Graduate Courses - Fall 2022
ENGL 7001 – Writing Creative Nonfiction: Revisionist History
3:00 – 5:50PM | Tuesday
In this course we'll focus on how to write about the past in a way that aims to neither establish nor correct historical record, but rather to explore what truths can be found in the way our narratives of the past evolve. We'll read texts ranging from historical fiction to memoir in order to gather useful tools of craft to deploy in our writing about the past, however recent or distant. This is not a class about writing "History", but a class about understanding how traditional modes of narrative may be ill-equipped for interrogating the past, and discovering new tools for modifying or upending those traditional modes of historical narrative in our own nonfiction writings.
Approximate weekly readings: In the first half of the semester we'll read and discuss one book or substantial book excerpt per week. In the second half of the semester we'll workshop student work which requires reading 2-3 of your peers drafts per week.
Anticipated assignments: The first half of the semester we'll complete short writing activities inspired by our readings (about 500 words each). In the second half of the semester we'll write two works of creative nonfiction of about 6-8,000 words each.
ENGL 7006 – Fiction Workshop: Process and Revision
3:00 – 5:50PM | Tuesday
There are a thousand versions of the wise adage that writing is rewriting, but no one said it better than Joyce Carol Oates: “The pleasure is the rewriting: The first sentence can’t be written until the final sentence is written. This is a koan-like statement, and I don’t mean to sound needlessly obscure or mysterious, but it’s simply true. The completion of any work automatically necessitates its revisioning.” This course will focus on process and revision. In addition to workshop, we will read essays on the writing process and revision techniques as well as fictions that reflect these processes and techniques. Students will interrogate their own writing and revision processes through a variety of exercises and student presentations.
Anticipated assignments: Students will workshop at least three times; one of these workshops will be a revision workshop.
ENGL 7008/THTR 7008 - Writing Drama
3:30-6:20PM | Monday
The seminar will focus on the creative process of playwriting, using the works of established dramatists, both classical and modern, as illustrations. Readings from Poetics of the Creative Process, and class exercises to sharpen the student’s dramatic sensitivity, will lead to the writing of two one-acts or, in rare cases, a full-length.
Approximate weekly readings: Depending on class size: (a) 4 to 6 weeks of reading established plays and Euba's Poetics of the Creative Process (each of six chapters per week); (b) 2 to 4 weeks of concurrent class exercises; (c) 8 to 10 weeks of class readings and critiquing of students' written plays.
Anticipated assignments: Readings from four established plays. Presentations from the Poetics of the Creative Process. Deadline submission of students' works. Readings and critiquing of students' works.
ENGL 7107 – Prosody & Poetic Forms: Portals Into Language
3:30 - 6:20 PM | Wednesday
As poets, language is both our inspiration and our medium, what we consume in order to create, what gets filtered through our creative imaginations and becomes uniquely our own. But what happens when we read and break down poems that come from elsewhere, that arrive into English from different languages and countries and cultures? How does a poem written in a completely different language with different rules and traditions break open our understanding of English, and how can we use that to forge new paths in our own writing, create new doors into new imaginations? In this course we’ll look at the ways in which poets in translation bring their understanding of what a poem can do into English, how they expand our understanding of syntax and line, how they’re use and creation of metaphor is different from our own, how they build images in completely new (to us) ways.
Approximate weekly readings: Half a poetry collection a week, including the critical forward and translators note. (each text will be from a different source language or country).
Anticipated assignments: Weekly assignments: a poem based on a prompt derived from that weeks reading; OR a 300 word critical response to that weeks reading. Midterm: 1500 word paper on one text read in the first half of the semester; OR 1500 word paper putting two texts into conversation with one another. Final: a portfolio with ten pages of poems minimum + a 1000 forward discussing how their writing process has changed, how the texts have influenced them, how their "English" has changed
ENGL 7020 – Proseminar in Graduate Study
12:00 - 2:50PM | Tuesday
This course introduces English graduate students to the profession of literary and
cultural criticism. We
will survey an assortment of fields within the discipline, focusing on the practical production of
scholarship. We will learn how to use digital databases and physical archives. We will cover how to make
a strong critical argument (analyzing and interpreting primary texts of various kinds; synthesizing
secondary materials; finding, selecting, and presenting evidence; situating research within appropriate
fields; documenting research; and honing prose). We’ll talk about reading, research, and writing
processes. We’ll discuss what to expect in graduate school. We will work on adjusting to the profession:
academic etiquette, conference proposals, conference papers and panels, writing book reviews,
submitting to journals, seeking grants, fostering collaboration through writing groups, balancing teaching,
research, and service, time and stress management, and preparing for diverse careers.
ENGL 7221 – The Autobiographical Animal: Narrative & Life
12:30 – 3:20PM | Monday
This course will investigate two interlinked themes: autobiography and the human/animal difference. Autobiography is central to the philosophical idea that “man” is the animal that can represent itself by an “I.” The animal, according to this thought, is deprived of this “I.” Jacques Derrida challenges this anthropo-logo-centrism in The Animal Therefore That I Am. In addition to Derrida, we will examine narrative and the human/animal difference and what they can tell us about subjectivity, ethics, and being an animal, human or otherwise. Readings include Hannah Arendt’s The Human Condition and works by Giorgio Agamben and Donna Haraway. For the literary side of this investigation, we will read several works by J. M. Coetzee, including The Lives of Animals, Elizabeth Costello, and his autobiographies, Boyhood, Youth, and Summertime.
Approximate weekly readings: 3 to 5 weeks for Ulysses. Short novels one week, 10 poems or less, per week, depending on length. Additional critical essays (1 or 2 per week)
Anticipated assignments: Short presentations and a major research paper.
ENGL 7621 – Rhetorical Methods: Research & Practice
6:00 - 8:50PM | Tuesday
This course introduces students to current scholarship and practices concerning research methods in rhetorical studies. Our readings and discussions will bring focus to how scholars approach rhetorical theory when analyzing artifacts, and the impact of said approaches to our understanding of artifacts. In other words, we will think through the “how” of rhetorical methods as well as the “who” of rhetorical methods. How do we gain greater understanding of persuasion and identification through rhetorical theory, and what changes when we expand the set of people and perspectives included in developing and applying rhetorical theory?
Approximated weekly readings: 3 book chapters or essays and 1-2 texts for analysis
Anticipated assignments: 3 short papers (3-6 pages), 1 seminar paper, reading responses on Moodle, presentation of seminar paper
ENGL 7915 – Teaching College Composition
10:30 - 11:50PM | Tues/Thur
Course is designed for graduate teaching assistants in the First-Year Writing program. Theoretical and pedagogical issues in the teaching of college writing. (Students must be graduate teaching assistants in the English Department or have permission of instructor.)
ENGL 7942 – Disgust in Renaissance Drama
12:30-3:20 PM | Wednesday
Putrefying wounds. Rotting corpses. Greasy kitchens. Bathroom humor. Aversion abounds in the plays of Shakespeare and his contemporaries, but how does it function? What is its purpose? And how were feelings of loathing, terror, contempt, antipathy, and even laughter—that is, emotions and reactions that constellate around disgust—understood by early modern subjects? How might Renaissance drama help us theorize disgust today? Through the lens of disgust, the course introduces students to major Renaissance playwrights & their works, the history of the stage & its reception, and cultural artifacts that include medical tracts, visual art, and popular (though salacious) pamphlets of the day. In particular, the course develops sophisticated conceptualizations of aversion as it intersects with early modern structures of race, class, gender, sexuality, disability, nationalism, and indigeneity.
Approximate weekly readings: one play and two critical essays
Anticipated assignments: Written Work: 9-10 "blog" posts (300 words each) 2-3 pp. project prospectus & annotated bibliography (15-20 entries) Conference paper abstract (250-300 words) 2-3 pp. written reflection re teaching activity 16-20 pp. seminar paper at the end of term Presentation Work: 30 min teaching activity 10-12 min conference paper delivery (NB: this would be part of the seminar paper, not a separate project) Consistent & generative contributions to our weekly discussion
ENGL 7981/CPLT 7120 –
Postclassicisms: The Bible and Greco-Roman Antiquity in Modern Literature and Art
12:00 - 2:50PM | Thursday
This course explores the ways in which (early) modern writers and artists draw on Greek and Roman antiquity and the Bible for creative inspiration even as they question its influence and viability. How have “the classics” been constructed, as a critical paradigm, as a resource of the imagination, and as a hegemonic legacy that must be resisted? What values are associated with returns to the ancient worlds of Greece, Rome, and the Bible? We will investigate these questions by examining how figures such as T.S. Eliot, Italo Calvino, Vladimir Nabokov, and Anne Carson approach questions of translation, reception, and adaptation. In addition, we will examine some of the literary tools we use for referencing the classical past, including “genre,” “allusion,” “shadow texts,” and “parody.” Most of the class will focus on studying paired works that enable a better understanding of what “postclassicism” means in relation to modernity and modernism.
Anticipated assignments: Six short response papers, two oral presentations, and one final research paper or creative project. Reading per week will average 50-75 pages.
ENGL 7981. 002 - 21st Century American Gothic
3:00 - 5:50PM | Thursday
Class will interrogate how the category of the gothic has evolved in the American context and in response to particularly American historical phenomenon. Cannibalizing other categories such as the Bildungsroman and Dystopian narrative, the contemporary American gothic appears in everything from Neo-slave narratives to War on Terror captivity narratives. Is this categorical drift a sign of the end of empire, the exhaustion of genre, the leveling of neoliberalism, or something else? We will examine how this 21st century American gothic responds to large global phenomenon such as war, migration and global pandemic.
Approximately weekly readings: A novel a week (200 pages or so).
Anticipated assignments: Class presentation and final paper.
Of Related Interest
THTR 7926/CPLT 7130: Seminar in Drama of Africa
10:30-11:50PM | Tues/Thurs
A comparative study of the dramatic and theatrical expressions of the black cultures in Africa, identifying, where possible, not only African influences on some of the dramatic works in the diaspora, but also the Western classical influences on African plays. Works include those by Wole Soyinka, Ngugi wa Thiong’o, Efua Sutherland, Ama Ata Aidoo, Athol Fugard et al, Tewfik al-Hakim, etc.