Spring 2016 Graduate Course Offerings and Descriptions

Recent course offerings:Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Spring 2015, Fall 2015


ENG 620: Studies in Renaissance and Early Modern Literature: Milton
Dr. Bruce Johnson (johnsoba@jmu.edu)
T 5-8pm

          Paradise Lost, Paradise Regained, and Samson Agonistes in detail, a survey of the prose, and an analysis of Comus and the early poetry, all with an emphasis on Milton’s immersion in the events of his time. Texts: Eds. Kerrigan, Rumrich, and Fallon. The Complete Poetry and Essential Prose of John Milton; A.N. Wilson, The Life of John Milton.


ENG 640: Studies in Nineteenth-Century British Literature
Dr. Annette Federico
M 5:30-8:30pm

          This seminar takes up the revival of romance and debates about realism in the last two decades of the century, with a spotlight on the writings of Robert Louis Stevenson.

R. L. Stevenson, Treasure Island, Kidnapped, Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, The Master of Ballantrae, The
, & selected short fiction and essays

Henry James, The Turn of the Screw & selected stories and essays

Rudyard Kipling, “The Man Who Would Be King” & other stories

Thomas Hardy, The Mayor of Casterbridge, The Woodlanders, The Well- Beloved, & selected stories

Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness, Lord Jim, and selected stories


ENG 651: Studies in Nineteenth-Century American Literature: Bodies of Thought: Mind and Body in Nineteenth-Century           American Literature
Dr. Matthew Rebhorn
W 5-8pm

          In nineteenth-century America, there was a tremendous amount of debate about the relationship between the mind and the body, debates often advanced by the scientific and medical communities.  Some physicians stole bodies from graves to perform autopsies and bled patients to discover the causes of disease, while others prescribed drinking water or sleeping in drafty rooms to maintain the health of the body.  At the core of these debates was a contest about whether the mind controlled the body, or the body had a “mind” of its own.  This course takes up these debates not only in and of themselves, but also in the way they affected the kinds of literature being produced in this period.  In reading well-known texts by Emerson, Poe, Melville, and Whitman, against lesser known texts about grave robbing, racial miscegenation, phantom limbs, and neurosis, we will see how these debates inflected what authors chose to explore and, even more importantly, how they chose to write about these events.  What this course ultimately hopes to reveal, therefore, is not only how nineteenth-century American literature reacted to the mind/body debate, but also how these works became American literature by taking up this debate.  


ENG 675: Reading and Research. 3 credits. Supervised reading and research in a particular topic or field. Admission by permission of the Director of Graduate studies; may not be repeated.

ENG 698: Comprehensive Continuance. 1 credit. Continued preparation for the comprehensive examinations. May be repeated as needed.

ENG 699: Thesis Continuance. 2 credits. Continued study, research and writing for the thesis. May be repeated as needed.

ENG 700: Thesis. 6 credits.Six credits taken over two consecutive semesters. Graded on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory (S/U) basis.

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