Graduate Courses

Fall 2018

ART 561/ENG 549/FRE 561 Painting and Literature in Nineteenth-Century France and England Course explores the dynamic interplay between painting, poetry, and fiction in 19th-century France and England. The focus is twofold: painters and paintings as protagonists in novels and short stories, and paintings inspired by literature. Themes include problems of narrative, translation, and illustration; changing theories of the relative strengths of painting and literature as artistic media; realism and the importance of descriptive detail; the representation of the artist as a social (or anti-social) actor; the representation of women as artists and models; and the artist's studio as a literary trope. Instructor(s): Bridget A. Alsdorf, Deborah Epstein Nord
S01 01:30 PM - 04:20 PM Th
COM 539/HUM 585/ENG 539 Ideographs, Images and Emblems From the inception of writing in ancient times to the present, the intersection of images with texts has created subtle and ingenious systems of signs as well as philosophical, aesthetic and psychological discourses about how such signs relate to cognition and semiotics. This course studies several of these systems and discourses. Objects of study derive from ancient Egypt and Meso-America, Early Modern Europe, Modernism and Post-Structuralism, from competing theses on speech, writing, and gesture to attempts to develop new taxonomies of images. The class makes use of materials in our Rare Books Collection and objects in the Museum. Instructor(s): Thomas William Hare, Russell Joseph Leo III
S01 10:00 AM - 12:50 PM Th
S01 11:00 AM - 11:50 AM W
ENG 545 Special Studies in the 18th Century: Jane Austen and the English Novel Histories of the novel usually end with Austen or start with her: her novels are what the novel "rises" to or develops from. This seminar serves two purposes: (1) to survey critical works regarding the "rise of the novel" with respect to Defoe, Richardson, Fielding and Sterne, and (2) to ponder Austen's practice of FID in transforming as well as occluding that inheritance. We also ponder the notion of the novelistic as we consider the legacies of her work, reading short 20th- and 21st-century novels bearing her imprint. Instructor(s): Claudia L. Johnson
S01 09:00 AM - 11:50 AM T
ENG 555 American Literary Traditions: The Supernatural in American Literature The 1692 Salem witch trials defied rational explanation. How does one reconcile invisible specters flitting through the night or inflicting harm on young girls with religious orthodoxy and scientific modernity? From the crisis exposed by Salem to the fiction of Edgar Allen Poe, this course charts how a supernatural domain of demonic possession, ghosts, and gothic haunting evolves in transatlantic and early American literature. Reading works by novelists, preachers, poets, and philosophers, this course explores the supernatural as a realm of unsettled or forbidden knowledge about divinity as well as natural and material worlds. Instructor(s): Sarah Rivett
S01 09:00 AM - 11:50 AM W
ENG 563 Poetics: Intersections: Whitman and Dickinson An examination of the formal, conceptual, and philosophical innovations in the work of the two major nineteenth-century American poets. We consider such topics as the tropes of body and mind in Whitman's and Dickinson's verse; the revision fundamental to each poet's "development"; and the premises behind Whitman's poetry of wholes (nothing left out) and Dickinson's poetry of fragments. How does Whitman reconcile the construction of an abstract, inclusive, universal self with his commitment to substantive particulars? How does Dickinson find a language for the off-the-map quality of private experience? Instructor(s): Sharon Cameron
S01 09:00 AM - 11:50 AM Th
ENG 567/COM 567 Special Studies in Modernism: Exilic Time Exile by definition entails a wrenching relocation in space, but exile also can disarrange, by fracturing, the sense of time. This course examines the double time of exilic life, what Nabokov calls physical time and spiritual time. Physical time accentuates the pangs of exile--inhabiting a present so radically different from the familiar but quickly receding the past. Spiritual time, in which memory seek refuge, is more mobile and more creative; it can recall a vanished world and even project a future return. Instructor(s): Maria A. DiBattista
S01 01:30 PM - 04:20 PM W
ENG 568/COM 568 Criticism and Theory: Fredric Jameson Fredric Jameson is perhaps the most important theorist of our age with a global readership across all disciplines in the humanities for decades on end. In this graduate course, we discuss his entire body of work, appreciating the range and depth of his thought. I invite Jameson to teleconference into our seminar at least once, and I welcome interested students to do some advanced reading to acquaint themselves with his ideas. Instructor(s): Andrew Cole
S01 01:30 PM - 04:20 PM T
ENG 572/HUM 570 Introduction to Critical Theory: Phenomenology Phenomenology is a tradition concerned with how the world gives itself to appearances. It is also an epistemological method, committed to perpetual beginning as a way of apprehending the world and our place in it. This course is an introduction to this philosophy of continual introductions, beginning with several of Edmund Husserl's foundational texts, then moving to a multi-week reading of Merleau-Ponty's Phenomenology of Perception, and concluding with recent works of critical phenomenology that engage race, gender, and disability. Instructor(s): Gayle Salamon
S01 01:30 PM - 04:20 PM M
ENG 574 Literature and Society: Global Perspectives on Environmental Justice in Literature and Film This interdisciplinary seminar in the environmental humanities explores imaginative and political responses to unequal access to resources and unequal exposure to risk during a time of widening economic disparity. To engage these concerns, we venture to India, the Caribbean, South Africa, France, Kenya, Nevada, the U.S. Northwest, Japan, the UK, Australia, Bolivia, and the Middle East. Issues we will address include: climate justice, the Anthropocene, water security, food security, deforestation, the commons and the politics of access, indigenous movements and cosmologies, and the environmentalism of the poor. Instructor(s): Robert Nixon
S01 09:30 AM - 12:20 PM M
HUM 586/PHI 512/ENG 586 Hobbes and Milton: The Commonwealth, the Person and the Nature of Language Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679) is considered the greatest English thinker ever likely to be, John Milton (1608-74) the greatest English non-dramatic poet, and theorist of domestic and civil liberty. Both key in the English Revolution, they have continued to exert major international influence. Through analysis of major works and some secondary commentary, we consider their sharp contrasts (on authority, sovereignty, law, epistemology, poetics) and disarming similarities (the Bible, 'new science', superstition, matter, mortalism, rhetoric and logic), with some comparison of contemporaries such as Descartes, Spinoza and Margaret Cavendish. Instructor(s): Daniel Garber, Nigel Smith
S01 10:00 AM - 12:50 PM W
HUM 595/MOD 506/ENG 594 Interdisciplinary Studies in the Humanities: Alphabetographies In order to think about the relation between texts and images, we consider a series of collaborative projects between photographers and writers, or between photographers and the subjects who share their stories with the person taking their photographs. We consider the role of stories, documents, interviews, poetry, and drawings within these projects and think about what drives a photographer to collaborate with a writer or his or her subjects and what inspires a writer or theorist of photography to think about images. How is it that images speak and why do they require supplemental materials to be read? Instructor(s): Eduardo Lujan Cadava, Susan Clay Meiselas
S01 07:30 PM - 10:20 PM W