Spring 2008 Graduate Seminars

Eng 599R: Masters Thesis
Elliott, TBA, TBA

(Written permission of DGS required prior to Enrollment)

Eng 700R: Studies in Old English Literature
Morey, TT 10:00-11:15, Max: 12

Content: The poem known as Beowulf constitutes approximately one-tenth of the extant corpus of Old English poetry and it survives in only one manuscript. This fraction and number disguise the importance of the poem to scholars from Elizabethan to modern times, from its emergence as an antiquarian curiosity to the ongoing investigations of its historic, mythic, and literary dimensions. Classes will consist of prepared translation, short lectures, and discussion. Reading in relevant scholarship will provide a basis for discussion and for term papers.

Texts: Beowulf: An Edition, ed. Bruce Mitchell and Fred C. Robinson. Blackwell, 1998. 
Beowulf: A New Verse Translation, Roy Liuzza. Broadview, 2000. 
A Critical Companion to Beowulf, Andy Orchard. D. S. Brewer, 2003.

Particulars: midterm (translation), term paper (approximately 15 pages), and final examination (translation). Introductory Old English (English 300) or equivalent preparation in reading Old English (please see the instructor) is required. While proficiency in class translation is not graded per se, regular attendance and preparation of the material are crucial to success in the course.

(Written permission of DGS required prior to Enrollment)

Eng 710R: Studies in Renaissance Literature: Making Love: Seventeenth-Century Amorous Poetry

Rambuss, W 1:00-4:00, Max: 12

Content: This graduate seminar is about the poetry of courtship, seduction, d sex, and love.  It will begin with the anti-Petrarchanism, anti-dualism of Donne's "Songs and Sonnets."  It will end with his "Holy Sonnets" and the question of sacred eroticism (what does it mean to make love to God?).  In between, the seminar will treat-anthology-like-a variety of other seventeenth-century English poets (Jonson, Herrick, Suckling, Carew, Herbert, Crashaw, Milton, Philips, Behn) on an array of amorously inflected topics, such as: love and friendship; early modern varieties of same-sex eroticism; misogyny and misanthropy; lyric poetry and fetishism; literary pornography; libertinism; ecstasy; and hagiography and martyrology.  The course will also undertake a fairly close reading of the first volume of Foucault's The History of Sexuality (along with some consideration of volumes two and three).

Particulars: A seminar presentation; annotated bibliography; and final seminar paper.

(Written permission of DGS required prior to Enrollment)

Eng 730R: Studies in Romanticism: Theories and Practices

Reed, Th 1:00-4:00, Max: 12

Content: An introduction to the literature of the Romantic era, considering some influential theories of what defines or constitutes this era or period or movement in literary and cultural history, along with the salient literary practices that might be called Romantic, the distinctive genres, authors and ideological agendas that inform the current canon of works (or archive of interesting texts).  Recent theorist will include Geoffrey Hartman, Paul de Man, Jerome McGann, Frances Ferguson, Marshall Brown and Orrin Wang.  Romantic practitioners will include the traditionally canonical (Blake, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Byron, Shelley and Keats) and the recently rehabilitated (Charlotte Smith, Mary Robinson, Walter Scott, William Hazlitt, Thomas De Quincy, Thomas Moore, James Hogg, Mary Shelley and Felicia Hemans).  Emphasis will be on representative genres and texts rather than exhaustive coverage. 

Texts:  The Cambridge Companion to British Romanticism, ed. Stuart Curran.  The Romantic Period, vol. 2A of The Norton Anthology of English Literature, ed. Abrams and Greenblatt.

Particulars: Two short papers and a presentation to the class will be required in addition to a seminar paper at the end of the semester.

(Written Permission of DGS required prior to Enrollment)

Eng 751R: Studies in Nineteenth Century American Literature: Beyond the Middle Passage: Narratives and Notes of Africa, the Americas, and Other Ports of Call
Foster, Tu 1:00-4:00, Max: 12

Content: This seminar will chart new routes of discovery and exploration through the literature and culture of early African America.  We will examine lesser known documents that describe areas of emigration and immigration, travel and communication among people of African descent and between these people and others with whom they come into contact.  We will review some well known writings with emphasis this time upon expressions of cultural DNA that eventually create the groups we now fairly simplistically classify as "African American."   This seminar will require archival research, creation of bibliographies, and a fair number of short writings of various genre germane to graduate study and professional development.   Writings with which we most likely will begin are by Olaudah Equiano, Nancy Prince, Victor Sejour, and Nicolas Said. 

(Written Permission of DGS required prior to Enrollment)

Eng 752R: Studies in Twentieth-Century American Literature:Afro-Cuban Culture Then and Now
Sanders, Th 10:00-1:00, Max: 12

Content: This course will examine Afro-Cuban history and culture from the last decade of the eighteenth century to the contemporary moment.  Divided into three periods, colonial (1791-1895), early republic (1895-1959), and revolutionary (1959-now) the course will address the history, political movements and cultural forms of expression (religion, music, literature, film, graphic arts, etc.) for each period.  

Texts: Author/artists will include Gabriel de la Concepción (Plácido), Juan Francisco Manzano, Juan Gualberto Gómez, Ricardo Batrell, Esteban Montejo, Nicolás Guillén, Nancy Morejón. (knowledge of Spanish is not required).

(Written Permission of DGS required prior to Enrollment)

Eng 752R: Studies in Twentieth-Century American Literature: Native American Critical Theory
Womack, Tu 10:00-1:00, Max: 12

Content: Native-authored Literary Criticism and Theory.

Texts: The Sacred Hoop by Paula Gunn Allen, Other Destinies by Louis Owens, Keeping Slug Woman Alive by Greg Sarris, Tribal Secrets by Robert Warrior
That the People Might Live by Jace Weaver, Why I Can't Read Wallace Stegner by Elizabeth Cook-Lynn, Reasoning Together  by The Native Critics Collective.

Particulars: Before the class starts, students need to have already read the novels House Made of Dawn, Ceremony, Darkness in Saint Louis Bearheart, Love Medicine, and Winter in the Blood since constant references will be made to them in the criticism and discussion. The course will cover book-length works of Native American authored criticism between the years 1986-1997. The historical contexts for Native criticism and theory, as well as its relevance to larger aspects of Native experience, will be the main emphasis of the course.

(Written Permission of DGS required prior to Enrollment)

Eng 780R: Studies in Criticism and Literary Methodology: Aesthetic Theory and Postcolonial Literature: From Plato to Postcolonialism
Bahri, W 4:00-7:00, Max: 8    Eng 780R (8) /CPLT 752 (4) 

Content: This course will focus on theory that places art in a dialectical relation with historical conditions, allowing us to pose the following questions: How do aesthetic considerations contest and moderate the social function of literature? How do we identify the "truth-content" of what novelist Julian Barnes describes as the "beautiful, exact, and well-constructed lies" of art? Finally, how do we learn to see the aesthetic as political and moral without surrendering literature to a transparent and reductive purpose? In an age that treasures scientific reason and demonstrable proofs, teachers of literature increasingly face the challenge of demonstrating to students that literature may be "false," but it is not therefore trivial. Given the growing anxiety over its relevance, uncertainty about its value, and suspicions of the death of literature as a significant social form, this course intends to reactivate the question of literature's multiple ends through examination of a carefully developed set of theoretical readings on aesthetics in philosophy and critical theory from Plato to Postcolonialism.  The goal of this course is to develop in students an appreciation of the purpose and relevance of literature through an examination of the relationship between aesthetics and worldly reality.

Texts: Plato, Aristotle, Kant, Lukacs, Adorno, Marcuse, Benjamin, Horkheimer, Bhabha, Said, Spivak, and selected postcolonial novelists

(Written Permission of DGS required prior to Enrollment)

Eng 789R: Special Topics in Literature: The Profession of English
Foster, M 1:00-4:00, Max: 12

Content: This course includes a brief historical survey English as a profession and the profession of English.  It considers elements of the profession as it is popularly presented and currently practiced.  We discuss some of the contemporary debates and new directions in literary studies and give some attention to pertinent questions of theory, practice and methodology.  Throughout the semester we will engage in practical learning of skills that make professing - and studying towards becoming a professional professor - easier or more effective.  We will talk about conferences and publishing.  We will invite other faculty to share their ideas about these and other issues. 

We will read and we will write texts of various lengths and designs.  At the first meeting, each participant will have read an "academic novel" and will present a five-minute oral review.  For more details and for suggested titles contact me at the end of the Fall semester.

(Written Permission of DGS required prior to Enrollment)

Eng 789R: Special Topics in Literature: Colloquium in the Pedagogy of Literature 
Cahill, W 10:00-1:00, Max: 12 

Content:  This colloquium, which is required of students in their fourth year, considers the pragmatics of teaching independently designed courses in one's major field of literary or cultural interest.  Participants can expect to meet b-weekly to consider such pedagogic matters as syllabus design; the selection of assigned texts; the value of a variety of classroom practices; and the significance of a different institutional settings.  The colloquium will combine readings on the pedagogy of literature with workshops in which participants share their work and solicit feedback from others. Students will receive credit on a S/U grading basis.

(Written Permission of DGS required prior to Enrollment)

Eng 789R: Special Topics in Literature: Inventing the American Novel
Reiss, Th 10:00-1:00, Max: 12

Content: This course will explore the early American novel (1790s - 1860s) as a historical phenomenon and as a tradition that is endlessly reinvented by critics and readers.  We will begin by reading some classic theories of the novel as a genre (by Mikhail Bakhtin, Georg Lukacs, Ian Watt, Nancy Armstrong, Benedict Anderson, and others) as well as foundational essays on the early American novel (by D.H. Lawrence, Richard Chase, Leslie Fiedler, Nina Baym, Gillian Brown, and Jane Tompkins) and ask which tradition(s) they bring into being and why.  Following this, we will be reading a few classic novels of the period that have received strong re-readings in light of recent critical paradigms such as postcolonialism and transnationalism, ecocriticism, and the history of sexuality - as well as a few that those approaches have recently brought back into view. 

Assigned novels will likely include: Royal Tyler, The Algerine Captive, Susanna Rowson, Charlotte Temple, James Fenimore Cooper, The Pioneers, Susan Warner, The Wide, Wide World, Martin Delany, Blake, Nathaniel Hawthorne, The House of the Seven Gables, Herman Melville,Moby-Dick, and Elizabeth Stoddard, The Morgesons.   **Note: Although Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin is not on our reading list, I strongly recommend reading it before the first session of the course.   

Particulars:  Two short papers, a 15-page seminar paper, and a discussion-leading session. 

(Written Permission of DGS required prior to Enrollment)

Eng 789R: Special Topics in Literature: Contemporary World Writers
Rushdie, Tu 4:00-7:00, 2 Credits, Max: 16

Content: A four-week seminar on contemporary world literature, discussing authors such as Angela Carter, Hanif Kreishi, Anita Desai, and Kaszuo Ishiguro.  All students will be expected to attend each seminar meeting and to produce a short paper on each of the four novels.
Note that this seminar will be for two credits only, and that all students will be graded on an S/U basis.  The seminar will meet for four weeks, from January 29-February 19.
Texts: Angela Carter, Burning Your Boats: Collected Short Stories; Hanif Kureishi, The Buddha of Suburbia; Anita Desai's In Custody; Kazuo Ishiguro, The Remains of the Day.

Permission is required to register in this course.  To request permission, follow the instructions below:
Send an e-mail with the subject line, "Rushdie seminar" to Melanie Tipnis at mtipnis@emory.edu. The e-mail should contain the following information: Your name, your graduate program, your year of study, and your student ID number.  In a short paragraph, please provide an explanation of how this seminar relates to your academic course of study.  This e-mail must be received by noon on Monday, November 28.

(Written Permission of DGS required prior to Enrollment)

Eng 789R: Trauma, Time and History
Caruth, Th 1:00-4:00, Max: 5     Eng 789R (5), ILA 790 (5), CPLT 752 (10)

Content: This course will examine notions of time and history as they emerge over the course of Freud's work and in later psychoanalytically informed theory.  Freud's texts, beginning with the very early writings, will be placed in conversation with psychoanalytic and (literary) theoretical readings of Freud in order to consider problems of repetition, erasure, witness and event.  In the latter part of the course we will pay particular attention to traumatic temporality as it informs the conceptualization of war and of political history in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.  Authors include Sigmund Freud, Jean Laplanche, Jacques Derrida, Harold Bloom, Robert Lifton, Davoine and Gaudilliére, Shoshana Felman, among others.

(Written Permission of DGS required prior to Enrollment) 
Eng 789R:  Special Topics in Literature:  Literature and Laughter
Felman, M 4:00-7:00, Max: 3 Eng 789R (3)/CPLT 751 (9)/ILA 790 (3)
/French 770 (3)

Content:  Throughout the centuries, theorists of different disciplines--philosophers, theologians, psychoanalysts, sociologists, literary critics, poets, dramatists and political theorists--have pondered about the significance of laughter. "Of all living creatures only man is endowed with laughter", Aristotle writes, and this formula enjoyed immense popularity in underscoring both the humanity of laughter and the paradoxical conception of this signifying bodily phenomenon as marking a spiritual privilege of mankind.  For Freud, jokes, wit and humor are always tied up with a struggle and a conflict dramatized in language between sexuality and its civilized inhibition or political repression.  "Laughter," writes the French poet Charles Baudelaire, with his characteristic combination of sharp--sarcastic--critical acuteness and poetical compassion, "laughter is essentially contradictory; that is to say that it is at once a token of infinite grandeur and an infinite misery. . .It is from the perpetual collision of these two infinites that laughter is struck."  The course will try to think together about the difference between laughter as satire and laughter as pathos, in reflecting about what triggers laughter (or a smile) in characters, in situations and in linguistic constructions. We will analyze the role of the literary writer as comic dramatist and as ironic storyteller, and explore through literary texts what constitutes a comic perspective in relation to life, to society and to the world.

Texts: Close readings of literary texts by Shakespeare, Rabelais, Moliere, Voltaire, Baumarchais, Oscar Wilde, Bernard Shaw, Beckett.  

-- Marginal theoretical and critical texts by Baudelaire, Bergson, Freud, Bakhtin, Felman.

(Written Permission of DGS required prior to Enrollment) 

Eng 789R: Special Topics in Literature: Making Places, Placing Makers: Irish and African Diasporic Women Poets
Harper, M 4:00-7:00, Max: 12

Content: Readings for this course will focus on a small selection of the large field of poetry by twentieth-century women poets from Ireland, Irish America, African America, and the Caribbean. The poems and volumes will be examined closely and at a distance. The method will emphasize aurality, written form, the relation of individual texts and voices to larger groupings, and also issues that join the various collections placed in conjunction with each other for the purposes of this course: questions of place, power, gender, and identity, the changes to these conceptions over time and across distance, and their relation to poetic language. 

Texts: Gwendolyn Brooks, Selected Poems; Lucille Clifton, Good Woman: Poems and a Memoir, 1969-1980; Rita Dove, Museum; Tess Gallaher, Moon Crossing Bridge; Nikki Giovanni, Those Who Ride the Night Winds; Lorna Goodison, Controlling the Silver; Vona Groarke, Flight and Earlier Poems ; Medbh McGuckian, Selected Poems ; Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin, The Brazen Serpent (Wake Forest; Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill, Pharaoh's Daughter.

Particulars: Students will use the manuscript and print collections of the library to write term papers on poetry from the reading list or the much wider offerings represented in the archives. The primary research for the papers will give students the opportunity to address additional issues such as appearances in (or absences from) literary and other media and the implications for reputations of personal archives for twentieth-century poets. The instructor is also an unabashed fan of memorization, so there will be some emphasis on that in class time. 

(Written Permission of DGS required prior to Enrollment) 

Eng 791R: The Teaching of Composition
Cavanagh, W 10:00-1:00, Max: 15

(Written Permission of DGS required prior to Enrollment)

Eng 797R: Directed Study
Elliott, TBA, TBA, Max: 999

(Written Permission of DGS required prior to Enrollment)

Eng 799R: Doctoral Dissertation
Elliott, TBA, TBA, Max: 999

(Written Permission of DGS required prior to Enrollment)