Graduate Courses - Fall 2023
ENGL 7001 The Art & Craft of the Essay
W 12:30 - 3:20
Lexicographer Samuel Johnson once defined the literary essay as a loose sally of the mind. Indeed, the long tradition of writing essays has largely been less about making arguments and more about interrogating the messy process of thought that accompanies trying to understand anything, howeverseemingly simple or complex. In this class we'll explore all the ways the essay form lends itself to artful expression of unwieldy human consciousness. We'll read widely in the essay genre and you'll write and workshop several beautifully messy essays of your own.
ENGL 7009 Screenwriting Workshop
M 12:30 - 3:20
This workshop focuses primarily on planning and writing a screenplay for a feature-length film or television pilot. This course is designed for students who are both familiar with and new to screenplay format and structure. We will read approximately 100 pages of screenplays per week and watch approximately one movie per week. The final assignment will be an original screenplay.
ENGL 7020 ProSeminar
Th 12:00 - 2:50
This course is required of English graduate students and is designed as an introduction to literary study in its various dimensions. The aim is to shape students who are knowledgeable, open-minded, and globally aware about the field and to prepare them for a variety of post-doctoral careers in English and the Humanities. The course will be composed of three clusters of exploration, designed to give an overview of the practical, historical, and theoretical dimensions of the discipline. The first cluster will be devoted to the question of what is meant by literature and literary history. The second will explore four areas of criticism and theory that have shaped the field of literature as we know it today: genre theory, gender and sexuality studies, postcolonialism; and interdisciplinary studies in literature and the visual arts. The third will focus on the nuts and bolts of research, paper writing, preparation for conferences, protocols for submitting work to peer-reviewed journals, and standards of professionalism. Assignments will include weekly contributions to class discussion based on assigned study questions, four short response papers, one oral presentation, and a final research paper of about 20 pages or 5000 words.
ENGL 7072 Surveying American Literature
W 12:30 - 3:20
What has it meant, and what can it mean, to survey American Literature? We’ll investigate key issues and debates in the evolution of American literary study, reading key primary texts along the way (and considering the ways and extent to which these might still be “key”). What are our objects, aims, and investments as scholars and teachers of American literature? How can syllabi and curricula reflect these? What is the relationship between surveying to “get the lay of the land” and surveying to ascertain value, especially in light of current political efforts to mandate what can and cannot be taught in American literature and history classrooms? Course activities will include class presentations, review and position papers, syllabi creation and oral defense.
ENGL 7107 Fairytale Is Form
Th 12:00 - 2:50
Our modern-day maven of the fairytale, Kate Bernheimer writes that in fairytales “a
dynamic universe is constellated to such a heightened degree that all things inside
the story exist on a plane so grammatically balanced—so symmetrical, so mirror-like
unto itself—that its contents are sublimated into a vapor of bliss. From this sort
of story no reader can escape unchanged back into the world outside the story.” In
this class, we will explore the aesthetic techniques that are the calling cards of
fairytales, such as fabulism, flatness, depthlessness, everyday magic, intuitive or
affective logic, and the uncanny. We will read traditional fairytales alongside their
contemporary reworkings and explore how the latter challenge, embroider, or upend
the originals. We will strive, in our writing, to invent new ways of sensing primal
and inexplicable wonder. Though this is technically a poetry seminar,
writers of all genres are welcome
ENGL 7221 The Literariness of Sexuality
Th 3:00 - 5:50
This course will attempt to theorize the relation between and mutual articulation of literature and sexuality. The first half of the course will consider the curious fact that many of the late 19th and early twentieth century sexologists who invented and theorized our contemporary vocabularies of sex and sexuality also had careers as literary authors of novels, poems, and plays. The second half of the course will query how some of the earliest queer writers and modernist authors theorized sexuality in their literary works. In the process, we will read some of the most canonical works in queer literature by Henry James, Richard Bruce Nugent, Djuna Barnes, Virgina Woolf, and Jose Garcia Villa.
ENGL 7915 Teaching College Composition
T/Th 10:30 - 12:00
Course is designed for graduate teaching assistants in the First-Year Writing program. Theoretical and pedagogical issues in the teaching of college writing. (Students must be graduate teaching assistants in the English Department or have permission of instructor.)
ENGL 7060 Romanticism's Minor Affects
C. Rovee T 6:00 - 8: 50
Romanticism is indelibly associated with major feelings: despair, exhilaration, bliss, dread, terror, rage. Romantic emotions are extreme, intense, larger-than-life; typically evoked in sublime scenes of nature, at sites of ancient ruin, or amidst cataclysmic historical events. But what about the delicately limned minor affects rampant in romantic literature, such as embarrassment, nostalgia, optimism, insecurity, numbness, loneliness, weariness, etc.—the relatable, and often queerly indeterminate, feelings that reflect life in a burgeoning consumer society? Minor affects are the very stuff of lyric poetry and the lyrical novel, highlighting the boundary separating language and embodied experience. In this class we will attend to minor affects represented in a range of poetry and prose from the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century, when feeling became explicitly political and when modern epistemologies of emotion fundamentally changed the way people understood their affective lives.
ENGL 7975 Narrating Personhood: African American Stories of Revelation and Concealment
W 3:30 - 6:20
Through a survey of African American literature, this course not only charts the development
of a multi-generic tradition of black storytelling, but it also engages larger questions
of canonicity, tradition, interpretation and even what literature and the nature of
literary study itself. From the first sorrow songs to the graphic novel of the 21st
century, as Toni Morrison noted, Black people have
“always been imagining” themselves as “the subjects [in their] own narratives, witnesses to and participants in [their] own experience.” In this course, we will explore how those stories, the narratives that organize these imaginings, always register not only black people’s “personal humanity” but also manage to “humanize the world around them.” Like the tradition we will study various genres and forms, literary and critical practice, audio and visual narratives. Assignments will include a digital project, oral paper presentations, research proposal, and critical reception study.
Genres of COVID: Fiction After March 2020
T 12:00 - 3:00
How has the Covid-19 pandemic expanded, restricted, and modified literary form? Is
fiction after March 2020 always written and read through a disaster imaginary? Is
there a “covid unconscious” to which post-pandemic fiction returns even when it claims
to be about something else? Can we see the first bursts of The Great Corona Novel
three years after the pandemic? We will discuss the
questions above through Anglophone postcolonial fiction written after March 2020. In short stories and novels, we will focus on the pandemic and direct representation, oblique evocation, and complete eradication to ask if the Covid-19 crisis is the there that is always there even when it isn’t there. Each literary work will be anchored to critical theory from postcolonial studies, the medical
humanities, narrative medicine, and disaster studies. Fiction may include The New York Times Decameron Project, Zadie Smith's Intimations, Salman Rushdie's Victory City, and Mohsin Hamid's The Last White Man. Course requirements include weekly Moodle posts, active class participation, “teaching” one class in groups, and a 15-page critical or creative paper.