Fall 2010

Fall 2010

ENGL 90013
Graduate Fiction Workshop
Steve Tomasula
T 5:30-8:00

Limited to students in the Creative Writing M.F.A. Program, the workshop’s major emphasis is on analysis, criticism, and discussion of participants’ fiction, nonfiction, and hybrid manuscripts. Assigned readings in contemporary prose further the discussion of literary movements, critical schools, and publishing realities, as well as the aesthetic and philosophical implications of genre, style, and subject. 

ENGL 90038
Graduate Poetry Workshop
Johannes Goransson
TR 5:00-6:15

This course is for candidates in the MFA program in poetry. The course places its main emphasis on student writing and will be run as a week-to-week workshop of student work. The objective of the course is to provide students with meaningful feedback on their work, as well as to build students’ facility in the critical, constructive discussion of peer and published work. All other course activities, including readings, will vary from section to section.

ENGL 90040
Graduate Translation Workshop
Orlando Menes
TR 3:30-4:45

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 as well as some prominent examples of the craft, both in poetry and in prose. Students’ translation projects can be in either genre or in both. Translators of any language are welcome.

ENGL 90101
Introduction to Graduate Studies
Jesse Lander
MW 3:00-4:15

Introduces students to research techniques, literary theory, and the scholarly profession of literature. Frequent guest lectures by the English faculty will enable students to become acquainted with research activities taking place in the department.

ENGL 90110, Section 01
English for Non-Native Speakers
Noreen Deane-Moran
MW 11:45-1:00

A course designed to improve spoken English of non-native speakers, at the intermediate level, with a specific goal of increasing communication skills for teaching, research, and discussion purposes.

ENGL 90110, Section 02
English for Non-Native Speakers
Noreen Deane-Moran
MW 4:30-5:45

A course designed to improve spoken English of non-native speakers, at the intermediate level, with a specific goal of increasing communication skills for teaching, research, and discussion purposes.

ENGL 90213
Stephen Fallon
MW 4:30-5:45

John Milton is a paradoxical figure: a theological writer constantly at odds with religious establishments, a republican political theorist finally mistrustful of the people, an advocate of both patriarchalist and egalitarian understandings of gender, a celebrant of virginity who matured into one of the great singers of erotic love and sexuality. History has treated Milton paradoxically as well. A radical figure, pushed to the margins in his own time, he has come to be seen by many as the voice of establishment authority. In this course we will study the length and breadth of Milton's career, looking for keys to these paradoxes. Perhaps more than any other English author, Milton is present in his works; we will pay close attention his self-representations. We will test the possibility that the dissonances in the early self-representations bear fruit in the creative tensions of the mature poetry. We will pay attention to the high level of control Milton exerts over his texts and his readers, and at the same time we will explore what happens when that control slips. Above all, we will also work toward an appreciation of Milton's aesthetic achievements. We will read widely in Milton's poetry, with special emphasis on the 'Nativity Ode,' A Mask, "Lycidas," Paradise Lost, Paradise Regained, and Samson Agonistes. We will study also several of his prose works (e.g., The Doctrine and Discipline of Divorce, Areopagitica, The Tenure of Kings and Magistrates, and The Readie and Easie Way). While our focus will be on Milton's texts, we will explore some of the central debates of Milton criticism. Students will complete a series of assignments (bibliography, prospectus, etc.) leading up to completion of a substantial research essay.

ENGL 90219
The Works of the Pearl Poet
Dolores Frese
TR 2:00-3:15

While most literate citizens are familiar with the great medieval Arthurian romance, Sir Gawain & the Green Knight [SGGK], far fewer know the three other spectacular poetic narratives included with Gawain in a unique manuscript [British Cotton Nero Ax] produced in the north of England in the late 14th century. These four fictions, Gawain, Patience, Cleanness and Pearl, along with the short hagiographical romance Saint Erkenwaid, almost certainly composed by the same anonymous artist, will constitute our poetic and textual pursuit for the semester.

In the course of our close reading of these 5 works and the generic plenitude they exemplify—romance, hagiography, homiletic sermon, biblical paraphrase and dream vision—we will work together toward a deepened literary and historical understanding of the trope of allegory and its rich recourse to remarkable varieties of figural language and literary forms that took root in the vernacular fictions of the middle ages and have survived into the contemporary moment by imaginative strategies of modification and adaptation that will engage us, individually and collectively.

Occasional short (1-2 pp.] position papers on topically focused questions, to serve as seminar discussion topics, and one longer critical essay, envisioned as a publishable article of 15-20 pp., due atthe end of the semester. 

TEXTS: The Poems of the Pearl Manuscript, eds., Malcolm Andrew and Ronald Waldron; Saint Erkenwald, ed. Clifford Peterson; The Complete Works of the Pearl Poet: Facing-Page Middle English Texts Edited by Andrew, Waldron & Peterson, tr. & intro. Casey Finch.

ENGL 90254
Historicism and History in the Literature of Late Medieval England
Kathryn Kerby-Fulton
TR 3:30-6:00

Until the mid-1980s, the Middle Ages was seen as having had no very sophisticated literary theory, no serious engagement with realism and no great interest in the individual; culturally the period was characterized as an era of unquestioning credulity and unmitigated historical pessimism. Twentieth-century critical trends (from New Criticism to Deconstructionism) did little to test the accuracy of these views. New Historicism, a critical approach developed in part from ethnography and which first took Renaissance literary studies in the 80s by storm, offered an alternative methodology for understanding medieval literature in its cultural and ideological contexts. Since then various kinds of historicist and historical approaches have been developed, some intensely historical, and with more recent emphasis on formalism, a return to literary history itself.

This course will introduce the students to historicist and literary historical methodologies; texts will range across literary and documentary sources, autobiography, legal and chronicle sources, medieval library catalogues, as well as to some of the problems of textual criticism and manuscript study. We will begin with an examination of both the achievements and the blindspots of “classic” New Historicism, and proceed to a study of more recent approaches that draw upon history. Topics to be discussed will include "self-fashioning," authorial self- representation, political dissent, patronage, scribal and official censorship, nationalism, and the role of women in the rise of a "national" literature. This course will examine Chaucer’s Legend of Good WomenTrolius, the most influential of the Canterbury Tales, Wycliffite texts, the fifteenth-century “Piers Plowman Tradition” poems, Hoccleve, Lydgate, the Robin Hood ballads, Margery Kempe, Sir Thomas Malory, the Findern women poets, the Paston women’s letters, the ‘Scottish Chaucerians’ (James I, Henryson, and Dunbar), Skelton, Thomas More, John Foxe, and Ann Askew.

ENGL 90261
The Church Fathers in Anglo-Saxon England
Thomas Hall
TR 9:30-10:45

Even though there was no clearly defined concept of “the Church Fathers” until late in the Anglo-Saxon period (with the regular designation of Ambrose, Augustine, Jerome, and Gregory as the four great Latin patres coming into vogue only late in the eleventh century), English scholars from Archbishop Theodore onward made a concerted effort to acquire a thorough command of early Latin ecclesastical literature. Old English and Anglo-Latin literature are consequently profoundly indebted to the writings of many Church Fathers, and there are many cases of patristic texts that were more intensively studied in England than anywhere else in medieval Europe. This course will undertake a survey of the patristic literature known in Anglo-Saxon England, culminating in a focused study of the Old English translations of Augustine’s Soliloquies and Gregory’s Dialogues. Requirements include regular reading in Latin and Old English, weekly response papers, a bibliographical essay and oral report, and a research paper.

ENGL 90332
18-Century Poetry and Theories of Poetry, Dryden to Blake
John Sitter
MW 11:45-1:00

An exploration of selected poetry of Dryden, Pope, Anne Finch, Gray, 
Collins, Anna Barbauld, Smart, Cowper, and Blake, with complementary 
attention to theories of poetry, from both the 18th century and the last few 
decades of our own period. Several short papers, one or two reports, and a 
final seminar paper.

ENGL 90343
The British Social Novel in the Nineteenth Century
David Thomas
MW 11:45-1:00

This course spotlights 19th-century novels that aimed to paint a large picture of British society.  Seeking to move beyond the narrative mode in which the interior life of an individual predominates, these works show us authors trying to take stock of the complicated social circumstances within which all interior lives must inevitably exist.  In many cases, our texts are simply those that any regular survey of this period's novels would privilege.  George Eliot's Middlemarch, a panoramic vision of provincial life, is by any account one of the English language's greatest novels.  And Walter Scott's Waverley, an effort to represent the complexities of political and cultural union between Scotland and England, was one of the most enduringly popular novels of the whole 19th century.  But our thematic focus will also take us a bit off of the beaten path at times.  Thus rather than read Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre, we look instead to the author's Shirley, a text more patently seeking to reckon with the social and political challenges of early industrialization.

Our readings can support research projects drawing from many literary and critical concerns, including philosophical questions of morality or justice, economic theories, gender studies, regionalism in literature, and much more.  But the readings are designed especially to support research on the period's evolving liberal culture, including the mechanisms of law, politics, and social life making up the Victorian public sphere.  How do these people get along and acknowledge (or fail to acknowledge) the diversity and rationales of various social positions and conventions?  How do persons or groups with conflicting interests reach an understanding (or fail to reach it)?  And, finally, how do dominant social interests assert or interrogate the legitimacy of the status quo? 

The course will proceed in typical seminar format, employing assigned presentations and exercises culminating in a final research paper of 25-30pp.  We will also stage a mock conference toward the end of the term to present our work in progress to each other and to gain some understanding of the conference-paper form.

Required texts: Edgeworth, Castle Rackrent (Oxford 0199537550); Scott, Waverley (Oxford 0199538026); Disraeli, Sybil (Oxford 0199539057); Bronte, Shirley (Oxford 0199540802); Gaskell, North and South (Oxford 0199537003); Eliot, Middlemarch (Oxford 0199536759); Trollope, Phineas Finn (Oxford 0199537739); Gissing, New Grub Street (Oxford 0199538298)

ENGL 90537
Modernism and Magazines
Barbara Green
TR 12:30-1:45

A study of literary modernisms in relation to the vibrant periodical culture of the early twentieth century. We will explore a variety of periodical forms dominant during the modernist period: little magazines, slicks, daily newspapers, socialist papers, feminist papers, women’s magazines, papers from the African-American press and more. We will take up conversational threads that are organizing the new periodical studies: discussions of the public sphere, of the marketing of modernism, of gender and the periodical press.