Course Schedules and Catalog
Graduate Course Schedules
Fall 2023 Graduate Course Descriptions
Spring 2023 Graduate Course Descriptions
Fall 2022 Graduate Course Descriptions
Spring 2022 Graduate Course Descriptions
Fall 2021 Graduate Course Descriptions
Spring 2021 Graduate Course Descriptions
Fall 2020 Graduate Course Descriptions
Spring 2020 Graduate Course Descriptions
Fall 2019 Graduate Course Descriptions
Spring 2019 Graduate Course Descriptions
Fall 2018 Graduate Course Descriptions
Spring 2018 Graduate Course Descriptions
Fall 2017 Graduate Course Descriptions
Spring 2017 Graduate Course Descriptions
Fall 2016 Graduate Course Descriptions
Spring 2016 Graduate Course Descriptions
Graduate Course Catalog
I. Methodology and Language:
- 400 Introduction to Graduate Study: The course serves as an introduction to the profession of literary studies for students new to the graduate programs in English. It offers a review of current critical theories and methodologies, research techniques, bibliographic methods, and issues in textual criticism.
- 402 The Teaching of College Composition: The course deals with practical matters related to the teaching of college composition. It is organized around an examination of recent theories, methods, and materials used in the teaching of writing.
- 403 Composition Theory: This course examines major and current advances in composition theory and reviews current scholarship in the teaching of writing, with some attention to the relationship between composition and literary theory.
- 404 Pedagogy Theory and Practice: This course is designed to help students integrate theory and practice in teaching literature and cultural studies courses at the college level.
- 405 Topics in Linguistics: The course is an introduction to the scientific analysis of language with emphasis on syntactic theory and on transformational generative grammars in particular. The course provides a balanced consideration of the appropriate role of linguistics in informing literary criticism.
- 406 History of the English Language: The course is a study of the causes, mechanisms and consequences of language variation over time, with prominent examples taken from the history of English and its parent languages. All major areas of linguistic theory are considered: phonology, lexis, morphology, syntax, and semantics.
- 408 The Rhetorical Tradition: The course is an intensive examination of significant issues in the rhetorical tradition from antiquity to the present.
- 409 Contemporary Rhetorical Theory: Analysis and critique of a range of contemporary rhetorical theories, including social constructionist, dialogic, postructuralist, and feminist, and the potential for their application to the teaching of writing and the study of literature.
II. Critical Theory:
- 410 Contemporary Literary Criticism: This course presents studies in major contemporary theoretical and critical issues through a survey of major types of critical analysis, such as formalism, structuralism, semiotics, reader-response, deconstruction, psychoanalysis, and feminist criticism.
- 411 Topics in the History of Literary Theory: This course examines texts and topics in the history of literary theory through the early twentieth century, providing historical perspective on contemporary critical debates. The course may focus on such issues as interpretation, representation, the imagination, reception, the nature of language, or subjectivity.
- 413 Textual Criticism: An introduction to major textual theories and their history. Topics may include such issues as analytic and descriptive bibliography, theories of copy-text, theoretical and practical issues in editing, and forms of textuality, including manuscript, print and digital.
- 415 Media and Culture: This course examines the important and evolving roles that media plays in the construction, reformulation, and critique of contemporary culture. Topics will vary but may include digital textuality; visual culture studies; information technologies; postcoloniality and globalization; and web-based communities.
- 420 Topics in Critical Theory: Focused study of a particular problem or movement within critical theory--for example, globalization; the "new aesthetics"; high and low culture; psychoanalytic theory; whiteness studies.
- 422 Postcolonial Theory: This course traces the origins, key developments, and practice of postcolonial theory, focusing on classic texts in the field (e.g., Senghor, Fanon, Cabral); issues raised by contemporary theorists (e.g., Said, Spivak, Bhabha, Chatterjee); and current challenges to postcolonial theory.
- 424 Cultural Studies: An examination of the theory and practice of cultural studies, with special attention to the role of literary and critical theory in its development.
- 426 Feminist Theory: An intensive study of recent feminist theory in a range of disciplines--including literature, philosophy, history, and law--and covering a variety of approaches, such as psychoanalysis, post-structuralism, post-colonialism, queer theory, and cultural studies.
- 427 Dramatic Theory: This course presents selected theoretical approaches to drama from the Greeks to the present. Readings may include both theoretical works and plays. Topics may include genre, dramaturgies such as realism, epic theatre, and theatre of the absurd, reception, semiotics, feminist dramatic theory, and performance theory.
- 428 Postmodernism: The course investigates the aesthetic, social-historical, political, and theoretical issues that inform the phenomenon of postmodernism. A key concern is with understanding the various ways "postmodernism" has been defined and used in literary studies as well as in other disciplines and in the general culture.
III. Topics in Literature:
- 433 Seminar in Individual Authors: Intensive study of a single author. Includes a comprehensive reading of the author's major works, and a review of the critical reception. (Staff)
- 436 Women Writers in English: This course focuses on significant issues raised in and by women-authored works, including representations of gender roles and sexualities, and the cultural status and uses of women's literature. Authors from any period(s) in British, American and World literature may be included.
- 437 Topics in Drama: This course may deal with topics that cut across historical and national boundaries, such as dramatic genres, women in drama, modern reappropriations of earlier drama; with more specialized topics such as performance or feminist dramatic theory; or with historical movements in drama.
IV. Medieval Literature:
- 440 Topics in Medieval Literature: Studies in a range of Middle English writing serve as a focus for special topics, including mysticism and historical prose from the thirteenth to the fifteenth centuries.
- 441 Old English Language and Literature: This course introduces Old English language and literature through readings in poetry and prose, with attention, as time allows, to major critical issues in texts of the period.
- 443 Middle English Literature: This course may address texts that bridge the Old and Middle English periods or texts (excluding Chaucer) that date from the fourteenth-century, such as Langland, Malory, the Gawain-poet, Gower, and women writers.
- 444 Medieval Drama: The course focuses on English drama from its beginnings to the early Renaissance, including liturgical drama, saints' plays, miracle plays, the cycles, and interludes.
- 447 Chaucer: This course may focus on the Canterbury Tales or Troilus and Criseyde and the dream visions, and may include some of Chaucer's less frequently studied texts (e.g., his translation of the Consolation of Philosophy).
V. Early Modern (Renaissance) Literature:
- 450 Topics in Early Modern Literature and Culture: This course presents selected studies in poetry and prose of the English Renaissance.
- 455 Shakespeare: The philosophical, esthetic, and historical problems of Shakespeare's plays are covered in this course, which also focuses on Shakespearean scholarship.
- 456 Early Modern Drama: This course presents English drama of the period 1550 to 1642. Among the topics to be covered are the rise of the permanent theaters; Elizabethan and Jacobean contemporaries of Shakespeare; Caroline plays and masques. Historical background, theatrical developments, and critical approaches are also studied.
- 457 Seventeenth-Century Literature: This course is an intensive study of a particular problem, genre, theme or body of work in seventeenth-century literature.
- 458 Milton: Milton's poetry, prose, ideas, and projects are studied against the background of seventeenth-century events; special problems in Milton scholarship are also examined.
VI. Restoration and Eighteenth-Century Literature:
- 460 Topics in Restoration and Eighteenth-Century Literature: This course is an intensive study of a particular problem, genre, theme or body of work in Restoration and eighteenth-century literature.
- 465 Johnson and His Circle: The course features Samuel Johnson as poet, scholar, critic, essayist, moralist, biographer, and conversationalist. His club, Reynolds, Burke, Goldsmith, and Boswell are also studied.
- 466 Eighteenth-Century Novel: This course includes prose fiction in the Restoration and earlier eighteenth century; the mid-century novels of Richardson, Fielding, and Smollett; the novel after 1760, including the Gothic novel and the sentimental novel; Sterne and Burney.
VII. Ninteenth-Century Literature:
- 470 Topics in Romanticism: The course is an intensive study of a particular problem, genre, theme or body of work in Romantic literature.
- 471 Poetry of the Romantic Period: The poetry of major and minor Romantic figures is studied in this course, which includes a critical study of their esthetics, philosophical concepts, and critical standards.
- 475 Topics in Victorian Literature: The course is an intensive study of a particular problem, genre, theme, or body of work in Victorian literature.
- 476 Victorian Poetry: This course presents the historical, political, social, and intellectual influences on Victorian poetry and examines its artistic and formal innovations and achievements. The authors studied include: Tennyson, Browning, Arnold, Swinburne, and the Rossettis.
- 477 Victorian Prose: The course examines the major critical and philosophical prose writers of the years 1837-1900: Macaulay, Carlyle, Arnold, Ruskin, Newman, and Pater. It also explores the intellectual, social, and political backgrounds of the period, and identifies Victorian prose styles.
- 478 Victorian Novel: The course examines the major Victorian novelists: Dickens, Thackeray, the Brontes, Trollope, Eliot, Meredith, and Hardy; religious, social, scientific, historical, and philosophical influences on the novel are also explored.
VIII. Modern and Contemporary Literature:
- 480 Topics in Modernism: Topics include modernism, the Symbolist movement, Edwardian Period, and other contextual issues that transcend genre boundaries and address larger concerns of social and intellectual history.
- 481 Modern Poetry: The course examines tradition and experiment in modern poetry and includes English, Irish, and American poets.
- 482 Modern Drama: This course presents selected studies in dramatists from Ibsen on, including British, American, Continental, and Irish dramatists.
- 483 Modern Novel: The course concentrates on selected studies in Conrad, Galsworthy, Bennett, Wells, Joyce, Lawrence, Huxley, Woolf, Maugham, Forster and other novelists, but may include additional American, Irish, and Continental novelists.
- 484 Literature and Culture of the Jazz Age: Taking an interdisciplinary approach to a crucial era, this course will consider such topics as the construction of race in literature and popular culture, the rise of the New Woman, the Harlem Renaissance, and the relationship of jazz to aesthetic modernism.
- 485 Contemporary Literature: This course concentrates on literature and literary movements of the second half of the twentieth century. Possible topics include postcolonialism (Achebe, Jhabvala, Naipaul, Soyinka, Walcott), postmodernism (Acker, Calvino, Pynchon, Reed), and African-American writing (Baldwin, Morrison, Walker).
- 487 Postcolonial Literature: This course examines the issues of modern-day colonization as depicted in selected fiction, drama, and poetry from Africa, South Asia, the West Indies, and Australia.
- 488 Twentieth-Century Literature in English: Focusing on the relation between texts and their literary and cultural contexts, this course may include any twentieth-century text written in English and may address a particular theme, literary movement, period, nation, or historical event. We may also interrogate the foundation of such categories.
- 489 Magic Realism: Fusing realistic and symbolic forms, "Magic Realism" raises boundary issues of many kinds, between history and myth, empirical and non-empirical experience, objective and subjective knowledge. This course examines magic realism from its modernist origins to contemporary postmodern and postcolonial fiction in many countries.
IX. American Literature:
- 490 Topics in American Literature: This course is an intensive study of a particular problem, genre, theme, or body of work in American literature.
- 491 Early American Literature: This course examines Hispanic, native American, Puritan, colonial, and early nationalist literature in the United States, and explores its American and European backgrounds.
- 492 American Romanticism: The course includes selected studies in Poe, Emerson, Thoreau, Hawthorne, Melville, Whitman, and others.
- 493 American Realism: The course features selected studies in American realism, tracing its origins and development as a national literary movement, and reviewing its regional variations and sub-genres, with special attention to Twain, Howells, and James.
- 494 American Literature Since 1914: The course is composed of selected studies in representative American writers of poetry, fiction, drama, and prose in the twentieth century.
- 495 Latino/a Literature: Latino/a literature has become an important focus in American literary studies because of its unique relation to questions of language, cultural hybridity, and borders. This course takes an interdisciplinary approach to Latino/a fiction, poetry, and drama, including analysis of Latino/a genres like corridos, testimonios, and teatro campesino. Topics include identity politics, transnationalism, cultural traditions and literary forms, textual recovery, gender and sexuality, and (im)migration.
- 496 African-American Literature: This course focuses on African-American literature over a range of periods and genres including 19th-century slave narratives (Douglass, Jacobs), the fiction and poetry of the Harlem Renaissance (Hurston, Hughes, McKay) and contemporary literature (Ellison, Shange, Morrison).
X. Special and Supervisory:
- 500 Research Seminar
- 501 Directed Readings: (Credit to be arranged) An independent study course supervised by a faculty member with the approval of the program director. Readings are initiated by the student. (Staff)
- 502 Independent Study for Doctoral Qualification: The course is composed of special readings in the field of the student's specialization under the supervision of a faculty member with the approval of the chair. Normally the director will be the professor with whom the student plans to write the dissertation. The written outcome of the course will be a draft of a proposal for the dissertation. The course is graded on a credit/no-credit basis. (Staff)
- 540 Newberry Seminar
- 595 Thesis Supervision
- 600 Dissertation Supervision
- 605 Master's Study
- 610 Doctoral Study