Graduate Courses

Fall 2024 English

Renaissance Drama: Early Modern Tragedy, Mainly Shakespearean
Subject associations
ENG 523

In this course, we look afresh at S's tragedies with two ends in mind. First, to explore their frequently skeptical engagements with the orthodoxies (cultural, moral, political, poetic, religious, etc.) of life at the turn of the 17th century. Second, to explore the ways in which S reconceived tragedy as a medium through which to represent this world as truthfully as possible. We read S alongside a wide range of other sources, mainly early modern. Our main concern is to better understand the plays themselves, but we also think hard about questions of genre and about the relationship between literary theory and practice.

Instructors
Rhodri Lewis
Early 17th Century: Spinoza and Spinozism
Subject associations
ENG 532 / COM 509

During the first half of this course we look closely at Baruch Spinoza's major works, the Ethics and the Tractatus Theologico-Politicus, studying Spinoza's texts themselves and resituating them in conversation with contemporary interlocutors. During the second half of the course we trace the reception of Spinoza since the late 1960s, considering how and why various theorists have retrieved Spinoza/ism in an attempt to rethink power, labor, ideology, affect, and the body.

Instructors
Russ Leo
The 18th Century: The Rise of the British Empire in Eighteenth-Century Literature
Subject associations
ENG 543

This course reads literature from the "long eighteenth century" (1660-1820) to understand the rise of the British empire as both imaginative construction and material fact. It considers texts representing the transatlantic slave trade, including by formerly enslaved people, the conquest and settlement of the Americas, Enlightenment voyages of scientific discovery in the Pacific, "Oriental" fantasies, and other sites of struggle and domination. It asks how literary form and empire are connected, how race and difference were imagined in service of this connection, and explores the troubling contradictions of Enlightenment modernity.

Instructors
Robbie Richardson
Poetics: Doing Poetry: Feminist Poetics and Translation
Subject associations
ENG 563

"I-do-poetry" was coined by feminist poet and critic Kim Hyesoon. "I-do-poetry" defies male-centered metaphors and poetic devices predetermined for women--instead, it seeks what Kim refers to as the "feminine," the unsevered bodily engagement with loss, sorrow, death, injustice. This course explores the patriarchal, militaristic, and colonial contexts within which "I-do-poetry" resists and experiments. We will explore the practice and theory of translation within the context of historical power relations: what does it mean to enact "I-do-poetry" to translation in times of perpetual violence and war? What can translation do in these times?

Instructors
Don Mee Choi
Special Studies in Modernism: Steal This Seminar: Pirates and Copyrights in Lit, Law, and Culture
Subject associations
ENG 567 / MOD 569

What is intellectual piracy? Should it be prohibited or encouraged? How does it relate to copyright, authorship, and other legal regimes and creative activities? We survey unlawful and lawful piracy from the 19th century to the present, focusing on British, Irish, and American authors, creators, publishers, and laws. Critical concepts and institutions of modernity include: copyright, commons, informal norms, privacy, obscenity, authorship, collaboration, publishers' trade courtesy. Our goals include developing research and rhetorical skills for writing effectively in the rapidly growing interdiscipline of law and literature.

Instructors
Robert E. Spoo
Problems in Literary Study: Postcolonial Heterotopias
Subject associations
ENG 573 / COM 596

This course is an invitation to rethink established accounts of postcolonial literature outside national allegory, modern subjectivity, and the symbolic. Focusing on "non-places" and "minor" characters, the course seeks to understand the postcolonial imaginary beyond the utopia of community and the dystopia of postmodern angst and to explore selves and non-selves formed in deterritorialized zones, degraded ecologies, and spaces of exclusion. The course focuses on disposable subjects, bare life, and with experiences locked in a range of heterotopias--middle passages, islands, deserts, penal colonies, and spaces of death.

Instructors
Simon E. Gikandi
Literature and Society: Global Perspectives on Environmental Justice
Subject associations
ENG 574

This interdisciplinary seminar explores imaginative and political responses to unequal access to resources and exposure to risk at a time of widening economic disparity. To engage these concerns, we venture to India, Japan, the Caribbean, South Africa, Kenya, the UK, the Pacific Northwest, Bolivia, the Faroe Islands, and the Middle East. Issues we address include: environmental justice, climate justice, the Anthropocene, water security, deforestation, the commons, indigenous movements, the environmentalism of the poor, the gendered and racial dimensions of environmental justice, and the position of the writer-activist.

Instructors
Rob Nixon

Fall 2024 Cross-Listed

Contemporary Critical Theories: Marx's Capital: Reading Volume 2
Subject associations
COM 535 / GER 535 / ENG 538

Capital, vol. 2--the least well-known volume of Marx's opus--may paradoxically now be the most pertinent in global contemporaneity. In terse and highly formalized terms, it theorizes the total subsumption of society under interlocking yet clashing circuits of capital. It also gives a powerful account of how the system reproduces itself in and through the negotiation of its inherent crises. We read vol. 2 intensively and supplement it with Marx's writing on subsumption and Rosa Luxemburg's The Accumulation of Capital.

Instructors
Benjamin Conisbee Baer
Publishing Articles in Literature, Art, and Music Studies Journals
Subject associations
COM 532 / ART 531 / ENG 591 / MUS 533

In this class, students of literature, art, and music read deeply and broadly in peer-reviewed journals in their disciplines and fields as a way of learning current scholarly debates and placing their scholarship in relationship to them. Students report each week on the trends in the last five years of any journal of their choice, writing up the articles' arguments and debates, while also revising a paper in relationship to those debates and preparing it for publication. This course enables students to leap forward in their scholarly writing through a better understanding of their fields and the significance of their work to them.

Instructors
Wendy Laura Belcher