Graduate Courses

Graduate Courses

AML 5027

Studies in U.S. Literature Since 1875: The Pynchon Era

Aaron Jaffe
M/W, 9:45 a.m.-12:55 p.m. (Summer B)

This course is a deep dive into Thomas Pynchon’s Gravity’s Rainbow (1973) and related literary and cultural materials from the post WWII period.

Rather than muddling through the entire intimidating collection of Theory’s -isms and sifting through an equally perplexing collection of proper names (Derrida, Foucault, Canguilhem, Cixous, etc.), we will selectively sample some of its most compelling texts, ideas, and questions, concentrating on a handful of its most compelling threads of inquiry about literature, about culture and about critical and interpretive practices. Along the way, we will delineate some useful maps of the issues and motives of literary and cultural theory that will expand the ways you read and think about literary, social, and cultural texts.

Requirements: This course satisfies the requirement for coursework in the following Areas of Concentration: Post-1900 Literary and Cultural Studies (American, British, or Irish); a Literary Genre (Fiction).

AML 5608

Studies in the African-American Literary Tradition: Toni Morrison–Genius

Christopher Okonkwo
Tu/Th, 9:45 a.m.-12:55 p.m. (Summer A)

This course focuses on Toni Morrison (1931-2019). A recipient of the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Pulitzer Prize, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the National Book Critics Circle Lifetime Achievement Award, and the first African American writer, indeed the first black woman, to win the Nobel Prize for literature, among her other honors, Morrison is a genius and luminary who needs little or no introduction to readers worldwide. In this seminar, we will focus on her first five novels, chronologically The Bluest Eye (1970), Sula (1973), Song of Solomon (1977), Tar Baby (1981), and Beloved (1987). We will also examine these works: her short story “Recitatif,” her Nobel Lecture; The Dancing Mind, her speech on receiving the National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters; and her groundbreaking treatise Playing in the Dark: Whiteness and the Literary Imagination. To help deepen our appreciation of Morrison’s world, politics, and art, we will place her canon in a nexus of contexts and traditions: African, African American, African American women, Caribbean, and American histories and literatures. Students are encouraged to visit the Toni Morrison Society webpage for biographical, programmatic, and archival information.

Requirements: This course satisfies the requirement for coursework in the following Areas of Concentration: African American Literary and Cultural Studies; Feminism, Gender, and Sexuality Studies; and Colonial, Postcolonial, and Transnational Literary and Cultural Studies; a Literary Genre (Fiction). It also fulfills the Alterity requirement.

CRW 5331

Poetry Workshop

Cy. Weise
Tu/Th, 1:20-4:20 p.m. (Summer A)

In this graduate poetry workshop emphasis will be on your poems and the writing you generate during the course. I run workshop using a bit of the traditional model and some “hacks,” or ways to give each poet an opportunity to talk-back, to queer/crip/borg–the workshop space. We decline the presumptive “Everyman” speaker of poems in favor of recognizing diverse identities and points-of-view. Questions we will want to know: Who is the speaker? What’s the speaker saying? And maybe, especially, what’s the speaker not saying? I love Gwendolyn Brooks’s line, from In Montgomery, “I am here to assemble, I am here to conduct / interrupted order. / I am Code.” Workshop will give you support and community as you assemble, conduct, code, innovate, and create.

Requirements: For MFA students, this course satisfies 3 of the required 12-15 hours of writing workshops. For PhD students, it counts toward the 27 hours of required coursework.

ENC 5945

Internship in Editing

Molly Hand

The Internship in Editing allows graduate students to receive academic credit for completion of an internship or practicum focused on writing or editing. The course is graded S/U and may be taken for 1 to 6 credit hours. The course requirements may be fulfilled through many types of work including professional service, such as serving as poetry editor for a literary magazine or managing editor for an academic journal, or writing/editing projects associated with a communications-focused job. Email course instructor with questions and to discuss available opportunities or whether a current job or position would be eligible for credit.

ENG 6939

Seminar in English: Black Women in Composition

Rhea Estelle Lathan
M/W, 1:20-4:30 p.m.

This graduate seminar is designed with two objectives in mind: 1) to develop a working knowledge of Black Women’s intellectual history with an eye toward Rhetoric and Composition Studies 2) to develop critical reading, research, and writing skills necessary for dislodging canons of Black intellectual history that marginalize gender, sexuality, and other vectors of difference. We will accomplish this by focusing on the numerous and fundamental contributions of Black women to social, political, and critical thought—specific to Rhetoric and Composition studies. Throughout the course, we will ask the following questions: Who is included in the terms “Black,” “woman,” and “thinker”? What does a genealogy of Black Feminist radicalism look like? What methods did/do Black women use to form critical thought? Why, even at this late date, are Black women’s intellectual contributions still marginalized in mainstream curricula and in broader academia? Our text will include Royster’s Traces of a Stream; Carey’s Rhetorical Healing; Harris-Perry’s Sister Citizen, among others. We will have weekly reflections and mid-term and final paper for this course.

Requirements: This course satisfies the requirement for the following Area(s) of Concentration: African-American Literary and Cultural Studies; Feminism, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. It also fulfills the Alterity requirement.

LIT 5309

Studies in Popular Culture: Media in the Digital Era

Leigh Edwards
asynchronous online

This course examines popular culture and media in the context of the emergence of mass culture and focuses on the evolution of media in the digital era. We will address popular music, television, film, and new media. We will also consider audience studies and fan culture. Our reading draws on media studies, screen studies, popular music studies, film and new media, popular culture studies, and digital humanities. The course will give you solid grounding in media studies and the chance to do more specialized research in the field. Within media studies, we will discuss topics including multi-platform storytelling, media convergence, serialized narratives on television, interactive digital videos and films, digital technology and popular music, documentary film, and new ideas of media in the global circulation of media.

Requirements: This course satisfies the requirement for coursework in the following Areas of Concentration: Post-1900 Literary and Cultural Studies; the History of Text Technologies (reception conceptual area, Film/TV media).