Graduate Courses Spring 2014
ENG 551: CHAUCER - DR. KAY HARRIS
Fulfills British Lit to 1660 (Brit Lit I) requirement.
This class will focus on The Canterbury Tales in Middle English. As well as reading Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales,students will become familiar with Middle English pronunciation and read selected essays from Chaucer: An Oxford Guide. Our theoretical framework will be Sigmund Freud’s On Dreams (available online). While Chaunticleer’s dream in “The Nun’s Priest Tale” provides several examples of dreaming in The Canterbury Tales, other tales less obviously dream-oriented, nevertheless, lend themselves to the application of major principles of Freud’s work on dreams.
Requirements: Students will write three papers and make one presentation.
ENG 611: CONTEMPORARY LIT - DR. MARTINA SCIOLINO
Fulfills Literatures after 1960
This course situates contemporary literature into transition culture--a discourse of change, of personal practices, appropriate technologies and social movements that strive to reverse the late industrial, free market destruction of human and other biotic communities in the name of ‘development.’
Readings for the class will include several theoretical and other informational texts via pdf. Other common readings will include the following literary: Don Delillo’s Cosmopolis, Margaret Atwood’s Maddaddam and Linda Hogan’s The Book of Medicines. After the midterm, participants will organize themselves into reading groups to continue discussions of one author, Delillo, Atwood or Hogan. Participants will also be asked to research, prepare and present a conference-length paper on a panel at the semester’s end.
ENG 626: READINGS IN POETRY - DR. ANGELA BALL
"Poets of the New York School"
Creative writing elective.
This course is a special tie-in with the 2014 Moorman Symposium on New York School Poetry and the South, to be held at USM May 2-3, 2014.
With former US Poet Laureate Billy Collins as Keynote Reader and David Lehman as Poet and Academic Expert, we will explore the New York School diaspora in Mississippi and Florida. Other featured readers/discussants will include David Kirby, Barbara Hamby, and Denise Duhamel. Students will research aspects of the symposium topic, contributing questions during the Symposium’s panel discussion and presenting their own symposium during the class’s final period.
Goals: To explore the aesthetic of the New York School of poetry and trace its continuing influence, especially here in the South.
REQUIREMENTS: Reading Journal (500-800 words per week), Class Participation, Book Review (3-5 pages—book published in last 5 years by any NYC-associated poet), Conference-Length Essay (13-17 pages).
- John Ashbery: THE MOORING OF STARTING OUT.
- OTHER TRADITIONS.
- Billy Collins: AIMLESS LOVE: NEW AND SELECTED POEMS.
- David Lehman: THE LAST AVANT-GARDE.
- NEW AND SELECTED POEMS.
- Kenneth Koch: SELECTED POEMS.
- James Schuyler: COLLECTED POEMS.
- Frank O’Hara: SELECTED POEMS.
- Barbara Hamby: ALL-NIGHT LINGO TANGO.
- David Kirby: THE BISCUIT JOINT.
- Denise Duhamel: BLOWOUT.
ENG 627: INTRO TO PUBLISHING - DR. REBECCA MORGAN FRANK
Creative writing elective.
In this course you will have the opportunity to work with up to two nationally-recognized magazines based at the University of Southern Mississippi: The Mississippi Review and Memorious, as well as the in-house publication Product. This course will offer hands-on experience with the editorial side of publishing, including contest and submission screening, editing, and copyediting. You will also be introduced to various web platforms essential to today’s publishing world, including Submittable and Wordpress, as well as several social networking platforms essential to the marketing of contemporary literary magazines. We will investigate, and learn to navigate, the changing landscape of literary publishing through both practice and research.
Course Text: Paper Dreams: Writers and Editors on the American Literary Magazine
ENG 641: ADVANCED RESEARCH - DR. MONIKA GEHLAWAT
This course is open to literature graduate students in their last semester of coursework. In this class, we will work on preparation of the MA thesis, PhD comprehensive exams and look toward the research and planning of the dissertation.
ENG 721 H001: SEMINAR IN FICTION WRITING - DR. ANDREW MALAN MILWARD
ENG 721 H002: SEMINAR IN FICTION WRITING - PROF. STEVE BARTHELME
ENG 722: SEMINAR IN POETRY WRITING - DR. REBECCA MORGAN FRANK
ENG 744: SEMINAR IN LITERARY CRITICISM - DR. ERIC TRIBUNELLA
"Queer Theory and Literary Criticism"
Fulfills Theory requirement.
This course will survey major works and figures in the field of queer theory and criticism—from foundational theorists like Foucault, Butler, and Sedgwick to the more recent work of Judith Halberstam, John Howard, and José Munoz. It will include readings on the invention and history of sexuality, Freudian psychoanalysis, the intersection of sexuality and space/place, distinctions between feminist and queer criticism, sexuality and race, and queer politics. The readings should make it possible to theorize the cultural constructions of gender and sexuality and their relation to other cultural discourses, artifacts, and practices, especially literary ones. We will conclude with a selection of literary readings in order to practice queer literary criticism.
ENG 745: SEMINAR IN CHILDREN AND YOUNG ADULTS' LITERATURE - DR. JAMEELA LARES
"The Bible and Children's Literature"
Fulfills Non-traditional Literatures in English requirement.
This course will examine the extent to which certain children’s books encode or reflect Scripture itself and also the extent to which the Bible concerns itself with children, though individual research papers can be on any subject in children’s literature, on any subject in biblical literature, or on some combination of the two. There will be additional readings to choose from for oral reports, but as a class we will look at biblical narratives in the King James Bible (the most enduring literary version) and also look for connections between the Bible and children’s literature in Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress and Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe, both of which heavily informed by Scripture but also have heavily influenced children’s literature. We will look at some shorter pious narratives, Janeway’s immensely popular A Token for Children from the seventeenth century and Stretton’s equally popular Jessica’s First Prayer from the nineteenth. We will of course read the more scripturally-informed titles from The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis, that is, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, The Silver Chair, The Magician’s Nephew, and The Last Battle, as expressions not only of creation, temptation, and redemption, but also of “last things,” which will take us into a consideration of apocalyptic literature and the book of Revelation. Another apocalyptic text we will read is the graphic novel Watchmen, which we can at least categorize as young adult literature and which certainly represents the rich influence of apocalypse on graphic novels. We will probably take a week to compare the many and various children’s Bibles held by our university’s rich de Grummond collection, and we will also be reading Charles Dickens’s The Life of Our Lord, a gospel account written for his own children. Among the poems will we consider against the background of biblical poetry are those by Isaac Watts and Anna Laetitia Barbauld. I hope also to include a partial or complete theatrical work, such as Madeline L’Engle’s The Journey with Jonah or even Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.
Requirements: regular attendance, reading, and participation; regular written responses on Blackboard; two oral presentations on primary or secondary materials, and a 20-25 page research paper.
ENG 764: VICTORIANISM - DR. ALEXANDRA VALINT
Fulfills British Lit 1660-1890 (Brit Lit II) requirement.
“I am both a town traveller and a country traveller, and am always on the road...I am always wandering here and there...seeing many little things, and some great things, which, because they interest me, I think may interest others.”
-Dickens, The Uncommercial Traveller
Charles Dickens, one of the most popular writers of the Victorian period, was also a family man, amateur actor, activist, editor, professional speaker, insomniac, nighttime walker, Ghost Club member, and traveler. Dickens spent most of his life in London, and the dangers and wonders of an urban landscape loom large in much of his fiction. In this course, we'll explore the significance of place in Dickens's literature, and in so doing, we’ll also consider the place of Dickens in Victorian literature and culture. From Miss Havisham's moldy, timestopped mansion in Great Expectations to the insidious shadow of the Marshalsea debtors' prison in Little Dorrit, Dickens's fiction is preoccupied with the relationship between place and character, between houses and their inhabitants. In the historical fiction A Tale of Two Cities and the nonfiction American Notes, Dickens explores place through a specifically national framework and shows how two nations can be simultaneously dissimilar and alike. A Tale of Two Cities highlights the risks of travel, and such danger is intensified in The Frozen Deep, a play based on a real and failed expedition to the arctic. Dickens's friend Wilkie Collins primarily wrote the play, but Dickens so heavily revised the script and managed the play’s production that he is often considered a co-writer. In this case and in others (particularly Dickens’s relationship with his books’ illustrators), we’ll reflect on how Dickens’s publications result from a collaborative process. Finally, we'll consider the place of Dickens's last and unfinished novel, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, in the Dickens canon. How can we analyze an incomplete novel? By pairing Drood with Matthew Pearl’s 2009 novel The Last Dickens, itself based on the mystery surrounding Dickens’s final novel, we’ll sample the vast literature and media that has been inspired by Dickens’s works and life.
ENG 769: SEMINAR IN MODERN BRITISH LITERATURE - DR. ALISON LACIVITA
Fulfills British and American Lit 1890-1960 requirement.
Modernism is typically viewed as singing the praises of urban life. However, this course argues against that traditional approach, providing a comprehensive inquiry into the ways in which literary Modernism engages with the non-human world during the decades in which we find the roots of our contemporary environmental attitudes. We will read excerpts from 19th and early 20th century studies on ecology, forestry, ethology, entomology and biology throughout the class, pairing them with major works of Modernist literature including (but not limited to) James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake, Virginia Woolf’s The Waves, William Carlos Williams’ Paterson, William Faulkner’s Go Down, Moses, D.H. Lawrence’s Collected Poems, Flann O’Brien’s The Third Policeman and Gertrude Stein’s Tender Buttons. Our focus will be primarily on more experimental Modernist works and the ways in which literature employed strategies to attempt to more faithfully represent the non-human world and the human relationship to it during the early 20th century. To conclude this course, we will read a handful of contemporary texts (such as J.M. Coetzee’s The Lives of Animals, Jeff Lemire’s Sweet Tooth comic and Kij Johnson’s short stories, At the Mouth of the River of Bees) to observe the ways in which the experiments and developments of ecological Modernism extend into contemporary literature and culture. Additionally, this course requires extensive reading in the fields of ecocriticism and critical animal studies, focusing on theoretical works such as Cary Wolfe’s Animal Rites, Greg Garrard’s Ecocriticism, Lawrence Buell’s The Future of Environmental Criticism and N. Katherine Hayle’s How We Became Posthuman.
ENG 770: SEMINAR IN AMERICAN LITERATURE I - DR. CRAIG CAREY
Literature, Technology, and the Invention of Media in 19th Century America
Fulfills American Lit to 1890: English 770 (American Lit I) requirement.
This seminar investigates the relationship between literature and technology in the 19th century. Moving from Emerson to Edison, we’ll consider how literature reflects, registers, and responds to changing media conditions and the emergence of modern communications in America. We’ll begin by considering the recent technical turn in the humanities and its implications for literary study. How does recent scholarly attention on mediation and the formal technics of knowledge open new possibilities for understanding literature and literary history, specifically in a century marked by unprecedented advances in telegraphy, photography, phonography, cinematography, typography, and other techniques of writing and representation? By situating literary texts in the context of media history, the seminar will be organized around two related questions: first, what is the relationship between literary innovation and media invention in 19th century America; and second, what does it actually mean to approach literature as one medium among others? Related to these questions, we’ll also consider how today’s digital media continues to throw the past into relief, liberating our reading, as Derrida famously puts it, “for a retrospective exploration of the past resources of paper, for its previously multimedia vectors.”
Possible literary texts include:
- Edgar Allan Poe, The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket
- Nathaniel Hawthorne, The House of Seven Gables
- Mark Twain, Life on the Mississippi and A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court
- Stephen Crane, The Monster
- Kate Chopin, selected short stories
- Henry James, In the Cage
- Theodore Dreiser, Sister Carrie
- Ambrose Bierce, Tales of Soldiers and Civilians
- Frank Baum, The Master Key: An Electrical Fairy Tale
Theorists might include: Walter Benjamin, Marshall McLuhan, Martin Heidegger, Friedrich Kittler, Vilém Flusser, Bernard Stiegler, Bill Brown, John Peters, and N. Katherine Hayles