Graduate Courses Fall 2014

 

Click here to view complete class schedule with times and room assignments.

 

ENG 555: STUDIES IN SHAKESPEARE - DR. MARK DAHLQUIST

Fulfills British Lit to 1660 (Brit Lit I)

"Shakespeare & the Critics"

The quantity of critical commentary on Shakespeare that has accumulated since the days of Ben Jonson and Robert Greene may seem daunting; however, this unusually long and voluminous critical record can provide an especially rich and diverse set of materials to illustrate the development of literary study, criticism, and theory.

In this course we will read a representative selection of Shakespeare’s dramatic works, including perhaps Richard III, As You Like It, Lear, Othello, and The Tempest, together with a survey of key critical responses to them, to consider how the process of reading Shakespeare in conversation with others can serve to complicate, challenge, and make meaningful our own more personal responses to Shakespeare’s plays. 

Our critical journey is likely to begin in the nineteenth century, contrasting the traditional author-driven criticism with the historical and New Critical approaches of the earlier twentieth century. Structuralist, post-structuralist, and psychoanalytical approaches to Shakespeare’s work will be considered, especially as they introduce concepts that inform varieties of criticism that emphasize political praxis and categories of identity such class, race, gender, coloniality, and sexuality.  Ecological criticism and New Historicism (or cultural poetics) will also be discussed.

The course is designed to provide an introduction to Shakespeare’s plays and the critical tradition surrounding them; it will presume that students have an interest in these subjects, rather than a prior knowledge of them. Secondary readings will be varied (there will be more of these for graduate students than for undergraduates), and will be supplemented by Jonathan Gill Harris’s Shakespeare and Literary Theory.
 

 

ENG 612: GENRE - DR. LINDA ALLEN

Fulfills Non–traditional requirement.

"Studies in Magical Realism"

English 612 will focus on the genre of magical realism: we will explore the history and theory that informs this style of writing, and discuss several short stories and nine novels that represent this medium. Graduate students will also engage in several writing workshops designed to hone critical writing skills demanded in the profession. In addition to various short stories that will be available as .pdf files, required texts will include: 

Theory

  • Maggie Ann Bowers, Magic(al) Realism: the New Critical Idiom
  • Lois Parkinson Zamora and Wendy B. Farris, Magical Realism: Theory, History, Community 

Literature

  • Alejo Carpentier, The Kingdom of This World
  • Jorge Luis Borges, The Aelph and Other Stories
  • Gabriel Garcia Marquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude
  • Isabelle Allende, The House of the Spirits
  • Salman Rushdie, Midnight’s Children
  • Ben Okri, The Famished Road
  • Toni Morrison, Beloved
  • Rudolfo Anaya, Bless Me, Ultima
  • Louise Erdrich, The Plague of Doves 

 

ENG 620: POETIC FORMS - DR. REBECCA MORGAN FRANK 

Fulfills Creative Writing Elective requirement.

In this course we will explore, through reading and practice, a range of poetic forms from inherited forms such as the ballad, sonnet, and ghazal, which have traveled through hundreds of years of practice, through the formal play, organic forms, and computer-based forms of the 20 and 21st century, from Surrealist practices to Oulipo. While students will write weekly poems in these varied forms, they will also be asked to write weekly annotations of the reading, present on a particular form, and write a final project that includes creative and critical exploration of a form. Together we will explore modes of practice and try to uncover the functions and consequences of writing within formal constraints.

Readings will include, but are not limited to

  • An Exaltation of Forms: Contemporary Poets Celebrate Form, Annie Finch
  • Lighthead, Terrance Hayes
  • Rhymes's Reason: A Guide to English Verse, John Hollander
  • Poetic Meter and Poetic Form, Paul Fussell

 

ENG 625: READINGS IN FICTION - PROF. STEVEN BARTHELME 

Fulfills Creative Writing Elective requirement.

Readings in fiction, one book a week plus interviews and other handout materials, emphasis on craft and manufacture concerns, requires 14 short weekly responses, an annotated bibliography or essay. Readings to include but not limited to:      

  • The Overcoat and Other Short Stories     Nikolai Gogol   Dover
  • The Portable Chekhov     Anton Chekhov     (ed Yarmolinksy)   Penguin   
  • The Metamorphosis and other stories   Franz Kafka   Dover   
  • A  Room of One’s Own    Virginia Woolf      Penguin
  • After Leaving Mr Mackenzie      Jean Rhys   Norton  
  • Miss Lonelyhearts & Day of the Locust    Nathaniel West   New Directions
  • The Snows of Kilimanjaro    Ernest Hemingway   Scribner (S&S)
  • The Postman Always Rings Twice     James M Cain     Vintage    
  • The Master of Go    Yasunari Kawabata   Vintage
  • The Complete Stories     Flannery O’Connor    Farrar Straus
  • The Beggar Maid     Alice Munro    Vintage
  • The Pugilist at Rest     Thom Jones    Back Bay Books
  • Both Ways Is the Only Way I Want It     Maile Meloy     Riverhead Trade


ENG 640: CRITICAL READING AND METHODS - DR. ALEXANDRA VALINT  

Graduate requirement for all but MA-CW students.

ENG 640 is designed to introduce or review the methods of research in literary studies, the conventions of scholarly conversations about literary works, the critical approaches to literary analysis, and the components and mechanics of literary-critical essays.  A requirement for all English graduate students, this course will prepare both literature and creative writing students for their work in graduate seminars and their future research. 

 

ENG 644: AESTHETIC THEORY - DR. MONIKA GEHLAWAT

Fulfils Theory requirement.

Taking its name from Theodor Adorno's seminal text, this class will use Aesthetic Theory as a starting point for a larger discussion of aesthetics in theory and interdisciplinary art practice. From the Frankfurt School, we will read essays by Adorno, Walter Benjamin, and Siegfried Kracauer. This class will focus primarily on continental aesthetic theory; in addition to the Frankfurt School, we will study Merleau-Ponty's theory of phenomenology, the French-based movements of Surrealism and The Situationist International, Peter Burger's Theory of the Avant-Garde, and Roland Barthes's Mythologies. We will juxtapose this theory with a variety of interdisciplinary art forms including, but not limited to the study of post-Impressionism and Cubism in painting, French New Wave cinema, the "International" architecture of the Bauhaus and Le Corbusier, and twentieth-century American painters like Robert Ryman, Andy Warhol, and Donald Moffett. We will also read from Proust's Swann's Way, William Carlos Williams' Imaginations, Paul Bowles The Sheltering Sky, and more recent work from writers like Ben Lerner and Teju Cole.

 

ENG 672: TOPICS IN AMERICAN LITERATURE - DR. KATE COCHRAN

Fulfills Literatures after 1960

"Literary Mississippi"

One of the ways in which Mississippi markets itself is as the home of important American writers—no surprise, given the number of great authors from the state.  But how are these authors being marketed, and to what effect?  Aside from current bestseller authors like Nevada Barr, John Grisham, Charlaine Harris, Greg Iles, and Kathryn Stockett, Mississippi lays claim to some of the most esteemed and celebrated American writers, including multiple winners and nominees of the National Book Award, the American Book Award, the Newbery Award, the O. Henry Award, the Pen/Faulkner Award, the Pen/Malamud Award, and the Pulitzer Prize, as well as a two-time U.S. Poet Laureate and a winner of the Nobel Prize for Fiction. This course will investigate the place of Mississippi writers through the lens of literary tourism by reading texts by selected authors—Ellen Douglas, William Faulkner, Shelby Foote, Barry Hannah, Beth Henley, Walker Percy, William Alexander Percy, Natasha Trethewey, Jesmyn Ward, Eudora Welty, Tennessee Williams, and Richard Wright—along with secondary/theoretical works relevant to the literary tourism industry.  We will also take a required trip over the Fall Break to sites of Mississippi literary tourism in Jackson, Oxford, Clarksdale, Greenville, Natchez, Hazlehurst, and Gulfport.  Required components of the course, in addition to regular and substantive class participation, will include presentations and an article-length seminar essay.

 

ENG 690: THEORY OF TEACHING COMPOSITION - DR. JOYCE INMAN


ENG 721: SEMINAR IN FICTION WRITING - PROF. STEVEN BARTHELME

Only open to students in the creative writing emphasis.


ENG 721: SEMINAR IN FICTION WRITING - PROF. ANDREW MILWARD

Only open to students in the creative writing emphasis.


ENG 722: SEMINAR IN POETRY WRITING - DR. ANGELA BALL

Only open to students in the creative writing emphasis.

 

ENG 761: SEMINAR IN 18TH CENTURY BRITISH LITERATURE - DR. NICOLLE JORDAN

Fulfills British Lit 1660-1890 (Brit Lit II)

This course explores the intriguing and yet vexing ambiguity of the term ‘landscape,’ and situates discussions of its evolving meanings within the literature of the long eighteenth century in Britain. We will read poetry, novels, and letters that express the culture’s growing fascination with all things botanical, horticultural, pastoral, and georgic. We begin by questioning the status of aesthetics in discussions of landscape, and then move on to compare the interpretations that aesthetics enables to those that are foreclosed when it is excluded. Once we have established a solid foundation in the capaciousness of ‘landscape,’ we will turn our attention to figures of gender in landscape description. Studying male-authored texts that feminize the landscape, we will discuss the implications of seeing the land as a woman’s body (as in the expression “virgin land”). Texts by women then provide the opportunity to explore how the gender dynamics of landscape discourse are transformed by the disruption of the typical male author/female land topos. Authors include Andrew Marvell, Alexander Pope, Anne Finch, Jane Barker, Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, Sarah Scott, and Jane Austen. In addition to the primary literary texts, secondary readings include landscape theory from an array of fields (cultural geography, art history, literary history). Thus the course will approach, from multiple perspectives, a key question: what does landscape have to do with gender?

 

ENG 770: SEMINAR IN AMERICAN LITERATURE I - DR. ELLEN WEINAUER

Fulfills American Lit to 1890

"Moby-Dick and its Moment"

In this seminar, we will undertake a deep reading of Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick, with an eye to understanding not only the origins and meanings of this enormously complex text, but also the antebellum world in which it was imagined and produced.  Through our investigation of source and precursor texts, biographical influences, and historical developments (including the history of whaling), we will place Moby-Dick in its moment, even as we work to understand what Melville might have meant when he claimed, to Nathaniel Hawthorne, “I have written a wicked book, and feel spotless as the lamb.”

In addition to Moby-Dick, selected texts include: Owen Chase, The Loss of the Ship Essex; Dana, Two Years Before the Mast; Eric Jay Dolin, Leviathan; Frederick Douglass, The Heroic Slave; Hawthorne, Mosses from an Old Manse; Melville, Typee; Shakespeare, King Lear; Lydia Sigourney, Poems for the Sea.


ENG 771: SEMINAR IN AMERICAN LITERATURE II - DR. CHARLES SUMNER

"American Literature from Kay Boyle to Don DeLillo"

Fulfills British and American Lit 1890-1960

This course will involve a detailed study of selected American writers and movements since 1900.  Specifically, we will cover the following authors: Djuna Barnes, T.S. Eliot, Ernest Hemingway, Kay Boyle, William Faulkner, Sinclair Lewis, Nathaniel West, Edith Wharton, Sylvia Plath, Kurt Vonnegut, and Don DeLillo.