Fall 2016 Graduate Flyer


FALL 2016

ENG. 110: Introduction to the Profession (72641)
R. 5:00 – 7:00 PM
Dr. Granville Ganter

This is a course to introduce students to the basics of graduate work in the humanities: how to research and write a paper. It also discusses how to think about graduate school and the profession at large: choosing an advisor, planning to write the dissertation, applying for jobs, and imagining your place as a scholar. Key activities that I tend to emphasize are the half-way projects of writing proposals based on a little research, whether they be for papers or grants; and finding summaries of others’ research like book reviews to build research bibliographies. The class will have some practical aspects, like establishing an Inter Library Loan account, but I hope to expose students to a variety of methods for humanities research: close reading and the uses of authority; social science approaches with human subjects that require university review board approval (IRB); literary analysis; historical and sociological approaches; creative ones. Each approach poses different sorts of interpretive frameworks. Each could be the subject of a class in itself but I hope to survey them. And on a meta-pedagogical note: most of the activities in this class are there to help students get over the fear of the unknown—once students have the experience of doing a task, they are more likely to do it again. I’m quite aware that this class will shape the future behavior of most of the students, so I’m deliberately trying to be as open to as many current approaches to English Studies as possible.


ENG. 141: Writing in the Academy (74856)
W 5:00 – 7:00 PM
Dr. Ann Geller

In Writing in the Academy, we will explore students’ experiences writing beyond composition courses. We will consider the history and current status of English’s involvement in this teaching and learning by reading about how English departments took, and sometimes continue to take, the lead in developing US writing across the curriculum (WAC) programs and writing in the disciplines (WID) programs. We will study various philosophies and pedagogies of WAC/WID programs and critiques of WAC/WID. We will also work toward an understanding of how WAC and WID programs (as well as literacy across the curriculum and literacy coaching initiatives at the high school level) must ask questions of identity, language, community, disciplinarity, access, and exclusion that are both similar to and different from those questions composition scholars struggle with around first year writing. In addition to immersing ourselves in these histories of – and challenges to – writing instruction across academic disciplines, we will read case studies of students’ experiences as writers, including descriptions of what students face as they write across and within disciplines and across all of their communities (within and beyond school).  Among our texts will be Language, Culture, Identity and Citizenship in College Classrooms and Communities, Writing in the Academic Disciplines: A Curricular History, and Student Writing: Access, Regulation, Desire.


ENG. 195: Digital Literary Studies (74859)
R. 2:50 – 4:50 PM
Dr. Jennifer Travis

This course investigates how digital technologies affect the way we read, study, teach, and understand literature.  It also introduces students to the rapidly growing field of study known as the digital humanities. From the digitization of printed texts to the analysis of texts using machine algorithms, the course will familiarize students with digital humanities practices and examine the ways in which digital humanities poses significant challenges to familiar assumptions in literary study, from how we read to the meaning of authorship. In addition, the course will devote time to scholarship about and techniques in digital pedagogy.  For questions please contact Dr. Travis, travisj@stjohns.edu.


ENG. 380: Topics in Early Modern Studies (74854)
Open King Lear: Shakespeare in the Anthropocene
M. 5:00 – 7:00 PM
Dr. Steven Mentz

Taking as its core text Shakespeare’s King Lear, the greatest play ever written in English, this course opens up the canon to ask how literary culture speaks to the Anthropocene Age. Like the mad old king in the storm, we must open ourselves to the destructive environment we ourselves have had a hand in destroying. Course readings will include the play’s sources and related Shakespearean and non-Shakespearean works that engage with Lear’s ecological dilemmas. We will read twenty-first century literary responses to Lear by Jane Smiley and Boris Pasternak, watch international films by Grigori Kozintzev and Akira Kurosawa, and read ecocriticism by Stacy Alaimo, Catriona Sandilands, Tim Morton, Bruno Latour, Jeffrey Cohen, and others. We’ll engage the work of New York-based eco-artists, including Marina Zurkow, Nancy Nowacek, and Jamie Skye Bianco. A signature text will be the about-to-be-published (spring 2016) Posthuman Lear by Craig Dionne, who will join us for one of several “field trips” to post-catastrophe environments in greater New York, including Newtown Creek and Dead Horse Bay. If we’re lucky we’ll visit those places during a storm!


ENG. 580: Studies in Nineteenth-Century British Literature (74855)
The Aesthetics of John Keats
T. 2:50 – 4:50 PM
Dr. Gregory Maertz

“I am certain of nothing but the holiness of the Heart’s affections and the truth of the imagination. What imagination seizes as Beauty must be truth.” (Letter to Benjamin Bailey, 22 November 1817)
A study of the poetry and letters of John Keats (1795-1821) with a special focus on the aesthetic positions and technical innovations emerging from the early poems (1814-16), the Great Odes of 1819, and his correspondence. Students will be introduced to archival resources in New York City and read selected biographical and textual criticism. Each member of the seminar will complete a 25-page paper and deliver a brief formal presentation near the end of the course.


ENG. 700: The Emergence of Modernism (74857)

W. 2:50 – 4:50 PM

Dr. Rachel Hollander

This course will center on several of Virginia Woolf’s novels and essays as a focal point for exploring the emergence and development of Anglo-American modernism. As the daughter of a Victorian man of letters, center of the Bloomsbury group, co-founder of the Hogarth Press (which published T.S. Eliot and the first English translations of Freud, among many others), prolific essayist, and originator of the modern novel, Woolf is a crucial figure in any formulation of literary modernism. With an emphasis on the politics of gender and sexuality, and the more recent considerations of modernism as a diverse global phenomenon, we will follow the trajectory of Woolf’s career to trace early twentieth-century experimentation both aesthetic and cultural. In addition to Woolf, primary authors may include Djuna Barnes, T.S. Eliot, E.M. Forster, H.D., James Joyce, Nella Larsen, Katherine Mansfield, Olive Schreiner, and Gertrude Stein.


ENG. 755: Topics in African American Literature (74858)
The Long Civil Rights Movement: African American Literature and History

M. 2:50 – 4:50 PM
Dr. John Lowney

This seminar will examine the ongoing importance of the Civil Rights Movement for African American literary, cultural, and social history. While the Civil Rights era has been most often identified with the activism of the 1950s and 1960s, this course will explore what has become known as the “Long Civil Rights Movement,” from the early decades of the twentieth century through current activism and reconsiderations of the movement’s significance. Beginning with the labor movements of the 1930s and 1940s, and concentrating most intensively on the Civil Rights and Black Power movements of the 1950s and 1960s, the course will emphasize how African American literature has shaped as well as responded to questions of social justice. Course readings and topics will address specifically how the African American freedom movement has interacted with and influenced debates about nationalism and internationalism, activism and leadership, and gender and sexuality. Readings will include Richard Wright, Uncle Tom’s Children; Lorraine Hansberry, A Raisin in the Sun; Amiri Baraka, Dutchman; James Baldwin, The Fire Next Time; Alice Walker, Meridian; Anthony Grooms, Bombingham; Claudia Rankine, Citizen: An American Lyric; and Ta-Nehisi Coates, Between the World and Me. We will also read important documents by civil rights activists as well as selected poetry by Langston Hughes, Gwendolyn Brooks, Amiri Baraka, Sonia Sanchez, and Audre Lorde.


ENG. 761: Caribbean Literature Culture & Theory (74001)
The Circum-Caribbean and Caribbean Studies
T. 5:00 – 7:00 PM
Dr. Raj Chetty

This course serves as an introduction to issues and problems at the nexus of Caribbean Cultural Studies and Caribbean Literary Studies. We will engage literary works that present historical and cultural issues in the circum-Caribbean region, complemented by multidisciplinary essays approaching the very question of the Caribbean as a region of literary and cultural study. The course will work from theorists from across the Caribbean that approach the region as a unit of analysis, including Antonio Benítez-Rojo, Edouard Glissant, Shalini Puri, and Silvio Torres-Saillant. These theories will ground our discussions across the rest of the semester, which will maintain a commitment to intra-Caribbean comparison. After a jaunt through late 19th century anti-imperial and anti-racist writing by José Martí, Antenor Fermin, and J. J. Thomas, we will read short prose fiction, poetry, theater, and short essays organized under topical units (with a tentative list of writers):

  • “New Negro, Negrismo, Négritude” (Fernando Ortíz, Jean Price-Mars, Eric Walrond, Nicolás Guillén, Cola Debrot, Aimé Césaire, Aída Cartagena Portalatín, Julia De Burgos, René Depestre)
  • “Anti-colonial Revolutionary Politics” (C. L. R. James, Aimé Césaire, Frantz Fanon, Claudia Jones, Elsa Goveia, Martin Carter, Walter Rodney)

3)    “Caliban’s Nation Language” (Kamau Brathwaite, Jean Bernabé/Patrick Chamoiseau/Rafaël Confiant, Roberto Fernández Retamar, Una Marson, Sam Selvon, Louise Bennett, David Dabydeen,             Carolyn Cooper)

4)    “Sisters Outside” (Audre Lorde, Sylvia Wynter, Myra Santos-Febres, Jamaica Kincaid, Maryse Condé, Shani Mootoo, Ana Lara)


ENG.  975: Dissertation Workshop (72160)
M 5:00-7:00PM
Dr. Amy King

This course provides a workshop environment for students in all stages of the dissertation process.  All doctoral students must register for 975 from the start through the completion of the dissertation. The three credit course, in which students must enroll for two semesters, guides students into dissertation research and writing and assists more advanced students in peer-review and revision. Students will choose and/or refine a dissertation topic, write a dissertation proposal, develop a dissertation timeline for completion of chapters, workshop a chapter with peers, and cultivate effective writing strategies. For more advanced students, the course will emphasize peer-review workshop techniques for revision, and strategies for completion. We will also practice habits of writing, revision, and presentation for professional success.


ENG. 500: Colloquia (70230)

ENG. 900: Master’s Research (70745)

ENG. 901: Readings & Research (70746)

ENG. 901: Readings & Research (73179)

ENG. 925: Maintaining Matriculation (MA) (70105)

ENG. 930: Maintaining Matriculation (PhD) (70104)

ENG. 975: Doctoral Research Essay (PhD) Workshop (72161) (1 Credit)

This is the one-credit version of ENG. 975, only to be taken after the student has completed two semesters of the three-credit version of ENG. 975.