Graduate Seminars - Spring 2011
ENGL 5303-001Dr. Brian McFadden
Studies in Medieval Literature: Beowulf
T 9:00-11:50 AM
This course will be an in-depth translation and analysis of the first major epic poem in the English language. Topics to be discussed: Germanic social structure as depicted in the poem versus the realities of Anglo-Saxon society; the role of women in the poem and women in Anglo-Saxon society; the tension and accommodation between Christian and Germanic elements in the poem; the Anglo-Saxon conception of monstrousness; the paleography and codicology of the text. Prerequisite: ENGL 5301 (Old English Language). Requirements: oral presentation; one 20-25 page seminar paper; daily translation and reading in Old English.
*This course satisfies the requirement in pre-1700 British literature and may be used for the poetry genre requirement.
ENGL 5306-001Dr. Marliss Desens
Seventeenth-century Literature: Women in Renaissance Drama - Not Always Chaste, Silent,
M 2:00-4:50 PM
One of the numerous Renaissance handbooks on female behavior (written by men of course) specifies that women should be “chaste, silent, and obedient.” Although some critics have taken the existence of such handbooks as a sign of a strict code of female conduct, it is more likely that these handbooks exist as a desperate, and mostly unsuccessful, attempt to rein in women who asserted themselves and spoke their minds. In this class, we will examine female characters, in the plays of Shakespeare and his contemporaries, who conform to or rebel against these purported ideals of female behavior, or who use these paradigms for their own purposes. Among the questions we will explore: Are there ways that women can work within the structures of such societies to get what they desire? What does a woman need in order to assert herself? What role does social class play? Is female rebellion always a rebellion or is it actually an acknowledgment of the strictures of a patriarchal society? How are the women viewed by the males around them? In reading these plays, keep in mind that Renaissance drama tends much more toward exploration than didacticism; in other words, exploring social issues usually is more important for the dramatists than arriving at answers. Note: The seminar meets for three hours one day a week, so we need to hit the ground running. For the first meeting, please read Friar Bacon and Friar Bungay. Please e-mail 5 substantial discussion points by noon of the day prior to the first seminar meeting. Students will be expected to lead short discussions on at least one of the points they submit.
The Riverside Shakespeare, 2nd edn., ed. G. Blakemore Evans and J.J. M. Tobin (if you choose, you may buy individual copies of the Shakespeare plays, as we are only reading a few; acceptable editions: Arden Shakespeare, New Cambridge, Oxford); English Renaissance Drama, ed. David Bevington (Note: if you have other editions of the plays, check with me for availability); Bussy D'Ambois, George Chapman, ed, Nicholas Brooke; The Widow's Tears, George Chapman (if I can find a text). Note: There may be one or two other texts of secondary criticism. I will know once I have checked on availability.
*This course satisfies the requirement in pre-1700 British literature and may be used for the drama/film genre requirement.
ENGL 5307-001Dr. Marta Kvande
Restoration and Eighteenth-century Literature: Eighteenth-Century Women Novelists
M 6:00-8:50 PM
Many eighteenth-century critics viewed the novel with alarm as a genre primarily written by women for women—yet until relatively recently, the modern canon of eighteenth-century novelists was largely male. As we consider the relationship between eighteenth-century canons and our own, this course will focus on some of the women novelists active during the eighteenth century, like Behn, Haywood, Sarah Fielding, Lennox, Burney, and Radcliffe, among others; we will also explore various contexts—historical, social, literary, cultural, and so on—as they both shaped and were shaped by these novels. We will consider issues such as the changing nature of the novel during the period, changing attitudes toward women, varying notions of authorship, the emergence of print culture, and the shifting boundaries of public and private. We will also seek to engage with these novels in their material contexts. Expect to read at least ten long novels. Required work will include a conference-style presentation, several short response papers, and a seminar paper.
*This course satisfies the requirement in post-1700 British literature and may be used for the fiction requirement.
ENGL 5309-001Dr. Marjean Purinton
Nineteenth-century Literature: Romantic Ghosts and Grotesques
TR 11:00-12:20 PM
The British Romantic period (1780-1830) generated much social upheaval, political change, religious uncertainty, familial disruptions, and identity confusion. It was a revolutionary time when literature challenged and championed prevailing attitudes and customs. One of the many revolutionary dimensions of British Romantic culture was that of science, medicine, psychology—natural philosophy—as it was called—discourses and practices that attempted to explain the mind and body. In fact, we see Romantic preoccupations with the mind and body in the period's literature with haunting frequency.
The Romantic period revolution in science produced multiple forms for mediating post-Enlightenment dualisms such as biochemistry and magic, romance and Gothic, medicine and quackery, bodies and spirits, life and death, freedom and bondage. We will interrogate two forms: grotesques and ghosts. Discursively constructed monsters or aberrations were embodied as grotesques, their corporeal representations connected to the body, its anatomy, its physiology, its potential for disease and deformity, its propensity for physical disabilities, for racial distinction, and socio-sexual transgressions. Creatively constructed ghosts, on the other hand, represented scientific scrutiny and speculation about mental disorders—hallucinations, hysteria, hypochondria, deliria, madness, mania, nervous disorders—all charged with new medical significations.
In this seminar, we will explore literary representations of Romantic ghosts and grotesques that sought to explain, expose, and contain the mysteries of the mind and body addressed by the period's discourses of science, medicine, and psychology. We will examine the undercurrent of cultural and discursive attention to the slave trade and abolition movement, the cultural abomination (grotesque) that haunted the Romantic period and the legacy (ghost) that the institution of slavery bequeathed to dominant Anglo-European culture: Hannah More's, Ann Yearsley's, William Copwer's Robert Southey's, Amelia Opie's, Mary Robinson's, William Wordsworth's poems on slavery; Obi; or Three-Fingered Jack, The History of Mary Prince; and Maria Edgeworth's short story “The Grateful Negro.”
We will examine theatricalized ghosts and grotesques, as Romantic medicine was staged and Romantic drama was scientifically charged: Horace Walpole's The Mysterious Mother, Matthew Lewis's The Castle Spectre, Joanna Baillie's De Monfort, Richard Brinsley Peake's Presumption; or, The Fate of Frankenstein; Lord Byron's Manfred, and Thomas Lovell Beddoes's Death's Jest-Book.
We will examine the intersections between the Gothic and Romantic medicine, two critical avenues of inquiry having much in common: Horace Walpole's novela The Castle of Otronto; Mary Shelley's essay “On Ghosts,” short story “The Mortal Immortal,” and novel Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus; Charles Lamb's essays “Dream Children” and “Witches and Other Night-Fears”; S.T. Coleridge's poems “Rime of the Ancyent Marinere”and “Christable” ; Lord Byron's and John Polidori's “vampire” stories; John Keats's poem “The Eve of St. Agnes”; Mary Robinson's poem “The Haunted Beach”; Lord Byron's poem “Prometheus”; and P.B. Shelley's poem “The Haunted Walk.”
Alongside literary explorations of ghosts and grotesques, we will read treatises in natural philosophy, the emergent scientific discourses of the Romantic period: Joseph Priestley's lecture “Observations and Experiments Relating to Equivocal, or Spontaneous, Generation”; excerpts from Humphry Davy's Elements of Chemical Philosophy and from his Memoirs, “An Account of Some Experiments on the Torpedo”; excerpts from Giovanni Aldina's An Account of the Late Improvements in Galvanism; excerpts from William Lawrence's Lectures on Physiology, Zoology, and the Natural History of Man; excerpts from Erasmus Darwin's The Temple of Nature, excerpts from John Dalton's A New System of Chemical Philosophy; excerpts from Mary Somerville's On the Connexion of the Physical Sciences.
Among secondary materials we will inspect, we will find Richard Holmes's The Age of Wonder: The Romantic Generation and the Discovery of the Beauty and Terror of Science (2010); Roy Porter's Madness: A Brief History (2003); and Londa Schiebinger's Nature's Body: Gender in the Making of Modern Science (2004).
Our learning environment will be interactive, reading and writing intensive, but fun. Because my scholarship and pedagogy are informed by feminism, you will encounter instruction facilitated by de-centered authority. You are invited to participate in your own learning/discovery process. Be prepared to be challenged as a critical reader and analytical writer. Be willing to consider new ideas and perspectives. Be prepared to learn something about the profession as well as about yourself and the human condition.
Our learning activities will include response papers, an annotated bibliography, a critical analysis, an oral presentation, and ample amounts of provocative discussion. You should be able to emerge from this seminar with work in progress that could serve you as a conference paper and/or work that you could apply towards a longer project, such as a M.A. thesis or Ph.D. dissertation chapter.
This seminar is vital to students whose specializations are British or American Romanticism, British Enlightenment, or British Victorian periods.
*This course satisfies the requirement in post-1700 British literature.
ENGL 5315-001Dr. Jen Shelton
Twentieth-century British Fiction: James Joyce
R 2:00-4:50 PM
More scholarly work has been published about James Joyce than about any author except Shakespeare. In this course, we'll explore some of the reasons why. Joyce in Context will examine this central figure of Modernism both in terms of how modernity made Joyce and in terms of how Joyce's work makes modernism. We will read Joyce's works of fiction, beginning with the short stories of Dubliners and dipping into a bit of Finnegans Wake. The bulk of the semester will be devoted to Ulysses.
Because Joyce's writing is peculiarly amenable to a wide variety of critical approaches, we will read criticism from a variety of theoretical schools, beginning with Virginia Woolf's and T.S. Eliot's views and incorporating post-colonial, historical, gender, post-structuralist, and other ways of reading. Work for the semester will include a book review, a seminar paper, class presentation(s) (including small, informal presentations on an object and motif that you will follow throughout Ulysses), and an exam or exam substitute (which I will discuss on the first day of class and which we will decide on together after we have begun our study of Ulysses). Students should read all the stories of Dubliners (in any edition) before the first class meeting.
*This course satisfies the requirement in post-1700 British literature and may be used for the fiction requirement.
ENGL 5324-001Dr. Yuan Shu
Twentieth-century American Literature: Postmodern American Fiction
M 6:00-8:50 PM
This course investigates postmodern American fiction in terms of literary responses to the social, political, cultural, and technological changes in the United States since the 1960s. We begin by considering how the meta-fiction of Thomas Pynchon, William Burroughs, and Donald Barthelme breaks the narrative frame and creates new senses of reality in relation to realist and modernist fiction. Moreover, we also examine how the work of Gloria Anzaldua, Jessica Hagedorn, Ishmael Reed, Gerald Vizenor, and Karen Tei Yamashita reconfigures time and space from the critical perspectives of women and racial minorities. Finally, we read the cyberpunk fiction of William Gibson and Neal Stephenson, the work of Don DeLillo and Cormac McCarthy in the changing historical context of the local and the global. During our discussion of the primary texts, we engage the different notions of postmodernism in critical dialogues with postcolonialism and globalization theories as articulated by Jean-Francois Lyotard, Fredric Jameson, David Harvey, Jean Baudrillard, Donna Haraway, Katherine Hayles, bell hooks, Gayatri Spivak, Arif Dirlik, and Paul Jay.
Possible texts: Gloria Anzaldua, Borderlands/La Frontera; Don DeLillo, Mao II; Paula Geyh, ed. Postmodern American Fiction; William Gibson, Neuromancer; Jessica Hagedorn, The Dog-eaters; Cormac McCarthy, Blood Meridian; Thomas Pynchon, The Crying of Lot 49; Ishmael Reed, Flight to Canada; Neal Stephenson, Snow Crash; Gerald Vizenor, The Heirs of Columbus; Karen Tei Yamashita, The Tropic of Orange. Requirements: two class presentations, one mid-term paper (5-6 pages), and one final paper (18-20 pages).
*This course satisfies the requirement in post-1900 American literature.
ENGL 5325-001Dr. Sara Spurgeon
American Fiction: Green Literature and Cinema
R 9:00-11:50 AM
In the mid 1970s Marshall McLuhan famously invoked “ecology” to explain how various media can be arranged so that they support one another without canceling one another out. In this spirit, ENGL 5325: American Fiction and ENGL 5351: Film Studies will combine this Spring 2011 for a special examination of “Green Literature & Cinema,” team-taught by Drs. Sara Spurgeon and Scott Baugh. Green Literature & Cinema will critically engage the ways environmental issues, “nature,” and concepts of the natural are reflected, constructed, and deployed in American literature and cinema. Some questions that will guide our inquiries: How do notions of environment and constructions of identity correlate? How is the idea of the “natural” used to construct categories of gender, race, ethnicity, class, and sexuality? Where do environmentalism and multiculturalism intersect? What are the origins for various American myths about nature, and what might the consequences be for the environment? How have notions about frontiers and empire impacted the way contemporary cultures view nature? Where, in fact, does “nature” begin and where does it end? How have human beings grown into and through or in spite of our technologies?
Our readings will range across several canonical novels and films (Monkey Wrench Gang, Call of the Wild, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre) and critical sources (Annette Kolodny, Richard Slotkin) alongside less established texts (Into the Wild, The New World, Ceremony, Blood Meridian, Avatar, Wall-e, and Hot, Flat, and Crowded) that update or challenge commonly held notions about this area of study. Required materials include The Critical Eye (Kasdan, et al. Kendall-Hunt, 4th ed., 2008), an introductory primer on film literacy for advanced students; many of our readings will be available through an electronic reserve. Part of our conversations may take advantage of an online forum such as Moodle. Assignments will include one short essay (approximately 5-pages long); an in-class presentation of the short essay; and an article (15+ pages in length).
*This course satisfies the requirement in post-1900 American literature and may be used for the fiction and/or film/drama requirement.
ENGL 5337-001Dr. Min-Joo Kim
Studies in Linguistics: Semantics and Pragmatics
This course is concerned with linguistic meaning. Every word has some sort of meaning but some words are harder to give a denotation for: for example, words like ‘only' and ‘even' affect the meaning of the entire sentence but they themselves do not have a concrete lexical meaning. Giving an appropriate treatment to such words would be one of the major concerns of this course. Another chief concern will be how words are put together to produce a sentential meaning. Along the way, we will investigate why ‘Every man loves a woman' can be ambiguous, whereas ‘A woman is loved by every man' is not. In addition, we will address some issues on pragmatics: for example, why we are not asking a question when we say ‘Could you please pass me the salt?', and why we may be implying something about Mary when we say ‘Mary got pregnant and then got married,' as opposed to ‘Mary got married and then got pregnant'. Students will do weekly homework assignments and will write a term-paper on a topic relevant to the course objectives.
*This course fulfills the structural requirement or can serve as an elective in the Linguistics concentration.
ENGL 5337-002Dr. Mary Jane Hurst
Studies in Linguistics: Linguistic Approaches to Literature
TR 2:00-3:20 PM
This offering of English 5337 will have two primary and interrelated aims:
- to enable students to learn about linguistic approaches to literature and to learn how to investigate and analyze language in literature; and
- to advance scholarship in the field of linguistic studies of literature.
We will begin with some historical context on stylistics, from Aristotle to Roman Jakobson; we will survey various twentieth and twenty-first century approaches to the course topic; and we will then attempt to determine where the field is headed next. We will consider the political and intellectual interfaces between linguistics and literature. We will look together as a class at selected examples of fiction in order to understand the two-way street of what literature has to offer linguistic study and what linguistics has to offer literary study. Each student will apply the course concepts in a substantive paper investigating language in a text (of fiction, poetry, drama, or nonfiction prose) of his or her choice and will give an oral presentation about that paper to the class. Other assessment methods may include an exam and/or smaller writing assignments such as biweekly position papers. Students who enroll should understand, first, that this is an untidy field in the sense there is no one dominant theoretical approach governing it, and, second, that the course will include lectures, discussions, and outside research and reading as well as close, careful analyses of texts. Previous academic training in linguistics is not a prerequisite for enrollment in this class.
*This course satisfies the sociological requirement or serves as an elective in the Linguistics concentration.
ENGL 5343-001Dr. Kanika Batra
Studies in Literary Criticism: Sexuality and its Discontents: Queer Studies
W 9:00-11:50 AM
Michel Foucault's claim about the proliferation of discourse on sexuality in Victorian England is equally applicable to globalized world we inhabit at the beginning of the twenty-first century. Representations of sexual diversity are considered by some as a trend in the literary and cultural marketplace. The increased acceptability quotient of such representations have also led to charges that they glamorize ‘sinful' and ‘unnatural' desire. These polarized reactions sometimes obscure the long, arduous decades of activism supported by research and publishing that created the conditions for public discussions of sexuality.
Our focus in this course will be on the proliferation of queer discourse through a selection of texts – historical, literary, filmic, anthropological, and legal -- to examine the institutionalization of Queer studies as a mode of critique from the late 1970s since the publication of Foucault's seminal History of Sexuality, Volume 1 to the present moment marked by its conjunctions with Black studies and Postcolonial studies. One of the central concerns governing our enquiry will be the relationship between academic and the social. To this end, we begin by examining key moments in the global histories of gay and lesbian organizing, including organizations such as the Aids Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP) in the US and the Gay Freedom Movement (GFM) in Jamaica. We will then discuss the emergence of the category ‘queer' marked by a conjunction of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender concerns. The final section of the course will focus on modes of analysis that point to the exclusions in queer activism and theory and call for theoretical and social engagements across race, class, sexual and geographical differences.
ENGL 5351-001Dr. Scott Baugh
Film and Literature: Green Literature and Cinema
R 9:00-11:50 AM
This course will be team-taught with Dr. Spurgeon's ENGL 5325 course. See description above.
ENGL 5352-001Dr. Ann Daghistany Ransdell
Studies in Fiction: Transatlantic 19th Century British and American Fiction
F 9:00-11:50 AM
This course examines parallel themes, scenes and characters, as well as adaptations, between prominent nineteenth century authors on both sides of the Atlantic. We will read Dickens, the Brontes, Alcott, Eliot, Hardy and H. James. The social outcast figures of the orphan and the prostitute will be studied as well as marginal female employment in needlework, and acting, as well as the governess and the companion. Focus will center on gender, class, marriage and religion. We will read Dickens Oliver Twist ,Eliot's Adam Bede, Alcott's Moods, Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre, Alcott's Work, Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights, Alcott's Little Women, Hardy's Tess of the D'Urbervilles, H. James' The American, and Alcott's The Long Fatal Love Chase. Requirements include a 15 to 20 page paper, an oral presentation of that paper, two short film/fiction papers, and a final exam.
*This course fulfills the Comparative Lit course requirement and also may be used for the fiction genre requirement.
ENGL 5352-002 Studies in FictionProf. Dennis Covington
M 6:00-8:50 PM
This course will be a study of representative short stories and novels, without regard to period or nationality, in order to discover form, that elusive quality Eudora Welty calls “the source of beauty in a story.” The reading list will include collected and individual stories by Gogol, Turgenev, Chekhov, James, Chopin, Anderson, Lawrence, Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Welty, O'Connor, Mansfield, Cheever, Oates, Carver, and others. We'll also be reading Turgenev's Fathers and Sons and McEwan's Atonement. Students will be asked to write two short papers (1500 word minimum for each) and one longer paper (3000 word minimum). There will be both a mid-term and final exam with identification and essay questions.
*This course may satisfy the comparative literature requirement and/or the fiction genre requirement.
ENGL 5353-001Dr. John Poch
Studies in Poetry: Forms and Functions
In W.S. Merwin's essay “On Open Form” he states, “The consideration of the evolution of forms, strict or open, belongs largely to history and to method. The visitation that is going to be a poem finds the form it needs in spite of both.'” In this class we will study a variety of verse forms and formal techniques, especially traditional forms that emphasize regular accentual syllabic structures. We will investigate history, method, and the forms “in spite of” and as a result of tradition. We will begin with meter and rhythm in verse, types of rhyme, examine blank verse, and discover the formal qualities and quantities of couplets, villanelles, sonnets, sestinas, nonce forms, prose poems, etc. Just to wet your whistle, a few of the poets we will consider: Stallings, Williamson, Lowell, Meredith, Wilbur, Cullen, Frost, Schnackenberg, Alvarez, Hacker, Auden, Dickinson, Bishop, Edson, Tate, Walcott, Ashbery. Creative writing students are encouraged to work within the given forms and submit a portfolio of seven poems and a brief introductory statement rather than write the required final term paper. There will be a final exam.
*This course satisfies the Creative Writing requirement and may be used for the poetry genre requirement.
ENGL 5353-002Dr. Lara Crowley
Studies in Poetry: The Early Modern Sonnet
On April 6, 1327, the Italian scholar and poet Francesco Petrarca beheld the fair Laura at mass and instantly fell in love. The fact that Laura was married and thus unattainable did not stop him from celebrating her in 366 Italian poems, mostly sonnets. While the “little song” existed prior to the fourteenth century, it was thanks largely to Petrarca's sonnet sequence that this fourteen-line verse structure became the most common form for love poetry in early modern Europe. Renaissance sonneteers ranged from Clement Marot and Pierre de Ronsard in France to Garcilaso de la Vega and Francisco de Quevedo in Spain to Thomas Wyatt, Henry Howard, Philip Sidney, and Lady Mary Wroth in England. Nearly every poet in Renaissance England tried his or her hand at sonnet composition. Many experimented with form, tone, and themes in sonnet sequences: Edmund Spenser's speaker marries his beloved; John Donne addresses his love poems to God, begging Him to “Batter my heart”; and William Shakespeare eschews the traditional chaste, fair woman, famously attending instead to a promiscuous, dark lady and to a young man.
This course explores this literary form from its European roots to John Milton's seventeenth-century meditative and political sonnets. Students will write weekly response papers, a conference paper to present in class on a research topic that they're exploring, and a final paper on that research topic.
*This course may be used to satisfy the Pre-1700 British Literature requirement, the Comparative Literature requirement, or the poetry genre requirement.
ENGL 5370-001Dr. Jacqueline Kolosov
Studies in Creative Writing: Poetry Workshop
M 9:00-11:50 AM
This seminar is a writing workshop centered on the aesthetics and work-in-progress of the poets who enroll. I will give 2 formal assignments. One will be an ekphrastic poem. I will also ask poets to write at least 2 poems that involve “research” of a very open-ended nature, poems that will ideally enlarge existing themes or concerns in other poems. (Plath's bee poems are a good example, as is the tension between and mirroring of the ‘flight cage' in Rebecca Dunham's title poem and her poems about femininity and motherhood.)
In addition to the writing, we will read selections from modern and contemporary poets as well as essays by practicing poets such as Wallace Stevens, Dean Young, Laura Kasischke, Jane Hirshfield, Ellen Bryant Voigt, and me. Essays will address craft, aesthetics, and other dimensions of the writing life, and will become an ongoing part of our conversation. We will also read selections from Wallace Stevens (“Sunday Morning,” “Notes to a Supreme Fiction” and other poems), Sylvia Plath (Ariel), as well as Brigit Pegeen Kelly's Orchard and Rebecca Dunham's The Flight Cage. There will be 2-3 workshops for which all poets will submit their work. Other than this, we will hold workshops on a “rolling” basis, meaning that each poet can submit poems when he or she is ready, with the understanding that 6-9 poems from each writer will be workshopped over the course of the semester.
Enrollment is open to those in the creative writing program; those in other areas who are interested in taking the class should submit a group of poems to my mailbox, along with your contact information, for permission to enroll.
- An ongoing writing practice that is both disciplined and visionary
- The commitment to bring your own intelligence to bear on the work of your colleagues
- Faith in revision
- A final portfolio of 8 poems along with an 8 page introduction to the poems that incorporates some of the reading from the class.
*This course satisfies the Creative Writing requirement.
ENGL 5370-002Prof. Cristina Garcia
Studies in Creative Writing: Prose Workshop
R 2:00-4:50 PM
Contact instructor for course description.
*This course satisfies the Creative Writing requirement.
ENGL 5380-001Dr. Michele Navakas
Advanced Problems in Literature: North and South: Imagining American Geographies,
1700 to 1865
T 9:00-11:50 AM
While U.S. regionalism is usually considered a nineteenth-century development, this course begins by examining the even earlier roots of the notions of “North” and “South,” starting with Anglo-American writing of the early eighteenth century such as William Byrd's Histories of the Dividing Line (1728) that considers everything below Virginia to be productive of “gross humours” and a great “refuge for all debtors and fugitives.” We will consider various genres of writing that arose as America moved from colony to nation and empire, and ask how they imagine the diverse climates, geographies, and populations that America's ever-changing borders sought to contain. As we read both classic and lesser known literary works of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries we will focus on the constantly contested notion of nationhood. In particular, we will think about how concepts of sovereignty, possession, expansion, settlement, and founding that develop in response to various southern topographies and climates put pressure on the more salient ideals of national identity that took shape on northern grounds. Primary readings will likely include Thomas Jefferson's Notes on the State of Virginia (1781-1782), Charles Brockden Brown's Arthur Mervyn; or Memoirs of the Year 1793 (1799), Edgar Allan Poe's The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket (1838), and Harriet Beecher Stowe's Dred: A Tale of the Great Dismal Swamp (1856), among others. Archival and secondary readings will also be included.
*This course satisfies the pre-1900 American Literature requirement.
ENGL 5380-002Dr. Michael Borshuk
Advanced Problems in Literature: African American Crime Fiction
T 2:00-4:50 PM
In this course, we will explore a subset of the African American literary canon that has suffered from relative critical neglect: African American crime fiction. Beginning with early African American folktales that revel in black lawlessness, and moving forward through black American ventures in detective narrative, hard-boiled crime fiction, and suspense thrillers, we will consider how African American artists have used the conventions of crime narrative to interrogate the limits and inequities of American law, and to subvert the white-supremacist trope of black criminality. Our thematic interests will also include black writers' subversion of conventional crime fiction's white-male-centered conservative ideology; narrative representations of the city as a place of lawlessness and peril, as a counter to modernity's faith in the city as the repository of idealism and progress; and generic explorations in crime fiction that problematize the false claims to rational authority at the heart of the science of race. While our primary interest will be the study of literary texts, we will also consider examples of film and popular music that explore these various ideas and themes.
Our reading list will likely include the following texts: Pauline Hopkins, “Talma Gordon"; Pauline Hopkins, Hagar's Daughter; Rudolph Fisher, The Conjure-Man Dies; Richard Wright, Native Son; Chester Himes, Cotton Comes to Harlem; Iceberg Slim, Trick Baby; Donald Goines, Daddy Cool; Clarence Major, Reflex and Bone Structure ; Walter Mosley, Devil in a Blue Dress; Thulani Davis, Maker of Saints; Colson Whitehead, The Intuitionist; Stephen L. Carter, The Emperor of Ocean Park. Students will be expected to contribute weekly to a class blog discussion, present on one course text to his/her peers, submit an annotated bibliography, and complete an article-length research paper of 15-20pp.
*This course satisfies the post-1900 American requirement and the fiction genre requirement.
ENGL 5380-003Dr. Lara Crowley
Advanced Problems in Literature:Scholarly Editing
T 2:00-4:50 PM
Scholarly editing is the means by which reliable editions of literary texts are made available to literary critics and readers. It requires that the editor understand the composition, production, dissemination, and reception of texts and articulate that knowledge to readers clearly and concisely. Therefore, English 5380, “Scholarly Editing and Digital Environments,” prepares students to create editions, both in and out of electronic environments. This course will examine the history of scholarly editing and the various theories that undergird textual scholarship, in order to answer the following questions (among others):
- What do editors do?
- What theories guide editorial decisions?
- What kinds of editions can one produce, and what are the differences between them?
- How does the choice of an edition (and by extension the choices of an editor) influence literary interpretation and theory?
- How do editors determine a copy-text?
- How does one manage multiple, varying “authorized” versions of a text?
- How does one accommodate variants between one edition (or stage of production) and another?
- How much attention should an editor pay to authorial intention, if the author(s) is known?
- What does one annotate and how?
Students will learn the basic mark-up practices of the Text-Encoding Initiative (TEI), as well as gain familiarity with other scholarly tools.
*This course satisfies the Graduate Certificate in Publishing and Editing requirement.
ENGL 5380-004Dr. James Whitlark
Advanced Problems in Literature: Religion in Later British Literature
R 2:00-4:50 PM
After the seventeenth-century wars of religion, British religious diversity in some ways actually increased, albeit less violently. We shall begin with Alexander Pope's Deistic “Universal Prayer” and his comically occult “Rape of the Lock” (). We shall then go to William Blake's Songs of Innocence and of Experience and his Marriage of Heaven and Hell. For an early nineteenth-century Romantic and Victorian reconsideration of Christianity, we shall examine Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (written during the Romantic and revised during the Victorian period). Rudyard Kipling's Kim and William Butler Yeats' Selected Poems and Four Plays will serve as a synthesis of late-nineteenth-century/early-twentieth-century comparative religions. For Modernist Neo-Christianity and the opposition to it, we shall examine C. S. Lewis's The Great Divorce (his response to Blake's The Marriage of Heaven and Hell) and Aldous Huxley's Brave New World. Course work will consist of a term paper and two tests.
*This course counts toward the requirementfor post-1700 British Literature.
ENGL 5380-005Dr. Curtis Bauer
Advanced Problems in Literature: Chapbook and Broadside Publishing
W 6:00-8:50 PM
In this course, students will examine the history of the small book (otherwise known as Chapter Book, or in its more contemporary setting, the Chapbook) and broadsides in America, beginning with those published in the early 19th century and ending with the most contemporary ones being published today. We'll see how chapbooks and broadsides have changed, for better or for worse, and what the future might hold for such literary outlets. Additionally, students will learn the business of editing and publishing a chapbook and broadside: each student will create his or her own small press, design a logo, establish a mission statement, formulate rejection and acceptance letters, select a manuscript of appropriate length for a chapbook and broadside, and, most importantly, learn how to typeset (using Adobe InDesign) and how to copy edit (using MLA, Chicago, and AP stylesheets).
By the end of the semester, students will have produced one chapbook and broadside for their small press. Students will be encouraged to not only hand bind their chapbook, but also to work with the print department and the letterpress lab to design and print a letterpress cover and/or broadside.
*This course satisfies the requirement for the Graduate Certificate in Publishing and Editing.
ENGL 5392-001Dr. John Samson
Teaching College Literature
T 6:00-8:50 PM
Intended for graduate students in their final semester of course work who are interested in applying for a 2000-level literature teaching assignment, ENGL 5392 offers an introduction to the challenges of teaching college literature. We begin with an overview of theoretical issues associated with the teaching of college literature (What is college literature? Who gets a say in the answer to this question? To whom/what are college literature teachers responsible? What are their responsibilities? What kind of writing does/should occur in college literature classrooms? And so on) but move quickly to actual praxis. Students in 5392 will prepare reading/writing assignments, engage in grading of those assignments, and ‘teach' selected texts to the rest of us in class. By the end of the semester, each student will prepare a sample syllabus and writing assignments for a 2000-level course at TTU, will be video-taped while doing a practice teaching session, and will have a start on a teaching philosophy statement and a teaching portfolio.
Readings for the class include a range of theoretical and practical essays, as well as sample works of literature. Assignments include a few personal meditations (“what values have you taken in/on during your education in literary studies?”), reports on classroom observations, responses to readings, and the production of classroom materials (syllabi, assignment descriptions, grading rubrics, Powerpoint presentations).
*This course satisfies the requirement in Pedagogy.