St. John’s University English Department
Summer 2021 Graduate Course Flyer
Summer Session 1: June 1 – July 6, 2021
English 885: Topic in Culture Studies (31112)
Caribbean Culture, Literature, and Theory
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. 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: 1) New Negro, Negrismo, Négritude; 2) Anti-colonial Revolutionary Politics; 3) Caliban’s Nation Language; and 4) Sisters Outside.
Summer Session II: July 8 – August 11, 2021
ENG. 100: Introduction to Modern Critical Theory (30839)
Theory in the Anthropocene
Dr. Steve Mentz
This class begins with the question of how Critical Theory can remain useful and meaningful in an age of ecological and political crisis. We will explore a series of “classic” theoretical texts, including Michel Foucault’s Discipline and Punish (1975), Jacques Derrida’s The Animal that Therefore I am (2006), and Gayatri Spivak’s “Can the Subaltern Speak?” (1985). We will pair and contrast these influential works of High Theory with two twenty-first century open-access texts about how the environmental crisis is changing theory, Kathyrn Yussof’s A Billion Black Anthropocenes or None (2018), and my own Break Up the Anthropocene (2019).