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ENG 608: Textuality. The Unfinished American Novel 
Dr. Allison Fagan 
Spring 2017, Tuesday 5:00-8:00PM, Keezell 307

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.


ENG 612: Literature and the Anthropocene 
Dr. Katey Castellano
Spring 2017, Thursday 5-7:45pm, Keezell 307

Both science and the humanities are using the category of the Anthropocene, which means “the era of humans,” to convey the idea that humans are now global agents that have altered the chemical composition of the climate and oceans, changed the direction of every major river, and precipitated the mass extinction of other species. This course will investigate how literary and cultural studies has taken up the idea of the Anthropocene. Former concepts that dominated environmental writing—such as nature appreciation, wilderness preservation, and pastoral harmony—no longer resonate with contemporary conditions, and writers are attempting to depict the vast temporal and spatial scales of anthropogenic ecological change. For example, the new genre of “cli-fi” or climate fiction endeavors to imagine multispecies survival within speculative global futures. Contemporary poets have engaged in activism, reading poetry before the United Nations and other world forums in order to convey the despair of being born into an irrevocably damaged world. Literary texts further point out the neocolonialism and racism that allows the unequal distribution of environmental degradation. At the same time, writers have turned more optimistically towards emergent theories of resilience and traditional ecological knowledge in the wake of the “end of nature.” 

Readings will include critical texts by Dipesh Chakravarty, Amitav Ghosh, Donna Haraway, Ursula Heise, Bruno Latour, Rob Nixon, Michel Serres, and Anna L. Tsing. Likely literary texts include poetry and prose by Chantal Bilodeau, Barbara Gowdy, Robert Hass, Linda Hogan, Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner, Ian McEwan, Naomi Oreskes, Julianna Spahr, and Jeanette Winterson. 


ENG 645: Studies in 20th- and 21st-Century British Literature, "Modernist Narratives" 
Dr. Siân White

Wednesday 5-7:45pm, Keezell 307

This course explores British and Irish literature from the rise of high modernism through the beginnings of its decline, considering the relationship between literary modernism and the sometimes competing historical and cultural conceptions of modernity. We will interrogate a seeming tension between historical situatedness and the autonomy of the work of art, considering especially modernists’ formal experiments with traditional generic parameters. Our analyses of the literary documents themselves will be bolstered by a grounding in the non-fiction essays and manifestos of artists at the time, and informed by a study of the concepts, vocabularies and methodologies of narrative theory. 


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.

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