Spring 2013 Graduate Course Offerings and Descriptions

Recent course offerings:Fall 2010, Spring 2011, Fall 2011, Spring 2012, Fall 2012


 


ENG 501: Professional Seminar in College Composition
Dr. Angela Crow
0001 TT 12:30-1:45

          Professional Seminar in College Composition is a course for students who want to teach writing, who want better to understand the ways that teachers teach writing, and even for those who want better to understand writing instruction from the students’ perspective. By interweaving the study of the theoretical underpinnings of writing pedagogy with practical application activities, students will not only learn effective pedagogical strategies, which they will be able to practice in the classroom, but they will also learn the reasons that those strategies work. While this course is required of all teaching assistants before their first semester teaching, it can also provide students with tools better to understand their own writing instruction.


English 512: Special Topics Seminar: Edgar Allan Poe*
Dr. Jean Cash
M/W 2:30-3:45

          The course will focus on Poe's genuius and versatility with the aim of proving that Poe, far from being an eccentric literary dillettante, was an important writer in his own time and a major influence on later US literature. Graduate students will teach one of his short stories and one of his major poems, write a review of a recent (since 2000) study of his work, and produce a 3000 word seminar paper as well as being involved as an active leader of class discussion.

*Note: Enrollment in this course requires the permission of the Director of Graduate Studies and the Professor


ENG 608: Textuality. The Unfinished American Novel
Dr. Allison Fagan
W 5:00-8:00PM

          In this course we will explore the phenomenon of the 20th- and 21st-century unfinished American novel.  What happens when an author dies before finishing a work?  Often the book is forever unfinished, and perhaps even published in its incomplete form.  But far more often editors and other writers take over, working to complete the text.  The frequent occurrence of posthumous editing in American literature gives us an opportunity to think through some of the philosophies of critical editing, asking how an author’s intentions can be satisfied – and whether or not they need to be – when he or she is no longer around to tell us what those intentions are. We’ll also reflect on some fundamental questions about the shape books take once editors and writers set out to complete these unfinished works: what can the various posthumous editing projects of the 20th and 21st century tell us about the responsibility editors feel toward an author’s text?  Who is responsible for finishing the work?  What philosophy of the text does the editor subscribe to, and how does his or her editing of the text demonstrate that philosophy?  Does the posthumously edited book belong to the author, or somebody else?  How do audiences react to these completed books?  And who has final say over when the book is complete?  Throughout our conversations, we will pay special attention to the way race, class, gender, and sexuality shape the possibilities for posthumous publication.  Course requirements will include an in-class presentation, short essays, and a graduate level research project. 

          Possible authors for this course may include F. Scott Fitzgerald, Edith Wharton, James Agee, Ralph Ellison, Dorothy L. Sayers, James Jones, Truman Capote, Jovita González, Ernest Hemingway, Chester Himes, Shirley Jackson, Vladimir Nabokov, and David Foster Wallace.

          Alongside these writers we will consider texts relating to various philosophies of scholarly editing, including those of Greg-Bowers-Tanselle, McGann, Shillingsburg, and McKenzie, as well as current scholarship on book history.

English 615: Studies in Medieval Literature. Houses of Fame: World-Building and Identity-Making in Medieval Dream Visions
Dr. Dabney Bankert
T 5-8pm

          In 2001 Ruth Evans described Geoffrey Chaucer’s House of Fame as “a poem obsessed by late medieval technologies of memory and archiving. It projects,” she explains, “a series of powerful imaginative visions of types of recording apparatus and their nightmarish others: the engravings in Venus’s temple, the ice-rock foundation, Fame’s rumbling House, the fantastic whirling twiggy structure that stands below it. And it probes the interrelations between these memorial and recording technologies and Chaucer’s own production as an embodied subject: a man of letters haunted by auctorite.” This seminar will take up the complex problem of medieval theories of literary fame, reputation, memory, and transmission. The centerpiece will be Chaucer’s surreal poetic tour de force, House of Fame. As he explores so we will explore – the authors and texts invoked, their canonical positions (in the poem and as rewritten by Chaucer, in the Middle Ages, and in the postmodern academy); the sociological implications of fame worked out in the poem’s classifications and hierarchies;  the extent to which the poem is or is not indebted to, a mockery of, or a riff on Dante’s Divine Comedy; and its bizarre reception history fueled by a critical impasse over how to read let alone assess a literary experiment of such complexity. The
poem has defied critical consensus of any kind, even on the question of whether or not it is finished; indeed, one critic claimed it to be both full of “right, great understanding,” and utterly incomprehensible. It is ironic, that as the least known, and least studied, and least understood of all the works in Chaucer’s corpus, the poem interrogates the very mechanisms by which literary fame is achieved, lost, transformed.  In this context we will consider other dream visions that experiment with world-building and identity: the Old Irish Vision of Tnugdal; the Old English Dream of the Rood, Christ and Satan and some of the stranger saints lives that use the dream vision form; the Middle English Pearl and Winner and Waster, as well as possibly, part of Piers Plowman. We will also read criticism on and contemporary reviews of these texts, discussions of the dream vision as a literary form, and sociological and cultural analyses of fame and literary reputation.

  
English 640: Studies in Nineteenth-Century British Literature: Romantic Literature
Dr. Katey Castellano
M 5-8pm

          This survey course of British Romanticism will address the theme of the commons. Commons are public resources or intergenerational “gifts” that belong to a group of people.  The Romantic period coincides with the financial, agricultural, and industrial revolutions, all of which change established configurations of wealth, local communities, and traditional cultures.  We will analyze the efficacy of Romantic literature as a kind of active “commoning” that seeks to restore a sense of dependence on cultural traditions while exposing modern individualism as a fiction. The first part of the course will examine the commons of traditional myths and literary forms from which William Blake creates his prophetic texts and Wordsworth and Coleridge compose their Lyrical Ballads.  A little later, the enclosure of common land generates the poetry of John Clare and the political writings of William Cobbett.  The second section of the course will consider the influence of the expanding British empire in Maria Edgeworth’s Castle Rackrent, Thomas De Quincey’s Confessions of an English Opium Eater, John Polidori’s The Vampyre, E.T.A. Hoffmann’s “The Sandman,” and Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and The Last Man. These texts reflect acute anxiety about the contagion of physical disease and/or social degradation, which after colonial contact become a type of commons that spreads against the will of its recipients. The course reading will be supplemented by critical essays that approach Romanticism from ecocritical, feminist, post-colonial, and economic perspectives.

Required course texts:
Blake, William.  Blake’s Poetry and Designs (Norton Critical: 9780393924985)
Clare, John.  Major Works (Oxford: 9780199549795)
De Quincey, Thomas.  Confessions of an English Opium Eater (Penguin: 0140439013)
Edgeworth, Maria.  Castle Rackrent (Oxford: 9780199537556)
Shelley, Mary.  Frankenstein, 1818 text (Oxford: 9780199537150)
Shelley, Mary.  The Last Man (Broadview:1551110768)
Wordsworth and Coleridge. Lyrical Ballads, 1798-1800 (Broadview: 97815511160006)

Optional course texts:
Hoffmann, E.T.A.  Tales of E.T.A. Hoffmann (University of Chicago Press: 0226347893)
Polidori, John.  The Vampyre and Ernestus Berchtold (Broadview: 9781551117454)

Additional required materials will be made available via Blackboard or e-reserves. 


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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