Fall 2018 Graduate Courses

Graduate Courses in Language and Literature
Academic Year 2018-2019, Semester I

All courses carry 4 credits, unless otherwise indicated.

Fall 2018 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 604, EN 671, EN 682, EN 537
Medieval Literature – 1660, or History of English Language: EN 723, EN 516, EN 568
Literature in English, 1660-1860: EN 777, EN 793, EN 671, EN 529
Literature in English 1860-present: EN 730, EN 783, EN 790, EN 682, EN 538, EN 584

Graduate Seminars

(In)subordination and Early Modern English Literature

This seminar will consider early modern England’s all-but universal invocations of hierarchy and subordination in relation to the shouts, murmurs, overtones and undertones of opposition to such subjection to be found challenging and haunting its presumptive hegemony in political, socio-economic, familial, and sexual arenas. With a primary focus on Tudor-Stuart drama, we will also read widely from masques, poetry, romance, sermons and popular pamphlets as well as manuscript libels, diaries, letters, official proclamations, and documents of enforcement and prosecution. We will consider the positions taken by royalists, humanists, commonwealth men, republicans, common lawyers, Anabaptists, puritans, levelers and civic authorities as well as current analyses offered by sociologists and historians concerned with such phenomena as outright “riot and rebellion,” organized “social banditry,” or the subtle “hidden transcripts” of resistance lurking within apparent compliance. We will consider the discourses and practices of and about outlaws, recusants, pirates, rioters, and mutinous soldiers, unruly wives, female petitioners and prostitutes. Among dramatists, we will read Shakespeare, Jonson, Dekker, Marlowe, Heywood, Massinger, Middleton and Beaumont and Fletcher.

This course will also serve to introduce students to bibliographic skills and tools for researching and utilizing early modern texts and records. We will work on methods of searching, accessing and assessing print and manuscript documents both literary and non-literary. Pending funding, we will supplement our study of early modern paleography with help from experts in the reading of contemporary hands.

GRS EN 723 Siemon
R 3:30-6:15

Modern Poems/Poetics

The course will work through a few themes and approaches for the surplus of modern poetries, interpretations and theories. It will try to highlight some of these: 1) forms, denied, reinvented; 2) 20c sequences and longer poems; 3) groups of poets labeled “schools,” and the often bitter and brutal politics of their dissolution; 4) “languages in contact,” or the vocabulary and graphics of foreign writing systems in modern poems; 5) poems that imply subtle pictures on the page without being obvious calligrams; 6) introductory naming of great poets such as Mandelstam, Khlebnikov, Vallejo, Perec, Celan, in tandem with poets recognized by us now—Williams, Bishop, Hart Crane, Auden, Mina Loy, O’Hara, Susan Howe, others; 7) other arts in poems; 8) poets’ essays as a prose set in company with the more scholarly; 9) what Bakhtin and Frye called laughter and dialogic, but as they show up in poems not novels; 10) some practical and playful ways of teaching undergraduates poetry so as to reduce (and increase) their dread.

GRS EN 730 Fogel
T 12:30-3:15

American Popular Writing

Survey of best-selling writing (fiction, poetry, journalism, and otherwise) from the American Revolution to late nineteenth century. Questions of race, class, gender, literary conventionality, canonicity, sentimentalism and “reform.” Possible authors include Rowson, Cooper, Douglass, Stowe, Alger, Longfellow, Barnum, Twain.

GRS EN 777 Howell
F 11:15-2:00

Modernist Gothic

Readings from Dorian Gray through Endgame, by such authors as Stoker, Conrad, Woolf, Barnes, Faulkner, Capote, Ellison, and Morrison, in relation to nineteenth-century precursors, contemporary emanations, monsters as myth, and conceptual framings from Arendt and Levi-Strauss through the posthuman.

GRS EN 783 Riquelme
M 2:30-5:15

Anglophone Literatures: Postcolonial Theater

A frequent feature of decolonization is the emergence of a theater movement that aspires to represent on stage the distinctiveness of the nation and its people. In order to formulate and test generalizations about such national theater movements, we undertake a cross-cultural study, reading plays drawn from the work of world-class Anglophone dramatists of the twentieth century in three very different places: Augusta Gregory, J. M. Synge, and W. B. Yeats and their Abbey Theatre in Ireland; Derek Walcott and his Trinidad Theatre Workshop; Wole Soyinka and Duro Ladipo in Nigeria. Among the recurrent issues we will be monitoring: decisions about the incorporation of national styles of gesture, movement, and speech; choice of language(s) to use and stories to tell in the theater; negotiation of a relationship with metropolitan traditions of play-writing and theatricality, and a sometimes more fractious negotiation with local authorities. Is the mode of representation realistic or not? How are protagonists constructed? How overtly political is this play? What is the interaction between adaptation of existing plays and originality? How do limited resources affect these theaters and their styles? In nearly every meeting we will also have to contend with the consequences of the indeterminacy of play-texts: you will find that your role in relation to the script is not that of an audience but of a director – you will constantly need to make and defend decisions about what should happen on stage.
GRS EN 790 Breiner
W 11:15-2:15

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.

GRS EN 792 Matthews
T 6:30-9:15


Wordsworth’s poetry in its biographical and historical contexts, focusing on the so-called Great Decade (1798-1808). Special attention to the arts of close reading and textual interpretation in the light of exemplary criticism illustrating a wide variety of approaches from the last half century or more.
GRS EN 793 Rzepka
R 12:30-3:15

Professional Seminar

Developing professional skills and preparing for advanced independent scholarship for English doctoral students in the last semester of coursework. Course includes preparation for comprehensive exam and dissertation prospectus; conference paper submission; publication; fellowship and job applications. For English PhD students in their final semester of coursework.
GRS EN 794 Rezek
T 3:30-6:15

Undergraduate Courses that May Be Taken for Graduate Credit

History of the English Language 2

Everyone who uses English has reason to wonder about its idiosyncrasies. How can words with such different spellings as “eight” and “ate” be pronounced alike? Why do we say “a twenty foot” pole, rather than “twenty feet” pole? And why is it “feet” rather than “foots”? Pre-modern English offers further mysteries: What did Shakespeare’s spoken language sound like? What happened to the word “thou”? What is an Old English rune and how do you read it? This course will address everyone’s curiosity about these and other aspects of the English language through analysis of medieval and early modern literary texts, noting especially changes in pronunciation, syntax, spelling, and vocabulary.  We will also explore the pre- and early textual culture of England, thinking about these early forms of English in relation to the material forms onto and into which they were written; scrolls, manuscripts and early printed books but also other media including sword belts, stone cross monuments, tombs and king’s coffins. The course will end with a look at fictional languages based on early forms of English, such as those in JRR Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. No previous knowledge of medieval literature required.
GRS EN 516 Appleford
Tue 6:30-9:15

Romantic Age: Around the World in the Long Nineteenth-Century

This class explores new visions of the global emerging in eighteenth and nineteenth century British literature and culture. How did the expanding British empire, and resistance to that empire, shape British cultural imagination and national identity? How did voyages of exploration, new waves of immigration, the expansion of the slave trade, and changing notions of race and gender, transform British fiction and poetry? How did new kinds of institutions and entertainments– like the panorama, the illustrated periodical, the Great Exhibition, and public museums– give Britons new ways of conceiving of the world and its diverse peoples? This class explores these questions through the novels, poems, travel writings, and essays of writers like Daniel Defoe, William Dampier, Oluadah Equiano, Wilkie Collins, Letitia Elizabeth Landon, Felicia Hemans, Robert Louis Stevenson, Charles Dickens, and Jules Verne, which we will consider alongside the works of international visitors to Britain.
GRS EN 529 Craciun
TR 9:30-10:45

Black Thought: Literary and Cultural Criticism in the African Diaspora

An introduction to literary and cultural thinking in African-America and the Black Diaspora. The course hones in on specific trends, themes, and characteristics of this work and assesses its relationship to broader political and social contexts. Also offered as CAS AA 591.
GRS EN 537 Chude-Sokei
MW 12:20-1:35

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. Maurice Lee (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.
GRS EN 538 Lee
TR 11:00-12:15

Shakespearean Tragedy and Film

This course explores the adaptation of Shakespearean tragedy into the medium of film. We will take up such questions as: What constitutes “authenticity” when dealing with Shakespeare? How does placing the play in a modern or contemporary setting change or develop the traditional interpretation of the play? When is a rearrangement or rewriting of the playtext permissible, even necessary? While Shakespeare would seem to be the essential “English” writer, international filmmakers such as Kurosawa, Bhardwaj, and Koznitzev have successfully transferred his plays into Japanese, Indian, and Russian cultural settings, and we will consider what elements of each play constitute an essential core subject to appropriation. In addition to the techniques of adaptation, we will also consider the formal properties of each film (lighting, framing, uses of color, point of view etc.): directors such as Orson Welles, Julie Taymor, Akira Kurosawa, Franco Zeffirelli, Roman Polanski, Grigori Kozintzev, and Peter Brook re-imagine the plays in extraordinary and innovative ways. We will view and discuss as a group two or three films each of the four major tragedies (Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, and Macbeth) as well as Ralph Fiennes’s Coriolanus. Student presentations will analyze additional films not viewed by the entire class.
GRS EN 568 Carroll
TR 3:30-4:45

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.

GRS EN 584 A1 Jin
R 12:30-3:15

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.

GRS EN 604 Chodat
TR 11:00-12:15

Critical Studies in Literature and Society: Approaches to the Postcolonial Novel

The modern world is more confusing and complicated than ever. International fiction provides us with powerful ways of grasping it. This course introduces students to exciting ways of reading stories about love, greed, fidelity, honor, and violence from Asia, Africa and the Caribbean. We will learn about the diverse and complex backgrounds of authors and their fictional characters, and we will sharpen our critical approaches to the works of authors such as Chris Abani, Buchi Emecheta, Jean Rhys, Teju Cole, and Daniyal Muenudin. The aim of this class is to enable students to think in sophisticated and informed ways about issues in literature and history today.
GRS EN 682 Krishnan
TR 2-3:15

Transatlantic Revolutions

This course provides an introduction to the theories and methodologies of “Atlantic Studies,” a new field of increasing importance in English departments.  Atlantic Studies moves away from the nation as a defining unit of analysis and focuses instead on the historical conditions that unite the nations and peoples of the Atlantic world in a single, though internally various, culture.  Focusing on British and American texts and contexts, the course considers some of the defining features of Modernity, beginning with the settlement of the New World and continuing up through about 1900.  These include the history of conquest, exploration, and travel; the transnational movement of texts, ideas, and cultural practices; the history of slavery and the slave trade; the dissemination of Enlightenment ideology and human rights discourse; and the rise of bourgeois aesthetic theory and the novel.  Readings may include critical texts by Paul Gilroy, Bernard Bailyn, Julie Ellison, Joseph Roach, Paul Giles, William Warner, Pascale Casanova, and Amanda Claybaugh, as well as literary texts by Daniel Defoe, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Paine, Olaudah Equiano, William Wordsworth, Frederick Douglass, Charles Dickens, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and Henry James.

GRS EN 671 Rezek
TR 11-12:15