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Fall 2020 English Graduate Courses and Descriptions


ENG 600: Research Methods
Dr. Brooks Hefner
TU 5:00 PM-8:00 PM
Introduction to research and writing in the discipline for beginning graduate students. Advanced training in research methods and citation, in critical analysis and scholarly writing, and in the disciplinary history and the workings of the academy. Required for all Master of Arts students in their first semester. 


ENG 612: Narrative, Fiction, and the Form of the Novel: Theories and Histories
Dr. Heidi Pennington
M 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Combining a formalist approach to the study of narrative with a genre-studies approach to the history of the novel, this course will dive deeply into debates about the origins, structures, interpretive possibilities, and social lives of novelistic narratives from the eighteenth century to the present. How do the definitions, histories, and structures of “narrative,” “fiction,” and the “novel” overlap, intersect, and conflict? How do these categories operate to shape some of our literary and intellectual landscapes today? Most of the literary and theoretical works assigned in our course explore these questions from predominantly Anglophone, American, and/or European intellectual contexts; but students will have the opportunity to work beyond those (fluid) boundaries in some assignments. Readings will include extensive engagement with theoretical texts. We will conduct close-readings of theory and of a variety of novels and novellas, including works by Samuel Richardson, Charlotte Bronte, and Margaret Atwood, among others.


ENG 645:
Postcolonial Ireland in the long 20th century
Dr. Sian White
TH 5:00 PM-7:45 PM

 And in spite of everything, Ireland remains the brain of the Kingdom. The English, judiciously practical and ponderous, furnish the over-stuffed stomach of humanity with a perfect gadget--the water closet. The Irish, condemned to express themselves in a language not their own, have stamped on it the mark of their own genius and compete for glory with the civilized nations. This is then called English literature.
 – James Joyce

 This course explores “British Literature” in the context of the postcolonial turn in Irish studies. Though long claimed for a British or cosmopolitan modernism, many works by the most canonical Irish modernists – such as WB Yeats, James Joyce, Elizabeth Bowen and Samuel Beckett – nevertheless bear the specific markers of Irish nationalist and anti-colonial politics. The Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1921 brought the promise of a partial independence that was predicated on the partition of the island, leaving nationalists in the North to continue an anti-colonial campaign that, in some ways, continues to this day. The Irish border marking that partition has received significant attention since the Brexit referendum in 2016 (and the subsequent departure of the United Kingdom from the European Union in January 2020) threatened to reconstitute a ‘hard’ border after a period of relative peace in Northern Ireland (since the 1998 Good Friday Agreement). We will read fiction, poetry and plays from the modernist period to the near present, drawing on postcolonial theorists such as Edward Said, Declan Kiberd, Seamus Deane, Jahan Ramazani, and Emer Nolan.


ENG 662-0001: Studies in 20th-21st-Century U.S. Literature: Documenting the Undocumented in U.S. Latinx Literature
Dr. Allison Fagan
W 5:00 PM-8:00 PM
The figure of the undocumented immigrant – the alien, the illegal immigrant, the unauthorized worker – looms large in the political landscape of the United States, even as the identities of those undocumented immigrants frequently and even necessarily remain confined to the shadows. But U.S. Latina/o/x writers have long documented the undocumented through fiction, nonfiction, poetry, film, and song. In this course we will study some of these works, and we will ask, what does it mean to be documented, to have papers? In a literal sense? In a literary sense? Why and how should we tell these stories? And who has the right to tell them? Focusing our attention on the Latina/o/x experience will only begin to uncover the full picture of what it means to be undocumented in the United States, but it will point us in important directions. Alongside questions of justice and injustice we will place questions of metaphor and materiality, thinking through the implications of the power of text and of documents to define and redefine one’s identity. We will explore short fiction, novels, memoirs, films, and essays that complicate our understanding of what it means to be a border-crosser, an unaccompanied minor, and a deportee, as well as to be in search of or to offer sanctuary, freedom, and home. 

Students can expect to complete short presentations, weekly written reflections, and analyses of artist’s books focused on the topic of documentation. The culminating project, a “born digital” essay, will combine researched analysis with the tools of digital mapping.

 

   

 

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