Spring 2012 Graduate Courses
All sections are numbered 001 unless otherwise indicated.
ENGL 5303: Medieval British Literature
Chaucer and the Invention of Middle English Literature
Dr. Julie Nelson Couch
Thursday 2:00 PM – 5:00 PM
When Ian Robinson claimed, in 1972, that “Chaucer made English capable of poetry” his was only one in a long tradition of myth-making statements that have privileged Chaucer’s poetry as the originary moment of English literary history. More recently, critics, including Christopher Cannon and David Matthews, have challenged the entrenched notion of Chaucer as the Father of English literature by exposing the idea’s historical constructedness and by offering more plausible historic and linguistic readings of Chaucer. In this class, we too will interrogate Chaucer's relation to English literature and English literary history and additionally, following from the study of Middle English in ENG 5380, Chaucer’s relation to language. We will situate his poetry in its cultural and linguistic contexts and trace its reception through English literary history. To examine Chaucer within his own medieval milieu, we will read his works alongside other Middle English and continental writers. We will then go beyond the fourteenth century to examine the modern reception of Chaucer. In addition to Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales and other medieval poetry, readings may include medievalist works by Wordsworth, Dryden, and Morris as well as editions, anthologies, and other forms of criticism by Cannon, Matthews, Thomas Tyrwhitt, Thomas Warton, D. W. Robertson, and G. L. Kittredge. Assignments: conference-length paper (9-10 pages), comprehensive research assignment on a Canterbury tale (three essays, teaching presentation, bibliography). Main textbook: Larry Benson, ed. The Riverside Chaucer. 3rd ed (reissued 2008).
Requirements Fulfilled: Early British; High Proficiency; Poetry Genre
ENGL 5304: Studies in Sixteenth-Century British Literature
Dr. Connie Kuriyama
Monday 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM
When Foucault asked, “What is an author?”, he raised a question that has particular relevance to English Renaissance drama. Renaissance playwrights, including Shakespeare, lived at a specific historical moment and participated in a vigorous artistic and cultural movement that both shaped, and was shaped by, the literary output of individual authors. As a result, their work was not always as sharply distinct as a traditional author-centered approach might lead us to believe. This course will be devoted to studying works by major English Renaissance playwrights other than Shakespeare, including Kyd, Marlowe, Jonson, and Webster, in relation to closely related plays by Shakespeare, looking in particular at how English Renaissance playwrights made use of other writers’ work. As a partial theoretical foundation, we will read and discuss essays on authorship and influence by Barthes, Foucault, and Bloom. Written work will include a short critical paper, a research paper, and a final examination.
Requirements Fulfilled: Early British; Drama Genre
ENGL 5306: Studies in Seventeenth-Century British Literature
Milton: Paradise Lost and Found
Dr. Lara Crowley
Tuesday 2:00 PM – 5:00 PM
In 1665, Thomas Ellwood visited the famous (or infamous, according to some) poet John Milton, author of Paradise Lost. Having recently read Milton’s monumental Christian epic on the fall of mankind, Ellwood asked, “Thou has said much here of Paradise lost; but what hast thou to say of Paradise found?” Possibly prompted by this remark, Milton soon provided ample commentary on this topic in Paradise Regain’d, a second, shorter epic on Christ’s temptation by Satan in the wilderness. Why did Milton follow his first epic poem with this account, instead of the story of Christ’s death and resurrection? Why does Milton seem to portray Satan as not only persuasive and powerful but heroic? Also, can studying these two epics within their early modern religious, political, and bibliographic contexts inform modern literary interpretations? These are only a few of the many questions that we will address as we study Milton’s two epic poems, Paradise Lost and Paradise Regain’d. To illuminate our studies, we will turn occasionally to Milton’s other poetry and prose, as well as relevant contemporary writings and recent scholarship. As we will see, these seventeenth-century epic poems still resonate with twenty-first century Christian and non-Christian readers regarding such significant issues as faith, sexuality, heroism, sin, and salvation. For this course, students will be evaluated based on two in-class presentations, a 4-6 page book review, a 15-20 page research paper, and their participation in class.
Requirements Fulfilled: Early British; Poetry Genre
ENGL 5307: Studies in Eighteenth-Century British Literature
The Long Poem in the Eighteenth Century
Dr. Jennifer Snead
Wednesday 9:00 AM – 11:50 AM
This course is not for the faint of heart. Over the course of the semester, we will read 6–8 long poems written and/or revised during the long eighteenth century, beginning with Thomson's The Seasons (1726–1730; roughly 4500 lines) and Young's Night Thoughts (1742–1746; well over 10,000 lines), through Akenside's Pleasures of the Imagination (1744; 2009 lines), Pope's Dunciad in Four Books (1743; 1751 lines plus appendices, notes, and prolegomena), and Cowper's The Task (1785; 6000 lines), and ending with Charlotte Smith's The Emigrants (1792; a short one at roughly 800 lines) and Wordsworth's 1799 and 1805 versions of The Prelude (also over 10,000 lines). Like the contents of the poems themselves, our focus will be diffuse and diverse: we'll turn to the contemporary aesthetic, philosophical, and cultural contexts which informed these works (Milton, Locke, Addison, and concepts of authorship, to name a few names and issues), to issues of prosody (poetic form), and also spend quite a lot of time discussing recent scholarship on eighteenth-century poetry, print culture, and the history of reading. What was it that eighteenth-century readers found so appealing about poems well over 500 lines long? What, conversely, did a long poem written in the eighteenth century expect of its readers? Course requirements: boundless energy and enthusiasm (or the ability to convincingly perform same); weekly blog posts and response papers; annotated bibliography; one longer paper; presentation at a public symposium.
Requirements Fulfilled: Later British; Poetry Genre
ENGL 5313: Studies in Twentieth-Century British Literature
Dr. Jen Shelton
Monday 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM
This seminar will examine the work of Virginia Woolf, focusing on novels but including essays, critical work, and private writing. One of the most prolific and influential modernists, Woolf both articulated what Modernism could do and experimented in her fiction with methodologies for achieving those ends. Delightful, transgressive, beautiful, and strange, her fiction was among the most widely read during the period of High Modernism, and her essays and reviews published in wide-circulation journals such as the Times of London were important expressions and popularizations of the goals and challenges of Modernism. Thus, while our work will focus on Woolf’s writings, we’ll always have in mind her influence and connections within the broader world of Modernist art generally. Readings will include the following: The Voyage Out, Mrs. Dalloway, To the Lighthouse, Orlando, Room of One’s Own, Freshwater, Moments of Being, Three Guineas. We’ll also read selected essays and critical writings, plus, of course, helpful secondary readings. Other work will include class presentations/discussion leadership, a conference paper, and a seminar paper.
Requirements Fulfilled: Later British; Fiction Genre
ENGL 5315: Studies in British Fiction
From Orphans to Ideology: Charles Dickens and the Meanings of Trauma
Dr. Sean Grass
Friday 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM
For three decades of the nineteenth century, Charles Dickens was England’s preeminent novelist. No Victorian author had more readers; none sold more books, commanded more money, or became a brighter literary star. But the writer who boldly called himself “the Inimitable” and made his earliest reputation as a great comic novelist was an irrevocably wounded man: scarred by childhood neglect, shamed by his father’s imprisonment, disappointed in love, and obsessed with achieving a degree of literary success that would erase his secret pain. His writing is a window onto the private identity of a man whose life was essentially tragic, defined by early traumas reworked and rewritten through thirty years and thousands of pages of letters, journalism, and fiction. For this reason, at least, Dickens’s works are crucial for students of the English novel. They are in many ways an index to not only pre-Freudian psychology but also the evolution of the narrative techniques by which subjectivity may be written—especially when that subjectivity is consumed by grief, ruptured by violence, or marked indelibly by long suffering and persistent emotional pain. The course’s aim is not to read Dickens’s writing biographically. On the contrary, it is to treat the “great” novels, the unknown specimens of short fiction, the personal letters, and the snippets of autobiography and biography as a vast deposit that we might mine for its extraordinary narrative innovations in representing subjectivity ripped and remade by trauma. Our semester’s readings will include several novels by Dickens: The Pickwick Papers, David Copperfield, Bleak House, A Tale of Two Cities, Great Expectations, Our Mutual Friend, and The Mystery of Edwin Drood. We will also read selections from his letters, journalism, travel writing, short fiction, and the autobiographical fragment he prepared and then attempted to destroy. Theoretical and other secondary readings will also be part of the course, as will occasional work with film adaptations. Requirements for the course will include response essays, a long presentation that includes leading class discussion, a conference-style abstract, and an article-length (ca. 6000-word) seminar paper.
Requirements Fulfilled: Later British; Fiction Genre
ENGL 5317: Studies in Postcolonial Literature
Shadows, Ghosts and Nervous Conditions: Nationalist and Post-Nationalist Hauntings in Postcolonial Studies
Dr. Kanika Batra
Thursday 9:30 AM – 12:30 PM
The Indian writer Mahasweta Devi’s evocation of the ‘pterodactyl’, a pre-historic bird that miraculously appears in the famine stricken area of Pirtha, a region left out of the promises of national development, is perhaps one of the most poignant symbols of the passing away of an indigenous civilization. The pterodactyl represents the unfulfilled promises made to the tribal people, a dying race that finds itself anachronistic in the modern, progressive nation-state. This is a state that has left the indigenes out of the promises of development and progress made to all citizens at the time when the nation gained its independence from colonial rule.
Postcolonial studies as a body of critical and creative work implicitly or explicitly refers to European colonialism and/or forms of neo-colonialism practiced by postcolonial states in league with Western capitalist interests. Some of these writings are, in a sense, ‘possessed’ by the memory of the nationalist ideals that provided the impetus for anti-colonial resistance; all are aware that there are new variants of imperialism that demand new forms of exorcism. We will read a selection of literature and theory from India, Jamaica, Rhodesia, and Sri Lanka, originating in the now discredited but still used descriptor, ‘Commonwealth Literature’, its transformation into ‘New Literatures in English’ and since 1986, with the publication of The Empire Writes Back, ‘Post-colonial Literatures’.
As an interdisciplinary mode of analysis that derives equally from the history of Western colonization in various parts of the world, a political response to it in the form of anti-colonial nationalist movements, cultural assertion of indigenous languages and traditions, and an examination of the social consequences of colonialism and neocolonialism, and movements in response to these, postcolonial studies can be seen as an ‘overdetermined’ discourse. And within its ambit is included an ever-widening array of literature and theory that does not follow traditionally accepted genre and period based characterizations of literary studies. However, despite this lack of definitional co-relates, it is possible to see two main currents in this literature that in a way shadow each other: the articulation of an upper class diasporic and distinctly post-nationalist sensibility evinced in much post-colonial writing and a grassroots oriented sensibility that takes the nation and national development as the basis of its discourse. We will examine the possibility and desirability of dialogues between these currents through a set of readings comprising theoretical essays, fiction, short stories, life-narratives. We will also be viewing some documentaries related to the central ideas in the course.
Requirements Fulfilled: Comparative Literature; Fiction Genre OR Non-Fiction Genre (one or the other, but not both)
ENGL 5320: Studies in Seventeenth- and Eighteenth-Century American Literature
Enlightenment, Revolution, and Early American Literature
Dr. Michele Navakas
Wednesday 2:00 PM – 5:00 PM
This course will survey American literature and culture during the decades leading up to and including the early national period (c. 1750 to 1820). Our readings will come from classic legal, literary, political, religious, scientific, and visual texts that reflect on the meaning of Enlightenment, Revolution, and America's movement from colony to nation and empire. We will consider what Revolutionary ideals and post-Revolutionary politics meant for women and men, free and enslaved, Indian and white, rich and poor, urban and rural; examine the meaning and limitations of "Enlightenment" in the Atlantic world; explore the formation of the "republic of letters" in its transatlantic context; and investigate the multiple geographies and cultures that shaped national identity as it emerged. The course will chart the rise of literary forms of expression in America – such as the slave narrative, autobiography, and novel – as well as examine critical responses that continue to shape the field of early American literary studies. Required texts: Thomas Jefferson, The Portable Thomas Jefferson (Penguin); Thomas Paine, The Thomas Paine Reader (Penguin); Edmund Burke, Reflections on the Revolution in France (Oxford); Olaudah Equiano, The Interesting Narrative and Other Writings (Penguin); Benjamin Franklin, The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin (Yale); Jonathan Edwards, A Jonathan Edwards Reader (Yale); William Byrd, William Byrd’s Histories of the Dividing Line (Dover); J. Hector St. John de Crevecoeur, Letters from an American Farmer (Penguin); The Federalist Papers (Penguin); The Anti-Federalist Papers (Signet); Hannah Webster Foster, The Coquette (Penguin); Charles Brockden Brown, Wieland (Penguin). Secondary readings will be made available.
Requirements Fulfilled: Early American; Fiction Genre
ENGL 5324: Studies in Twentieth-Century American Literature
Vietnam War Literature
Dr. Yuan Shu
Wednesday 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM
This course investigates the diverse representations of the American War in Vietnam against what Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri call “Empire” and what William Spanos defines as “American exceptionalism in the age of globalization.” We begin by scrutinizing Graham Green’s Quiet American and Monique Truong’s The Book of Salt and screening the French film, Indochine, with a focus on the differences between the European colonial power and the American regime of Empire. We then read Joan Didion’s Democracy and Norman Mailer’s Armies of the Night and explore how democracy and history are envisioned and intertwined in late capitalism. We concentrate on Michael Herr’s Dispatches, Tim O’Brien’s Going after Cacciato, and Lynda De Devanter’s Home before Morning, which foreground issues of time-space compression, simulation and simulacrum, and the return of the repressed. Meanwhile, we also get a glimpse of the North Vietnamese perspective through examination of Bao Nin’s Sorrow of War. We conclude by exploring the ecological sensibility in James Janko’s Buffalo Boy and Geronimo and considering the relationship between Empire and migration in Le Ly Hayslip’s When Heaven and Earth Changed Places. Primary literary texts: Lynda Van Devanter, Home before Morning; Joan Didion, Democracy; Graham Green, The Quiet American; Le Ly Hayslip, When Heaven and Earth Changed Places; Michael Herr, Dispatches; James Janko, Buffalo Boy and Geronimo; Norman Mailer, The Armies of the Night; Bao Nin, The Sorrow of War; Tim O’Brien, Going after Cacciato; Monique Truong, The Book of Salt. Primary visual texts: From Hollywood to Hanoi; Hearts and Minds; Indochine; Why We Fight. Secondary texts: William Spanos, American Exceptionalism in the Age of Globalization; a collection of essays in PDF file will be posted on the course page on Blackboard.
Requirements Fulfilled: Later American; Fiction Genre
ENGL 5325: Studies in American Fiction
The Natural West: Landscape in Western Literature and Film
Dr. Sara Spurgeon
Thursday 9:300 AM – 12:30 PM
NOTE: Team-taught with Dr. Scott Baugh’s ENGL 5351 class.
We will examine the vital role of landscape and Nature in works of film and fiction that both establish and challenge the genre of the Western. Some will be classics (both literary and filmic) and some will undermine, subvert, or expand our ideas about what Westerns are, what they mean, what they do and why the portrayal of the natural world is so important in all of them. We will explore these texts from a number of different angles: How and why is the the myth of the frontier tied so closely to landscape? How have masculine and Anglo-American ideas about the “proper” relationship of humans to Nature been used to justify or deconstruct American ideas about conquest, colonization, and empire? How do our notions about Nature work to define contemporary ideas about gender, race, class, sexuality, and national identity? Why, over a hundred years after the official close of the last geographic frontier in the lower 48 states (in 1892) are we still writing and filming Westerns? How is the Western so intricately tied to historical issues, and what might be present and future directions? Likely texts include: Zane Grey, Riders of the Purple Sage (1912); Larry McMurtry, Horseman, Pass By (1961); Leslie Marmon Silko, Ceremony (1977); Cormac McCarthy, Blood Meridian (1985). Likely films include: John Ford, Stagecoach (1939); John Ford, The Searchers (1956); Francis Ford Coppola, Apocalypse Now (1979); Robert M. Young, The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez (1982); Kevin Costner, Dances with Wolves (1990); Stephen Frears, The Hi-Lo Country (1998); Ang Lee, Brokeback Mountain (2005); James Cameron, Avatar (2009). Likely theory: Kasdan, et al., Critical Eye; Laura Mulvey, “Afterthoughts on ‘Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema’ inspired by ‘Duel in the Sun’”; Selections from Ella Shohat & Robert Stam, Unthinking Eurocentrism (1994); Selections from Lee Clark Mitchell, Westerns: Making the Man in Fiction and Film (1996); Selections from Robert Warshow, The Immediate Experience (2001); Selections from Michael Johnson, Hunger for the Wild: America’s Obsession the Untamed West (2007).
Requirements Fulfilled: Later American; Fiction Genre.
ENGL 5327: Studies in Multicultural Literature
Borderlands Literature: Bodies and Border Crossings
Dr. Cordelia Barrera
Tuesday/Thursday 12:30 – 1:50 pm
In this course, we will study the multidimensional and interdependent nature of US-Mexico Borderlands literature in terms of bodily subjectivities, postmodernity, spatial and geographical identities, and contemporary ecocritical theories that reflect a discourse of responses to global change. Some questions that will focus our discussions include: How do issues of subjectivity, gender, class, race, ethnicity, and sexuality influence a culture of the Borderlands? What kinds of narrations result from intercultural crossings between the United States and Mexico? How do spatial ontologies speak to the formation of subjectivity, identity, and sociality on the Borderlands? We will read a representative survey of fiction, critical essays, and drama and apply the theoretical articulations of border theory, postcolonial theory, and third space theories to bring into conversation various territorial and metaphorical intersections between the U.S. and Mexico with the goal of illuminating how individual subjectivities negotiate local, national, and global borders (transfronteras) of experience, theory, and history. Readings include works by: Anzaldúa, Islas, Arias, Morales, Viramontes, McMurtry, McCarthy, Castillo, Moraga, Soja, Sandoval, and Bhabha.
Requirements fulfilled: Fiction Genre; Nonfiction Genre (one or the other, not both)
ENGL 5334: History of the English Language
Who Owns English? Authority in a Worldwide Language
Dr. Brian McFadden
Wednesday 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM
We will be examining the history and development of the English language from its origins in Anglo-Saxon England through the high Middle Ages and the Early Modern period to Modern English and issues and controversies of the present day; this entails studying the internal history, external history, and the development of its morphology, phonology, semantics, and syntax, in addition to an examination of orality and literacy and the effects of developing methods of textual production on the language. We will also be reading short pieces written at different times through English history (e.g. Ælfric, Alfred the Great, Chaucer, Milton, Sidney, Johnson, Swift, Jefferson, Orwell) to gain a historical perspective on how authors perceived the language in which they were writing and how they claim authority to define and use the English language for their social and political ends. The earlier parts of the course will be highly technical and mechanical; as the course progresses, there will be more opportunity for discussion and development of current topics of interest to the student. The requirements will be a seminar paper on a topic of interest to the study of English as a language, a prospectus at midterm in order to give me an idea of what you wish to discuss in the essay, and an oral presentation on one of the texts to be discussed in class. Primary texts: Baugh and Cable, A History of the English Language; Knowles, A Cultural History of the English Language; Orwell, 1984;Gilliver, Marshall, and Weiner, The Ring of Words: Tolkien and the Oxford English Dictionary; McCrum, Globish; George Bernard Shaw, Pygmalion; Wilton, Word Myths; plus various PDF's on E-reserve for shorter works.
Requirements Fulfilled: Linguistics British Literature requirement; High Proficiency
ENGL 5337: Studies in Linguistics
Syntax and Semantics of Noun Modifiers
Dr. Min-Joo Kim
Tuesday/Thursday 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM
Noun-modifying (or adnominal) expressions such as adjective phrases and relative clauses are Noun (N)-dependents which are presumably not required by grammar. Yet their syntax and semantics provide an important probe into the internal structure of DP. For example, it has been found that adjectives (ADJs) tend to occur following demonstratives and numerals across languages (see, e.g., Greenberg 1963, Hawkins 1983, Dryer 1992, Cinque 2005) and, moreover, when multiple adjectival expressions co-occur modifying the same N, they tend to occur only in certain orders, with so-called ‘direct N modifiers’ in the sense of Sproat and Shih (1988, 1990) occur closer to the N they modify than so-called ‘indirect N modifiers’ such as relative clauses (RCs) (e.g., Whorf 1945, Bolinger 1967, Sproat and Shih 1988, 1990, Larson 1998, 2000, Bouchard 2002, Cinque 1994, 2005, 2010). In this course, we will examine the syntax and semantics of adjectival N-modifiers in several languages and learn about various theories that have been proposed to capture their universal properties such as Cinque (2010) and Larson (1998, 2000). Classes will have a lecture/discussion format and will proceed, largely based on weekly homework assignments as well as reading assignments. In addition to doing weekly homework assignments, students will write final term-papers on a topic relevant to the course objectives and make in-class presentations on them towards the end of the semester.
Requirements Fulfilled: Linguistics – structure requirement
ENGL 5343: Studies in Literary Criticism
Feminist Critical Theory
Dr. Marjean Purinton
Monday 2:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Contact instructor for description.
Requirements Fulfilled: Theory; Nonfiction
ENGL 5351-001: Studies in Film
The Natural West: Landscape in Western Literature and Film
Dr. Scott Baugh
Thursday 9:30 AM – 12:30 PM
Note: Team-taught with Dr. Sara Spurgeon’s ENGL 5325 class.
See ENGL 5325 above for description.
Requirements Fulfilled: Film/Drama genre; Later American
ENGL 5351-002: Studies in Film
Dr. Allison Whitney
Tuesday 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM
This course will approach the complex cinematic category of film noir from multiple perspectives, encompassing historical, ideological, aesthetic, technological, and feminist approaches to studies of film. In contemplating the aesthetics of film noir, we will address the influences of both German Expressionist and Italian Neorealist film practices on post-war Hollywood, while also studying particular qualities of film technology to better understand the look and sound of noir, both in the formative period of the 1940s and also in subsequent decades, up to an including contemporary digital effects. We will also consider noir as part of a cinematic dialogue among cultures – first as a category based in perceptions of American cinema made by French critics, later as a set of conventions incorporated by other film cultures, particularly in Europe and Asia, and as a current phenomenon in “neo-noir” texts. Further, we will consider film noir’s interfaces with other genres and modes of filmmaking such as science fiction, both in the 1950s and in later “tech noir” films, and non-fiction film practices, such as docudrama and the use of found footage. In addition, we will address film noir’s relationship to other media, including television and literature. Texts may include The Maltese Falcon, Double Indemnity, Asphalt, Mildred Pierce, The House on 92nd Street, Sin City, Twin Peaks, Klute, Invasion of the Body Snatchers and Drive, among others, and the course readings will include James Naremore’s Something More Than Night, E. Ann Kaplan’s Women in Film Noir, and Alain Silver’s Film Noir Reader.
Requirements Fulfilled: Film/Drama genre; Later American
ENGL 5352: Studies in Fiction
Transatlantic 19th Century British and American Literature
Dr. Ann Daghistany Ransdell
Tuesday/Thursday 12:30 PM - 1:50 PM
This semester we will examine parallel themes, scenes and characters, as well as adaptations, between prominent nineteenth century authors on both sides of the Atlantic. We will read Dickens, Oliver Twist; The Brontes, Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights; Louisa May Alcott, Moods, Work, and A Long Fatal Love Chase; George Eliot, Adam Bede; Thomas Hardy, Tess of the d’Urbervilles; and Henry James, The American. We will also read recent theory: Susan Manning and Andrew Taylor’s collection, Transatlantic Literary Studies, and Paul Giles, Atlantic Republic: American Tradition in English Literature. The social outcast figures of the orphan, the criminal, the thief, the demonic hero and the prostitute will be studied as well as marginal female employment in needlework and acting, as well as the positions of governess and companion. Focus will center on gender, class, marriage and religion. We will study the impact of historical events upon literary reflections of racism and gender discrimination, such as the Civil War in America and the British Indian Uprising. Requirements include, first, two short fiction/film papers (grades will be averaged to count as one unit); second, a long written paper on the student’s choice of subject within an assigned topic; third, an oral presentation of that paper on the due date; fourth, a final; and fifth, class participation. Each of these five requirements will count 20% of the final grade. Topics for transnational treatment might include one of the following suggestions, studied in relation to the presentation text and another 19th century text, either from our class reading list or another of the student’s selection from the period: Victorian morality and conventionality, death and Victorian heroes or heroines, landscapes and politics, ghosts in Victorian fiction, alcohol and downfall, the demonic hero, pitfalls of classism, racism, gender dynamics, religion, and personal conscience.
Requirements fulfilled: Fiction Genre; Early American OR Later British (one or the other, but not both)
ENGL 5355: Studies in Comparative Literature
The Classical Tradition
Dr. Timothy Crowley
Monday 2:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Cross-listed with CLAS 5350
This course—team-taught by Professors David Larmour (Classics) and Timothy Crowley (English)—is designed to acquaint students with the pervasive influence of ancient Greece and Rome on Western literary culture. It traces how the founding texts of classical epic, lyric, and tragedy inspire later works from thirteenth-century Italy to twentieth-century England, Russia, and America. Thematic emphases include relationships between divine and human justice, political and individual identities, honor and shame, mortality and poetic fame, sexual desire and religious faith, Odysseus and the heroic quest, Orpheus and artistic inspiration, and the Apollo/Dionysus opposition. Classical works include Homer’s Odyssey, Euripides’ Bacchae, Catullus’ love poetry, Virgil’s Aeneid, Ovid’s Metamorphoses, and Seneca’s Tragedies. Later authors and works include selections from Dante’s Divine Comedy, selected sonnets by Petrarch, tragedies by Marlowe and Shakespeare, selected sonnets by Shakespeare, selected love elegies by Donne, Milton’s Paradise Lost, Tennyson’s “Ulysses,” selections from Joyce’s Ulysses, Andrey Bely’s Petersburg, selected short stories by Vladimir Nabokov, Tennessee Williams’ Orpheus Descending and Margaret Atwood’s Penelopiad. All readings are in English. Assessment will consist of two exams and a research paper.
Requirements Fulfilled: Comparative Literature; Early British or Later British (one or the other, but not both); Poetry Genre
ENGL 5370-001: Creative Writing Workshop
Dr. Jill Patterson
Monday 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM
This course will focus upon one of the most popular and controversial genres being read and published today. We’ll study book-length projects (both memoirs and literary journalism) as well as how the individual chapters work as personal essays and researched articles the authors have published separately. Additionally, we’ll study and try out the various narrative methods nonfiction writers use: nonquicktion, traditional essays, lyric essays, and meta-nonfiction.
To accomplish this, we’ll read five books and a handful of essays/articles. In the end, though, the focus of this course will be the students’ original manuscripts as well as the publication of that writing: Students will write first drafts of five essays (which we will workshop) as well as clean, fully revised versions of three of those essays (when turning in these revisions, students will include submission materials).
Texts: The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer by Siddhartha Mukherjee (winner of the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for Nonfiction); Nothing: A Portrait of Insomnia by Blake Butler (a lyric memoir); Lying: A Metaphorical Memoir by Lauren Slater (the controversial memoir that jump-started Slater’s nonfiction career, which has continued to be controversial); Rock and Roll Will Save Your Life by Steve Almond (a comic memoir, that includes lists, interviews with famous musicians, exegeses on various song lyrics, and a great collection of music suggestions); and Carrier: Untangling the Danger in My DNA by Bonnie Rough (a medical memoir that rotates between the author’s viewpoint and the imagined viewpoint of her grandfather).
Requirements Fulfilled: Creative Writing Workshop; Nonfiction Genre
ENGL 5370-002: Creative Writing Workshop
Dr. William Wenthe
Tuesday 2:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Mainly a writing workshop, this seminar will also incorporate something of the “form and theory” class; in other words, we’ll be writing poetry, and thinking about poetry. Enrollment is open to those in the creative writing program; those in other areas who are interested in taking the class should submit a group of poems to Dr. William Wenthe’s mailbox (or submit by email to firstname.lastname@example.org), along with your contact information, for permission to enroll.
· diligence, in the root sense of the word (Check out the etymology)
· recognizing and acting upon the need to carve out a steady time for your writing practice
· a determination that you will learn as much from careful attention to, and critique of, your peers’ writing, as you will gain from their collective attention and critique of yours
· fearlessness in the face of revision
· and, too, a final portfolio of ten poems revised and “finished” to the best of your ability, and an eight-to-ten-page introductory prose statement.
We will workshop poems on a “rolling” basis, meaning that each student will be free to submit poems whenever he or she has a poem ready to be workshopped, instead of adhering to a preset schedule. I will also assign various readings in poetry and/or criticism, and conduct various lessons about particular aspects of poetry writing in each class session. This class is NOT based on exercises. I expect each student to explore his or her own concerns and aesthetic practice (while recognizing that these concerns and aesthetic are always under development). Frankly it’s hard to write a description of this class, since the main body of it will be the discussion that arises around your own writing-to-be. Nonetheless, I will bring to the table my interests in the intelligence of poetic form, the rhetorical aspects of poetry, and various angles more often associated with other genres—such as plot, point of view, motive, drama—in the way that poems partake of them.
Requirements Fulfilled: Creative Writing Workshop; Poetry Genre
ENGL 5370-003: Creative Writing Workshop
Dr. Cristina Garcia
Tuesday 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Our priority in this workshop will be reading and critiquing each other’s works-in-progress. Each writer will have the opportunity to have two to three stories, or excerpts of longer works (up to seventy pages total), discussed in class. In addition, we’ll be reading five strikingly different books (novels, memoirs, a short story collection)—one every couple of weeks—and studying, in-depth, the various narrative strategies employed by their authors. We’ll focus on issues of voice, structure, characterization, the role of research, and stylistic techniques. Creative responses to texts and other brief writing assignments, both in-class and out, will supplement the readings and critiques. The required books for this class are: Speak, Memory by Vladimir Nabokov, The Baron in the Trees by Italo Calvino, Jesus’s Son by Denis Johnson, Before Night Falls by Reinaldo Arenas, The Second Coming of Mavala Shikongo by Peter Orner. Your participation in all aspects of the workshop is essential. Please read the assigned novels and your fellow writers’ work with the care and attention you would want for your own. Please come prepared for class discussions.
Requirements Fulfilled: Creative Writing Workshop; Fiction Genre
ENGL 5380: Special Topics
History and Theories of the Book
Dr. Ann Hawkins
Wednesday 2:00 PM – 5:00 PM
This course focuses on the relationships between texts and their material embodiments, from stone to screen, papyrus to paper, taking as its guiding principle that understanding the social and material construction of texts, and the circumstances of their physical dissemination, is crucial to understanding literary works and their reception. The scope of the course is broad, beginning with an overview of material text production across history and cultures, examining early writing and publishing technologies. We'll move through the transition from scribal to print cultures and the hand press period, through the nineteenth-century industrialization of print, and end with digital texts and the medium of screen and internet. Along the way we will consider how a series of contemporary theoretical issues inform or are informed by our examination of material texts: authorship and ownership (copyright); the role of the book in the state; the role of editors, publishers, and readers in the creation of textual meaning; the ways in which ideas are translated into things. As we explore these issues, we'll get hands-on experience with the material formats of the texts we study, both in the classroom and through visits to Texas Tech's Rare Books and Special Collections.
Requirements Fulfilled: Book History; Nonfiction Genre
ENGL 5392: Teaching College Literature
Dr. John Samson
Wednesday 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM
This course is for doctoral students who wish to teach college literature. We begin with an overview of theoretical issues (What is college literature? Who gets a say in the answer to this question? To who and what are college literature teachers responsible? What kind of writing does and should occur in college literature classrooms?) but move quickly to actual praxis. Students in this course make teaching a conscious practice by reflecting, in discussion and writing, on what we do in the literature-based classroom. We will visit classrooms of other college literature instructors, teach texts selected for sophomore classes at TTU, discuss the strengths of our pedagogical strategies, listen to commentary from our fellow teachers, create and grade assignments that further our goals in the classroom, and prepare syllabi for future classroom use. Ultimately, the course should prepare students to search for faculty positions as highly-trained teachers of English. Texts: Elaine Showalter, Teaching Literature, and Sheridan Blau, The Literature Workshop.
Requirements Fulfilled: Pedagogy; prerequisite for teaching at the 2000 level