Category Archives: Course Information

For Those Taking 540 Magic in Lit in the Spring

Here are Dr. Sax’s book assignments for the spring ENGL 540 Magic in Literature course:

  • Hesiod. Theogony & Works and Days. Trans. M. L. West. New York: Oxford UP, 1991. ISBN: 9-780192-817884.
  • Hoffmann, E. T. A. The Golden Pot and Other Tales. Trans. Ritchie Robinson. New York: Oxford UP, 1991. ISBN: 0199552479.
  • Roob, Alexander. Alchemy: Mysticism. Trans. Shaun Whiteside. London: Taschen, 2009. ISBN: 9-783836-517690.
  • Rowling, J. K. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. New York: Scholastic, 1997. ISBN— 0439708184.
  • Sax, Boria. Imaginary Animals: The Monstrous, the Wondrous and the Human. London: Reaktion Books, 2013. ISBN – 978-1780231730.
  • Shakespeare, William. Twelfth Night. New York: Penguin, 2000. ISBN: 978-0-14-071489-0.
  • Yates, Frances, The Occult Philosophy in the Elizabethan Age. New York: Routledge, 2003. ISBN: 0-415-25409-4.

Students Planning to take the 599 Thesis Tutorial in Spring 2016, Take Note:

So by this point (12/22) everyone who is planning to take the 599 Master’s Thesis Tutorial course in the spring should see the 599 course listed on your spring schedule with your mentor as the professor. Check your registrations now to verify this.  If you don’t see this accurately displayed on your schedule, let me know at cloots@mercy.edu. There is still time to fix everything; we have January to make sure everyone is set up correctly. Now all of you who will be in 599 in the spring need to successfully complete your comprehensive examination prior to starting the semester. I will be contacting everyone registered for a 599 starting next week (in other words after the Christmas holiday). I’ll provide thorough instructions when I contact you for how to complete the exam. I’ll be contacting you using the information you have on file with the College, so just make sure it’s accurate (check in your Connect account). Exams will basically be administered over the first few weeks of January.  More soon, -CL

For Those Taking 560 African & Caribbean Lit In the Spring

For those who want to get their books ahead of time, here are the book orders for Dr. Donald Morales’ spring course, ENGL 560 African & Caribbean Literature. He strongly recommends that everyone secure and read the first item on the list, Palace Walk, in January prior to the semester’s start as it is a very big book. Note that these are hyperlinks which will take you to a place where you might purchase them.

For Those Taking 543 American Renaissance in the Spring

Some of you like to get a jump on your upcoming semester readings prior to the start of a semester, I know. That’s often a good idea, and you should feel free to email any professor ahead of time to ask for the syllabus or at least a few reading suggestions. If you don’t know the email for any particular professor you can email me at cloots@mercy.edu and I’ll help you out. For those in my American Renaissance course this coming spring I do suggest that you get into some of the readings ahead of time, if you have time, as it will be a rather reading-heavy course. Moby-Dick will be the last thing we read, but as it is very long it’s not a bad idea to read it ahead of time. We’ll also be reading Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, and selections from Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl and Uncle Tom’s Cabin. We’ll also probably study The Scarlet Letter though many of you might have already read that a number of times in the past. We’ll be reading some essays and shorter works as well.

The book order will be Moby-Dick (ISBN 0393972836) and The Norton Anthology of American Lit. 8th Ed. Volume B (ISBN 0393934772), which contains everything I’ve listed here other than Moby Dick.  Norton has put together a special combo pack for our class with a distinct ISBN which, I believe, you can only get through our college bookstore. The ISBN is 978-0-393-91665-2. It was supposed to be a special deal but our bookstore has priced it up so that it costs about the same as if you bought both books separately. You can probably find used and even new copies of these for cheap from places like Alibris.

The New Wait-list Feature

You may have noticed the new wait-list feature available in the online course registration system. Some of you probably know more about how this works than I do, from your first-hand experience with it, but this is what I’ve been told: when a course is filled to its seat-cap you can opt to sign up for the course’s wait-list. The order in which you get on the wait-list matters. If a seated student drops the course, the person atop the wait-list will be notified (via email I would imagine, and using whatever you’ve indicated is your “preferred” email address) that the seat is open. You are NOT auto-enrolled in the open seat; you must actively go in and enroll in the course as you would for any other course. It’s simply that the recently opened seat is reserved for you for a limited time. I’m still trying to determine exactly how long that is but I believe it’s 24 hours. If you do not claim the seat within the time-limit, the next person on the wait-list gets notified and now has the chance to take the seat. If that person doesn’t claim the seat the system keeps going down the list, notifying each next wait-listed person, until either someone claims the seat, or no one does, at which point the seat becomes open to anyone. I’ll correct this information as I learn more about this new procedure, but this is my current best understanding of how it works. -CL

For those in ENGL 500 and on the waitlist:

Due to the large number of students on the wait list for this fall’s ENGL 500 we’ve decided to split off a new section of 500. Since the single section had 20 students and 7 waitlisted, each of the two sections will now have approximately 14 students when we’re done setting this all up. Both sections are being taught by the same professor, our theory specialist. Some of the 20 currently registered students will be moved to the new section to balance the student ratio, and it will all be the same regardless which section you’re in unless you were trying to get into a section with a particular friend of yours. If that’s the case let me know (cloots@mercy.edu). Otherwise we’ll do everything here behind the scenes and come fall, all of those currently enrolled and currently on the waitlist will find themselves in one or the other 500 section. We usually run 500 once each fall but this was an unusual situation and some students were desperate to take it this semester in order to graduate. Next fall we’re planning to enroll students in 500 from our side of the system, in order to ensure that no students who need the course in order to graduate on schedule find themselves closed out of the course, as happened this time around. No worries, all will be well, and now all of you on the waitlist will be able to take 500 this semester as you hoped to do. -CL

The 10-Course Audit for your MA Degree

A “degree audit” is a template that I and your advisors look at when trying to determine what courses you still need to take to earn your MA degree, as well as to see how courses you’ve already completed work toward your degree. This audit is the new one, implemented just this past semester. We’re in a transitional phase where some of you are working under the previous audit, and some of you are working under this new audit. The audits are very similar and I and your advisors are making sure that all of your completed coursework counts toward your degree. Still, this audit uses new catalog numbers (for example, the 501 Medieval course which many of you have taken is henceforth 521 in the new order) so for students who have been in the program a while this audit might seem a little confusing. You still can and should contact me and/or your advisor for help with course selection, but I wanted to share this 10-course degree audit with you so that you have a clear view into the course requirements for the MA degree. Other than the final 599 course, which is always taken during the final semester, there is no required sequence in which to complete this coursework.

  1. ENGL 500 Theory of Criticism (required of all students)
  2. One course from 505-510, or 517
  3. One course from 521-540
  4. One course from 541-560
  5. One additional course from 521-560
  6. Elective – Any course from 501-598
  7. Elective – Any course from 501-598
  8. Elective – Any course from 501-598
  9. Elective – Any course from 501-598
  10. ENGL 599 Master’s Thesis Tutorial

Spring Reg opens 11/5 at 9:00am Eastern

As the title says, registration for spring 2015 courses opens on Wednesday 11/5 at 9am in the morning. If there are courses you definitely don’t want to miss, make sure you register early. Seat caps in all courses are hard, meaning once the course is full, it is closed (unless of course someone later drops the course which opens a seat). If you have any questions for how to register in courses using the online system, be sure to speak with your graduate advisor.

FOR ANYONE WHO PLANS TO REGISTER FOR THEIR FINAL THESIS COURSE (formerly 516, now 599) IN THE SPRING: You don’t register for your thesis course using online registration. What you’ll do is work over the next few months with your selected mentor, sending the mentor a thesis proposal, possibly going back and forth. Once the mentor tells me you’re ready, I put in a form and you’re automatically enrolled in your thesis course with the mentor. There’s no limit to the amount of thesis courses I can open and I can open them up as late as the first week of the semester, so there’s no hurry or reason to worry either. To read more about the process, look for and click on the “thesis seminar” category on the right hand side of the blog.

Finally, you may have noted that though the course offerings below remain the same, the catalog numbers for them are shifting around a little. This is because I’m trying to update the info there to match changing information regarding what the Registrar is doing with our new courses and catalog codes (which she controls). Once the schedule goes up it will be settled. If you haven’t noticed and don’t know what I’m talking about, all the better.