theory to explore the intersections of humor and class. The third unit will focus on the place of Lawrence, reading Braiding Sweet Grass to help us explore the culture of a place through personal experience, observation/interviews, and history.

The written work of this course will be comprised of three papers and a collaborative final project. Students will also complete reflection journals and group activities for class and participate in discussions of the texts. Required Texts: Grossmith, George, Diary of a Nobody; Kimmerer, Robin, Braiding Sweetgrass; Shakespeare, William, The Tempest.

Instructor: Paul Outka
53570 | MW 12:30 - 1:45 PM | WES 4051 - LAWRENCE

This course will provide the opportunity to read extensively in the work of two of America’s most significant poets. We’ll read most of Whitman’s poetry, all of Dickinson’s, and a substantial selection of both writers’ prose as well. Discussion will alternate authors to encourage intertextual connections between two artists at once sharply different stylistically and culturally, and yet profoundly linked by (among many other things) their queer sexuality, the textuality of gendered embodiment, the creation and politics of authoritative voice, and an engagement with the wider culture.

Dimly lit bookshelves with hanging lights

ENGL 205: Ways of Seeing

Instructor: Mary Klayder
53571 | MWF 10:00 - 10:50 AM | WES 4020 - LAWRENCE

The course will focus on the concepts of perception, perspective, and vision in literature. How do we see things? How do we view the world? How does literature show our different ways of seeing? We will consider different perceptions of art, nature, gender, race, and culture; we will investigate various cultural and personal perspectives; and we will address the notion of vision as a metaphor in literature. In addition to literary texts, we will look at how other disciplines intersect with literature regarding these issues. There will be three critical papers, a final exam, a perception project, and assorted playful response assignments throughout the semester. Texts: Lakoff and Johnson, Metaphors We Live By; Donne, Selected Poetry; Dickinson, The Collected Poems; Edson, Wit; Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man; Woolf, To The Lighthouse; Haig, The Midnight Library; and selected essays and poetry handouts.

two cartoon eyes against blue background

ENGL 205: Medieval Marvels

Instructor: Misty Schieberle
55758 | TuTh 11:00 - 12:15 PM | WES 4051 - LAWRENCE

Medieval literature has always been lively and inventive, and recent translations and scholarship demonstrate that even now, medieval texts explore quite modern interests in fantasy, gender roles, consent, animal studies, and post-colonialism. As a guiding principle, we will explore what seems “marvelous” in works from the Middle Ages – strange monsters, unusual beasts, fairy kings and mistresses, shapeshifters, wondrous lands in the Eastern or fairy kingdoms, and superhuman knights. Such figures and elements could represent social or cultural threats, people who departed from cultural norms, ethnic or racial “others,” or idealized representations humanity. Course goals are to analyze medieval literature; develop a sense of how marvelous events, settings, and characters allow medieval writers (and us) to confront issues of the utmost cultural importance; and practice skills in drafting essays that develop and support arguments about literary texts. Readings will include recent translations of Beowulf (2020) and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (2008); medieval fairy, werewolf, and shapeshifter stories; tales of knightly adventures, including ones that take place in the Middle East; and other short selections. Course requirements include both short and mid-length (5-6 pages) writing assignments; class participation; quizzes; one individual presentation; and one presentation.

Medieval knight fighting snail

ENGL 492: The London Review

Instructor: Mary Klayder
43121 | W 4:30 - 5:50 PM | WES 4023 - LAWRENCE & ABROAD

The London Review will allow students to plan and research a visit to London, to spend Spring Break of 2023 visiting London, and to create a publication of reviews and essays about their stay.

Students will spend the weeks in the semester before Spring Break deciding on the productions and exhibits they plan to visit. They will conduct research on those events, each student specializing in a particular aspect of the visit. They will also study the genre of the literary/arts review, examining audience and publication possibilities.

After returning from London, the class will spend the remainder of the semester publishing The London Review 2023. Each student will be responsible both for writing reviews and for helping to put together the journal.

London skyline

ENGL 598: Literature of the South

Instructor: Doreen Fowler
55766 | TuTh 11:00 - 12:15 PM | WES 4020 - LAWRENCE

In our reading and discussions, we will be thinking critically about issues of race, gender, class, ethnicity, and American and Southern identity within the social and historical contexts of the pre- and post-Civil War South. Our discussion will also be informed by reading current literary scholarship on Southern literature. The course will be discussion-based, and it will heavily emphasize writing. .Course requirements will include: two papers (each approximately 6-7 typewritten pages); response papers; reading quizzes; a midterm and a take-home final exam. Class participation also is a requirement. The texts for the course follow: Frederick Douglass, 'Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass;' Mark Twain, 'Pudd'nhead Wilson;' Nella Larsen, 'Passing;' William Faulkner, 'Selected Short Stories of William Faulkner;' William Faulkner, 'As I Lay Dying;' Richard Wright, 'Eight Men;' Flannery O’Connor, 'A Good Man Is Hard to Find and Other Stories;' Ralph Ellison, excerpt from 'Invisible Man;' Toni Morrison, 'Beloved'

Artistic Mark Twain profile reading piece of white paper with white flowers behind him