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Eric S Mallin


Associate ProfessorPh.D., 1986, Stanford University

Contact

Biography


Research

Shakespeare, 16th- and 17th-century English drama, new historicism, queer theory, Shakespearean / early modern themes as they transmogrify and metastasize in contemporary cinema

Research Subject Headings: Popular culture

Affiliated Research/Academic Unit

Courses


E 348 • The Short Story

34995 • Spring 2018
Meets MW 2:30PM-4:00PM GAR 0.128

E 348  l  The Short Story

 

Instructor:  Mallin, E

Unique #:  34995

Semester:  Spring 2018

Cross-lists:  n/a

Restrictions:  n/a

Computer Instruction:  No

 

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

 

Description:  We will engage with the delights of the modern short story in this class: the possibility of a satisfying literary experience in a compact space; the joys of new perspectives on the world and our own minds; the happiness of representational experimentation without the tedium of endless prose.  I shall assemble an anthology of stories (including some classics of the genre) which we will read interspersed with the main subjects of our attention: five volumes from contemporary masters of the genre: Junot Diaz, Carmen Machado, Ted Chiang, Ken Liu, and Rebecca Wright.  I hope the imaginative intensity, the searching psychological and philosophical possibilities of the short story form, will become clear as the course proceeds.  Thematically and stylistically, our readings will include samples of fantasy, myth, philosophical sci-fi, social metaphorical analysis, erotic and gender experimentation, literary metacommentary, religious psychosis and spiritual engagement, grim realism and ecstatic anti-realism.  Yes, some of these are genres I made up, but you can do that with short fiction: the course is about infinite freedom in limited space.

 

Requirements & Grading:  Three or four papers, one of which may be a new story that you have written in response to, imitation of, or dialogue with one of our readings.  You will lead one discussion with a classmate, and possibly be asked to do a brief presentation requiring a modest amount of research.

 

Complete policy statements will be available on the syllabus.

E 349S • Shakespeare And Marlowe

35020 • Spring 2018
Meets MW 4:00PM-5:30PM GAR 2.128

E 349S  l  19-Shakespeare and Marlowe

 

Instructor:  Mallin, E

Unique #:  35020

Semester:  Spring 2018

Cross-lists:  n/a

Restrictions:  n/a

Computer Instruction:  No

 

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

 

Description:  In this course we will study the works of arguably the greatest English playwright of the 16th century, Christopher Marlowe, and those of his young competitor, William Shakespeare.

 

Shakespeare and Marlowe has two main purposes.  The first is to familiarize the class with the early works of William Shakespeare and the drama of Christopher Marlowe.  We will study three plays and a long poem from each writer.  In each case, we will consider the authors' distinguishing characteristics: their use of poetic language and mythology, their creation and confusion of genres, their submission or challenge to the dominant religious and political ideologies of Elizabethan England.

 

Which leads us to the second purpose.  The course might also be called "Shakespeare and Marlowe in the early 1590s," because we will attempt to understand the history of this period as the two writers engage it.  Thus, we will also read some biographical, religious, and political material that can help us decide how Marlowe and Shakespeare conversed with the age, and how their helped shape the consciousness of late Elizabethan England.

 

The course will have a slightly unusual structure.  The first ten weeks or so will consist of discussion, reading, essay writing and test taking—traditional enough.  The final month of the class will be in the form of a pedagogical game (on the model of the "Reacting to the Past" series) in which the class is divided between advocates for Marlowe or for Shakespeare.  During the game, students will still be writing and performing textual explication, but will also be performing as characters from the time period.  The course will culminate with students performing in scenes from the plays.

 

Tentative readings:  Shakespeare: Richard III; Titus Andronicus; Merchant of Venice; Rape of Lucrece • Marlowe: Jew of Malta; Edward II; Dr. Faustus; Hero and Leander • Biographies of Shakespeare and Marlowe; studies of Elizabethan political and religious history • Selected criticism about early modern drama.

 

Requirements & Grading:  Exams will count for 30% of the grade.  Longer essays will also count for 30%.  The short response papers during the game will count for 25%.  Class participation and performance in the game will complete the tally (15%).

E 379R • Perversity/Self-Interest

35750 • Fall 2017
Meets MW 4:00PM-5:30PM PAR 204

E 379R  l  Perversity and Self-Interest

 

Instructor:  Mallin, E

Unique #:  35750

Semester:  Spring 2017

Flags:  Independent Inquiry; Writing

Cross-lists:  n/a

Restrictions:  n/a

Computer Instruction:  No

 

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

 

Description:  The opening scene of Shakespeare’s tragedy King Lear is rife with problems, the most substantial of which is that it does not make a lot of sense.  An old man wishes to retire in peace, and to settle his estate securely before he dies.  He has called his three daughters together to announce his will and the distribution of goods.  But before he gives his gifts, he wants some emotional assurances; so he asks the children: “which of you shall we say doth love us most?” Two daughters seem to give the right answer; the third fails, in spectacular fashion.

 

But that failure is not all her fault.  To achieve the stated goal of the giveaway—“that future strife/ May be prevented now”—Lear could not have chosen a more idiotic method if he’d tried.  He generates open and immediate sibling rivalry among his daughters; he draws the radical resentment of his favorite child at this humiliating competition; he calls down confusion on his loyal courtiers and the entire kingdom, resulting in the chaos he sought to avoid.  Assuming he is not mad, the question inevitably arises: why does King Lear do what he does?  Why pick the worst action and secure the worst outcome?

 

We will study such scenes in literature and film and ask similar questions in “Perversity and Self-Interest.”  Our course will examine acts of utter irrationality and self-sabotage that damage the actor’s well-being as he or she understands it.  I call these acts instances of perversity: the destructive impulse that drives so much behavior in the world and in narrative art.  This concept of “the perverse” as we will use it comes from Edgar Allen Poe’s evocative short story, “The Imp of the Perverse,” which is a kind of skeleton key that opens some of the rusted locks of his and other authors’ work.

 

Our goals will be to discover in some classic works of literature a little-studied but in fact universal idea; to read through this idea in order to consider other crucial elements of literary and psychological representation; and to become sharper readers of and writers about literature and culture; and to come to some understanding, however tentative, of the nature and origins of our self-harming impulses.

 

Tentative reading list:  

Geoffrey Chaucer, The Pardoner’s Tale

Shakespeare, King Lear and Troilus and Cressida

Homer, The Iliad

Edgar Allen Poe, Selected Short Stories

Dostoevsky, Notes from the Underground

James Hogg, Confessions of a Justified Sinner

Dashiell Hammett, The Maltese Falcon

 

Assignments and grading rubric:  Three short essays (4-5 pages); one class presentation (15 minutes); one class discussion-leading with a classmate; four one-page posts about the readings for the week.

 

Essays: 15, 20, and 25% of grade; posts, 5% each; discussion and class participation, 20%.

E 392M • Renaissance Comedy

35868 • Fall 2017
Meets M 12:00PM-3:00PM MEZ 1.104

The Renaissance Comedy: Form and Fraud

Most contemporary readers of Renaissance comedy notice that the works are usually not that funny. They tend to feature one character suffering from the schemes of another, or an affair between mismatched lovers, or errors of identity and identification that flirt with disaster, or yokels who blather on about their courage and brilliance. Sometimes comic dramas stage bodily or psychic violence, and thematic forays into bestiality, incest, insurrection, and social dissolution appear with disturbingly casual frequency. In other words, Renaissance comedies are just like any other text or genre of the period, only a bit darker. So: what did people laugh at?

Stanley Cavell wrote that “the cause of tragedy is that we would rather murder the world than permit it to expose us to change,” and it may be that the cause of comedy is that the world is about to murder or at least defeat its characters, and they discover the ability to change in response to the imminent damage. The comic view of things inheres in this change, the sometimes frantic urge to put on a different mind or self. For all its shadow and sometimes averted sorrow, comedy can do what tragedies cannot: it can surprise us, catch us unawares, unprepared to adapt to disruption as some of its characters can. It shows us feeling smug about our virtue and secure in our reliance on coherent design.

If comedy knows one thing, it is that coherence and design are fraudulent, or in ancient terms, non-mimetic. They do not well represent the world outside the stage, and in a mad access of realism, Renaissance comedy establishes chaos and dissolution—even or especially the subversive happy ending—as its norms. We will read works that traffic in corrective fraud and formal explosion, conveyed in familiar and less familiar texts: Gammer Gurton’s Needle and Mucedorus, Twelfth Night and Measure for Measure, Shoemaker’s Holiday and The Alchemist, The Roaring Girl and Venus and Adonis, and The Knight of the Burning Pestle. We may, time permitting, conclude with a look at a really funny play, Marlowe’s The Jew of Malta. Unsurprisingly, it is categorized as a tragedy.    

 

E 316L • British Literature

34970-35005 • Fall 2016
Meets MW 3:00PM-4:30PM WCH 1.120

E 316L  l  British Literature

Instructor:  Mallin, E

Unique #:  34970-35005

Semester:  Fall 2016

Cross-lists:  n/a

Restrictions:  n/a

Computer instruction:  No

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

Description:  Literature and Social Constructions--

This course will provide a broad overview of British literature from the late 14th to the early 21st century.  We will read and try to understand some of the great authors in the English tradition:  Chaucer, the Gawain poet, Shakespeare, Milton, Swift, the Romantics, and others.  We will also try to determine why people have regarded them as “great.”  Some attempt will be made to place the literature in its historical context, but our primary attention will be directed towards the works themselves.  The course will be aimed at the development of your skills as close, careful readers of literature.

Most of the period will be devoted to lecture; however, I will frequently ask questions and solicit commentary, so please be prepared to talk about what you have read.

Tentative Texts:  Geoffrey Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales Gawain and the Green Knight • William Shakespeare, Othello

 Milton, Paradise Lost (selections) • Mary Shelley, Frankenstein • Oscar Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest • Mandel, Station Eleven • Course Packet (miscellaneous short stories and poems).

You must bring the relevant text to class.

Requirements & Grading:  Attendance; Four tests, including a comprehensive final exam, with several diagnostic quizzes.

E 392M • Shakespeare

35680 • Fall 2016
Meets M 6:00PM-9:00PM GAR 2.124

Shakespeare: The Dreadful Plays

Assumptions about Shakespeare’s aesthetic perfection have been exaggerated, and because we reside in an age of skepticism and self-consciousness about literary value, we should take another look at the canon of the most canonical author. In the first half of this course we will study five rarely taught Shakespeare plays across the span of his career, some collaborative, some largely single-authored. These are rarely taught for a good reason: they are poor in theatrical quality, defective in sensibility, faulty in construction, tedious in rhetorical impact, unconvincing in character or psychology, and often unbelievable in effect. In the second half of the course, we will study a single play, one of the most celebrated of his works, and consider the ways in which the identical faults of the dreadful plays are somehow exalted and enshrined as virtues in a drama that is the most terrible in every way: King Lear.

The point of this ironic approach to a great writer is to disrupt some assumptions about the things we study unquestioningly, but also to refocus our mental and possibly ethical lenses. No doubt, we will find striking moments and extraordinary stagecraft in our first five plays: Titus Andronicus, The Taming of the Shrew, Troilus and Cressida, Pericles, and Timon of Athens. These plays all have their strengths and their passionate defenders, and we will read some of the criticism that convincingly takes these works as if they were worthy. But then again, King Lear has garnered more than a little respect, even as it continues to blight the stage.

The goal of the course is not merely iconoclasm, or to bring modern and detached literary judgments to bear upon the past, but more particularly to determine how we can make sense of a diminished thing, and to see the complex ways in which we forgive the things we love.

E 316L • British Literature

34020-34065 • Spring 2016
Meets MW 3:30PM-5:00PM WEL 1.316

E 316L  l  British Literature

Instructor:  Mallin, E

Unique #:  34020-34065

Semester:  Spring 2016

Cross-lists:  n/a

Restrictions:  n/a

Computer instruction:  No

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

Description: Literature and Social Constructions--

This course will provide a broad overview of British literature from the 14th to the late 20th century. We will read and try to understand some of the great authors in the English tradition: Chaucer, the Gawain poet, Shakespeare, Milton, Swift, the Romantics, Yeats, and others. We will also try to determine why people have regarded them as “great.” Some attempt will thus be made to place the literature in its historical context, but our primary attention will be directed towards the works themselves. The course will be aimed at the development of your skills as close, careful readers of literature.

Most of the period will be devoted to lecture; however, I will frequently ask questions and solicit commentary, so please be prepared to talk about what you have read.

Tentative Texts: Geoffrey Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales • William Shakespeare, Macbeth (signet) • Mary Shelley, Frankenstein (signet); Roddy Doyle, The Woman Who… • Tom Stoppard, Arcadia • course Packet (miscellaneous short stories and poems).

You must bring the relevant text to class.

Requirements & Grading: Attendance; Four tests, including a comprehensive final exam, with several diagnostic quizzes.

E 321 • Shakespeare: Selected Plays

34495 • Spring 2016
Meets MW 5:00PM-6:30PM GAR 2.112

E 321  l  Shakespeare: Selected Plays

Instructor:  Mallin, E

Unique #:  34495

Semester:  Spring 2016

Cross-lists:  n/a

Restrictions:  n/a

Computer Instruction:  No

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

Description: In this course we will study selected works of William Shakespeare, and those of one or two other authors (Kyd and Marlowe) who help illuminate the greater playwright's career.

Shakespeare has two main purposes. The first is to familiarize the class with the works of William Shakespeare and his contemporaries. We will study at least six plays from Shakespeare, rather intensively, and at least one from Kyd and Marlowe. In each case we will consider the authors' distinguishing characteristics: their use of poetic language and mythology, their creation and confusion of genres, their submission or challenge to the dominant religious and political ideologies of Elizabethan England.

Which leads us to the second purpose. The course might also be called "Shakespeare in History,” because we will attempt to understand the particularities of this period as the writers engage it. Thus, we will also read some biographical, religious, and political material that can help us decide how Marlowe and Shakespeare conversed with the age, and how their competition helped shape the consciousness of late Elizabethan England.

The course will have a slightly unusual structure. The first six weeks or so will consist of discussion, reading, essay writing and test taking—traditional enough. The next three weeks of the class will be in the form of a pedagogical game: Shakespeare v. Marlowe, 1592, in which the students play roles advocating for Marlowe or for Shakespeare, or interrogating those advocates. During the game, students will still be writing and performing textual explication, but will also be performing as historical persons from the time period. After spring break, we will culminate our studies with two or three more Shakespeare plays and performances in scenes from these plays.

We will conclude with a long essay (about 10-12 pages) about your roles and how the reading of literature can influence and be influenced by history.

Texts (tentative): Shakespeare: Richard III; Titus Andronicus; The Merchant of Venice; Venus and Adonis; Hamlet; Much Ado about Nothing; Antony and Cleopatra • Marlowe: Jew of Malta; Dr. Faustus; Hero and Leander • Kyd: The Spanish Tragedy • James Shapiro, 1599: A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare • Biographies of Shakespeare and Marlowe; studies of Elizabethan political and religious history. Selected criticism about early modern drama

Requirements & Grading (tentative): The long essay will count for 40% of the grade. A shorter essay will count for 25%. Class participation and performance in the game will complete the tally (35%).

E 392M • English Renaissance Tragedy

34810 • Fall 2015
Meets MW 2:00PM-3:30PM CAL 221

Not Shakespeare: English Renaissance Tragedy from Kyd to Shirley

In this course we will examine some of the seminal theater put on between the rise of the individual acting companies and the close of the theaters. Our authors will be the famous, the infamous, and the (relatively) unknown: Norton and Sackville, Kyd, Marlowe, Marston, Jonson, Heywood, Middleton, Chapman, Beaumont, Wilkins, Webster, Massinger and Field. We will read some general and theatrical histories of the period as well as some individual critical studies about the authors. We will mainly study the tragedies of the period, though we will punctuate our inquiries with lighter fare as well; because no single critical approach can suit for such a wide variety of playwrights and documents, we will try out various heuristic techniques suited to the works: historical and contextual approaches (Norton and Sackville, Chapman); psychological and corporeal studies (Kyd, Marlowe, Middleton); ecocritical and feminist investigations (Webster, Wilkins); economic and sociological analyses (Beaumont, Ford, Massinger and Field); genre and performance studies (Jonson, Marston). Any of these modes of criticism might be applied to any of the works, of course; since we are in a period of critical flux and ferment, our readings will be both introductory and exploratory, experimental.Requirements: a short bibliographical essay (5-7 pages), a longer critical study (12-15 pages), a presentation, possibly a performance.

E 314L • Reading Lit In Context-Hon

34120 • Spring 2015
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM CAL 21

E 314L  l  4-Reading Literature in Context-HONORS

Instructor:  Mallin, E

Unique #:  34120

Semester:  Spring 2015

Cross-lists:  n/a

Restrictions: n/a

Computer Instruction:  No

Flags:  Writing

Prerequisites: E 603A, RHE 306, 306Q, or T C 603A.

Description: In this class we will learn how to explicate and write clearly about literary texts. There are a number of ways to go about these activities, a number of approaches to take in trying to discover and produce literary meaning. Yes, produce! Because as readers and critics we should know by now that meanings do not inhere solely in the literary work, waiting merely to be excavated; significance is collaborative, a production of author and reader, student and student. We are constantly forming and reforming the ideas that authors make available, suggest, deflect, assert.

So how do we learn or construct what a text might mean? We begin with the forms: devices, styles, structures, voices, genres, and traditions. Thus, much of our reading and writing work in this course will begin as an investigation into context and literary history: the shape of a certain text carries certain expectations in its moment. After we establish a basic familiarity with terms and problems, we will divide our reading into four essential literary formats: the short story, the poem, the drama, and the novel. We will cycle through these genres twice: the first time with somewhat familiar examples of the form, the second with more elaborate or intricate cases. My central assumption is that each literary form requires its own interpretive method— that a reader must use different techniques to explicate each kind of work, because authors create different demands and expectations within each genre.

I quote Professor Brian Bremen’s fine description of our business in this class: 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. They will also gain practice in using the Oxford English Dictionary and other online research tools and print resources that support studies in the humanities. Students will learn basic information literacy skills and models for approaching literature with various historical, generic, and cultural contexts in mind.

Texts: (subject to change) Abrams, A Glossary of Literary Terms; Hansen and Shepherd, eds., You’ve Got to Read This; Diaz, This is How You Lose Her; Hunter, Norton Introduction to Poetry; Shakespeare, Timon of Athens; Nuttall, Timon of Athens: A Critical Introduction; Shelley, Frankenstein; McDonagh, The Cripple of Inishmaan; Ishiguro, Never Let Me Go. There may also be a small packet of required readings for this course.

Requirements & Grading: To help literature go about its business, let us read it closely and imaginatively. To that end, here are the course requirements:

1. Daily reading assignments and class discussions. Because this is not a lecture course, I expect that you will come to every class with opinions, ideas, or at the very least, questions about what you have read.

2. Several unannounced quizzes. These are opportunities for you to display your knowledge; they will give me a chance to see what sorts of things you have and have not been paying attention to.

3. Four essays, each slightly longer and more in-depth than the last. They will range in length from three to eight pages. You may if you wish write a fifth essay that is a rewrite of the second or third paper if you received a "C+" or lower on either one. This rewrite will be due on or before the last day of class. However, a rewritten paper must be completely re-done; it may not be just a cosmetic edit job. Rough drafts of every paper will be welcome but neither graded nor required.

4. Regular attendance.

E 366K • Shakespeare: Select Tragedies

34870 • Spring 2015
Meets TTH 3:30PM-5:00PM GAR 0.120

E 366K  l  Shakespeare: Selected Tragedies

Instructor:  Mallin, E

Unique #:  34870

Semester:  Spring 2015

Cross-lists:  n/a

Restrictions:  n/a

Computer Instruction:  No

Flags: Global cultures, Writing

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

Description: We will study seven tragedies by Shakespeare and one or two by other Renaissance authors. Through a careful reading of the language, stagecraft, and setting of these texts, we will attempt to acquire a deep understanding of tragic art.

Despite the apparently depressing theme of the course, I contend that the tragedies are frequently delightful, funny, and more comforting than most comedies. Along these lines, we will try to enjoy ourselves while we work, finding the pleasure in the suffering of (imaginary) others. To that end, and to put your knowledge to pragmatic and entertaining use, you will perform scenes from each play. You may also be asked to play a role in a pedagogical game pitting the (hypothetical) historical acting troupes of Shakespeare and Marlowe against one another.

Texts: Individual copies of a standard scholarly edition (Oxford, Cambridge, or other TBA)

Tentative Reading List: Titus Andronicus, Doctor Faustus, Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, Othello, Timon of Athens, Antony and Cleopatra, Coriolanus.

Requirements & Grading: (tentative)Your responsibility for the first day that a work is discussed is to have read at least the first two acts, unless otherwise indicated on the syllabus. You should also read the critical introductions to each work, although you may find these more useful once you have finished the play. I recommend that you receive as much exposure to the dramas as possible—through DVDs, audio recordings, and local performances, when you can. All plays must be read twice.

Requirements: Attendance; two five-page essays, a midterm, and a take-home final.

Grading: Essays and in-class exercises will constitute about 80% of the grade; the rest of your evaluation will be based on your alert attendance, class participation, and creative theatrical ability.

E 316L • British Literature

35255-35290 • Fall 2014
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM PAI 3.02

Instructor:  Mallin, E

Unique #:  35255-35290

Semester:  Fall 2014

Cross-lists:  n/a

Flags:  Global Cultures

Computer instruction:  No

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

Description: Literature and Social Constructions--

This course will provide a broad overview of British literature from the 14th to the late 20th century. We will read and try to understand some of the great authors in the English tradition: Chaucer, the Gawain poet, Shakespeare, Milton, Swift, the Romantics, Yeats, and others. We will also try to determine why people have regarded them as “great.” Some attempt will thus be made to place the literature in its historical context, but our primary attention will be directed towards the works themselves. The course will be aimed at the development of your skills as close, careful readers of literature.

Most of the period will be devoted to lecture; however, I will frequently ask questions and solicit commentary, so please be prepared to talk about what you have read.

Tentative Texts: Geoffrey Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales; William Shakespeare, Macbeth (signet); Mary Shelley, Frankenstein (signet; Roddy Doyle, The Woman Who…; Tom Stoppard, Arcadia; course Packet (miscellaneous short stories and poems).

You must bring the relevant text to class.

Requirements & Grading: Attendance; Four tests, including a comprehensive final exam, with several diagnostic quizzes.

E 336E • British Lit: Begin-Renaissance

35735 • Fall 2014
Meets TTH 3:30PM-5:00PM PAR 103

Instructor:  Mallin, E

Unique #:  35735

Semester:  Fall 2014

Cross-lists:  n/a

Flags:  Global Cultures; Writing

Computer Instruction:  No

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

Description: One of the great things about the semi-animated film Beowulf (2007)—aside from the fantastic high heels that Grendel’s gold-toned mother seems to wear—is the animation itself. The visual technique gives the human form a fake and slightly robotic quality, suggesting that the beings of this world reside somewhere between reality and the cartoonish imagination. This midpoint also describes the location of the original Beowulf epic. When we read the Anglo-Saxon poem, or so many other ancient, medieval, and Renaissance works, we often find ourselves in landscapes whose features and inhabitants straddle this divide: they are plausible, historical, psychologically acute; and in an instant they turn towards the dreamworld of myth, religion, and fantasy. How can we reconcile or understand this contradiction?

In this course we will take a close look at the foundations of British literature, beginning with the earliest Anglo Saxon poems, extending through the mystery plays, continuing through the great poetic tradition—Chaucer, Herbert, Donne, and Milton—and finishing with plays by Shakespeare, Marlowe, and Middleton. Throughout, we will attempt to comprehend the dual vision of early English literature: its obsessions with spiritual probity (or depravity) and worldly enticements, and the way these obsessions determine styles of representation.

Requirements & Grading: Likely requirements with approximate percent of grade: two major exams (40%), two essays (40%), discussion leading, frequent quizzes, and one creative adaptation of one of the works (total of 20%).

Texts: Probable Works: Beowulf, heroic Anglo-Saxon poems, Everyman, The Canterbury Tales (Chaucer), Paradise Lost and selected poems (Milton), selections from Wyatt, Sidney, Herbert, Shakespeare, Jonson, and Marvell, and two or three plays: Doctor Faustus, King Lear, and The Changeling.

E 321 • Shakespeare: Selected Plays

35830 • Spring 2014
Meets MW 5:00PM-6:30PM PAR 105

Instructor:  Mallin, E

Unique #:  35830

Semester:  Spring 2014

Cross-lists:  n/a

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

Course Description: In this course we will study selected works of William Shakespeare, and those of one or two other authors (Kyd and Marlowe) who help illuminate the greater playwright's career.

Shakespeare has two main purposes. The first is to familiarize the class with the works of William Shakespeare and his contemporaries. We will study at least six plays from Shakespeare, rather intensively, and at least one from Kyd and Marlowe. In each case we will consider the authors' distinguishing characteristics: their use of poetic language and mythology, their creation and confusion of genres, their submission or challenge to the dominant religious and political ideologies of Elizabethan England.

Which leads us to the second purpose. The course might also be called "Shakespeare in History,” because we will attempt to understand the particularities of this period as the writers engage it. Thus, we will also read some biographical, religious, and political material that can help us decide how Marlowe and Shakespeare conversed with the age, and how their competition helped shape the consciousness of late Elizabethan England.

The course will have a slightly unusual structure. The first six weeks or so will consist of discussion, reading, essay writing and test taking—traditional enough. The next three weeks of the class will be in the form of a pedagogical games: Shakespeare v. Marlowe, 1592, in which the students play roles advocating for Marlowe or for Shakespeare, or interrogating those advocates. During the game, students will still be writing and performing textual explication, but will also be performing as historical persons from the time period. After spring break, we will culminate our studies with two or three more Shakespeare plays and performances in scenes from these plays.

We will conclude with a long essay (about 10-12 pages) about your roles and how the reading of literature can influence and be influenced by history.

Texts: Tentative readings: Shakespeare: Richard III; Titus Andronicus; The Merchant of Venice; Venus and Adonis; Hamlet; Much Ado about Nothing; Antony and Cleopatra.

Marlowe: Jew of Malta; Dr. Faustus; Hero and Leander.

Kyd: The Spanish Tragedy

James Shapiro, 1599: A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare

Biographies of Shakespeare and Marlowe; studies of Elizabethan political and religious history. Selected criticism about early modern drama.

Grading: (tentative) The long essay will count for 40% of the grade. A shorter essay will count for 25%. Class participation and performance in the game will complete the tally (35%).

E 379R • Cmp Rdg/Adaptation Of Film

36245 • Spring 2014
Meets MW 3:00PM-4:30PM CAL 323

Instructor:  Mallin, E

Unique #:  36245

Semester:  Spring 2014

Cross-lists:  n/a

Prerequisites: Six semester hours of upper-division coursework in English.

Course Description: How can we understand what happens when a novel, play, comic book, or other form becomes translated into a film?  In this course, we will examine several ways of grasping this transformation as we look at many examples of the written and visual arts and the movies they have become.  We will range from Shakespeare to the X Men as we consider how meanings alter over different cultures, genres, and epochs, and we will read some criticism about adaptation and some film theory to guide us.

Texts:

Shakespeare, Henry IV, Part One, and Gus Van Sant, My Own Private Idaho

Shakespeare, Hamlet, and Christopher Nolan, Memento

Tom Stoppard, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead (play and movie)

Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol; Richard Donner, Scrooged

Dashiell Hammet, The Maltese Falcon, and John Huston, The Maltese Falcon

James Cain, Double Indemnity, and Billy Wilder, Double Indemnity

Laurence Sterne, Tristram Shandy and Michael Winterbottom, A Cock and Bull Story

Joss Whedon, Astonishing X-Men and Bryan Singer, X-Men

Philip K. Dick, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? and Ridley Scott, Bladerunner

 

Grading: (tentative) Three two-page response papers (15%)

Three one-paragraph assessments of class discussion (10%)

One 3-5-page essay on a film adaptation of your choosing (25%)

One 12-15-page research/ critical essay on a film adaptation of your choosing, plus a one-page prospectus for the essay due two weeks before semester's end (40%)

Discussion leading, class contributions, and general demeanor will complete the percentile tally (10%)

 

E 316K • Masterworks Of Lit: British

35395-35435 • Fall 2013
Meets MW 3:00PM-4:30PM WEL 1.308

Instructor:  Mallin, E            Areas:  -- / B

Unique #:  35395-35440            Flags:  n/a

Semester:  Fall 2013            Restrictions:  n/a

Cross-lists:  n/a            Computer Instruction:  No

Prerequisites: E 603A, RHE 306, 306Q, or T C 603A; and a passing score on the reading section of the Texas Higher Education Assessment (THEA) test.

Description: Literature and Social Constructions--

This course will provide a broad overview of British literature from the 14th to the late 20th century. We will read and try to understand some of the great authors in the English tradition: Chaucer, the Gawain poet, Shakespeare, Milton, Swift, the Romantics, Yeats, and others. We will also try to determine why people have regarded them as “great.” Some attempt will thus be made to place the literature in its historical context, but our primary attention will be directed towards the works themselves. The course will be aimed at the development of your skills as close, careful readers of literature.

Most of the period will be devoted to lecture; however, I will frequently ask questions and solicit commentary, so please be prepared to talk about what you have read.

Tentative Texts: Geoffrey Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales; William Shakespeare, Macbeth (signet); Mary Shelley, Frankenstein (signet; Roddy Doyle, The Woman Who…; Tom Stoppard, Arcadia; course Packet (miscellaneous short stories and poems).

You must bring the relevant text to class.

Requirements & Grading: Attendance; Four tests, including a comprehensive final exam, with several diagnostic quizzes.

E 366K • Shakespeare: Select Tragedies

35590 • Fall 2012
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM PAR 308

Instructor:  Mallin, E            Areas:  I / D

Unique #:  35590            Flags: Global cultures, Writing

Semester:  Fall 2012            Restrictions:  n/a

Cross-lists:  n/a            Computer Instruction:  No

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

Description: We will study seven tragedies by Shakespeare. Through a careful reading of the language, stagecraft, and setting of these texts, we will attempt to acquire a deep understanding of tragic art.

We will employ psychological, theatrical, historical, and symbolic approaches. Despite the depressing theme of the course, we will try to enjoy ourselves while we work. To that end, and in order to put your knowledge to practical and entertaining use, you will perform scenes from each play.

Texts: Individual copies of a standard scholarly edition (Oxford, Cambridge, or other TBA)

Tentative: Romeo and Juliet, Titus Andronicus, The Merchant of Venice, Macbeth, Othello, King Lear, Antony and Cleopatra.

Requirements & Grading: (tentative) Your responsibility for the first day that a work is discussed is to have read at least the first two acts, unless otherwise indicated on the syllabus. You should also read the critical introductions to each work, although you may find these more useful once you have finished the play. I recommend that you receive as much exposure to the dramas as possible—through DVDs, audio recordings, and local performances, when you can. All plays must be read twice.

Requirements: Attendance; two five-page essays and two in-class exams.

E 392M • Shakespeare And Marlowe

35870 • Fall 2012
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM CAL 200

This course might be called a focused survey, a reading of four Marlowe and four Shakespeare plays and their intense allusive, poetic, theatrical, and psychosexual relations with one another and their surrounding culture. We will consider some of the biographical materials of the authors so that we may speculate about the connection between literary production and worldly experience. But our primary focus will be the plays. (We may also study the two erotic mini-epics, Hero and Leander and Venus and Adonis, as an envoy to our thematic concerns.)

Participants will be asked to write a short (five-page) research paper and a longer (10 to 15 page) interpretive essay; lead a discussion with a classmate; and stage a scene or deliver a substantial soliloquy from the plays.

E 366K • Shakespeare: Select Tragedies

35425 • Fall 2011
Meets MWF 2:00PM-3:00PM PAR 204

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

Description: We will study seven tragedies by Shakespeare. Through a careful reading of the language, stagecraft, and setting of these texts, we will attempt to acquire a deep understanding of tragic art.

We will employ psychological, theatrical, historical, and symbolic approaches. Despite the depressing theme of the course, we will try to enjoy ourselves while we work. To that end, and in order to put your knowledge to practical and entertaining use, you will, once a week or so, perform scenes from each play. 

Texts: Individual copies of a standard scholarly edition (Oxford, Cambridge, or other TBA)

Tentative: Romeo and Juliet, Titus Andronicus, The Merchant of Venice, Macbeth, Othello, King Lear, Antony and Cleopatra.

Requirements & Grading: (tentative) Your responsibility for the first day that a work is discussed is to have read at least the first two acts, unless otherwise indicated on the syllabus. You should also read the critical introductions to each work, although you may find these more useful once you have finished the play. I recommend that you receive as much exposure to the dramas as possible—through videotapes, recording, and local performances, when you can. All plays must be read twice.

Requirements: Attendance; two five-page essays and two in-class exams. 

LAH 350 • Renaissance Celebrity

30054 • Fall 2011
Meets MW 3:30PM-5:00PM PAR 302
(also listed as E 350E)

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

Description: There have always been heroes: glorious fighters, noble queens, courageous scholars and divines, charismatic politicians, prophets and poets. But not until the Renaissance did the idea of celebrity take hold. Distinguished from ordinary fame or general acclaim, celebrity crucially includes the sense of notoriety along with virtue, of an individual’s recalcitrance or danger or singularity in the context of a public life. A celebrity is not merely the subject of gossip or rumor, but the self-conscious and sometimes subversive generator of her or his own representations.

The figure thus serves as a model for the literary (as well as pictorial and historiographical) imagination, and as spur and challenge to the notion of authorship. Because a celebrity must have an audience, the increasingly broad dissemination of printed matter in the early-modern period helps advance the agenda of fame; at some point, celebrities begin to share their accomplishments with their portrait makers.

In this course we will explore some of the literary strategies and historical consequences of Renaissance celebrity. We will assume that the notion of notorious fame can help us to read and unpack the intricacies of selected works of art, and through them, the cultures that helped in their production. 

Texts: Critical and historical readings will include selections from Roland Barthes, Leo Braudy, Linda Charnes, Richard Dyer, Susan Frye, Hilary Mantel, Louis Montrose, and Stacy Schiff. Literary and historical texts will likely include: The Faerie Queene, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Troilus and Cressida, Antony and Cleopatra; Webster, The Duchess of Malfi; Foxe’s Acts and Monuments; Walter Ralegh’s Discoverie of Guyana, and accounts of the Gunpowder Plot. We will also consider the potent cinematic celebrity-making that we undertake of the Renaissance itself, including the ongoing fabrication of Shakespeare, Queen Elizabeth, Thomas More, and others as part and parcel of our own cultural self-image.

Requirements & Grading: One short (5 page) analytical essay about a passage in a literary or historical document (poem, play, essay, story; or biography, letter, or diplomatic dispatch). One long (10-12 page) research paper about the historical influence of celebrity and fame on portraiture or representation. Less-substantial, though still significant writing, will include three one-page "position" papers on selected historical figures, particularly the rhetorical strategies they use to advance their own celebrity or perceived significance. Much of the writing will be evaluated by your peers. Grading: first essay: 20%. second essay, draft: 10%; final draft, 40%. Position papers: 15%. Class participation, in-class work, and helpfulness in peer evaluation will complete the percentile tally (15%).

E 316K • Masterworks Of Lit: British

35275-35320 • Spring 2011
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM FAC 21

Prerequisites: Completion of at least thirty semester hours of coursework, including E 603A, RHE 306, 306Q, or T C 603A, and a passing score on the reading section of the Texas Higher Education Assessment (THEA) test.

Course Description: Poetry and Literary History -- What is the role of tradition in British Literature? How does it operate to both generate and resist creative change, how does it shape the meanings of particular literary works, and in what sense can we say that some works exist "outside" the tradition? It is something of a paradox that writers develop their authorial identity by revisiting the works of their predecessors: the tradition authorizes the very attempt to alter it. Thus, as T. S. Eliot observed, the masterworks of literature collectively form an ideal order that must nevertheless become changed through the addition of new "Individual talent." Or as another great Modern anglophile, Jorge Luis Borges, put it: "every writer creates his own precursors." This survey course views British literary tradition as, not a fixed chain of monuments, but a negative feedback loop in which a handful of enduring themes and ideas are reworked and transformed. To name a few: What is a hero? How can we represent God? What is the good of art?

Note: This course involves extensive reading and analysis of poetry.

Texts: Norton Anthology of English Literature: Major Authors, 7th ed. (Norton)?; James Hogg, Private Memoir and Confessions of a Justified Sinner, ed. Hunter (Broadview)?; Shakespeare, Tempest; Mary Shelley, Frankenstein.

Some additional major works to be examined include:? Milton, Paradise Lost ; Coleridge, Rime of the Ancient Mariner ; Conrad, Heart of Darkness.

Grading: Two 50-minute tests in discussion section, two half-term exams (no final; the second half-term is on the last class day).

The University requires you to attend all classes. I'll permit three absences. If you do miss a class, you are responsible for finding out what went on that day and obtaining copies of any materials distributed.

It is crucial that you do the assigned reading on time.

Two tests, 17.5% each; ?Two half-term exams, 25% each?; Contribution to discussion section, 15%.

E 336E • British Lit: Begin-Renaissance

35495 • Spring 2011
Meets TTH 3:30PM-5:00PM PAR 204

English 336E: British Literature: Beginnings through the Renaissance

 

One of the great things about the semi-animated film Beowulf (2007)—aside from the truly comic high heels that Grendel’s naked, gold-toned mother seems to wear—is the animation itself. The visual technique gives the human form a fake and slightly robotic quality, suggesting a world somewhere between photographic realism and cartoonish imagination. This midpoint is also occupied by the original Beowulf epic, thus making the adaptation a flawless formal expression of the source text. When we read the Anglo-Saxon poem, or so many other ancient, medieval, and Renaissance works, we often find ourselves in landscapes whose features and inhabitants straddle this divide: they are plausible, historical, psychologically acute; and n an instant they turn towards the dreamworld of myth, allegory, and fantasy. How can we reconcile or understand this contradiction?

In this course we will take a close look at the foundations of British literature, beginning with the earliest Anglo Saxon poems, extending through the mystery plays, continuing through the great poetic tradition—Chaucer, Spenser, Herbert, Donne, and Milton—and finishing with plays by Shakespeare. Marlowe, and Middleton. Throughout, we will attempt to comprehend the dual vision of early English literature: its obsessions with spiritual probity (or depravity) and worldly enticements, and the way these obsessions determine styles of representation.

Probable Works: Beowulf, heroic Anglo-Saxon poems, Everyman, The Canterbury Tales (Chaucer), The Faerie Queene (Spenser), Paradise Lost and selected poems (Milton), selections from Wyatt, Sidney, Herbert, Shakespeare, Jonson, and Marvell, and two or three plays: Doctor Faustus, King Lear, and The Changeling.

Likely requirements with approximate percent of grade: two major exams (40%), two essays (40%), discussion leading, frequent quizzes, and one creative adaptation of one of the works (total of 20%).

E F321 • Shakespeare: Selected Plays

83040 • Summer 2010
Meets MTWTHF 8:30AM-10:00AM PAR 105

Course Description: This course studies one of the most popular and difficult writers in English, whose complexity might be underestimated because he seems so accessible in the theater and in popular culture. We will study eight Shakespeare plays, and watch selected scenes and adaptations of Shakespeare to enhance reading and writing skills.

Texts: (subject to change) The Riverside Shakespeare, ed. G. Blakemore Evans etc.; The Bedford Companion to Shakespeare, ed. by Russ Macdonald (2nd edition). Works for this semester: Taming of the Shrew, Much Ado About Nothing, Henry IV (Part 1), A Midsummer Night's Dream, Twelfth Night, Othello, Hamlet, The Tempest. You must bring the relevant text to class.

Grading: 

1. Daily reading assignments and class discussions.
2. Three exams, two in class, one final.
3. Four blog/Bb entries (at least one long paragraph each) about different plays; you must also, at least once, comment on one of your classmates’ entries.
4. Leading discussion with a classmate once during the course.
5. Regular attendance.  See Policy Statement. 

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

E 321 • Shakespeare: Selected Plays-W

34665 • Spring 2010
Meets MW 5:00PM-6:30PM PAR 204

English 321:  Shakespeare: Selected Plays (Unique # 34665)

Spring 2010:  M W 5:00-6:15, Parlin 204
Prof. E. Mallin, Parlin 18, 471-1697
Office Hours:  W 2-3:15, and by appointment

Required Books

            The Riverside Shakespeare, ed. G. Blakemore Evans et. al.
            Christopher Marlowe: The Complete Plays
            The Bedford Companion to Shakespeare, ed. by Russ MacDonald, 2nd. edn.
            Course packet, 1592 Game (available after 3/1)
            You must bring the relevant text to class.

Works for this Semester:

Taming of the Shrew, Richard III, The Jew of Malta, The Merchant of Venice, Dr. Faustus, Hamlet, Twelfth Night, King Lear (optional, t.b.e.)

Requirements

  1. Attendance.
  2. Two short essays, one longer final essay, and a midterm exam..
  3. Participation in historical role-playing game.

Policy Statement

            1.  Attendance is required.  It is your responsibility to sign the attendance sheets which I will make available every day.  Three unexcused absences are allowed.  A fourth absence will result in a one-grade reduction for the course.  A fifth absence will cost you another grade.  If you miss more than five classes, you cannot pass the course.  No absences are considered excused except in the case of extreme medical and personal emergencies, which will require documentation.

            2.  Please arrive promptly at 5:00 p.m.  Habitual latecomers will be penalized on their “class participation.” 

            3.  Unannounced quizzes may be given at the beginning of class periods.  There will be no make-ups and no extensions during class time for latecomers.  A missed quiz counts as a zero.

            4.  The midterm examination must be taken at the time specified in the syllabus. Make-ups will only be given in the case of dire, documented circumstances.  Unexcused missed exams count as zero.

            5.  Grading. Quizzes and class participation (excluding game performance) will constitute 10% of the final grade (the lowest quiz grade will be dropped).  Here is the approximate weighting of the major assignments:  first essay, 15%; midterm, 15%; game performance and writings, 30%; final essay, 35%. Improvement throughout the semester will be considered favorably in your evaluation.

            6. No incompletes will be given except for medical emergencies.

For more information, please download the full syllabus.

E 361K • English Drama To 1642-W

34915 • Spring 2010
Meets MW 3:30PM-5:00PM PAR 204

English 361K:  English Drama to 1642

Spring 2010:  M W 3:30-5:00, Parlin 204
Prof. E. Mallin, Parlin 18, 471-1697
Office Hours:  W 2-3:15, and by appointment

 

Required Books

  • English Renaissance Drama, ed. Bevington et. al.
  • Course packet available after 2/1.

Works for this semester:

  • The Spanish Tragedy
  • Friar Bacon and Friar Bungay
  • Arden of Feversham
  • Dr. Faustus
  • Knight of the Burning Pestle
  • The Alchemist
  • The Changeling
  • Women Beware Women

Requirements

  1. Attendance.
  2. Presentation with a colleague on one author and his play.
  3. Two short essays, midterm exam, and one longer final essay.
  4. Participation in performance with your troupe and discussion leading with a colleague.

Policy Statement

  1. Attendance is required.  It is your responsibility to sign the attendance sheets which I will make available every day.  Three unexcused absences are allowed.  A fourth absence will result in a one-grade reduction for the course.  A fifth absence will cost you another grade.  If you miss more than five classes, you cannot pass the course.  No absences are considered excused except in the case of extreme medical and personal emergencies, which will require documentation.
  2. Please arrive promptly at 3:30 p.m.  Habitual latecomers will be penalized on their “class participation.” 
  3. Unannounced quizzes may be given at the beginning of class periods.  There will be no make-ups and no extensions during class time for latecomers.  A missed quiz counts as a zero.
  4. The midterm examination must be taken at the time specified in the syllabus. Make-ups will only be given in the case of dire, documented circumstances.  Unexcused missed exams count as zero.
  5. Grading. Here is the approximate weighting of the major assignments: first essay, 10%; second, 15%; midterm, 20%; performance, presentation, and discussion leading, 25%; final essay, 30%. Improvement throughout the semester will be considered favorably in your evaluation.
  6. No incompletes will be given except for dire, documented emergencies.

For more information, please download the full syllabus.

E 316K • Masterworks Of Lit: English

34750-34795 • Fall 2009
Meets MWF 2:00PM-3:00PM FAC 21

Unique #s: 34750, 34755, 34760, 34765, 34770, 34775, 34780, 34785, 34790, 34795

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