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Spring 2024 Topics Course Descriptions

LIT 170-01 Topics in Literature: Preparing for a Conference
Professor: Steinberg, D.
Course Meetings: Tuesday 3:30-4:50pm
Please note that this is a 0.25 partial unit course


LIT 199-01 Career Planning for English Majors
Professor: Steele
Course Meetings: Thursday 3:30-4:50pm
Please note that this is a 0.5 partial unit course

Are you tired of the question “What are you going to do with a degree of English?” You may feel a burst of anxiety when you voice the real answer: “Anything I want to do!” LIT 199, Career Planning for English Majors, is designed to help you understand and articulate your own career goals and develop short- and long-term plans for your TCNJ education to help meet those goals.  You will learn about career opportunities in business, government, and non-profit sectors. You will learn best practices for interviewing and networking. You will learn how to secure internships and how to write effective and persuasive cover letters and resumes. You will also learn about graduate and professional school opportunities and the application process for those opportunities. You will hear from alumni in a range of careers and learn about their paths to career satisfaction and learn about resources from advocacy organizations such as the National Humanities Alliance.  And you’ll have a better answer for your annoying uncle’s questions about your future.


LIT 225-01 Medical Memoir
Professor: Ira Halpern 
Course Meetings: Monday/Thursday 11am-12:20pm

Medical memoirs are first person narrative texts written from the unique subject position of the author; they may be written by doctors, nurses, researchers, or patients. In this course, students will read a variety of texts that use first-person narration and a variety of other storytelling techniques for multiple purposes: to explain disease mechanisms and medical insights or innovations; to process the trauma of illness or the trauma of working within healthcare; or to illuminate the unique challenges of doctors, nurses, researchers, or patients. Students will work with memoirs of varying lengths and texts published in multiple venues.


LIT 270-01 Topics in Literature: Literature and the Environmental Justice
Professor: Abdur-Rahman
Course Meetings: Monday/Thursday 2-3:20pm

Our course will focus on the relationship between literature and environmental justice. The concept of environmental justice—that nature is not only found in “wilderness,” but also in the places where we live, work, and play—revises our understanding of environmentalism to include both National Parks and nuclear waste sites, wild and scenic rivers as well as mega-dams and levees, industrialized food production and human health, automobiles and indigenous rights. Environmental justice literature provides narratives of individuals and communities organizing and responding to economic and environmental problems on local, national, and international levels. Its stories and investigations show that environmental issues are deeply connected with issues of globalization, gender, race, and class. Writers to be considered include Nick Estes, Linda Hogan, Ruth Ozeki and Jesmyn Ward.


LIT 270-02 Topics in Literature: Global Fairy Tales 
Professor: Carney
Course Meetings: Monday/Thursday 12:30-1:50pm

Genies, magic carpet rides, murderous kings and poisoning queens! This course surveys the rich tradition of the literary fairy tale from the Islamic Golden Age and Renaissance Europe to the present, and considers how narrative patterns and tropes have been absorbed and transformed in the works of contemporary and post-modern authors, including Margaret Atwood, Angela Carter, Robert Coover.  Check your Disney at the door.


LIT 270-03/LIT 370-02 Topics in Literature: Social Justice in YA Literature
Professor: Luettchau
Course Meetings: Tuesday/Thursday 7-8:20pm

This course will provide you with a working knowledge of how current social justice issues influence contemporary Young Adult Literature. Topics studied will include race, class, gender, sexuality, disability, and immigration. Throughout the semester, as you sample works by a select, yet diverse, set of widely-read authors, you will be asked to discuss and analyze young adult texts using various theoretical perspectives. Additionally, the course will introduce you to the growing body of critical research being written about literature for young adults.


LIT 370-01/WLC 371-01 Asian Horror Films: Identity and Politics 
Professor: Mi
Course Meetings: Tuesday 5:30-8:20pm

This course explores the rich and diverse world of Asian horror cinema, with a focus on films from Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, and Thailand. Through a critical examination of the cultural and historical contexts that inform these films, we will delve into the themes of identity, politics, and society in Asia as they are portrayed in the horror genre. Students will analyze how these films reflect cultural, historical, and social issues, and how they have impacted gender identity in the global horror genre.  All films screened in class will be in English subtitles.

It is hoped that the study of Asian horror films will help students gain better and deeper knowledge of the critical issues of gender identity in particular and Asian cultures in general. Through the technique of close analysis and engaged discussions, students are expected to enhance their critical thinking and analytical skills and to acquire a more sophisticated point of view in understanding Asian cultures and politics.