For undergraduate courses, the distribution requirements that a course fulfills will appear in parenthesis at the end of the description. For courses offered prior to 2018-19, distribution requirements are flagged using the following system: (A) gateway, (B) fiction, (C) poetry, (D) drama, (E) pre-1650, (F) 1650–1830, (G) 1830–1940, and (H) literary or critical theory.

Provisional syllabi for some English courses can be found here. Please note that all syllabi are subject to change.

Students should consult the following list of courses that have been approved to fulfill the new literature in translation option for the undergraduate Foreign Language Requirement. Courses taken prior to 2019-20 or otherwise not on this list must be approved by the Director of Undergraduate Studies (Benjamin Morgan).

The Middle Ages in Midcentury Thought

Spring 2019-2020


Benjamin Saltzman

This seminar will explore the role of the Middle Ages (its literature, art, philosophy, theology) in the intellectual culture of the years during and just after WWII. Readings will pair midcentury thinkers with their medieval interlocutors. For example, Simone Weil will be read alongside texts in the tradition of medieval mysticism; Hannah Arendt, alongside Augustine. Other intellectual figures may include: Erich Auerbach, Ernst Robert Curtius, Norbert Elias, Franz Fanon, Ernst Kantorowicz, Paul Zumthor, Erwin Panofsky, Leo Spitzer, Hans-Georg Gadamer, and Johan Huizinga. (Med/Ren, 20th/21st)


Spring 2019-2020


Bill Brown

In the first instance, this course surveys a range of thinking (by Elizabeth Grosz, Karen Barad, and Rosi Braidotti, among others) that has gone under the banner of ‘new materialism,’ emphasizing the vitality of matter and working to reject anthropocentrism. In the second instance, the course focuses on textual materialism within literary studies (both Susan Howe and Derrida, for instance), ultimately asking how we might begin to understand material texts within a new materialist frame. The widest frame for the course, though, will be provided by the question of how the materialisms of our moment (across fields and disciplines) can be understood through the analytics provided by historical materialism. We will read literary texts from different periods, and we will conduct at least two sessions in Special Collections. (20th/21st)