Texas Tech University

Graduate Seminars - Fall 2010

5301.001 Old English

Brian McFadden
MWF 12:00-12:50

Old English Language
This course will introduce students to the grammar, syntax, vocabulary, phonology, and morphology of Old English and examine its relationship to the language we speak today. Our primary focus will be to develop a reading knowledge of Old English for the study of basic Old English prose and poetic texts, as well as preparing students to begin reading Beowulf in the Spring 2011 semester (this course is a prerequisite). Course requirements: daily translations; midterm exam, periodic quizzes, and one final translation/transcription project. Texts: Moore, Knott, and Hulbert, The Elements of Old English; Mitchell and Robinson, A Guide to Old English; J. R. Clark Hall, A Concise Anglo-Saxon Dictionary; possibly a coursepack of supplemental materials (delivered via E-reserve).
*This course satisfies one part of the requirement for English philology.

5305.001 Studies in Shakespeare

Marliss Desens
M 9:00-11:50

Shakespearean Comedy and Romance
In this seminar, we will read Shakespeare's ten love comedies, his three "problem" plays, the four romances of which he is sole author. We will be examining the ways in which Shakespeare, a highly experimental dramatist, while exploring similar themes in his comedies, never did so in the same way. We will also explore the increasing complexity of his comedies--in part influenced by the satiric comedy, being produced from the late 1590s, by his contemporaries--that lead to the so-called problem plays or dark comedies: All's Well That Ends Well, Measure for Measure, and Troilus and Cressida. The kind of comedy that Shakespeare was writing toward the end of his career, while influenced by the rise of tragicomedy on the Jacobean stage, can also be seen as rooted in the ten earlier love comedies as well as in the dark comedies. Shakespeare's use of the form departs from that of his contemporaries in that where they show "the danger not the death," Shakespeare's romances consistently require audiences to deal with difficult issues even as the plays move toward traditional comic resolutions. Students are required to submit, by e-mail, five substantial discussion points by 5 p.m. the day before each seminar meeting. 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 The Comedy of Errors and The Two Gentlemen of Verona. Please send your e-mail comments to me by 5 p.m. of the day prior to the first seminar meeting.
Required Texts: The Riverside Shakespeare, 2nd. edition. Ed. G. Blakemore Evans and J. J. M. Tobin [Note: Arden 3 editions are welcome]; Alexander Leggatt, The Cambridge Companion to Shakespearean Comedy (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002). I may assign an additional text, depending on availability. Requirements: Active participation in class discussion, E-mail submission of 5 substantial discussion points by 5 p.m. the day before seminar meetings, 7-8 page critical research paper, 15-20 page critical research paper, presentation of Final Paper at "Final Exam" period.
*This course satisfies the requirement in pre-1700 British literature and Genre: Drama.

5309.001 Studies in 19th-Century British Literature

Ann Hawkins
R 2:00-4:50

This course examines the movement we call Romanticism in the British Isles. We'll begin with some theoretical readings that problematize the word itself, then contextual readings that give us an idea of what historical, social, and cultural movements were occurring between 1750 and 1850. We'll look at some books considered to represent watershed moments, such as Wordsworth and Coleridge's Lyrical Ballads, and place them in the context of works of even more contemporary importance, but until recently hidden from our view, such as Joanna Baillie's Plays on the Passions. We'll examine how the various "schools" of Romanticism (the Della Cruscans, the Lake Poets, the Miltonic or "Satanic" school, etc.) represent the period's anxieties, conflicts, and concerns. In particular, we'll particularly focus on the idea of the Romantic book, and what such a construciton means in terms of gender and celebrity, and we'll consider shifts in the arts that parallel the literary movements we will see taking place. We'll likely read more poetry than prose, and, given Byron's immense stature on the international stage, a big hunk of his work: “Darkness,” Manfred, Childe Harold 3, Don Juan 1-5, and perhaps if time allows, Sardanapalus. In addition to class presentations on artistic figures (in theatre, art, and music), students will write a long paper placing a book in its cultural and intellectual contexts. Course pedagogy will rely heavily on class discussion.
*This course satisfies the requirement in post-1700 British literature.

5313.001 Studies in 20th-Century British Literature

William Wenthe
T 2:00-4:50

Yeats and Auden
Two major poets, two generations of British Modernism, two problematic relationships to England, not to mention just lots of great writing. We'll examine the writers in terms of how they develop a larger, consistent body of thinking primarily through the means of the lyric poem.
*This course satisfies the requirement in post-1700 British literature and Genre: Poetry.

5323.001 Studies in 19th-Century American Literature

John Samson
W 6:00-8:50

Hawthorne and Melville
On August 5, 1850, in what has been called the most famous picnic in American literary history, Nathaniel Hawthorne met Herman Melville, and the two became friends and mutual literary influences. This course will trace the interconnections in their fiction, from their earlier literary beginnings (Hawthorne's short stories and Melville's Typee and Redburn) to their major works of the first half of the 1850s (Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter, The House of the Seven Gables, and The Blithedale Romance; and Melville's Moby-Dick, Pierre, or the Ambiguities, and the short stories). Students will write a shorter paper (5-7 pp.) on each of the two authors and a longer (15-20 pp.) research paper.
*This course satisfies the requirement in pre-1900 American literature and Genre: Fiction.

5324.001 Studies in 20th-Century American Literature

Bryce Conrad
M 6:00-8:50

[Description forthcoming]

5327.001 Studies in Multicultural American Literature

Michael Borshuk
T 2:00-4:50

Race, Resistance, and African American Performance
“The recognition that our lives are structured according to repeated and socially sanctioned modes of behavior,” critic Marvin Carlson writes, “raises the possibility that all human activity could potentially be considered as ‘performance, or at least all activity carried out with a consciousness of itself.” Moreover, as Harry Elam writes specifically of African American performance traditions: “African American theater and performance have been and remain powerful sites for the creation, application, and even the subversion of notions of blackness and of concepts of African American identity.” This course offers students an introduction to the field of performance studies and methods of analyzing different types of performance (theatrical, musical, athletic, public, everyday), with a specific interest in how an African American performance historically has engaged actively with the discourse of race, social inequality, and the construction of black identity.
We will begin with various introductions to performance studies, charting the field's emergence from the study of theatre and dance, before moving on to the long material history of African American performance and its significance. Moving chronologically, we will chart a tradition that begins in black dance and music amidst slavery, proceeds into negotiation with the immense popularity of blackface minstrelsy as a racial spectacle in the 19th century, and develops into notable performances in 20th century film, sports, television, and celebrity life. Amidst our readings of African American performance history, we will pay special attention to a number of notable African American public performers, like Bert Williams, Louis Armstrong, Josephine Baker, Muhammad Ali, Michael Jackson, and Oprah Winfrey.
Possible Reading List: The Performance Studies Reader, ed. Henry Bial; Performance: A Critical Introduction, Marvin A. Carlson; African American Performance and Theater History: A Critical Reader, ed. Harry Elam, Jr. and David Krasner; Performing Blackness, Kimberly Benston; Love and Theft: Blackface Minstrelsy and the American Working Class, Eric Lott; Bodies in Dissent: Spectacular Performances of Race and Freedom, 1850-1910, Daphne A. Brooks; Stylin': African American Expressive Culture From Its Beginnings to the Zoot Suit, Shane and Graham White; Singing the Master: The Emergence of African-American Culture in the Plantation South, Roger Abrahams.
*This course satisfies the requirement in post-1900 American literature.

5335.001 Principles of Language

Min-Joo Kim
M 2:00-4:50

This course provides an introduction to the study of language at the graduate level. We will learn about the set of underlying principles of human language by analyzing linguistic data drawn from various languages, although English data will be used most frequently for ease of exposition. We will begin with more theoretical and fundamental sub-fields of linguistics, i.e., morphology, syntax, semantics, phonetics, and phonology. We will then turn to more applied or descriptive sub-disciplines in linguistics such as language acquisition, language variation, and linguistic typology. Our approach will be descriptive rather than prescriptive, which means that we will analyze what is actually spoken by people. Class meetings will be organized around a lecture format. However, students are expected to participate actively in class discussions. Also, they are expected to do a teaching demo on a chapter in the textbook, and in addition present their research results on a specific topic pertinent to the course towards the end of the term. In addition to those presentation requirements, there will be several weekly homework assignments, one long exam, and one long research paper. There will be two textbooks, one required and one recommended. Additional readings will be assigned, as the course proceeds. Victoria Fromkin, Robert Rodman, Nina M. Hyams. 2007. An Introduction to Language. 8th edition. Thomson Wadsworth (required). Akmajian, Adrian, Richard A. Demers, Ann K. Farmer, and Robert M. Harnish. Linguistics: An Introduction to Language and Communication. 5th Ed. Cambridge, MA: MIT P, 2001 (recommended).

5340.001 Research Methods

Ann Hawkins
T 6:00-8:50

This course prepares students to undertake research on the graduate level. Students will gain a thorough grounding in using library resources and in applying bibliographic theory. Students will undertake intensive literary research, creating enumerative and annotative bibliographies, and writing a textual history and/or research guide for their topic. Students will consider the technological aspect of books by analyzing their physical characteristics (binding, cover, printing, font, impression, etc) as well as their nature as socially constructed material objects. Students should expect to complete a variety of practical skills-building exercises in analytical and descriptive bibliography and in textual editing (including a project in TEI-coding for electronic editions). Note: This is not a course in literary analysis or literary criticism, but in the historical, cultural and technological contexts of books, contexts which are essential to any understanding of a literary work.
*This course satisfies the requirement in Foundations.

5340.002 Research Methods

Jennifer Snead
T 6:00-8:50

This course prepares students to undertake research on the graduate level. Students will gain a thorough grounding in using library resources and in applying bibliographic theory. Students will undertake intensive literary research, creating enumerative and annotative bibliographies, and writing a textual history and/or research guide for their topic. Students will consider the technological aspect of books by analyzing their physical characteristics (binding, cover, printing, font, impression, etc) as well as their nature as socially constructed material objects. Students should expect to complete a variety of practical skills-building exercises in analytical and descriptive bibliography and in textual editing (including a project in TEI-coding for electronic editions). Note: This is not a course in literary analysis or literary criticism, but in the historical, cultural and technological contexts of books, contexts which are essential to any understanding of a literary work.
*This course satisfies the requirement in Foundations.

5342.001 Critical Methods

Yuan Shu
T 6:00-8:50
This course investigates critical theories that have informed and reshaped English studies. We begin by raising a rhetorical question, “Who killed Shakespeare?” and examining the status quo of English studies in the historical context of the declining humanities and the changing university. Then we explore diachronically critical concepts and discourses of formalism, structuralism, post-structuralism, Marxism, and feminism. The focus of our course will be on postcolonial criticism, globalization theory, as well as new media studies. We conclude by bringing up another rhetorical question, “What happens after post-history?” Possible texts: Julie Rivkin and Michael Ryan, Literary Theory: An Anthology, Jonathan Culler, Literary Theory: A Very Short Introduction, Johannes Frank Lentricchia and Thomas McLaughlin, Critical Terms for Literary Studies, N. Katherine Hayles, Electronic Literature: New Horizons for the Literary, and a collection of on-line essays.
Requirements: Students are expected to write 5 response papers and a final seminar paper.
*This course satisfies the requirement in Foundations.

5351.001 Studies in Film

Scott Baugh
TR 3:30-4:50

Contemporary Theory to Criticism
This course offers an introduction to critical cinema studies for graduate students. In some detail, however, the course surveys international movie aesthetics, paying special attention to the significance of visual and aural conventions predominant in fictive narrative features. Surveying a relatively broad range of contemporary theoretical-methodological models provides a basis to consider how viewers “read” films critically. Put another way, there will be an explicit drive in this course to move from a discussion of theories to praxes of criticism. Examples of these models include conceptualizations of “style”; semiotic-syntagmatic approaches to “film language”; spectatorship issues like gendered and racialized “gazes”; phenomenological “addresses”; “voice”/focalization; intertextuality/self-reflexivity; cinematic “polyphony”; “computerization”; among others. So, the main objective of this course is to establish and practice close-reading strategies for interpreting cinematic texts. Two textbooks: Robert Stam's Film Theory (Blackwell); and Margo Kasdan, Christine Saxton, and Susan Tavernetti's The Critical Eye (Kendall-Hunt). Shorter, theoretical readings include pieces by Metz, Mulvey, Mellencamp, Fischer, Small, Burton Carvajal, Manovich, among others. Film screenings might range from Hollywood classics including Griffith's The Birth of a Nation, Welles' Citizen Kane, and Hitchcock's Rear Window to contemporary films such as Haggis' Crash and Gondry's Eternal Sunshine; from international landmarks including Eisenstein's Strike and Battleship Potemkin, Godard's Breathless, and Kurosawa's Rashomon to hits like Tykwer's Run Lola Run and Almodóvar's Talk to Her. A final portion of the course will extend our “film” study to the emergence of digital cinema, applying theories to criticism of some of the most provocative moving-image work being produced today. Course requirements: assigned readings and screenings; one short (5-7 pp.) critical essay; one class presentation; a “greenlight” term project; and one article-length research essay.
*This course satisfies the requirement in post-1900 American literature and Genre: Drama.

5355.001 Studies in Comparative Literature

James Whitlark
R 2:00-4:50

Comparative Literature Methodology
Comparative Literature explores the interrelationships between works from different cultures and languages and/or the composite nature of works that can only be understood by combining disciplinary approaches. This course will explore many of its methodologies by way of the following texts: Hermann Hesse, Journey to the East; Franz Kafka, The Basic Kafka; Anthony Yu (trans.), The Monkey and the Monk (an abridgment of the epic Chinese fantasy Journey to the West); Maxine Hong Kingston, Tripmaster Monkey; Mary Shelley, Frankenstein; Ursula Le Guin, A Wizard of Earthsea.
*This course satisfies the requirement in Comparative Literature.

5370.001 Creative Writing Workshop

John Poch
W 2:00-4:50

In this class, in addition to writing poems each week, we will be reading contemporary and modern poetry (verse, criticism, and/or theory). Classes will be discussion-oriented. Recitation of a poem is a requirement. A final portfolio of poems is due at semester's end.

5370.002 Creative Writing Workshop

Dennis Covington
W 6:00-8:50

This is a graduate workshop in the writing of creative nonfiction, or literary journalism, a genre Ronald Weber calls “fact writing based on reporting that frequently employs techniques drawn from the art of fiction to create something of fiction's atmosphere or feeling and that, most important, moves toward the intentions of fiction while remaining fully factual.” (Henry James says that the chief intention of fiction is to create a “direct impression of life.”) Students will write at least three article-length pieces of creative nonfiction, each with a minimum word length of 3000 words. The two required texts will be The Art of Fact, edited by Kerrane and Yagoda, and another book, yet to be announced, by a contemporary practitioner of the form. Examples from previous semesters have included Stiff, by Mary Roach; Salvador and The Year of Magical Thinking, by Joan Didion; In the Wilderness, by Kim Barnes; and Rising from the Plains, by John McPhee.

5380.002 Advanced Problems in Literary Study

Sean Grass
F 9:00-11:50

Victorian Commodity Culture
In many crucial ways--and as events of the last few years have revealed--our contemporary culture has inherited the spectacular, dehumanizing, and occasionally even laughable commodity culture that emerged in England during the first half of Queen Victoria's reign. The forces of industrialization and capitalism remade British life during the nineteenth century, provoking (apparently) timeless commentaries by economists, sociologists, poets, and writers of fiction and non-fiction prose. We will spend the semester reading these commentaries in all of their variety, and investigating, too, recent critical statements by Victorian literature scholars so that we can come gradually to understand the way that the emergence of commodity culture in Victorian England has necessarily inflected our own cultural notions and must inform our approach to the literature of the period. The semester's readings will include, in part or in whole, the following: Karl Marx, Capital; Henry Mayhew, London Labour and the London Poor; John Ruskin, Unto This Last; D. M. Evans, Facts, Failures and Frauds; Charles Dickens, Little Dorrit; William Thackeray, Vanity Fair; Christina Rossetti, "Goblin Market"; and Thomas Hardy, Jude the Obscure. We will also read criticism and theoretical statements by Walter Benjamin, Mary Poovey, Thomas Richards, and Andrew Miller, among others. Requirements will include a 25-minute conference-style presentation, several (but not quite weekly) response papers, and an article-length research paper.
*This course satisfies the requirement in post-1700 British literature.

5390.001 Writing for Publication

Sara Spurgeon
T 9:30-12:20

This course will help graduate students in literature and linguistics prepare a manuscript for submission to a journal in their field. Students must have a suitable article-length paper (5,000 – 7,000 words) by the beginning of the course, usually one prepared in a previous graduate course. The essay must be a critical work, not creative non-fiction, fiction, or poetry (Creative writing faculty already offer the best advice for this sort of publishing).
*This course satisfies the requirement in Professional Development.

5390.002 Writing for Publication

Marta Kvande
W 6:00-8:50

This is a pragmatic course focusing on the process of preparing an essay for submission to a peer-reviewed journal and on professional activity more broadly. Students must begin the course with a previously-prepared article-length critical paper (5,000 to 7,000 words), usually one from a previous graduate course. Revising this essay for publication (including peer workshops and other revision practices) will be one of the major projects of the course. In addition, students will also learn and practice other aspects of the scholarly process, such as preparing and presenting conference-length papers, determining appropriate venues for their work (both conferences and journals), composing cover letters, applying for grants, writing book proposals, and writing book reviews, among other scholarly genres and conventions. As they learn more about the process of professionalization, students will also develop research agendas to help encourage their professional success.
*This course satisfies the requirement in Professional Development.

5390.003 Writing for Publication

Kanika Batra
R 9:30-12:20

This research and writing intensive course focuses on publication strategies and avenues for graduate students in literature and linguistics. We will begin with an overview of leading print and on-line journals in various lgenres and periods, move on to a survey of literary and cultural studies scholarship (Michel Foucault, Edward Said, Partick Brantlinger, and Gayatri Spivak, among others), and engage with the mechanics of transforming a seminar paper into a publishable article. Peer reviews will be a strong component of the course. All students will be required to demonstrate thorough knowledge of current scholarship. Course requirements include: an annotated bibliography of 7-10 recent books/articles in your area of interest, a 1500 word book review of a work published in the last 3 years, and a 5,000-7,000 word article with a clear idea of the journal in which you intend to place the article.
*This course satisfies the requirement in Professional Development.