Graduate Courses

Fall 2020

ENG 511 Special Studies in Medieval Literature: Medievalizing Africa: Race, History, Philosophy This course explores, first, the profound role that African thinkers played in the late antique invention and development of poetry, theology, and philosophy in later European cultural formations and, second, the remapping of the idea of the "medieval" onto Africa in the era of colonialism, and the contemporary legacy of that mapping in the work of decolonization. Topics will include: Egyptology and racism; the invention of allegory; the complex historical intersectionalities of Europe and Africa; the formation of ethnography; land law; labor law; flower farms; wildlife conservancies; modern African writing; race and history. Instructor(s): Donald Vance Smith
S01 01:30 PM - 04:20 PM Th
ENG 532 Early 17th Century: Milton: Poetry and a Theory of Revolution Milton's poetry is pivotal in world literature; his prose advanced an integrated theory of radical change: of sexuality, personal and political freedom, theology, poetry, cognition, the universe. Key in England's only non-monarchical regime, a torchbearer for republicanism after its defeat; the most influential non-dramatic English poet down to the 21st-century; an early global Anglophone poet. We will explore Milton's writings in the context of their emergence and later works under or against his sway: e.g., Toland, Astell, Phillis Wheatley, Hollis, Blake, both Shelleys, Douglass, Empson, Pullman, Ronald Johnson, Deleuze, Hill, Guillory. Instructor(s): Nigel Smith
S01 09:00 AM - 11:50 AM T
ENG 565/GSS 565 The Victorian Novel: Nineteenth Century English Novels This class asks questions like these: How do these novels transform the pursuit of economic interests into dramas of romantic and erotic desire? How are fascinations and anxieties about foreign races brought home to the domestic scene? What is the relation between verbal facility and social class in the Victorian novel, and how is this relation represented? How does the form of the Victorian novel extend, intensify, and expose the systems of social surveillance that developed in the 19th century? How does the Victorian novel imagine its relation to other fields of knowledge? Instructor(s): Jeff Nunokawa
S01 06:30 PM - 09:20 PM W
ENG 567 Special Studies in Modernism: Great Good Place: Modernist Utopias Utopias literally exist nowhere, but their moral and social hopes for an improved, ideally perfected Life congregate and are realized in a specific site: the Great Good Place. The phrase comes from the title of Henry James's only utopian fiction, in which "The Great Good Place" is equated with having "The Great Want Met." Our seminar explores the Great Wants that Utopian fictions at once acknowledge and hope to satisfy through their imaginative reclamation or transformation of place. Instructor(s): Maria A. DiBattista
S01 01:30 PM - 04:20 PM M
ENG 568/ARC 592/COM 568/ART 520/MOD 570 Criticism and Theory: Spatial Theory: Towards a Dialectic of Space Space is the place. What does it mean to talk about space? What's to the idea of "belonging" to a place or "feeling" out of place? Why does an event "take place"? This course develops a dialectical materialism of the built environment from several disciplines, reworking the older temporal logics of the dialectic into spatial ones, and performing a thought experiment whereby we exclude the usual terms like time, diachrony, language, history, subjectivity, and desire, in favor of ones that help us think space, place, and matter together--generating new contradictions, even new insolubilia and paradoxes, to reorient our perception of the world. Instructor(s): Andrew Cole
S01 01:30 PM - 04:20 PM W
ENG 572/GSS 573 Introduction to Critical Theory: Work In this course wel look carefully at crucial theses (and crises) of work and labor, paying particular attention to social reproduction and attendant questions of sex, gender, and class. Topics include the working day; flex time; the gig economy; housework/domestic work; affective labor; immaterial labor; care work; migration; the refusal to work; the right to laziness, and other forms of resistance. In addition to foundational works in theory and gender and sexuality studies we turn our attention to signal films to discern how certain forms of work, as well as resistance, become intelligible (or resist intelligibility as such). Instructor(s): Russ Leo
S01 06:30 PM - 09:20 PM T
ENG 573/AAS 572 Problems in Literary Study: The Present Moment How do critics, writers, and readers approach the work of the present moment? Engaging literary and cultural objects produced over the last calendar year, this seminar interrogates the field of 21st century literature and culture in English, and the contemporary role of critique in academic and popular culture. We examine primary texts that undertake their own projects of social, political, and formal critique alongside experiments in theoretical writing from academics and non-academics alike. As creators and critics in the present moment, what audiences are we writing for? What forms can that writing take? Instructor(s): Sarah A. Chihaya, Kinohi Nishikawa
S01 01:30 PM - 04:20 PM T
ENG 582 Graduate Writing Seminar While dissertation seminars invite students to map the territory and the stakes of their thesis, and article workshops tailor writing for specific journals, this seminar focuses on the craft of writing. Our premise is that craft and argument are mutually constitutive and our method is deliberative slow motion, tracking words, sentences, paragraphs with care. Each week we read and critique 2-3 paragraphs of each student's prose, on the understanding that they will be revised the following week, when we take up the next 2-3 paragraphs. By the end of the term, each student should have a polished article, chapter or talk. Instructor(s): Claudia L. Johnson
S01 09:00 AM - 11:50 AM M