Book Order Info for Spring 2023

Below you will find some info for books/materials required for your spring MA courses. This will be updated as professors finalize their courses and readings.

ENGL 505 Transformations of the Epic (Dr. Sax)

  • Boroff, Marie, trans. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. New York: W. W. Norton, 2009. ISBN: 0393930254.
  • Alighieri, Dante. Inferno. Trans. Mark Musa. New York: Penguin, 2002. 0142437220.
  • Fagles, Robert, trans. The Iliad. New York: Penguin Classics, 1998. ISBN:  0140275363.
  • Harrison, Robert, trans. The Song of Roland. New York: Dover, 2002. ISBN: 0486422402.
  • Hatto, A. T., trans. The Nibelungenlied. New York: Penguin, 1965. ISBN: 0140441379.
  • Raffel, Burton, trans. Beowulf. New York: Signet, 2008. ISBN: 0451530969.
  • Sandars, N. K., trans. The Epic of Gilgamesh: An English Version with an Introduction. New York: Penguin Classics, 1960), ISBN: 014044100X.

ENGL 521 Themes & Genres of Medieval Lit (Dr. Fritz)

  • Black, Joseph, et al, eds. The Broadview Anthology of British Literature: Concise Volume A – Third Edition: The Medieval Period – The Renaissance and the Early Seventeenth Century – The Restoration and the Eighteenth Century. ISBN: 9781554813124

ENGL 525 Victorian Age in Literature (Dr. Dugan)

  • Braddon, Mary Elizabeth. Lady Audley’s Secret. Broadview Literary Texts, 2003.  978-1-55111-357-9.
  • Eliot, George. The Mill on the Floss. Dover Thrift Editions, 20003.  978-0-486-42680-8.
  • Dickens, Charles. Hard Times. Dover Thrift Editions, 2001.  978-0-486-41920-6
  • Stevenson, Robert Louis. The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, 2019, 978-0-486-26688-6.

ENGL 540 Philosophy of Literature (Dr. Fisher)

  • Noël Carroll and John Gibson (eds.), The Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Literature, Routledge (2006). ISBN 9780367360399
  • Eileen John and Dominic McIver Lopes (eds.), Philosophy of Literature: Contemporary and Classic Readings, Wiley-Blackwell (2004). ISBN 9781405112086
  • Numerous other short readings will be provided as PDFs or links in Blackboard.

ENGL 544 Cyberpunk & Technoculture (Dr. Loots)

Required

  • Eggers, Dave. The Circle. ISBN 9780345807298.
  • Gibson, William. Neuromancer. ISBN 9780441007462.
  • Scott, Melissa. Trouble and Her Friends. ISBN 9780765328489. (But this is out of print [OOP] so a PDF will be provided in class. You can find used copies for cheap on Alibris.com, if you don’t like reading from PDFs. I use the hardcover 1994 edition but any edition will do.
  • Stephenson, Neal. Snow Crash. ISBN 9780553380958.
  • Numerous other shorter works will be provided as PDFs or links in Blackboard. Also note that students will be required to view a selection of relevant films and shows, and so should budget perhaps $25 for the cost of a few streaming rentals and a month of Netflix.

Recommended, not required:

  • Cadigan, Pat, ed. The Ultimate Cyberpunk. ISBN 9780743452397. (OOP, relevant selections from this will be provided in class as PDFs)
  • Dick, Philip K. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? ISBN: 9780345404473.
  • Mill, Anna, and Luke Jones. Square Eyes. ISBN 9780224097222.
  • Sterling, Bruce, ed. Mirrorshades. ISBN: 9780877958680 (OOP and expensive, but you can sometimes find fairly priced copies on Alibris)
  • For anyone who games, I recommend you play through CD Projekt Red’s Cyberpunk 2077 which despite what you may have heard is a brilliant game; and the many issues/bugs present during its infamous 2020 release-debacle have been fixed through patches.

ENGL 560 Black Theatre, Art, and Power in the Digital Age (Dr. Morales)

  • London, Todd, and Ben Pesner. Outrageous Fortune. ISBN-13:‎ 978-0984310906
  • Nayeri, Farah. Takedown: Art and Power in the Digital Age. ISBN-10: ‎1662600550
  • Wilson, August. King Hedley II. ISBN-13:978-1559362603

Other materials will be provided as PDFs or links online.

Zoom Holiday Social Hour Wrap-up

Just want take a moment here to say thank you to the students, alumni, and faculty (and the dog) who were able to attend the holiday social hour hosted by Dr. Kilpatrick this afternoon on zoom. It was a nice time, full of conversation, stories, and humor. We will have future zoom social hours in 2023, in addition to our annual symposium. Information about those events will be posted here on the blog, as they come into view.

Cheers and Happy Holidays to everyone in the graduate English community!

Zoom Holiday Social Hour, Friday 12/16 at 3pm eastern

This coming Friday 12/16, at 3pm eastern, Dr. Kilpatrick will be hosting a live-online holiday social hour for the graduate English community. So make a cup of coffee, or pour yourself your favorite holiday drink, and get online this Friday afternoon for some casual conversation and holiday cheer. Use the link below to attend:

https://mercy.zoom.us/j/92960654436?pwd=bFlaTkZLUTVxMXNiNW83dkJtQ2xTdz09

Zoom Meeting ID: 929 6065 4436

Passcode: 314781

Reminder: Dr. Dana Horton’s Zoom Event Is Today 12/8 at 2pm

Just a reminder here for our graduate community that Dr. Horton will be discussing her current book project, “‘Don’t You Fuck With My Energy’: The Occult, Intersectional Spirituality, and Religious Appropriation in Hip Hop Culture,” today (12/8) on zoom starting at 2pm.

Students and alumni are strongly encouraged to attend. In order to do so please complete the rsvp form linked here. And then at 2pm today click here to open the zoom link. In case you’re new to Zoom, know that you don’t have to actually be on camera, so you can watch the event with your camera and mic off if you prefer. Any questions contact cloots@mercy.edu.

Book Publication by Faculty Member Dr. Dana Horton, and Upcoming Speaking Event on Zoom

Dr. Dana Horton’s book Gender, Genre, and Race in Post-Neo-Slave Narratives is now in print. As well, Dr. Horton will be hosting an online-zoom talk regarding her next book project on Thursday December 8, at 2pm, as a part of Mercy College’s Research Salon Series. More information about both the book and the event are as follows:

Gender, Genre, and Race in Post-Neo-Slave Narratives provides an innovative conceptual framework for describing representations of slavery in twenty-first century American cultural productions. Covering a broad range of narrative forms ranging from novels like The Known World to films like 12 Years a Slave and the music of Missy Elliott, Dr. Dana Renee Horton engages with post-neo-slave narratives, a genre she defines as literary and visual texts that mesh conventions of postmodernity with the neo-slave narrative. Focusing on the characterization of black women in these texts, Dr. Horton argues that they are portrayed as commodities who commodify enslaved people, a fluid and complex characterization that is a foundational aspect of postmodern identity and emphasizes how postmodern identity restructures the conception of slave-owners.

Students and alumni are strongly encouraged to check out the book, and to attend Dr. Horton’s upcoming research discussion based on her next book project, and titled: “‘Don’t You Fuck With My Energy’: The Occult, Intersectional Spirituality, and Religious Appropriation in Hip Hop Culture.” The project uses a Black Feminist theoretical framework to analyze how rappers, such as Princess Nokia, Gangsta Boo, and La Chat, assemble a diverse array of spiritual, religious, and occult symbols to construct their rap personas. Dr. Horton argues that rappers engage in sampling, a common Hip Hop practice, as a way to construct an inclusive identity that challenges patriarchal structures; ironically, by participating in religious appropriation, these artists reinforce the structures that they are attempting to thwart. In addition to lyrical/visual analysis and rap music, Dr. Horton’s presentation will discuss what Hip Hop culture teaches us about our individual and collective spiritual practices.

The zoom event will run from 2:00 – 4:00pm on 12/8. To attend, please complete the rsvp form linked here. And then, to join the zoom meeting, click here to open the zoom link at the appropriate day and time. Any questions contact cloots@mercy.edu.

Should the MA Program Add Live-Online (Zoom) Options to Future Course Schedules?

Attention all students in the MA English Lit program: Please click here to complete a survey regarding your thoughts on whether or not the MA program should add synchronous or hybrid (meaning, live online Zoom courses) to future schedules.

(Also: if anyone wants to express anything else on this topic to the Program Director personally, please do so by contacting me at cloots@mercy.edu.)

Spring Registration is Now Open. Be sure to access the English schedule in Connect, NOT the English Grad Ed schedule

Attention all MA English Lit students: spring 2023 registration is now active as of 11/2. When you go to register for courses, be careful to search for the English schedule, and not the English Grad Ed schedule. If you start typing “English” in Connect you’ll be prompted for one or the other, and you might naturally click on the one with “Grad” in the title, but this is not the schedule for us. That schedule is for students in the Master of Science in English Education which is a different program from ours, involving totally different faculty and actually run out of a different school at the college (it’s not in the School of Liberal Arts, as we are). You’ll know you’ve reached the proper schedule if you can see the level 500+ courses listed in the previous blog post.

Also, as some of you may have noticed, there’s a new tool available to students this fall, something called a “registration planner,” which unfortunately will not reveal the accurate titles for all of our courses. For example ENGL 540 up in Connect is titled Philosophy of Literature on the schedule, but in the registration planner it shows a title of Special Topics in British Lit. This will happen for courses numbered 514, 515, 540, and 560, because these are what are known (behind the scenes) as topics course numbers, meaning they are numbers that we can use to run all sorts of new or different courses. These four course numbers each have a generic title, in the system, that we use as placeholders until we actually plug something into the schedule using those numbers. So for another example, ENGL 560 has a generic title of Special Topics in American Literature, but in the spring scheduled its title is Black Theatre, Art, and Power in the Digital Age. What’s happening here is that students weren’t actually meant to see those generic titles, and you won’t see them in Connect; you will instead see the custom titles. Apparently the new planner tool is set up in a way where it’s drawing the generic titles out of the registrar’s system, without recognizing that they’ve been assigned custom titles in Connect. This is all a bit convoluted I know but, if you’re looking in the registration planner and are confused by what you’re seeing, this is why. Fortunately this should make no difference in terms of actually registering for courses in Connect.

If anyone has any questions about any of this, please contact me at cloots@mercy.edu. In the meantime, I encourage everyone to grab seats in preferred spring courses right away, before they fill up!

Spring 2023 Registration Opens Wednesday 11/2

Registration for spring 2023 courses will open on Wednesday 11/2. Usually it begins at 9:00am eastern, but in the past this wasn’t on a timer so it might not open at precisely 9:00am; it will open whenever the registrar starts working and toggles the system on that morning.

The seven courses for the spring are listed below, along with some info about each. 15 seats will be available for each course. Students who find a preferred course full by the time they go to register can attempt to make use of the waitlist feature and hope that a seat opens in a full course (which actually works some of the time); but in the meantime such students will need to select from whatever courses still have seats available.

ENGL 505 Transformations of the Epic (Dr. Sax)

  • This course is based on the conception of the epic as an encyclopedic narrative of substantial length featuring a central figure who reflects the values of a particular culture. It will proceed chronologically, studying the taxonomy and transformations of the epic, from its earliest Classical manifestations, through its emergence in Medieval and Renaissance texts, to its incorporation after the Renaissance into modern writing. Fulfills the Writing & Literary Forms requirement or an elective.

ENGL 515 Latino Literature (Dr. Reissig-Vasile) [Unfortunately we had to cancel this course]

  • This course focuses on the literature of Latino/a people living in the United States; a growing and important field of American literature. In this course we will examine texts that make salient the great diversity of literary themes, styles, and social concerns of literary texts written by these Latino/a writers. We will study issues such as gender, race, class, diaspora, bilingualism, violence, and community as raised by the various authors whose work we will be examining in this course. Our readings will focus on short stories, poetry, and novels written by writers from various Latino/a groups, including Chicanos, Puerto Ricans, Cuban Americans, and Dominican Americans. NOTE: This course last ran in spring 2021 as ENGL 560. Anyone who took that instance of the course may not take this ENGL 515 instance of the course. Fulfills an elective by default, but can fulfill a Literature Group 2 requirement if needed.

ENGL 521 Themes & Genres of Medieval Lit (Dr. Fritz)

  • This course is designed to cultivate students’ awareness of the themes, genres, and issues related to medieval literature and to the study of medieval literature. Students will explore the major genres of medieval literature, including epics, lays and romances. Fulfills either a Literature Group 1 requirement or an elective.

ENGL 525 Victorian Age in Literature (Dr. Dugan)

  • If one were asked to define the timeline of Victorian literature, one might be hard-pressed to do so. As literary genres are fluid, it is hard to determine when the Romantic Period ends and the Victorian Period begins, and when the Victorian Period ends and Modernism begins. Whatever the dates, a defining characteristic of Victorian England would be change, change matched with a belief in progress: societal, religious, economic, and artistic. While some benefited from these changes, others did not. The semester we will look closely at issues that challenge the notions of change and progress, notably the role of women, industrialism, gender roles, and poverty as shown in fiction, poetry, and drama of the Victorian age. Fulfills a Literature Group 1 requirement or an elective.

ENGL 540 Philosophy of Literature (Dr. Fisher)

  • This course explores literature through a philosophical lens. Questions we will consider include the nature of literature; as well as the relation between literature and the emotions, between literature and values, and between interpretation and truth. We will as well consider the relation between different forms of literature, for example between fiction and poetry and drama, in both Western and non-Western perspectives. We will consider whether (and how) such contemporary art forms as video games and comix may be thought of as literature. Our explorations will involve reading literature of various sorts alongside writings by contemporary and historical philosophers. No prior coursework or studies in philosophy are required. Fulfills a Literature Group 1 requirement or an elective

ENGL 544 Cyberpunk & Technoculture (Dr. Loots)

  • Each instance of ENGL 544 explores different “frontiers” depending on professor specialty. This instance of the course will focus on literature and media that tend to the frontiers of humanity and identity in the age of technoculture (also known as the Information Age, also know as the internet-era, also know as the age of cyberculture). Readings will include “cyberpunk” and other speculative fiction from the 1970s, ‘80s and ‘90s (e.g. writings of William Gibson, Pat Cadigan, Neal Stephenson, and Melissa Scott); and contemporary writings such as Jia Tolentino’s Trick Mirror and Dave Eggers’ The Circle. Visual media might include episodes of Black Mirror or Mr. Robot; TED talks; and films such as Blade Runner or Ex-Machina. Altogether we will consider, through exploring fiction and essay and film, the implications of humanity’s increasing interweave with cyberculture, technoculture, computer technology, social media, artificial intelligence, online/virtual realities, etc. — with the way that humanity is becoming posthuman or cyborg. Fulfills a Literature Group 2 requirement or an elective.

ENGL 560 Black Theatre, Art, and Power in the Digital Age (Dr. Morales)

  • This course explores the growing acceptance of black art, particularly Black theatre, as a force in defining contemporary American culture. In Farah Nayeri’s Takedown: Art and Power in the Digital Age, she writes that “this is not a flash in the pan,” and she wonders how after the success of “exhibitions in major museums of major African American . . . artists, how could we then go back?” Jesse Green, theatre critic for The New York Times, in his article on American theatre titled “The Reformation: The world is changing, and so is the theater,” affirms that because of movements like #MeToo and BLM, theatre is becoming introspective and is now talking “openly about its foundation and continuing inequities . . . . But more than ever, practitioners and critics are asking difficult questions about how we make actors, how we make plays, how we make seasons, how we make money — in short, how we make theater.” Consider the example of such evolution as evidenced by Antoinette Chinonye Nwandu’s play Pass Over. Her play premiered at the Steppenwolf Theatre in 2017 where it was also filmed by Spike Lee. Lee’s film screened at the Sundance Film Festival in 2018. In New York, Pass Over premiered at the Lincoln Center Theatre where it won the 2019 Lortel Award for Outstanding Off-Broadway play. In 2021 it played at the Kiln in London and finally moved to Broadway at the August Wilson Theatre in 2022. It was the first play to open on Broadway after the pandemic shut-down. Pass Over was inspired by the death of Trayvon Martin, the trial of George Zimmerman, and 2016 election of Donald Trump; but stylistically it is in the mold of Beckett’s Waiting for Godot as well as the Book of Exodus. Nwandu offers that: “At the end of the day, I’m writing for the people who want to go on the journey I’m making, and I’m not writing with one race in mind.” This example of Pass Over illustrates the changing dynamics of work/script, of the spaces such drama occupies, of the recognition such drama receives, and of the audiences for whom such drama is intended. The course will focus primarily on drama, but other art forms will be involved and studied. Fulfills a Literature Group 2 requirement or an elective.

Event of Interest, 10/28, On Zoom Or In Person: Dr. Boria Sax Speaks on “Top Secrets: Trauma, Boasting, Guilt, Fear, Anger, and the Residue of Truth”

On Friday October 28, at 2:30pm eastern, Dr. Sax will be giving a talk on “the challenges, satisfactions, and limitations of family history. ” Graduate English students and alumni are encouraged to attend whether on zoom or on campus. To attend on zoom go to https://tinyurl.com/mr4xh34a (pass is 319727, meeting ID is 986 7047 1930).

This is the director's blog for the Mercy College MA in English Literature Program. This is not the official College site. The purpose of this is to share news and other information to help MA graduate students stay current with the state of the program and navigate the MA degree. Students in the program should check here regularly to learn about upcoming registration periods, course schedules, and other news.