Department of English

Charlotte Fiehn

Assistant ProfessorPh.D., University of Texas at Austin

Assistant Professor of Instruction



19th and early 20th century British, American, and post-colonial literature; Victorian novel, women’s studies, intersectionality of gender and race; authors: George Eliot, Virginia Woolf, Elizabeth von Arnim, Katherine Mansfield, Thomas Hardy, Henry James, William Faulkner


E 314L • Banned Books And Novel Ideas

35110 • Spring 2022
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM MEZ 1.102

E 314L  l  3-Banned Books and Novel Ideas

Instructor:  Fiehn, C

Unique #:  35110

Semester:  Spring 2022

Cross-lists:  n/a


Prerequisites:  One of the following: E 303C (or 603A), RHE 306, 306Q, or T C 303C (or 603A).

Description:  In this version of “Banned Books and Novel Ideas” we will explore works of literature identified as transgressive.  Learning to analyze these texts both as works of art and as historical artifacts, we will consider not only what makes them so controversial, but what anxieties and concerns society betrays by labelling them as transgressive.

The primary aim of this course is to help students develop and improve the critical reading, writing, and thinking skills needed for success in upper-division courses in English and other disciplines.  Students will have the opportunity to practice using the Oxford English Dictionary and other online research tools and print resources that support studies in the humanities.  They will also learn basic information literacy skills and models for approaching literature with various historical, generic, and cultural contexts in mind.

This course contains a writing flag.  The writing assignments in this course are arranged procedurally with a focus on invention, development through instructor and peer feedback, and revision; they will comprise a major part of the final grade.

Readings include:  Jude the Obscure ISBN: 9780199537020; The Rainbow ISBN: 9780199553853; Mrs. Dalloway ISBN: 978-0-393-65599-5; Ulysses ISBN: 9780199535675.

Requirements & Grading:  Class Participation – 10%; Reading Response Journals – 20%; Critical Essay 1 – 20%; Critical Essay 2 – 25%; Critical Essay 3 – 25%.

E 338 • Amer Lit: From 1865 To Present

35650 • Spring 2022
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM MEZ 1.212

E 338  •  American Literature: from 1865 to the Present

Instructor:  Fiehn, C

Unique #:  35650

Semester:  Spring 2022


Prerequisite:  Nine semester hours of coursework in English or rhetoric and writing.

Description:  This course surveys American literature and culture from the end of the Civil War through the contemporary present. The transition into the twentieth century witnessed unprecedented changes in the social, political, and cultural history of the United States: imperial expansion, mass immigration and urbanization, industrialization and transformed labor relations, new theories of race and gender, the trauma of world-scale war, and the rise of global communication networks. Over the course of the semester, we will examine how major movements in American cultural history—from realism and naturalism in the nineteenth century to modernism and post-modernism in the twentieth—reflect and critique their historical moment. Throughout, we will both define and deconstruct “American Literature”—tracing writers and artists who have shaped American cultural history, while destabilizing the notion of a fixed, singular American identity. Drawing on both canonical and understudied writers, our collective reading will emphasize the diverse and internally complex nature of American literature—tracing the inclusions, exclusions, hybrid forms that have given ever-evolving shape to American cultural identity over the past 150 years.

Texts:  The Norton Anthology of American Literature, 1865 to the Present

Requirements & Grading:  Participation: 20%; Weekly Canvas posts and writing assignments: 30%; Critical analysis essay (5 pages): 20%; Research paper (8-10 pages): 30%.

E 343J • Literature And Social Justice

36475 • Fall 2021
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM PAR 204

E 343J  |  Literature and Social Justice

Previously offered as E360S.1.

Instructor:  Fiehn, C

Unique #:  36475

Semester:  Fall 2021

Cross-lists:  none

Prerequisites:  Nine semester hours of coursework in English or rhetoric and writing.

Description:  What do “humanitarianism” and “human rights” have to do with the humanities?  In what ways can literature contribute to a consideration of these pressing questions in the early 21st century?  In a globalizing culture, our interest will be both international and domestic, looking at ways in which personal stories contribute to political histories.  In focusing on topics of “social justice,” we will consider such questions as environmental justice, women’s rights, children, immigration and refugees.

Texts (subject to change):  Atwood: The Handmaid’s Tale; Cisneros, The House on Magno Street; Herrera: Signs Preceding the End of the World; Morrison, Beloved; Ozick: The Shawl; Rankine: Citizen: An American Lyric; Wiesel: Night; plus+ additional sources and resources, electronic and otherwise.

Requirements & Grading:  The class will be conducted as much as possible as a seminar and discussion and attendance will be emphasized.  In addition to readings, writing assignments will include weekly reaction responses, two short critical essay, and final paper (which will count for 75% of the final grade).

Attendance and participation = 15% of the final grade.

E 349S • Virginia Woolf

36510 • Fall 2021
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM PAR 105
(also listed as WGS 345)

E 349S  l  8-Virginia Woolf

Instructor:  Fiehn, C

Unique #:  36510

Semester:  Fall 2021

Cross-lists:  WGS 345.40, 46310

Prerequisites:  Nine semester hours of coursework in English or rhetoric and writing.

Description:  In this reading-intensive course, we will be examining some of the major fictional works of Virginia Woolf.  We will explore several of Woolf’s self-described “sketches” or short stories; we will read Woolf’s major novels and modernist manifestos (essays).  Some of the areas of inquiry the class will be exploring are the value and limitations of high modernism, aesthetics and politics, English literary heritage and tradition, and feminism (Woolf’s critiques of patriarchy, war, and fascism).

Texts:  Selected essays, including “Modern Fiction” (1925). The Voyage Out (1915); Jacob’s Room (1922); Mrs. Dalloway (1925); The Waves(1931); The Years (1937); Between the Acts (1942).

Requirements & Grading:  Class participation (10% of final grade); Response essays (300 words) (30% of final grade); 2 short papers (4-5 pages) (30% of final grade); Prospectus/bibliography and semester paper (8-10 pages) (30% of final grade).

This is a reading-intensive, seminar-style analysis and discussion-based course; to succeed in the class, students must make sure to keep up with the reading assignments.  If you are too busy to do heavy reading, you might want to enroll in another class.  Students must also demonstrate that they have completed the required reading and have thought about it--analyzed it closely, rigorously, critically, and creatively.

E 349S • George Eliot

36514 • Fall 2021
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM PAR 204

E 349S  l  17-George Eliot

Instructor:  Fiehn, C

Unique #:  36514

Semester:  Fall 2021

Cross-lists:  n/a


Prerequisites:  Nine semester hours of coursework in English or rhetoric and writing.

Description:  George Eliot (1819-1880) is an enigma. Born Mary Ann Evans, she was an exact contemporary of Queen Victoria and one of the most successful English writers of the nineteenth century.  When she began publishing fiction in 1857, she was a sensation almost immediately, adding to the controversy because hardly anyone knew her real identity.  Her works – particularly Mill on the Floss (1860), Silas Marner (1861), and Middlemarch (1871-72) – continue to make the cut for must-read lists.  Middlemarch ranks among the best novels of all time, celebrated by Virginia Woolf as “one of the few novels written for grown up people.”  But just what is it that makes George Eliot so engaging and relevant to readers today?  In this class, we will explore the works that made her (or her pseudonym) a household name, Scenes of Clerical Life (1858) and Adam Bede (1859).  We will examine her semi-autobiographical novel, The Mill on the Floss (1860) and her “exotic” work, Romola, set in 15th century Florence.  Breaking with tradition for most Eliot classes, we will also consider some of Eliot’s poetry, particularly her long narrative poem, The Spanish Gypsy, which puts questions of form, race, and gender front and center.  Finally, we will wrap things up by examining Eliot's acclaimed novel, Middlemarch (1871-72), and her last novel, Daniel Deronda (1876).  Throughout the course, we will also supplement our reading with critical and biographical material, and excerpts from the select BBC adaptations of Eliot’s novels.

Primary Texts:  Scenes of Clerical Life (Oxford University Press) ISBN: 9780199689606; Adam Bede (Oxford University Press) ISBN: 9780199203475; The Mill on the Floss (Oxford University Press) ISBN: 9781551114675; Romola (Oxford University Press) ISBN: 9781551117577; The Spanish Gypsy* (Routledge) ISBN: 978-0367876159; Middlemarch (Oxford University Press) ISBN: 9780198815518;Daniel Deronda (Oxford University Press) ISBN: 9780199682867; Ebook versions are available and The Spanish Gypsy may be read online via George Eliot Archive.

Requirements & Grading:  Class participation (10% of final grade); Response essays (500 words) (30% of final grade); 2 short papers (4-5 pages) (30% of final grade); Prospectus/bibliography and semester paper (8-10 pages) (30% of final grade).

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