Graduate Courses

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Graduate Courses

AML 5027

Studies in US Literature Since 1875: Contemporary Poetry and Poetics—American Poetry Since 1970

Andrew Epstein
Tu/Th, 3:05-4:20 p.m.

This course will provide students with a firm grounding in the major figures, movements, and innovations in American poetry since the 1970s. We will consider the consolidation of a new "mainstream" style of poetry following the upheavals of the 1960s, fostered by the growing predominance of university creative writing programs, a development which was contested by the influential avant-garde movement known as Language poetry. We will also focus on the flowering during this period of women’s poetry, inspired by the feminist movement, and poetry by Latinx, Asian American, Native American, African American, and LGBTQ writers, as American poetry becomes dramatically more diverse and open to a range of voices and identities. The course will also focus on recent, post-2000 developments in American poetry, as the poetry world explodes in a rather overwhelming profusion of directions, including the rise of Conceptual Poetry and Flarf, ecopoetics, and the resurgence of socially engaged poetry, much of it by poets of color. Poets will likely include Adrienne Rich, Robert Hass, Carolyn Forché, Louise Glück, Sharon Olds, Lucille Clifton, Audre Lorde, Alice Notley, Bernadette Mayer, Charles Bernstein, Lyn Hejinian, Ron Silliman, Rae Armantrout, Yusef Komunyakaa, Martín Espada, Juan Felipe Herrera, John Yau, Cathy Song, Harryette Mullen, Nathaniel Mackey, Joy Harjo, Jorie Graham, DeanYoung, Solmaz Sharif, Ocean Vuong, Terrance Hayes, and Claudia Rankine.

Requirements: This course fulfills the requirement for coursework in the following Area of Concentration: Post-1900 Literature and Culture (American, British, Irish); a Literary Genre (Poetry).

AML 5027

Studies in US Literature Since 1875: Law and Literature

Trinyan Mariano
M/W, 6:35-7:50 p.m.

In this course we explore various historical and formal configurations of and approaches to law and literature, with a focus on U.S. American fiction. Explaining law’s circulation with other disciplines, sociologist Pierre Bourdieu wrote, “it would not be excessive to say that [law] creates the social world, but only if we remember that it is this world which first creates the law” (“The Force of Law” 839). We will put flesh on Bourdieu’s notion of the circularity between law, literature, and the social world by using fiction and the tools of the literary critic to access (and assess) sources, alternatives, critiques, precursors, and inheritors of official law. Some of the issues we will explore: ideas about justice, fairness, and legality; notions of genre as “law,” including formal “legal genres,” such as judicial decisions and statutes, informal “legal genres,” such as the detective story and the mystery; discourses of authority and world-making; theories of power; segregation; race and gender equality; privacy rights; forms of extra-legal justice; and constructions of loss and liability.

Requirements: This course fulfills the requirement for coursework in the following Area of Concentration: Post-1900 Literature and Culture (American, British, Irish); a Literary Genre (Fiction). It also fulfills the Alterity requirement.

AML 5296

Studies in Multi-Ethnic Literature: Visionary Future—Fugitive World-Making and Ethnofuturisms

Frances Tran
Tu/Th, 8-9:15 a.m.

This course takes as its point of departure Walidah Imarisha and adrienne maree brown’s reframing of science and speculative fiction as visionary fiction. Their assertion that the capacity to imagine better worlds is vital to projects of social justice will inform our critical engagements with literary, cultural, and theoretical texts this semester. We will explore in particular how minoritized authors and artists elaborate “Ethnofuturisms” by constructing fugitive worlds that unsettle normative conceptions of time, space, and embodiment. We will read across a range of cultural media—poetry, short stories, novels, and graphic novels—including works by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah, Mohsin Hamid, M. NourbeSe Philip, Rebecca Roanhorse, and more. Together, we will discuss how they mobilize speculative imaginaries and revise popular science fictional tropes to critique technologies of racialization, to explore alternative embodiments and representations of the “human,” and to illuminate the possibility of other modes of collectivity and solidarity. To inform our readings of these cultural texts, we will think alongside the scholarship of theorists of science and speculative fiction, techno-orientalism, Afrofuturism, Indigenous futurism, Latin@futurism, and Ethnofuturisms more broadly, such as Aimee Bahng, Samuel R. Delany, Alexis Lothian, Cathryn Merla-Watson, and Sami Schalk.

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

AML 5608

Studies in the African American Literary Tradition: The Plantation

Alisha Gaines
Tu/Th, 1:20-2:35 p.m.

The plantation never went with the wind. In fact, the plantation and its organizational, capitalistic, racial, ecological, and material logics shape our contemporary moment to such a profound degree, some argue we dwell in an epoch of its making: the Plantationocene.

With no singular definition, the plantation exists in various forms and modalities around the world—recreating the world in its image since the 1400s. As we interrogate the Plantationocene, this course will focus primarily on the U.S. South and the Caribbean through an interdisciplinary consideration of literature, music, film, television, and the theoretical interventions of Black and Indigenous Studies. To situate the plantation at the center of this inquiry does not always mean we are only going to discuss violence and dispossession. This course insists the plantation is also a story about craftsmanship, agency, resistance, and beauty that, albeit complicated and resisting romance, still has something relevant to say about our current struggle for Black and Indigenous liberation.

Requirements: This course satisfies the general literature requirement for one course 1660-1900. It also satisfies the requirement for coursework in the following Area of Concentration: African American Literary and Cultural Studies. It also fulfills the Alterity requirement.

CRW 5130

Fiction Workshop: Image and Pattern

Ravi Howard
Th, 9:45 a.m.-12:50 p.m.

In this workshop, we will study the combinations of image and pattern required in our fiction. We will consider notes on visual storytelling, including Susan Sontag’s “anthology of images” and “grammar of seeing” concepts. Toni Morrison’s process of moving from “picture to meaning to text” will also be a guide. Other lessons in photography will come from Teju Cole, Eudora Welty, Dawoud Bey, Carrie Mae Weems, and Henri Cartier-Bresson. Our primary craft text will be Jane Alison’s Meander, Spiral, Explode. The book classifies prose structure using forms derived from nature—waves, cycles, colors, explosions, etc. We will consider those examples as we read students’ short stories and novel chapters. We will also look for patterns in the assigned readings, including work by Deesha Philyaw, Joshua Ferris, Daniel Alarcón, Laura Van Den Berg, Uwem Akpan, Rion Amilcar Scott, Paul Yoon, Amina Gautier, and Dantiel Moniz. We’ll read two novels, Paul Harding’s Tinkers and Edwidge Danticat’s Claire and the Sea Light. Each writer will workshop two pieces—short stories or novel excerpts. If time permits, each writer will lead a craft talk or close reading of an author of their choosing.

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.

CRW 5130

Fiction Workshop

Elizabeth Stuckey-French
Th, 3:05-6:05 p.m.

I believe strongly in discussing freshly minted student material in workshops. In my experience, the energy and exchange of ideas in such a group can motivate everyone who participates. Ideally, for this class, I’d like you to submit new work. However, if you do submit a pre-workshopped piece, make sure that you are really open to hearing our suggestions. I would prefer that you submit something rough and malleable rather than polished and fossilized.

Each student will have two-three pieces workshopped by the entire class, twenty pages max per submission. If you want to submit a longer piece, you can do it in separate sessions. In addition, each student will choose a published short story, essay, or book chapter and do a presentation on it in class.

In this class we will explore some of the subtleties of the craft of fiction writing. What risks do successful fiction writers take and how can we learn from them? What new risks might you take in your own fiction? How can you make your fiction as dramatic, intense, engaging (and publishable) as possible? Our goal is the creation of a community of writers who can learn from and help each other. Courage, honesty, and dedication are expected.

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.

CRW 5331

Poetry Workshop: Poetic Sequences

Barbara Hamby
W, 6:35-9:35 p.m.

How does a poet put together a book? My first book was made up of three sequences, as were my second and third books. A sequence can be tied together by form or subject or both. I have found it to be a very productive way of working and so have many poets. During the craft hour we will look at a wide historical range of poetic sequences and discuss their strategies. We’ll start with a selection from Ovid’s Metamorphoses and then move on to Horace’s Odes, Shakespeare’s Dark Lady Sonnets, Keats’s Odes, Whitman’s “Song of Myself,” Rimbaud’s A Season in Hell, Rilke’s Duino Elegies, Anne Sexton’s Transformations, Sylvia Plath’s bee sequence from Ariel, Allen Ginsberg's “Kaddish,” Joseph Brodsky’s “Twenty Sonnets to Mary Queen of Scots,” Terrance Hayes’s American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassin, and Diane Suess’s Frank. Most of the readings will be posted on Canvas. For the workshop you are more than welcome to work on a sequence, but you are free to follow your muse.

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.

CRW 5531

Poetry Workshop

Cy. Jillian Weise
Th, 6:35-9:35 p.m.

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 via queering, cripping, or borging 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 and code.

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 5317

Article and Essay Workshop: Narrative Nonfiction

Bob Shacochis
Tu/Th, 6:35-7:50 p.m.

This workshop and its traditional format are designed for prose lovers with the desire to feel liberated to write in any main genre that suits their purpose and artistic vision. Two of my favorite writers, Zadie Smith and Joan Didion, serve as perfect role models for the literary aspirations of the members of this class—Writers with a capital W, with a comprehensive knowledge of all techniques that transform words into literature. You have to talk (critiquing your classmates’ work) and you have to write (a minimum of 25 new pages—essays, personal essays, memoir excerpts: as you please). Also, you’ll need two survival tools: a sense of humor, and a refusal to tolerate censorship.

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 5735

Visual Rhetoric

Michael Neal
M/W, 4:50-6:05 p.m.

This course begins with the assumption that visual language is one of many available modes of discourse that neither displaces nor functions in isolation from other modes. By studying visual rhetoric in various contexts, we will explore how rhetorical frameworks used to theorize writing are applicable to some discussions and insufficient for others when studying the visual. Visual messages are present in print as well as in digital form, in film and television as well as on pages and signs, and in layout and design as well as in illustrations and photographs. Visual rhetoric is equally relevant in the Rembrandt exhibit at the MET as it is on the t-shirts of the patrons who visit each day.

This course will be divided into four modules beginning with several large questions that attempt to define and classify visual rhetoric (e.g., What is Visual Rhetoric? How do we make meaning from visuals? How do we account for visual technologies? How trustworthy are images? What kinds of arguments can visuals make?) The second module will look at social implications of visual culture; the third module will ask students to consider pedagogies of visual rhetoric; and the fourth module will explore researching the visual. Each module will include readings and an assignment that applies principles from that section. The final project will be the revisions and/or expansion of one of these modular assignments.

Requirements: This course satisfies the requirement for coursework in the following Area of Concentration: Rhetoric and Composition.

ENG 5028

Rhetorical Theory and Practice

Rhea Lathan
Tu, 3:05-6:05 p.m.

“Race” is a concept defining a large part of the current social and political agenda. The current trending term is “anti-racism.” This course interrogates rhetorical theories of race, racial ideologies, and race-based concepts as they inform American institutional policies and practices. We will draw on Critical Race Theory (CRT) as a means by which to explore how theorists have intervened in, disrupted, or endorsed critically “raced” rhetorical theories. We will examine perspectives and critique extant theories of race within Rhetorical Studies. We will consider post-race ideologies and whiteness theories, engaging with what’s been identified as a need for greater attention to culturally informed rhetorical theories.

We will begin with an overview of CRT and rhetorical theory, however, and because theorizing race is not confined to a Black and/or White way of knowing, we will consider various cultural perspectives on race. We will read a range of text from multiple disciplines—legal, educational, historical—with a particular eye to the difficulty of studying race in rhetorical studies, looking carefully at the theoretical choices that researchers and activists make.

This specific section will investigate cultural ideological investments in racial hierarchies and identitiesm, with a specific focus on how rhetorical theories operate within anti-racist agendas. Considered from a variety of vantage points, this course will highlight both historically situated rhetorical activities and more contemporary rhetorical theories aimed at improving the lives of minoritized and/or oppressed groups. We will explicate how social justice movements have employed, challenged, and accommodated traditional methods of argument.

Requirements: This course satisfies the requirement for coursework in the following Area(s) of Concentration: Rhetoric and Composition, Post-1900 Literary and Cultural Studies. This course also meets the Alterity requirement.

ENG 5049

Studies in Critical Theory: Feminist Theory

Robin Goodman
Tu/Th 3:05-4:20 p.m.

The course’s goal is to offer an introductory guide to a range of concepts that, over time, have influenced feminist thinking on literature, culture, politics, and theory. These concepts cannot be reduced to one historical moment, movement, or occurrence. Rather, they stretch across different registers and bridge between different feminist phases, events, orientations, and concerns. Whereas much feminist organizing has been fractured along identity lines or generations, this course takes a different approach, spotlighting integral concepts. The concepts are not meant to dictate a feminist agenda around a dominant or privileged experience of being a “woman,” but rather to invoke terminology around which debates and conflicts have historically arisen over and again, in order to mark the stakes in the continuities and discontinuities in thinking that make feminist politics possible.

Feminist Theory bridges the Humanities and the Social Sciences, nationalist and postnationalist perspectives, abstract philosophies and social engagement. We will ask vital questions about what it means to live, think, work, and participate in an embodied world. The first part of this course will do a deep dive into Judith Butler’s Gender Trouble, reading many of her sources and inspirations, including Freud, Kristeva, and Foucault. Then we will trace topics like race, trans, colonialism/imperialism, and politics into the present.

Requirements: This course satisfies the requirement for coursework in the following Area(s) of Concentration: Post-1900 Literature and Culture; Feminism, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. It also fulfills the Alterity requirement.

ENG 5079

Issues in Literary and Cultural Studies

Pablo Maurette
W, 3:05-6:05 p.m.

This course is an introduction to the field of literary and cultural studies. We will be dealing with the three most basic unities of literary and cultural analysis: its production, the product, and its reception. We will juxtapose works of fiction and criticism as well as look at peculiar hybrids of fiction and theory. Some of the main questions that we will be asking are: What is an author, and why is it problematic to postulate its mere existence? Where do writers get inspiration from? How do they produce literature? Are style and method fundamental aspects of an ars poetica? And what constitutes a literary text? Can a film be a text? Can texts be translated, and if so how? What is fiction, and is literature exclusively fictional? After a text is produced it reaches fortuitous and manifold hands. What do we look for when we read? Is reading interpreting? How do we read? Throughout the semester we will engage in dialogue with pre-modern as well as modern and contemporary texts written in a wide variety of languages and belonging to a number of different genres. Our readings will include: Homer, Auerbach, Borges, Sontag, Plato, Preciado, Morrison, Kristeva, Freud, Barthes, Marx, and many more.     

Requirements: This course satisfies the requirement for Gateway Theory course.

ENG 5138

Studies in Film, Reel Bodies: Film, Feminism, and Phenomenology

Christina Parker-Flynn
Th, 6:35-9:35 p.m.

Film aesthetics, in returning to the original Greek understanding of the word, produce sensations meant to be perceived by the cinematic spectator—an embodied affect. In this course, we will explore and interrogate the aesthetics of embodiment in and of film, the phenomenology of film (Sobchak), the haptic qualities of the cinematic text (Barker), the body’s role in the activity of cinematic spectatorship (Williams, Clover), and question how the body operates as the existential ground for perception in and of film, as inherited from the corporeal concepts of vision that emerged in the 19th century (Jonathan Crary, Walter Benjamin, etc.).

Bodies of investigation may include: Nascent Film Bodies, The Body of the Film, Embodiment in Film, “Her Body,” Men of Steel, The Monstrous Feminine, Queer Bodies, Heavenly Bodies, Abject Beings, Alien Bodies, Corps de ballet, Dead Bodies, Nobodies, and Body Parts.

Texts for study may include: Tom Gunning, “The Impossible Body of Early Film”; Roland Barthes, “Garbo’s Face”; Carol Clover, “Her Body, Himself: Gender in the Slasher Film”; Barbara Creed, The Monstrous-Feminine and Return of the Monstrous-Feminine; Linda Williams, “Film Bodies”; Slavoj Zizek, The Sublime Object of Ideology; Vivian Sobchak, “The Address of the Eye”; Martine Beugnet, Cinema of Sensation; Jennifer M. Barker, The Tactile Eye: Touch and the Cinematic Experience; Katharina Linder, Film Bodies: Queer Feminist Encounters with Gender and Sexuality in Cinema; Noa Steimatsky, The Face on Film.

Films of study may include those by Georges Méliès, Germaine Dulac, Alfred Hitchcock, Brian DePalma, Ridley Scott, Jonathan Glazer, Marina del Van, etc.

Requirements: This course satisfies the requirement for coursework in the following Areas of Concentration: Post-1900 Literary and Cultural Studies; History of Text Technologies (reception conceptual area, Film/TV media); Feminism, Gender, and Sexuality Studies; A Literary Genre (Film as a Genre). It also fulfills the Alterity requirement.

ENG 5846

Theories of Difference in Rhetoric & Composition: Inclusive Pedagogies

Jaclyn Fiscus-Cannaday
Tu/Th, 9:45-11 a.m.

This course is designed to familiarize graduate students with concepts on how race, class, gender, ability, sexual orientation, and/or ethnicity have been theorized and how those theories are put into practice. Our course will focus specifically on inclusive pedagogy in the writing classrooms. Students will survey a variety of forms this effort has taken, including how different theoretical perspectives might make our classrooms a safe, welcoming, and joyful place for students. Along the way, we will consider how these pedagogies have implications for research and policy, asking ourselves questions like: Who have compositionists traditionally ignored? What can we learn from communities outside the academy about inclusive pedagogy? What role should Writing Program Administrators take in supporting inclusive pedagogy? How can we study the effects of these inclusive pedagogies and policies? How can the research, teaching, and service you do maintain, add to or change current perspectives?

Requirements:This course satisfies the requirement for coursework in the following Area of Concentration: Rhetoric and Composition. It also meets the Alterity requirement.

ENG 6939

Seminar in English: Global Black Rhetorics

Ronisha Browdy
Th, 11:35 a.m.-2:35 p.m.

This graduate seminar considers the scope of Black Rhetorics, specifically the ways in which Afro-Diasporic Rhetorics is a globalized field that encompasses the rhetorical traditions, histories, and stories of people of African descent from around the world. This course is meant to be representative of a variety of Black rhetoric scholarship, practices, and voices that considers the interconnectedness and differences across African American, Afro-Caribbean, continental African, Afro-European, Afro-Asian, Afro-Latinx, and other African experiences. The purpose of the course is to argue for more inclusive and diverse representation of Black knowledge and stories within rhetorical studies, while creating space to connect across differences, build and strengthen solidarity and allyship within and outside the global Black community. Major topics that may be discussed include ancient African philosophies and rhetorical traditions, Black languages around the world, Black performance and embodied rhetorics, Black music, Black women’s rhetorics and literacies, Black resistance movements, Black popular culture, and Black histories, and contemporary stories.

Requirements: This course satisfies the course work in the following Areas of Concentration: Rhetoric and Composition. It also fulfills the Alterity requirement.

ENG 6939

Seminar in English: Slavery, the Atlantic Slave Trade, and African Literary and Cultural Imagination

Chris Okonkwo
Th, 9:45 a.m.-12:50 p.m.

At a time we’re told not to look back at the dead, or to do so selectively, this seminar adopts a Sankofa posture, retrieving and centering as its concern this significant thesis: the sometimes vexed relationship between Africa and its diaspora—particularly between Africans/African immigrants and African America. Often at the heart of that pesky family quarrel is the always contemporaneous question of “the past,” its afterlives and commemoration; in this case the subject of slavery and the transatlantic slave trade and Africans’ participation in them. There’s also the allegation that post-1900, modern, and post-independence African literary and cultural production has been so preoccupied with Africa’s experience of colonization and its aftermaths it sparsely engages with that broader racial trauma. In this course, we will address those two premises. Grounding our discussion in scholarship, we will explore representative, canonical and recent African fiction spanning over half a century. Our goal is to examine the works’ contextual, thematic, aesthetic, and philosophic (in)attention to that horror that binds and continues to haunt Africa, Europe, and the Americas. My hope is that this course will appeal to students in any area of specialization in which history matters; in which the dead remain, inescapably, alive. In their seminar papers, students will have the opportunity to approach the subjects from various literary genres, disciplinary registers, and/or critical methodologies.

Requirements: This course satisfies the requirements for the following Area(s) of Concentration: Post-1900 Literary and Cultural Studies; Colonial, postcolonial, and Transnational Literary and Cultural Studies.

ENL 5216

Studies in Middle English Language and Literature: Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales

Jamie Fumo
Tu, 6:35-9:35 p.m.

An intensive study of Geoffrey Chaucer’s great story collection, The Canterbury Tales (in the original Middle English), in light of the literary-historical and intellectual interests of late-medieval England. Our primary goal is to explore Chaucer’s artistic goals and strategies while becoming familiar with the textual and cultural conditions that shaped the early circulation of Chaucer’s text.

Our concerns will include: the status of the Tales as a story collection that bears both a closural framework and a brazenly open textuality; the poet's use and abuse of his sources and influences in designing individual tales; medieval theories of authorship as they inform Chaucer's various authorial and narratorial guises; and the generic multivalence of the tales and of Chaucer's artistic design. We will reflect on how the Tales, which Chaucer himself largely denounced—tongue quite possibly in cheek—in his “Retractions,” contribute to Chaucer's status as the first canonical English vernacular author. We will read nearly all of the Tales as well as a healthy cross-section of 20th- and 21st-century criticism on them, paying attention to the work’s (highly problematic) overall structure as well as the dynamic of its internal components. Instead of advocating for any one critical or methodological position, this course promotes a balanced, integrated view of various influential scholarly perspectives, so that seminar participants will emerge as versatile and analytically sentient readers of Chaucer. No prior experience with Middle English is expected, although learning to read and pronounce Middle English is a formal expectation of the course and will involve a collective effort. Requirements tentatively include regular, active participation in seminar; a Middle English recitation of a passage of your choice, with contextual discussion; a book review; a research proposal with annotated bibliography; and a final research paper or creative project.

Requirements: This course fulfills the general literature requirement for one course pre-1660 or one course pre-1800. It also satisfies the requirement for coursework in the following Areas of Concentration: History of Medieval and Early Modern British Literary and Cultural Studies through 1660; a Literary Genre (Poetry).

ENL 5227

Multimedia Shakespeare: Adaptation, Appropriation, Authorship

Terri Bourus
M, 3:05-6:05 p.m.

This course will examine Shakespeare’s relationship to the transformative media of early modern England down to today on stage, in print, and in digital formats. What makes Shakespeare’s work so appealing through the centuries and in different media formats? How has it continued to appeal to evolving media structures? We will look at Shakespeare's relationship to printers, publishers, actors, playing companies, theatrical infrastructure, and the bodies of performers. Who “is” Shakespeare? What meanings did his plays have in his own time, and what relevance do they continue to hold for us today? Active class participation is required. No background in Renaissance literature necessary, though prior experience with Shakespeare is a plus.

Requirements: This course fulfills the general literature requirement for one course pre-1600 or one course pre-1800. It also satisfies the requirement for coursework in the following areas of concentration: Medieval and Early Modern British Literacy and Cultural Studies, American Literary and Cultural Studies (through 1600); History of Text Technologies; or a Literary Genre (Drama).

ENL 5246

Studies in British Romantic Literature: Gothic Haunts

Judith Pascoe
W, 3:05-6:05 p.m.

We will explore the key role the haunted house has played in the literary imagination, moving backward in time from the works of late-twentieth century novelists to those of Romantic-era innovators. In the late eighteenth century, Gothic novels’ repetitive tropes—haunted castles, winding hallways, claustrophobic chambers—were ridiculed by critics, even as they were embraced by readers. A vast body of theory and criticism (Structuralist, Psychoanalytic, Feminist, Postcolonial, Queer) has since enriched our understanding of how Gothic literary works grapple with cultural and political disturbances. We will pleasurably read and discuss haunted house-inspired literary works (mostly novels, but also poetry and autobiography) for what they can teach us about their cultural moments and about the mechanics of novel and poetry writing. Students with varied scholarly and creative investments and ambitions are welcome.

Tentative Reading list:
Mariko Koike, The Graveyard Apartment (1993)
Toni Morrison, Beloved (1987)
Marilynne Robinson, Housekeeping (1980)
Shirley Jackson, The Haunting of Hill House (1959)
Daphne DuMaurier, “The Birds” (1952)
Henry James, The Turn of the Screw (1898)
Charlotte Riddell, The Uninhabited House (1883)
Harriet Jacobs, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl (1861)
Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre (1847)
John Keats, “The Eve of St. Agnes” (1819)
Samuel Taylor Coleridge, “Christabel” (1800)
Ann Radcliffe, The Mysteries of Udolpho (1794)
Horace Walpole, The Castle of Otranto (1764)
Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey (1817)

Requirements: This course fulfills the general literature requirement for one course in 1660-1900. It also satisfies the requirement for coursework in the following areas of concentration: Literary Genre (Fiction).

LIT 5017

Studies in Fiction: The Modern Music Novel

Barry J. Faulk
Tu/Th, 1:30-2:35 p.m.

“For twenty-five centuries, western knowledge has tried to look upon the world. It has failed to understand that the world is not for beholding. It is for hearing. It is not legible, but audible.” Jacques Attali opens his cultural historiography of noise with this provocation. The modern music novel attempts to address this cognitive imbalance by apprehending the world as an auditory phenomenon. Some writers (Joyce!) adapt the methods of musical composition for narrative purposes; others view the world through a set of “ultimate concerns” defined by music. Our reading includes some central texts that highlight the role that music has played in the evolution of the modern novel since the early 20th century: Tonio Kroger by Thomas Mann, selections from James Joyce’s Dubliners, E.M. Forster’s Howards End, Colin MacInnes’s Absolute Beginners, Salman Rushdie’s The Ground Beneath Her Feet, Hanif Kurieshi’s The Black Album, Nick Hornby’s Juliet, Naked, Zadie Smith’s On Beauty, Toni Morrison’s Jazz, and Jennifer Egan’s A Visit from the Goon Squad.

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

LIT 5309

Studies in Popular Culture: Media in the Digital Era

Leigh Edwards
asynchronous online section

This course examines theories of popular culture and media in the context of the emergence of mass culture and focuses on the evolution of media in the digital era, paying particular attention to how gender has been represented in media and has shaped the cultural reception of mediums. We will address popular music, television, film, and new media. We will also consider audience studies and fan culture. Our reading draws on media theory, media studies, gender studies, screen studies, popular music studies, film and new media, popular culture studies, digital humanities, and relevant cultural theory. The course will give you solid grounding in media theory and media studies and the chance to do more specialized research in the field. We will examine key media trends, particularly in reference to gender and related categories, discussing media convergence, transmedia storytelling, participatory fan culture, serialized narratives on television, authenticity projections in music, interactive digital videos and films, Jason Mittell's theory of "complex TV," the evolution of reality TV and documentary film, and new ideas of media in the digital era. Our focus will be on U.S. culture, but we will consider questions of 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; Feminism, Gender, and Sexuality Studies; the History of Text Technologies (reception conceptual area, Film/TV media). This course also meets the Alterity requirement.