Fall and Summer Registration Opens On Wed. March 2.

Fall and summer registration open at the same time this year, Wednesday March 2, usually at 9am eastern (when the Registrar comes to work and activates the system that morning). We’re running six courses in the fall and three in the summer. We don’t run as many summer courses because overall many of our students don’t take summer classes. The course offerings are as follows:

Fall 2016:

ENGL 500, Theory/Practice of Literary Criticism

Dr. Yunus Tuncel

An introduction to major movements and figures of the theory of criticism. The question “what is literature?” is the primary concern of this course. Such an inquiry necessarily engages other, closely affiliated signifiers such as work/text, writing, reading, interpretation, and signification itself. After brief encounters with ancient antecedents and seminal moderns, influential contemporary approaches to the question concerning literature and its cultural significance are engaged. An assessment of the relative strengths and weaknesses of current trends in the practice of literary criticism, and their theoretical groundwork, is the ultimate objective of this course. 3 credits. (Core course: required of all students for the MA degree).

ENGL 510, Theory/Practice of Expository Writing

Dr. Sean Dugan

The course is especially encouraged for any student who is a teacher or who aspires to teach secondary school or college. The course will address the techniques of expository writing as reflected in academic discourse. Ideally, students will learn the general practices of critical writing, but focus their work in their individual fields of interest. These interests may include feminist approaches, deconstructive approaches, research in culture, education, etc. The course will specifically address techniques of analytic organization, and will consider the pedagogy and andragogy of writing. 3 credits. (Completes either the Writing & Literary Forms field requirement or an elective).

ENGL 521, Themes & Genres of Medieval Lit.

Dr. David Fritz

This course is designed to cultivate students’ awareness of the themes, genres, and issues related to the study of medieval literature. Students will study the major genres of medieval literature, including epics, lays and romances. 3 credits. (Completes either a Literature Group 1 field requirement or an elective).

ENGL 524, From Reason to Imagination

Dr. Boria Sax

This study of English literature between 1650 and 1850 examines Neoclassicism and Romanticism as two opposed aesthetic and philosophical stances. It traces the political, ideological, and literary roots of Neoclassicism in the English “Glorious Revolution” of 1688, the late seventeenth-century growth of rationalism and empirical science, followed by the flowering of Neoclassicism and then the shift in sensibility that led to the emergence of Romanticism. 3 credits. (Completes either a Literature Group 1 field requirement or an elective).

ENGL 541, Search for Identity in American Lit.

Dr. Christopher Loots

This course will study the search for identity, individually and collectively, as it manifests in American literature from Colonial times through the turn of the twentieth century. Attention will be paid to the changing historical/cultural contexts from which such literature emerged, as well as to different literary movements (Romanticism, Realism, etc). Readings this fall will likely include works by Anne Bradstreet, Edward Taylor, Olaudah Equiano, Jonathan Edwards, Thomas Paine, Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, Phillis Wheatley, Philip Freneau, Poe, Emerson, Margaret Fuller, Whitman, Frederick Douglass, Henry James, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Charles Chestnutt, W.E.B. Du Bois, and Paul Lawrence Dunbar. 3 credits. (Completes either a Literature Group 2 field requirement or an elective).

ENGL 542, Classics of African American Lit.

Dr. Donald Morales

Toni Morrison states in an interview with Paul Gilroy [Small Acts, 1993] that “My parallel is always the music because all of the strategies of the art are there.” It is no accident that her reference to music is echoed by other African American artists, for the music is the trope that best illuminates contemporary African American writing. Richard Powell in The Blues Aesthetic: Black Culture and Modernism specifies the blues as providing “much contemporary literature, theater, dance, and visual arts with the necessary element for defining these various art forms as intrinsically African-American.” It is from this perspective that this course analyzes various African American authors and texts, emphasizing those of the twentieth century. 3 credits. (Completes either a Literature Group 2 field requirement or an elective).

ENGL 599, Master’s Thesis Tutorial

Enrolling in 599 requires a different process which is explained in detail here.

Summer 2016:

ENGL 509 Perspectives on The Essay

Dr. David Kilpatrick

The course will study the essay as a distinct literary genre; its characteristics and types; its history; and its role in reflecting authorial consciousness. This course will examine the taxonomy of the essay in terms of its medium (verse or prose), its tone and level of formality, its organizational strategies, and its relationship to its audience and to particular modes of literary production (speech, manuscript, pamphlet, book, magazine, newspaper). It will trace the development of the essay from its origins to the modern era. 3 credits. (Completes either the Writing & Literary Forms field requirement or an elective).

ENGL 515, Lit. of the Spanish Golden Age

Dr. Celia Reissig-Vasile

This course will focus on two of the best known 16th and 17th century writers of the Spanish Golden Age, Miguel de Cervantes and Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz, and their most important literary works.  Miguel de Cervantes (1547-1616) is best known for his novel Don Quixote de la Mancha, regarded as the first modern novel and one of the world’s literary masterpieces. Through a close reading and analysis of this novel, we will focus on questions of literary, linguistic, cultural, and historical heterogeneity.  We will come to understand why so many celebrate Cervantes for teaching us “to comprehend the world as a question.”  It is both a parody of classical morality and chivalry and critique of Spain’s rigid social structures.  Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz (1651-1695) was a poet, playwright, essayist and scholar.  She is considered one of the most important literary figures of the American Hemisphere and Spain.  Although she lived in a colonial era when Mexico was part of the Spanish Empire, she is considered today both a Mexican writer and a contributor to the Spanish Golden Age. Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz was an exceptional seventeenth-century nun who set precedents for feminism long before the term or concept existed and is considered the first feminist writer of the Americas. Two of her most important works will be examined in this course:  A Philosophical Satire and  Reply to Sor Filotea. 3 credits. (Completes an elective).

ENGL 517 Advanced Creative Writing

Dr. Kristen Keckler

This course is intended for writers with some background or preparation, whether personal or formal, in creative writing. The course continues to develop each student’s creative writing ability through a close study of various writing styles and techniques, matched with assignments and workshops which encourage the students to further develop their own creative writing informed by such literary study. The emphasis of the course will shift depending on the expertise of the professor running it, and could involve poetry, narrative, or other forms. 3 credits. (Completes either the Writing & Literary Forms field requirement or an elective).

Special Event: Harper Lee Book Discussion / Gathering at Dobbs Ferry Public Library, 2/25, 5:00pm.

For anyone who might be in the Hudson Valley/New York City  area on Thursday, February 25, the College’s Honors Program is hosting a book discussion and pizza dinner in Dobbs Ferry, the village in which Mercy College’s main campus is located. The book under discussion is Harper Lee’s Go Set a Watchman. Lee passed away today, 2/19, and so this will also surely involve people sharing other reflections on their experiences with Lee’s work. The Dobbs Ferry Public Library and Mercy College have long collaborated in a “Town & Gown” series bringing together college faculty, students, and community residents. Everyone is welcome, and in particular English literature students of both graduate and undergraduate level are encouraged to attend. Click here to RSVP for this event.

Go Set a Watchman_Page_1