Fall 2016 Graduate Course Offerings and Descriptions

Recent course offerings:Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Spring 2016


 

ENG 600: Research Methods
Dr. Brooks Hefner (hefnerbe@jmu.edu)
Tuesday 5-8pm

          Introduction to research and writing in the discipline for beginning graduate students. Advanced training in research methods and citation, in critical analysis and scholarly writing, and in disciplinary history and the workings of the academy. Required for all Master of Arts students in their first semester.

*****

ENG 608: Textuality. Renaissance Humanism and the Book Trade in England, 1476-1557
Dr. Mark Rankin (rankinmc@jmu.edu)
Monday 5-8 pm

          This graduate seminar will focus upon the intersections of Renaissance Humanism and the book trade, both in England and on the European continent. We will study the years spanned by William Caxton’s establishment of the first printing press in England (1476) and the formal reorganization of the Stationers’ Company, England’s book trade guild, under a royal charter in 1557. Issues under consideration may include the technology of printing via moveable type; the nature of Renaissance humanism as an intellectual movement; how humanists read, edited, produced, and consumed classical writings; royal and mercantile patronage of humanist poets and scholars; humanist textual cultures at the English royal court; the production of humanist books in manuscript scriptoria and printing houses; the habits of such books’ earliest readers; ways in which humanists and printers shaped the material book as a vehicle to support intellectual content; patterns of importing and distributing foreign books in England; production trends in domestic printing; royal and aristocratic book collecting; the formation of book collections and private libraries; print culture and authorship; audiences, literacies, and the material text; illicit printing and book smuggling; censorship; periodization and (inter)disciplinary methodological issues; and more.

          In addressing such questions, our discussions will coalesce around the overlapping careers of printers, authors, publishers, booksellers, readers, textual editors, and scholars. Our shared emphasis on individual books will stress their material nature in early printed editions; the economic and historical contexts of their production and initial reception; and the ways in which they reflect upon or depart from the general humanist programme.

Texts (in English translation) may include a selection from
Desiderius Erasmus, Encomium Moriae; Enchiridion militis christiani; Colloquies; Adages (selections); Education of a Christian Prince, Antibarbari, De copia, et cetera
Thomas More, Utopia; Translations of Lucian; Latin Poems;
Johannes Trithemius, In Praise of Scribes
Ovid, Metamorphoses (trans. William Caxton)
Sebastian Brant, The ship of fools, trans.Alexander Barclay
Alexander Barclay, Eclogues
Sallust, Jugurthine War, trans. Alexander Barclay
Stephen Hawes, The Pastime of Pleasure
Course packet of secondary readings

          Requirements will include one in-seminar presentation, co-leading of seminar discussion of a selected scholarly article, two short response papers, a review of a scholarly monograph, data-entry bibliographical project on the career of a prominent humanist printer (shared work among all members of seminar), and a formal research project.

*****

ENG 612: Topics in Theory and Cultural Studies. Postcolonial Dissensus and Literary Form
Dr. David Babcock (babcocdj@jmu.edu
Thursday 5-8 pm
           

          This course explores literary, critical, and theoretical approaches to dissensus in postcolonial contexts. British imperialism was known for its “divide and rule” strategy as it sought to maintain control over its overseas colonies. This meant cultivating division and conflict between different groups within these colonies, in order to play them off of one another. As a consequence, after independence the new postcolonial nations found themselves facing extraordinary challenges as they sought to move beyond the ethnic, socioeconomic, and political rifts that were left behind by the colonial governments—many of which have resulted in ethnic persecution, civil wars, and even genocides.

          “Dissensus” describes the situation when different parts of a society are incomprehensible to one another—as fellow citizens, as rational agents, sometimes even as fully human beings. Dissensus raises a number of essential questions for democratizing movements: How can excluded, disenfranchised, invisible peoples make themselves heard on the political stage, and have their voices make a difference? What do we actually talk about when we talk about “the people”? How important is the work of artists and writers in maintaining a functioning democracy? Taking up recent aesthetic theories that deal with art’s relationship to political dissensus and social visibility, we will examine the formal strategies postcolonial literatures have used to make different fragments of society visible and comprehensible to one another. Likely authors may include Salman Rushdie, Arundhati Roy, J. M. Coetzee, Zoe Wicomb, Ngugi wa Thiong’o, Nuruddin Farah, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, and M NourbeSe Philip.

*****

ENG 650: Studies in Early American Literature. The Native Presence in Early American Literature
Dr. Laura Henigman (henigmlx@jmu.edu)
Wednesday 5-8 pm

 

          In 1629 the Massachusetts Bay Colony adopted as its symbol a picture of an Indian with a scroll coming out of his mouth, reading “Come over and help us.” The seal well illustrates how colonial European powers attended to the voice of the Indian from the earliest days of their interest in the American continent, ventriloquizing that voice in their own interest and according to their own textual conventions. The urgent need in early American studies right now is to examine closely that process of ventriloquization and to hear and study voices that responded to that process from a different place.  Accordingly, this semester we will examine the presence of indigenous Americans in the early periods of contact on the North American continent, both as represented in European-authored texts and as created in the writings of indigenous people themselves. Restated more simply, in critical terms, we will consider the impact that Native American studies currently has on our study of early American literature. We will look at some classic European-authored texts such as captivity narratives, missionary literature, and Enlightenment naturalist writing, attending to the ways they’ve been positioned within Anglo-centered paradigms of early American literature as well as how native American literary study may raise different questions about them. We’ll spend most of our time, however, studying Native American writing in the contact zone, examining theories of authorship, literacy, and print culture that emerge from both early American and Native American studies. Native American figures of study may include Black Hawk, Hendrick Aupaumut, William Apess, Samson Occam, Elias Boudinot, Sequoyah, Sarah Winnemucca Hopkins, and others.  If we have time, we’ll close with a look at some more contemporary Native American literature, to suggest ways in which our close study of early American literacies and cultural contact may inform twentieth-century studies as well. 

*****

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.



 
.
James Madison University JMU English Department
Keezell Room 215
P: 540-568-6170
F: 540-568-2983

JMU Web Privacy Statement

© James Madison University Department of English - All Rights Reserved