Fall 2009 Graduate Seminars

Eng 599R: Master's Thesis
Reiss, TBA, TBA, Max: 999

(Written Permission of DGS required prior to Enrollment)

Eng 710R: Studies in Renaissance Literature: Elizabethan Poetry and Poetics 
Goldberg, W 10:00-1:00, Max: 12

Content: This course considers the literary, political, personal, and erotic interrelations that shape Elizabethan poetry, poetic theory, and poetic relations.  At the center will be the Sidneys--Sir Philip, his sister Mary Sidney, Countess of Pembroke -- and Spenser, with attention as well to Puttenham's Arte of English Poesie.

Main texts to be considered will include: The Shepheardes Calender, Apology for Poetry, Astrophil and Stella, the Sidney psalm project, the Astrophel volume, The Ruines of Time, and, if time permits, a book of The Faerie Queene.

(Written Permission of DGS required prior to Enrollment)

Eng 720R: Studies in Eighteenth-Century Literature: Erotic Politics: Literature and History in Later Seventeenth-Century England
Brownley, M 1:00-4:00, Max: 12

Content: No era of English Literature more thoroughly eroticized both public and private life than the Restoration period, in part because of its historical positioning between civil and imperial wars and in part because of the unusual characters of the later Stuart monarchs.  This seminar will focus on selected examples of how the personal and the political mutate into one another in the poetry, fictional and nonfictional prose, and drama of the period between the late 1650s and c. 1715.  The development of satire, historical poetry, and personal narrative will be major concerns.  Among topics to be covered will be Marvell, Dryden, and Historical Poetry; Behn, Rochester, and the Court Wits; Pepys, Cavendish, and Auto/Biographical Writing; Bunyan and Baxter on Church and State; and Countercurrents: History Fictionalized. 

Texts:  TBA.  However, please note that given Woodruff Library's holdings, many of the works assigned in this course are available online at Emory.  Waiting until after the first meeting of the class to decide which texts to purchase should be prudent.

Particulars: 2 class presentations, short paper, final paper.

(Written Permission of DGS required prior to Enrollment)

Eng 730R: Studies in Romanticism
White, W 1:00-4:00, Max: 8    (Eng 730R/CPLT 751)

Content: This seminar explores poetry and prose of British romantic writers.  We will give special attention to debates concerning literary history and literary modernity, the specificity of literary language and the relation between literature and philosophy.  More generally, we will consider how the authors we study pursue a "defense of poetry" (P. B. Shelley) in the context of modernization-that is, in the context of urbanization, industrialization, and utilitarianism. The romantic defense of what it calls poetry or, more expansively still, "imagination" serves not only as a springboard for philosophical aesthetics, but also for an engagement with performative and material dimensions of language that aesthetics often obscures. Our readings will therefore attend to the fault lines exposed within aesthetics by romantic writers precisely when they are most urgently engaged in an aesthetic project.

Texts: Readings to be drawn from the works of Wordsworth, Coleridge, Hazlitt, Byron, Shelley, and Keats. Additional critical and theoretical readings from Chandler, Chase, Christensen, De Man, Hamilton, Hartman, McGann, Levinson, Pfau, Rajan, Wimsatt and others.  

(Written Permission of DGS required prior to Enrollment)

Eng 740R: Studies in Twentieth-Century British Literature:Eliot, Yeats, and the Divided Tradition of 20th-century British Poetry
Schuchard, W 4:00-7:00, Max: 12

Content: Through an intensive study of major writings by T. S. Eliot and W. B. Yeats, this seminar will explore the nature of the divided romantic-classical traditions of modern British literature. Moving back and forth from Yeats to Eliot decade by decade, we will further examine the literary politics of their mutual criticism and seek an understanding of the modern temper in their antithetical temperaments.

Texts: Readings will focus on their poetry and non-fiction prose. The problems and hands-on solutions of editing the massive amounts of unpublished letters, prose, and other documents by these two modern writers will be part of the discussion and practice of the seminar.

Particulars: Each member will be responsible for leading discussions of designated poems and essays by each poet. At least 20-25 pages of critical writing are required, the number of papers to be negotiated with each student early in the semester.

(Written Permission of DGS required prior to Enrollment)

Eng 752R: Studies in Twentieth-Century American Literature: 

Ladd, Th 4:00-7:00, Max: 12  

Content: The U.S. South is often distinguished from the rest of the United States as a culture of place and memory in a "great nation of futurity" (as John L. O'Sullivan described the U.S. in the mid-19th century). An oversimplification to be sure, but this semester we will explore history and memory in southern writing, focusing on traces of the Haitian Revolution in 19th and 20th century writing, and on the uses of the gothic and the grotesque.

Texts: Martin R. Delany, Blake, Or the Huts of America; George W. Cable,The Grandissimes; Zora Neale Hurston, Mules and Men; Arna Bontemps,Black ThunderDrums at Dusk; William Faulkner, Absalom, Absalom!; Carson McCullers, The Ballad of the Sad Café, and Other Stories; Cormac McCarthy, Child of GodBlood Meridian. We will also read Alejo Carpentier's The Kingdom of This World. Supplementary reading to include short stories, poems, travel narratives, essays, and historical documents.

Work:  3 reading responses of 300-500 words; a review of a significant book of scholarship, criticism, or theory; an annotated bibliography or seminar paper. Presentations.

(Written Permission of DGS required prior to Enrollment)

Eng 752R: Studies in Twentieth-Century American Literature: The Black Radical Intellectual Tradition
Jackson, M 4:00-7:00, Max: 12  

Content: This course is exploring mainly 20th century traditions of black radical intellectual thought about the African diaspora with a focus on North America.  The course will deal substantively with what black critics have done with Marxism and its varieties in the middle twentieth century, especially between 1930 and 1970.  The precise concern of the course is chiefly one of point-of-view.  What are the intellectual priorities from the vantage of the outlandish maroon, the absconded runaway, the rebel?  What position would we have to anchor ourselves in to think as "black radicals" and precisely why might this activity have significance?  Particularly conspicuous in this conceptualization is the work of several major black Marxists and Marxian critics, who have infused a western discourse of social class struggle with the historical problem of colonialism, slavery, imperialism, racism, racial apartheid, decolonization and neocolonialism.  But what are the limits of a structural analysis that always foregrounds material reality over human consciousness?  Additionally, what are the problems of a political movement that privileges inquiry into tangible, pragmatic political effects? The course bias is toward materials with a historical and interdisciplinary approach to the theoretical problems, but we will also take into account fictional, cinematic and autobiographical accounts that engage the topic.  Finally, the course will investigate the very active role of epistemic and political radicalism played by archival corrections to the historical record.  We will try to challenge the nature of documentary evidence.

(Written Permission of DGS required prior to Enrollment)

Eng 780R: Methods of Literary Interpretation: Vitalism, Technics,  Autopoiesis:  Life and Art within Systems and Networks
Johnston, Tu 1:00- 4:00, Max: 8   (Eng 780R/CPLT 751)

Content: In the 20th century what was generally called "life" was gradually volatilized in distributed systems, structures, and processes (e.g., biologists now study "living systems").  In the discourses of the post-industrial world, subjects and objects increasingly entered theoretical reflection as variations on subject-systems or subjects-in-process (Lacoue-Labarthe and Nancy, Kristeva) and  object-systems (Baudrillard).  Aesthetic theory seemed immobilized in Adorno's high modernist critique, completely dispersed in theories of textuality, or forever sent packing by cultural studies.  Yet the late 60s also witnessed  various proto-aesthetic formations in new amalgamations of science, technics, and media theory on the one hand, and new extensions and intensifications of bodily experience that the latest technologies made possible on the other.  Jack Burnham's notion of a "systems aesthetic"--according to which aesthetic experience is no longer triggered and sustained by the contemplation of a unified, integral object-- and Gene Youngblood's notion of an expanded visionary cinema are two examples par excellence, yet both were quickly marginalized within academic circles.  However, with the tremendous growth, variety, and vitality of new media art since the 90s, these and other experimental explorations of what art critic Hal Foster once called the "anti-aesthetic" seem harbingers of a deep rupture with old categories and oppositions (like that between physisand techn'), and a shift to a whole new world or landscape of concepts based on information systems, noise, turbulence, and contingency, as evident in the Net art of Eduardo Kac and Daniel Suarez's recent novelDaemon.  This course will work through several key theoretical underpinnings of this shift.

Required texts: Henri Bergson, essay on the comic, Creative EvolutionGilbert Simondon, On the mode of Existence of Technical Objects Jack Burnham, Beyond Modern Sculpture, "Systems  Aesthetics" Humberto Maturana and Francisco Varela:  Autopoiesis and Cognition Niklas Luhmann, Introduction to Systems TheoryThe Reality of the Mass Media, and Art as a Social System (selections) Michel Serres, The Parasite Bert Kosko, Noise (excerpts) Galloway and Thacker, The Exploit: A Theory of Networks Mark Buchanan, Nexus:  Small Worlds and the Science of Networks W.J.T. Mitchell, "The Work of Art in the Age of Biocybernetic Reproduction" Eduardo Kac, Signs of Life:  Bio Art and Beyond Eduardo Kac & Avital Ronell: Life Extreme: An Illustrated Guide to New Life Daniel Suarez, Daemon, "Bot-mediated Reality"

Particulars: A seminar paper due at the end of the semester and a class presentation.

(Written Permission of DGS required prior to Enrollment)

Eng 789R: Special Topics in Literature: Women in Ireland
Higgins, Tu 1:00-4:00, Max: 7    (Eng 789R/WS 585)

Kathaleen ni Houlihan! Why
Must a country, like a ship or a car, be always female,
Mother or sweetheart?
                                    Louis MacNeice

Content: Women and Ireland. Women of Ireland. Women in Ireland. Mna na hEireann. Each conjoining word reflects some of the difficulties in talking about the way women in Ireland are both the subjects and objects of Irish literature, history, politics and culture.  From James Clarence Mangan's Dark Rosaleen to W. B. Yeats's Cathleen ni Houlihan to Seamus Heaney's bog queens, the connection between Ireland as a woman and her need for male protection and rescue has remained dominant in Irish writing.  When contemporary poet, Eavan Boland, began to write, she looked for herself in the tradition of Irish poetry and could not find any representation of her life there.  Indeed she ruefully remarks, "it was easier to put a bomb than a baby in the Irish poem".

Taking up Eavan Boland's claim that men have equated Ireland with an impossibly idealized woman, "Women and Ireland" listens to and interrogates female voices. This seminar offers an examination of literary, cultural, familial, and personal writings by women across such genres as the novel, the poem, and the letter. It also acknowledges anxieties (not least as seen in the recent Field Day Anthology controversy) about Irishwomen's access to the space of literature. "Women and Ireland" privileges three areas of study in particular: (i) Mother Ireland in literature and culture; (ii) Gender and sexuality in the twentieth-century (iii) Irish women's poetry.

Texts: The course will make extensive use of Emory's archival resources in Irish writing. Writers and critics will include Eavan Boland, Angela Bourke. Brian Friel, Lady Gregory, Seamus Heaney, Edna Longley, Deirdre Madden, Medbh McGuckian, Nuala Ni Dhomnaill, Edna O'Brien, W. B. Yeats and the poets included in The Wakeforest Book of Irish Women's Poetry.

(Written Permission of DGS required prior to Enrollment)

Eng 789R: Special Topics in Literature: Literature and the Senses
Otis, Tu 1:00-4:00, Max: 10     (Eng 789R/ILA 790)

Content: This course will bring together students of literature and science to explore the ways that human sensory impressions are turned into language and emerge through language and art. Whether sensory experience is "translated" into language will be one of the main issues we address. We will also consider how synesthesia, or sensory "mixing" can contribute to the creation of literature. Guest speakers involved in biomedical research will describe the workings of the visual, auditory, and olfactory systems (taste and touch will also get some attention!), and we will discuss how scientists' understandings of the ways the senses work can enrich our readings of literary texts, and how literature can enrich scientists' understandings of sensory systems.

Texts: Primary texts will include novels and stories that focus on sensory experience, especially the representation of particular senses: Gabriel García Márquez's Love in the Times of Cholera, Jim Grimsley's Winter Birds, Santiago Ramón y Cajal's "The Corrected Pessimist,", Edgar Allan Poe's "The Tell-Tale Heart" and "The Fall of the House of Usher," and Patrick Suskind's Perfume. Theoretical/Analytical readings will include: Dianne Ackerman's A Natural History of the Senses, John Picker's Victorian Soundscapes, and Elaine Scarry's Dreaming by the Book.

Requirements: Because this is a Health Sciences Humanities Course, the students enrolled will come from Emory College (graduate and undergraduate) and from the School of Medicine, School of Nursing, and School of Public Health. Graduate and undergraduate students will receive different syllabi and have different course requirements. All students will be asked to write weekly 1-2 page reading responses and to make two 5-10 minute in-class presentations on their research projects. Undergraduates will be asked to write a 15-page research paper, which must be revised one time. Graduates will have the option of writing one 20-page seminar paper at the end of the course, or two10-page conference papers at points in the course chosen at their discretion.

(Written Permission of DGS required prior to Enrollment)

Eng 789R: Special Topics in Literature: Henry James, Gertrude Stein, Samuel Beckett
Moon, W 9:00-12:00, Max: 6  (Eng 789R/ILA 790) 

  The Turn of the Screw, The Wings of the Dove, Prefaces to the New York Edition; Q.E.D., selections from The Making of Americans, Three LivesDr. FaustusLights the LightsMolloyAll That FallNot I, late radio plays. In reading and discussing these texts, we shall explore a range of questions about imitation, translation, archivization, the limits of representation, avant-gardism, adaptation / transmedia and performance. 

(Written Permission of DGS required prior to Enrollment)

Eng 796R: Survey of English: Histories, Theories, Methods
Kelleher, Th 10:00-1:00, Max: 12

Content: This seminar is designed to introduce first-year graduate students to many of the key theoretical and methodical issues that shape the discipline of English. In addition to surveying a wide range of twentieth-century and contemporary theoretical movements (for example, deconstruction and sexuality studies), the seminar will expose students to some of the central questions and debates that drive English literary studies today. Through our readings and discussions, students will receive a grounding in the discipline of English, which ideally will support and energize their future studies and research in the field.

ParticularsActive class discussion; presentation; final paper.  This course is required of all first-year students in English.

(Written Permission of DGS required prior to Enrollment)

Eng 797R: Directed Study
Reiss, TBA, Max: TBA

(Written Permission of DGS required prior to Enrollment)

Eng 798R: Dissertation Colloquium
Womack, Tu 4:00-7:00, Max: 12  

(Written Permission of DGS required prior to Enrollment)

Eng 799R: Doctoral Dissertation
Reiss, TBA, Max: TBA

(Written Permission of DGS required prior to Enrollment)