10 Literary Vacations to Tide You Over Till Summer

Ah, the last few weeks of the Spring semester. There’s so much left to learn and do, and yet we find our minds, on occasion, straying to thoughts of vacation. So, in no particular order, here are 10 of our favorite literary vacations. They will sweep you away… and have you back home just a few hours later!

  • Stay at a pensione in Florence and go sight-seeing with fellow travelers alongside Lucy Honeychurch in Forster’s A Room with a View.
  • Travel with Jake Barnes in Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises from Paris to Pamplona for the running of the bulls (and some fishing on the side).
  • Sneak along with poets on a secret romantic journey to Yorkshire in A.S. Byatt’s gorgeously-written tour-de-force, Possession.
  • Tour Europe while learning about art with Amy March in Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women (or its sequel, if you’re in the U.K.).
  • Follow the madcap adventures of Three Men in a Boat (to say nothing of the dog) as they row down the Thames in Jerome K. Jerome’s comedy classic.
  • Join Thea Kronberg for an idyllic southwestern retreat in Willa Cather’s Song of the Lark.
  • Visit Charlottetown on Prince Edward Island, and sleep in the sparest of spare room beds along with Anne and Diana in Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables.
  • Cut a rug in Italy with fresh-faced American gal Daisy Miller in Henry James’ novella of the same name.
  • Follow a group of hippies as they set up a memorable getaway commune in Lauren Groff’s powerful novel Arcadia.
  • Tour the Peak District of England with Elizabeth Bennet in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.

Do you have any favorites to suggest?

Fall into English

We’re so proud of our Fall 2019 lineup of courses! Students, ready to dive into literature? To plunge into creative writing? Trust our English faculty to lead the way. Here are some highlights to look for when registering:

Shakespeare’s Plays – ENGL 373-02
MWF 12:00-12:50 with Dr. Lunderberg

Many of Shakespeare’s plays explore what it means to be treated as an outsider. Studying these plays can guide us in questioning the justice of societies where women are treated as possessions, Jewish merchants are ridiculed, and military commanders are questioned because of the color of their skin. In this course, we will work our way together through several plays, reading and watching and studying and arguing about the meaning we find in them. We will examine both the historical and literary contexts of the plays, studying the plays as literature and as performance pieces, and assessing insights into the plays from various critical approaches.

Note: Students are welcome to take multiple seminars with the same number (e.g. 373) if the title is different.

Introduction to Literary Theory – ENGL 480
TR 9:30-10:50 with Dr. Gruenler

Literary theory equips you to think better about how to read and why, and maybe to enjoy it more too. Tour major schools of thought from Plato to the twenty-first century, such as formalism, structuralism, deconstruction, psychoanalytic criticism, gender and sexuality studies, postcolonial criticism, ecocriticism, and disability theory. Meet theorists such as Jacques Derrida, Michel Foucault, René Girard, Adrienne Rich, Judith Butler, Edward Said, Chinua Achebe, and Wendell Berry. Connect literature to other disciplines such as philosophy, theology, and the social sciences. You’ll have a chance to write and talk critically about whatever texts you like—stories, poems, films, TV, games, etc.

Intermediate Creative Nonfiction Writing – ENGL 358-01
TR 1:30-2:50 with Dr. Burton

Make art from experience.

Memoir is the literary craft of understanding where we’ve been.

Prerequisite: Multi-Genre Creative Writing 253.

Crime and 19th C. Fiction – ENGL 373-01
MFW 1:00-1:50 with Dr. Salah

Have you ever sympathized with a clever criminal? Rooted for a vigilante seeking justice outside the law? This course will take you back to where our cultural fascination with true crime, detective stories, and forensic investigation began: the nineteenth century. Slink down the foggy streets of London with Charles Dickens and his suspense-writing friends. Meet charming thieves and peek into the tormented minds of killers. Learn how Poe’s great detective, Dupin, was surpassed by Conan Doyle’s masterful catcher of criminals, Sherlock Holmes. And get ready to discuss along the way: why do we humans like this stuff so much?

Advanced Fiction Writing – ENGL 454
TR 3:00-4:20 with Dr. Childress

Have you written a short story or a novel? Do you want to? How could you work towards writing both—at the same time? In Advanced Fiction Writing, we’ll focus on linked stories, also called story cycles, and how they work as a kind of Super Novel. We’ll read Pulitzer- and other award-winners like Love Medicine and Olive Kitteridge. We’ll be writing—slowly, steadily—and workshopping roughly 40 pages of your linked shorts. Be ready to read and write—a lot of both! Be ready to kick it with linked-story lovers and fall in love with the story cycle.

Children’s and Young Adult Literature – ENGL 375
MWF 2:00-2:50 with Dr. Postma-Montaño

Welcome to a discussion on the importance and popularity of children’s and young adult literature. The recent flowering of kid lit has meant for a tremendous growth in the genre, with many texts moving into film, as the recent Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse phenomenon testifies. At the same time the importance of the field to literary studies, to literacy, and to teaching has never been greater. Scholars and educators are looking at classics like The Cat in the Hat with new eyes, asking questions like: is this picture book racist? Together, we will consider this and other critical questions. We will think about race, ethnicity, language, gender, and disability in children’s lit and what is at stake for readers, parents, and educators. This course is perfect for anyone interested in reading kid lit, teaching, and scholarship.

Modern English Grammar – ENGL 360-01
TR 12:00-1:20 with Dr. Burton


Want to know the difference between lay and lie? Between who and whom?

Modern English Grammar.

Sixteen weeks of diagramming.

Grammar competence forever.

Registering for Spring Courses? Fear not!

Registration for Spring 2019 is here, and English has just what you need, whether you want to curl up with a good book, work on your stand-up routine, or finally pen that perfect sonnet.  Scroll down for a taste of our offerings… and please visit plus.hope.edu for a complete list. We’d love for you to join us!

English 371-01: “Ernest Hemingway: Fiction and Film” – MWF 11:00-11:50 with Dr. Hemenway

For more than seven decades, people have asked me if I am the illegitimate son of Ernest Hemingway. No, I am not; we spell our names differently. However, I have come to terms with this mysterious and macho man. In “Ernest Hemingway: Fiction and Film,” I will present several of his short stories and novels and Hollywood versions of them to help you grapple with his “lean, hard, athletic narrative prose that puts more literary English to shame” (New York Times, 1926) and the “technicolor adaptations featuring foreign settings and doomed love, and always at least half an hour too long” (Slate, 2007). English majors will encounter “Lost Generation” themes and techniques, Creative Writing students will imitate his economical realism, Secondary Education students will emerge with lesson plans for teaching such classic high-school texts as A Farewell to Arms and The Old Man and the Sea. Scientists, Women’s Studies and Psychology majors, Midwesterners, film buffs, travelers, and adventure-seekers will all find something of interest.

English 240: “Comedy Writing” – Tu/Th 12:00-1:20 with Dr. Pannapacker

This is a hybrid course about the history and practice of comedy writing that focuses on writers and performers of the last sixty years in their cultural contexts (e.g., Lenny Bruce, George Carlin, Richard Pryor, Steve Martin, Chris Rock, Jerry Seinfeld, Tina Fey, Amy Schumer). You will write reaction essays and give short presentations on the comedians we are studying, and write one longer essay on a relevant topic of your choosing.  Additionally, you will develop at least one comedic persona — drawing upon the techniques of famous performers — using social media to develop “bits” for use in larger comedic “sets” that you will present to the class for periodic feedback. This is not a course in performance, but you are likely to develop stronger delivery skills. By the end of the course, you should have an organized understanding of the history of U.S. comedy writing, a repertoire of writing and delivery techniques, and an emerging “fan base” for your work that can be developed for careers in writing for performance, print, and other media.

English 354: “Intermediate Creative Writing: Fiction” – Tu/Th 1:30-2:50 with Dr. Childress

According to Flannery O’Connor, “A story is a way to say something that can’t be said any other way.” She also said, “I write to discover what I know.” And also: “You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you odd.”

So this is your chance: discover what you know by saying something that can’t be said any other way, and, of course, let your weird out! We’ll closely examine—as writers who are looking to steal their secrets—short stories from O’Conner and other literary giants in this genre, both classic and contemporary.  We’ll undertake exercises to develop your characters, push your plot lines, and make your dialogue do good and gritty work. We’ll engage in class critique. Come prepared to read and to write—lots and lots of each! You’ll write three short stories, try your hand at microfiction, introduce your classmates to a literary journal with fantastic short fiction, and turn in a final portfolio of roughly 30 radically revised pages.

So come discover what you know, and let the truth set you strange…

English 282: “American Ethnic Literature” (focus on Asian American Literature) – Tu/Th 12:00-1:20PM with Dr. Cho

Asian American Identity? The birth of the fortune cookie? A people group which profoundly shaped immigration and naturalization laws?  The “hula-hula” dance, palm trees, and pineapples? The earliest known date of Asian migration to the US (1565, if you can believe it)? Japanese American internment? The origins of Korean adoption? The origins of surfing? Why TV shows Gilligan’s Island, Fantasy Island, and Lost were set in the Pacific? A Japanese American Black Panther? The origins of the term “Asian American?” Asian American Civil Rights leaders?  Interested?  See you soon…

English 375: “Young Adult Ethnic American Literature” – Tu/Th 12:00-1:20 with Dr. Montaño

In this course, we will analyze Ethnic American literature for young adults. The goal will be to explore a wide range of perspectives, from a young girl growing up in Chicago who refuses to be perfect; a young boy growing up wondering which parts are Chinese and which American; two stories about Hispaniola (one Dominican and the other Haitian); and two surrealismo novels of young adults caught between worlds as well as familia.

This course will emphasize critical issues surrounding the renaissance of multicultural literature. Due to the novel nature of this approach, time and weight will be given to questions of intercultural production, intertextuality, historicism, and diversity in America. By exploring literature for young adults in this manner, we hope to raise fundamental questions over the very essence of our world and how we see it.

Extensive reading and discussion required, as well as written responses through various critical perspectives, multimedia presentations, and a larger final project. Meets Hope College GLD credit.

English 455-01: “Advanced Poetry” – Tu/Th 9:30-10:50 with Dr. Peschiera

Poetry is at the absolute, razor-sharp, leading edge of art. It’s also where everyone goes to express and recall profound emotion. It is popular and populist, and also elite and exclusionary. How can it be both? We’ll answer that question. You’ll write poems and talk about poems, writing for both popular and elite purposes, thinking about how your poetry can fill both spaces. We’ll discuss structure, rhythm, and sound, all while further developing your poet’s voice. You’ll print a small collection of your work. We’ll have writers and song writers visit us in person and on video chat, and watch videos about our poetry and poetics. But mostly you’ll talk about each other’s work every day, and read poems and essays about poetry. Sharpen the pencils, refill the pens!

Welcome!

Welcome to the Hope College English Department’s inaugural blog post.

We’re excited to share stories from our faculty, staff, students, alumni, and friends! Our guest next week will be Dr. Ernest Cole, English faculty member and chair of the department.

Meet Dr. Cole, and come back next week to learn more!