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School of Humanities

English Graduate Course Descriptions

Summer 2023

eng 612 iglesiasENG 612
Studies in Genre: Science Fiction and the (Post)Colonial Imaginary
MWF 1:45-5:00 PM
Dr. Luis Iglesias Summer 2023 (5wk2)

** fulfills nontraditional requirement or American post-1865 requirement

Science Fiction’s concern with Worlds Elsewhere along with its interests in imagining (and reflecting upon) the fraught encounters with the Other and the Imperial Imagination give the genre an expressive and critical purchase on history, colonial ideologies, and the opportunity for postcolonial responses. In Science Fiction, the Empire does Strike Back. In this summer 5wk2 course, we will read a selection of works – classical SF to recent global SF – that imaginatively engage with issues of the encounter, the “New World,” histories (both factual and counterfactual), and the ideological productions of colonialism/postcolonialism, as the genre expands beyond its Anglo-American origins to its global and cinematic expressions in contemporary culture. Readings will likely include: H.G. Wells, The War of the Worlds (1898) Ray Bradbury, selections from The Martian Chronicles (1950) Stanislaw Lem, Solaris (1961) Octavia Butler, Dawn (1987) Junot Díaz, “Monstro” (2012) Nnedi Okorafor, Lagoon (2014)


Fall 2023

ENG 558458/558 lares
Rhetoric in English Renaissance Literature
T/TH 11:00-12:15
Dr. Jameela Lares
Fall 2023
** fulfills British pre-1800 requirement


“Rhetoric is the greatest barrier between us and our ancestors. . . . Older than the Church, older than Roman Law, older than all Latin literature, it descends from the age of the Greek Sophists. Like the Church and the Law it survives the fall of the Empire, rides the renascentia and the Reformation like waves, and penetrates far into the eighteenth century; through all these ages not the tyrant, but the darling of humanity. . . . “

--C. S. Lewis

This seminar will close-read some of the finest literature in English—from the late sixteenth century through Milton—while it learns more about how the English Renaissance understood language and its role in culture in terms of rhetoric. Seminar members will thus expand their understanding not only of Renaissance English literature but also of classical rhetoric and its critical potential. We may discover conferencing and publishing possibilities as well. This course will be co-taught with ENG 558.

Course requirements (weights will differ between graduates and undergraduates): thoughtful reading of texts, regular attendance and participation in seminar discussions; ten weekly discussion posts; two oral presentations, each with a short written component (undergraduates) or a more extended class teaching session and teaching portfolio write-up (graduates); a researched seminar paper.


Thomas M. Conley, Rhetoric in the European Tradition (U of Chicago P).

Norton Anthology of English Literature, 10th edition, vol. B.

Oxford Dictionary of Literary Terms, 4th edition, ed. Chris Baldick.



ENG 577
Survey of the American Novel 1920 to 1960
W 6:00-9:00
Dr. Damon Franke
Fall 2023
** fulfills American post-1865 requirement

577 franke

630 clayENG 620
Poetic Forms
T 2:30 – 5:15
Dr. Adam Clay
Fall 2023
**creative writing elective


In ENG 620 students will engage with a range of received and experimental forms to consider how structure can be a way of conveying meaning, content, and ideas (and, of course, we’ll consider how meaning can also direct or influence form). A student will present on an assigned form each week, and the class will draft a poem in that form for the subsequent meeting, where we will workshop a selection of these poems. At the end of the semester, students will submit a craft essay that considers form in contemporary work, along with a portfolio of revised creative work drafted throughout the semester.



ENG 640640 gehlawat
Critical Reading and Methods in English
TH 6:00-9:00
Dr. Monika Gehlawat
Fall 2023

** required for MA in lit, PhD in lit, PhD in CW

This course is for first year students and 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. Together we will read a novel and cultivate hermeneutic practices that include reading “against the grain” and situating one’s own critical voice in relation to other scholars. We will also study a host of theoretical models like Marxism, Feminism, Psychoanalysis, and Queer Theory, among several others. Students will have the opportunity to write a final seminar paper on a primary text and theoretical model of their choice.



644 sumnerENG 644 Topics in Literary Theory
W 6:00-9:00
Dr. Charles Sumner
Fall 2023
** fulfills theory requirement

The first part of this semester will be devoted to very careful readings of many of Freud’s major works. Once we have a grasp of Freud’s theoretical framework, we will read Marx’s early Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts, and then read Marcuse’s synthesis of Marx and Freud in Eros and Civilization. The last part of the semester will be devoted to reading The Waste Land, A Clockwork Orange, and Falling Man in light of Marcuse’s work.



645 tribunella

ENG 645 Gender and Sexuality in the Golden Age of Children’s Literature
TH 2:30-5:15
Dr. Eric Tribunella
Fall 2023
** fulfills non-traditional requirement

The segregation of children’s literature into boy books and girl books intensified in the nineteenth century as cultural production for children expanded and as boys and girls were increasingly targeted as distinct markets. The nineteenth century also saw the emergence of the modern discourse of sexuality and an increasing awareness of, and concern about, childhood sexuality. This course will examine a selection of boy books and girl books from the Golden Age of children’s literature, from the mid-nineteenth century through the first decade of the twentieth, and read them through the rubric of gender and sexuality. It will navigate between a broader survey of children’s literature for non-specialists and a more focused study for students planning to concentrate in this field. We will read a variety of gendered genres of children’s literature—the bad-boy book and good-girl book, domestic and adventure novels, the boys’ school story and the orphan girl narrative—and a selection of relevant theoretical, historical, and critical work.



670 careyENG 670
American Literature I
Short Circuits: Literature and/as Media
M 2:30-5:15
Dr. Craig Carey
Fall 2023
** fulfills American pre-1865 requirement

The nineteenth century was a period of unprecedented media revolution and technological change. Railroads, steam, photography, telegraphy, sound-recording, the post office, the typewriter, advances in print technology, infrastructural expansion, new geological instruments, electricity, and early motion pictures were just a few of the ways that “media” and “technology”—words that originated in response to these apparatuses—transformed the world in shocking and often distressing ways. New affects, accidents, shocks, and gestures; new intervals in space-time perception; new flows and forces in capitalist machines; and other subtle and seismic shifts began to register across minds and bodies—with literature (a medium in its own right) always there to record, remix and register these shifts in novel and eccentric ways. As an experimental agent and archive of media history, literature plugged into these currents and flipped the switch, inventing new forms of thought and perception that began to distinguish sense from nonsense, signal from noise, reality from hallucination.

In this course, we’ll approach nineteenth-century American literature in experimental terms as a media apparatus that not only registers historical change but invents new channels and circuits in response, remixing literature and media in ways that defamiliarize our relationship with language, subjectivity, aesthetics, and epistemology. To track these changes, we’ll veer our attention away from the novel and scale down to more compressed literary forms like short stories, magazine sketches, lyric poems, metaphysical sketches, prose poems, novellas, and other literary genres that anticipate contemporary experiments in short fiction, flash fiction, and poetics. Readings will include short fiction by Poe, Hawthorne, Melville, Bierce, Twain, Chopin, James, Chesnutt, Hopkins, Crane, and DuBois, along with other poetic and experimental texts by Emerson, Thoreau, Fuller, Dickinson, and Melville. We’ll pair these literary readings with primary sources by Charles Babbage, Karl Marx, William James, Thomas Edison, and Oliver Wendell Holmes, as well as secondary texts drawn the work of Gilles Deleuze, Friedrich Kittler, Walter Benjamin, Wolfgang Schivelbusch, Lisa Gitelman, John Guillory, among others.



ENG 690
Practicum in the Theory and Teaching of Composition
M/W 11:00-12:15
Dr. Shane Wood
Fall 2023


ENG 690 surveys some of the theories and practices that guide the teaching of writing. In order to be reflective and successful teachers, it is important to understand why we make specific pedagogical decisions in our classrooms. I hope this course provides you with an opportunity to examine and reflect on your teaching practices, whether you consider yourself a new or an experienced writing teacher, as you work to develop a pedagogy that you can build on throughout your teaching career. One of the primary goals of this course is to enable you to explain to your students, to your peers, to future employers, and to yourself why you have chosen particular pedagogical strategies and to encourage you to critically reflect on the ways you are working to meet the needs of students and the emotional and intellectual demands of the writing classroom. Therefore, this course serves two larger purposes: 1) to help you establish effective teaching practices and strategies in first-year writing, and 2) to introduce you to rhetoric and composition as a field of study.



ENG 716
Seminar in Modern World Literature and Ethnicity
T 6:00-9:00
Dr. Ery Shin
Fall 2023
** fulfills non-traditional requirement

This course surveys world masterpieces as well as the literature of global canonization as such. A sense of the rebound—speaking and being spoken to, collapsing outward and inward—remains a guiding theme all throughout as the past three centuries are explored in the quest to understand world citizenship today.



721 bernsteinENG 721
Fiction Workshop
T 2:30-5:15
Dr. Joshua Bernstein
Fall 2023
** fulfills fiction workshop

“Well, I believe in the soul…the small of a woman’s back, the hanging curveball, high fiber, good scotch, that the novels of Susan Sontag are self-indulgent, overrated crap. I believe Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone. I believe there ought to be a constitutional amendment outlawing Astroturf and the designated hitter. I believe in the sweet spot, soft-core pornography, opening your presents Christmas morning rather that Christmas Eve, and I believe in long, slow, deep, soft, wet kisses that last three days. Good night.” - Crash Davis, Bull Durham (1988) What makes for good dialogue? Is dialogue even necessary? How should it be formatted, if at all, and what does it actually do in a story? These are some of the questions we will be asking in this workshop as we focus on writing effective (or deliberately ineffective) dialogue this fall. The usual suspects of fiction—plot, pacing, tense, scene-building, perspective, characterization, etc.—will also be brought out. But we’ll look most closely at instances of good (and terrible) discussion in fiction and ask how that works. We may also draw on snippets from cinema, including Billy Wilder’s Sunset Boulevard (1950), Michael Mann’s Heat (1995), and the aforementioned classic Bull Durham, from Ron Shelton. For workshop, you may submit either stories or excerpts from a larger project, such as a novel.

Readings will likely include:

Stella Maris (2022), Cormac McCarthy
Miss Lonelyhearts (1933), Nathanael West
Endgame (1957), Samuel Beckett
Selected stories by Dana Johnson, T. C. Boyle, Amina Gautier, and Lisa Ko



722 aderibigbeENG 722
Poetry Writing Seminar
T 2:30-5:15
Dr. Michael Aderibigbe
Fall 2023
** fulfills poetry workshop

In ENG 722, students will write and workshop new poems. The class will be sorted into groups in alphabetical order, with one  group submitting poems at a time.

Craft is also an essential part of this course. To this end, in the first quarter of every class, we will engage a section of a prescribed text. In addition, students will also turn in one short paper and a handful of very brief responses over the semester.

Reading List:
Natasha Trethewey, Native Guard
Dilruba Ahmed, Dhaka Dust
Mitsuye Yamada, Camp Notes and Other Writings
Jack Mapanje, Skipping Without Ropes

764 valintENG 764
Victorian Disability
W 2:30-5:15
Dr. Alexandra Valint
Fall 2023
** fulfills British post-1800 requirement and theory requirement

As scholars Karen Bourrier and Jennifer Esmail assert, “Almost every major work of Victorian fiction has at least one character we would now consider ‘disabled.’” This course takes a broad view of disability, with a reading list covering many types of disability including blindness, madness, deafness, muteness, and illness, as well as characters who use prostheses (such as artificial legs) and mobility aids (such as wheelchairs). Likely texts include Charles Dickens’s “Doctor Marigold”—in which a man adopts a deaf and mute girl named Sophy—Mary Elizabeth Braddon’s sensation novel Lady Audley’s Secret—in which the titular character may or may not be mad—Wilkie Collins’s Poor Miss Finch—which follows the blind heroine Lucilla’s romantic and medical exploits—and Charlotte Yonge’s The Clever Woman of the Family—which features network of ill and disabled characters, including the invalid Ermine, who uses a wheelchair and crutch. We will also examine fantasy works of children’s literature, pairing Dinah Mulock Craik’s The Little Lame Prince and George MacDonald’s “The Light Princess,” in which the title prince and princess are disabled. Though many of the above authors were nondisabled, we will also be reading literature by disabled Victorian authors, including Harriet Martineau and Frances Browne. To explore the heated Victorian debates over asylums and wrongful confinement, we will read excerpts from nonfiction works by Louisa Lowe and Rosina Lytton, whose husbands forced them into asylums. The Wonderful Adventures of Mrs. Seacole in Many Lands, an autobiography written by Mary Seacole, a Jamaican nurse, will allow us to consider topics such as nursing, cure, treatment, and war. The course will be grounded in disability studies broadly as well as in Victorian disability studies specifically. Throughout our readings, we will be aware of how a character’s disability intersects with other aspects of their identity (such as gender, class, age, race, and sexuality). We will also be attuned to the problematic stereotypes and tropes of disability that Victorian authors often relied on and gauge Victorian literature’s capacity for troubling and moving beyond those stereotypes.


view previous course descriptions here


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