Graduate Seminars - Summer 2009
5325 Studies in American Fiction
F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway
This course will examine the complex literary and personal relationship of F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway. It was Fitzgerald, or so the story goes, who gave Hemingway his big career break, prompting him to revise The Sun Also Rises and setting him up with Maxwell Perkins, the legendary editor at Scribners who had launched Fitzgerald's own career with the sensational debut of This Side of Paradise in 1921. The two young authors would become marquee talents for Scribners during the 1920s, with each, in his own way, giving voice to the experience of America's "lost" generation. But that success came at a price. Hemingway and Fitzgerald were the first American writers to struggle with the conflicting demands of bestseller status and devotion to the craft of fiction.
Requirements include two exploratory papers, an oral presentation, a longer essay due at the end of the course, and a final examination.
*This course satisfies the requirement for post-1900 American literature and Genre: Fiction.
5352 Studies in Fiction
Ann Daghistany Ransdell
British Victorian Fiction
During this session, students will read the English Victorian Novel, in order to compare the treatment of issues dealing with race, gender and class. We will read Dickens' Oliver Twist, Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre, Villette, and The Professor, Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights and George Eliot's The Mill on the Floss. Students will understand in greater depth the origin of American social attitudes in the Victorian period. History and criticism of the period will be utilized. Specific attention will be paid to the Victorian concepts of education. Institutions such as the boarding school and the workhouse will be compared as microcosms of social policy. The impact of gender and class attitudes upon learning will be highlighted. Contemporary films of three novels that we read will be shown in the class to provide a novel/film comparison of character and theme. Requiresments include three short film/fiction paper designed to improve the student's academic prose style, a long paper on the student's choice of a topick from selected works, an oral presentation, conference style, based upon that long paper, and a final.
*This course satisfies the requirement for post-1700 British literature and Genre: Fiction.