Doug Phillips portrait

Doug Phillips

Instructor of English
Office
JRC 349
Hours
(Fall 2017) M/W 1:30-2:30pm; also by appointment
Phone
(651) 962-5655

Writers whose sentences sparkle on the page -- Shakespeare, Virginia Woolf, Samuel Beckett, James Baldwin, David Foster Wallace -- are the likely stars of the classes I teach. I'm also interested in philosophy and critical theory, from the Ancients to Simone de Beauvoir to Adorno to Zizek. My publications include pieces on Shakespeare, Beckett, Wittgenstein, Zizek, Heidegger, Harold Pinter, David Foster Wallace, Alan Bennett, T.S. Eliot, and, most recently, Wallace Stevens.

 

Fall 2017 Courses

Fall 2017 Courses
Course - Section Title Days Time Location
ENGL 121 - W16 Critical Thinking: Lit/Writing M - W - F - - 1215 - 1320 MCH 235
CRN: 40975 4 Credit Hours Instructor: Doug P. Phillips Students will read and write about literary texts critically and closely. The course emphasizes recursive reading and writing processes that encourage students to discover, explain, question and clarify ideas. To this end, students will study a variety of genres as well as terms and concepts helpful to close analysis of those genres. They will practice various forms of writing for specific audiences and purposes. Students will reflect on and develop critical awareness of their own strengths and weaknesses as readers and writers. The writing load for this course is a minimum of 12 pages of formal revised writing.

Schedule Details

Location Time Day(s)
ENGL 201 - W01 The Sentence is a Lonely Place M - W - F - - 0935 - 1040 JRC 222
CRN: 42608 4 Credit Hours Instructor: Doug P. Phillips The title of this course is taken from Gary Lutz's essay of the same name, the upshot of which (both this course and Lutz's essay) is to focus our attention on fashioning sentences that hook, dazzle, surprise, spur double-takes, stab, make weak-kneed, and seduce. We will find our inspiration in a whirligig of writers (novelists, poets, dramatists, and essayists) whose syntactical moves and amped-up diction are worthy of thieving: Joan Didion, David Foster Wallace, Virginia Woolf, William Gass, Nicholson Baker, Colson Whitehead, Will Eno, and Elizabeth Hardwick -- to name but a possible few. Plus we'll supplement our study and practice with a critical and theoretical examination of style, using Ward Farnsworth's CLASSICAL ENGLISH RHETORIC, as well as essays by the aforementioned Didion, Wallace, Gass, and Lutz. The writing load for this course is a minimum of 15 pages of formal revised writing. This course satisfies the Writing Across the Curriculum Writing Intensive requirement.

Schedule Details

Location Time Day(s)
ENGL 202 - W01 Existential America M - W - F - - 0815 - 0920 JRC 222
CRN: 42542 4 Credit Hours Instructor: Doug P. Phillips In this course we will examine a body of work that traffics in such existential themes as freedom and responsibility, authenticity and bad faith, anguish and abandonment, identity and subjectivity, and choice and commitment. While some of our readings will reach beyond our own shores (Sartre, Beauvoir, Camus, Kafka, Nietzsche, Dostoevsky, and Kierkegaard), we will mostly focus on works by 20th-century American writers: Palahniuk's FIGHT CLUB, Krakauer's INTO THE WILD, O'Connor's A GOOD MAN IS HARD TO FIND, Baldwin's THE FIRE NEXT TIME, Salinger's The CATCHER IN THE RYE, McCarthy's NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN -- to name but a possible few. In the words of Zadie Smith, we're going to read a selection of very good books in this course, concentrating on whatever is most particular to them in the hope that this might help us understand whatever is most particular to us. The writing load for this course is a minimum of 15 pages of formal revised writing. This course satisfies the Writing Across the Curriculum Writing Intensive requirement.

Schedule Details

Location Time Day(s)

J-Term 2018 Courses

J-Term 2018 Courses
Course - Section Title Days Time Location

Spring 2018 Courses

Spring 2018 Courses
Course - Section Title Days Time Location
ENGL 203 - W02 Romantic Losers M - W - F - - 0815 - 0920 OEC 209
CRN: 22397 4 Credit Hours Instructor: Doug P. Phillips In the realm of romantic love no amount of reading will keep us from getting our hearts broken, but it may, in the words of Samuel Beckett, help us to “Try again. Fail again. Fail better.” With this in mind, we’ll immerse ourselves in the love lives of some of literature’s best and little known romantic losers, which I hope will leave us all a little wiser about the subject by the semester’s end. Here are a few works that will for sure make the cut, maybe: Flaubert’s MADAME BOVARY, Millay’s sonnets, Larkin’s poems, Barthes’s A LOVER’S DISCOURSE, de Botton’s ON LOVE, Beckett’s FIRST LOVE, Kureishi’s INTIMACY, and Greene’s THE END OF THE AFFAIR. The writing load for this course is a minimum of 15 pages of formal revised writing. This course satisfies the Writing Across the Curriculum Writing Intensive requirement.

Schedule Details

Location Time Day(s)
ENGL 221 - L01 The Modern Tradition - T - R - - - 1330 - 1510 OEC 306
CRN: 20074 4 Credit Hours Instructor: Doug P. Phillips Through our study of European literature and some of its most memorable characters—Moliere’s Tartuffe, Voltaire’s Candide, Flaubert’s Emma Bovary, Dostoevsky’s Underground Man, Kafka’s Bug-Man, etc.—we will dig deep into life’s most pressing questions, not least of which is what makes for a good life. Our study will also give us the chance to better understand who we are today in light of the cultural shifts and philosophical drifts that have come before us. In the words of the writer Zadie Smith, we're going to read a lot of good books in this class (all in translation), “concentrating on whatever is most particular to them, in the hope that this might help us understand whatever is most particular to us.” This course satisfies both the Historical Perspectives distribution requirement for English majors and the Writing Across the Curriculum Writing to Learn requirement. Prerequisite: ENGL 201, 202, 203, or 204.

Schedule Details

Location Time Day(s)