Department of English, College of LAS, University of Illinois

Fall 2014

Graduate Studies in English

Spring 2014 Course Descriptions

400- and 500-Level Literature Courses

402 1U/1G DESCRIPTIVE ENGLISH GRAMMAR, Prior.  MW 2-3:15  (32124)

         same as BTW 402

         Area Requirement: None

This course introduces descriptive approaches to analyzing English language and language practices. We will consider traditional and modern systems for describing English grammar, relationships between talk and text, the nature of registers and dialects, interaction of visual and linguistic dimensions of texts, approaches to grammar instruction, and language practices in everyday environments. Course requirements include reading; inquiry-oriented projects that will be either written up or presented orally; informal writing in-class or at home; two analysis papers; two tests; and a final reflection essay.


TEXTS:     Kersti Börjars and Kate Burridge, Introducing English Grammar (Routledge, 2nd Edition, 2010), Deborah Tannen, Talking Voices: Repetition, Dialogue, and Imagery in Conversational Discourse (Cambridge University Press, 2nd edition, 2007); and readings on e-reserve or online.


404 U3/G4 ENGL GRAMMAR FOR ESL TEACHERS, Davidson.  MWF 2 (43879)

         same as EIL 422

         Area Requirement: None

Adaptation of modern English grammar to meet the needs of the ESL/EFL teacher, with special emphasis on the development of knowledge and skills that can be used in the analysis of the syntax, lexis and pragmatics of English.


411 1U/1G CHAUCER, C. Wright.  TUTH 9:30-10:45 (32131)

         same as MDVL 411

         Area Requirement:  British, Beginning to 1485 and MFA Literature

This course will focus on Chaucer’s literary career before The Canterbury Tales, when he wrote his delightful dream visions as well as his masterpiece, the great romance Troilus and Crisyede.  Chaucer’s earliest poems all recount vivid dreams that instruct the dreamer and the reader about life, death, and the deep blue sea, but mostly about love:  The Book of the Duchess, a meditation on the psychology of grief and consolation in the form of a dialogue between the dreamer and a disconsolate knight who can bear to speak of his loss only in metaphors; The House of Fame, a guided tour of earthly fame and literary history, conducted by a talkative eagle; The Parliament of Fowls, a comic allegory of spiritual and carnal love staged as a Valentine’s Day gathering of birds, presided over by the goddess Nature; and The Legend of Good Women, an object lesson about women for the benefit of Chaucer himself, ostensibly to make amends for his portrayal of the unfaithful lover Crisyede in Troilus and Crisyede.  One of the glories of medieval literature, Troilus and Criseyde tells the tragic story of two lovers—a prince and a widow—trapped by the shifting fortunes of the Trojan War and by their own fateful choices.  Troilus gets right to the core of how we make moral judgments:  not just how we make them for and about ourselves, but how we make them for and about others. 

          Ye knowe ek that in forme of speche is chaunge / Withinne a thousand yeer (“You know also that in form of speech is change / Within a thousand years”).  To read this line in Chaucer’s Middle English, you only need to get used to some old spellings and learn that Ye is Modern English “You” (as in “God Rest Ye Merry Gentelmen”) and that ek means “also.”  We’ll be using editions that give the Modern English for every word you might not immediately recognize in the margin, right next to each line.  Just imagine what you’d lose if you read Shakespeare in Modern English translation, and what you gain from reading it in the original.  Same goes for Chaucer, except that Chaucer’s lines are often easier to read than Shakespeare’s.


TEXTS:     Geoffrey Chaucer:  Dream Visions and Other Poems, A Norton Critical Edition, ed. Karthryn L. Lynch; Geoffrey Chaucer:  Troilus and Criseyde, A Norton Critical Edition, ed. Stephen A. Barney


418 1U/1G SHAKESPEARE, Gray.  TUTH 9:30-10:45 (54465)

         Area Requirement:  British, 1485-1660 and MFA Literature

This course aims to introduce you to Shakespeare’s plays, from Richard III to Much Ado About Nothing. We will explore Shakespeare’s growing versatility in range of dramatic genres—comedy, tragedy, and the “problem plays”—and investigate the development of his poetic skill, focusing on language alongside plot and character. We will think about his plays both as historical artifacts produced within a specific context and as living texts that continue to be performed today. We will therefore intertwine multiple methods in our analysis of these texts, engaging in close reading of his dramatic verse (which is, after all, often poetry), analyzing historical background and contemporary critical articles (to situate Shakespeare both within his historical time period and within present day critical debates), and performing key scenes. Throughout, we will focus on the way Shakespeare’s plays foreground the theme of acting and performance in order to explore issues of identity and disguise, gender hierarchy and social order, sexual identity, political power and nation-formation.


428 1U/1G BRITISH DRAMA 1660-1800, Markley.  TUTH 11-12:15 (32158)

         Area Requirement:  British, 1660-1800 and MFA Literature

This course will cover some of the major works in British drama written between 1660 and 1720.  We will pay particular attention to the social, cultural, political, and economic contexts of theatrical performance, and we will discuss the major issues that find on their way onto the London stage: sexual morality, the role of women in a patrilineal society, and the problems of empire, trade, and colonialism.  Because the Restoration period (1660-1700) featured the popular and critical success of women dramatists, notably Aphra Behn and Susan Centlivre, and we will devote a good deal of attention to the ways in which these playwrights appropriated the conventions of the seemingly antifeminist genres of wit comedy.  In addition to these women dramatists, we will read and discuss plays by George Etherege, John Dryden, William Wycherley, Thomas Otway, Thomas Shadwell, William Congreve, and Susan Centlivre. There will be two papers of critical analysis, a midterm, and a final examination. 

          A word of caution (or perhaps inducement): the comedy of the period is often explicitly sexual, and seduction, adultery, and libertine critiques of religion are commonplace.   The tragedies we will read include scenes of torture, incest, and general bloodletting. 


441 1U/1G BRITISH LIT 1900-1930, Mahaffey.  TUTH 2-3:15 (39271)

         Area Requirement:  British, 1900 to Present and MFA Literature

The overall frame for this course is English and Irish literature, 1900-1930. 1900 marked more than the beginning of a new century: it also offers a convenient date for the fracturing (and multiplication) of subjectivity. We will look at the various ways that the human individual was both fractured and expanded by examining works of William Butler Yeats, James Joyce, T. S. Eliot, Sylvia Townsend Warner, and Elizabeth Bowen. The course will also investigate the possibility that what happened to the dominant conception of the subject was necessarily reflected in a changing style.

          Requirements include an “oral” report, consisting of a one-page essay to be photocopied, distributed to the class, and read aloud, two short essays, and a final exam.


455 1U/1G MAJOR AUTHORS, Mahaffey.  TUTH 3:30-4:45 (32205)

         TOPIC: Joyce and Textual Excess

         Area Requirement:  British, 1900 to Present and MFA Literature

Joyce has the reputation of being difficult to read. In this course, we will explore the possibility that the problem lies not in the difficulty of the text, but in the assumptions about reading that readers bring to the activity. What if Joyce’s project is one of textual excess? What if the movement of the text is centrifugal, its apparent focus on the here (Dublin) and now (June 16, 1904) pointing outward towards the complexity of an international and richly historical context for human life? Instead of trying to shape or contain experience, could Joyce be attempting to access its wayward energies, both conscious and unconscious?

          Many critics would agree that popular culture offers a window through which readers are invited to observe the lives of other people. Literature differs in that the window has been backed with silver, making it a mirror in which readers can see themselves. Wilde played on this notion, as did Woolf. What role might be played by textual excess in thickening the medium, so that the reader can insights into him or herself while seeming to enjoy the voyeuristic pleasures of watching others unobserved?

          We will read Dubliners, Stephen Hero, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, the Odyssey, Hamlet, and Ulysses. Requirements include an “oral” report, consisting of a one-page essay to be photocopied and distributed to the class as well as read aloud, one or two explications of a story or episode, and a final exam that will include the option of creatively rewriting a section of Joyce’s fiction, and analyzing that revision.


455 2U/2G MAJOR AUTHORS, T. Newcomb.  TUTH 2-3:50 (32210)

          TOPIC: Citizens Coen: The Cinema of the Coen Brothers

         Area Requirement:  Film

Over nearly thirty years Joel and Ethan Coen have occupied a distinctive place in American cinematic culture, as postmodern auteurs who gleefully violate the stylistic “rules of the game” while also paying reverent homage to previous moments in American films. Their films consistently foreground their own roles as creators, which has made them key predecessors for later “star” directors such as Tarantino and Spike Jonze; yet in their personal lives they don’t court flamboyant celebrity but remain quietly devoted to their art.  They have won many awards including the Oscar, yet they are still regarded with skepticism by some academic critics who find their films all about style and genre pastiche rather than substance. This class will explore these contradictions and many others as we survey the Coens’ work of the past three decades, along with some of the “originals” that have inspired them to rethink cinematic genres, especially the screwball comedy, the Hitchcockian thriller, the gangster picture, and the hard-boiled film noir.  The syllabus will certainly include, among others, Blood Simple, Raising Arizona, Miller’s Crossing, The Hudsucker Proxy, Fargo, The Big Lebowski, No Country for Old Men, O Brother Where Art Thou?, and The Man Who Wasn’t There, along with Sturges’ Sullivan’s Travels and the original “Ealing comedy” The Ladykillers.

          The class involves a two-hour weekly screening and a two-hour discussion session, both of which are mandatory.  You can expect essays, quizzes, brief oral presentations, and a final exam.


460 ONU/ONG LIT OF AMERICAN MINORITIES, D. Wright.  Online, 2nd 8 week section (59138)

         TOPIC: America at the Nadir: Race and Representation from Twain to Hurston

         Area Requirement:  American, Civil War to Present and MFA Literature

This course will use a multi-disciplinary approach to explore the perceived role, or “place,” of blacks and other marginalzied groups (including women and the poor) in US society as it was represented in popular forms of expression, such as literature, film, theater and music at the turn of the twentieth century. We will begin with cultural production from the Reconstruction and progress through the Harlem Renaissance and explore such themes as identity and representation; “black face” minstrelsy; “manifest destiny” and modernity; etc.


461 1U/1G TOPICS IN LITERATURE, Carico.  TUTH 3:30-4:45 (39306)

          TOPIC: Genres of the American Frontier

          Area Requirement:  American, Civil War to Present and MFA Literature

What is the frontier? And where, and when? As we read and view and listen this semester, we’ll think broadly about the “frontier” as a space of time that’s in flux, poised between changing orders of law, economy, and culture—from William Shakespeare’s The Tempest to Werner Herzog’s Fitzcarraldo, from the Dred Scott case to Django Unchained!, and from paintings of the American West to field recordings of the American South. We’ll also figure out how new forms and categories—new “genres”—try to re-order that space and time. Westerns are surely concerned with frontiers, but so are folk songs and zombie apocalypse narratives. As we think critically about the frontier, we will also explore its history of violence and domination, especially with regard to the indigenous and the enslaved.


462 U3/G4 TOPICS IN MODERN FICTION, Mehta.  TUTH 12:30-1:50 (48033)

         meets with CWL 411

         TOPIC: Empires of the Novel

         Area Requirement:  None

The subject of this course is the genre of the novel and its concordance with the political and cultural worlds of the bourgeoisie in the 19th and the early 20th century.  The students will read French, German, and British novels as well as critical writings by a variety of scholars, to explore a wide range of connected issues, such as (a) the interactions of the novel with the reading public in different stages and ages of capitalist development, (b) the overlapping discourses of colonialism, capitalism, and modernity, (c) the novel’s exploration of sexuality in its normative or deviant forms, and (d) the construction of the public and private spheres in fiction and how that coincided with a new configuration of labor and leisure.


481 1U/1G COMP THEORY AND PRACTICE, Schaffner.  MW 12:30-1:45 (44165)  

         Area Requirement:  Critical Theory for WS student only

In exploring some of the major theories that inform the teaching of expository writing, we will pay particular attention to the role of innovation in written communication. Can innovation be taught? Should it be? Topics we will explore include: personal writing, the use of writing as punishment, formulaic writing, code switching, writing with images, and YouTube composition.


503 F HISTOROGRAPHY OF CINEMA, Capino.  M 2-3:50 (60605)

         same as MACS 503

         TOPIC: Film Historiography: National Cinema

         Area Requirement:  Film

Is national cinema the corpus of work by the citizens of a particular state or the totality of films, both “local” and “foreign,” exhibited within its borders? Does the rubric embrace films made by expatriates or works that are funded, European Union-style, through international co-productions? In charting the history of a national cinema, do we figure the “national” through space, fantasies of common substance, language, the director’s citizenship, or fugitive tropes of nationalist discourse? This graduate seminar examines “national cinema” as a persistent, tactical and often productive category of analysis in film history and criticism. Students will investigate this rubric in relation to others used in the field, including such categories as regional, hemispheric, continental, tricontinental, transnational, and global. The primary aim of the course is to help students identify a national cinema that interests them and to discover a point of intervention within in its discourse.


514 G SEMINAR MEDIEVAL LITERATURE, Trilling.  M 3-4:50 (39309)

         same as MDVL 514

         TOPIC: The Junius Manuscript

         Area Requirement:  British, Beginning to 1485 and MFA Literature

Oxford, Bodleian Library MS Junius 11 is one of the four major poetic codices of the Anglo-Saxon period, containing the Old English poems Genesis A, Genesis B, Exodus, Daniel, and Christ and Satan. It stands out not only for the coherence of its subject matter, but also because it is one of very few vernacular manuscripts to receive de luxe treatment, complete with illustrations. As such, the Junius Manuscript affords ample opportunity to explore a wide range of questions about Anglo-Saxon vernacular literature. In this seminar, we will read the poems of the Junius Manuscript in Old English and consider them within a variety of critical contexts central to current debates in medieval studies: textual production, the Benedictine Reform, gender and sexuality, the relation of Latin and vernacular literature, the interplay of text and image, modes of epistemology, the politics of biblical translation and adaptation, and the relationship between secular and ecclesiastical power, among others. Requirements will include weekly prepared translation and secondary reading, in-class presentations, a seminar paper, and a public symposium at the end of the semester.


524 R SEMINAR IN 17th C LITERATURE, Gray.  TU 1-2:50 (32264)

          TOPIC: Early Modern War Stories, 1600-1670

         Area Requirement:  British, 1485-1660 and MFA Literature

One influential narrative of European literature locates its origins in a war story. Homer’s Illiad registers the mesmerizing spectacle of bloody conflict, the insistent need to contain that conflict within generic and narrative frames of understanding, and the way that the trauma of war repeatedly resists representation—edging into the formlessness of grief-stricken silence or sublime incomprehension. However, Homer’s epic is of course just one story in a long and incredibly varied body of war literature, one small part of which we will explore in this class. Reading a variety of genres from 1600-1670, we will follow early modern political theorists, playwrights, and poets as they attempt to develop theories of just warfare; to imagine, define, and aestheticize armed violence; to contrast war to a shifting array of its antitheses (peace, civil society, georgic productivity, romance); to establish (and blur) friend/enemy distinctions; to think about war’s role in narratives of national, racial and gender identity; to represent the physical costs and supposed ideological gains of combat injury and death.

          To tackle these questions, we will begin by testing the ideas of some modern scholars and theorists of war violence and trauma, such as Judith Butler and Elaine Scarry. We will also read parts of the classical epics by Homer and Virgil that provided such influential models for later written and performed versions of armed violence. We will then move to one famous Renaissance theorist of war, its practice and political applications, Machiavelli, reading selections not only from The Prince but also from his lesser known works: Discourses and The Art of War. We will consider the spectacle of military violence as it appeared on the London stage in early seventeenth-century London, focusing in particular on two of Shakespeare’s most compelling studies of armed masculinity, Macbeth and Coriolanus. The second half of the course will be devoted to studying the memoirs, political treatises, poems, and closet dramas written during the British Civil Wars (1639-1651)—a period that, according to one military historian, saw “the greatest concentration of armed violence to take place in the recorded history of the islands of Britain and Ireland” (Morrill xix). Reading works by Thomas Hobbes, John Milton, Anna Trapnel, Lucy Hutchinson, and Andrew Marvell, we will discuss the violent subjectivities, paradoxical self-divisions, bloody oppositions, and irresolvable ethical impasses that particularly attend representations of civil combat.


537 T SEMINAR VICTORIAN LIT, Saville.  TH 3-4:50 (32276)

         TOPIC:  Body-Politic and Soul-Politic in Democratizing Britain (1840-1900)

         Area Requirement:  British, 1800-1900 and MFA Literature

In “Signs of the Times,” his 1829 polemic against utilitarian hedonism and instrumentality, Thomas Carlyle rages against the growing pragmatism of British society: “It is no longer the moral, religious, spiritual condition of the people that is our concern, but their physical, practical, economical condition, as regulated by public laws. Thus is the Body-politic more than ever worshipped and tended; but the Soul-politic less than ever” (“Signs of the Times,” 71). In the reform era that followed, the focus on extending the franchise, abolishing Corn Laws, expanding education, and improving sanitary conditions intensified until it seemed to Carlyle that morality, creativity and spirituality were withering through neglect. Carlyle was not alone in his concerns. Novelists like George Eliot (Middlemarch), essayists like Oscar Wilde (“The Soul of Man under Socialism”) and above all poets like the Brownings, Swinburne and Whitman used soul-talk to address the spiritual well-being of their own and neighboring European and transatlantic communities as they evolved modern democracies. As we read the work of these and other writers (for instance, Plato, Aristotle, Jeremy Bentham, Frederic Harrison), we will interrogate the merit of Carlyle’s complaint, asking ourselves what “the soul” actually meant to them and why it might be considered the special bailiwick of poets. We will consider whether the conceptions of soul in skeptics and atheists like Eliot, Swinburne, and Whitman differ from those of believers. We will also debate the political value of the category today, especially in the light of work by radical political theorists like William E. Connolly and others.


543 R SEMINAR MODERN BRITISH LIT, Hansen.  TH 1-2:50 (43359)

         TOPIC: A Commonwealth of Violence: Humanism and Fiction at the End of Modernity

         Area Requirement:  British, 1900 to Present and MFA Literature

Another war is always coming, Robert. They are never properly extinguished. What sparks wars? The will to power, the backbone of human nature. The threat of violence, the fear of violence, or actual violence is the instrument of this dreadful will. … Listen to this and remember it. The nation-state is merely human nature inflated to monstrous proportions.

       --David Mitchell, Cloud Atlas.


With the close of the cold war and the emergence of a new kind of liberalism, contemporary British Fiction has begun to rethink the dialectic of humanism and violence that the previous generation of so-called ‘postmodern’ writers had taken for granted during the rise of the welfare state.  As the Soviet experiment with communism died and the United States achieved global military and economic supremacy, a new generation of experimental writers sought to redefine Britain’s role in the world by observing how hegemony is produced, challenged, and, ultimately, sustained.  By studying the contemporary novelists David Mitchell (Cloud Atlas), Arhundati Roy (The God of Small Things), J.M. Coetzee (Waiting for the Barbarians) , Hari Kunzru (My Revolutions), and Rohinton Mistry (A Fine Balance) in tandem with the theoretical writings of Carl Schmit, Walter Benjamin, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Giorgo Agamben, Corey Robin, Robert Esposito, Thomas Hobbes, and GWF Hegel the course will explore how often contemporary discussions of humanist values, global politics, and neo-liberal reform work to conceal while relying upon the threat of violence.


547 R SEM EARLIER AMER LIT, Loughran.  TH 1-3:50 (39293)

         TOPIC: The Psychic Life of Empire: American Colonialism and its Aftermath

         Area Requirement:  American, Beginning to Civil War and MFA Literature

American studies has always had a geopolitical imaginary, whether regional, national, hemispheric, or transnational.  In that tradition, this course will offer an introduction to the geography of nineteenth-century American colonialism.  But following some of the best work being done in American Studies, we will also try to establish a theoretical horizon beyond the merely local, material, historical, or geographic. Our work will thus join a commitment to material culture (the history of land and things) to an account of the what we might call the psychic processes of empire, including its attachments and disavowals at both large-scale levels and at the relatively micro-level of the individual subject, who is at once a thinking, feeling, desiring person (a subject in the psychoanalytic sense, with a marked interiority) and, of course, a subject of history, the processes and practices of which inform that interiority.  Primary materials will likely be drawn from the many novels, autobiographies, natural histories, travel narratives, almanacs, geographies, newspapers, engravings, photographs, and magazines that span the period from 1800-1900.  And secondary readings will be broadly interdisciplinary, drawn from literary studies, history, and critical theory. The end of the course will be devoted to the circulation and discussion of student writing, with special emphasis on the methods by which we come to our readings of both the period and its artifacts.


578 E SEMINAR LITERATURE & OTHER DISCIPLINES, M. Camargo.  W 1-2:50 (60407)

         meets with MDVL 500

         TOPIC: The Medieval Lyric: Form/Function/Context

         Area Requirement:  British, Beginning to 1485 and MFA Literature

The number and variety of the poems that could fit under the rubric ‘medieval lyric’ challenge efforts at definition or comprehensive taxonomy. This seminar will encourage students to explore that diversity through research projects that view the lyric from the perspective of their various disciplines.

          Before we turn to those individual projects we will model some of the issues and approaches that define recent study of medieval lyrics by looking closely at a famous manuscript that contains some of the finest lyrics that survive in Middle English, along with a great deal more: British Library MS Harley 2253 (s. xiv1; Ludlow/Hereford area). With its mixture of texts in English, French, and Latin, on topics both sacred and secular, in a wide range of forms and subgenres, the Harley MS is an ideal laboratory for studying the diverse forms and functions of medieval lyrics in a specific social and historical context. Disciplines on which we are likely to draw include literary studies, history, musicology, palaeography, and codicology.

          The latter part of the semester will be devoted to presentations by the individual seminar members on the research projects that will culminate in original seminar papers (20-25 pages). Some of these projects may concern the lyrics of the Harley MS, but I will encourage as many seminar members as possible to explore other lyric traditions. My hope is that collectively the research presentations will expose the seminar as a whole to a wider range of the medieval poetry that can be classified as lyric, as well as to the various methodologies that can be applied productively to the study of medieval lyrics.

          The interdisciplinary aims of the seminar also will be enhanced by the participation of several guest speakers. These will include members of the Illinois faculty, as well as visiting scholars from other universities.


578 S SEMINAR LITERATURE & OTHER DISCIPLINES, Mohamed, Somerville & Shao.  TU 12-2:50 (39658)

         meets with CAS 578, EALC 550, GWS 590

         TOPIC: Cultures of Law in Global Contexts

         Area Requirement:  None

This team-taught course takes a broadly comparatist approach to the interdisciplinary field of law and the humanities.  The course will be organized into three sections, each investigating legal issues of contemporary relevance through approaches based in history, literary studies, political theory, and critical theories of race, gender, sexuality, and indigeneity.  Drawing on several national contexts—Egypt, China, Japan, England, and the U.S. —for case studies, we will consider questions such as revolution, constitution-building, the transnational circulation of legal norms, national borders, formal citizenship, and deportation. Throughout the course, we will pay particular attention to the slippages, continuities, and distinctions between legal subjects and embodied, historical subjects. Our discussions will include visiting speakers sponsored by the Center for Advanced Study in conjunction with the INTERSECT initiative on Cultures of Law in Global Contexts.  Requirements include active participation in discussion, a class presentation, weekly response papers, and a final essay.  



TOPIC: Issues and Practices in Performance Studies

         Area Requirement:  None

This seminar will address the various issues and methodological questions elicited by various performance genres by turning to certain historical moments, schools of thought, and disciplinary models. We will discuss fundamental texts in the field of performance studies and analyze both live and documented social, cultural, theatrical, choreographic, ritual, and musical events. In doing so, we will pay close attention to the ways in which theory and practice work in tandem. Lastly, we will also consider how categorical divisions of artistic practices, within the field, inevitably and importantly blend.


581 E SEMINAR LITERARY THEORY, Littlefield.  M 1-2:50 (32282)

         TOPIC: Feminist Science Studies

         Area Requirement:  Critical Theory


Snapshots and case studies will inform our course:


•     Why are mammals called mammals? (Linnaeus classification and the politics of wet nursing, 1758)

•     What do racial politics have to do with the origins of modern gynecology? (Sims experiments, 1845-1849)

•     Why is it that the female dinosaurs run amuck in Jurassic Park? (1993) 

•     How could Harvard’s president lecture about innate differences in male and female scientists in 2005?


This course is an introduction to feminist science studies and technology and gender studies. We will explore how scientists, sciences, and technologies envision, create and politicize gendered bodies. Our focus will be on feminist perspectives, but this lens also allows us to explore the ways in which men are constituted as subjects and objects of the scientific gaze. We will begin by asking several practical questions: who’s doing science? How are these sciences constituted? We will then work through a series of case studies, like those listed above, that address the ways in which gendered bodies have been used in science and created by scientific discourse. Finally, we will address the ways in which fiction provides a tool-kit for scientists and theorists interested in challenging traditional relationships between science and the body.


584 R TOPICS DISCOURSE & WRITING, Prendergast.  TU 1-2:50 (32287)

         same as CI 569

         TOPIC: Rhetoric and Race in Writing Studies

         Area Requirement:  Writing Studies

The work of scholars of color has been substantial in shaping the field of rhetoric/composition/writing studies from its very beginnings. In this course we will read this work, following its arc from its considerable influence on linguistics, language policy, and literacy studies to its more recent contributions to the study of the practice and history of rhetoric.

          Texts will include: Geneva Smitherman, Talkin’ and Testifyin’; Scott Lyons, X-Marks: Native Signatures of Assent; LuMing Mao, Reading Chinese Fortune Cookie; Victor Villaneuva, Bootstraps: From an American Academic of Color; Shirley Wilson Logan, Liberating Language: Sites of Rhetorical Education in Nineteenth Century Black America.


593 E PROF SEMINAR COLLEGE TCHG, Hutner.  W 1-2:50 (45985)

         TOPIC: Professing and Publishing: From the First Day to Post-Tenure

         Area Requirement:  None

The purpose of this new course is to offer students a broad background and further understanding of their progress through graduate school and preparation for their first academic jobs.  While there will also be discussion of other ways of plotting a career, the preponderance of our attention will be placed on the many challenges and opportunities grad students encounter in becoming professors.  Class will operate as a seminar where students can read and discuss materials that illuminate their career passage(s). 

          To that end, our scope will be wide, beginning with a very brief history of graduate education and an assessment of the current possibilities, both intellectual and institutional.  We’ll consider some familiar topics, like the differences in how to shape a syllabus for various kinds of teaching jobs, just as the course will also examine issues students usually have to learn about in ad hoc ways, such as how to define a dissertation subject, submit a conference proposal, prepare an article, apply for a fellowship, write a job letter, make a campus visit, convert a dissertation into a book and/or alternative forms of publication, prepare a second research project, and a great deal more.

          From time to time, we will have visits from other faculty.  There will be a course e-Reader and various short writing assignments.  Recommended for students in their second year and beyond.


593 R PROF SEMINAR COLLEGE TCHG, Rodriguez.  TH 1-2:50 (32290)

         TOPIC: The Teaching of Literature

         Area Requirement:  None

The twofold aim of this graduate seminar is to prepare students to teach lower- and upper-division literature courses and to critically reflect on the experiences of and strategies adopted by seasoned instructors in the literature classroom. We will begin by reading two books by noted English professors addressing the teaching of literature—Elaine Showalter’s Teaching Literature and Jane Tompkins’s A Life In School: What the Teacher Learned—to grapple with our own personal and professional stakes in literary pedagogy. We will then direct our attention to a cluster of articles more broadly pertaining to undergraduate teaching and the role of the humanities in higher education. Our final goal entails generating and discussing materials that will prove essential for offering one’s own literature courses (i.e., sample syllabi, lesson plans, lectures, PowerPoint presentations and course assignments).



500-Level Creative Writing

Course Descriptions




504 I WRITING WORKSHOP IN FICTION, Shakar.  M 5-6:50 pm (43388)

         Area Requirement:  None

Directed projects in fiction writing, either short stories or sections of a novel, with group discussion and critique.  There will be a course packet for the class, featuring short stories and essays on the writing of fiction and related topics; there will be a discussion of these readings at the beginning of each class meeting. 

506 T WRITING WORKSHOP IN POETRY, Madonick.  TH 3:30-6:30 (43390)

         Area Requirement:  None

Directed individual projects, with group discussion in poetry.


560 NL LITERARY PUBLISHING & PROMOTION, Stanley.  Arranged (43391)

         Area Requirement:  None

A working practicum designed to teach graduate students the basics of literary journal publishing and to introduce them to career and entrepreneurial opportunities in other types of literary arts organizations. Students will attend weekly editorial meetings, complete weekly reading assignments, and will work 2 hours per week in the ‘Ninth Letter’ office, reading manuscript submissions and completing various clerical tasks for the journal. Approved for both letter and S/U grading. May be repeated to a maximum of 8 hours. Prerequisite: MFA candidate standing.


563 G SPECIAL TOPICS, Petty.  W 3-4:50 (54485)

        TOPIC: The Lyric Essay

          Area Requirement:  None

In this seminar, we will closely consider the lyric essay—its origins and its aesthetics.  Students will respond creatively and analytically to weekly readings, and will present a final creative piece in one of the forms studied. Readings will include works by: Lia Purpura, David Shields, Eula Biss, John D’Agata and Mary Ruefle.