Film Narration: Hamlet (ENGL 4543), a new experimental seminar with Dr. Fields, offers students an opportunity to focus on ONE important touchstone work of English Literature, Shakespeare’s Hamlet, for the duration of an entire semester with film adaptations of that work serving as the point of departure for discussion. Students watch the films (on reserve in the library) as “homework.” The Blue Books are in class, but students will write one out-of-class paper on ANY aspect of Hamlet that interests them. It begins with initial thoughts and concludes in light of the student’s exploration with secondary sources. Only one book is required: the Longman cultural edition of Hamlet (ed. Constance Jordan) which is paperback and very modestly priced.
Modern Poetry: Zen and the Beat Generation (ENGL 4923), taught by Dr. Giles, will take an in-depth look at four post-WW2 writers and their explorations of Zen philosophy, practice, and poetics. The course will begin by exploring some of the same Zen texts Jack Kerouac, Gary Snyder, Lew Welch and Philip Whalen were reading and enthusiastically discussing in the early 1950s; focus will then turn to these writers’ poetry, supplemented by some of their correspondence, essays, and fiction.
Dr. Lodge’s new Contemporary Postmodernist World Literature course (ENGL 6413) will explore postmodernist world literature from the 1990s through the present, with an emphasis on European writers. Theory will be discussed in connection with the literary works, which will make the complex theories of postmodernism easier to comprehend. This class does not overlap with Dr. Giles's courses on contemporary, feminist, and postmodernist literature, and seniors may take it for graduate credit toward an MA in English at MSU.