ENG 512: Magical Realism and Women Writers
Dr. Mary Thompson
English 512: Larry Brown and his Literary Idols*
Dr. Jean Cash
Larry Brown (1951-2004) was one of the first of a “new” development among contemporary Southern writers: he was arguably the most original of the “Rough South” writers who began their careers in the last 1980s. Primarily self-taught, Brown learned from the writers he idolized, among them Faulkner, Flannery O’Connor, Harry Crews, and Cormac McCarthy. The class will begin with “The Bear,” by Faulkner, several short stories by O’Connor, A Feast of Snakes by Harry Crews, and Suttree by Cormac McCarthy. This novel was Brown’s favorite through out his life. After reading these works, the class will concentrate on fiction by Brown himself, including selected short stories from Facing the Music and Big Bad Love and his major novels: Dirty Work, Joe, Father and Son, and Fay. Undergraduate students in the class will write four formal papers, a research article, and be responsible for various presentations. Graduate students will write longer versions of the formal papers, produce a twenty-page conference paper, write a book review, and teach one of the stories (by either O’Connor or Brown) and one of his novels.
*Note: Enrollment in this course requires the permission of the Director of Graduate Studies and the Professor
ENG 600: Research Methods
Dr. Dabney Bankert
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:
Semenza, Gregory Colón. Graduate Study for the 21st Century: How to Build an Academic Career in the Humanities.
2nd ed. Palgrave Macmillan, 2010. ISBN978-0-230-10033-6.
Kelemen, Erick. Textual Editing and Criticism. New York: Norton, 2009. ISBN 978-0-393-92942-3.
Literary texts and critical articles to be determined.
English 620: Studies in Renaissance and Early Modern Literature. Elizabethan and Jacobean Drama
Dr. Marina Favila
A poet paints with words; a painter, with his brush; a sculptor, with his chisel. These artists present their audience with a perfect text: one that can be experienced over and over again, but never changed. That is not to say the reader or viewer is locked into the same response each time she reads Paradise Lost, contemplates the Mona Lisa’s smile, or wonders at the height of David. But the art form itself remains the same—carved in stone, so to speak.
Drama, however, is live. The playwright paints with breath and bone, and his art dies in the very process of creation. Though a play may be read, the reader can never forget that she fingers a skeleton as she turns each page. A character’s expression, movement, speech, pause must be continuously imagined, for stage directions are often kept at a minimum. Given that, the first goal of this class is to teach the student how to read drama: to visualize the play as production; to analyze the interaction between actor and audience (especially in the Renaissance, when stage directions were rare); to recognize that--regardless of the author’s intent--the theatrical moment is rife with change, as its medium is the human being.
The second goal of this course is to help the student analyze Elizabethan and Jacobean Drama within a literary and historical context. Traditionally, the Renaissance has been heralded as the birth of the modern world; a celebration of the human form as it usurps the Middle Age's dutiful focus on the divine; a restlessness, marked by the desire to discover new worlds, new ways of worship, and new words. The dramatists of England's Golden Age, e.g., Shakespeare, Marlowe, Jonson, Webster, et al. embrace this sweeping definition of the Renaissance with ambitious and passionate plays, but their works also owe a debt to earlier English religious drama, specifically the morality play. English 620 will analyze 16th and 17th century plays in terms of their precursors: the morality play and Senecan revenge tragedy.
Some assignments will be flexible to meet the needs of the individual graduate student. A mini-conference will be held at the end of the course, to help those students interested in PhD programs (and possibly to work on panel proposals for the spring College English Association conference in Atlanta). Those interested in pedagogy will be given the opportunity to teach in the undergraduate Liz-Jac Drama course; this is optional, not required. We will see at least two play productions outside of class, including Webster's The Duchess of Malfi at the Blackfriars Playhouse.
English 645: Studies in 20th- and 21st-Century British Literature. “Autonomous Selfhood, Under Threat: Alienation
in British and Irish Modernism”
Dr. Sian White
This course will examine the link between literary modernism and the individual’s experience of modernity, focusing especially on the ostensibly universal or pervasive condition of alienation. At the heart of the subject is a curious modernist paradox: that the profound sense of alienation is a condition individuals have in common, or, conversely, that the only unifying feature of the experience of modernity is one’s isolation and profound loneliness. As a class we will take up the following primary questions: What are the causes or sources of this alienation? Can the pervasiveness of that sense of alienation be said to create a sort of community, which thereby ameliorates isolation itself?
Continuing lines of inquiry will include interrogating the narratives themselves: about the autonomy of the self, the experience of modernity, the pervasiveness of alienation, and the role of literary modernism in not only reflecting or responding to modernity but also generating and exacerbating the sense of alienation. Literary texts for the course might include works by Wyndham Lewis, James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, Ford Maddox Ford, Gertrude Stein, Jane Bowles, Christopher Isherwood, Jean Rhys. Theoretical texts under consideration might include writings by such thinkers as Karl Marx, Georg Simmel, Sigmund Freud, Friedrich Nietzsche, Fredric Jameson, Benedict Anderson, Rita Felski, Theodore Adorno, Raymond Williams, Hannah Arendt. Students will be expected to give a presentation and submit a final graduate-length research project on a related topic.
English 650: Studies in Early American Literature. The Native Presence in Early American Literature.
Dr. Laura Henigman
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 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 forms of 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 novel by Louise Erdrich to suggest ways in which our close study of early American literacies and cultural contact may inform twentieth-century studies as well.
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.