Jonathan Morse
 Professor of English
 Phone: 956-8802
 Office: Kuykendall 518
 Office hours, fall 2016:
 TTh 1:30-2:45 and by appointment

 The English Department's Page
 My blog about language and photography


General information, fall 2016

About textbooks, your grade may depend on belief in these two truths

Truth 1: the bookstore will not keep your textbooks in stock until the end of the semester. After a while, it will return unsold copies to their publishers.

Truth 2: not everything is online, and even the things that are online may not be there for you when you need them.

About truth 1: one recent semester, several students of mine learned this lesson all at once. I kept telling them not to depend on being able to buy their books one at a time, but they didn't believe me. They were able to buy their books one at a time, too -- until a month before the end of the semester. But then, suddenly and horribly, the consequence of their disbelief executed its strike. Suddenly and horribly, the bookstore no longer had the last books we were scheduled to read, and every UH or State Library copy was checked out, and there wasn't enough time left for Amazon to make deliveries. At finals time, the consequence of the consequence was even more horrible. Imagine somebody trying to explain that awful grade to a job interviewer.

About truth 2: I'm writing this note in July 2016. This month alone, one of the scholarly world's most important resources, the Library of Congress, was knocked offline by a denial-of-service attack, and both my wife's cellphone and mine were knocked out of service by malware that forwarded our incoming calls to a nonexistent Google Voice account. According to my phone provider, every provider is being hit by that one. Some years ago, too, Google itself was disabled by malware that redirected people's searches to advertising sites. No, your guardian angels in the aether are not always on duty. Draw the moral accordingly.

I'm sorry to say all this, because I know textbooks are expensive. If you can obtain the books online in a secure way, or rent them, or borrow them from a library or a friend, fine. But you will have to get them one way or another, and you will have to get them soon.

University disability information: if you have or think that you may have a disability and therefore need some support, you are encouraged to contact the KOKUA Program for students with all disabilities including learning, mental health, and physical disabilities. Contact KOKUA at 808-956-7511,  (V/T), email KOKUA at, visit KOKUA in room 013 Queen Lili'uokalani Center for Student Services, or visit the KOKUA website at for further information. KOKUA services are confidential and there is no charge to students.


The university's statement regarding sexual harassment and sexual violence

Sexual harassment is one type of sex discrimination under Title IX, United States Education Amendments of 1972. The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) states that sexual harassment is any unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature. Sexual violence is a severe form of sexual harassment. Some examples of sexual violence include threatening someone into unwanted sexual activity; sexual contact with someone who is drunk, drugged, unconscious, or otherwise unable to give a clear, informed “yes” or “no”; and rape or attempted rape. For more examples, visit the Office of Gender Equity website.

Under Title IX, responsible employees cannot ensure confidentiality. Responsible employees must report any instance or disclosure of alleged sexual harassment. If you would like to speak to someone confidentially about your options regarding something you have experienced or witnessed, please contact the UH Office of Gender Equity at the number or address below.


Related campus resources:

University Health Services


Counseling and Student Development Center


Office of Gender Equity


LGBT Student Services


Women's Center


PAU Violence Program


In case of emergency:

Honolulu Police Department, 911

Manoa Department of Public Safety, 956-6911. The Department of Public Safety provides escort services on campus.


English 337


For Dickinson and for poetry: two tipplers

Speaking (as we will have been) of James's "The Real Thing," the subtitle of "The Open Boat" is "A Tale Intended to Be After the Fact." But why write it in that complicated way? Isn't any true story just automatically real? To think about, here's some background material for "The Open Boat."

"The sound of sense":  two letters by Robert Frost

Assignment for the October 18 paper

Two pages from Ezra Pound's Gaudier-Brzeska

Wallace Stevens, "A High-Toned Old Christian Woman"

English 440

"James Joyce," from The Norton Anthology of English Literature

Assignment for paper 1

William Butler Yeats's
poems "Who Goes with Fergus" and "The Fisherman"

The Odyssey, in the Robert Fitzgerald translation that's used in "Ulysses" Annotated

A guide to The Odyssey, with maps, notes, and a glossary.

The term
stream of consciousness

T. S. Eliot's essay
"Ulysses, Order, and Myth"

Assignment for paper 3

Assignment for paper 4

Joyce's dream poem about Molly

"Anna Livia Plurabelle," from
Finnegans Wake:
read it
and listen to
Joyce read it.

"And thus it happened that, after ten years' pursuit, he found himself lying in the Gallery of Machines at the Great Exposition of 1900, his historical neck broken by the sudden irruption of forces totally new."  -- The Education of Henry Adams. For English 337, the future envisioned in 1850 . . .
and the present illustrated in 1910.
One of the triumphant exhibits that Henry Adams probably saw in Paris: the Great Telescope of 1900, the largest yet built. Elegant pun: the French word for "telescope," lunette, literally means "little moon," and the lady whose dress bears the coat of arms of Paris is Diana, the goddess of the moon. And yes: as Henry was well aware, she was also the goddess of virginity.
Image of a different sort of power: the classically simple apparatus that the English physicist James Prescott Joule devised in 1845 for his paper "On the Mechanical Equivalent of Heat." Falling through a known distance, a known mass exerts a measurable force to spin a paddle wheel in a container of water. That raises the water's temperature by a measurable amount. After learning this, Samuel Pierpont Langley was able to understand how the coal in the engine house could change into electricity.