Undergraduate Courses

To see a complete list of courses offered and their descriptions, visit the online course catalog.

The courses listed below are provided by Student Information Services (SIS). This listing provides a snapshot of immediately available courses within this department and may not be complete. Course registration information can be found at https://sis.jhu.edu/classes.

Column one has the course number and section. Other columns show the course title, days offered, instructor's name, room number, if the course is cross-referenced with another program, and a option to view additional course information in a pop-up window.

FYS: What is the Common Good?
AS.001.100 (01)

What is "the common good"? How do individuals consider this idea, this question, and how are societies led, or misled, by its pursuit? Together, we will explore sources from a range of perspectives: What can the story of Noah, for example, teach us about the question of the common good? Or the engineering of Baltimore public transportation, the notion of meritocracy in higher education, access to vaccines, the perniciousness of pandemics, prohibition of nuclear weapons, or data sharing among scientists? Drawing from movies, interviews, and readings (authors include Rachel Carson, James Baldwin, Bong Joon-ho, Spike Lee, Michael Sandel, and more), this course is as much about how we ask and interrogate hard questions as it is about the answers themselves. Engaging deeply with the sources and each other, students will discuss the texts in class, write short responses, and give occasional oral presentations. The course will culminate in a final, collaborative research project that seeks to map the common good and move the conversation forward.

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Lower Level Undergraduate
  • Days/Times: T 1:30PM - 4:00PM
  • Instructor: Watters, Aliza
  • Room: Gilman 277  
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 12/12
  • PosTag(s): n/a

Imagining Climate Change
AS.300.347 (01)

Climate change poses an existential threat to human civilization. Yet the attention and concern it receives in ordinary life and culture is nowhere near what science tells us is required. What are the causes of this mismatch between crisis and response? What accounts for our collective inability to imagine and grasp this new reality, and how can it be overcome? In pursuit of these questions, we will pair literary works and films with texts from politics, philosophy, literary theory, and religion, that frame climate change as a fundamental challenge to our ways of making sense of the human condition.

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Upper Level Undergraduate
  • Days/Times: TTh 10:30AM - 11:45AM
  • Instructor: Lisi, Leonardo
  • Room: Gilman 208  
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 9/12
  • PosTag(s): n/a

English Literature from Chaucer to Behn
AS.060.208 (02)

This course is a survey of English writing from the fourteenth to the seventeenth centuries. Tracing the evolution of vernacular literature in English from the late medieval period to the early modern period and onwards to the threshold of modernity, we will focus intensively upon four key works: Geoffrey Chaucer’s “The Canterbury Tales,” Book I of Edmund Spenser’s “The Faerie Queene”, John Milton’s “Paradise Lost” and Aphra Behn’s “Oroonoko.” These works will be examined in their formal and generic dimensions as key examples of broader aesthetic changes in the constitution of “literature” as a category. They will also be placed in their political, religious, and social contexts. Through lectures, class discussion, written responses, and longer essay assignments, students will master the fundamentals of English literary history as well as the techniques of critical reading and writing.

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Lower Level Undergraduate
  • Days/Times: MW 11:00AM - 11:50AM, F 11:00AM - 11:50AM
  • Instructor: Daniel, Andrew
  • Room: Maryland 110 Maryland 217
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 16/20
  • PosTag(s): ENGL-PR1800, ENGL-LEC

FYS: Privacy and Surveillance
AS.001.172 (01)

Few topics are more pressing to contemporary society as the right to privacy, in the face of both state and corporate and state surveillance. But the idea of a "right to privacy" has not always been with us. As E. L. Godkin put it in 1890, "Privacy is a distinctly modern product." Indeed, even 300 years ago, many of our own expectations of privacy would have been unheard of. This First-Year Seminar looks at the relation of privacy to modernity, through the lenses of literature, law, and social practices. How can works of art and thought from the past help us understand our own present?

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Lower Level Undergraduate
  • Days/Times: TTh 10:30AM - 11:45AM
  • Instructor: Rosenthal, Jesse Karl
  • Room: Gilman 130D  
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 12/12
  • PosTag(s): n/a

American Literature, 1865 to today
AS.060.222 (01)

A survey of American literature from 1865 to today.

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Lower Level Undergraduate
  • Days/Times: MW 10:00AM - 10:50AM, F 10:00AM - 10:50AM
  • Instructor: Nurhussein, Nadia
  • Room: Hodson 316 Gilman 75
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 7/20
  • PosTag(s): ENGL-LEC

Diaries, Journals, Some Notes
AS.060.140 (01)

A study of genres of private writings, focusing on the diary form. Readings will likely include diaries by Pepys, Boswell, Frank, Woolf, as well as critical and theoretical texts on the form.

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Lower Level Undergraduate
  • Days/Times: M 1:30PM - 4:00PM
  • Instructor: Miller, Andrew
  • Room: Maryland 217  
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 11/18
  • PosTag(s): n/a

Introduction to Literary Study
AS.060.107 (02)

This course serves as an introduction to the basic methods of and critical approaches to the study of literature. Some sections may have further individual topic descriptions; please check in SIS when searching for courses.

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Lower Level Undergraduate
  • Days/Times: MW 3:00PM - 4:15PM
  • Instructor: Nurhussein, Nadia
  • Room: Bloomberg 276  
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 12/18
  • PosTag(s): n/a

Asian and Latinx American Literatures: Rethinking Empire
AS.060.148 (01)

This course explores the transnational convergence of Asians/Asian Americans and Latinxs/ Latinx Americans from a history of multiple imperialisms to the neoliberal, globalized present. We will situate the racialization of Asian and Latinx peoples within a larger, global framework and think critically about areas of solidarity and tension between these two multi-ethnic groups through readings in literature, history, and sociology.

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Lower Level Undergraduate
  • Days/Times: TTh 3:00PM - 4:15PM
  • Instructor: Staff
  • Room: Gilman 35  
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 8/18
  • PosTag(s): ENGL-GLOBAL

English Literature from Chaucer to Behn
AS.060.208 (01)

This course is a survey of English writing from the fourteenth to the seventeenth centuries. Tracing the evolution of vernacular literature in English from the late medieval period to the early modern period and onwards to the threshold of modernity, we will focus intensively upon four key works: Geoffrey Chaucer’s “The Canterbury Tales,” Book I of Edmund Spenser’s “The Faerie Queene”, John Milton’s “Paradise Lost” and Aphra Behn’s “Oroonoko.” These works will be examined in their formal and generic dimensions as key examples of broader aesthetic changes in the constitution of “literature” as a category. They will also be placed in their political, religious, and social contexts. Through lectures, class discussion, written responses, and longer essay assignments, students will master the fundamentals of English literary history as well as the techniques of critical reading and writing.

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Lower Level Undergraduate
  • Days/Times: MW 11:00AM - 11:50AM, F 11:00AM - 11:50AM
  • Instructor: Daniel, Andrew
  • Room: Maryland 110 Gilman 119
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 9/20
  • PosTag(s): ENGL-PR1800, ENGL-LEC

English Literature from Chaucer to Behn
AS.060.208 (03)

This course is a survey of English writing from the fourteenth to the seventeenth centuries. Tracing the evolution of vernacular literature in English from the late medieval period to the early modern period and onwards to the threshold of modernity, we will focus intensively upon four key works: Geoffrey Chaucer’s “The Canterbury Tales,” Book I of Edmund Spenser’s “The Faerie Queene”, John Milton’s “Paradise Lost” and Aphra Behn’s “Oroonoko.” These works will be examined in their formal and generic dimensions as key examples of broader aesthetic changes in the constitution of “literature” as a category. They will also be placed in their political, religious, and social contexts. Through lectures, class discussion, written responses, and longer essay assignments, students will master the fundamentals of English literary history as well as the techniques of critical reading and writing.

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Lower Level Undergraduate
  • Days/Times: MW 11:00AM - 11:50AM, F 11:00AM - 11:50AM
  • Instructor: Daniel, Andrew
  • Room: Maryland 110 Gilman 75
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 14/20
  • PosTag(s): ENGL-PR1800, ENGL-LEC

Introduction to Literary Study
AS.060.107 (01)

This course serves as an introduction to the basic methods of and critical approaches to the study of literature. Some sections may have further individual topic descriptions; please check in SIS when searching for courses.

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Lower Level Undergraduate
  • Days/Times: TTh 9:00AM - 10:15AM
  • Instructor: Hickman, Jared W
  • Room: Maryland 202  
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 9/18
  • PosTag(s): n/a

American Literature, 1865 to today
AS.060.222 (02)

A survey of American literature from 1865 to today.

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Lower Level Undergraduate
  • Days/Times: MW 10:00AM - 10:50AM, F 10:00AM - 10:50AM
  • Instructor: Nurhussein, Nadia
  • Room: Hodson 316 Hodson 301
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 19/20
  • PosTag(s): ENGL-LEC

FYS: Black Baltimore Archives - From Frederick Douglass to Billie Holiday
AS.001.163 (01)

Black Baltimore Archives is an intense exploration (and excavation) of local African American history and narrative. Using the lives of Baltimore's most prominent artists-Frederick Douglass and Billie Holiday-this First-Year Seminar will explore questions connected to creating the historical record, assembling visual and sonic representations of black life, and the challenges that access and preservation pose to sustaining black community. We will visit the Afro-American Newspaper archives, the Maryland Center for History and Culture, the Maryland State Archives, and Morgan State University special collections, among other key archival repositories. Students will participate in a national conference and a local jazz event.

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Lower Level Undergraduate
  • Days/Times: W 12:00PM - 2:30PM
  • Instructor: Jackson, Lawrence P
  • Room: Mergenthaler 266  
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 12/12
  • PosTag(s): n/a

Representing Otherness in Literature and Film
AS.211.325 (01)

The term 'Otherness' is known to be rooted in the Self-Other opposition as it emerged in German Idealism, adopted by psychoanalysis and transformed to Post-Colonial and Feminist theories. This theoretical framework will allow us to explore the role of the Other in literature and cinema. Students will become familiar with the historical development of the notion of the “stranger” through reading and analyzing various contemporary works of prose, poetry and cinema from various countries. We will analyze the ways in which these works depict Otherness and will investigate questions regarding their social, political and philosophical framework as well as the literary and cinematographic devices they employ. The course will have a comparative nature with the aim of learning more about the differences between the literary and cinematic representations.

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Upper Level Undergraduate
  • Days/Times: TTh 10:30AM - 11:45AM
  • Instructor: Stahl, Neta
  • Room: Hodson 110  
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 5/15
  • PosTag(s): n/a

Dante Visits the Afterlife
AS.214.479 (01)

One of the greatest works of literature of all times, the Divine Comedy leads us down into the torture-pits of Hell, up the steep mountain terrain of Purgatory, through the “virtual” space of Paradise, and then back to where we began: our own earthly lives. We accompany Dante on his journey, building along the way knowledge of medieval Italian history, literature, philosophy, politics, and religion. The course also focuses on the arts of reading deeply, asking questions of a text, and interpreting literary and scholarly works through discussion and critical writing. Conducted in English.

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Upper Level Undergraduate
  • Days/Times: MW 12:00PM - 1:15PM
  • Instructor: Staff
  • Room: Shriver Hall 104  
  • Status: Waitlist Only
  • Seats Available: 0/15
  • PosTag(s): n/a

Existentialism in Literature and Philosophy
AS.213.374 (01)

What does it mean to exist, and to be able to reflect on this fact? What is it mean to be a self? This course explores the themes of existentialism in literature and philosophy, including the meaning of existence, the nature of the self, authenticity and inauthenticity, the inescapability of death, the experience of time, anxiety, absurdity, freedom and responsibility to others. It will be examined why these philosophical ideas often seem to demand literary expression or bear a close relation to literary works. Readings may include writings by Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Dostoevsky, Heidegger, Rilke, Kafka, Simmel, Jaspers, Buber, Sartre, de Beauvoir, Camus, and Daoud.

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Upper Level Undergraduate
  • Days/Times: T 1:30PM - 4:00PM
  • Instructor: Gosetti, Jennifer Anna
  • Room: Smokler Center 213  
  • Status: Waitlist Only
  • Seats Available: 0/20
  • PosTag(s): MLL-GERM

Irish Literature
AS.060.374 (01)

This course will introduce students to the long history of Irish literature, often relegated to a footnote or subsumed under the study of British literature broadly, from the medieval period until the contemporary era. Starting with the medieval Irish epic Táin Bó Cúailnge [The Cattle Raid of Cooley] and ending with Anna Burns’ 2018 masterpiece Milkman, this course will introduce students to the ways in which a colonial literature changes over time as Ireland, England’s first colony, is conquered and reconquered, rebels and revolts, and continues to confront the legacy of colonization as the nation remains divided between the North and the Republic today. Throughout the course, students will read texts written Jonathan Swift, Brian Ferriman, Peig Sayers, J.M. Synge, James Connolly, Elizabeth Bowen, Samuel Beckett, Edna O’Brien and others. This course will serve as a case study for students interested in literature of conflict, colonial and neo-colonial politics, and the fight for justice globally.

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Upper Level Undergraduate
  • Days/Times: MW 4:30PM - 5:45PM
  • Instructor: McClurkin, Daniel Thomas
  • Room: Maryland 201  
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 8/18
  • PosTag(s): n/a

The Asian American Novel
AS.060.381 (01)

This course provides a foundation for reading Asian American novels. We will be discussing the origins of “Asian American” as a political coalition in the 1960s amidst a longer historical narrative of U.S. imperial and military projects and immigration policies that have influenced the racialization of those who identify with this multi-ethnic group. At the same time, we will be examining the limitations of this U.S.-centric perspective by rethinking the geopolitical spaces of both “Asia” and “the Americas” through transpacific and hemispheric lenses. Discussions will center around how the novel form could provide insight into linked social struggles and the new narratives of political community they imagine.

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Upper Level Undergraduate
  • Days/Times: M 1:30PM - 4:00PM
  • Instructor: Staff
  • Room: Gilman 35  
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 2/18
  • PosTag(s): ENGL-GLOBAL

Virginia Woolf
AS.060.358 (01)

Beautiful, acute, and consequential, Woolf’s writing opens onto an extraordinary range of aesthetic, psychological, and political issues. In this seminar, we will read from her novels, essays, and diaries as well as the varied works of art and philosophy that influenced her.

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Upper Level Undergraduate
  • Days/Times: W 1:30PM - 4:00PM
  • Instructor: Miller, Andrew
  • Room: Krieger 304  
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 4/18
  • PosTag(s): n/a

Speculative Slavery and Liberatory Fiction
AS.060.369 (01)

This course will introduce students to the study and genre of Black speculative fiction and Afrofuturism, through the lens of narratives focused on liberation/freedom. Liberatory fiction pushes the genre of Afrofuturism further to create space for the imagination to envision alternate futures and pasts, that rewrite history to aid in the process of liberation for black lives. The intended outcome of these texts is the liberation of its subjects and, in some cases, its readers to reflect on the contemporary. The liberation of subjects comes in the form of attaining collective or personal freedoms. This course will cover themes such as, gender and the speculative, the haunting of the post-slavery subject, and black apocalypses. All of these themes will be analyzed through reading both theory and narratives including: The Graphic Novel Adaptation of Octavia Butler’s Kindred, Toni Morrison’s Beloved, Saidiya Hartman’s “Venus in Two Acts”, and N.K. Jemisin’s “The City Born Great”.

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Upper Level Undergraduate
  • Days/Times: MW 3:00PM - 4:15PM
  • Instructor: Robinson, Samanda Jonell
  • Room: Bloomberg 172  
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 10/18
  • PosTag(s): ENGL-GLOBAL

The Contemporary Novel
AS.060.384 (01)

In the first two decades of the twenty-first century, writers of narrative fiction have been working furiously to keep up with the turbulence that global capitalism has visited on the world — war, political chaos, environmental catastrophe, massive forced migration and displacement — while trying to maintain ties to the techniques of narrative that gave the 19th century reality novel its successes and its prestige. In this course we will read a range of texts, mostly in translation, that stretch and deform those conventions in order to represent the lives and struggles of characters who are caught up in immense historical change. More and more often, novelists are choosing to depict characters drawn from what Marx would have called “surplus populations” — people for whom economic stability and personal safety are out of reach, partly because they are seen as not worth employing (or exploiting). Under these conditions, we will ask, is it only possible to tell tragic stories? What do happy endings look like? What do changes do character development and point of view have to undergo, for instance, to keep up with 21st-century history? Is realism still the best vehicle for telling these stories? Readings will include novels by Sally Rooney, Eduard Louis, Fernanda Melchor, Elena Ferrante, Marlon James, and Manoranjan Byapari, as well as secondary material by Sarah Chihaya, Merve Emre, Katherine Hill, Jill Richards, and the Endnotes collective.

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Upper Level Undergraduate
  • Days/Times: Th 1:30PM - 4:00PM
  • Instructor: Nealon, Chris
  • Room: Shriver Hall 001  
  • Status: Waitlist Only
  • Seats Available: 0/18
  • PosTag(s): n/a

Novelist Intellectuals
AS.215.406 (01)

What does a novelist’s op-ed about economics have to do with her literary writing? In what ways does a fiction writer’s essays on the environment inform how we read her novels? What happens when we find the political opinions of a writer objectionable? This undergraduate seminar will consider what the Spanish writer Francisco Ayala termed “novelist intellectuals,” that is, literary writers who actively participate in a society’s public sphere. Considering writers from Madrid to New York, from London to Buenos Aires, we will ask how one should hold a novelist’s fictional and non-fictional writings in the balance and explore ways of reading that allow us to consider the public intellectual side and the aesthetic side of a novelist together.

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Upper Level Undergraduate
  • Days/Times: TTh 9:00AM - 10:15AM
  • Instructor: Seguin, Becquer D
  • Room: Krieger Laverty  
  • Status: Waitlist Only
  • Seats Available: 0/18
  • PosTag(s): n/a

Slavery in Early Modern Literature
AS.060.359 (01)

Against the backdrop of the rise of the European slave trade, how were enslaved people represented in early modern English literature? How was the condition of enslavement inflected by emergent nationalism, colonialism and theological constructions of difference? This course puts Renaissance literature into conversation with comparative histories of slavery and critical race theory. Authors include Aristotle, Plautus, Thomas More, Bartolomé de las Casas, Christopher Marlowe, William Shakespeare, Philip Massinger, John Milton, Aphra Behn, Osman of Timisoara, Stephanie Smallwood, Michael Guasco, Saidiya Hartman, Herman Bennett, Orlando Patterson, Jared Sexton, and Mary Nyquist.

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Upper Level Undergraduate
  • Days/Times: T 1:30PM - 4:00PM
  • Instructor: Daniel, Andrew
  • Room: Krieger 304  
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 15/18
  • PosTag(s): ENGL-PR1800

Playing in the White: Black Writers, the Literary Colorline and Writing Whiteness
AS.100.354 (01)

This course will turn to known and not-so-known black writers during the early to mid-twentieth century who defied literary expectation and wrote stories that featured or focused on whiteness. We will consider what whiteness offered black writers and the political work that their literary experimentations did for a white American publishing industry.

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Upper Level Undergraduate
  • Days/Times: W 1:30PM - 4:00PM
  • Instructor: Mott, Shani T
  • Room: Shriver Hall 104  
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 3/15
  • PosTag(s): HIST-US

Course # (Section) Title Day/Times Instructor Room PosTag(s) Info
AS.001.100 (01)FYS: What is the Common Good?T 1:30PM - 4:00PMWatters, AlizaGilman 277
 
AS.300.347 (01)Imagining Climate ChangeTTh 10:30AM - 11:45AMLisi, LeonardoGilman 208
 
AS.060.208 (02)English Literature from Chaucer to BehnMW 11:00AM - 11:50AM, F 11:00AM - 11:50AMDaniel, AndrewMaryland 110
Maryland 217
ENGL-PR1800, ENGL-LEC
AS.001.172 (01)FYS: Privacy and SurveillanceTTh 10:30AM - 11:45AMRosenthal, Jesse KarlGilman 130D
 
AS.060.222 (01)American Literature, 1865 to todayMW 10:00AM - 10:50AM, F 10:00AM - 10:50AMNurhussein, NadiaHodson 316
Gilman 75
ENGL-LEC
AS.060.140 (01)Diaries, Journals, Some NotesM 1:30PM - 4:00PMMiller, AndrewMaryland 217
 
AS.060.107 (02)Introduction to Literary StudyMW 3:00PM - 4:15PMNurhussein, NadiaBloomberg 276
 
AS.060.148 (01)Asian and Latinx American Literatures: Rethinking EmpireTTh 3:00PM - 4:15PMStaffGilman 35
 
ENGL-GLOBAL
AS.060.208 (01)English Literature from Chaucer to BehnMW 11:00AM - 11:50AM, F 11:00AM - 11:50AMDaniel, AndrewMaryland 110
Gilman 119
ENGL-PR1800, ENGL-LEC
AS.060.208 (03)English Literature from Chaucer to BehnMW 11:00AM - 11:50AM, F 11:00AM - 11:50AMDaniel, AndrewMaryland 110
Gilman 75
ENGL-PR1800, ENGL-LEC
AS.060.107 (01)Introduction to Literary StudyTTh 9:00AM - 10:15AMHickman, Jared WMaryland 202
 
AS.060.222 (02)American Literature, 1865 to todayMW 10:00AM - 10:50AM, F 10:00AM - 10:50AMNurhussein, NadiaHodson 316
Hodson 301
ENGL-LEC
AS.001.163 (01)FYS: Black Baltimore Archives - From Frederick Douglass to Billie HolidayW 12:00PM - 2:30PMJackson, Lawrence PMergenthaler 266
 
AS.211.325 (01)Representing Otherness in Literature and FilmTTh 10:30AM - 11:45AMStahl, NetaHodson 110
 
AS.214.479 (01)Dante Visits the AfterlifeMW 12:00PM - 1:15PMStaffShriver Hall 104
 
AS.213.374 (01)Existentialism in Literature and PhilosophyT 1:30PM - 4:00PMGosetti, Jennifer AnnaSmokler Center 213
 
MLL-GERM
AS.060.374 (01)Irish LiteratureMW 4:30PM - 5:45PMMcClurkin, Daniel ThomasMaryland 201
 
AS.060.381 (01)The Asian American NovelM 1:30PM - 4:00PMStaffGilman 35
 
ENGL-GLOBAL
AS.060.358 (01)Virginia WoolfW 1:30PM - 4:00PMMiller, AndrewKrieger 304
 
AS.060.369 (01)Speculative Slavery and Liberatory FictionMW 3:00PM - 4:15PMRobinson, Samanda JonellBloomberg 172
 
ENGL-GLOBAL
AS.060.384 (01)The Contemporary NovelTh 1:30PM - 4:00PMNealon, ChrisShriver Hall 001
 
AS.215.406 (01)Novelist IntellectualsTTh 9:00AM - 10:15AMSeguin, Becquer DKrieger Laverty
 
AS.060.359 (01)Slavery in Early Modern LiteratureT 1:30PM - 4:00PMDaniel, AndrewKrieger 304
 
ENGL-PR1800
AS.100.354 (01)Playing in the White: Black Writers, the Literary Colorline and Writing WhitenessW 1:30PM - 4:00PMMott, Shani TShriver Hall 104
 
HIST-US