Spring 2011

ENGL 13186:01
Literature University Seminar
Stuart Greene
TR 9:30-10:45

Representing the Civil Rights Movement through History, Literature, and Film

The primary focus of this course will be the ways that the civil rights movement has been represented in history and popular culture, focusing on the ways that memory contributes to the story a nation tells about itself.   What we choose to remember can also entail forgetting some details in the process of recalling others, such as creating memorials to celebrate the life of Martin Luther King.  What does our nation achieve through marking his accomplishments?  What do these accomplishments say about us? At the same time that we focus on the life of a single person, what do we lose sight of?  What other factors had to be in place for there to be a movement (or perhaps a series of movements) at all?  Specifically, we will examine representations of the civil rights movement by reading personal testimonies of those people involved in desegregating the schools and in getting the right to vote, through fictional accounts of how the movement spurred the growth and development of different individuals (and a culture), and through viewing popular and documentary film.  

ENGL 13186:02
Literature University Seminar
Romana Huk
TR 2:00-3:15

This course will introduce students to several of the key upheavals in twentieth-century thought that rocked spiritually-inclined poets, leaving them without easy paths back to devotional art. We will be particularly focused on those British, Irish and American poets whose cutting edge, radical ideas about themselves and culture would shake apart the very syntax of their medium – language – and cause them to write in forms that seemed very strange and even disturbing to unaccustomed eyes. At the crux of our discussions will be the fate of the idea of God in the works of “postmodern” poets whose secular political projects and views of language – “the word” – would conflict at the deepest levels with their desire for belief in divinity. We will focus closely on the work of small-press writers Brian Coffey (Ireland), David Jones, John Riley, Wendy Mulford (U.K.), Fanny Howe and Hank Lazar (U.S.), all of whom have emerged, with the help of 21st-century hindsight, as part of an important group of poet-thinkers engaged in this crucial project of “reconstructing God.” The course will begin with gentle introductions to the problems of reading twentieth-century philosophy and theology as well as to the problems of reading poetry as a literary genre. During the semester students will be required to write either three short papers or substitute the final one with a creative response (to be accompanied by a written “argument” and approved before start of work).


ENGL 13186:03
Literature University Seminar
Romana Huk
TR 3:30-4:45

This course will introduce students to several of the key upheavals in twentieth-century thought that rocked spiritually-inclined poets, leaving them without easy paths back to devotional art. We will be particularly focused on those British, Irish and American poets whose cutting edge, radical ideas about themselves and culture would shake apart the very syntax of their medium – language – and cause them to write in forms that seemed very strange and even disturbing to unaccustomed eyes. At the crux of our discussions will be the fate of the idea of God in the works of “postmodern” poets whose secular political projects and views of language – “the word” – would conflict at the deepest levels with their desire for belief in divinity. We will focus closely on the work of small-press writers Brian Coffey (Ireland), David Jones, John Riley, Wendy Mulford (U.K.), Fanny Howe and Hank Lazar (U.S.), all of whom have emerged, with the help of 21st-century hindsight, as part of an important group of poet-thinkers engaged in this crucial project of “reconstructing God.” The course will begin with gentle introductions to the problems of reading twentieth-century philosophy and theology as well as to the problems of reading poetry as a literary genre. During the semester students will be required to write either three short papers or substitute the final one with a creative response (to be accompanied by a written “argument” and approved before start of work).

ENGL 13186:04
Literature University Seminar
Kate Marshall
TR 12:30-1:45
Technologies of the American Novel


In this reading-intensive University Seminar, we will consider the intertwined histories of the American novel and technology, and ask what this intersection has to tell us about the varieties of modernity emerging in American culture from the turn of the twentieth century to the present day. From media devices such as wireless transmitters, printing presses, and computers to highway and underground transit systems, or from robotics to movement machines such as elevators and escalators, technologies work as the settings for novelistic action, the agents of literary production, and the topics through which novels ask big questions about the place of the human in an increasingly mechanized world.
In novels by Henry James, Theodore Dreiser, Flannery O’Connor, James Baldwin, Philip K. Dick, Patricia Highsmith, Colson Whitehead and Nicholson Baker, we will bring these technologies, often invisible because of their ubiquity, to the surface, and read their cultural histories alongside the literary texts. Students will be asked to complete an intellectual autobiography, one short close-reading paper and two mid-length papers, as well as short writing assignments related to the course reading. Active participation in class discussions and heightened awareness of the technologies mediating everyday life are a must.

ENGL 13186:05
Literature University Seminar        

Valerie Sayers
TR 5:00-6:15

One Hundred Years of the U.S. Short Story

Our course will examine the literary history and impact of the American short story in the last century.  We’ll pay particular attention to the subjects of immigration, poverty, class, and race, and to the themes of individualism, group identity, and alienation.  At the same time, we’ll be exploring major literary movements from modernism to post-postmodernism, analyzing writers’ innovations and experiments, and tracing the connections between a story’s form and its content. We’ll read, discuss, and write about some fifty stories over the course of the semester, and we will be especially sure to take pleasure in a surprising and satisfying literary form.  Because university seminars are designed for extensive writing and reading, students should expect to write and rewrite regularly; to lead, with a partner, a discussion session on one story; to attend readings by contemporary writers; and to contribute in each class to the literary conversation.

ENGL 13186:06
Literature University Seminar
Yasmin Solomonescu
TR 2:00-3:15


And indeed there will be time
………………………………………..
There will be time to murder and create,
And time for all the works and days of hands
That lift and drop a question on your plate;
Time for you and time for me,
And time yet for a hundred indecisions,
And for a hundred visions and revisions,
Before the taking of a toast and tea.

            T. S. Eliot, from The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

This course is about the many “visions and revisions” that make up literature, as well as those involved in thinking and writing about it. Through the study of four major genres – poetry, plays, short fiction, and the novel – you will learn the terms and methods of literary analysis (murdering and creating?) while focusing on the ways writers have adapted, imitated, echoed, and responded to one another across the ages.

ENGL 13186:07
Literature University Seminar
Edward Malloy
U 7:00-9:00 pm


Biography/Autobiography: One’s Life Story

In the course of the semester, we will seek to understand the uniqueness of particular historical persons through an analysis of their stories as created either by themselves or others.  We will also be interested in what can be learned about that person ís cultural and historical context.

Attendance is expected at each class.

The students in the course are expected to contribute to the seminar discussions and to write papers on each assignment.  Allregular papers are to be two to three pages.  Thefinal paper is to be five to seven pages.  It will provide an opportunity to tell one is own story in light of the work of the semester.

ENGL 20000
Intro to Creative Writing
Jiyoon Lee
MW 300-4:15

This course will introduce you to the craft of writing poetry and fiction. Thus, you will study the language, forms, techniques, and conventions of poetry and fiction with the purpose of putting that knowledge into practice. The hope is that by the end of the semester you will have also discovered ways of reading creative works that are stimulating and enriching for you. A large part of the semester will be devoted to the writing and sharing of exercises and original creative works in a workshop setting.

ENGL 20001
Intro to Fiction Writing
Sara Leitenberger
MWF 3:00-3:50

This is a beginning course in writing short prose fiction. No experience in the form will be necessary. Students will be writing every week, primarily short short fiction and other prose forms, guided by assignments. There will be in-class student discussion of each other's work. There will be readings in both traditional and contemporary fiction.

ENGL 20002
Intro to Poetry Writing
Amanda Utzman
TR 3:30-4:45

Introduction to Poetry Writing is an entry-level course in the composition and reading of poetry. We will study traditional forms (including the sonnet, villanelle, sestina, and haiku), as well as modern approaches (including free verse, concrete poetry, and performance poetry). The course will demonstrate and help students produce works which exhibit attention to sound, sensory detail, engaging use of language, and pattern. Students will also develop peer critique and public speaking skills through revision sessions and in-class readings.
 
ENGL 20003 - 01
Fiction Writing
Matthew Benedict
MW 1:30-2:45

Have you ever finished reading a novel and thought:  “I wish I could do that”?  Or:  “I think I can do that”?  Or: “I want to do that”?  Well, this course is for you.

In this workshop-style course, we’ll explore the craft as well as the artistic aspects of writing fiction.  We’ll read a sample of contemporary short fiction as “writers,” meaning we’ll dissect the various techniques writers employ in the writing of their stories.  We’ll also work on several in-class and out-of-class writing assignments (1-4 pages) designed to practice those techniques.  Students will then write two original short stories that will be read and discussed by other members of the class.  At the end of the semester, students will complete a portfolio of revised work.  And, in order to assist us in our explorations, we will be attending campus literary events, to hear “up close and personal” from actively publishing writers. Writing is a journey.  Ours begins now.

ENGL 20003 - 02
Fiction Writing
Matthew Benedict
MW 3:00-4:15

Have you ever finished reading a novel and thought:  “I wish I could do that”?  Or:  “I think I can do that”?  Or: “I want to do that”?  Well, this course is for you.

In this workshop-style course, we’ll explore the craft as well as the artistic aspects of writing fiction.  We’ll read a sample of contemporary short fiction as “writers,” meaning we’ll dissect the various techniques writers employ in the writing of their stories.  We’ll also work on several in-class and out-of-class writing assignments (1-4 pages) designed to practice those techniques.  Students will then write two original short stories that will be read and discussed by other members of the class.  At the end of the semester, students will complete a portfolio of revised work.  And, in order to assist us in our explorations, we will be attending campus literary events, to hear “up close and personal” from actively publishing writers. Writing is a journey.  Ours begins now.

ENGL 20003 – 03
Fiction Writing
William O’Rourke
TR 3:30-4:45

Students will begin with narrative exercises in style and form and ultimately write complete drafts and revisions of literary short stories. Readings in modern and contemporary literature will provide critical perspective and vocabulary, as well as narrative possibilities.

ENGL 20004
Poetry Writing
Joyelle McSweeney
TR 11:00-12:15


This course represents an introduction to contemporary poetry in all its forms, media, genres, languages, and materials. Expect to generate your own poems while wading through a wild and wonderful world of first books, online journals, chapbooks, collages, translations, animations, broadside poems, performances, blogs and slams. In addition to writing your own poems, you will be expected to master a vocabulary for critiquing both published and peer poems, to demonstrate this mastery through short papers and responses on assigned readings and peer poems, and to participate in a variety of in- and out-of-class experiences which bond you to your community of writers and help you to discover and develop your own visual, verbal and performance aesthetic. Expect to complete weekly poems, response papers, a midterm and a final project.

ENGL 20106
Point-of-View in the Novel
Noreen Deane-Moran
TR 2:00-3:15

This course will focus on the introduction of to the novel as a form, a means to view the world of the author/artist and the reader. Literature is an art whereby one consciousness seeks to communicate with another consciousness. One of the artist’s techniques for controlling this flow is the concept of point of view. We will explore various approaches and uses of this “framing” in some nineteenth and twentieth century novels. The goal is to use an understanding of point of view to more fully comprehend, enjoy, and sensitively read this popular genre.

Texts: Henry James,Turn of the Screw; Emily Bronte,Wuthering Heights; Gustave Flaubert,Madame Bovary; Edith Wharton,Ethan Frome; James Joyce,Dubliners; William Faulkner,Absalom, Absalom!; Carson McCullers,The Heart is a Lonely Hunter; E. L. Doctorow,Ragtime; Roddy Doyle,Paddy Clarke, Ha, Ha; and Richard Brautigan,Trout Fishing in America.

Requirements: regular class participation; two short papers, a mid-term; and a final.

ENGL 20142
Autobiography and Subjectivity
Barbara Green
TR 3:30-4:45

Life-writing is a capacious term that can be used to describe a variety of private and public statements about the self. Some of these are easily recognizable as artistic representations of subjectivity (for example, memoirs, diaries, letters, self-portraits) and some less so (for example, legal testimony, graphic novels, blogs, even medical forms have been read as part of the complex project of articulating subjectivity). This course will attend to a wide variety of forms of life-writing in order to trace shifting notions of what counts as a self and track the complex project of defining and representing subjectivity. A broad range of critical approaches to subjectivity and definitions of the autobiographical project will assist us as we attempt to map changing notions of the self. Many, but not all, of our primary materials will be drawn from the twentieth century, some from the current decade: texts may include selections of writings by Wordsworth and Rousseau, Art Spiegelman's graphic novel Maus, Harriet Jacobs' Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, Virginia Woolf's Sketch of the Past, Maxine Hong Kingston's The Woman Warrior, selections from Samuel Delany's The Motion of Light in Water, Alison Bechdel's Fun Home, photography by Cindy Sherman, Jo Spence and others, self-portraits by Frieda Kahlo, considerations of Web projects, My Space sites, political and legal testimony or "witnessing," and other examples of autobiography "at work" will also be considered. Requirements: participation, short commentaries, and three essays: two around 5 pages, and one of eight to ten pages.

ENGL 20144
The Pursuits of Happiness and the Novel
Patrick Mello
MW 3:00-4:15

"What does it mean to "pursue happiness?" Is happiness found in the fulfillment of passion, necessity, or in the rejection of both? Is it found in the acceptance of God's providence and the realization of salvation, or is happiness an escape from history and what history has taught us about meaning? According to the Declaration of Independence, the pursuit of happiness is an inalienable human right. But what exactly does that right entail?  These and other questions will be at the heart of this course's investigation of the history and formal features of the novel. The selection of novels will include works by Voltaire, Jane Austen, and Ian McEwan, just to name a few, which we will read alongside a short selection of philosophical and political texts pertinent to our investigation into what it means to pursue "happiness."

ENGL 20145
Love and Memory in Literature
Sarah Dawson
MW 3:00-4:15

This course will explore connections between the themes of love and memory, especially remembrance of the dead, in English and American literature. From the ghost of Hamlet's father with its plea of "Remember me" to the lost child in Toni Morrison's Beloved, the living are haunted by their memories of the dead and by the knowledge that they too will die and either survive in or vanish from human memory. Why do we, as individuals and as a culture, turn to novels, plays, and poetry to preserve or come to terms with our memories of those who have died? Can these forms of memory help us to keep “devouring time” at bay or come to terms with mortality? How are the varied literary expressions of human love shaped by concerns about memory and loss? How have writers sought to make others or themselves remembered by future generations of readers? We will consider these questions in novels, plays, and poems, including works by John Donne, John Milton, Emily Brontë, and W.H. Auden, as well as Shakespeare and Morrison. In pursuing the theme of memory, the course will encourage students to explore how later writers remember and transform the traditions of their forebears.

ENGL 20146
Heroes and the Heroic in Literature
Laura Betz
MWF 3:00-3:50

This course focuses on depictions of heroes and heroines in British texts from the 18th to the 20th century, and on the various ways literature of this period engages the theme of the heroic.  As we read examples of both poetry and prose, we will investigate how the hero/heroine functions and changes as a literary figure, and how different heroes and heroines reflect cultural values and developments.  More specific topics that will be addressed include:  this period’s new emphasis on previously “unsung heroes,” such as the rural and industrial poor; the growing importance of women as authors and as literary subjects; the portrayal of the poet as a kind of hero; and, at the same time, the ironization of the figure or concept of the hero. Potential authors on our reading list will include:  Eliza Haywood, Henry Mackenzie, Thomas Gray, William Wordsworth, Lord Byron, Felicia Hemans, Jane Austen, Alfred Lord Tennyson, Robert Browning, Charles Dickens, Thomas Hardy, Wilfred Owen, T.S. Eliot, and Virginia Woolf.

ENGL 20147
Environment and Literature
Erin Drew
MWF 8:30-9:20

Thanks to climate change and Al Gore, the environment has become an increasingly urgent concern in recent years. But the question of how to live in and with nature has vexed humankind for centuries. We will explore the relationship between humans and nature as it is portrayed in prose and poetry from the late seventeenth century through today. In addition to developing an understanding of the depiction of nature in each individual work, we will also track the development of environmental ideas over the course of the centuries with the goal of understanding what the ideas we have about the environment today inherited from the literature of nature. Authors covered will include Milton, Wordsworth, Mary Shelley, the Brontës, Thoreau and Annie Dillard. Two short papers, a group presentation, mid-term, and final exam.

ENGL 20195
The Literature of Disability
John Duffy
MW 11:45-1:00

"This new critical perspective [Disability Studies] conceptualizes disability as a representational system rather than a medical problem, a discursive construction rather than a personal misfortune or a bodily flaw, and a subject appropriate for wide-ranging cultural analysis within the humanities instead of an applied field within medicine, rehabilitation, or social work. Such an approach focuses its analysis, then, on how disability is imagined, specifically on the figures and narratives that comprise the cultural context in which we know ourselves and one another." - Rosemarie Garland Thomson, "The Beauty and the Freak," p. 181
What is disability? What does it mean to be considered disabled? What is the relationship of disability to what is thought to be 'non-disabled,' or 'normal'? In this course, we will consider writings and films about disability and individuals labeled disabled. Our readings will include fiction and nonfiction works about people with various physical and cognitive disabilities, including blindness, multiple sclerosis, autism, and others. We will explore the ways in which the disabled have been represented in such works, and the rhetorical resources for constructing 'disability' in literature, non-fiction, and film. We will consider the ways in which writers considered disabled write about themselves, telling their own stories, and the ways in which these writings.

English 20214
Arthurian Literature
Dolores Frese
TR 12:30-1:45

The myth, history, and poetic & prose fiction which goes by the collective term of “Arthurian Legend” will be the object of our study as we try to understand the powerful attraction which these materials have exercised upon the imaginations of readers and writers from the 12th to the 20th century. The texts we will read were originally composed in Latin, French, German, Welsh, Middle and Modern Englsh, but we will read all of the medieval exemplars in Modern English translation. 

The great characters--Arthur, Launcelot, Guinevere, Galahad, Gawain, Merlin, Morgan, Modred, Vivien etc.--as well as the great thematic templates--the quest for the grail (holy and unholy); the fellowship of the Round Table; the sword in the stone; the fatherless boy etc--will structure our syllabus of readings in their various fictional guises as we try to build a broadly based sense of the textual traditions that have served ‘the once & future king’ while coming to a deper understanding of the historical conditions that underly the production of  these great mythic fictions.

Midterm and Final Exams and 2 critical essays (12-20 pp.), one due at mid term the other at end term.  

Students may (and often do) substitute a creative project for ONE of these essays : e.g., videos, original fiction or poetry, musical presentations, pictorial art, etc etc. etc..  Those opting for the creative assignment may work as individuals, in pairs, or small teams.

Readings will include Geoffrey of Monmouth, History of the Kings of Britain; Chretien de Troyes, The Story of the Grail; the anonymous Cistercian Quest of the Holy Grai; short Arthurian or proto-Arthurian fictions from the Welsh Mabinogion; Arthurian  selections from the short Lais of Marie de France; “Sir Gawain & the Green Knight”;
Malory’s Morte D’Arthur; Tennyson’s Idylls of the King; T.E. White, Once and Future King.

ENGL 20224
The Bodies and the Blood: Shakespeare, Violence, and Religion
Joseph Teller
TR 11:00-12:15

During the English Renaissance, drama became an immensely popular art form, appealing to citizens across classes both in London and in the country. Bloody, dark, sensational, and sometimes even comical, tragic drama (and all its sub-genres) became a box-office staple of English theaters. Because English drama grew in part out of the medieval morality play tradition, and because much of this drama paradoxically emphasized violence and morality, spectacle and spirituality, this course will examine the plays of the most influential dramatist of the English Renaissance and their intersections with problems of violence, tragedy, religion, and sacrifice. What are the possible connections between dramatic violence and English Renaissance culture? To what extent is religion or spirituality bound up with Shakespeare’s stage, his plots, and his characters? How does drama represent tragedy and sacrifice, and what possible relationships are there between staged violence and the audiences that witness it? And what is it about tragedy both as a dramatic genre and as a way of making spiritual or religious sense of real-life events that is so appealing to Shakespeare’s age, and to our own? In addition to introducing Shakespeare’s major plays and examining some of them through film and performance history, this course will also include plays by Christopher Marlowe, Thomas Kyd, and John Webster.

ENGL 20309
The Heroine’s Text: Form and Origins of the English Novel
Maggie Nerio
MW 4:30-5:45

Just how do novels think? How do novels experiment with voice, point of view, and the relation between time and history? The course will introduce students to the formal stylistic features of the novel, paying careful attention to how the novel’s unique emphasis on multiple and conflicting points of view shapes our perspective as readers. In addition, we examine the novel’s place in history as a distinctively modern literary form with its emphasis on the lived experience of particular individuals inhabiting a particular time and place. Accordingly, we follow the adventures of a series of clever and dauntless heroines from the Restoration to the early 20th century. Readings include: Aphra Behn’s epistolary hybrid text, Love-letters between a nobleman and his sister, an early precursor of the novel form; Eliza Haywood’s wildly improbable scandal fiction, Love in Excess; Defoe’s portrait of a scheming criminal, the incomparable Moll Flanders; excerpts from Richardson’s epistolary masterpiece, Clarissa; Austen’s Mansfield Park; Brontë’s Jane Eyre; and Forster’s Howard’s End.

ENGL 20336
Seduction and the 1790s Novel
Essaka Joshua
TR 3:30-4:45  

Attacked by Christian moralists and radical feminists alike, the re-emergence of the coquette and the aristocratic libertine rapist in the radical novel of the 1790s exposes a number of important gender and political preoccupations of the late eighteenth century. We will look at the role seduction plays in what has been called the “sex panic” of the 1790s, and at what the seduction narrative reveals about gender and agency, in the context of the moral and legal debates on seduction and sexual violence. A key strand focuses on how concepts of male and female gender identity impact on the perception and representation of seduction and rape (explored through the influence of Samuel Richardson’s Clarissa on the writers of the period). The course places legal cases, conduct manuals, newspapers, and moral and religious tracts alongside fiction of the 1790s, and takes as its focus novels that have only recently been republished, and which push the boundaries of our understanding of gender, class, and sexualities.

ENGL 20513
Introduction to Irish Writers
Christopher Fox
MWF 10:40-11:30
As the visit to campus of the most recent Irish winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature suggests, this small island has produced a disproportionate number of great writers. Designed as a general literature course, the class will introduce the student to a broad range of Irish writers in English from the eighteenth century to the present. Writers will include Jonathan Swift, Maria Edgeworth, Oscar Wilde, James Joyce, William Butler Yeats, Brian Friel, and John McGahern. We will also look at recent film versions of several of these writers' works, including Wilde's Importance of Being Earnest. Themes to be explored include representations of "national character" and the relationships between religion and national identity, gender and nationalism, Ireland and England, and "Irishness" and "Englishness." Students can expect a midterm, a paper (5-6 pages typed) and a final.

ENGL 20709
God and Evil in Modern Literature
Thomas Werge
Section 1: MWF 11:45-12:35
Section 2
: MWF 12:50-1:40

A study of selected modern writers whose concern with God and evil, faith and despair, and the reality and significance of suffering animates their writings. In considering the relationships between the religious imagination and experience and its expression in literature, we will discuss the ways in which writers envision the nature and purpose of narrative and of language itself --as efficacious and even sacred or as ineffectual. Before dealing with particular modern writers, we will reflect on the presuppositions of the Bible and medieval thought and literature in relation to truth, faith, and narrative. Readings will be selected from the following: St Francis, Little Flowers; Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov or Crime and Punishment; DeVries, The Blood of the Lamb; Melville, Billy Budd; Greene, The Power and the Glory or The End of the Affair; Flannery O'Connor, Everything That Rises Must Converge or The Violent Bear It Away; Hammarskjold, Markings; Roth, Job; Hawthorne, Selected Tales; Wiesel, Night; and narratives by Primo Levi, Dinesen, and Updike.

ENGL 20714
Contemporary American Literature
Matthew Benedict
TR 11:00-12:15

The “Naughts”, 2000-2010, are soon to be “history”.  What has it meant, what does it mean, to write “literature” in a time of Facebook and BlackBerries, American Idol and Glee, September 11, 2001 and IEDs and Abu Ghraib, recessions-depressions, hurricanes, oil spills?  Is the term “literature” valid?  Or for that matter “books”?  In this course, we will read a variety of imaginative literature published between January 2001 and December 2010.  In addition to covering the usual topics (plot, characters, themes, symbolisms, structure, etc.), we’ll also think about what it means to write “literature” in an “America” that is being parsed into smaller, and coarser, slices.  Texts include (subject to additions and subtractions):  Proof, David Auburn; Fun Home:  A Family Tragicomic, Alison Bechdel; Look at Me, Jennifer Egan; The Reluctant Fundamentalist, Mohsin Hamid; Sticks and Stones, Peter Kuper; A Day at the Beach, Helen Schulman; Georgia Under Water, Heather Sellers; and Important Artifacts and Personal Property from the Collection of Lenore Doolan and Harold Morris, Including Books, Street Fashion, and Jewelry, Leanne Shapton.  We will also view excerpts of television shows, movies, and other media, as well as attend some campus literary events.  Required work:  two short essays, midterm, final, occasional quizzes.

ENGL 30101
Introduction to Literary Studies
01: Chris Vanden Bossche            MW 1:30-2:45
02: Cyraina Johnson-Roullier TR 11:00-12:15

This course provides beginning English majors with experience in the analysis, interpretation, and appreciation of literary works of different kinds and eras. Texts assigned will vary from one section to another, but all sections will include attention to poetry and at least one other genre (fiction, drama, non-fiction prose). Frequent writing about works studied will introduce students to the practice of critical argument and consideration of how to read criticism as well as literature critically.

ENGL 30110 – 01
British Literary Traditions
Dolores Frese
TR 9:30-10:45

This course is an intensive survey of literary history in England from the seventh to the seventeenth centuries. Early British literature is anything but dull: dragon fights, scatological humor, scheming devils, cross-dressing, seduction poetry—it's all here. You'll learn about major periods and authors during this long history, about changes in the English language, about the development of genres, and about key questions with which writers struggled. You will also learn how to read poetry well. To accomplish these goals, you must make three commitments: to read carefully with an openness to the power and pleasure of early literature, to express freely your thoughts about what you read, and to write (and rewrite) with passion and precision. Course requirements will likely include several 4-5 page essays, short take-home written assignments, occasional quizzes, an oral class presentation, and a final examination.

ENGL 30115
American Literary Traditions
Thomas Werge
MWF 9:35-10:25

A consideration of American literature to the Civil War in light of cultural, philosophical, and religious currents and the history of ideas. We will pay special attention to the relation between American “exceptionalism” and national self-criticism and to the dynamic between faith and writing, commitment, and narrative. Readings: Norton Anthology of American Literature (5th shorter edition) and several selected works by individual writers. Assignments include a brief series of critical papers and a final examination.

ENGL 30120:1/2
Satire: Jonathan Swift to Jon Stewart
John Sitter
MW 11:45-1:00

A study of literary satire from 1726 (Gullilver’s Travels) to the present, with some attention to visual satire and current popular culture. Authors to be studied include Swift, Pope, Voltaire, Blake, Twain, and several of these 20th-century authors: Dorothy Parker, Nathanael West, Aldous Huxley, Langston Hughes, George Orwell, T. C. Boyle, and Ruth Ozeki. Also discussion of Spike Lee’s film Bamboozled (2000) and an important source for it, Paddy Chayefsky's Network (1976). Questions include: Does great satire challenge ideas of art as timeless or universal? How does satire differ from comedy and irony, while incorporating both? Is satire fundamentally a form of moral engagement or anarchistic play? What links aggression and laughter in verbal art? What do traditional satires tell us about recent cultural phenomena such as The Daily Show and the Colbert Report—and vice versa?

ENGL 30850
Fiction Writing for Majors
Matthew Benedict
TR 9:30-10:45

This is a course in writing short fiction for English majors who come to writing with a broader literary background than non-majors. It is conducted through a discussion format centered on fiction written by students in the class, and in the context of readings drawn from the contemporary, literary landscape. Students will be encouraged to explore how style and language create aesthetic experience and convey ideas. No one type of fiction is advocated over another, and the emphasis in the class will vary from section to section; however, students will be expected to write fiction that demonstrates an awareness of the difference between serious literature and formula entertainment.

ENGL 30851
Poetry Writing for Majors
Johannes Goransson
MW 3:00-4:15

In this class, we are going to write poetry, think about poetry and talk about poetry from a number of different perspectives. We’re going to read modern, contemporary and not-so-contemporary poetry, as well as works that move across genres (prose poetry, verse drama, happenings, music videos), media (print, photography, the Internet, the desert of the real), and languages and cultures. We will consider what poetry means in this spectacular age, but we will also explore more pragmatic concerns: where does one find out about poets? Where does one publish poems? Where does one discuss new poetry? In addition to weekly writing exercises, we will engage in three longer projects allowing the students to develop and work on their own particular lines of aesthetic inquiry.

ENGL 30853
Fiction Writing
William O’Rourke
TR 12:30-1:45

This will be a workshop course devoted to the writing of shorter fiction.  A good bit of flexibility will be retained (depending upon the level of experience of students who elect the course), but what students may expect is this: brief assignments, at the start, will be made to encourage-- and to display--the development of a variety of narrative and fictional techniques.  Beyond those exercises, two stories (and two revisions) will be required.  Student stories will be duplicated.  There will be collateral readings from significant contemporary writers.  Regular attendance and participation will be taken for granted.   Individual conferences will be arranged to discuss student stories.

ENGL 40151
Writing India
Mary Burgess Smyth
TR 3:30-4:45

Salman Rushdie, in a controversial introduction to an anthology of Indian writing, argues that the best writing to emerge from India, or from writers of Indian descent, is now undeniably written in English—the language of British colonization. This course will trace the recent development of Indian writing in English, or Indo-Anglian fiction, as Rushdie and others have called it. We will, however, begin with two old, canonical novels of India written by English writers: Rudyard Kipling's Kim and E.M. Forster's A Passage to India. Other texts to be read include: Salman Rushdie, Midnight's Children; Arundathi Roy, The God of Small Things; Kiran Desai, The Inheritance of Loss; Jhumpa Lahiri, The Namesake; Vikas Swarup, Slumdog Millionaire; Monica Ali, Brick Lane; Michael Ondaatje, The English Patient; David Davidar, The House of Blue Mangoes. We will be learning about the complex cultural and political history of India, as well as studying the literary debates that have fired such an efflorescence of great fiction. Along the way, we will familiarize ourselves with aspects of post-colonial theory, and also of the enormous impact of imperialism on India. There will also be a film element to this class.

ENGL 40211
History of the English Language
Thomas Hall
MW 1:30-2:45

This is a course on the history of the English language from its elusive but largely reconstructible roots in Indo-European to more or less the present, with a heavy bias towards the earlier pre-modern periods. The goals of the course are to acquaint students with the development of English morphology, phonology, syntax, semantics, graphics, and vocabulary, and to explore the cultural and historical contexts of the language’s transformation from the Anglo-Saxon period onward. In working toward these goals, we’ll spend time rooting around in the dustbins of English etymology, lexicography, onomastics, and dialectology, and we will explore some current problems in usage and idiom. The course is by nature heavily linguistic, which is to say we’ll be spending a lot of time talking about language, grammar, and the forces that act upon spoken and written English. Students can expect to achieve a basic understanding of the cultural and linguistic phenomena that have shaped the language we now speak and write; they will become versed in the fundamental methodology and terminology of historical and descriptive linguistics; they will learn to effect a reasonably credible pronunciation of Old, Middle, and Early Modern English (including something very close to Shakespeare’s probable pronunciation); they will discover the true meanings of their own given name and surname; and they will gain experience researching a couple of aspects of the language that interest them. In addition to regular reading and workbook assignments, the course’s requirements include two exams, three essays, and responsible attendance.

ENGL 40226
Essential Shakespeare
Jesse Lander
MW 11:45-1:00

This course will examine representative examples of comedy, history, tragedy, and romance in order to provide students with a broad overview of Shakespeare’s work.  Our readings, arranged by chronology and genre, will allow us to develop an understanding of Shakespeare’s artistic trajectory as it unfolded in the playhouses of London.  In addition, we will take up a series of questions implied by the course title: Is Shakespeare essential? If so, to whom or what?  Why are some plays considered more Shakespearean than others?  What is the peculiar quality or special power that is designated by the name of Shakespeare?  We will read the following plays: Midsummer Night’s Dream, As You Like It, Richard III, 1 Henry IV, Hamlet, King Lear, The Tempest, and The Winter’s Tale.  Assignments will include a word history, a word cloud, a passage analysis, an essay (6-8 pp.), a midterm, and  a final.

ENGL 40238
Witches, Knights, Goddesses, and a Robot: On Edmund Spenser’s Faerie Queene
Susannah Monta
TR 12:30-1:45

On January 16,1599, a hearse borne by poets wound its way through London to Westminster Abbey, their burden destined for burial in a tomb adjacent to Geoffrey Chaucer’s in what is now known as Poet’s Corner. Once there, the poets who attended the body threw elegies for the dead poet, along with their pens and their tears, into the grave.  The deceased, a former scholarship boy whose contemporaries came to call him the ‘prince of poets,’ was not Shakespeare nor Donne but Edmund Spenser.  Celebrated in his own day, influential for writers as varied as John Keats and C.S. Lewis, Spenser achieved much: a cheeky pastoral poem that announced an obscure twenty-seven-year old as England’s new Vergil, an innovative sonnet sequence that departed from gendered norms in striking ways, and, most importantly, The Faerie Queene, a romance epic both dazzlingly learned and delightfully ludic.  Our reading assignments will include selections from Spenser’s Shepheardes Calendar and Amoretti; our main emphasis will be The Faerie Queene itself.  Its range of characters – including a cross-dressed female knight and the first robot in English literature – and of literary forms – such as saints’ lives, Ovidian myth, Arthurian legend, and Greek romance – invites its readers to reflect on questions concerning moral and political philosophy, gender and sexuality, faith and misbelief, and much else.  Because of its intense, self-reflexive focus on interpretive practices and its insistence on working by induction, through interpretive trials and errors, the poem has occupied a central place in literary criticism from C.S. Lewis to Northrop Frye to Stephen Greenblatt.  A good reader of The Faerie Queene promises to be a good reader of much else: the poem still serves as a laboratory for critical innovations in literary scholarship today.  It is an excellent training ground for English majors as well as would-be knights (cross-dressed or otherwise). Course assignments will likely include a reader’s theatre presentation of a passage from the poem, short response papers, one longer paper written in several installments, and a final exam.

ENGL 40246
Faith, Love, and Devotion: The Sacred and the Secular in 17th-Century Poetry
Joseph Teller
TR 2:00-3:15

England witnessed an explosion of religious poetry during the seventeenth century, one of the most turbulent periods in England’s religious history. The devotional poems written in this period express a wide variety of attitudes toward salvation, toward divine love, and toward “the Church”: a longing for salvation, a fear of damnation, a deep desire to feel God’s love and approval, and a turbulent vacillation between despair and ecstatic praise. Paradoxically, this poetry reacted against older models of courtly poetry and profane love at the same time as it was deeply indebted to those models. In addition, the religious debates and battles of the Reformation were far from resolved in this period: English Catholics and Protestants produced poetry that offered praise and sacrifice to God while often simultaneously criticizing the beliefs of their Christian opponents. Hence, this course examines seventeenth-century poetry through two major lenses: the conflicts and tensions between “sacred” and “profane” poetry, and the divisions and complications between Catholic and Protestant religious identities as created or expressed in that poetry. How does religious identity shape poetic devotion toward God? What is the effect of different conceptions of the Church on religious poetry of this period? To what extent do the categories of sacred and secular overlap, complement, complicate, or antagonize one another? And what are the possible relationships between devotional poetry, the English nation, and religious identities? To explore these questions, this course includes (among others) the works of major figures like John Donne, George Herbert, John Milton, and Andrew Marvell, as well as the poems of previously neglected Catholic poets like St. Robert Southwell, William Alabaster, and John Beaumont.

ENGL 40261
Money in the Eighteenth Century: Wealth, Poverty, Debt, Gambling, Bubbles, Consumers

Margaret Doody
TR 11:00-12:15

The instruments of modern capitalism (including the Bank of England and a stock market) were invented at the end of the seventeenth century. The eighteenth century experiences the complexities and shocks of that system. The South Sea Bubble in England with the remarkable crash of the South Sea Company in 1720 gave the world its first lesson in a stock market crash. The feudal class system is pressed and reshaped to follow the nature of money. Theories about liberty cannot rightly ignore financial pressure, and personal freedom is deeply affected by relationships to money. Novelists, dramatists and poets of the late 17th and the 18th century examine a variety of forms of wealth and loss, and observe the startling effects of gains and losses of those at the bottom or the top of the social pyramid. Male and female authors observe the price and significance of luxury goods (silk, mohair, diamonds, and coaches) and of new pleasures (coffee and tea drinking, card parties); they also follow the cost of bare necessities (a loaf of bread). Slavery is part of the economic dynamic, and the new system amplifies slavery in bringing to the fore such new staples as sugar, tobacco and cotton. Gambling assumes a central role; public projects are funded by lotteries. Marriage is deeply involved in speculation. (“Speculation” is the name of a real game introduced to her family by Jane Austen.) We will examine the work of theorists such as Adam Smith and Malthus, as well as a variety of poems plays and novels from Bunyan to Austen dealing with social patterns and individual experiences of prosperity or loss.

ENGL 40237
Romantic Revolutions: British Literature and Culture, 1790-1830
Yasmin Solomonescu
TR 11:00-12:15

This course examines the various “revolutions” that reshaped British literature and culture between the 1790s and 1830s, chiefly in response to the French Revolution. We will explore a wide range of works in diverse genres as they address three major areas of interest: the rights of man and woman (including the rights of slaves); the scientific and industrial revolutions; and the development of a new aesthetics (including ideas about language, style, imagination, and the role of the writer). We will tend to study these works in pairs or clusters to highlight differences of approach and emphasize the importance of dialogue and debate to Romantic creativity—the many ways that writers responded to each other and to their cultural and historical circumstances. The best-known poets of the age – Blake, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Shelley, Keats, and Byron – will figure alongside some of their most innovative and influential contemporaries, including Edmund Burke, Tom Paine, Mary Wollstonecraft, William Godwin, John Thelwall, Charlotte Smith, William Hazlitt, and Mary Shelley. The course will take stock of key critical perspectives on these writers while honing your skills in analysis and argumentation. Instances of contemporary visual art and propaganda will help broaden our understanding of this profoundly revolutionary period in British literature and culture.

ENGL 40529
Gender and Irish Drama
Susan Harris
MW 3:00-4:15

In this course, we will examinethe relationship between national and sexual politics through our study of gender and twentieth-century Irish drama. Beginning with the first controversies surrounding the representation of women on the Irish stage at the beginning of the twentieth century, we will study representations of gender and sexuality in the major canonical figures of the Irish renaissance--W. B. Yeats, J. M. Synge, Sean O'Casey--while investigating lesser-known female and queer Irish playwrights from that time such as Lady Augusta Gregory, Lennox Robinson, and Teresa Deevy. We will also look at how the treatment of gender and sexuality changes in the work of postwar and contemporary Irish playwrights, including Samuel Beckett, Brendan Behan, Brian Friel, Anne Devlin, Frank McGuinness, and Marina Carr. Along with the plays we will study their historical and cultural context and the sometimes quite vehement responses that these plays evoked in their audiences. Students will write three papers and do one in-class presentation.

ENGL 40568
Women and Magazines
Barbara Green
TR 12:30-1:45

This course will explore women’s print culture by focusing on women as producers and consumers of periodicals. Some of the key figures in what is sometimes called a “female” modernism made their living by publishing literary pieces and journalism in periodicals or through serving as literary editors: Djuna Barnes, Rebecca West, Virginia Woolf, Jesse Fauset, to name a few; and many of the key texts of literary modernism made their first appearance in periodicals. In addition, the periodical press has been called the medium that best “articulates the unevenness and reciprocities of evolving gender ideologies” and thus is ideal for a study of the role literary culture plays in constructing and diagnosing the contradictions of femininity in modernity. The period between the coincident rise of the New Woman and New Journalism in the 1880s and the dominance of the “woman’s magazine” in the interwar years is extraordinarily rich in examples of diverse approaches to understanding femininity presented in the press. As we consider the connections between women and periodical culture from various angles (reception, circulation, representations of women journalists, the centrality of Little Magazines, “slick” magazines and women’s magazines as key venues for publishing modernist texts, etc.) we will meet the modern woman journalist and her close relations: female editors, “sob sisters,” “stunt girls,” “agony aunts” to name a few. We will take a good look at a variety of publication venues—modernist “Little Magazines,” feminist periodicals, so-called “women’s magazines” as well as the daily press. We will be working with periodicals in various formats: microfilm, digitalized texts, edited collections, and bound volumes. One brief essay, two mid-length (8–10 page) essays and one group presentation.

ENGL 40614
The Nineteenth-Century American Novel
John Staud
MW 1:30-2:45

In this course we will read, discuss, and study selected American novels of significant importance within the 19th century, a time when the questions of what constitutes an authentically “American” literature preoccupied many authors seeking to fashion and interrogate a specifically “American” tradition. As we situate these novels within their historical and cultural contexts, we will consider the various reasons for their place within the canon of American literature, with an eye toward understanding better the works themselves and exploring several recurring themes of particular concern for American writers (freedom, democracy, American identity and national destiny, slavery and the problem of race, to name a few). At the same time, we will scrutinize the very nature of the literary canon and reflect on the nature and significance of this, or any, reading list. Even so, we will see that these authors share deep engagement with ideas and themes common to American literature and do so, through their art, in ways that seek both to teach and to delight. Authors we will study include Sedgwick (Hope Leslie), Douglass (Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave), Melville (Moby-Dick), Stowe (Uncle Tom’s Cabin), Twain (Huckleberry Finn), and Chopin (The Awakening).

ENGL 40702
American Film
William Krier
TR 3:30-4:45


A genre approach to film through the filter of “love” in many of its Hollywood forms including romantic love. What does love look like in a film and how is it used to account for the actions of characters and the developments of plot? We’ll begin with romance comedy while taking a careful look at its twisted sister, film noir. Then we’ll explore other versions of love such as filial, sexual, parental, creative, and obsessive.

The primary written requirement will be a research paper in which you work with a film of your choice. There will also be a mid-term and final exam.
There will be no scheduled showings of the films. Instead, I will ask you to join Netflix or some comparable service. Thus, you can work with the films according to your own schedules. I expect that we will work with at least twenty films.
Possible films: It Happened One Night, The Lady Eve, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Body Heat, Basic Instinct, Lars and the Real Girl, A Beautiful Mind, Searching for Bobby Fischer, The Godfather, Bound, Silence of the Lambs, Crimes and Misdemeanors, Don Juan de Marco, Moulin Rouge, The Hours, The Maltese Falcon and others.

ENGL 40748
Engendering  Renaissance:  Chicago, Harlem and Modern America(s)
Cyraina Johnson-Roullier
TR 2:00-3:15

In answering the question “What was American modernism?” most literary critical perspectives might commonly be expected to focus on a modernity represented by the authors of the “lost generation” in the U.S., such as F. Scott Fitzgerald, Gertrude Stein, and Ernest Hemingway. While a conventional understanding of American modernism might serve to underscore the importance of the stylistic, cultural and artistic contributions of these and other canonical moderns, such a view might also give little consideration to the significance of those modern  American voices not ordinarily heard in such a context.  This course poses the question ”What was American modernism?” to answer it by exploring its roots in two less conspicuous early 20th-century American modernisms:  the Chicago Renaissance of 1912-1925, and the Harlem Renaissance of 1920-1929.   In “engendering renaissance,” these two moments suggest a literary birth and rebirth of modern American identity that questions its seemingly stable boundaries and borders, reconfiguring the idea of “American” within and opening the door to the larger and more varied cultural fabric that is modern America(s).  By locating the rise of American modernism in the relation between these two literary moments, this course will broaden our understanding of the idea of “American” at this time by considering how it is created within a frame determined by the interplay of race, gender, class and nation.  In this way, it seeks to deepen our understanding  of U.S. American culture and the idea of “American in the early 20th century, while suggesting new ways to engage the global social and cultural challenges facing the idea of “American” in the 21st.
Course Requirements:  two 5-7 page papers, group presentation, several short in-class writing assignments.
Course Texts:  Required texts may include Walt Whitman, “Song of Myself”; Jose Martí, “Our America”;Henry Blake Fuller, The Cliff-Dwellers;  Theodore Dreiser, Sister Carrie;  Willa Cather, The Song of the Lark;Waldo Frank, Our America; Sherwood Anderson, Winesburg, Ohio; Randolph Bourne, “Trans-National America”; Booker T. Washington, Up From Slavery; W.E.B. DuBois, The  Souls of Black Folk; Anna Julia Cooper, A Voice  From the South; Jean Toomer, Cane; Jessie Fauset, Plum Bun; Nella Larsen, Quicksand & Passing

ENGL 40752
Novels By Aliens
Kate Marshall
TR 9:30-10:45

This course will constitute a study of the strange narrative creatures populating the contemporary novel – “persons” who are something close to but not quite human. These characters and narrators are sometimes slight genetic modifications of the traditional human, cognitive beings existing after traditional comforts such as history, or victims of technological trauma who think just a little bit differently than what we are accustomed to. By examining these novels and their techniques for rendering the interiority of such characters, we will also begin a survey and discussion of how key texts in narrative theory might be accountable to the perspectives forming each text’s experiment with fictional form. By doing so, we will also consider the alienation that always goes along with reading novels in the twenty-first century. Novels will include Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go, Michel Houellebecq’s The Elementary Particles, David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas, Tom McCarthy’s Remainder, Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, Marilynne Robinson’s Housekeeping and Michael Cunningham’s Specimen Days. Requirements will include a class presentation, two papers, short writing assignments, and a final exam.

ENGL 40762
Black Milk and Heart-Shaped Boxes: The Grotesque in Modern Art, Literature, Music and Film
Johannes Goransson
MW 11:45-1:00

Since the Renaissance - when ancient underground rooms were discovered beneath Rome with walls covered in scandalous depictions of human-animal hybrids - the grotesque has been a controversial presence in the various arts. In this class we’re going to look and listen to examples of the grotesque, from German Expressionist sleepwalkers to Goth singers with smeared mascara, from Kafka’s man-who-becomes-an-insect and hunger artist to Kurt Cobain’s starved body with a “mosquito” for a “libido,” from Alfred Hitchcock’s shattering swarms of cinematic birds to the violent fairytales of David Lynch, from Kara Walker’s unsettling silhouettes from Antebellum South to Matthew Barney’s body-as-spectacle, from Surrealism’s “exquisite corpses” to the Rodarte fashion shows of burnt dresses, from Sylvia Plath’s suicide sideshow to Lady Gaga’s sensational masques. We will also consider various theoretical frameworks for the grotesque. Course work will include one short paper and one longer, research-based paper.

ENGL 40826
South by Southwest: Literature, the U.S. South, and Greater Mexico
Jose Limon
MW 1:30-2:45

C. Vann Woodward, the late eminent historian of the U.S. South, once noted that the study of the U.S. South stood “in great need of comparative dimensions if suitable comparative partners could be found,” comparative projects, he added, beyond the now stale North-South axis.  Woodward was speaking specifically of comparative history, but other disciplines such as English, can also generate such comparative projects.  This course will examine a significant range of two distinctive yet comparable bodies of American literature, mostly twentieth century, produced respectively in the U.S. South and in the culture area that Americo Paredes called “Greater Mexico.”  Americo Paredes, a U.S. intellectual and literary figure akin to Woodward, coined the phrase, Greater Mexico, to refer to all peoples of Mexican-origin whenever they may be geographically found although they continue to be concentrated in Mexico and the U.S. Southwest.  Our close examination of such literary works, all written in English, will proceed from a broad understanding of these two cultural-geographical areas as historically created peripheral zones relative to a dominant capitalist core even as we will also take account of direct connections between these two peoples.  Authors: Jovita Gonzalez and Eve Raleigh, Cabellero: A Historical Novel; Richard Wright, Uncle Tom’s Children; Mariano Azuela, The Underdogs; William Faulkner, Absalom, Absalom!; Carlos Fuentes, The Death of Artemio Cruz; Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man; Americo Paredes, George Washington Gomez: A Mexico-Texan Novel; Walker Percy, The Movie-Goer; Rolando Hinojosa, The Valley and Rites and Witnesses; Mary Karr, The Liars’ Club; John Phillip Santos, Places Left Unfinished at the Time of Creation; Bobbie Anne Mason, Shiloh and Other Stories; Sandra Cisneros, Women Hollering Creek and Other Stories.

ENGL 40850
Advanced Fiction Writing
Patrick McCabe
MWF 4:30-5:45

This course is intended for students who have already taken a Fiction Writing course (or the equivalent) and who are seriously interested in writing fiction, and graduate students who are not in the Creative Writing program. The expectation is that the student is beyond the point of requiring assignments to generate stories. Over the semester, in a workshop setting, student stories will be taken through various stages: due attention will be paid to revision, rewriting, polishing, editing, with a goal that the stories be brought as close as possible to the point of submission as finished work. Practical as well as theoretical issues will be investigated; there will be assigned readings from a variety of fiction authors.

ENGL 40851
Advanced Poetry Writing
Orlando Menes
TR 2:00-3:15

This course is intended for students who have demonstrated an aptitude for both the reading and writing of poetry.  Apart from occasional requirements in poetic form, students are expected to generate poems based on their individual interests and passions, rather than on assigned topics.  These poems will then be circulated among all the participants, who will then discuss and critique them in a workshop setting.  Throughout the semester attention will be given to those proven strategies for composing and revising one’s poetry.  The performative aspects of poetry will also be explored, along with a varietry of stimulating topics related to poetics. 

Assignments will include poems in open and closed forms, readings in the assigned texts, and written critiques on the poems produced by other class members.  There will also be group or individual reports on a number of contemporary poets.  Regular attendance is crucial to the ongoing success of the course, and is thus mandatory

ENGL 43325
Seminar: Literature of the British Empire
David Thomas
MW 1:30-2:45


How did a little island nation manage to dominate, in one sense or another, a large proportion of the world, embracing Africa, the Middle East, the West Indies, Australia, and India/South Asia. This seminar explores this large and complicated historical phenomenon, but it does so mainly through literary works that reveal the compelling little stories here, as well.  How was imperialism a career option, and for whom?  How was it a calamity?  How did it make and break families and friendships?  The literature of the British Empire helps us to gain a nuanced sense of these issues and these lives.  Students will be able to choose from a great array of research projects drawing from various critical methodologies and interests: the empire showcases problems of law, politics, gender relations, racial and interracial relations, and much more.  We will develop a global picture of the Empire, but our emphasis will go to works concerning British India.  Literary readings include Wilkie Collins's Moonstone, H. Rider Haggard's King Solomon's Mines, several works by Rudyard Kipling, E.M. Forster's Passage to India, and George Orwell's Burmese Days.  We will encounter lesser-known but important writers (such as Sara Jeanette Duncan and Flora Annie Steel). We will also study at least one Indian film, Lagaan, which shows how modern-day Indian cinema represents the Empire at its zenith (the film also teaches us how the game Cricket works!).  Assignments include a short paper and a longer research paper with preliminary exercises.

ENGL 43603
Seminar: Voices of the American Renaissance
Sandra Gustafson
MW 3:00-4:15

The human voice manifested tremendous cultural, spiritual, and political power for antebellum Americans.  “Vox populi, vox dei” (“The voice of the people is the voice of God”) proclaimed the political slogan, while Transcendentalist writers such as Ralph Waldo Emerson considered the living voice to be superior to the dead letter.  Vernacular literatures, Native American and African American oral traditions, and sacred and political oratory all contributed distinctive models of voice to the antebellum babel.  In this course we will focus on the trope of voice as it shaped the literatures of the American Renaissance period (roughly 1835-1865).  We will explore the cluster of meanings that antebellum Americans attached to voice and examine the social and literary issues that these conceptions of voice prefigured.  Our readings will include works by Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Emily Dickinson, Walt Whitman, Frederick Douglass, Herman Melville, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Edgar Allen Poe.  Your final grade will be based upon your class participation, as measured by attendance, preparation, and participation (10%); a methodology presentation and a presentation of a critical essay (5% each); a research presentation (10%); participation in a mini-conference (10%); and a research paper of 20-25 pages, produced in stages including a proposal (5%), a research question list (5%), an annotated bibliography (10%), a draft and a mandatory revision (40%, grade based on the final draft). 

ENGL 43812
Seminar: The First Amendment and the Literature of Rights
Elliott Visconsi
TR 11:00-12:15

This is a cross-disciplinary course that surveys the literary and cultural history of First Amendment protections for free speech and religious liberty from the early modern period into the global present. We will look at the intellectual genealogy, development and contestation of those concepts in Anglo-American literature, jurisprudence, and political thought, and we will attend with special care to the function of literature as a medium of public constitutional commentary. We will also study the modalities of constitutional interpretation, read some First Amendment case law and its UK equivalents, and consider a few contemporary cases in which literature and other cultural forms test the limits of permissible speech in pluralist democracies. The course may be of special interest to students considering law school.

ENGL 90011
Graduate Fiction Workshop
Valerie Sayers
M 6:30-9:00

The major work of the semester will be the analysis, appreciation, and critique of our own fiction and nonfiction manuscripts.   Because we work in two major genres (as well as hybrid and in-between forms), we’ll certainly examine the aesthetic and even ethical implications of labeling work ‘fiction’ or ‘nonfiction,’ and we’ll be particularly interested in the innovations that cross-pollination might encourage.  Our outside reading list will likely include Reality Hunger: a Manifesto, by David Shields and the short story collection The Book of Other People, edited by Zadie Smith, as well as works by Roberto Bolaño, Jenny Boully, Gina Ochsner, Orhan Pamuk, Hilary Mantel, Etgar Keret, and Herta Müller.   All semester long, we’ll commiserate over the state of contemporary mainstream publishing, but we’ll also celebrate and encourage against-the-odds and alternative success.

ENGL 90031
Graduate Poetry Workshop
Joyelle McSweeney
TR 2:00-3:15

This course will be conducted as a conventional workshop of poetry, with consistent, focused discussion of participants’ poems. Emphasis will be placed not on the “correction” of peer drafts but on the continued development of an aesthetics, a vocabulary, an area of obsession or a line of inquiry. However, our workshop will feature an extensive reading list that interrogates poetry as that zone in which language becomes possessed by genre, media, form, politics, materials, bodies, technology, and more. That is, we will read and encounter poetry in its hybrid state as prose, noise, drama, translation, performance, visual art, document, and theory.

ENGL 90040
Theory and Craft of Literary Translation
Orlando Menes
TR 5:00-6:15

This course will serve as a graduate-level introduction to the theory and to the practice of literary translation.   We will read an eclectic selection of essays by leading practitioners throughout time (Dryden, Goethe, Benjamin, Nabokov, Jakobson, Paz, Venuti, and so on) as well as some prominent examples of the craft, especially via anthologies of world poetry in translation  Students' translation projects can be in either poetry or prose or both. Other types of hybrid projects are possible, too.  Critical papers and class presentations are required.  Translators of any foreign language are welcome.  Fluency is not expected. 

ENGL 90092
Practicum: Teaching Creative Writing
Steve Tomasula
TBA

For students in the MFA program. The focus in this practicum is on the teaching of creative writing. Discussion will include theoretical approaches and practical teaching situations from introductory to the graduate level.  The class will also take up the process of the job search, both inside and outside the academy, from applying to interviewing, to accepting an offer.  Students will have their submission letters, vitas, and job application letters reviewed, and given the chance to share the work, writing, and teaching experiences of visiting authors. Class times will be arranged after enrollment, in order to avoid scheduling conflicts.

ENGL 90135
The Nature of Literature
Terence Eagleton
TR 5:00-6:15

Can we say what literature is, or is the term so diverse and open-ended as to defeat all definition?  If it cannot be defined, how much does it matter? As much as a physician being unable to give a reasonably definitive account of the pancreas, or nothing like as much?  Should it be a source of embarrassment to literary types that they often have only a foggy notion of what they are working on, or is such embarrassment as misplaced and unnecessary as being unable to define the word ‘game’?  Almost all attempts at an exhaustive definition of literature have proved defective in one way or another.  Theories which identify literary works with fiction, special or unusually inventive uses of language, non-pragmatic utterances, moral and imaginative insight and so on have all either come to grief or betrayed serious deficiencies.  Boldly undeterred by this wreckage-strewn history, this course will begin with some general reflections on the question of whether things have determinate natures, glancing at the medieval debates on the issue between realists and nominalists.  It will go on to consider the relevance to the idea of literature of Ludwig Wittgenstein’s celebrated ‘family resemblances’ notion, and conclude by dramatically unveiling a theory of literature which seeks to avoid the flaws and exclusions of the models currently on offer.

Reading: Paul Hernadi (ed.), What Is Literature? (Bloomington and London, 1968); John M. Ellis, Theory of Literary Criticism (Berkeley, 1974); Terry Eagleton, ‘What is Literature?’, in Literary Theory: An Introduction (Oxford, 1983); Stanley Fish, ‘What is Stylistics and Why Are They Saying Such Terrible Things About It?’ , in Seymour Chatman (ed), Approaches to Poetics (New York, 1973)

ENGL 90176
Postcolonial Theory
Mary Burgess Smyth
TR 12:30-1:45

This course will survey and critique the main developments, debates and trendswithin anticolonial discourse, and post-colonial theory. We will read earlier works by Cesaire, Fanon and Memmi, among others, and will trace later intellectual and theoretical threads in the field in the works of Said, Spivak and Babha. We will begin with Leela Gandhi's Post-Colonial Theory: A Critical Introduction, and will then focus our attention on the major works of the above-mentioned theorists, as well as others. A strong element to this seminar will be the use, or practice, of post-colonial theory in literary criticism. As such, we will be reading a number of 20th-century post-colonial novels alongside our theoretical materials. A research paper and regular presentations on our readings, will constitute the written requirements of the course.

90190
Postmodern Narrative
Jim Collins
MW 1:30-2:45

In this course we will begin by focusing on the emergence of postmodernism in the sixties and then trace its evolution through the present. We'll begin by exploring the conflicting definitions of the term, i.e. just what did postmodern mean in terms of a stylistic practice and in terms of a cultural condition. Once we have established some operating definitions, and become familiar with some of the narratives that were first called postmodern (Pynchon's Crying of Lot 49, Scott's Blade Runner, etc.) we'll  discuss the novels and films which became synonymous with postmodern textuality in the eighties (Rushdie's Midnight's Children, Barnes' Flaubert's Parrot, Winterson's Sexing the Cherry, Lynch's Blue Velvet, Miller's Road Warrior). In the second half of the course we will turn to more recent narratives which expand our understanding of the term, particularly in regard to the increasing convergence between literary, film, and television cultures (Ondaatje's The English Patient, Diaz The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, Safran Foer's Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close,  Franzen's Freedom: A Novel). Here we'll look closely at the interplay between adaptations, television book clubs, Amazon reading communities, bookstore chains, ereaders, and literary bestsellers in order to develop a fine-grain understanding of the proliferation of "literary experiences"  across digital cultures.

ENGL 90235
The Poetry of Edmund Spenser
Susannah Monta
TR 9:30-10:45

This graduate seminar will be an intensive study of Spenser’s work.  We will attend to the ground-breaking The Shepheardes Calendar (1579), Amoretti and Eplithalamion (1595), and several of the shorter poems.  Our main emphasis, however, will be The Faerie Queene (1590-96).  The epic is a hungry form, and Spenser's version is no exception: The Faerie Queene consumes and remakes myths, saints' legends, chronicle histories, and iconographic traditions; in so doing it schools its readers in the practices not only of Renaissance allegory and imitatio but also of interpretation itself. Because of its intense, self-reflexive focus on interpretive praxis, the Faerie Queene has occupied a central place in literary criticism from C.S. Lewis to Northrop Frye to Stephen Greenblatt; the poem still serves as a laboratory for methodological innovations in literary scholarship.  As Spenser's poem is encyclopedic in its range, students will gain experience not only with Spenser's work but also with the Renaissance culture it emerged from and shaped. Our readings of Spenser will therefore be contextualized with selections from authors as varied as Vergil, Petrarch, Castiglione, Plutarch, St. Paul, Jean Calvin, Ovid, John Bale, Aristotle, Thomas Malory, Walter Ralegh, Ariosto, Tasso, and Thomas Cranmer.  Students will be introduced as well to major movements and emphases in Spenser scholarship in order to prepare them to contribute to ongoing conversations.  Course projects will likely include short, regular response papers; a class presentation on an assigned canto from the Faerie Queene, supported by a bibliography of relevant analogues, sources, and major articles or chapters on the material in question; and an article-length essay on a topic of the student’s choosing.

ENGL 90236
The Vercelli Book
Thomas Hall
MW 4:30-5:45

The Vercelli Book is a tenth-century collection of Old English poetry and homilies which stands alongside the Beowulf manuscript, the Exeter Book, and the Junius manuscript as one of the great treasures of Old English literature. This is the manuscript that contains The Dream of the Rood, Andreas, and Cynewulf’s Elene and Fates of the Apostles, as well as twenty-three prose homilies on topics as divergent as the miracles that occurred at Christ’s birth, the life of St Guthlac, the lassitude of women, the signs presaging Doomsday, and the colorful transformation of the soul at the moment of death. We’ll read most of the poetry and about half of the homilies, and we’ll explore in some detail the connections between the homilies and the Latin sermon literature of the period. Requirements include weekly response papers, an oral report, an annotated bibliography, and a seminar paper. Textbooks: The Vercelli Book, ed. G. P. Krapp, Anglo-Saxon Poetic Records 2 (1932); The Vercelli Homilies and Related Texts, ed. D. G. Scragg, EETS o.s. 300 (1992).

ENGL 90262
The Atlantic World: 1650-1800
Elliott Visconsi
T 2:00-4:30

This cross-disciplinary graduate seminar surveys some of the major primary texts, ideas, and events in the transatlantic culture of England and British America.  These years witness a set of sweeping transformations sometimes bundled together under the sign of “modernity”—in this course,we consider the ways in which emergent concepts of racial identity, political belonging, constitutional law and political economy are mediated in the domains of literary, theatrical, and political culture. Writers will include Hobbes, Locke, Sidney, Dryden, Marvell, Selden, Behn, Tompson,  Addison, Defoe, Hume, Equiano, Jefferson, Wheatley, Paine, Burke; secondary readings will be drawn from the work of scholars and theorists such as J.G.A. Pocock, Steve Pincus, Reinhard Koselleck, Hans Blumenburg, Jonathan Sheehan, David Armitage, Joseph Roach, NIcholas Hudson, Paul Gilroy, Kathleen Wilson, Michael McKeon, Laura Brown, and others. The seminar welcomes early modern specialists and nonspecialists alike.

ENGL 90322
Gender and Victorian Literature
 Sara Maurer
MW 3:00-4:15

This course is designed to give students the long view of critical developments in Victorian literary scholarship that focuses on gender. During the first four weeks of the semester we will review Victorianist scholarship on gender since the recovery work of Elaine Showalter and Sandra Gilbert and Susan Gubar in the early eighties. During these first weeks we will focus intensively on Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre and Alfred Lord Tennyson’s poetry. The remainder of the course will be devoted to contextualizing Victorian literature within current Victorianist scholarship on the gentlemanly ideal of character (addressed by scholars such as Lauren Goodlad, Pam Morris, and Stefan Collini), issues of marriage and contract (addressed by scholars such as Sharon Marcus, Rachel Ablow, and Mary Jean Corbett), and gender and political economy (addressed by Mary Poovey and Catherine Gallagher). Victorian texts covered in the course will include Charles Dickens’s Dombey and Son, Anne Bronte’s The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, John Ruskin’s Sesame and Lilies, Samuel Smiles’ Self-Help, John Stuart Mill’s On the Subjection of Women, and George Eliot’s Mill on the Floss. Depending on student interest (please e-mail me), this course can also offer coverage of Irish literature from the Victorian era, including Dion Boucicault’s The Colleen Bawn, Charles Lever’s Harry Lorequer, and Emily Lawless’s Grania.

ENGL 90324
The Novel: Characters and New Lights
Margaret Doody
R 2:00-4:30

This course will be a study of the Novel as a genre. Centering on literature of the 18th and 19th century, it will also take us further afield, beginning with two ancient novels, and taking in en route the first volume of the Chinese Qing dynasty novel (c. 1750) by Cao Xueqin, The Story of the Stone (aka The Dream of the Red Chamber). The complexities involved in conceiving of human beings as definable by “objective” or “subjective” attributes and actions will be closely examined, as well as various developments of narrative techniques to create or express “inwardness” (including the personality of a narrator)-- or the repudiation of any such “inwardness”.  In pursuit of the concept of “character” we shall look at passages of history, including Suetonius’ “Life of Nero” in The Twelve Caesars, and excerpts from Foxe’s Book of Martyrs. The creation of type-character will be explored, beginning with Theophrastus’ Characters. The magpie Novel notoriously adopts and adapts themes and techniques adopted from other genres, so we shall also look at a couple of plays (one by Euripides, one by Shakespeare), and at some satiric and lyric poems (Sappho, Horace, Petrarch).   Novels, though often dismissed as mere reflecting mirrors of manners, have also shaped the way we look at the world, offering new ideas of what we call “consciousness” and proposing new views of what we call “human rights”. Some of the antagonism raised by the Novel through various eras may arise from suspicion that any individual novel contains some seeds of enlightenment (religious and/or secular), and delivers concealed messages about change. In the 18th century awareness of this possibility apparently arouses both enthusiasm for novels and condemnation of them-- and of new genres like “Gothic fiction.”Major novels: Petronius, Satyricon; Heliodorus, Aithiopika (Ethiopian History);Cervantes, Persiles and Sigismunda; Anon.[ comte de Guilleragues attrib.], Les Lettres Portugaises ( Portuguese Letters); Cao, The Story of the Stone (Vol. I); Fielding, Tom Jones; Richardson, Clarissa; Lennox, The Female Quixote; Austen,Mansfield Park; Balzac, Le Père Goriot; Dickens,David Copperfield; James,The Wings of the Dove.  Theorists: Aristotle, Locke, Freud, Bloom. Critics of Shakespeare reflecting notions of “character” from era to era: Thomas Rymer, Samuel Johnson, A.C. Bradley, E.E. Stoll. Contemporary critics of prose fiction: Deidre Lynch, Peter Brooks, Michael McKeon, Lisa Zunshine, Maria DiBattista.

ENGL 90520
Theory and Theater
Susan Harris
MW 11:45-1:00

In this course we will explore the theoretical questions raised by the history and practice of theater from Aristotle's time to the present. We will focus especially on problems of identity and of embodiment which are fundamental not only to performance theory but to feminist and queer theory in general. In addition to theoretical texts produced by playwrights, directors, and performers, we will also read theory that engages with questions of performance and performativity from outside the boundaries of performance studies. We will use the history of Western theater to organize our explorations of these texts, and we will periodically ground our theoretical discussions in our readings of selected dramatic texts. Authors will include Aristotle, Diderot, Zola, Constantin Stanislavsky, Bertolt Brecht, Antonin Artaud, Edward Gordon Craig, Nietszche, Freud, Peggy Phelan, Judith Butler, and others. Students will write one 20-30 page paper and will give at least one 15-20 minute oral presentation. 

ENGL 90706
Literature as Contemporary Art
Steve Tomasula
MW 4:30-5:45

Beyond the best-seller lists, there’s a wild west of writing where anything goes.  In fact, judging by the variety of contemporary writing practices and materials, the use of language as an art medium parallels visual art where the mainstream is conceptual and can just as easily be video as it can be made of tennis shoes or DNA.  In this class we will be reading works that play with language, as indie music plays with sound, rather than closing it down to commercial conventions: fiction, poems, electronic and other hybrids whose authors have adopted much of the idioms or rhetorical strategies of earlier conceptual, modern and postmodern work as they engage with contemporary thought and contexts that have emerged alongside the maturation of global networks, the biotech revolution, and other social formations that make our world what it is today. Variously called experimental, conceptual, avant-garde, hybrid, postmodern, innovative, extreme, alternative, e-, anti-, or new literature, our readings will include works from the collaborative flash poems of Heavy Industries, to the visual-text hybrids of Johanna Drucker, to the reworking of pulp “Nurse Betty” novels by Stacey Levine. Tentative reading list: The People of Paper (by Salvador Plascencia); Electronic Literature Collection <http://collection.eliterature.org/1/> (Katherine Hayles, et al eds.); Love in a Dead Language (Lee Siegel); Frances Johnson (Stacey Levine); Wittgenstein’s Mistress (David Markson); City of Glass (Paul Auster); Notable American Women (Ben Marcus); Camera (Jean-Philippe Toussaint); Vacation (Deb Olin Unferth); Europeana: A Brief History Of The Twentieth Century (Patrik Ourednik); The Blue Guide to Indiana (Michael Martone); 2666 (Roberto Bolaño).  Course pack of short fiction and poetry.  Course requirements: 2 short papers, 1 long. Short quizzes. Midterm, final.

ENGLISH 90719
Poet’s Prose
Stephen Fredman
TR 11:00-12:15

This course examines American prose poetry of the past century, looking at the ways in which it has intervened in questions about what poetry is and how it relates to other literary forms. We will start off with a brief look at the classic French prose poetry of Charles Baudelaire, Arthur Rimbaud, and Stéphane Mallarmé, in order to see how a parabolic prose participates in the dissolution of genres that begins in the nineteenth century. Then, we move to the American poets who use prose poetry to interrogate language philosophically, turning the sentence into a unit of poetic composition: Gertrude Stein, W.C. Williams, Robert Creeley, and John Ashbery. Finally, we will look at a variety of recent writers for whom prose poetry is the site for an encounter between narrative and poetry: Paul Auster, Lyn Hejinian, Susan Howe, Theresa H.K. Cha, Kathy Acker, Laura Mullen, and Renee Gladman.