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Transatlantic Ecologies Courses

(Spring 2014) ENGL 595GE: Special Graduate Colloquium: The Genres of the long Enlightenment, their Origins and Destinations (Graduate)
(Spring 2014) ENGL 595BP: Special Graduate Colloquium : The Ballad of the Dissertation (Graduate)
(Spring 2014) ENGL 102: English and American Literature from 1650 to 1789 (Undergraduate)
(Spring 2014) ENGL 128EN: Going Postal: Letter-Narratives (Undergraduate)
Going Postal: Letter-Narratives" examines fictional uses of the letter form, with its built-in paradoxes of absence and presence, private and public, and engages recent critical work on epistolarity and postality. We'll orient ourselves to stories told in letters and stories told about letters through eighteenth-century examples of novels and poems, including works by Austen, Laclos, Montagu, Pope, and Richardson, then move ahead to Hoffmann, James, and Pynchon.
(Spring 2014) ENGL 165EM: Political and Ecological Invention in Early America (Undergraduate)
How did America become what it is? Americans, who they are? How did the colonial project—which included the idea of moral purification, the economic development of a new natural world, and encounter with native peoples—reshape the colonizers? We will explore these questions by reading a wide range of texts from the first 3 centuries of settlement. How does John Winthrop’s sermon envision America as “a city on the hill” that would become an exemplary beacon of light to a fallen world? To explore the hidden costs of this vision, we will read some of the tolerant, pro-Indian writing of the founder of Rhode Island, Roger Williams, as well as tales of early settlement by Nathanial Hawthorne. (“Young Goodman Brown”) To explore early American relationships to nature, we’ll read selected natural history writing from William Byrd (Secret History of the Line), J. Hector St. John de Crèvecœur (Letters from an American Farmer), and John James Audubon (Ornithological Biography and Birds of America), attending to the tensions between utility, beauty, and ecology, on the one hand, and the role of the individual, on the other. The writing of two American founders--Benjamin Franklin (Autobiography) and Thomas Jefferson (Notes on the State of Virginia and the Declaration of Independence)—will allow us to take account of the difference between American and European practice of politics and science. Finally, we will turn to three nineteenth-century authors of the “American Renaissance.” Each offers an imaginative exploration of the tensions between humans and nature: Ralph Waldo Emerson's Nature, Henry David Thoreau's Walden, and Herman Melville's “Billy Budd” and “Benito Cereno.” Facing increasing industrialization, environmental degradation, and the ongoing disenfranchisement of Native Americans and African slaves, each writer developed a distinctive critique and updating of America’s heroic project: to invent itself in a new world.
(Winter 2014) ENGL 595BP: Special Graduate Colloquium : The Ballad of the Dissertation (Graduate)
(Winter 2014) ENGL 102: English and American Literature from 1650 to 1789 (Undergraduate)
(Winter 2014) ENGL 105A: Shakespeare: Poems and Early Plays (Undergraduate)
Close study of five important plays from the first decade of Shakespeare’s career: Richard III, The Merchant of Venice, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Romeo and Juliet, and Hamlet. We will study these plays with attention both to historical context and to the way the plays have worked as dramas at various times in the last four hundred years. Film clips will be used as illustrations. Written work will include quizzes on each play, two papers, and a final exam.
(Winter 2014) ENGL 162: Milton (Undergraduate)
(Winter 2014) ENGL 231: Studies in Renaissance Literature: The Makings of Popular Media – Broadside Ballads, 1500-1800 (Graduate)
This course will study the evolving culture of the most published and most read of literary forms in early modern England: the broadside ballad. The goal is to understand the printed ballad within its changing aesthetic and historical contexts. In each class, we will read a sampling of ballads from the period in light of critical works that address the following topics: definition (what is a ballad?), formal features (paper and ink; woodcut illustrations), production and dissemination (authors, printers/publishers, and peddlers/chapmen), orality (music and performance), collectors and collecting processes (with a focus on the Crawford collection), and making a digital ballad archive. The course will be in many ways "hands on." We will make paper as it was made in the 16th and 17th centuries at the UCSB Art Studio, work a printing press at UC-Riverside, handle original broadside ballads and woodcuts at the Huntington Library, and both transcribe and make facsimile transcriptions for the English Broadside Ballad Archive in the EMC.
(Winter 2014) ENGL 595GE: Special Graduate Colloquium: The Genres of the long Enlightenment, their Origins and Destinations (Graduate)
(Fall 2013) ENGL 595GE: Special Graduate Colloquium: The Genres of the long Enlightenment, their Origins and Destinations (Graduate)
(Fall 2013) ENGL 15: Introduction to Shakespeare (Undergraduate)
In this course we will study five representative plays from Shakespeare’s works: Richard III, Macbeth, Hamlet, The Merchant of Venice, and Much Ado About Nothing. Requirements: careful reading, regular attendance at lecture, attendance at film screenings, two analytical papers, and three exams.
(Fall 2013) ENGL 101: English Literature from the Medieval Period to 1650 (Undergraduate)
(Fall 2013) ENGL 169: Restoration and Eighteenth-Century Drama: Restoration Comedy: Fops, Punks, Rakes & Wives (Undergraduate)
After executing the king in 1649, England's Puritan government shut down London's public theaters. When the monarchy was restored in 1660, the theaters were restored as well, with big changes in the playhouses, the plays, the theater personnel, and the audiences. King and courtiers were enthusiastic patrons of the theater, especially its comedies, which drew on traditional characters including fops and fallen women, cuckolds and witty couples, curious virgins and male and female rakes. In this class, we will read, discuss, and write about five Restoration comedies and their contexts, along with current scholarship on them. Our ambitious final project will be to recreate the atmosphere of a Restoration performance.
(Fall 2013) ENGL 595BP: Special Graduate Colloquium : The Ballad of the Dissertation (Graduate)
This three-quarter colloquium involves a series of 9 mostly Skype lectures by graduate students and junior scholars of English Literature and History who have incorporated broadside ballads from the 16th to the 19th centuries into their dissertations. Presentations will be informal and designed to answer questions that address generally the challenges of defining the topic and the parameters of a dissertation as well as how introducing popular print changes, enhances or productively “disturbs” one's perspective. Some presenters who have already filed their dissertations will further address strategies for turning a dissertation into a publishable book.

Transatlantic Ecologies Events

(11/6/2014) Deidre Lynch, Bliss-Zimmerman Memorial Lecture
"Pride and Prejudice by Numbers"
3:30pm, South Hall 2635
This paper on Jane Austen's computational imagination highlights the arithmetic questions posed by Pride and Prejudice and considers how they register the nineteenth-century novel tradition's shifting relationship to projects of social accounting and notions of social causation. Often as she relays the story of a singular, complex, unique character like the fascinating Elizabeth Bennet, Austen points simultaneously towards the statistical norms and means that would be derivable from a larger quantity of story-lines rendered in the aggregate.
(5/20/2014) Robert Gross Lecture
"Conversations at the Lyceum: Emerson and His Neighbors"
Robert Gross (UCONN)
3:30pm, South Hall 2635
(5/17/2014) Annual Conference: Transatlantic Ecologies: Utopia to Zoonomia
The Early Modern Center at the University of California, Santa Barbara is pleased to announce our thirteenth annual conference, “Transatlantic Ecologies: Utopia to Zoonomia.” This year's conference will explore readings of the complex and developing connections between ecological and transnational thought in the early modern period. Featuring keynote speakers Daniel Brayton (Middlebury College) and Gordon Sayre (University of Oregon). This year's conference will be held in conjunction with the Literature and Environment Center’s Symposium on Disaster (May 16, 2014), with keynote speakers Adrian Parr (University of Cincinnati) and Steven Vanderheiden (University of Colorado, Boulder). There will also be two activities linking the conference and symposium: a plenary roundtable on “Temporality and the Anthropocene,” and a series of environmental humanities discussion sessions. Conference attendees and presenters are encouraged to attend both Friday’s and Saturday’s events.
(4/17/2014) James Simpson Lecture
"Evangelical Absolutism: Breaking the Mind's Images in the English Reformation"
James Simpson (Harvard University)
3:30pm, Henley Board Room, Mosher Alumni House
(12/5/2013) Elisa Tamarkin, "Red Herrings and Other Irrelevancies"
Lecture: "Red Herrings and Other Irrelevancies"
Elisa Tamarkin (UC Berkeley)
3:30pm, South Hall 2635
What does it means to read for relevance? This talk provides a history of the fallacy that John Stuart Mill calls the "red herring," or the problem of the irrelevant thesis. While Mill's logic insists on making every statement matter toward a final effect or principle, the red herring lures readers to conclusions of no consequence. But when we think about red herrings—a practice I suggest we derive from the nineteenth century—we are committing ourselves to knowing the sources of error, and especially the feelings, passions, and intentions that enhance or restrict the application of our understanding in particular contexts. I look at relevance as a principle of logic in the nineteenth century and at the fallacy of the red herring, and its aesthetic meaning, in the philosophy of Mill and Bentham, in Poe's poetry, and in the paintings of the Aesthetic Movement.
(11/14/2013) Arthur Marotti, "The Poetry Nobody Knows"
Lecture: "The Poetry Nobody Knows: Rare or Unique Poems in Early Modern English Manuscript Collections"
Arthur Marotti (Wayne State University)
4:00pm, HSSB 6056
This paper discusses some of the hundreds of (mostly anonymous) poems that survive in various manuscripts from the early modern period in only one or two copies. It examines the various socioliterary uses to which poetry was put and argues for broadening the literary history of the period to include this largely unknown work.

Transatlantic Ecologies Links

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