Spring and Summer 2017 Course Schedules [Updated].

Update: registration for spring courses begins on Wednesday November 2nd (usually at 9am eastern when the registrar comes to work and turns on the system). Summer registration information will be updated here when I learn more. For now I can share with you the course schedules we have for the upcoming spring and summer 2017 semesters.


ENGL 507 Narrative Strategies in the Novel

Dr. Sean Dugan

This course will focus on the narrative mode as represented in the English and American traditions. As part of our reading and our discussion, we will explore the narrative choices an author has and how the decision affects the reader’s perception and understanding of the novel. We will also consider how the narrative strategy informs perspective, plot, tone, and theme. Although the following list may change, we will likely base our discussions on some or all of the following novels: Jane Austen, Wuthering Heights; George Eliot, Middlemarch; Ford Madox Ford, The Good Soldier; Kazuo Ishiguro, Never Let Me Go; Henry James, The Bostonians; Jean Rhys, Wide Sargasso Sea; Zadie Smith, White Teeth; Bram Stoker, Dracula. Fulfills the Writing & Literary Forms requirement or an elective.

ENGL 522 Humanism in Renaissance Texts

Dr. David Fritz

This course will focus on humanism and the concepts arising from it in relation to the production and appreciation of literature during the Renaissance. The revival of interest in the arts and ideas of Greco-Roman antiquity and the dependence of Renaissance thought on classical themes will be among the issues discussed. Fulfills a Literature Group 1 requirement or an elective.

ENGL 540 Animals in Literature

Dr. Boria Sax

This course looks at the representation of animals in a wide range of literary and folkloric traditions. It will focus, most especially, on the ways in which the literary depiction of animals is intimately tied to changing perspectives on the human condition, which in turn reflect religious, intellectual, governmental, and technological developments. Fulfills a Literature Group 1 requirement or an elective.

ENGL 545 Literature of the Left Bank, Paris

Dr. Christopher Loots

This course will examine the diverse people, culture, and writings of the expatriate community of the Parisian Left Bank during the early and mid twentieth century. This will include an exploration of the significance of Sylvia Beach’s Shakespeare & Company bookstore and lending library, and of intellectual and artistic salons such as those of, for example, Natalie Barney and Gertrude Stein. The course will additionally consider the doings and writings of expatriate authors moving through or closely associated with the Left Bank’s modernist enterprise. An emphasis will be placed on studying the cultural geography of this location which attracted so many of the world’s great artists and gave rise to so many works now considered twentieth century literary masterpieces. Fulfills a Literature Group 2 requirement or an elective.

ENGL 546 Working Women in the US 1865-Present

Dr. Miriam Gogol

This course will examine writings about working women from the post-Civil War era to the present. We will review key changes in the American work force, and social, economic, and racial factors since 1865, with attention to movements leading up to changes in the second half of the 19th century. In this multi-genre course, we will read literature (fiction, short stories, poetry, memoirs, biographies, and essays) to help us deconstruct the definitions of “women,” “working,” and “The United States” from the Civil War era to present writings about the millennial generation. We will inquire into the shifting definitions of the term “gender.” We will start with gender as a concept, a social construction reflecting differentials of power and opportunity, breaking what the feminist writer Tillie Olsen calls the “habits of a lifetime.” An important goal of the course is for students to know the literature, history, and benchmarks of major events in the lives of women. Fulfills a Literature Group 2 requirement or an elective.

ENGL 560 Latino Literature

Dr. Celia Reissig-Vasile

This course focuses on the literature of Latinos/Hispanics living in the United States; a growing and important field of American literature. “Latino” and “Hispanic” refer to people living in the United States who have roots in Latin America, Spain, Mexico, South America, or Spanish-speaking Caribbean countries. 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 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. Fulfills a Literature Group 2 requirement or an elective.

ENGL 599 Master’s Thesis Tutorial.

This is only for students entering their final semester in the program, and requires a special procedure in order to be enrolled in it. For instructions on how to be enrolled in 599 consult the blog post here or the Program Handbook.


ENGL 505 Transformations of the Epic

Dr. Boria 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 manifestations through its emergence in Classical, Medieval, and Renaissance texts, to its incorporation after the Renaissance into the modern novel. 3 credits. Fulfills either the Writing & Literary Forms field requirement or an elective.

ENGL 517 Advanced Creative Writing

Dr. Celia Reissig-Vasile

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. Fulfills either the Writing & Literary Forms field requirement or an elective.

ENGL 523 Tragedy

Dr. David Kilpatrick

This course explores the history and theory of tragedy as both dramatic genre and philosophical motif. Beginning with its origins in ancient Greek ritual, the course traces a history of the genre to the present, with emphasis on the classical and English literary traditions. The course considers such elements as: the relationship between tragedy and the tragic; the role tragedy plays in the histories of Western drama and ideas; ways in which tragedy is distinct from other dramatic genres, such as comedy and melodrama; the essential elements of tragedy; comparisons between Classical and Elizabethan tragedy; and the possibility of modern tragedy. Fulfills a Literature Group 1 requirement or an elective.

ENGL 560 Afropolitanism (note; previously listed as ENGL 515)

Dr. Donald Morales

The term “Afropolitanism,” a word coined by Taiye Selasi in a 2005 essay, is generally defined as young, well-educated African, and by extension, Caribbean artists with global and multicultural sensibilities who have settled in a number of cosmopolitan capitals in Europe and North America. In the literary world, these artists have produced intriguing works that describe their hybrid status and identity but also defy categorization–Selasi argues, “the practice of categorizing literature by the continent from which its creators come is past its prime at best.” “Afropolitanism,” has also engendered a lot of criticism and controversy. Kenyan writer, Binyavanga Wainaina, labels it an “empty style and culture commodification.” This course tackles the concept of “Afropolitanism” in a variety of ways. In addition to introducing the student to a new generation of African/Caribbean writers–Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie [Americanah], Zadie Smith [On Beauty], Edwidge Danticat [Dew Breaker], Teju Cole [Open City], Taiye Selasi [Ghana Must Go], there is also the opportunity to include transplanted dramatists [Roy Williams, Kwame Kwei-Armah, Debbie Tucker Green, Bola Agbaje] in London who have created a number of powerful dramas around the same subject. Fulfills an elective or, with permission of the program director, a Literature Group 2 requirement.