Click on a title for a description box to show, or view listing of all courses for the Spring 2019/Fall 2019. All students must receive permission from the instructor and/or the Graduate English Office in order to enroll. To officially register for the course, please use the PeopleSoft Class Number (PSC#) in parenthesis. Registration through PeopleSoft starts on Monday, October 22, 2018.
Spring 2019 Seminars
• Critical Disability studies and theory;
• The new(er) field of “narrative medicine”;
• Trauma (as it intersects with the experience of disability, disease, illness) and its literary representations, particularly in non-fiction forms;
• Literature and human rights.This course will engage narrative and documentary that is not necessarily limited to (but definitely still including) the U.S. (as well as the “the Western hemisphere”). The texts of this course will, in sum, be global. Course texts will include:
(1) NARRATIVE (memoir, personal essay, letters, blogposts, graphic fiction/non-fiction, interviews, and Op-Ed series like the New York Times “disability” series now with over 50 entries: https://www.nytimes.com/column/disability);
(2) DOCUMENTARY FILMS (of many varying lengths); and
(3) CRITICAL/THEORETICAL (secondary) texts that might help frame the narratives and documentaries. The intent here is not to freeze-frame certain texts with certain theories or ways of reading but to offer a persistently toggled and braided account of possible primary texts with critical approaches and secondary texts.Interdependence and collaboration marks and makes the landscape of disability, disease, illness.
As such, for course activities and assignments, participants would be asked to:Compose approximately 5 brief (250-300 word) responses (could done as a blog, etc.)
–OR a 10-15 page conference paper presentation
–OR a 5-10 min. documentary/video production or podcast
–OR other multimodal and multimedia forms are invited
–Choices will depend on what each student most wants to gain from the class experience in relation to their own professional plans.
Carry out one collaborative class leadership session
Complete one collaborative piece of writing with classmates
Final Highlights Reel of work in the course (5-8 mins)For further information about likely texts and course activities, please contact: email@example.com
Faulkner and Morrison are also related to each other in ways that seem almost intimate. Morrison has made provocative yet ambiguous comments about Faulkner, her fellow Nobel laureate (and the subject, along with Virginia Woolf, of her Cornell MA thesis). For instance: “He could infuriate you in such wonderful ways. It wasn’t just complete delight–there was also that other quality that is just as important as devotion: outrage. The point is that with Faulkner one was never indifferent.” (And few words are more characteristically Faulknerian than “outrage.”) She describes Faulkner as “the only writer who took black people seriously”–but then goes on to add, “which is not to say he was, or was not, a bigot.” But curiously, in Playing in the Dark, Morrison’s often-cited study of canonical white American writers’ response to what she calls the “Africanist presence,” she mentions Faulkner only in passing. In addition, Morrison insists her work is “not like Faulkner,” and she’s right: for one thing, she is every bit as original. So if the relationship between Morrison and Faulkner cannot be reduced to one-way influence, how might we conceptualize it? (Notably, the monographs and articles looking at Faulkner and Morrison in tandem are almost uniformly disappointing.) This course also invites reflection on the implications of old canons and new. Has Morrison’s cultural capital impacted Faulkner’s?
Reading list: Morrison: Beloved, Song of Solomon, Jazz, Paradise, Home and selections from Playing in the Dark
Faulkner: Go Down, Moses, The Sound and the Fury, Absalom, Absalom!, Light in August, Sanctuary
Assignments: one short conference length paper, one long paper, two class sessions of “co-teaching,” in which student signs up to help lead discussion on the day’s reading, in final session of class, annotated bibliography and presentation to class of final paper-in-progress.
ENGL 6750-01 (class#14081) SPECIAL TOPICS IN LANGUAGE AND LITERATURE: PROPERTY, PERSONHOOD AND THE NOVEL IN THE 19TH C. BRITAIN AND ITS EMPIRE: (Winter): Through readings of both canonical and lesser-known novels, this course will interrogate the relations between property and legal personhood in the constitutional history of Britain and its Empire. A central interest of the course will be to explore the way jurisdiction in the history of the common law derives from property. We will begin by reading sections of Sir William Blackstone’s Commentaries on the Laws of England (1765-69) to uncover the connections between personhood as a status at law and the ownership of land and chattels, with particular attention to laws governing real property (land) and inheritances, including primogeniture and entail, as well as relations between masters and servants or apprentices; landowners, tenants, and peasants who labor on the land; husbands and wives; parents and children; and colonial laws governing relations between masters and slaves. Another area of focus will be to study the history of colonial and business corporations, and the piecemeal development of the imperial constitution, as well as the reasons for the silence of the common law in relation to colonial slavery as viewed from the perspective of a series of famous eighteenth-century cases concerning the status of fugitive slaves in England. We will develop these inquiries through readings of novels that explore the problem of legal personhood as a field for both individual subjective and collective political struggle, including slave rebellions in the West Indies. In the process, we will consider the legal dimensions of such common liberal ideas as liberty versus enslavement; free labor; married women’s legal disability and female emancipation; individual conscience and the duties of citizenship; the abolition of slavery; and individual personal rights versus property rights. We will also pay attention to the interaction of these questions with novelistic generic experimentation in satire, romance, sensation fiction, and realism. In addition to novels by authors including Austen, George Eliot, Earle, Godwin, Scott, Trollope, and Wollstonecraft, and slave narratives by Olaudah Equiano and Mary Prince, we will read selections from historical and critical studies, including work by John Barrell, Lauren Benton, Colin Dayan, Christine L. Kreuger, Ruth Perry, Robert J. Steinfeld, Daniel M. Stout, and Tim Watson. The course will enable students to gain familiarity with methods in law and literature, as well as the legal history of the British Empire. In addition, students will learn to conduct research on legal history by accessing reports of trials, registers of statutes, parliamentary debates, and legal treatises.Course requirements include: a 20-page seminar paper; a scholarly literature review paper; two class presentations; complete all readings and regular discussion participation; weekly 2-3 page short analysis paper on the class readings.
Course requirements will include an oral presentation, a review essay, and one seminar paper (15-22 pages).
Fall 2018 Seminars
Clemens and Graham, Introduction to Manuscript Studies 978-0-8014-8708-8
Joseph Dane, What Is a Book? 978-0-268-02609-7
Elizabeth Eisenstein, The Printing Press As an Agent of Change 978052129955
Sebastian Sobecki, Unwritten Verities 978-0-268-04145-8
Mark Rose, Authors and Owners: the Invention of Copyright 9780674053090
Adrian Johns, Piracy 9780226401195 .
We will also explore a variety of contemporary methodologies for understanding early modern theatre, including practice-as-research, repertory studies, the intersections of print and theatrical cultures, cross-gender casting, embodiment and gesture, and authorship/ attributionist debates. Assessment will include two ‘pitches,’ in which you make a case for including a particular play in the repertory; short methodology exercises, and a research essay.
A key analytic for the course engages what cultural critic Lisa Lowe productively characterized as an identifiable “Asian Americanist critique.” As Lowe summarizes, “Asian American culture is the site of more than critical negation of the U.S. nation; it is a site that shifts and marks alternatives to the national terrain by occupying other spaces, imagining different narratives and critical historiographies, and enacting practices that give rise to new forms of subjectivity and new ways of questioning the government of human life by the national state” (Immigrant Acts 29). Correspondingly, students will explore the turbulent interactions among immigration and national identity, exclusion/inclusion, attachment to the nation-state and critiques of it through varied and variegated Asian American literary manifestations.
We will read widely across a range of theoretical texts that defines what constitutes adaptation/appropriation, how adaptation works on both the production and reception ends of communication, and the degree to which the forms and functions of adaptation differ within specific historical and aesthetic contexts. The primary method of weekly study will involve combining theoretical texts with actual examples of adaptation in order to encourage interrogation of each theory’s premises, applicability, and persuasiveness. Regularly adapted hypotexts we will explore include, but are not limited to, stories from Greek mythology (Rilke’s poem “Orpheus. Eurydice. Hermes”) and the Old and New Testaments (Aronofsky’s film Mother!); plays such as Shakespeare’s Macbeth (three films including Kurosawa’s Throne of Blood); short stories and novels by such writers as Annie Proulx and Jane Austen; historical events (Davis’s The Return of Martin Guerre and Oppenheimer’s documentary The Act of Killing); and artworks such as the paintings of Vincent van Gogh.
Assignments will include a final seminar paper, a paper proposal and abstracts, and a bibliographic presentation.
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