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2013—2014 English Graduate Course Archive

Fall 2013

ENGL 5001 - Pro.Seminar: Research Methods
John Bugg
CRN 13250, Required
An introduction to English studies at the graduate level, emphasizing bibliography, scholarly writing, and critical intervention. Although the emphasis of the course will vary according to the aims of the instructor, areas covered may also include book history, textual editing, historical research, and other issues of professional concern to graduate students. All incoming doctoral students must take this course during the fall semester of their first year.

ENGL 5193 - Master Class: Stuff of Fiction
J. Legaspi
CRN 23043, Writing
“’The proper stuff of fiction’ does not exist,” Virginia Woolf declared in an essay called “Modern Fiction”: “everything is the proper stuff of fiction, every feeling, every thought; every quality of brain and spirit is drawn upon; no perception comes amiss.” In this workshop we will explore the process of transforming imaginative musings and life experience into fiction, looking particularly at how memory and place can serve as points of departure. We'll examine how the details of everyday life can be transformed imaginatively into fiction through the use of character, setting, and dialogue. Along the way, we will stop to examine various aspects of craft such as theme, style, plot, and pacing in students' own writings as well as in selected readings. NOTE: This course is open to five undergraduate students with the instructor's permission and five graduate students for a total of ten students. For more information on undergraduate application to the class, please click here:

ENGL 5216 - Three Medieval Embodiments
Andrew Albin
CRN 21963, British 1
In this course, we will explore three models of human embodiment (theological, medical, and musical) available to the high and late English Middle Ages; we will examine how writers, doctors, artists, and musicians gave expression to those models; we will locate and interrogate the places they overlap, interweave, and fall apart; and we will challenge ourselves to imagine how they constituted alternative modes of embodied experience in the world.To reach these goals, we will cast a wide net and study diverse primary sources drawn from philosophy, medicine, theology, drama, poetry, music, and visual art alongside secondary sources in historical phenomenology, cultural studies, and performance theory. Major authors/texts include: Bernardus Silvestris (Cosmographia), Chaucer, Second Shephard’s Play, Aristotle (De anima), The Trotula, Boethius (Consolatio philosophiae and De institutione musica). All readings in English or Middle English.

ENGL 5700 - Playwriting Workshop
Cusi Cram
Writing (for MA wWC) or Elective (for MA)
The primary goals of the course are to hone basic craft and to create an environment that will guide the writers’ exploration of their individual voices. We concentrate on four major issues: storytelling, character, structure, and the poetic voice. The course is taught from overlapping perspectives of traditional and alternative techniques. Exercises are rooted in storytelling techniques and character development.

ENGL 5849 - Approaches to American Literature Before 1900
Glenn Hendler
CRN 21964, American 1
An introduction to recent Americanist literary scholarship, comparing and contrasting methodologies that have been brought to bear on three or four important works of U.S. literature published before 1900.

ENGL 5930 - Neuro-Lit in Historical Perspective
Frank Boyle
CRN 21965, British 2
Our current literary interest in neurology has a history. This course will look at the relatively recent history of the move from philosophical approaches associated with Cognitive Theory to biological brain research (fMRI scans of brains reading Jane Austen). And it will look at a longer history in which early-modern brain research influenced literary representations of the self. In each of these historical moments, 17th and 18th-century writers have played curious and important roles, and so authors including Milton, Marvell, Swift, Finch, Addison, Pope, Sterne, Austen, and the Scriblerians, will be considered.

ENGL 5940 - Novel, She Wrote
Dennis Tyler
CRN 21966, American 2
Novel, She Wrote: Black Female Writers and Their First Novels - “If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then,” Toni Morrison declares, “you must write it.” The impulse for black female authors to write novels and the diverse manifestations of that impulse will be of primary concern in this course. What compelled black female authors in the second half of the twentieth century and early twenty-first century to write their first novels? How are themes of sexuality, motherhood, beauty, respectability, and intra- and interracial conflict represented in their texts? In what ways do their novels complement, build upon, and refer back to each other and other works? These are a few of the questions we will tackle as we read through the literature. Texts will include Gwendolyn Brooks’s Maud Martha (1953); Paule Marshall’s Brown Girl, Brownstones (1959); Alice Walker’s The Third Life of Grange Copeland (1970); Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye (1970); Gloria Naylor’s The Women of Brewster Place (1982); Edwidge Danticat’s Breath, Eyes, Memory (1994); A.J. Verdelle’s The Good Negress (1995); Danzy Senna’s Caucasia (1998); and Ayana Mathis’s The Twelve Tribes of Hattie (2012).

ENGL 5992 - Art of Literary Nonfiction
Kim Kupperman
CRN 21969, Writing (for MA wWC) or Elective (for MA)
Story-Telling and the Verifiable World: The Art of Literary Nonfiction. “A reader,” according to Lee Gutkind, “doesn’t want to hear what you have to say. A reader wants to hear a story you have to tell.” And so a primary focus this literary nonfiction course will be on learning how to a) “find the story;” that is, to recognize what the facts and concrete details of a given experience are pointing to, and then b) how to shape the experience, to dramatically render your experience so that whatever point, or idea, or theme you have identified is presented to the reader indirectly, between the lines, without excessive commentary. Thus, you will learn how to transform real-life experience into a story that is true, accurate and verifiable, yet yours will be stories that have attained the level of art. If, as a writer of prose, you have spent most of your time in the role of an “explainer”—writing essays that explain the symbolism of a poem by Wallace Stevens, for instance—you will find your role as a writer in this course to be very different. Here we will ask you to become a more artful kind of explainer—in fact, not an explainer at all, but a dramatist. You will be introduced to the techniques of non-fiction writing by closely reading a wide variety of authors and by putting the lessons gained therein to practice in your own non-fiction pieces. The course will focus upon the basic techniques of non-fiction writing—which, in a phrase, amounts to telling a story about the verifiable world. This course will introduce you to a number of different non-fiction genres, including the profile, the personal essay, the informative or “reported” piece, the social commentary, and the review. There will be lectures on the genre, short exercises, and in-class writing, but the main emphasis will be on work-shopping student writing. We will broaden the notion of “research” to include interviews and non-traditional fact-gathering methods as well as the standard approaches. We will discuss and practice the notion of shaping and restructuring linear “reality” in order to sustain reader interest while maintaining allegiance to fact. There will be three medium-length writing assignments of approximately 5 to 7 thousand words each plus short assignments.

ENGL 6004 - Colloquium:Pedagogy Theory/Practicum
Moshe Gold
CRN 13269, Required 10th Course - English Doctorate Students
Once students receive a grade of Pass for ENGL 5999, they will be approved to take the second part of the course in the fall semester (when English PhD students begin to teach). The second part, ENGL 6004 Colloquium: Pedagogy Theory/Practicum (taken in the fall of the English PhD student's 3rd year), introduces students to different pedagogical approaches and methods.

ENGL 6215 - Medieval British Historical Writing
Tim O'Donnell
CRN 21970, British 1
History-writing was fundamental to medieval and early-modern literary sensibilities, but in its relation to truth, genre, and identity, medieval history differs dramatically from contemporary understandings of the discipline of history. This course will introduce you to the major historiographical thinkers and practitioners of the English Middle Ages and include selections from Gildas, Bede, the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, Dudo of Saint-Quentin, Geoffrey of Monmouth, Matthew Paris, and the Middle English Brut.

ENGL 6320 - Queer Renaissance
Corey McEleney
CRN 21971, British 2
This seminar will explore the intersections between early modern studies and queer theory, focusing on three key issues: the charged relations between queer theory and other critical frameworks such as psychoanalysis, feminism, and poststructuralism; the ongoing role of historicism in shaping major debates and conversations in the field; and the place of aesthetics, genre, and form in early modern and contemporary treatments of eroticism. Writers to be discussed will likely include Spenser, Shakespeare, Sidney, Marlowe, Nashe, Crashaw, and Philips, alongside Foucault, Sedgwick, Butler, Lacan, Bataille, Edelman, and others.

ENGL 6767 - Marriage and Nation in 19th Century British Literature
Vlasta Vranjes
CRN 21972, British 3
This course will explore literary and cultural conceptualizations of British marriage in the nineteenth century—the period traditionally seen as an age of nationalism and one in which Parliament passed or attempted to pass an unprecedented number of reforms of the marriage law. We will examine how marriage plots written after the Union with Ireland Act (1800) envision the mutually constitutive relationship between British identity and British marriage, as well as how they address crises of national self-definition and uphold—or question—the sense of national uniqueness and superiority that the institution of marriage was meant to reinforce.

ENGL 6800 - God and Mammon in British America
Ed Cahill
CRN 21973, American 1
Did the English explore, conquer, and settle North America in the name of true religion or the earthly pursuit of gain? How was the one aim shaped by the other, and how have these mutual concerns shaped colonial American writing? Reading both literary texts and recent scholarship in Puritan studies, economic criticism, and Atlantic world history, this seminar will explore the discourses of spiritual and material wealth in colonial New England, the South, the Mid-Atlantic, and the West Indies. We will examine both major texts of dissenting Protestantism from the perspective of the colonial economics and social class and major literary representations of colonial-era social class, economics, and economic self-making from the perspective of theology, morality, and the transformation of religious culture in British America over the course of nearly two centuries. Authors will include Bradford, Smith, Winthrop, Bradstreet, Taylor, Shepard, Rowlandson, Mather, Edwards, Wheatley, Equiano, and Franklin.

ENGL 6921 - Modern Language Politics
Rebecca Sanchez
CRN 21974, American 2
Early twentieth century literature and theory was preoccupied with the relationship between language and politics, from the acknowledgement of minority and non-standard linguistic forms, to questions over the relationship between violence and language (whether or not, to paraphrase Adorno, one can write poetry after Auschwitz), to the idea of literary form itself enacting a kind of political resistance. In this course, we will analyze some of the competing philosophies about language circulating during this period and interrogate how modernist writers responded and contributed to these discussions. Likely authors include James Dawes, Theodor Adorno, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Ernest Hemingway, Paul Celan, Gertrude Stein, Américo Paredes, Zitkala-Ša, and Jean Toomer.

ENGL 8935 - Dissertation Writing Seminar
John Bugg
CRN 19290, Prerequisite: Post PhD Comps
Designed as a resource for all doctoral students who have passed the comprehensive exam. Students working on the dissertation proposal are encouraged to take this class. During each meeting students will present and respond to work in progress. Across the semester, the seminar will treat challenges of bibliographic research and strategies of effective writing specific to large projects. Attention will also be given to the preparation of material for academic publication.

ENGL 8936 - Issues in Scholarship and Academia
Ed Cahill
CRN 14025, Highly Recommended for all PhD Students, open to both English MA and PhD students.
This 0-credit seminar will provide a forum in which to discuss the issues that shape the pursuit of a career professing literature as well as the pursuit of a career outside of the academy. Each semester’s combination of guest-presentations and brief, selected readings will vary according to participants’ desires, but typical topics might include the following: General Education and the English Department; Journal Editing and the Intellectual Life; Humanities Education and Globalism; and The PhD in English and the World Outside. Selected readings might include excerpts from Louis Menand, The Marketplace of Ideas (2010); Stanley Fish, Save the World on Your Own Time (2008); Frank Donoghue, The Last Professors: The Corporate University and the Fate of the Humanities; and Katherine N. Hayles’ Electronic Literature: New Horizons for the Literary.

Spring 2014

ENGL 5002 - Critical Theory
Lawrence Kramer
CRN 15675, Required
A representative but not inclusive sampling of key theoretical studies from roughly the past seventy-five years. After reading a series of now classic essays to lay a foundation, the course will consider closely the writings of a small number of influential thinkers, possibly including Walter Benjamin, Jacques Derrida, Judith Butler, and Slavoj Zizek, among others.

ENGL 5177 - Master Class: Writers As Shapers: The Short Story
Porochista Khakpou
CRN 23037, Writing (for MA wWC) or Elective (for MA)
A short story can be constructed in an unlimited number of ways and each week we will explore the formal possibilities that are available to us. We will study the choices we have as writers—of narrative point of view, character development, beginnings, dialogue, description, structure, pacing, detail, plot and resolution. We will isolate and inspect strategies that published authors have used. Students will produce and workshop their own fiction from exercises. In the conversation between student writing and the studied literature we will hopefully arrive at a greater sense of writers as shapers, sculptors of the raw material of story. NOTE: This course is open to five undergraduate students with the a recommendation and five Master's with Writing Concentration or regular Master's graduate students for a total of ten students. For more information on undergraduate enrollment in the class, please click here: Applying to Master Class

ENGL 5225 - Jane Austen in Context
Susan Greenfield
CRN 22510, British 2
In this course we will read all of Jane Austen’s major novels. There are three central goals. The first one is simply to enjoy Austen’s writing (as unsophisticated as that may sound). The second is to consider the historical contexts (political, social and economic) that helped shape her prose. And the third is to survey and analyze some of the recent trends in Austen scholarship, which will, ideally, aid you in developing your own critical skills.

ENGL 5700 - Playwriting Workshop
Cusi Cram
CRN 23301, Writing (for MA wWC) or Elective (for MA)
The primary goals of the course are to hone basic craft and to create an environment that will guide the writers’ exploration of their individual voices. We concentrate on four major issues: storytelling, character, structure, and the poetic voice. The course is taught from overlapping perspectives of traditional and alternative techniques. Exercises are rooted in storytelling techniques and character development.

ENGL 5844 - American Bestsellers, 1870-1940
Leonard Cassuto
CRN 22511, American 1 or 2
Since novels both register and shape public attitudes towards the world, a study of best selling novels suggests insight into how changes in literary tastes relate to broader social changes (e.g., political events, technological developments, changing demographics and education policies). What affected changes in public taste after the Civil War, and how may we see those changes represented in the books people most avidly read? Bestsellers presumably share important characteristics that can explain their broad appeal to reading publics -- and the goal of this course is to try to understand those characteristics and that appeal. Authors may include Edward Bellamy, Pearl Buck, Thomas Dixon, Edna Ferber, Ellen Glasgow, Zane Grey, Edith Wharton, Owen Wister, and Richard Wright.

ENGL 5960 - Memoir & Personal Essay
Elizabeth Stone
CRN 22513, Writing (for MA wWC) or Elective (for MA)
This class will function as a writing workshop where we will spend at least half of class time critiquing your works in progress. Since the techniques of memoir are indistinguishable from the techniques of fiction, we will concentrate on dialogue, exposition, scene, character, managing narrative time (past, present, future) and, most of all, the development of a persona. Readings will include trends in autobiographical theory, model essays and some analysis of exemplary essays by authors such as Didion, Baldwin and David Foster Wallace.

ENGL5999 - Colloquium:Pedagogy Theory/Practicum 1
Moshe Gold/ Anne Fernald
CRN 17980, First part of 10th Required Course for PhD's
The required 10th course for English PhD students consists of sequenced pedagogy training spanning two semesters. ENGL 5999 is the first part of the Teaching Practicum, which is to be taken in the spring of English PhD student's 2nd Year. This part of the course is taken in the Spring (before teaching), and includes individual interviews, assignment of written work and practice teaching. Each student will have a mentor, complete a portfolio of materials, and create multiple assignments. This part of the course is graded as pass or fail. Once students pass the first part of the course in the Spring semester, they will be approved to take the second part of the course in the Fall semester-- when English PhD students begin to teach. This part the "Colloquium" introduces students to different pedagogical approaches and methods. The second part of the course is registered as ENGL 6004 Colloquium: PED Theory:Pr.

ENGL 6216 - Late Medieval Autobiography: T. Hoccleve, O. Bokenham, M. Kempe
Mary Erler
CRN 22514, British 1
Margery Kempe's Book is often called the first female autobiography in English, but the writing of her fifteenth-century contemporaries Thomas Hoccleve, a London scribe and bureaucrat, and Osbern Bokenham, an East Anglian friar, also offers a personal voice. We will explore the social and theological context of each author as we read their work in Middle English.

ENGL 6250 - Postcolonial Middle Ages
Suzanne Yeager
CRN 22515, British 1
The course, The Postcolonial Middle Ages, addresses the multiplicity of ways in which postcolonial theory can be used to illuminate pre-modern texts. Texts to be read in Middle English include the Croxton Play of the Sacrament, Geoffrey Chaucer’s Man of Law’s Tale and Prioress’s Tale, among others, along with medieval texts in translation, such as The Letter of Prester John, and the Beauvais Play of Daniel. These works offer complex views of alterity, conquest, place, space, and performance which are foundational in discussing how the Middle Ages can be viewed as postcolonial.

ENGL 6751 - The New Formalism and Early Modern Literature
Heather Dubrow
CRN 22516, British 2
In the past decade formalism, the F-word of the profession for over twenty years, has attracted many critics in its revisionist version often termed “the new formalism.” What are the potentialities—and problems—of this approach? How should we resolve debates about the workings of the new formalism, such as whether it is necessarily historical? How does it interact and /or conflict with other methodologies, such as gender studies and materialism? We will approach these questions by reading a widerange of early modern texts in the principal genres, the list being planned to avoid major overlap with other early modern courses at Fordham in the past year or two. Thus the course aims to serve the needs of a range of students: those interested in a broad overview of early modern texts and those wanting to engage with formalist approaches and/or connect those approaches with other types of criticism. Students specializing in fields other than early modern will also have some opportunities to work with those texts too. Like all my graduate courses, it will also include attention to professionalizing, such as discussions of giving papers effectively and of teaching.

ENGL 6779 - Brecht, Aesthetics and Politics
Shonni Enelow
CRN 22517, Elective
Bertolt Brecht was arguably the most important theater theorist of the twentieth century, and his theory of the function of art under capitalism transformed thinking about the relationship between culture and politics and continues to resonate today.This course will examine Brecht’s theater and theory in several contexts: first, in the context of Marxian theories of culture, especially those of the Frankfurt School, second, in the context of modernist theater theory and practice, and third, via the legacy of his theories in late twentieth- and twenty-first-century art and philosophy. Philosophical readings will include Marx, Adorno and Horkheimer, Benjamin, Lukács, Arendt, Barthes, Jameson, and Rancière; theatrical readings will include, in addition to a substantial number of Brecht’s own plays, considerations of German Expressionism; non-European, especially Chinese, theater; modernist cabaret, and postwar avant-garde and postdramatic theater. Discussions will address, among other things, the relationship between theater and politics, the role of mass culture, methodological issues in materialist criticism, theories of spectatorship, and the fate of political art after modernism.

ENGL 7744 - Paracolonial Studies: After Postcolonial Theory
Chris GoGwilt
CRN 22520, British 3
This course will examine recent developments in (and beyond) postcolonial theory. While the primary focus will be 20th- and 21st-century theory and literature, the course will consider texts and cultural documents from earlier periods to explore how postcolonial studies belong to a wider reshaping of literary histories. The course will be organized around the study of a select few contemporary writers (Toni Morrison, Amitav Ghosh, and Pramoedya Ananta Toer are likely choices). Works by these writers will be read alongside postcolonial theorists (e.g. Homi Bhabha, Ania Loomba, Walter Mignolo, Gayatri Spivak, Gauri Viswanathan) and in conjunction with earlier works both canonical and less canonical.

ENGL 8935 - Dissertation Writing Seminar
Ed Cahill
CRN 15661, Prerequisite: Post PhD Comps
Open to all English doctoral students who have passed their comprehensive exam. Students will present work in progress. In addition, the seminar will focus on bibliographic research, and writing techniques and exercises specific to large projects. Some attention will also be given to the process of getting published.