This course considers the impact of storytelling and spirituals on the literary production of African American authors from the Colonial period to the current day, examining the cultural, historical, and political contexts of the literature, as well as how the issues of gender, race, and class affect the production and meaning of these works. Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to: identify the cultural influences and the development of African American literature; analyze the evolution of African American literature from an oral to a literary tradition; define the functions of African American literature from its inception in the period of slavery to the contemporary period; identify the major authors and/or literary works in the various literary periods and movements (Reconstruction to the New Negro Renaissance Movement; Harlem Renaissance; Realism, Naturalism, and modernism; Black Arts; and the Contemporary Period). This free course may be completed online at any time. (English Literature 411)
This text is issued under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial ShareAlike 3.0 License without attribution and was developed with a mini-grant from Maryland Open Source Textbooks. Author: Carolyn Shuttlesworth
In-depth study of an active research topic in computer graphics. Topics change each term. Readings from the literature, student presentations, short assignments, and a programming project. Animation is a compelling and effective form of expression; it engages viewers and makes difficult concepts easier to grasp. Today's animation industry creates films, special effects, and games with stunning visual detail and quality. This graduate class will investigate the algorithms that make these animations possible: keyframing, inverse kinematics, physical simulation, optimization, optimal control, motion capture, and data-driven methods. Our study will also reveal the shortcomings of these sophisticated tools. The students will propose improvements and explore new methods for computer animation in semester-long research projects. The course should appeal to both students with general interest in computer graphics and students interested in new applications of machine learning, robotics, biomechanics, physics, applied mathematics and scientific computing.
Examines in detail the works of several American authors. Through close readings of poetry, novels, or plays, subject addresses such issues as literary influence, cultural diversity, and the writer's career. Topic: American Women Authors. This subject, crosslisted in Literature and Women's Studies, examines a range of American women authors from the seventeenth century to the present. It aims to introduce a number of literary genres and styles- the captivity narrative, slave novel, sensational, sentimental, realistic, and postmodern fiction- and also to address significant historical events in American women's history: Puritanism, the American Revolution, industrialization and urbanization in the nineteenth century, the Harlem Renaissance, World War II, the 60s civil rights movements. A primary focus will be themes studied and understood through the lens of gender: war, violence, and sexual exploitation (Keller, Rowlandson, Rowson); the relationship between women and religion (Rowlandson, Rowson, Stowe); labor, poverty, and working conditions for women (Fern, Davis, Wharton); captivity and slavery (Rowlandson, Jacobs); class struggle (Fern, Davis, Wharton, Larsen); race and identity (Keller, Jacobs, Larsen, Morrison); feminist revisions of history (Stowe, Morrison, Keller); and the myth of the fallen woman (take your pick). Essays and inclass reports will focus more particularly on specific writers and themes and will stress the skills of close reading, annotation, research, and uses of multimedia where appropriate. A classroom electronic archive has been developed for this course and will be available as a resource for images and other media materials.
An examination of "classic" documents in American history from the seventeenth through the twentieth centuries, including writings by authors such as John Winthrop, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison; Frederick Douglass, William Lloyd Garrison, and Abraham Lincoln; Horatio Alger, Jacob Riis and Thorstein Veblen; Franklin D. Roosevelt, Betty Friedan, Bob Dylan, and Martin Luther King, Jr. Music, taped speeches, television programs, motion pictures, and/or other visual materials may also be included. Class meetings consist primarily of discussions and there is one required museum trip.
This course is a survey of American Literature from 1650 through 1820. It covers Early American and Puritan Literature, Enlightenment Literature, and Romantic Literature. It teaches in the context of American History and introduces the student to literary criticism and research.
In this class we will practice skills in reading, analyzing, and writing about fiction, poetry and drama from a select sampling of 20th Century American Literature. Through class discussion, close reading, and extensive writing practice, this course seeks to develop critical and analytical skills, preparing students for more advanced academic work.
This course studies the national literature of the United States since the early 19th century. It considers a range of texts - including, novels, essays, and poetry - and their efforts to define the notion of American identity. Readings usually include works by such authors as Nathaniel Hawthorne, Henry David Thoreau, Frederick Douglass, Emily Dickinson, and Toni Morrison.
This course covers works by major American novelists, beginning with the late 18th century and concluding with a contemporary novelist. The class places major emphasis on reading novels as literary texts, but attention is paid to historical, intellectual, and political contexts as well. The syllabus varies from term to term, but many of the following writers are represented: Rowson, Hawthorne, Melville, Twain, Wharton, James, and Toni Morrison. Previously taught topics include The American Revolution and Makeovers (i.e. adaptations and reinterpretation of novels traditionally considered as American "Classics"). May be repeated for credit with instructor's permission so long as the content differs.
The ĺÎĺ_ĺĚĄ_American Renaissance,ĺÎĺ_ĺĚĺÎĺ a period of tremendous literary activity that took place in America between the 1830s and 1860s represents the cultivation of a distinctively American literature. The student will begin this course by looking at what it was in American culture and society that led to the dramatic outburst of literary creativity in this era. The student will then explore some of the periodĺÎĺ_ĺĚĺ_s most famous works, attempting to define the emerging American identity represented in this literature. Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to: discriminate among the key economic, technological, social, and cultural transformations underpinning the American Renaissance; define the transformations in American Protestantism exemplified by the second Great Awakening and transcendentalism; list the key tenets of transcendentalism and relate them to romanticism more broadly and to social and cultural developments in the antebellum United States; analyze EmersonĺÎĺ_ĺĚĺ_s place in defining transcendentalism and his key differences from other transcendentalists; analyze competing conceptualizations of poetry and its construction and purpose, with particular attention to Poe, Emerson, and Whitman; define the formal innovations of Dickinson and their relationship to her central themes; describe the emergence of the short story as a form, with reference to specific stories by Hawthorne and Poe; distinguish among forms of the novel, with reference to specific works by Hawthorne, Thompson, and Fern; analyze the ways that writers such as Melville, Brownson, Davis, and Thoreau saw industrialization and capitalism as a threat to U. S. society; develop the relationship between ThoreauĺÎĺ_ĺĚĺ_s interest in nature and his political commitments and compare and contrast his thinking with Emerson and other transcendentalists; analyze the different ways that sentimentalism constrained and empowered women writers to critique gender conventions, with reference to specific works by writers such as Fern, Alcott, and Stowe; define the ways that the slavery question influenced major texts and major controversies over literature during this period. This free course may be completed online at any time. (English Literature 405)
Studies the relation between imaginative texts and the culture surrounding them. Emphasizes ways in which imaginative works absorb, reflect, and conflict with reigning attitudes and world views. Instruction and practice in oral and written communication. Topic for Fall: Ethical Interpretation. Topic for Spring: Women Reading, Women Writing. The course examines the earliest emergence of stories about King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table in the context of the first wave of British Imperialism and the expanded powers of the Catholic Church during the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. The morphology of Arthurian romance will be set off against original historical documents and chronicle sources for the English conquests in Brittany, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland to understand the ways in which these new attitudes towards Empire were being mythologized. Authors will include Bede, Geoffrey of Monmouth, ChrĚŠtien de Troyes, Marie de France, Gerald of Wales, together with some lesser known works like the Perilous Graveyard, the Knight with the Sword, and Perlesvaus, or the High History of the Holy Graal. Special attention will be paid to how the narrative material of the story gets transformed according to the particular religious and political agendas of each new author.
The Art of the Probable" addresses the history of scientific ideas, in particular the emergence and development of mathematical probability. But it is neither meant to be a history of the exact sciences per se nor an annex to, say, the Course 6 curriculum in probability and statistics. Rather, our objective is to focus on the formal, thematic, and rhetorical features that imaginative literature shares with texts in the history of probability. These shared issues include (but are not limited to): the attempt to quantify or otherwise explain the presence of chance, risk, and contingency in everyday life; the deduction of causes for phenomena that are knowable only in their effects; and, above all, the question of what it means to think and act rationally in an uncertain world. Our course therefore aims to broaden students’ appreciation for and understanding of how literature interacts with--both reflecting upon and contributing to--the scientific understanding of the world. We are just as centrally committed to encouraging students to regard imaginative literature as a unique contribution to knowledge in its own right, and to see literary works of art as objects that demand and richly repay close critical analysis. It is our hope that the course will serve students well if they elect to pursue further work in Literature or other discipline in SHASS, and also enrich or complement their understanding of probability and statistics in other scientific and engineering subjects they elect to take.
Childhood is a source of fascination in most Western cultures. It is both a major inspiration for artistic creation and a political ideal, which aims at protecting future generations. Which role does it play in French society and in other francophone areas? Why is the French national anthem (La Marseillaise) addressed to its 'children'? This course will study the transformation of childhood since the 18th century and the development of sentimentality within the family. We will examine various representations of childhood in literature (e.g. Pagnol, Proust, Sarraute, Laye, Morgiĺvre), movies (e.g. Truffaut), and songs (e.g. Brel, Barbara). Course taught in French.
What is a "life" when it's written down? How does memory inform the present? Why are memoirs so popular? This course will address these questions and others, considering the relationship between biography, autobiography, and memoir and between personal and social themes. We will closely examine some recent memoirs: Tobias Wolff's This Boy's Life, Barack Obama's Dreams From My Father, Edwidge Danticat's Brother, I'm Dying, Ayaan Hirsi Ali's Infidel, and Alison Bechdel's Fun Home. Students will write two brief papers: a critical essay and an experiment in memoir.As a "Sampling," this class offers 6 units, with a strong emphasis on close reading, group discussion, focused writing, and research and presentation skills.