Fall 2012 Graduate Seminars

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

(Written Permission of DGS required prior to Enrollment)

Eng 720R: Eighteenth-Century Literature: The Early English Novel and Its Theoretical Origins 
Brownley, TU 1:00-4:00, Max: 12

Content: Over the past two decades, research into the origins of the English novel has been a growth industry in literary studies. After long theoretical domination by Watt's Rise of the Novel, a number of competing paradigms have emerged to explain the development of the preeminent modern literary genre. This seminar will survey selected examples of these new approaches, ranging through cultural studies work to feminist, deconstructive, and Marxist analyses, juxtaposing them with selected early prose fictional texts to evaluate theory against practice. Particularly important throughout the course will be the historical and ideological contexts of Restoration and early eighteenth-century England that shaped its discursive forms.

Texts:  Early fictional prose to be assigned will include Behn, Defoe, Fielding, Lafayette, Nashe, and a few shorter pieces. Theorists covered will include Watt, Reed, Ballaster, McKeon, Hunter, and assorted essayists. 

Particulars:  One or two class facilitations; one short paper; one longer paper.

(Written Permission of DGS required prior to Enrollment)

Eng 730R: Studies in Romanticism
White, W 1:00-4:00, Max:10  Eng 730/CPLT 789

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, industrialism, 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, Tigh, Shelley, and Keats. Additional critical and theoretical readings from Chandler, Chase, Christensen, De Man, Hartman, McGann, Levinson, Rajan, Wang, Wimsatt and others. 

(Written Permission of DGS required prior to Enrollment)

Eng 752R: Studies in Twentieth-Century American Literature: Issues in Southern Literature and Literary History
Ladd, TH 10:00-1:00, Max: 12

Content: The U.S. South is often distinguished from the rest of the United States as a culture of history and memory in a "great nation of futurity" (as John L. O'Sullivan put it in the mid-19th century). Today we know that there are many histories and memories associated with the literatures of the U.S. South. In this seminar we will explore travel narratives, novels, short stories, letters, essays, and other material, looking closely at the play of histories, memories, and imagined futures in various texts. More specifically the seminar will be divided into sections of 2-4 weeks each, the first focusing on contact, slavery, and creolization in the Upper South (i.e. Atlantic seaboard from Baltimore down to Charleston and Savannah); the second on the Mississippi River; and the third on the literatures of migration (Appalachian and trans-Appalachian). The course is very history- and geography- based, so expect to read the work of historians (Bradford Wood and David Cecelski are two) as well as some selections from those New Geographers, political theorists, cultural critics, and scholars whose work is most relevant to the subject and to the texts in the course.

Texts: tba:  will likely include selections from accounts of the South by travelers and historians (ex.: Captain Basil Hall, Fanny Kemble ,Frederick Law Olmsted, Dickens, Mrs.Trollope, Harriet Martineau, Nancy Prince); Mark Twain, Life on the Mississippi; Moses Grandy, Narrative of the Life; Charles Chesnutt tba; William Gilmore Simms tba; Martin Delany, Blake, Or, The Huts of America; Ellen Glasgow (texts tba); Arna Bontemps, Black Thunder; Elizabeth Madox Roberts tba; The Agrarians;  Cormac McCarthy, Child of God. Others tba.

Particulars: A reading notebook (weekly entries of 500-750 words); student-led discussions; an independent reading and research project  due mid-semester which may be a study of primary materials or a substantive review of a significant book of history, scholarship, criticism, or theory relevant to the course and to student research interests. At the end of the semester, a seminar paper presenting original research or a review essay (with annotated bibliography) on the scholarship dealing with an issue of interest to you and relevant to the course.

(Written Permission of DGS required prior to Enrollment)

Eng 752R: Studies in Twentieth-Century American Literature: An Introduction to the Harlem Renaissance
Jackson, M 1:00-4:00, Max: 12      

Content: This course is designed for graduate students interested in twentieth century African American literature as a field area for PhD examinations. We will explore classic works written by African American writers between roughly 1918 and 1937, focusing primarily upon novelists Nella Larsen, Claude McKay, Zora Neale Hurston, Jean Toomer, and George Schuyler; poets Langston Hughes and Countee Cullen; and omnibus writers James Weldon Johnson, Jesse Fauset and W.E.B. Du Bois. 

(Written Permission of DGS required prior to Enrollment)

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

Content: This two-credit colloquium, which is required of students in their fourth year, considers both theoretical matters relating to the teaching of literature as well the pragmatics of designing courses in one's major field of literary interest and preparing one's teaching materials for the academic job market.   Participants can expect to consider such matters as syllabus design; the ends of teaching; resistance to pedagogy; the selection of assigned texts and anthologies; the uses of technology and the digital archive; different institutional settings and different classroom practices; and the place of failure in the classroom. The colloquium will include readings on the pedagogy of literature; a visit ECIT; and workshops in which participants share their written work and solicit feedback from others. Participants will receive credit on a S/U grading basis.

(Written Permission of DGS required prior to Enrollment) 

Eng 789R: Special Topics in Literature: Anglophone Poetry Since 1950: Postcolonial, Transnational, Global 
Suhr-Sytsma, M 10:00-1:00, Max: 12

Content: Recent critical interventions such as Jahan Ramazani's A Transnational Poetics and Matthew Hart's Nations of Nothing But Poetry contend that 20th and 21st-century poetry in English confounds the national categories that still tend to govern its study. This seminar will ask what alternative frameworks might be adequate to mid-century and contemporary poetry that registers the upheavals of the Atlantic slave trade, European colonialism, migration, and globalization while inventively refashioning poetic form. We will treat form as a matter not only of poetry's aesthetic strategies or style, but also of its materiality in print.

Our reading will focus especially but not exclusively on the work of anglophone poets hailing from West Africa, the Caribbean, and (Northern) Ireland, poets including Christopher Okigbo, Kamau Brathwaite, Derek Walcott, Lorna Goodison, Seamus Heaney, Ciaran Carson, Paul Muldoon, and Sinéad Morrissey.We will discuss their poetry alongside critics and theorists including Arjun Appadurai on globalization, Homi Bhabha on cosmopolitanism, Pascale Casanova on world literary space, Edward Said on decolonization, and Gayatri Spivak on planetarity. The course will also incorporate opportunities to work with rare editions in the Raymond Danowski Poetry Library and with MARBL's archival holdings. Throughout the semester, we will keep in view anglophone poetry's relationship to British empire and American hegemony; the appropriation of modernist and formalist poetics by poets outside the Anglo-American mainstream; the status of English as a global language (with special reference to translations of Irish-language poet Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill); and the transnational circulation of texts.

(Written Permission of DGS required prior to Enrollment)

Eng 789R:Special Topics in Literature: Text -Image- Sound
Goldberg/Moon, TH 1:00-4:00, Max: 6   Eng 789R/ILA 790

Content: This course will explore the dynamic relations of verbal, visual, and aural elements of texts across a range of media, from poetic ekphrasis to the role of music in fiction and in film.  Readings / viewings will include but not be limited to Homer, Spenser, Phillis Wheatley, Henry James, Willa Cather, Henry Darger, Alfred Hitchcock, and Todd Haynes. 

(Written Permission of DGS required prior to Enrollment)

Eng 796R: Survey of English: Histories, Theories, and Methods
Reiss, W 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
Otis, TBA, TBA, Max: 999

(Written Permission of DGS required prior to Enrollment)

Eng 798R: Dissertation Colloquium
Staff, TBA, TBA, TBA

(Written Permission of DGS required prior to Enrollment)

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

(Written Permission of DGS required prior to Enrollment)