Michael Stoneham

Michael Stoneham, American Literature Traditions, Fall 2018

Course Description:

ENGLIT 0574 American Literature Traditions 1 is a course focused upon the canonical literature that emerged from antebellum America. Collectively, it demonstrates the possibilities that the “New World” offered individuals and the tensions that emerged as early Americans settlers and citizens felt compelled to confront the structures of older, more established civilizations. It certainly demonstrates the anxieties felt by new Americans in a contested space where it was possible to challenge the social, political, psychological, religious, and sexual hierarchies. But perhaps, most stridently, it demonstrates the singular privileged position that the individual came to occupy as Americans developed the bold confidence to reject inherited systems as they charted a new course for humankind.
To excel in this course, you must read attentively, engage thoughtfully, write clearly, and prepare intelligently. You must also devote yourself to excellence in both preparation for class and in execution of your class assignments; and you must engage in class discussions and contribute to our consideration of the ideas that emerge in our consideration of American literature.

Required Texts:

The Scarlett Letter Hawthorne (1850)
Walden and Other Writings Thoreau (1854)
Typee Melville (1846)
Narrative of a Life of Frederick Douglass Douglass (1845)
Memoirs of Stephen Burroughs Burroughs (1798)
The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin Franklin (1791)
The Account of Mary Rowlandson Rowlandson (1682)

Selected essays/excerpts: Emerson and Lawrence; Selected poems: Dickinson and Whitman

Michael Stoneham, Literature of Terrorism, Fall 2018

Course Description:

Students in this course will explore the literature that examines, chronicles, and interrogates the emergence of terrorism as contemporary cultural phenomena that dominates revolutionary twenty-first century rhetoric and has infiltrated political discourse. It will complement the study of terrorists and terrorism in both History and in Political Science and offer students the opportunity to gain an understanding of the socio-economic conditions that compel individuals to embrace extreme acts of arbitrary violence and the attention that those acts inspire to bring about social and cultural changes in hostile political environments. Bruce Hoffman’s careful theoretical and historical assessment of terrorism, Inside Terrorism, will provide the theoretical background for the course, while texts from contemporary authors as diverse as Salman Rushdie, Chuck Palahniuk, John Updike, and Alaa As Aswany, and Moshin Hamid will provide the narratives from a variety of literary and cultural traditions. Complimenting these narratives is a narrative of the individual whom many identify as the most successful American terrorist, John Brown, who inspired a revolution in thinking about American slave culture in both his 1856 and 1859 terrorist engagements. An examination of Brown will serve as an entrée into our more contemporary examination of terrorists and their celebrants.

To succeed in this course, you must read attentively, engage thoughtfully, write clearly, and prepare intelligently. You must also devote yourself to excellence in both preparation and execution of your class assignments. They include daily response papers, an intriguing twenty minute presentation of your own perspective on one aspect of a text that we are studying, and two thoughtful essays.

Required Texts:

Inside Terrorism, Bruce Hoffman
Fight Club, Chuck Palahniuk
The Yacoubian Building, Alaa al Aswany
Shalimar the Clown, Salman Rushdie
Terrorist, John Updike
The Reluctant Fundamentalist, Moshin Hamid
John Brown and the Era of Literary Confrontation, Michael Stoneham (excerpts provided in pdf)

Syllabus: 

Michael Stoneham, Literature And The Environment, Spring 2018

Course Description:

In this course, students will read and write about the environment and its issues as expressed through literature. Readings in fiction, poetry, and nonfiction will explore how the geography of a location influences the character of its inhabitants and how the forces of nature affect their lives and fortunes. Writing will consist of personal and critical short essays as well as a longer essay/project involving independent readings and research.

Required Texts:

“Nature,” Ralph Waldo Emerson
Walden and Other Writings, Henry Thoreau
Nature Writings, John Muir
Sand Country Almanac, Aldo Leopold
Silent Spring, Rachel Carson
Desert Solitaire, Edward Abbey
A House Made of Dawn, M. Scott Momaday,
Wilderness and the American Mind, Roderick Nash

Michael Stoneham, Composition 2, Spring 2018

Course Description:

English Composition II is first and foremost an advanced composition course. The goal of this course is to ensure that your writing is of the quality expected of a college graduate. For many of you, it may be the last opportunity in your life to focus exclusively on improving your writing skills. To that end, this semester you will read and write about texts that explore the voices of rebels calling from America’s fringes. We’ll organize our encounters with these voices in a diachronic way, in part, to determine if we can identify the evolution of the characteristics that have distinguished American rebel voices, and, in part, to realize the degree to which the distinctions are moot.

Required Texts:

Willa Cather, My Antonia (1918)
Ernest Hemingway, In Our Time (1925)
Jack Kerouac, On the Road (1957)
John Irving, A Prayer for Owen Meany (1989) Tim O’Brien, The Things They Carried (1990) Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club (1996)

Syllabus: 

Michael Stoneham, War Literature and its Discontents, Fall 2017

Course Description:

War and its Discontents is a course focused solely upon the literature that poignantly expresses the recollections of soldier-authors whose experience in 20th and 21st Century wars inspired them to craft novels that loudly protested war and effectively voiced the collective discontent of servicemen and women returning to nations that did not understand what they had required.

Required Texts:

Candide, Voltaire
Redeployment, Phil Klay
Billy Lynn’s Long Half-time Walk, Ben Fountain The Things They Carried, Tim O’Brien
Catch 22, Joseph Heller
Good-Bye to All That, Robert Graves
Johnny Got His Gun, Dalton Trumbo

Michael Stoneham, American Literary Traditions, Fall 2017

Course Description:

An introductory course that draws on fiction, nonfiction, and poetry to trace characteristic features and consistent concerns that shaped the development of a distinctly American literature. Begins with the religious/economic argument of the first-generation European migration, moves through the literature of the politically charged Colonial era, and closes in the mid-19th century and the initial expressions of a national literature.

Required Texts:

The Scarlett Letter Hawthorne (1850)
Typee Melville (1846)
Narrative of a Life of Frederick Douglass Douglass (1845)
The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin Franklin (1791)
The Account of Mary Rowlandson Rowlandson (1682)
The Entertaining History of King Phillip’s War Church (1675)

Michael Stoneham, Senior Seminar, Spring 2017

Course Description:

Intensive study of a single topic or figure that assumes previous work in related literary historical and critical areas. Each seminar moves toward a final paper that integrates earlier literary study with the specific critical perspective developed in this course. Prerequisite: ENGCMP 0004 or ENGCMP 0006.

Required Texts:

-Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, Phillip K Dick
-Brave New World, Aldous Huxley
-I Robot, Isaac Asimov
-The Machine Stops, E. M. Forster
-Hard Times, Charles Dickens
-Erehwon, Samuel Butler
-Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, Robert Pirsig

Michael Stoneham, Literature And The Environment, Spring 2017

Course Description:

In this course, students will read and write about the environment and its issues as expressed through literature. Readings in fiction, poetry, and nonfiction will explore how the geography of a location influences the character of its inhabitants and how the forces of nature affect their lives and fortunes. Writing will consist of personal and critical short essays as well as a longer essay/project involving independent readings and research.

Required Texts:

“Nature,” Ralph Waldo Emerson
Walden and Other Writings, Henry Thoreau
Nature Writings, John Muir
Sand Country Almanac, Aldo Leopold
Silent Spring, Rachel Carson
Monkey Wrench Gang, Edward Abbey
A House Made of Dawn, M. Scott Momaday,
Wilderness and the American Mind, Roderick Nash

Michael Stoneham, Literature of the Great War, Fall 2016

Course Description:

This course focuses solely upon the literature that most poignantly depicts the experiences and perspectives of the soldiers who fought on the battlefields of World War I and the civilians who suffered its destruction. It will allow students to explore the most significant memoirs, poetry, and works of fiction that emerged from the ravaged battlefields of the western front and the ravaged homes destroyed by what some called “war to end all wars”.

Required Texts:

Her Privates We, Frederic Manning
Good-bye to All That, Robert Graves
Johnny Got his Gun, Dalton Trumbo
Under Fire, Henri Barbusse
Testament of Youth, Vera Brittain
The Great War and Modern Memory, Paul Fussell
World War One British Poets

Michael Stoneham, American Literary Traditions, Fall 2016

Course Description:

An introductory course that draws on fiction, nonfiction, and poetry to trace characteristic features and consistent concerns that shaped the development of a distinctly American literature. Begins with the religious/economic argument of the first-generation European migration, moves through the literature of the politically charged Colonial era, and closes in the mid-19th century and the initial expressions of a national literature.

Required Texts:

The Scarlett Letter Hawthorne (1850)
Typee Melville (1846)
Narrative of a Life of Frederick Douglass Douglass (1845)
The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin Franklin (1791)
The Account of Mary Rowlandson Rowlandson (1682)
The Entertaining History of King Phillip’s War Church (1675)

Syllabus: 

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