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For the most up-to-date listing of course offerings, please consult the course schedule.  For the most current course descriptions and program information, please consult the University Catalog.  For an archive of past seminar offerings, please scroll to the bottom of this page.

Fall 2018 Graduate Seminars:

English 5001 – Theoretical Foundations of Literary Studies (Dr. Jun Liu, Tuesdays 6PM – 8:45PM)

English 5002 – Research Methods in Literary Studies (Dr. Maria Karafilis, Wednesdays 6PM – 8:45PM)

English 5002 is one of the two required introductory courses designed to prepare students for graduate level coursework. Engl 5002 introduces graduate students to the research methods and disciplinary practices of literary studies, with particular emphasis on concrete, practical strategies for producing persuasive arguments about texts and understanding the various genres of advanced literary studies (abstracts, annotated bibliographies, critical essays, literature reviews, and proposals).

English 5060 – The Writing Process (Dr. Kathryn Perry, Thursdays 6PM – 8:45PM)

What's the difference between the kind of writing you do for school and the kind of writing you do outside of the classroom? How do you navigate between these different kinds of writing? In ENGL 5060: The Writing Process, we will explore these differences by engaging the writing process head on, and you will produce at least two polished artifacts: one piece of academic writing and one piece of public writing. By exploring the similarities and differences between "academic" and "public" writing, you will build a toolkit of writing moves that will help you navigate various rhetorical situations within and beyond academia. We will begin with a piece of academic researched writing, such as a seminar paper you've already written. We will undertake a series of peer workshops to revise these pieces while simultaneously reading scholarship about the writing, revision, and editing process. In this part of the course, I will do my best to start the writing process from where you are rather than assume all of you are at the same comfort level with academic writing. In the second half of the course, we will undertake collaborative writing projects involving Words Uncaged. Each student group will research and compose a white paper for a Words Uncaged committee in which you address a specific service, need, event, or program. These white papers will undergo a series of workshops and collaborative revisions before their final in-person submission to your Words Uncaged committee at the end of the semester. (What's a white paper, you might ask? Take the course to find out!)

English 5190 -- Bodies of Work:  Dickinson and Whitman (Dr. Andrew Knighton, Mondays, 6:00-8:45)

This seminar explores the work of the two most prominent practitioners of nineteenth-century American poetry:  Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman. We will situate their work within the traditional narratives of American literary history, framing it within various cultural, political, economic, generic, and formal contexts.  Students will gain familiarity with these critical discourses as well as with the conventions of various types of professional practice (a research paper, a formal presentation, and poetic recitation and explication).  We will also consider how bodies themselves are thematized in the work of these two poets – whether they are represented as laboring bodies, as sites of pleasure and desire, as embodiments of political identity, or as expressions of the natural world. Here, too, assumptions about the unity or totality of these bodies cannot be sustained, as Dickinson and Whitman depict bodies as fragmentary, as collective, as incomplete – the body is understood as a relay through which non-individuated affects and intensities pass.  We will seek to understand such accounts of the body with reference to the economic and social context of the late nineteenth century (which was replete with this social fascination with the unstable meanings of corporeality).  Just as the work of Dickinson and Whitman insists that we think of poetry as process and not merely product, so too does it insist that we forge a theory of selfhood and the body that privileges becoming rather than being. 

English 5400 – The Orient and the Oriental Tale (Dr. Nicole Horejsi, Wednesdays 6PM – 8:45PM)

At the beginning of the eighteenth century, the French translator and Orientalist Antoine Galland brought the Arabian Nights’ Entertainments to Europe. Soon translated into English, the Nights continued to enthrall audiences throughout the century, competing even with the epics of Homer and Virgil: indeed, Horace Walpole exhorted a female correspondent, “read Sindbad the Sailor’s voyages, and you will be sick of Aeneas’s.” This seminar will examine the powerful vogue for Oriental tales in eighteenth-century British literature, beginning with the Arabian Nights and tracing its influence especially through drama (Dryden, Manley, Pix) and the developing novel (Haywood, Johnson, Sheridan, Beckford), on to the birth of “Romantic” Orientalism often marked by the publication of Walter Savage Landor’s Gebir. What does the Orient—or rather Orients—come to symbolize and evoke for writers and audiences in the long eighteenth century? How might we begin to explain its popularity and appeal? Questions of gender and alterity will also take center stage as we consider how British writers used the Orient to engage with various cultural “others” in the popular imagination.

English 5700 – Charting Empires and Re-iterations of Geopolitical Historiography, Human Rights and the Literary Imagination (Dr. Hema Chari, Mondays 3:05PM – 5:50PM)

In this seminar, we will study selected works of modern and contemporary world literature written in English or translated into English from other languages. We will look at narratives of imperial conquest and colonial resistance, rebellion and independence, national and transnational identities. The course will cover diverse geopolitical regions and cultures, colonized or otherwise affected by the political economy of imperialism and neo-imperialism. The writers we will be reading express a range of apprehensions and anxieties about dominations, collaborationist ideologies, loss of independent identities, isolation as well as connections between cultures, subjectivities and historiographies. Students will analyze the complex ways in which writers, representative of modernist and contemporary world literature, portray transnational and globalized cultures and societies. The comparative literary framework of this course will help enrich the students’ literary landscape, enhance their capacity for critical thinking, and deepen their understanding of world literature. Through this seminar, not only will students become conversant with a variety of literary trends and cultural traditions from around the world, but they will also be cognizant of the increasingly cosmopolitan and globalized nature of contemporary society. In addition, the course will also take into consideration the ways in which these writers question and portray the complexities of human rights to provide a deeper understanding of key concepts of human rights such as “freedom of expression,” “dignity,” “the individual” and “empathy.” The course pays particular attention to the numerous portrayals of human rights and of the different ways in which literary representations question and promote such concepts as “human rights” and “humanitarianism.”



Use the links below to view descriptions of seminars offered in prior terms.

Fall 2017 Seminar Descriptions

Spring 2017 Seminar Descriptions

Fall 2016 Seminar Descriptions

Spring 2016 Seminar Descriptions

Fall 2015 Seminar Descriptions

Summer 2015 Seminar Descriptions

Spring 2015 Seminar Descriptions

Winter 2015 Seminar Descriptions

Fall 2014 Seminar Descriptions