Summer 2012: Graduate Online Course Offerings

They’re here! I know I’ve been waiting for these course listings with excitement: the Graduate Course Offerings for this summer. These are all online courses, which is perfect for the summer.

Summer 2012: Graduate Course Offerings Online

The St. John’s University English Department will offer three graduate seminars online this summer. These courses extend our engagement with our students beyond the academic year. We log into dynamic course platforms to engage in discussions, post questions, and communicate with each other. Everyone is welcome; non-matriculated students can take summer courses and apply to the program next year.

Summer Session I: May 29 – July 2

E. 135: Critical Issues in Writing Assessment (31263)
Dr. Harry Denny

Teachers spend countless hours assessing their students’ writing. This course focuses on the history, theory, and methods of writing assessment in English Studies. Students will explore their own experiences and practices and embark on original research that may commingle material from other online courses this summer. For secondary school teachers, we explore how stat-mandated exams and the prepping of students for them might be re-imagined pedagogically outside received notions of templates and canned rhetoric. Students will respond to critical issues, push one another through discussion threads, and workshop their own writing and scholarship.

Please email the instructor, Harry Denny, for more details:

Summer Session II: July 9 – August 9

E. 770: Studies in 20th Century American Lit. & Culture: Ezra Pound and Modernism (32008)
Dr. Stephen Sicari

With Pound’s epic poem The Cantos as our main text, the course connects literary “modernism” to more general social, cultural, political, and scientific conditions suggested by the term “modernity.” We will think about Pound the radical literary experimenter who helped shape the poetics of the twentieth century; we will think about Pound the pagan who recoils at established and orthodox religion; we will think about Pound the pedagogue who used his poetry to enact what can be seen as an Enlightenment project, and we will watch how this project leads to his endorsement of Fascism and to his own internment as a traitor; we will watch him re-think his life’s work in Pisa as he writes what a poem of confession and hope; we will watch him respond to the Cold War and its “propaganda of luxury and terror” (his phrase).

Please email the instructor, Stephen Sicari, for more details:

E. 300: Teaching Shakespeare: The Dramatist or the Myth? (31262)
Dr. Steve Mentz

Every so often all of us who teach Shakespeare all get asked if we think he really wrote his plays. It’s a silly question, but it’s true that we read, teach, watch, and think about Shakespeare inside four hundred years of mythologized biography. This summer seminar explores how mythography around Shakespeare’s life affects our practices as teachers and students of the works. We’ll hold our noses and see last year’s anti-Shakespearean film, “Anonymous,” revisit the musch more fun but still inaccurate “Shakespeare in Love” (1998), and contrast both with an innovative recent scholarly book, Nine Lives of William Shakespeare. We’ll also read four plays and see a live performance of Romeo and Juliet.

This Shakespeare…

 …this one…

… or this one?

Please email the instructor, Steve Mentz, for more details:


For more information, please contact Lana Umali
or Steve Mentz, Director of Graduate Studies
For a registration form, visit
For more on St. John’s Graduate Programs in English, please visit

About Steve Mentz 712 Articles
I teach Shakespeare and the blue humanities at St. John's in New York City.

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