Cover Photo Image

ENG 602: Contemporary Critical Theory
Dr. Katey Castellano
T 5-8pm

          According to Terry Eagleton, “Literature, in the meaning of the word we have inherited,is an ideology. It has the most intimate relations to questions of social power.” Following Eagleton’s lead, our class will interrogate the political and ideological structures that lead to the formation of English literature as a discipline, and we will also become acquainted with the various theoretical methodologies that English scholars use, including deconstruction, Marxism, feminism, queer studies, postcolonial/race theory, and ecocriticism/animal studies.


ENG 662: Studies in 20th- and 21st- Century Literature of the United States: Ethnic Postmodernism
Dr. Allison Fagan
Th 5-8pm

          When we think of American literary postmodernism, we might be likely to think of Don DeLillo. David Foster Wallace.  Pynchon. Burroughs.  Eggers. Gaddis, Nabokov, et cetera.  Of course, postmodern American writing is more diverse than this group of “big names” would suggest.  But of postmodernism, bell hooks writes, “I approach the subject cautiously and with suspicion.” What about the subject – emphasis on that word “subject” – of postmodernism generates such caution and suspicion for writers of color? What is the relationship of ethnic American writers to the practice of literary postmodernism? How do they influence, and how are they influenced by, this tidal shift in the theory and practice of making American literature?  We’ll use these questions and others to generate an understanding of how and where ethnic-identified postmodern American literature makes a space for itself. 

          Authors to be discussed will include Toni Morrison, Oscar Zeta Acosta, Maxine Hong Kingston, Salvador Plascencia, Junot Díaz, Toni Cade Bambara, Sandra Cisneros, Sherman Alexie, Hak Kyung Cha, Alfredo Véa, Percival Everett, Sesshu Foster, and Mario Alberto Zambrano. Students can expect to contribute short annotative essays and an article-length essay, to visit and work with artist’s books housed in JMU’s Special Collections, and to participate in a conference-style roundtable.


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.

Back to Top