Graduate Courses

Fall 2017

CHV 577/COM 577/ENG 535 Crime and Punishment (Ethics of Reading VII) The seminar studies important legal cases in the field of criminal justice and penology, alongside some works of literature that address analogous issues. Focus on reading legal opinions, especially concerning: guilt, search and seizure, interrogation and confession, trial, appeal, and punishment. Attention also to the analysis of narrative and rhetoric in both law and literature. Visiting faculty join the seminar every other week. Instructor(s): Peter P. Brooks
S01 06:00 PM - 07:20 PM W
S01 04:30 PM - 06:00 PM W
ENG 511 Special Studies in Medieval Literature: Medievalizing Africa This course has three aims: 1) to disprove Hegel's claim that Africa has no history, particularly in the domain of philosophy; 2) to trace the legacy of medieval institutions and political theology in the formation of the colony and the postcolonial state; 3) to explore the institutional formation, and the silences, of postcolonial theory itself as the legacy of the forgetting of the European and African medieval. Readings come from the domains of medieval philosophy, theology, and literature; African historiography; contemporary African writing; postcolonial theory. Instructor(s): Donald Vance Smith
S01 01:30 PM - 04:20 PM F
ENG 523 Renaissance Drama: Shakespeare's Language A survey of Shakespeare's linguistic resources, from several standpoints: the history of the language, the art of rhetoric, problems of attribution (including the potentials of computational stylometrics), and poetics. Over the course of the semester we study six plays, including Comedy of Errors, Hamlet, and The Winter's Tale. There are weekly exercises in stylistic description and imitation. Our questions: how does Shakespeare sound like himself? (Does he sound like himself?) How does he sound like others, like his age, like his readers? And his characters - can we ask the same questions of them? Instructor(s): Jeff Dolven
S01 01:30 PM - 04:20 PM W
ENG 545/COM 544 Special Studies in the 18th Century: Literature and the Early Enlightenment, 1650-1760 What is Enlightenment? And when, if at all, did Enlightenment happen? In this course we approach these familiar and crucial questions with an eye to literary forms and fabulae, tracing how poetry, tragedy, and novels participate in the work of biblical exegesis, theology, natural philosophy, and emancipatory political though--that is, the common terrain of Enlightenment philosophy and administration. We examine inventive investigations of enthusiasm and priestcraft, speculative anthropologies that posit worlds before Adam and Eden, and philosophical works that traverse genres, exacting new and exciting forms of fiction. Instructor(s): Sophie Graham Gee, Russell Joseph Leo III
S01 10:00 AM - 12:50 PM T
ENG 550 The Romantic Period: Chameleon Poets: Posture and Imposture in the Romantic Age "What shocks the virtuous philosopher, delights the camelion poet," wrote Keats, while Byron declared that "there's a sure market for imposture." Even as the Romantics cultivated the posture of poetic authenticity, they also invented avatars, disguises, doppelgangers, shape-shifters and shameless frauds. In readings of Wordsworth, Byron, Keats, Hemans, Robinson, Equiano, Hogg, and Scott, we explore the dialectic between posture and imposture in the Romantic age as an allegory of form, a theater of the self, and a triumph of Romantic irony. Discussion frequently focuses on approaches to teaching these texts. Instructor(s): Esther Helen Schor
S01 07:30 PM - 10:20 PM T
ENG 553/COM 556 Special Studies in the Nineteenth Century: Realism, Evolution, and the "Natural History of Man" The seminar explores the interaction between nineteenth-century fiction and an ascendant "natural history of man," from late-Enlightenment philosophical anthropology through early transformist biology to Charles Darwin. Topics include: the Romantic invention of new novelistic forms, the Bildungsroman and historical novel, in light of a new form of human subject; the scientific basis (in pre-Darwinian evolutionism) of Dickens's challenge to the codes of realism; reconfiguration of the relation between lyric and narrative in long poetic forms (Tennyson); George Eliot's address to the ongoing revolutions in the natural and human sciences. Instructor(s): Ian Hamish Duncan
S01 09:00 AM - 11:50 AM W
ENG 563 Poetics: Poetic Realism: Episodes, 18th Century to the Present The leading ambition is to track a variety of ways in which poetry tries to capture felt and pressing realities. The course starts with Pope at his most sweeping ("Essay on Man," "Essay on Criticism"), and take up the relationship among psalms, metrical psalms, blank verse, Anna Laetitia Barbauld's metrical prose, and hymns before proceeding to georgics and conversation poems. It concludes with a discussion of first-person lyric and memoir. Instructor(s): Frances Cottrell Ferguson
S01 01:30 PM - 04:20 PM M
ENG 568 Criticism and Theory: Impunity How is our political moment in line with a series of cultural and political shifts since WWII, in global practices of impunity? How may we reconsider postcolonial texts from the vantage point of questions about accountability, redress, and the production of subjects who can or cannot be punished? We explore economic, legal, psychological, and aesthetic dimensions of impunity, ranging across a series of global sites, from Indonesia to the U.S. Course topics include decolonization, state violence, populism, and aesthetic autonomy. Readings include Adorno, Arendt, Balibar, Brown, Butler, Fanon, Kristeva, Marx, Nietzsche, Spivak. Instructor(s): Zahid Rafiq Chaudhary
S01 09:30 AM - 12:20 PM Th
ENG 574/AAS 574 Literature and Society: The Present Moment: Contemporary Literature How do critics, writers, and readers approach the work of the present moment? This seminar has two main foci: first, the field of 21st century literature and culture in English, and second, the contemporary role of critique in both academic and popular culture. We read and watch primary texts that undertake their own projects of social, political, and formal critique, alongside experiments in critical and theoretical writing from writers both in and outside of the academy. We take up questions that animate discussions about the role of the humanities in our present moment: who are we writing for? What forms can that writing take? Instructor(s): Sarah A. Chihaya, Kinohi Nishikawa
S01 01:30 PM - 04:20 PM Th