Fall 2011 Graduate Course Offerings and Descriptions

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English 600: Research Methods
Dr. Dabney Bankert
Tuesday 5:00-8:00PM

          Advanced Training in the use of scholarly materials, procedures and techniques, including scholarly writing and computer-based library and research technology, for graduate-level work. (Required for all Master of Arts students in their first semester.) English 600 is an introduction to graduate studies in English, specifically to bibliographic research and methods, to academic writing, and to the various categories of scholarship in which literary critics engage. It is also an introduction to graduate school and to the fundamental and important distinctions between undergraduate- and graduate-level scholarly research and writing. These distinctions are rather sharper than might feel initially comfortable, but intellectual progress is rarely comfortable and a certain sense of dislocation is inevitable. You will learn how to do research on a number of levels, how to locate and assess research sources for various types of scholarly problems, how to develop and refine such problems; in short, how to ask good questions and how to go about answering them productively, rigorously, and eloquently. The course is designed to provide the tools essential to progressing in content courses.

Exact editions indicated are required
Harner, James L., ed. Literary Research Guide:  An Annotated Listing of Reference Sources in English Literary Studies. 5th           ed. MLA, 2008.
The MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing, 3d edition. New York: MLA, May 2008. ISBN: 978-0-87352-297-7
Semenza, Gregory Colón. Graduate Study for the 21st Century: How to Build an Academic Career in the Humanities. 2d ed.           Palgrave Macmillan, 2010. ISBN: 978-0-230-10033-6
Kelemen, Erick. Textual Editing and Criticism. New York: Norton, 2009. ISBN: 978-0-393-92942-3. (This is in hardcover, but           I’m hoping a paperback version will come out before fall.)
At least one other to be determined.

English 602: Contemporary Critical Theory
Dr. Katey Castellano
Thursday 4:00-7:00PM

Topic: Environmental and Animal Studies

          This course will survey critical theory as it addresses the topics of environmental and animal studies. For many years, literary eco-criticism was guided by place-based, eco-mimetic approaches to the environment. During the past 10 years, the field of eco-criticism has exploded to include deconstructive, post-colonial, queer, and cosmopolitan approaches to literature. At the same time, the field of animal studies has been growing, culminating in March 2009 edition of PMLA that addressed the field from a variety of theoretical perspectives. This course will survey the development of both fields, by first addressing environmental and animal studies texts that were written avant la lettre such as Raymond Williams’ The Country and the City and Carol J. Adams The Sexual Politics of Meat; then we will survey the growth and development of critical theory as it relates to these fields. Finally we will critically evaluate why environmental and animal studies have remained separate and formulate possibilities for sundering the fields together. In that spirit, we will end the course with a brief foray into post-humanism.  

Course readings may include:
Raymond Williams, The Country and the City
Laurence Buell, The Future of Environmental Criticism
Luc Ferry, The New Ecological Order
Michel Serres, The Natural Contract
Jonathan Bate, The Song of the Earth
Timothy Morton, The Ecological Thought
Ursula Heise, Sense of Place and Sense of Planet
Huggan and Tiffin, Postcolonial Ecocriticism
Carol J. Adams, The Sexual Politics of Meat
John Berger, About Looking
Jacques Derrida, The Animal that Therefore I Am
Donna Haraway, When Species Meet
Cary Wolfe, ed. Zoontologies: The Question of the Animal
Giorgio Agamben, The Open
Nigel Rothfels, Representing Animals
PMLA special edition on Animal Studies 124.2 (March 2009)
Cary Wolfe, What is Post-Humanism?

English 645: Studies 20th- and 21st-Century British Literature: Writing Scotland
Dr. Annette Federico
Monday 5:00-8:00PM

          The course is designed as an overview of Scottish fiction (with some drama and film) from Romanticism to the present. Although nation and identity will be central to our reading, we will also be interested in discussing the problems and politics of language and “minority literature,” the uses of history, religion, and geography in Scottish fiction, the persistence of Tartan myths and contemporary innovations in genre, style, and form, constructions of gender and class, and Scottish migrations into other cultures and traditions.

          Possible texts include fiction by Sir Walter Scott, James Hogg, Robert Louis Stevenson, George Douglas Brown, John Buchan, Lewis Grassic Gibbon, Muriel Spark, Jessie Kesson, Alasdair Gray, James Kelman, A. L. Kennedy, Janice Galloway, James Robertson, Irvine Welsh, Ann Donovan, Louise Welsh, and Ali Smith. We may also consider drama by Liz Lochhead, Gregory Burke, and John McGrath; and the films Local Hero (John Forsyth, dir.) and Trainspotting (Danny Boyle, dir.).

English 651: Studies in 19th-Century American Literature
Dr. Matthew Rebhorn
Wednesday 5:00-8:00PM

          In 1945, Harvard Professor F. O. Matthiessen coined the term “American Renaissance” to describe a set of authors including Emerson, Thoreau, Hawthorne, Melville, and Whitman, who embodied, for him, the real “origins” of American Literature—a “re-birth” from previous representations. While the term is still used to describe the florescence of literary creativity in antebellum America, we will be reading Matthiessen and the authors he singled out against the grain in an effort to understand not only why he dubbed the term “American Renaissance” when he did, but also how the authors he chose necessarily problematize the notions of “Americanness” that he takes for granted. We will spend time reading the major works of each writer, as well as exploring these artists’ other essays, political writings, and short fiction in an effort to discover the way the issues of race, gender, sexual preference, class, and religion both illuminate and complicate what it means for this to be an American Renaissance. 

English 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.

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

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

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

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