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2012—2013 Graduate Course Archive


Fall 2012

ENGL 5001    Pro.Seminar: Research Methods
Maria Farland
CRN 13250, Required
A professional skills course, introducing students to issues in bibliography, textual criticism, editing, and the sociology of book production, from Gutenberg to the e-book.

ENGL 5166    Master Class: YA/Children's Literature
Sharon Wyeth
CRN 16054, Writing
A Master Class level creative writing workshop where students will engage in writing for younger readers, children through YA, with attention to process and the art of storytelling. Beginning with the birth of a story idea, the class will explore the areas of plot, character, setting, voice and theme. During the semester students will develop a writing portfolio consisting of prewriting, first draft, revised and polished pages. The genre and form of a student’s writing will be self-selective with the instructor’s guidance. Workshop writings may include fiction, non-fiction, fantasy or poetry.
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 5176    Writing About Place
Kim Kupperman
CRN 19287, Writing
Of course writing about “place” can be exotic (as it must have been for the 18th century British noblewoman, Mary Wortley Montagu, when she visited a harem or two in Turkey) but then again, some of most evocative writing about place we have is by writers who didn't even have to leave their neighborhoods to do it: Virginia Woolf writing about London, Dave Eggers writing about the apartment in San Francisco he shared with his brother, Philip Roth writing about Newark, New Jersey, Joan Didion writing about a house she and her husband rented in her native California, or even David Mamet writing about the barren new housing development in suburban Illinois he moved to with his mother and stepfather. In this Master Class, you will get a variety of opportunities to write about New York City, bringing your New York City to life—your bedroom or dorm room or Broadway; The Cyclone or the Staten Island Ferry or the tram to Roosevelt Island; MOMA or the bar where you watched the SuperBowl or the place on 9th Avenue that makes the best cupcakes you’ve ever eaten. The options are infinite.

ENGL 5211    Introduction to Old English
Martin Chase
CRN 19286, British 1
The course will introduce students to Old English (Anglo-Saxon) language and literature.

ENGL 5414    Laugh, Cry, Hum, Quake: Comedies, Tragedies, Musicals, and Melodramas, London 1700-1900
Stuart Sherman
CRN 19435, British 2 or British 3
Over the course of two centuries, British playwrights and players hit upon a huge new panoply of ways to trigger in their audiences the responses tagged above; many of their methods are still at work in the entertainments we seek and savor now. By close readings of the plays and their contexts (cultural, theatrical, social, political) we’ll track the development of those techniques, seeking to make sense of how they worked and why they matter. As running litmus test, we’ll check in on Shakespeare every half-century or so, to see what actors and audiences were up to with him. 

ENGL 5472    Milton's Major Works
Eve Keller
CRN 19728, British 2
This course will aim to offer a reasonably intensive study of Milton's major poetry and prose in the context of contemporary controversies in religion, politics (both social and domestic) and natural philosophy. We will also pay attention to the development of and developments in the enormous industry of Milton Studies. Requirements for the course include one set of study questions to be used by the class to direct discussion, one oral presentation, a book review, and a term paper.

ENGL 5700    Playwriting Workshop
Tanya Barfield
CRN 19971, 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 5840    Slavery in American Fiction
Leonard Cassuto
CRN 19288, American 1   
The course focuses upon depictions of slavery in American fiction during the years before the Civil War, drawing upon texts by blacks and whites, men and women.  Authors include Melville, Stowe, Douglass, Brown, and Delany, among others. Focuses on representations of slavery in American fiction before the Civil War, in texts.

ENGL 5877    Post-1945 American Literature
Cornelius Collins
CRN 19436, American 2
This course will explore American writing, mainly prose, during the Cold War and after, while also considering trends in critical approaches to this period.  Authors may include: Ellison, Mailer, Pynchon, Morrison, DeLillo, Silko, and others.

ENGL 5886    Latin America in the United States Literary Imagination: Before and After the Beats
Daniel Contreras
CRN 19437, American 2
This class will showcase the artistic inspiration that Latin America provided for many of the Beats but it will also historicize this region as an important site for political and cultural work for many American writers previous to them. Writers include: Jack London, Ambrose Bierce, Stephen Crane, John Reed, Mark Twain, Katharine Anne Porter, Jose Marti, Federico Garcia Lorca, Rebecca West, Ruben Dario, Ernest Hemingway, D. H. Lawrence, Malcolm Lowry, Graham Greene, Paul Bowles, Jack Kerouac, Elizabeth Bishop, William S. Burroughs, Carlos Fuentes, Thomas Pynchon, Jorge Luis Borges, Roberto Bolano, Sandra Cisneros, Junot Diaz. Cultural and Ideological Themes Addressed in Class: Georgia O’Keefe and the New Mexico School of Painters, the 1920s; Cuba as a Whorehouse: Havana in the 1950s, Latin Jazz and C. Cabrera Infante; “West Side Story,” “Guys and Dolls,” and Puerto Ricans and Cubans in NYC; Che, Castro, and Global Revolution: the 1960s; Chile, Argentina, and the Disappeared; Oliver Stone’s Salvador: Central America vs. Reagan; Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia: Films by Sam Peckinpah, Quentin Tarantino, and Robert Rodriguez; The Border and the Endless War Against Mexicans; Narcos and Terror. 

ENGL 5900    Evil in American Fiction
Philip Sicker
CRN 19438, American 1 or 2
This course explores the role of evil as an elemental force in the American literary imagination from the 1830s to the brink of World War II. Primary readings include novels and stories by ten major writers of American fiction: Poe, Hawthorne, Melville, James, Twain, Norris, Wharton, Hemingway, Faulkner, and West. The readings for the first class include three stories by Edgar Allan Poe: William Wilson, The Imp of the Perverse, and The Man in the Crowd. 

ENGL 5958    Craft of Poetry
P. Legault
CRN 19289, Writing
Directed as a workshop, this course will focus on student work-in-progress. We will pay special attention to a variety of forms, modes, and generative techniques, from the traditional to the very experimental.  Readings will be determined by instructor and student interests. 

ENGL 6004    Colloquium:Pedagogy Theory/Practicum
Mose Gold
Required 10th Course - English Doctorate Students

ENGL 6323    European Writing & England in the 12th Century
Thomas O'Donnell
CRN 19439, British 1
This course explores English writing between 1050 and 1250 as part of the history of European literature.  Rather than think about one sole "English" tradition traversing the Conquest or about a relentless "Europeanization" of insular culture across the period, it looks to the complex, multilingual, and geographically disparate background of individual works, including histories, debate poems, romances, works of spiritual instruction, and lyric poetry. Ample instruction will be given for reading Middle English, and translations will be offered for readings in another language, such as French, Latin, Welsh, or Occitan.

ENGL 6986    Postcolonial Revisited
Fawzia Mustafa
CRN 19756, British 3
Like all areas of study, Postcolonial Studies has undergone a series of necessary modifications since its institutional inception in the late 70s and early 80s. We will survey and examine these modifications in the light of the historical, social, political, and cultural transformations that have re-shaped the intellectual and material world since the mid twentieth century. In other words, what are the intersections between the postcolonial, the postcolony, and postcoloniality and  “modernity,” “globalization,” “transnationalism,” “cosmopolitanism,” and “planetarity,” to name only some? We will read the re-readings of the “postcolonial” by third generation postcolonial writers, as well as original and supplementary re-writings of seminal postcolonial theoretical articulations. All non-anglophone works will be read in translation.

ENGL 6989    Literature & Theories of Colonialism
Julie Kim
CRN 19686, British 2 or American 1
English colonialism produced not only new forms of society, economy, and human relation but also a vast body of literature describing them. This course will survey key colonial texts from the sixteenth through eighteenth centuries, as well as the major interpretive approaches that have been taken towards them. Confronted with the need to depict such transformative processes as cultural contact and sexual mixing, the emergence of plantation and other regimes in the Americas and India, the establishment of an Atlantic slave trade, and widespread acts of revolt against empire, authors resorted to varied and often contradictory representational strategies. How to decipher their problematic descriptions will be the main question we consider throughout the semester. In formulating our answers, we will examine those that have been provided by literary critics, historians, anthropologists, and others. We also will weigh the applicability of postcolonial theories to the study of colonialism and the utility of hemispheric and other comparative frameworks to the analysis of English literary developments.

ENGL 8935    Dissertation Writing Seminar
John Bugg
CRN 19290, Prerequisite: Post PhD Comps
Open to all English doctorate students who have successfully taken and 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.

ENGL 8936    Issues in Scholarship and Academe
Ed Cahill
CRN 14025, Highly Recommended for 1st & 2nd yr Doctoral Students, open to all English graduate students Master's and Doctorate.
This 0-credit seminar, open to all doctoral students, 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 2013

ENGL 5002    Introduction to Critical Theory
Moshe Gold
CRN 15675, Required
A broad sampling of recent critical approaches (from structuralism to queer theory), ground in selected “classic” readings from Plato to New Criticism.

MVST 5305    Writing East: Outremer & Identity in the Middle Ages
Suzanne Yeager, N. Paul
CRN 20401, British 1   
As the stage for the central events of the Gospel narrative, the lands of the eastern shore of the Mediterranean long occupied a central place in the collective imagination of Latin western Europe. Over the course of the Middle Ages, however, increasingly frequent encounters resulting from trade, pilgrimage, and crusade not only enriched the European image of the East, but vastly enhanced the significance to how medieval Christians approached the eastern Other. This course will trace the rise of a discourse of differences centered in what was called in England and France, "Outremer," the land beyond the sea. Together with medieval literary productions, histories, letters and travel narratives, we will read works from the growing body of scholarship on this important topic.  This course is cross listed with Medieval Studies; it will count for British 1 in English automatically.

ENGL 5634    Modernists/Victorians
Chistopher GoGwilt
CRN 20779, British 3 or American 2
This course examines landmarks of Victorian literature and transatlantic English modernism, exploring breaks and continuities between Victorian and Modernist writers. Covering major texts from the 1840s to the 1940s, the course will also consider theoretical arguments about the status of the “classic” in literary history, and specifically as these define the fields of Victorian studies, modernism, modernity, and the classifications of “English” and “American” literature.

ENGL 5700    Playwriting Workshop
Tanya C. Barfield
CRN 20949, Writing or Elective
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 5762    American Novel 1900-1940
Leonard Cassuto
CRN 20941, American 2  
Richard Wright claimed Theodore Dreiser as an influence, but Wright's 1940 masterpiece, Native Son, also bears the traces of the eventful, many-branched journey taken by the American novel in the early twentieth century. Between the bookends of Dreiser's Sister Carrie (1900) and Wright, we'll read authors like Wharton, Hemingway, Faulkner, and Dos Passos as we trace the literary historical journey from one to the other against the backdrop of a rapidly changing nation.

ENGL 5848    Violence & American Literature
Glenn Hendler
CRN 20780, American 1
At least since Richard Slotkin's 1973 American Studies classic Regeneration Through Violence, “violence” has been a keyword in the study of American literature and culture. This course will trace a literary history of violence in 19th and early 20th-century writing, viewing violence primarily as a problem of representation. Is state-sanctioned violence (e.g. war, Indian removal, suppression of slave revolts) represented differently than is non-state or anti-state violence (riots, strikes, lynchings)? Do collective forms of violence raise issues of literary form different from the depiction of individual violence? Is “violence” a sufficiently coherent and capacious category to cover all of these diverse practices? Readings may include some of the following: Ned Buntline (Mysteries and Miseries of New York, and/or a western dime novel); Charles Chesnutt (The Marrow of Tradition); Stephen Crane (“The Monster”); Anna E. Dickinson (What Answer?); Thomas Dixon (The Leopard's Spots or The Clansman); Theodore Dreiser (Sister Carrie); Pauline Hopkins (Contending Forces); James Weldon Johnson (Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man); George Lippard (New York: Its Upper Ten and Lower Million); Herman Melville (Battle-Pieces and Aspects of the War; “Benito Cereno”); Frank Norris (McTeague and/or The Octopus); Walter Hines Page (The Southerner); María Amparo Ruiz de Burton (The Squatter and the Don); Harriet Beecher Stowe (Dred); Frank Webb (The Garies and Their Friends). Grading will be based on in-class and on-line participation, in-class presentations, and a final research essay.

ENGL 5966    Master Class: Creative Online
Sarah Gambito
CRN 20781, Writing  
This multi-genre writing workshop will take on the website as a performance space for creative avatars. What possibilities for creative projects lie in the malleability of the Internet — its multi-directional readability and possibilities for instant gratification editing? Students will design websites, workshop website content, generate multi-media through collaborative teams and make presentations.
NOTE: This course is open to five undergraduate students with the instructor's permission and five Master's with Writing Concentration graduate students for a total of ten students. If there is room, MFA Theatre and English Master's students will be permitted to enroll. For more information on undergraduate enrollment in the class, please click here: Applying to Master Class

ENGL5999    Colloquium:Pedagogy Theo/Pra 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 of 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 6239    French of England III
Jocelyn Wogan-Browne
CRN 20935, British 1
French of England III studies the rich, under-researched corpus (c. 1000 literary texts and large bodies of documentary records) composed and/or circulating in medieval England and related regions from the twelfth to the fifteenth centuries. French was a major regional and transnational language in England, used in literary culture, governance, administration, trade, and the professions. Taking francophone literary and documentary culture into account changes our paradigms for English medieval literary history and equips graduate students for the full range of insular culture. FoE I or II is not a necessary pre-requisite.

ENGL 6265    Manuscript Into Print
Mary Erler
CRN 20936, British 1
The course will explore the transition from manuscript to print culture in England during the half-century from William Caxton's introduction of printing to the death of Henry VIII. It will ask about the cultural changes produced by printing, particularly in audiences, reading, and book ownership. Sample topics might include: what happens to medieval authors like Chaucer or Langland when they first appear in print? How do books of hours, the most popular book of the middle ages, negotiate the transition to print? Early reading will be done in Middle English.

ENGL 6376    Shakespeare and Popular Culture
Mary Bly
CRN 20782, British 2
A graduate level course studying Shakespeare's texts in relation to film scripts, fictional rewritings, 20th Century ephemera and theories.

ENGL 6596    Keats & Company
Sarah Zimmerman
CRN 20937, British 3
This course takes John Keats as our guide into the sociable, politically volatile world of Regency London. Officially, this era begins with George III’s declared lapse into madness and ends with his son’s ascent to the throne (1811-20). But the Regency has come to be defined more generally as an era characterized by two extremes: the decadence exemplified by the Prince Regent’s court and the popular protest movements that would lead to the first Reform Act (1832). Keats’s immersion in that world, first as a medical student and then as an aspiring poet, avid theater-goer and friend to painters, musicians, and journalists, provides a “personal” introduction to it. After an initial, intensive focus on Keats’s poems, letters, and life, we will view Regency London from the perspective of his contemporaries, including Mary Robinson, Lord Byron, Charles Lamb, and John Clare. The course focuses on poetry, and we will discuss a range of formal and historical approaches to the genre, making use of a new biography of Keats by Nicholas Roe.

ENGL 6906    Literature and Language
Lawrence Kramer
CRN 2093, British 3 or American 2
According to Michel Foucault, language becomes autonomous, fundamentally independent of the world and in some a sense a world unto itself, only at the beginning of the nineteenth century. The same might be said of literature, beginning with the literary theories of English and German Romanticism. One consequence was the idea that the character of literature should, or must, mirror the character of language.This course will track the history of this idea, and its offshoots and contraries, by sampling both literature and writings about language and literature drawn from the past two centuries. The readings will include poetry and prose by Lessing, Wordsworth, Friedrich Schlegel, Hegel, Poe, Mallarmé, Dickinson, Woolf, Stevens, Beckett, and Ashbery, and critical/theoretical writing by Benjamin, Foucault, Heidegger, Derrida, Giorgio Agamben, and Susan Stewart.

ENGL 6977    Arc Of A Novel
Meera Nair
CRN 20783, Writing
Good novels are seamless and smooth, skillfully persuading us of the authenticity of the time and place and the emotional landscape of the characters. We are shown only what needs to be illuminated, carried forward at the right speed, kept at arm’s length sometimes and clasped close at other times. Great novels work at every level because the writer has mastered the craft of fiction. This class will examine those elements of craft that lead to better storytelling—compelling protagonists, ingenious use of point of view, narrative voice, pacing, meaningful description and telling detail, effective dialogue and many more. We will examine novels for these aspects of craft. You will be expected to closely read and consider the assigned novel  and come to class prepared to discuss it. When we begin workshops, you will be required to submit 60-100 pages at least twice a semester.

ENGL 7127    New Perspectives in the Early Modern Lyric
Heather Dubrow
CRN 20942, British 2
What is lyric poetry? The course will explore the transhistorical challenges of defining lyric-- what cultural and critical work is done when writers, critics, anthologists and so on affix  a generic label? why is lyric especially tricky—and intriguing-- to define? what are the implications of those  definitions for cutting-edge questions about subjectivity, gender, and the material text  as well as for more longstanding but still central concerns about subjects like  the workings of genre? And in what ways are all these questions historically specific?

The reading will focus on early modern poetry including about 8 of the major poets of the period (e.g., Wyatt, Shakespeare, Sidney, Spenser, Donne, Herbert, Wroth, and Marvell) and also some less known work such as anonymous poetry from miscellanies. It will, however, also include comparisons with lyrics from other periods and encompass some discussions of lyric  by writers and critics from those periods; students whose specialty is in another era may write on it in their final paper, and students interested in creative writing can substitute a project in it for one of the shorter assignments (though not for the seminar paper). We will deploy—and evaluate—varied critical methods, from cultural critique  and study of the material text to new formalist analysis.

As this description suggests, the course is designed for students with a range of different backgrounds and interests: it will provide intensive work in the major poets of the period for both specialists and non-specialists, it should also be of value to people interested in lyric poetry written in other eras and in form and genre in general. As in all my courses, we’ll work together on techniques of “professionalizing”—e.g., beginning to publish, delivering conference papers successfully.

ENGL 7940    Postwar American Literature 1945-1975
Daniel Contreras
CRN 20784, American 2
This course considers US authors from the post war period--John Hershey, Lorraine Hansberry, Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsburg, Sylvia Plath, Tom Wolfe, and others--in terms of contemporary cultural trends (suburbanization, the Cold War) and countercultural movements (beatniks, hippies, feminists). The main focus is an original research project.