Fall 2017 Graduate Courses

Graduate Courses in Language and Literature
Academic Year 2017-2018, Semester I

All courses carry 4 credits, unless otherwise indicated.


Fall 2017 Graduate Courses that Fulfill Degree Requirements

For Ph.D. students: while one course may fit multiple categories, it can only be used to satisfy one distribution requirement.

Theory, Critical Method, History of Criticism: EN 792, EN 771, EN 604, EN 665, EN 666, EN 684
Medieval Literature – 1660, or History of English Language: EN 724, EN 665
Literature in English, 1660-1860: EN 721, EN 731, EN 771, EN 666
Literature in English 1860-present: EN 746, EN 786, EN 684, EN 512, EN 513, EN 536, EN 593, EN 538, EN 584

Graduate Seminars

Three Big Books: Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Moby Dick, Bleak House

Three of the best novels ever written, all published 1851-3, read carefully in historical and cultural context. Realism and sentimentality; race, class and gender stereotypes and hierarchies; transatlantic book history; narrative innovation; hybridity and intertextuality; representing a nation.

Fulfills the Literature in English, 1660-1860 requirement.

GRS EN 721 Korobkin
Mon 2:30-5:00

Old Age in Early Modern Literature

Even for a literary-critical establishment sophisticated in its sensitivity to matters of gender, race, and class, late life remains an unexplored and largely ignored—perhaps feared—social and personal domain. While our course offers an applied survey of Elizabethan and Jacobean literature, it also looks to provide grounding in the emerging discipline of age studies or “literary gerontology.” To do this, we will first tour critical texts of the past half-century to build a vocabulary and set of disciplinary assumptions to be tested. After revisiting classical precedents vital to the Renaissance humanists, with particular attention to Cicero’s seminal dialogue on old age De senectute and lyric representations from Anacreon to the late imperial poet Maximianus, we turn next to selected early modern medical, philosophical, and religious treatises that address the topic of aging. With Shakespeare’s great tragedy of senescence King Lear as its centerpiece, we then devote the majority of our semester to English representations and revaluations of old age in the works of writers ranging from Elizabeth I herself to Spenser, Sidney, Donne, and Jonson.

Fulfills the Medieval Literature – 1660, or History of English Language requirement.

GRS EN 724 Martin
Tue 3:30-6:00

Global Romanticism

This interdisciplinary seminar explores the global dimensions of British Romantic-era (1750-1850) literature, artworks, museums, collections, and exhibitions, in relation to encounters with indigenous people and their cultural productions, as well as writings by leading European figures across emerging disciplines. We will consider how key institutions and cultural forms produced distinct forms of “the global” and the planetary from the 1760s to the 1840s: long-distance scientific voyages of exploration, public museums, gardens and collections, travel literature, poetry and the novel, planetary sciences, and the slave trade. We will work on a metropolitan scale– considering the British Museum and Kew Gardens as contested global spaces and contact zones within London as world city (cosmopolis)– and on oceanic scales, looking at long-distance scientific voyages and long distance indigenous Oceanic voyagers and how their entanglements shaped British visions of the global.
Alongside texts by Mary Shelley, Olaudah Equiano, Alexander von Humboldt, James Cook, Edgar Allan Poe, Lord Byron, Erasmus Darwin, Charlotte Smith, William Wordsworth, and others, we will consider cultural forms created by voyagers from Africa, Ra’iatea and Tahiti (Oceania), and the Arctic. This seminar will include critical works in anthropology, geography, museum and collection studies, literary history and theory, history of science, history of empire and of race, and postcolonial and indigenous studies.

Fulfills the Literature in English, 1660-1860 requirement.

GRS EN 731 Craciun
Thurs 12:30-3:00

The South in Modern American Fiction

This seminar will pursue two main objectives: 1) a consideration of the ways the US South figured in the imagining of national modernity, and 2) an exploration (as comprehensive as we can manage) of the still-burgeoning scholarship in modernist studies. The first of these subjects involves the peculiar situation of the US South in the national imagination—or, perhaps more precisely, in the imagining of nation. We’ll begin by surveying recent challenges to continuing assumptions in American literary studies (even those expanded toward transatlantic and hemispheric horizons) that marginalize the US South as a regional literature, one originating in a culture and material circumstances so different from the rest of the country’s that it may be treated separately, or even neglected altogether. To the extent that the South functioned in Northern representations early in the republic’s life as a site of abjection that enabled the formation of national mentalities, as Jennifer Rae Greeson has recently argued, so it continued to serve as the nation’s ‘other’ during the phases of modernization, as Leigh Anne Duck, Natalie Ring, and other scholars have begun to demonstrate. One could argue that the US South exemplified the broader drama of western modernization, a process characteristically involving the proletarianization of labor; adjustments to the mechanization of production; the devising of new technologies and media of communication and representation; re-conceptualizations of time and space and new affective experiences of them; the revolutions in the spheres and social purposes for art (including avant-gardes); the evolution of new professional disciplines of knowledge; the anti-modern turns of primitivism and forms of nostalgia; the regional resistance within uneven development to the effects of political, economic, and cultural consolidations at the national level; the reconsideration of region and nation as historical moments and critical forms; the confrontation with legacies of colonialism and the fashioning of neo-imperialisms from them, and so on. The foregoing list of modernity’s attributes accordingly reflects a portion of the vast scholarship on modernism that has been produced over recent decades. We’ll attempt to categorize this new work, read in common some of the signal works, and survey collectively a representative sample of the rest. Although we’ll be working from a literary base of fiction from and about the US South—keeping in mind that it may be no accident that a disproportionate share of modernist writing involves the region: Jean Toomer, Allen Tate, Faulkner, Hurston, Welty, O’Connor, Robert Penn Warren, Ellison, Richard Wright—our investigations into the secondary literature on modernism won’t be bound by regional considerations. That component of the course is intended to be as generally useful as possible to a wide range of interests in modernism.

Fulfills the Literature in English 1860-present requirement.

GRS EN 746   Matthews
Tue 6:30-9:00

Novel Theory and History

This seminar offers both an introduction to early modern prose fiction in English, and a critical evaluation of some of the most influential theories of the rise or origin of the English novel. Included in this evaluation of novel theory will be works that challenge the premises of the dominant “rise” and “origin” narratives. In order to test novel theory against the historical works it claims to describe, we will study a large number of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century prose fictions, both canonical and obscure, realist, allegorical, satiric, oriental, utopian, sermonizing and philosophical. Because dominant theories of the novel omit religion, we will remedy this defect by considering both the religious context of early modern literature, and the manifold ways that novel-writers responded to a perceived crisis of secularization. Our study takes in translated works such as Cervantes’ Don Quixote, the Arabian Nights Entertainment, and Letters of a Turkish Spy, along with the question of how the dominant theories of the novel should be modified in light of the European, humanist, cosmopolitan, and orientalist influences made available to English writers and readers through translation. Weekly seminar meetings will be coupled with regular tutorials in advanced composition for graduate studies

Fulfills the Literature in English, 1660-1860 Requirement.
Fulfills the Theory, Critical Method, History of Criticism Requirement.

GRS EN 771 Prince
Thurs 3:30-6

Caribbean Provocations

Significant texts from the Anglophone Caribbean between 1912 and the present, challenging to read and to theorize, since they incorporate locally inspired Innovations in form, language, and perspective across genres (the selection of specific texts is somewhat dependent on availability).
We’ll consider some novels that question Jameson’s prescriptions about “national allegory” (Naipaul’s Miguel Street, Selvon’s A Brighter Sun, Kincaid’s Annie John). We’ll take on some other novels that programmatically derange realist expectations of characterization and plot (Wilson Harris’s The Whole Armour or Palace of the Peacock, Robert Antoni’s Divina Trace, Barbara Lalla’s Cascade).
We’ll also explore ways in which literature is affected when it comes from a region of creolized peoples, cultures, and languages, by sampling what Derek Walcott calls “creole aesthetics” in some of his relevant plays (e.g. The Sea at Dauphin, Dream on Monkey Mountain, A Branch of the Blue Nile) and essays (e.g. “What the Twilight Says,” “The Muse of History”, “The Caribbean: Culture or Mimicry?”).
Anglophone Caribbean poetry engages with politics in quite distinctive ways, thanks to its emergence during a nationalist period between the Latin American model of politicized poetry and traditional British standoffishness regarding any contact between the two, and between the apocalyptic reggae of Jamaica and the Aristophanic social satire of Trinidad calypso. Even choices of media – print or performance? standard or creole language? – have ideological implications than sometimes become the explicit subject of poetry.

Fulfills the Literature in English 1860-present requirement.

GRS EN 786 Breiner
Fri 11:15-1:45

Introduction to Recent Critical Theory and Method

A selective study of recent literary theory and criticism, with emphasis on comparison of critical frameworks and methodologies. Topics may include formalism, structuralism, deconstruction, Marxism, New Historicism, gender theory, speech acts, and post-colonialism. Fulfills the graduate requirement in literary theory.

Fulfills the Theory, Critical Method, History of Criticism Requirement.

GRS EN 792 Matthews
Wed 4:40- 7:10

Undergraduate Courses that May Be Taken for Graduate Credit

Reading for Writers: Contemporary Literary Nonfiction

Intensive reading seminar for students interested in literary nonfiction, a wide-ranging, sometimes controversial genre in which writers use techniques associated with fiction and poetry to make meaning of facts. Explores the wealth and breadth of contemporary literary nonfiction — memoir, personal essay, literary journalism, travel, science, and medical writing — with an eye toward helping students think about their own nonfiction writing practices.

Fulfills the Literature in English 1860-present requirement.

CAS EN 512 A1 Loizeaux
Tue 3:30-6:00

Modern English Grammar and Style

This course will show how to systematically analyze the grammar and style of sentences and longer units of discourse in English. It will explore academic and popular debates on grammar and grammar instruction and help you become a better speaker and writer.

Fulfills the Literature in English 1860-present requirement.

CAS EN 513 A1 Bizup
Tues, Thurs 9:30-10:45

Twentieth-Century American Poetry

We will focus in this course on 6 major writers of modern American poetry: Robert Frost, Wallace Stevens, Marianne Moore, William Carlos Williams, Elizabeth Bishop, and John Ashbery. We will also look at a number of contemporary writers who have emerged from this tradition. The themes of the course are the abiding concerns of poetry, bearing the special inflection of modern times: the nature of the self inwardly and with the world, the relationship to cultural and historical past and present, the limits and possibilities of language and poetic form. Twentieth century poetry also puts great emphasis on problems of perception and cognition, on the changing landscape, on relations between the arts, so these will often be our subjects. Throughout the semester we will be asking why these poets matter, what they added to the tradition, and what makes their poetry great.

Fulfills the Literature in English 1860-present requirement.

CAS EN 536 A1 Costello
Tues, Thurs 9:30-10:45

Teaching American Classics

Focused on teaching American literature at the high school level, the course aims to provide students with a broad knowledge base in American literary history, model deeper learning and teaching of selected texts, address theoretical questions in English Language Arts pedagogy, and introduce practical classroom skills. In addition to studying diverse works of American fiction, poetry, drama, and autobiography from the perspective of literary criticism, the course will address issues of course design, skill development, curricular planning, and assessment. The class will be team-taught by Prof. Christina Dobbs (SED) and Prof. Laura Korobkin (English Dept.). Assignments include short writing exercises, collaborative projects, oral presentations, assessment design, curriculum evaluation, and a literary-critical essay. Also offered as SED 538.

Fulfills the Literature in English 1860-present requirement.

CAS EN 538 A1 Korobkin/Dobbs
Tues, Thurs 2:00-3:15

Studies in American Literary Movements: Literature of the Migrant

A reading of eleven novels that all bear on human migrations. Besides examining major issues, the focus is on how these books were made. Some of the texts are translations, but most of them are written by American authors. Fulfills the Diverse Literatures Requirement

Fulfills the Literature in English 1860-present requirement.

CAS EN 584 A1 Jin
Thurs 12:30-3:00

Studies in Literature and the Arts: Stanley Kubrick: The Cinema of Dread

Intensive study of Stanley Kubrick’s feature films, from Fear and Desire to Eyes Wide Shut. We will read novels he adapted: Nabokov’s Lolita, Anthony Burgess’ A Clockwork Orange, Thackeray’s Barry Lyndon, Stephen King’s The Shining. And other pertinent fiction: Arthur C. Clarke’s Childhood’s End (with 2001: A Space Odyssey) and Jaimy Gordon’s Lord of Misrule (with his racetrack movie The Killing). Topics include: black comedy, visionary experience, utopic misanthropy. Weekly screenings.

Fulfills the Literature in English 1860-present requirement.

CAS EN 593 A1 Monk
Wed, Fri 2:30-5:00

A History of Literary Criticism I

Survey of major discussions of literature and aesthetics from ancient Greece to the late nineteenth century. Figures include Plato, Aristotle, Horace, Philip Sidney, David Hume, Immanuel Kant, William Wordsworth, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Oscar Wilde, and Friedrich Nietzsche. Themes include art’s relation to truth, ethics, and politics; competing ideas of interpretation; the nature of aesthetic judgment; distinctions between the beautiful and the sublime.

Fulfills the Theory, Critical Method, History of Criticism requirement.

CAS EN 604 A1 McDonough
Tue, Thu 3:30-4:45

Critical Studies in Literature and Society: Hamlet/Lear/Macbeth: Appropriation and Performance

Historical context, performance histories, and appropriations and transformations of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, King Lear, and Macbeth. Films, novels, plays from England, France, Germany, Russia, Australia, Japan, and the US. Theoretical analysis of intertextuality, cultural politics, canon formation, globalization of culture.

Fulfills the Theory, Critical Method, History of Criticism requirement.
Fulfills the Medieval Literature – 1660, or History of English Language requirement.

CAS EN 665 A1 Carroll
Mon, Wed 4:30-5:45

Critical Studies in Literature and Society: Literature of the Early Black Atlantic

This course considers the radical politics and aesthetics of early black Atlantic literature, from 1760 to 1845. Authors such as Phillis Wheatley, Olaudah Equiano, David Walker, Mary Prince, and Frederick Douglass participated in a transatlantic counter culture that did not conform to national boundaries or nationally defined historical narratives. We will read their texts in relation to the Revolutionary age in which they lived and along with current scholarship that theorizes their work – especially Paul Gilroy, who coined the term “the black Atlantic.” The first century of black Atlantic literature is fascinating for its engagement with the early modern histories of racism, slavery, nationalism, selfhood, religion, capitalism, and the public sphere. In autobiographical writing, spiritual narratives, letters, poetry, abolitionist tracts, public orations, and slave narratives, early black writers imagined and reimagined their place in an Anglophone world defined by slavery and the slave trade. How did they imagine their world? How did such imaginings work to change it?

Fulfills the Theory, Critical Method, History of Criticism requirement.
Fulfills the Literature in English, 1660-1860 requirement.

CAS EN 666 A1 Rezek
Mon, Wed 12:20-1:35

African American and Asian American Women Writers

Cross-cultural comparison of selected African American and Asian American women writers examines strategies by the “Other” to navigate cultural constructions of race, class, and gender. Attention to literary histories. Also offered as AA 504.

Fulfills the Theory, Critical Method, History of Criticism requirement.
Fulfills the Literature in English 1860-present requirement.

CAS EN 684 A1 Boelcskevy
Tue, Thurs 12:30–1:45

Critical Studies in Literature and Society: Time and Literature 1800-1930

Between 1800 and 1930, momentous changes in technology (the railway, the telegraph, photography, the airplane) and paradigm-shifting scientific theories (geology, Darwin, Einstein) forced the re-conception of time both in the sciences and in popular imagination. The nineteenth century witnessed the standardization of time; the twentieth saw Newton’s notion of absolute time fundamentally shaken. These developments had new, strange, and contradictory implications for understanding time, implications that fired the imaginations of many of the writers in this period. We explore the different models of time Romantic, Victorian and Modernist writers draw on when crafting their literary works. What happens to the human time scale when you set it next to millions of years? Why does Virginia Woolf elongate one tiny moment and shrink years into a parenthesis? How do writers convey simultaneity? Is time measurable, absolute and objective, or fluid, relative and subjective? Authors include Lord Byron, Alfred Tennyson, Thomas Hardy, H. G. Wells, Marcel Proust, and Virginia Woolf.

CAS EN 695 A1 Henchman
Tue, Thurs 12:30–1:45