Spring 2014 Graduate Seminars

ENG 599R: Masters Thesis
Otis, TBA, TBA

(Written permission of DGS required prior to enrollment)


ENG 711R: Shakespeare
Cahill, W 10:00-1:00, Max: 12

(Written permission of DGS required prior to enrollment)


ENG 752R: Studies in Twentieth-Century American Literature: William Faulkner
Jackson, F 1:00-4:00, Max: 12

Content:

Requirements:

Texts: T

(Written permission of DGS required prior to Enrollment.)


ENG 789R: Special Topics in Literature: The Survival of the Humanities
Bauerlein, M 10:00-1:00, Max:

Content:

In recent years, the humanities have suffered a material decline--a smaller share of undergraduates majoring in the fields, foreign language departments shut down, fewer tenure-track jobs, a shrinking audience for humanities scholarship.  What is going to happen in the next 20 years?  How do we stop the deterioration?

To be effective, we need to understand first the foundations of the humanities, their claim to be distinct from other areas of inquiry (the sciences, fine arts, and vocational fields).  To that end, we will begin with the following readings: Plato, Ion; Aristotle, Poetics; Cicero, On Obligations; Kant, Critique of Judgment (selections).

Next, we will cover the scholars and critics who crafted the fields of literary study during the 20th century, establishing its disciplinary parameters and methods.  Readings include: I. A. Richards, Practical Criticism (selections); Cleanth Brooks, The Well-Wrought Urn (selections); Other essays by the New Critics (Ransom, Wimsatt, etc.)

Next, we will cover scholars and thinkers who led the Theory Revolution in the 1960s and 70s and undermined many of the presuppositions of the preceding two generations.  Readings include: Jacques Derrida, "Structure, Sign, and Play in the Discourse of the Human Sciences"; Michel Foucault, "Truth and Power"; Richard Rorty, Consequences of Pragmatism (selections); Edward Said, "Political Criticism"; Gilbert and Gubar, The Madwoman in the Attic (selections).

Next, we will study the academic culture wars, particularly the assault upon the theoretical/political turn of literary studies.  Readings will include works by William Bennett, Roger Kimball, Allan Bloom, Dinesh D'Souza, Allen Sokal, and Richard Bernstein.

Finally, we shall examine how these debates have played out 20-25 years later in today's situation.  We shall examine essays and studies of the humanities, such as the American Academy of Arts and Sciences last summer that sound an alarming forecast of the fields' negligible standing.  Our discussion will identify causes and effects ranging from the rise of the business major to controversies such as the "boycott-Israel" affair from a few months back.  In our last weeks, we shall ponder what is to be done?

Requirements: 

A series of short-papers summarizing the readings, plus a final 10-page policy paper in which students outline the best ways to address the current scene.

(Written permission of DGS required prior to Enrollment.)


ENG 789R: Special Topics in Literature: Shakespeare and Commemoration
Cahill, TU 1:00-4:00, Max

Content:

(Written permission of DGS required prior to Enrollment.)


ENG 789R: Special Topics in Literature:
Suhr-Sytsma, TH 1:00-4:00, Max: 12

Content:

(Written permission of DGS required prior to Enrollment.)


ENG 789R: Special Topics in Literature:
Kelleher, TU 4:00-7:00, Max: 12

Content:

(Written permission of DGS required prior to Enrollment.)


ENG 789R: Special Topics in Literature: Cannibalism in Caribbean Literature
Loichot, , Max: 12 ENG 789R/FREN 785

Content: 

In Martinican Creole, Mwen ké mangéw, "I'm going to eat you," refers both to the action of ingesting food, and to the sexual act. The seminar will examine the intersection between the primal act of eating, sexuality, and acts of colonization (of land, persons, and language), in a series of texts and films from or about the Caribbean in a Black Atlantic perspective. The following will be addressed: repercussions of slavery and colonialism on eating and sexuality; representations of black subjects as edible products (e.g. banania) or as deviant eaters (e.g. cannibals); culinary and erotic responses to colonial or racialist violence; food metaphors and nationalism; consumption and sexual tourism; closeted and reclaimed sexualities; literary cannibalism and textual authority; and ecocritical agencies.

Primary Texts (to be purchased. Purchase the book in English or French, according to your linguistic abilities):

  • Aimé Césaire. Notebook of a Return to the Native LandISBN-13: 978-0819564528
    • Cahier d'un retour au pays natalISBN-13: 978-2708704206
  • Suzanne Césaire. Great CamouflageISBN-13: 978-0819572752
    • Le grand camouflageISBN-13: 978-2020999083
  • Frantz Fanon. Black Skin, White Masks (2008 Philcox's translation only). ISBN-13: 978-0802143006
  • Peau noire, masques blancsISBN-13: 978-2020006019
  • Dany Laferrière. How to Make Love to a NegroISBN-13: 978-1553655855
    • Comment faire l'amour avec un Nègre sans se fatiguerISBN-13: 978-2842611460
  • Jean Rhys. Wide Sargasso Sea.  ISBN-13: 978-0393310481

Additional texts by Edwidge Danticat, Jack Forbes, Gobineau, Maryse Condé, Marie Vieux Chauvet, Lafcadio Hearn, Édouard Glissant, Jean-Baptiste Labat, Audrey Lorde, Montaigne, Saint-Méry, among others, will be available on electronic reserve.

Films: 

Vers le Sud / Heading South (Cantet/Laferrière); Mange, ceci est mon corps / Eat, For This is my Body (Quay)  / Bouillon d'Awara/ Awara Soup (Paes) will be on reserve at the Woodruff Multimedia Library.

Particulars: Requirements for this seminar include a short response paper, a research essay, and a presentation.

*NOTE: Permission of instructor only.

(Written permission of DGS required prior to Enrollment.)


ENG 789R: Special Topics in Literature: Exemplary Novels
Reed/Bahri, TH, 1:00-4:00, Max: 6 ENG 789/CPLT 752

Content: Ever since the much-debated "origin" of the genre, novels have been treated as exemplary texts: examples of the genre or meta-genre of the novel itself (Harry Levin's assertation that Cervantes' Don Quixote is "the exemplary novel of all time," Viktor Shklovsky's claim that Sterne's Tristram Shandy is "the most typical novel of world literature"); examples of the ascendency of a particular national literature (Ian Watt's influential study The Rise of the Novel); examples of nationalism itself (Benedict Anderson), of post-colonial reaction to imperial rule (Homi Baba), of the trans-nationalism of literary culture (Emily Apter), of the gender inequality of literary production and consumption (Nancy Armstrong), of modernity in general (Walter Benjamin), even of the "dialogic" nature of human communication in language (Mikhail Bakhtin).

This course is a graduate colloquium,. organized and overseen by Professors Walter Reed and Deepika Bahri with guest presentations by scholars from Emory's language and literature departments as well as from Comparative Literature. It will feature a series of novels which are or have been considered as exemplary, in one regard or another. Or as sui generis, as utterly unique and new, thus exemplary in their innovation. It will also study selected examples of the theory of the novel or of theories especially applicable to the novel, in general or in particular.

Texts: Individual novels will include The Golden Ass, Don Quixote, Tristram Shandy, Moby-Dick, Crime and Punishment, To the Lighthouse, and Midnight's Children.

Particulars Critical theorists will include those named above, along with interpreters of particular novels that are featured in the colloquium.

(Written permission of DGS required prior to Enrollment.)


ENG 789R: Special Topics in Literature: Literature, Film, and Justice: Writers on Trial
Felman, M 4:00-7:00, Max: 1 CPLT 751, LAW 703, ENG 789, FREN 780, PHIL 789, & ILA 790

Content: History has put on trial a series of outstanding thinkers. At the dawn of philosophy, Socrates drinks the cup of poison to which he is condemned by the Athenians for his influential teaching, charged with atheism and corruption of the youth. Centuries later, in modernity, similarly influential Oscar Wilde is condemned by the English for his homosexuality, as well as for his provocative artistic style. In France, Emile Zola is condemned for defending a Jew against the state, which has convicted him. E. M. Forster writes about a rape trial/race trial of an Indian by the colonizing British Empire.

However different, all these accused have come to stand for something greater than themselves: something that was symbolized-and challenged-by their trials. Through the examination of a series of historical and literary trials, this course will ask: Why are literary writers, philosophers, and creative thinkers repetitively put on trial, and how in turn do they put culture and society on trial? What is the role of Art in Justice? More generally: What is the role of literature (and film) as a political actor in the struggles over ethics and the struggles over meaning?

Selected readings among: Plato; Oscar Wilde; Flaubert; Baudelaire; Emile Zola; E. M. Forster; Melville; Dostoyevsky; Chekhov; Bertolt Brecht; Walter Benjamin; Hannah Arendt; Spinoza; Jacques Lacan; Kafka; Virginia Woolf.

Authors studied in Spring 2014: Plato, Oscar Wilde, Charles Baudelaire, Emile Zola, Spinoza, Jacques Lacan, Hannah Arendt. (Films implicated in the interstices of the course and occasionally studied: The Life of Emile Zola; The Trials of Oscar Wilde; Wilde; At Wit's End; The Trial of Adolph Eichmann; Hannah Arendt.)

Particulars: Regular attendance; two short papers; brief oral presentations; intensive weekly reading and active (annotated) preparation of texts for class discussion; ongoing participation.

(Written permission of DGS required prior to Enrollment.)


ENG 789R: Special Topics in Literature: Affect in Aesthetic Theory
Bhaumik, TBA, Max TBA ENG, FREN, WGSS

Content: This seminar will undertake the dual task of returning to seminal writings on "aesthetics" in order to trace and probe recent theories of affect. As a result, students will be asked to closely read for passages and textual moments in writings on aesthetics that also deliberate on representations of affect in works of art. We will consider, for example, how questions of critique and judgment in aesthetic philosophy have always invoked the questions of feeling, sensation, perception and recognition, as well as quotidian life now central to the "affective turn." Rather than presume that aesthetics is a theory of art alone, students will consider how writings from Hegel's introductory lectures, Kant's notions of critique and judgment, as well as Adorno's writings on attention offer ethical reflections on topics that extend beyond an inquiry into the status of the art object or beautiful and sublime alone. Aesthetic theory coincides with critiques of violence, narratives of sexual difference, concepts of embodiment and autonomy, reflections on exile and ethics, as well as theories of power and globalization. This course will not be a survey of aesthetic theory but rather practice techniques of interpretation and exegesis that open questions about how affect has figured in the writing of philosophy.

Required Texts:
Hegel, Introductory Lectures on Aesthetics
Edmund Burke, A Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of Our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful
Theodor Adorno, Aesthetic Theory Frederich Schiller, On the Aesthetic Education of Man
Gayatri Spivak, Aesthetic Education in the Age of Globalization
Gilles Deleuze, Francis Bacon
Lauren Berlant, Cruel Optimism

Selected Readings to be made available in a reader:
Hannah Arendt, Lectures on Kant and "The Permanence of the World and the Work of Art"
Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Nature"
George Bataille, "The Phaedra Complex" and "Desire Horrified at Losing and at Losing Oneself" from The Bataille Reader
Michel Foucault, Selections from the Lectures on Aesthetics
Edward Said, Selections from Reflections on Exile
Brian Massumi, "The Future Birth of the Affective Fact"
Sara Ahmed, "Happy Objects"

(Written permission of DGS required prior to Enrollment.)


ENG 789R: Special Topics in Literature: Critical Disability Studies
Garland-Thompson, W 9:00-12:00, Max: 3 ENG 789/WGSS 589

Content: This graduate seminar will focus on the emerging body of critical and primary work in critical disability studies. Our purpose is to engage this body of work thoughtfully and critically, both as individual critics and as an intellectual community. We will engage intersectional workings and multiple subject positions such as gender, race, sexuality, ethnicity, and class along with disability. Disability studies is an interdisciplinary academic field of inquiry that expands health science perspectives by examining understandings of disability from cultural perspectives such as:

  1. civil and human rights issue
  2. minority identity group
  3. social justice issue
  4. solciological formation
  5. historic community
  6. diversity category
  7. category of critical analysis
  8. subject of the arts

(Written permission of DGS required prior to Enrollment.)


Eng 789R: Special Topics in Literature: Black Feminist Genealogies of Subjection and Survival
Bradley, W 2:00-5:00, Max: 5 ENG 789R/WGSS 586R

Content: This course focuses on contemporary Black feminist theory and criticism in the last 20 years. We will examine the trajectory of contemporary Black feminist thought and how it has developed and emerged from a set of dispersed, fractured and sometimes incongruent epistemologies. Our hope is to tease out a central dialectic in critical narratives supplied by the current black feminist project. On the one hand Black feminists are concerned with providing an account of historical subjection, while other Black feminist thinkers and philosophers are concerned with the mechanics of survival. This course will propose that we think about not simply the overlap between what Saidiya Hartman has called "scenes of subjection" with what we might call, senses of survival. More provocatively, we will think about the concurrent production of the one in the other and vice versa. We will try to think about the temporal structure of Black feminist thought within the horizon of narratives of capture and escape, and what kinds of aesthetic questions are raised when these fraught political positions are both embodied and contested.

Selected readings by: Saidiya Hartman, Hortense Spillers, Freud, Hegel, Adrian Piper, Kant, Toni Morrison, Lacan, Jacques Ranciere, Katherine McKittrick, Marx, Sylvia Federici, Gayl Jones, Audre Lorde, Judith Butler, Octavia Butler, Nourbese Philip, Harryette Mullen, Harriet Wilson, Harriet Jacobs, June Jordan and Phyllis Wheatley

(Written permission of DGS required prior to Enrollment.)


ENG 790R: Composition Theory
Fisher, W 10:00-1:00, Max: 12 ENG 790/CPLT 735

Content:This course offers a sustained introduction to composition theory and current scholarship in writing studies. Required of all graduate students scheduled to teach any section of first-year composition (English 101/181, CPLT 110). 3 credit hours, graded only; exemption for equivalent coursework by permission of the Director of College Writing.

Texts: TBA

Particulars: TBA

(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
Johnston, W 10:00-1:00, Max: TBA

(Written permission of DGS required prior to Enrollment.)

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

(Written permission of DGS required prior to Enrollment.)