Spring 2016 Graduate Flyer




ENG. 300: Shakespeare and Early Modern Studies (14951)
Discover the Globe
R 5:00 – 7:00 PM
Dr. Brian Lockey
The Globe theatre was Londoners’ window on the world, where inhabitants of the city could explore the foreign and the exotic. This course will consider representations of national, racial, and religious identities from around the globe, with a special focus on the Mediterranean as a region dominated by the clash of empires. We will explore English fiction from the critical perspective of the “Mediterranean turn” which has radically transformed the field of early modern studies. In particular, we will consider a number of important works of English fiction as responses to popular perceptions of the conflict between Christendom and Islam, focusing on those works of fiction in which Arabs, Moors, and Turks assume a prominent role. We will examine a diverse array of literary constructions of the dangerous, seductive, and sometimes exotic foreign identities that English writers of fiction seemed both to fear and to desire. We will consider the vexed relationship between England and the transnational Christian commonwealth, portrayals of hybrid identity, the way in which the English nation itself and Christendom were compared to female bodies, as well as how foreign lands were often figured as feminine and pliant to the conquering European.
As we shall see, Protestant England, marginal as it was to the rest of Europe, had a unique perspective on the Ottoman-Hapsburg conflict, which contemporary Europeans mostly perceived as an ongoing war between Christians and Muslim Ottoman Turks. Most fictional portrayals of Moors and Turks during the Renaissance conformed to negative perceptions of the infidel that existed throughout Continental Europe, but there were positive portrayals as well, the most famous of which is William Shakespeare’s character Othello. Among the works that we will read are Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus, Antony and Cleopatra, and Othello, the Moor of Venice, Philip Massinger’s The Renegado, George Peele’s The Battle of Alcazar, and Edmund Spenser’s The Faerie Queene.


ENG. 440: Studies in the Restoration and Eighteenth Century (15293)

The Eighteenth Century and the History of Sexuality
M 5:00 – 7:00 PM

Dr. Kathleen Lubey

This course will take as its premise the significance of the eighteenth century as a period of emerging sexual modernity in Western culture, a characterization agreed upon by major historians of sexuality including Michel Foucault, Henry Abelove, and Susan Lanser. Reading primary texts of various genres written between 1660 and 1789 by major, minor, and anonymous British authors, we will learn the central position sexuality held in the cultural imagination of this time. Integral to debates about science, gender, marriage, social rank, emergent capitalism, literary value, and politics, sex figures continually as an experimental ground for asking questions about the many social fields with which it overlaps. Should all partners enjoy sex? Was masculine promiscuity endorsed by literary and cultural institutions? Is feminine virtue innate or socially constructed? Are people inherently queer? Can authors transgender themselves through literary character? Could sex serve a moral good? Were prostitutes comparable to other kinds of people? Is sodomy a sin? Is pornography always pornographic? Such questions—compelling, I think, in any historical time—are urgently posed and rearticulated in the texts of the eighteenth century, an era that more broadly saw changes in family structure, social order, and democratic politics. We’ll examine to what degree sexuality functioned for writers as a method of engaging, if not inventing, these major historical and cultural changes; and we’ll encounter works that situate sex acts both reverently and irreverently (i.e., there will be both virtuous and vicious readings). Each week we’ll read both primary and secondary texts: novels, poetry, pornography, essays, philosophy, history, queer theory, and literary criticism. Requirements will include regular and judicious participation, weekly attendance, one short paper, and a seminar paper.


ENG. 740: The Contemporary Novel (14952)

T 2:50 – 4:50 PM

Prof. Gabriel Brownstein

In this class we’re going to read and study love stories by major contemporary world Anglophone writers, including Coetzee, Ishiguro, Morrison, Munro, Roth, and Rushdie.



ENG. 745: Contemporary Poetry (14948)

W 5:00 – 7:00 PM

Dr. Stephen Paul Miller

This class approaches contemporary poetry through the New York School Poets—Frank O’Hara, John Ashbery, Kenneth Koch, Barbara Guest, James Schuyler, and David Shapiro. The New York poets emphasize the more experimental features of great modern poets such as Steven, Pound, Williams, Stein, Loy, and Eliot through the affinity that both poetry groups share with modern art. The class will study the work of the Mina Loy and also several objectivist poets as a prelude for studying the New York School Poets. We will also study movements following New York School poetry, such as Language and Conceptual poetry.


ENG. 775: Topics in 20th Century British Literature Culture (14956)
Ulysses and the End of the Novel

R 2:50 – 4:50 PM

Dr. Stephen Sicari

There are many ways to approach the study of Joyce’s Ulysses: as a modernist epic, in which case you read the novel alongside of Homer and Virgil, maybe Dante and Milton; as allegory, with the Bible and Dante and Bunyan as context; as the central text in literary modernism;  as Irish and postcolonial; or as “the end of the novel.”

Yes, that’s hyperbole, but I hope to indicate by such excess that Joyce’s intentions are extreme and ambitious, that the novel as it had developed by his day needed to be critiqued and renewed and maybe even replaced by a new kind of writing.

I see the course as a companion of sorts to last year’s “Theory of the Novel” course, where we read in the history and theory of the English novel, beyond Joyce too.  Ulysses in the context of the history of the novel.

With that said, reading Ulysses is among the great pleasures of human existence.


ENG. 800: Forms & Themes in Film (15267)

The Work of Horror

T 5:00 – 7:00 PM

Dr. Scott Combs

This course provides an intensive look at the horror film genre, its historical parameters, its political and cultural work, and its theoretical implications. Weekly screenings take us through this history of the genre—we will look closely at silent horror in Europe and the United States, the early sound-era monster film, occult, slasher, and zombie films, and today’s preponderance of so-called “torture porn.” Traditionally considered “lowbrow” in aesthetic appeal and cultural status, horror demonstrates to remarkable effect a critique of certain privileges of race, class, masculinity, science, and technology. Horror’s cultural work will be the focus of this iteration of the course.


ENG. 807: Teaching World Literature (15407)

M 2:50 – 4:50 PM

Dr. Dohra Ahmad

What are some of the models available for teaching World Literature, Global Literature, or (in its most local incarnation) Literature in a Global Context? This course will investigate some of the most prevalent approaches – such as the yearlong chronological survey, the “canonical revisions” organization, and various thematic and genre-based models – with attention to the pedagogical, theoretical, and aesthetic considerations that inform each. While the course is primarily intended for graduate students who plan to teach or already teach English 1100c or an equivalent class, it is also open to anyone with an interest in pedagogy, canonicity, globalization, and related topics.


ENG. 880: Topics in Interdisciplinary Studies (15068)
Black Philosophy: Performance & Aesthetics

F 2:50 – 4:50 PM

Dr. Shanté Paradigm Smalls

This course focuses on historical and contemporary black performance and aesthetics in the African diaspora. The course makes use of text, film, performance, art, music, and other genres to map how black performance and aesthetics manifest. We will consider the theories of black philosophy, black performance, and black aesthetics, as well as how black life, performance, and aesthetics is a form of theorizing. This course will be of interest to those working with philosophy, performance, aesthetics, critical theory, critical race theory, blackness, and cultural history. Theorists we will use: Achille Mbembe, LH Stallings, AG Weheliye, Hortense Spillers, Uri McMillan, Krista Thompson, and more.


ENG. 975: Dissertation Workshop (10800)

T 5:00 – 7:00 PM

Dr. Steven Mentz

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. 130: Theories of Literacy (15280)

Comparative Rhetoric: Re-Presenting the Other

MR 12:15 – 1:40 PM

Dr. LuMing Mao

For the past few decades we have seen a growing trend in the field of Composition of Rhetoric to interrogate and broaden dominant rhetorical and writing paradigms and to study non-Euro-American composing traditions on their own terms and in their own contexts. The emergence of comparative rhetoric as a field of study is an integral part of this trend. Comparative rhetoric engages different, non-Euro-American rhetorical practices across time, place, and space and is committed to different ways of knowing and speaking and to different forms of inquiry. This graduate seminar situates itself in this context and aims to contribute to the comparative turn. We will therefore be reading both current scholarships on comparative rhetoric including methodology and translations of primary materials on non-Euro-American rhetorics with a particular focus on Chinese rhetorical and composing practices.

Throughout the semester, we will investigate, among other issues, on-going tensions underlying the pursuit of comparative rhetoric between the disciplinary desire to search for a Theory of Rhetoric (George Kennedy) and the need of any comparative endeavor to challenge such a desire and to develop local terms and “grids of intelligibility” (Rey Chow) and between an appeal to the dominant paradigms of logic and rationality and a call for aesthetic, analogical, or other explanatory frames of ordering (Hall and Ames). We will investigate what it means to represent “the native’s point of view” and to search for a “third” in comparative work (LuMing Mao). We want to consider such questions as: (1) how knowledge gets produced and disseminated at points of comparison; (2) what are the possibilities and impossibilities of studying the other on its own terms in the present; and (3) how the art of recontextualization, a method of inquiry, can serve as a productive heuristic in the curent global contact zone where boundaries of all kinds are being blurred, conflated, and/or recreated altogether.



Eng. 500: Colloquia                                                  (10086)

Eng. 900: Master’s Research                                   (12847)

Eng. 901: Readings and Research                           (11090)

Eng. 925: Maintaining Matriculation (MA)          (10085)

Eng. 930: Maintaining Matriculation (DA)          (10084)


Eng. 975: Doctoral Research Essay (DA) Workshop (12147) (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.