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2016—2017 Graduate Course Archive

Fall 2016

ENGL 5001 - Research Methods
Corey McEleney
CRN 13250
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.

ENGL 5103 - Feminism and American Poetry
Elisabeth Frost
CRN 31128, Fulfills an American 2 Requirement
This course will address mid- through late-twentieth century poetry by women in relation to second-wave feminism, feminist theories, and queer theories. The writing and publishing of women’s poetry played an important role in second-wave feminism, often serving as the artistic arm of the movement, assuming identity politics as its governing principle. We will first examine women poets of the feminist and black arts movements who developed a series of radical new poetries to “embody” gender and racial identities. We will then discuss the ways that poets and theorists since that time have challenged the tenets of identity politics and, accordingly, pushed poetics into new terrains in search of diverse groundings for politics and aesthetics alike. Figures discussed may include Adrienne Rich, Sonia Sanchez, Audre Lorde, Gloria Anzaldúa, Sandra María Esteves, Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, Kathleen Fraser, Harryette Mullen, and others.

ENGL 5109 - Staging Blackness: Black Drama and the African American Literary Tradition
Scott Poulson-Bryant
CRN 31821, Fulfills an American 1 or 2 Requirement
This course will embark on a literary, historical, and performance-oriented exploration of African American literature through the study of black drama and the ways in which the genre contributes to the African American literary tradition. Starting at the post-bellum/pre-Harlem period, we will discuss, among other topics, the Harlem Renaissance, the Civil Rights and Black Arts Movements, the renaissance of black women writers in the 1970s, and the New Black Aesthetic. We will engage in close readings of dramatic texts as well as literary criticism and performance theory that present key issues in African American cultural thought. Major authors will include but not be limited to August Wilson, Lorraine Hansberry, James Baldwin, Suzan-Lori Parks, Le Roi Jones/Amiri Baraka, Lynn Nottage, Adrienne Kennedy, Ntozake Shange, Langston Hughes, and Zora Neal Hurston.

ENGL 5717 - Transatlantic Women Modernists
Anne Fernald
CRN 29895, Fulfills a British 3 Requirement
This class looks at gender and modernism on both sides of the Atlantic. We will read a generous selection of women modernists, canonical and noncanonical, representing high modernism and “bad modernism” (to use Mao and Walkowitz’s term), fiction, film, and poetry from the first half of the 20th century. Our transatlantic focus offers a special opportunity to examine multicultural and cosmopolitan modernisms: many women writers in this period were travelers and immigrants. We will also analyze the complex and often fraught relationships among feminist criticism, feminist theory, and theories of modernism, both in the early 20th century and today. Authors include: Gertrude Stein, Zora Neale Hurston, Elizabeth Bishop, Katherine Mansfield, Jean Rhys, and Virginia Woolf.

ENGL 5102 - Global Postmodernisms
Daniel Contreras
CRN 31129, Fulfills an American 2 or British 3 Requirement
Global Postmodernisms: This course historicizes postmodernity--or the historical period beginning in 1945 after WWII-- as reshaping the globe into different geographic and political formations after World War II. As the globe starts looking very different various national literatures engage with different questions about nationalism, history, and catastrophe. We will read widely drawing on short fiction from all the continents and writers may include: Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Julio Cortazar, Ngūgī wa Thiong'o, J.M. Coetzee, Michel Houllebecq, Martin Amis, Mo Yan, Gao Xingjian, Salman Rushdie, Mahmoud Darwish, David Foster Wallace, Thomas Pynchon.

ENGL 5177 - Creative Writing: Master Class: Writers as Shapers
Sarah Gambito or TBA
CRN 27325, This course is open to 5 English Master's students who may self-register and 5 undergraduate English majors with writing concentration students who receive an email recommendation from the Director of Creative Writing and who will then be registered by their dean. For Master's students, this course counts towards an elective requirement. For more information on undergraduate enrollment in the class, please write to

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.

ENGL 6004 - Colloquium: Pedagogy Theory Practicum
Moshe Gold/Anne Fernald
CRN 13269
Required 10th course for PhD Students. To register, contact the graduate administrator after receiving a passing grade in the first part of the Practicum, ENGL 5999. 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 6201 - Race and Affect Theory: The Case of Asian America
James Kim
CRN 31219, Fulfills a Theory or American 2 Requirement
This seminar will stage a dialog between the field of race and ethnic studies on the one hand and that of affect theory on the other. In what ways does the affective turn call for a rethinking of the major themes of race and ethnic studies? In what ways does recent work in race and ethnic studies challenge or complicate the growing hegemony of affect theory in the humanities? How might these two bodies of scholarship deepen and enrich each other's insights? And how might we link them to other major issues currently occupying literary and cultural studies (e.g., neoliberal hegemony, temporality, and the limits of the human)? Our discussion of these theoretical matters will be grounded in readings of major works of twentieth-century and contemporary Asian American literature and culture. Possible authors include John Okada, Carlos Bulosan, Maxine Hong Kingston, Marilyn Chin, Li-Young Lee, Jessica Hagedorn, Chang-rae Lee, Susan Choi, Kiran Desai, Young Jean Lee, and others.

ENGL 6101 - Rereading Close Reading: Historical Perspectives, Contemporary Challenges/Shakespeare's Non-Dramatic Poetry, Spenser, Donne
Heather Dubrow
CRN 30774, Fulfills a British 2 Requirements
We will evaluate both the history of close reading and the renewed interest- and renewed antagonism-revisionist versions of it are sparking today. What was, is, and will be "close reading" in literary studies? In engaging with the early history of this methodology (I.A. Richards, the New Critics, British analogues etc.), we will consider how the climate in the academy and the country at large encouraged these approaches and how they interacted with and reacted against alternative methodologies. We will then explore and evaluate the many attempts to develop a type of close reading appropriate to our own critical moment- and the reactions against them by critics like Moretti; we will, for example, discuss the relationship of those attempts to the digital humanities and the implications of close reading for debates about the workings of lyric. The authors on whom we will focus are Shakespeare (mainly the nondramatic poems, though we will also discuss at least one play), Donne, and Spenser. Students will, however, have the option of writing their final paper on another poet from the early modern period- or from a different period. Other requirements will include a couple of shorter written exercises and participation in a course mini-conference. As this description suggests, the course is tailored to the needs of both advanced students in early modern literature and those in other fields or at earlier stages of their careers who are seeking an overview of the texts of that era and of critical methodologies and developments. Like all my graduate courses, this seminar will also discuss the challenges of professionalizing, such as transforming a seminar paper into an article and presenting a conference paper as effectively as possible.

ENGL 6106 - Medieval Communities and Modern Thought
Tom O'Donnell
CRN 31130, Fulfills a British 1 Requirement
This interdisciplinary course will consider the roles played by modern images and ideas of the medieval past in the formulation of modern ideas of community, nation, subjectivity, and habitus. Course readings will include modern theoretical texts, modern popular texts, and medieval source material (mostly in translation). What can a more vital understanding of the medieval past offer modern thinking about community and belonging? The course will be appropriate for medieval specialists as well as for anyone interested in the intersections of social history, social theory, and literature.

ENGL 6235 - Medieval Travel Narrative
Suzanne Yeager
CRN 29896, Fulfills a British 1 Requirement
In a project which brought together the greatest minds and resources of the western world, the crusading movements inspired subsequent generations of English and western European poets and chroniclers to create some of the most beautiful and, at times, most brutal romances and histories ever written. This course will focus on a range of traditions, including the romance, Richard, Coeur de Lion in light of contemporary chronicler, Roger of Howden’s, Chronica. Even Josephus’ Jewish War is barely recognizable in the fourteenth-century Siege of Jerusalem. Pilgrim and merchant narratives, from Egeria to Margery Kempe, and Mandeville to Marco Polo, will provide a contrast to romance and chronicle modes. We will be especially concerned with the ways in which chivalric quest came to influence the romance and chronicle genres. This course is designed to contextualize travel within the medieval world as we read and discuss those travel narratives with a specific set of concerns: salvation, conquest, and conversion.

ENGL 8935 - Dissertation Writing Seminar
Corey McEleney
CRN 19290, Open to all PhD's post 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
John Bugg
CRN 14025, Strongly recommended for PhD Students. Open to MA Students.
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. The focus for Fall 2016 will be academic publishing: the course is strongly recommended for students who wish to prepare an article for publication.

Spring 2017

ENGL 5002 - Introduction to Theory
Shonni Enelow
CRN 27431, Fulfills a Theory Requirement
A representative but not exhaustive 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 the writings of a number of contemporary thinkers, possibly including Paul Gilroy, Judith Butler, Jacques Rancière, Lauren Berlant, and Sianne Ngai, among others.

ENGL 5110 - Queer Renaissance
Corey McEleney
CRN 30982, Fulfills a British 2 Requirement
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 5115 - Internship Seminar
Corey McEleney
CRN 31422
This seminar is open to graduate students pursuing internships in publishing, museum management, or arts administration during the spring 2017 semester.

ENGL 5151 - Master Class: Short Fiction and the Unexpected
Jennifer Gilmore
CRN 30269
In the same way that a cliché can spoil a sentence, a lapse into the predictable can doom an otherwise promising story. On every level – in character, in plot, and in prose – the authenticity of a work of fiction depends on surprise. Great writing is not necessarily elaborate, but it is always, somehow, unexpected. A single, well-chosen detail can put everything that’s come before it into new relief. This class will concentrate on seeking out and developing the most unexpected and compelling aspects of each writer’s short fiction.

ENGL 5749 - Twentieth-Century Studies: Decolonization and World Literature
Chris GoGwilt
CRN 31414, Fulfills a Theory or a British 3 Requirement
Introductory graduate course in the study of selected twentieth-century figures from comparative cultural, literary, and theoretical perspectives. The course will examine the changing contours of literary theory, literary studies, and the status of literature itself in the twentieth century, in light of the contending imperatives of decolonization and globalization. The course will focus on three pairings of writers: Joseph Conrad and W. E. B. Du Bois; Jean Rhys and C. L. R. James; Pramoedya Ananta Toer and Amitav Ghosh. Select works from these writers will be studied in conjunction with critical selections from Fanon, Glissant, Pheng Cheah, and others.

ENGL 5999 Colloquium: Pedagogy Theory/Practice
Moshe Gold/Anne Fernald
CRN 17980, Required for PhD Students
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 6102 - Slavery in American Fiction
Lenny Cassuto
CRN 29791, Fulfills an American 1 Requirement
The course focuses upon depictions of slavery in American fiction during the years before the Civil War.  We will read a selection of novels by blacks and whites, men and women, all concerned with the intensifying debates over "the peculiar institution." We will focus on the turbulent and troubled decade of the 1850s; our exploration this time of increasing sectional tension through fiction will spotlight the birth of the African American novel and its dialogic engagement with the burgeoning literature of race in the United States. Authors include Melville, Stowe, Douglass, William Wells Brown, and Martin Delany, among others.

ENGL 6103 - News and Plays, 1620-1779
Stuart Sherman
CRN 29792, Fulfills a British 2 Requirement
These days, the ubiquitous nexus of news and entertainment can elicit reactions ranging from an exasperated scowl to a surrendering shrug. But the phenomenon has a long history. When newspapers first appeared, in the early 1700s, the theater reacted with alarm, terrified that this upstart medium would deprive it of its status as sole oracle. Gradually, though, the two media discovered nearly limitless possibilities for synergy, collusive and competitive: ads, reviews, celebrity profiles, stage satires of news stories and the news business, and much more. We'll track these transactions in newspapers spanning two centuries, and in plays by Ben Jonson, Thomas Middleton, Susannah Centlivre, John Gay, Henry Fielding, David Garrick, and Richard Brinsley Sheridan. For better and for worse, infotainment begins here.

Jocelyn Wogan-Browne
CRN 29793, Fulfills a British 1 Requirement
Studies the rich, under-researched corpus (c. 1000 texts) in the Frenches of medieval England; includes projects of translation/editing (for acquiring techniques of presenting and interpreting medieval texts). ENGL 6227 French of England is not necessarily required.

ENGL 8935 - Dissertation Writing Seminar
Julie Kim
CRN 15661, Open to all PhD's post 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.