ENGL 787 (01) - English Major Seminar

English Major Seminar

Durham   Liberal Arts :: English
Credits: 4.0
Term: Spring 2023 - Full Term (01/24/2023 - 05/08/2023)
Grade Mode: Letter Grading
Class Size:   10  
CRN: 55253
This Capstone course offers you an opportunity to study a specialized topic in depth in a seminar format. Enrollment is limited to 15 so that you can take active part in discussion and work closely with the instructor on a research project. Topics vary from semester to semester. Recent topics include Tragedy, Comedy, American Women Poets, Medicine in Literature, and Feminist Print Culture. Pre-req: ENGL 419 with a grade of B or better. Barring duplication of subject, course may be repeated for credit. For details see semester specific course descriptions available in the English Department.
Section Comments: Urban Writing & American Cities, 1840-1930
Registration Approval Required. Contact Instructor or Academic Department for permission then register through Webcat.
Repeat Rule: May be repeated for a maximum of 8 credits.
Equivalent(s): ENGL 787R
Classes not allowed in section: Freshman
Attributes: Writing Intensive Course
Instructors: Brigitte Bailey

Times & Locations

Start Date End Date Days Time Location
1/24/2023 5/8/2023 MW 10:10am - 11:30am HS G35
Additional Course Details: 

ENGL 787 Spring 2023 Bailey


Spring 2023 Special Topic: Urban Writing & American Cities, 1840-1930

Big cities were new in the 19th-century U.S.—and triggered new forms of consciousness and representation. This course traces the growth of urban literature from the period before the Civil War into the 20th century. We’ll “visit” Boston, New York (a lot), and Chicago—and we’ll consider the city as a space of capital, consumption, and labor. We’ll read mostly novels, which became THE method for plumbing the depths of modern, urban experience and consciousness—by such writers as the Jewish-American immigrant Abraham

 Cahan and the Harlem Renaissance observer Nella Larsen. But we’ll also look at Edgar Allan Poe’s tales, Fanny Fern’s urban journalism, and Jacob Riis’s documentary photos; and we’ll end with a silent film: The Crowd. Other writers may include Horatio Alger, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Rebecca Harding Davis, Theodore Dreiser, and James Weldon Johnson. We’ll consider theories of urban space, consciousness, and expression that will open up all that we read and view. Assignments will include: summaries of theoretical and critical readings, short response papers on specific texts, an annotated bibliography, oral reports, a 5-page paper, and a 12-15 page research paper.

In Spring 2023 this course satisfies a Post-1800 Literature requirement for English Department majors. 

ENGL 787 satisfies the Capstone requirement for English Literature majors. 

General English majors may take ENGL 787 for Capstone credit if it is not taken to satisfy other major requirement areas. Pick up a Capstone Declaration Form in the main English office (HS 230F) if interested.