Spring 2015 - English Graduate Courses

3619 ENGL 504-01 Advanced Creative Writing II – Fiction: TTh 4:00 – 5:15 PM

(Professor P. Griner)

Prerequisite: two undergraduate college courses in creative writing, or graduate-student status.  This is a workshop-style course in the writing of original fiction.  Class sessions are used primarily to discuss work written by class members, which is distributed and studied in advance of the discussion.  You are also required to write three short papers: two will be responses to fiction readings you attend during the semester, and the third will be about a collection of short stories or a novel published in the last five to ten years.

3058 ENGL 506-75 Teaching of Writing TTh 5:30 – 6:45PM

(Professor J. Turner)

English 506 is an introduction to the theory and practices that inform the teaching of writing. Although we’ll initially look at theories of what writing (and the teaching of writing) is, we’ll also look at how theory governs pedagogical practice. We will examine both the pedagogical approaches that govern the teaching of writing, and the various practical activities—curriculum design, assignment design and sequencing, classroom activities and management, formative and summative assessment—we might use to ground and elaborate those approaches in the classroom.

4743 ENGL 510-01 MA Graduate Coop Internship

(Professor S. Schneider)

Note: This section requires permission from the instructor.

4381 ENGL 518-01 Foundation of Language: TTh 2:30 – 3:45

(Professor E. Patton)

Note: This is a cross-listed course. Check the course catalog description for the other department/course number under which it is offered.

Course Description: Pre-requisite: ENGL 102 or 105; junior standing. Note: Cross-listed with ENGL 518. A survey of both the theoretical and applied aspects of Linguistics. This is not an in-depth exploration of single-topic in the field of Linguistics. This course is designed to introduce graduate students to the discipline of linguistics. The course is, simply put, a graduate level introductory linguistics course. NOTE: If you have taken LING/ENGL 325, this may not be the course for you! Please see the instructor to determine the suitability of this course to fit your particular needs if you are an undergraduate student and/or you have recently taken LING/ENGL 325. This course will introduce students to aspects of theoretical (phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, and pragmatics) linguistics and explore various aspects of applied linguistics. This course will also encourage graduate students to think critically about language and its use.

7383 ENGL 522-01 Structure of Modern English: TTh 11:00AM-12:15PM

(Professor T. Stewart)

Also Available as a Hybrid Course: ENGL 522-50 Structure of Modern English: - blended course with 6 face-to-face meetings: Th 4:00PM – 5:15PM 1/8, 1/22, 2/5, 2/19, 3/12, & 4/2

Required Textbook:

Börjars, Kersti & Kate Burridge. 2010. Introducing English Grammar. 2nd ed. London: Hodder.

Course Description and Objectives:

This course is designed as a linguistic exploration of the various forms and combinations of words, phrases, and sentences that contemporary speakers of English typically recognize as belonging to that language, i.e. “English.”

To help in this exploration, students will:

• examine both popular and technical conceptions of “grammar”

• examine that variety of English referred to as Standard American English (SAE)

• consider some of the ways in which one can vary from SAE and still be speaking English

• consider the role of situation, audience, etc., in determining “appropriate use”

• acquire terminology and methods that permit clear description of English grammar

• collect real-life examples of actual English usage for detailed description

• identify and monitor trends in English usage to evaluate “changes in progress”

This course can count in the Theoretical Track concentration or as an Elective for the Undergraduate Minor in Linguistics. For more information, see http://bit.ly/UG_lingminor

Student Learning Outcomes:

Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to:

  1. distinguish between language issues that are fundamental to the construction of English sentences and those that constitute “pet peeves” and “complaint triggers”;
  2. identify English examples in terms of grammatical categories, inflectional forms, clausal functions, and syntactic constructions;
  3. produce original examples of each of the types listed in (2) above;
  4. attend to everyday English language use for the purposes of identifying and collecting examples of specified structure-types; and
  5. describe, compare, and contrast example English structures in detail, through the rigorous application of the concepts, categories, and methods of descriptive linguistics.

5077 ENGL 523-01 History of the English Language: TTh 1:00-2:15PM

(Professor T. Stewart)

Required textbooks:

Jan Svartvik & Geoffrey Leech. 2006. English: One Tongue, Many Voices. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

David Crystal. 2003. The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language (2nd ed.). New York: Cambridge University Press.

Description: This course traces the development of English from Old English (Anglo-Saxon) origins, through the Middle English (e.g., Chaucer) and Early Modern English (e.g., Shakespeare) periods, to Present-Day English. The course has a double emphasis:

  • internal history (diachronic change), or how grammar and vocabulary change with use over time and space, and
  • external history (language and dialect contact), including influences such as the 9th century settlement of Vikings in Britain and the 11th century Norman-French conquest of Britain.

Because English hasn’t been “perfected” (whatever that would mean), it hasn’t stopped changing and it won’t, as long as people use it as a living language. In order to speculate as to how English might change in the future, this course will also consider regional dialects, and both current and post-colonial English vernaculars around the world.

Successful completion of this course will provide the student with:

  • greater appreciation for the fluidity of language usage,
  • broader understanding of the socio-political contexts for language change, and
  • increased ability to describe language phenomena objectively.

5574 ENGL 535-01 Teaching English as a Foreign Language: Th 4:00-6:45PM

(Professor E. Patton)

Course Description: Pre-requisite: ENGL 325/518 or LING 325/518; junior standing. Note: Cross-listed with ENGL 535. This course is an applied linguistic course that explores the theoretical and practical construct from which to view the discipline of Teaching of English as a Foreign Language. It is, from a theoretical standpoint, the intersection between the fields of WorldEnglishes and Teaching English as a Second Language. From a practical perspective, this course is designed for any student interested in second language learning and more specifically, for those who are particularly interested in teaching English overseas. While theoretically grounded, the course will provide practical applications and projects for students planning on Teaching English as a Foreign Language.

8309 ENGL 541-01 Literature in an Age of Conquest: England 900-1200: MWF 11:00-11:50AM

(Professor A. Rabin)

This class will focus on literature composed in Britain between 900 and 1200, a period during which England experienced two civil wars and four separate conquests (including the Norman Conquest of 1066). This period also witnessed the evolution of English literature away from the Germanic world of Beowulf and towards the courtly culture of King Arthur. The texts composed during these three centuries explore what it means to be English, particularly In the face of civil unrest and patterns of conquest and re-conquest. They examine how the emergence of a national literature contributes to the development of a national identity, and whether this identity can survive the violence of Viking and Norman invaders. We will trace these questions in order to see how texts of this period formulate a vision of English culture, one that comes to the fore with the rise of that most vibrant of medieval literary genres, the narratives of King Arthur and his court.

6381 ENGL 552-01 Animal Studies: TTh 4:00-5:15PM

(Professor G. Ridley)

Please note: this course meets the 1700-1900 literature requirement at both the undergraduate and graduate level

What is Animal Studies? In 1975, Peter Singer’s Animal Liberation provided a sustained – and highly controversial – engagement with questions about man’s treatment of non-human animals. The book is widely held to be a foundational text for the modern animal rights movement, and it is this movement that many – wrongly – assume to be the sole focus of Animal Studies. Certainly the questions that Singer poses in his book are inescapable in the field, but discussion of bio-ethics and modern agri-business is by no means the entirety of the discipline, which touches upon subjects as diverse as Art History, Cultural Studies, History, History of Science, Law, Literature and Philosophy. In the last decade, scholars working in every period of literature have begun to ask questions about the representation of animals. Their role in the medieval bestiary or the fable seems obvious, but even here, the gulf between a particular species and its artistic or literary representation can be a wide one. Indeed, many of the most famous species of the bestiary (such as the dragon or unicorn) have generated their own field of crypto-zoology (the description of - and lore surrounding - animals that do not exist). Given such a vast field, any course must therefore necessarily be selective, not simply in terms of texts, but with regard to the branch of Animal Studies explored.

The course will take as its focus the representation of animals in literature of the 18th and early 19th centuries. The class will read seminal modern works in the field of Animal Studies, such as Singer’s Animal Liberation, but we will apply these modern concerns to consideration of the representation of animals in an earlier age. The 18th and 19th centuries are chosen as a pivotal in man’s engagement with the natural world due to several factors including: the doubling of the number of known animal species in the first half of the 18th century (largely as a result of imperial exploration); Bakewell’s manipulation of the bodies of livestock animals at New Dishley; the trial of animals during the period, for crimes including treason and murder; and the rise of the indoor dog and cat, sharing its owner’s food and domestic accommodation. It is the latter development that, perhaps more than any other, drives the 18th century development of experiments with point of view, so that by the time of Kendall’s Keeper’s Travels (1798),  an author attempts to take his readers inside the mind of a dog, showing its experience of a wide range of recognizably human emotions.

The course will include time spent in Special Collections in the Ekstrom Library, working with Diderot and D’Alembert’s Encyclopédie and examining its representation of the natural world.

Primary texts studied will include (but are not limited to):

Francis Coventry, The Adventures of Pompey the Little (1751)

Dorothy Kilner, The Life and Perambulations of a Mouse (1783)

Sarah Trimmer, Fabulous Histories (1786)

Edward Augustus Kendall, Keeper’s Travels (1798)

Secondary material discussed in class will include the following (some of which may be assigned as extracts):

Thomas Nagel, “What is it like to be a Bat?” (1979)

Frank Palmeri, Humans and Other Animals in Eighteenth-Century Culture (2006)

Harriet Ritvo, The Platypus and the Mermaid (1997)

Kathryn Shevelow, For the Love of Animals (2008)

Peter Singer, Animal Liberation (1975)

5567 ENGL 564-01 Emily Dickinson and Her Afterlives: TTh 2:30-3:34PM

(Professor V. Adams)

In this course, we will read the major poems of Emily Dickinson, as well as a selection of her correspondence. We will then analyze various key moments in the history of her reception, with an eye to how different historical and intellectual contexts found value in her work. These contexts include: the collection, editing, and publication of her poetry; the affirmation of Dickinson's work by the poets and writers associated with the New Criticism; feminist approaches to Dickinson in the 1960s and 70s; theorization of the lyric genre and of "lyricization"; philosophical approaches to Dickinson's poetry; and Dickinson's continuing impact on contemporary experimental and avant-garde poets.

8310 ENGL 571-01 African American and Native American Literature, Publics, and Textualities, 1768-1854: MW 2:00-3:15PM

(Professor M. Mattes)

This course explores recent concepts that foreground the make and movement of texts in terms of the historical experiences, spatial geographies, and communicative practices of African Americans and Native Americans. For example, the reconceptualization of Paul Gilroy’s “Black Atlantic” continues (Joseph Roach, Cities of the Dead: Circum-Atlantic Performance; Joseph Rezek, “The Print Atlantic”), while recent scholarship in Native studies has increasingly turned toward the concept of “Indian Country” (Daniel Richter, Facing East from Indian Country: A Native History of Early America; Phillip Round, Removable Type: Histories of the Book in Indian Country, 1663-1880; Christina Snyder, Slavery in Indian Country: The Changing Face of Captivity in Early America). This course uses such frameworks to reveal overlaps and connections among the literatures of African and Native America. In doing so, this course brings into relief the textualities and underlying knowledges through which writers and readers across ethnicities experienced eighteenth- and nineteenth-century American life, including war, captivity, slavery, religion, revolt, disease, science, urban space, plantation labor, imperial expansion, media culture, and literary and historical discourse. Special attention will be given to the media among which ethnic literatures across a wide array of genres appeared. Thus, in addition to current-day texts, we will take advantage of local and digital archives, which house the eighteenth- and nineteenth-century formats that African Americans, Native Americans, Anglo-Americans, and Europeans used to constitute and interpret their writings. This media-aware approach will help us account for the intercultural conditions of textual production and circulation at work in the past, as well as our reliance upon the acts of translation, transmission, and transcription that make this diverse literature available to us. 

8311 ENGL 599-01 Reflections on American Empire in an “Age of Globalization”: TTh 1:00 – 2:15PM

(Professor R. Heryford)

This course will be devoted to unearthing and addressing the contours of ‘American Empire’ as they appear in 20th and 21st century texts produced both within and outside the geographic boundaries of the United States.  The first half of this course will trace 20th century US military imperialism, from occupations in Haiti (1914-1934) and the Philippines (1898-1946), up through Cold War interventions in Guatemala, Nicaragua, Angola, and Vietnam, reflecting on a range of writers and cultural producers like José Martí, Zora Neale Hurston, Claude McKay, William Faulkner, Rubén Darío, Aimé Césaire, Franz Fanon, and Ariel Dorfman, each of whom held markedly different investments, perspectives, and positions regarding this question of ‘American Empire’

The second half of this course will be concerned with questions of borders, migration and economic development schemes in our contemporary historical moment, what some 21st century historians have referred to as “an age of globalization.”  We will encounter a series of films and written texts from such cultural producers as Cormac McCarthy, Gloría Anzaldua, Alejandro González Iñárritu, Gregory Nava, Stephanie Black, and Roberto Bolaño, reading their ‘globalization narratives’ in conversation with earlier discussions about 20th century US imperialism.  The mediation and synthesis of these diverse and distinct historical texts and periods will be centered upon the broader question – what might reflections on 20th century ‘American Empire’ teach us about the cultures and politics of globalization today?  Students should leave this course with a thorough and engaged understanding of many of the current intersections between American Studies and post/de-colonial scholarship.

8846 599-02 Advanced Writing Across Disciplines: TTh 4:00 – 5:515PM

(Professor A. Olinger)

Have you sought to improve your writing but received little feedback beyond “correct your grammar”?  Are you curious about the linguistic and rhetorical patterns common to writing in your discipline?

This course is designed for graduate and professional students in any department, as well as for advanced undergraduates in any department who are considering graduate school or conducting research.  Students who speak English as a second, third, or fourth language are especially welcome.

In this course, students will:

  • Reflect on their literacy and language experiences, habits, and goals
  • Investigate the processes and politics of research, writing, and publishing in their discipline
  • Analyze scholarship in their discipline for particular linguistic and rhetorical patterns (e.g., how introductions are organized; how sources are critiqued)
  • Apply what they’ve learned to an extended writing project of their design
  • Participate in a community of peers who share their work and compare their experiences within and across disciplines, languages, and cultures
  • Improve their ability to edit for grammar, word choice, and punctuation and to craft more incisive prose

Feel free to contact the instructor, Dr. Andrea Olinger, if you have any questions about the class.

3620 ENGL 601-01 Introduction to English Studies: M 1:00 – 3:45PM

(Professor A. Rabin)

An introduction to graduate study in the context of the intellectual and institutional history of English and American literary scholarship over the course of the past century. We will look primarily at the development of professional literary study in the United States, with attention as well to British and Continental trends and contemporary global developments. The course will focus on case studies, with clusters of readings that illustrate major issues and varying approaches to the study of literature in a university setting.

3059 ENGL 607-75 Creative Writing II: W 7:00 – 9:45PM

(Professor J. Skinner)


This is a workshop-style course in the writing of original fiction, poetry, and drama. While class sessions are used primarily to discuss work written by class members, some classes will focus on discussion of contemporary published work, and other issues relevant to creative writing.


Through the work of the course students will: build a vocabulary with which to discuss contemporary poetry, fiction, and drama; explore in some depth a number of contemporary published works, and discern their strengths and weaknesses with increasing insight and clarity; learn to recognize the difference between levels of precision in language; learn something of the historical context for contemporary writing; become familiar with some of the basics of structure in the three genres; and learn to profitably apply all of the foregoing to the improvement and growth of their own original writing, and that of their peers.  The course may include some emphasis on “longer” works in the genres, for example: the long poem or poem sequence; the novella; the full-length play.

4744 ENGL 610-01 PhD Coop Internship
(Professor S. Schneider)

3061 ENGL 615-01 Thesis Guidance

(Professor S. Schneider)

8313 ENGL 620-01 Research in Composition: Th 4:00-6:45PM

(Professor M. Sheridan)

As your one required graduate methods class, this seminar has three goals: to expose you to key methods in the field of Writing Studies; to explore key questions/debates; and, to provide you an opportunity to work with one method of your choosing. In this way, this seminar will attempt to balance learning about methods and learning to use methods. Please come to class with a possible project you would like to pursue.

5569 ENGL 654-75 The Serial Poem: Modernism to the Present: T 7:00-9:45PM

(Professor A. Golding)

This seminar considers the wide range of work done under the rubric of the “serial poem” or “serial form” since the modernist period. Rachel Blau DuPlessis writes

Seriality is a way of joining small poems (or works) or fragments, in to one larger poem or concept (or work, working by and through these fragments). On a larger scale than line-blaze, seriality is also organized by gaps . . . , through sequencing, making a pulse of argument, a “progression.” Seriality produces structures of thought and places things in meaningful sequence (a trajectory of emotion, a pressure of thought) without necessarily creating story…. In seriality, the meaning is (meanings are) built by the ordering or sequencing of the parts (syntax may contribute to the possible procedures), by the nature . . . of the parts (image, phrases, line, fragmented word) . . . and by the varied intellectual and emotional relations of suture and leap among these parts.

Or, from Joseph Conte:

The serial form in poetry is one of “those works,” as Barthes puts it, “whose fabrication, by arrangement of discontinuous and mobile elements, constitutes the spectacle itself.” The discontinuity of its elements—or their resistance to a determinate order—distinguishes the series from the thematic continuity, narrative progression, or meditative insistence that often characterize the sequence. … The series demands neither summation nor exclusion. It is instead a combinative form whose arrangements admit a variegated set of materials.

Despite its widespread use and its great variety, the serial poem is surprisingly under-theorized or under-analyzed as a form. And yet some of the major poetry of the twentieth century, especially work in a more exploratory or experimental vein, was written in some version of serial form. How does the serial poem differ from the epic, the long poem, the lyric sequence? How have US American poets from modernism to the present used the serial poem to work through the relationship between the aesthetic and the political, issues of race, class, and gender, the changing nature of the social compact? What thematic and stylistic possibilities does working in serial form open up for a poet? More formal questions that the serial poem consistently poses include the relationship of part to whole, the competing drives toward openness and closure, the limits and possibilities of juxtaposition, fragmentation and discontinuity for structuring a longer poetic work, the various uses of documentary.

Possible readings include the work of Mina Loy, Muriel  Rukeyser, Langston Hughes, Jack Spicer, George Oppen, Lorine Niedecker, Robert Creeley, Susan Howe, Rachel Blau DuPlessis, Nathaniel Mackey, Joseph Lease (featured speaker at the Feb. 2015 Louisville Conference), Kristin Prevallet, Harryette Mullen. The chronological range will run from modernism to the present; while the course is not designed as a history of twentieth-century American poetry, some overview and rethinking of that history is likely to be one happy side effect. On average, we’ll read the work in serial form of one writer every week or week-and-a-half, along with related critical / theoretical material. Requirements will include one or two shorter papers for in-class presentation, regular participation in an online discussion forum, a longer research project, and a conference abstract that will also double as a proposal for the research paper.

6383 ENGL 660-01 The City and the African American Literature: M 4:00-6:45PM

(Professor K. Chandler)

This seminar will explore ideas about the city in African American narrative, poetry, and drama. In early African American literature, cities are often associated with physical and social freedom, self-invention, and economic viability. Yet in some African American texts they can also hold danger and inspire confusion and disaffection. In order to weigh the significance of these literary treatments, we will also examine changing conceptions of the city. Since the 1960s, urban spaces have often been defined by the presence of African Americans, who as a group became metonymically linked to U.S. cities’ decay.  In the second half of the course, we will explore how African American writers have confronted this conflation of urban decline and African American presence.

The course will facilitate students’ engagement with particular literary genres (e.g., slave narrative, lyrical poetry, crime fiction, science fiction, psychological novel) and modes of expression (e.g., realism, naturalism)  that have been to used portray and define the city, especially realism naturalism, and dystopian fiction.  Assigned literature may include nonfiction by Frederick Douglass, poetry by Langston Hughes, Sterling Brown, Gwendolyn Brooks, and fiction by Paul Laurence Dunbar, Nella Larsen, Ann Petry, Richard Wright, Brooks, Octavia Butler, and Colson Whitehead.  In addition, readings will include relevant works of history, sociology, and literary criticism. Requirements will include an oral report, a series of short response papers, and a research paper and presentation.

8519 ENGL 681-01 Writing Program Administration History, Theory, and Practice: W 4:00-6:45PM

(Professor B. Horner)

Most of those earning PhDs and taking jobs in rhetoric and composition can expect to be asked to serve as writing program administrators at some point in their professional careers.  Yet the relationship of writing program administration to the larger work of composition teaching, theory, and research is ambiguous.  This seminar will explore the historical and potential relationship between the two through readings in the scholarly literature of, by, and about writing program administration and institutional documents of writing program administration.  In so doing, we should grow more familiar with the interplay between theories of writing and program administration, on the one hand, and the practices of writing program administration, on the other, and with the various issues currently faced by writing program administrators and those with whom they work, including issues of teacher education, labor, assessment, curriculum design and development, and institutional change, and we should develop a sense of how best to navigate these in our current and future work as teachers, scholars, and (likely) writing program administrators.   Seminar members will write weekly response papers and a long seminar project.  Drafts of members’ seminar projects will constitute the final set of our readings for the seminar.

4072 ENGL 681-75 Seminar in Disability Studies Th 7:00 – 9:45PM

(Professor B. Brueggemann)

Although disability studies is a widely interdisciplinary field and people with disabilities are among the most over-studied people on the planet, a humanities-based approach to the study--and experience--of disability is relatively new.  Critical consideration of the language of/around disability, the history of disability and people with disabilities, the philosophical place of differently-abled bodies and minds, and the ways in which disability is represented (and made metaphor) in literature and art has really only been ongoing in a little over a decade.  A linguistic, historical, philosophical, and literary approach to disability will be the focus of this course.  Our pulse points for this course will be two:

  1. The REPRESENTATION of disability and people with disabilities in language and literature.
  2. The RELATIONSHIPS over/around disability and the disabled body:  relationships with self and relationships with others (familial, friendly, intimate, in service, in care, etc.)

In attending to this subject, we will also alternate our attention between critical, theoretical work and primary literary texts.  Toggling between these kinds of texts, and feeling for the twinned pulse, our objectives will be:

  • To explore the square of theory, practice, activism, and art (literature and language) in constituting disability studies;
  • To take part in the recovery and (re)construction of a literary and linguistic history of disability;
  • To critically examine “narrative normalcy” and the writing/performance of disability in literature, language, and film;
  • To analyze the ethical, emotional, and logical appeals of disability and disabled bodies in the historical, literary, and linguistic record.

8315 ENGL 681-76 Toward a Cultural History of Authorship: M 7:00-9:45PM

(Professor S. Ryan)

This seminar will engage a pervasive tension within nineteenth-century American literary culture between, on the one hand, the expansion of  named, proprietary, and putatively professionalizing authorship and, on the other hand, the era’s active cultures of reprinting, anonymity, pseudonymity, corporate authorship, and plagiarism.  We’ll also explore the interdependence of magazine and book publishing; the technologies and affects that attended celebrity authorship; and the persistent tensions between popular appeal and artistic aspiration. Readings will include literary works that specifically address authorship (e.g., Melville’s Pierre, Fanny Fern’s Ruth Hall, Dickinson’s poetry), other nineteenth-century documents that speak to particular forms of literary production, and recent scholarship on authorship’s intersecting economies. In addition, we’ll look at how late 20th and 21st century writing studies has engaged the seminar’s key issues, including such matters as embedded or submerged authorship, plagiarism, and appropriation. Archival research will be a significant part of the course.

Fulfills a literature requirement for PhD students

Counts as a 1700-1900 course for MA students

8333 ENGL 682-01 Language and Culture: MW 2:00 – 3:15PM

(Dr. T. Soldat-Jaffe)

Language is a social behavior in which the speaker expresses his/her identity through language (usage). However, the relationship between the speaker’s identity and the language variation is not always obvious. Instead, we encounter speakers with multiple identities (so called hyphenated identities or collective identities) using multiple languages, or contexts in which language choice is not the primary/strongest factor in the speakers identity and instead has been replaced by cultural and ethnic expressions such as food and music, or history, politics, and religion. Hence, what do we do when place (nation, city, speech community) ceases to be the correlate of linguistic variation in the postmodern world? Instead, collective identities are seen as cognitive social constructs, and group boundaries between cultures become often blurry and/or are redefined according to new and less traditional values. As a result, we often find ourselves conceptualizing the various aspects of globalization in our struggle to define “culture.” Is it the “language of culture” or “the culture of language?” This very question indicates that we not only have to (re-)evaluate the term “culture” but also redefine what we mean by “language in social context” – i.e. sociolinguistics.

This course is divided into three major themes: Language, culture, and “language and culture” in which we will look at “language structure” and “language philosophy,” and explore the realms of “language prescriptivism” and “language contact/variation”, “cultural identity” and “social space”, “cultural and political hegemony” and their impact on language varieties. We will try to find answer to questions such as “how can we explain the emerging multilingualism in urban Europe?”, what is “metroethnicity”?

4202 ENGL 689-01 Directed Reading-Comprehensive Exams

(Professor S. Schneider)

3062 ENGL 690-01 Dissertation Research

(Professor S. Schneider)

3063 ENGL 691-01 Contemporary Theory Interpretation: T 4:00-6:00PM

(Professor A. Jaffe)

Theory, with a capital T. Perhaps, there is nothing that sums up what happened to literary studies during the last 35 years. Under this headword, one finds a bewildering number of forms of intellectual inquiry: structuralism, post-structuralism, feminism, psycho-analysis, deconstruction, Marxism, critical race theory, queer theory, reader-response and reception theory, semiotics, systems theory, pragmatism, hermeneutics, New Historicism, Russian Formalism, New Criticism, Critical Theory, New Materialism, Speculative Realism and so on. Some of these schools of thought are complementary, others mutually exclusive; some brand new, others borrowed or recycled. Most are known for their stylistic and conceptual difficulty. Rather than muddling through the entire intimidating collection of Theory's –isms and sifting through an equally perplexing collection of proper names (Derrida, Foucault, Canguilhem, etc.), we will selectively sample some of its most compelling texts, ideas, and questions, concentrating on a handful of its most compelling threads of inquiry about literature, about culture and about critical and interpretive practices.  Along the way, we will delineate some useful maps of the issues and motives of literary and cultural theory that will expand the ways you read literary, social, and cultural texts.

The objective of this course is a graduate introduction to theories of literature, criticism and interpretation. For our purposes, theory, with a capital T, means a corpus of explanations – often abstract, speculative, general - about interpretation, the nature or value of reading texts, literary or otherwis. This is not a crash-course in what is sometimes called "practical" criticism, applying different kinds of "theory" as tools to individual works of literature. Rather, it introduces the actual primary texts that form the corpus of knowledge - a vital on-going "meta" conversation - about making sense of this object of study. These are original ideas - the disciplinary cornerstones, the big picture - that will guide you to better questions beyond mere paraphrase and comprehension. What is literature? How do you read it? What should we read? What kinds of things can you say about? What does it say about us? What does it mean? How is it defined? What is it for? What gives it value? How should we read? Is it possible to arrive at a single correct interpretation? What makes it distinctive in terms of language and technique? How are texts related to other texts? What are authors? What are readers? How does it relate to society and politics? How are texts related to their historical contexts? This course will look at the ways that a variety of influential thinkers have approached these questions and others. In the process you will explore the history and conceptual limits of literature, interpretation, theory, and criticism.

For this class, it is required to read Simon Critchley’s Continental Philosophy: A Very Short Introduction before the first week of classes.

Outside of Department Options:

LING 603-01 Syntax: T 4:00PM – 6:45PM

(Professor Stewart)

Notes: This course provides further development of the analytical and descriptive concepts and methods learned in Structure of Modern English (ENGL 522). Students of English who expect to teach intensive or extensive courses in grammar would be very well served by this “next-step” course.

Required Textbook:

Tallerman, Maggie. 2015. Understanding Syntax, 4th ed. New York: Routledge.

Description: The study of Syntax involves trying to describe and account for all the various ways that speakers can put words and phrases together to make larger meanings. Among the things that require syntactic explanations are facts such as the following:

Why can the same words in different orders sometimes mean very different things?

The lion chased the antelope. The antelope chased the lion.

Why are some word orders simply not possible in a given language?

[NO]    The chased antelope lion the.

Why is it that words with essentially the same meaning can't always substitute for each other?

[YES] I gave the money to the organization. [YES] I gave the organization the money.

[YES] I donated the money to the organization. [NO] I donated the organization the money.

In building a theory of how phrases and sentences are put together, it is important to consider how other languages accomplish the same work – sometimes with similar patterns, sometimes even with rules that are the complete mirror-image of what we see in English Syntax. The range of what languages can and can’t do in this area helps us to understand (1) how language is better learned and taught, and (2) how people represent their ideas in language.

Helpful previous experience for students: ENGL/LING 325 “Introduction to Linguistics” or ENGL/LING 518 “Foundations of Language” or ENGL/LING 522 “Structure of Modern English”.