Loyola University Chicago

Department of English

Fall 2011 Graduate Course Descriptions

Fall 2011


NOTE: All students who wish to take graduate courses must pre-register with Dr. Pamela Caughie, Graduate Programs Director. 

Intro to Graduate Study (ENGL 400)

Section:  800 #2484
Instructor:  Kerkering, J.
3.0 credit hours Lecture
MW 4:15 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. LSC

This course introduces incoming graduate students to important issues in the profession of literary studies. It offers insights into current critical theories and methodologies as well as discussion of research techniques and bibliographic methods.  Students will write weekly response papers and annotated bibliographies, one short paper (6-8 pp), and a longer final paper (10-12 pages). 

Contemporary Literary Criticism (ENGL 410)

Section:  801 #6053
Instructor:  Jay, P.
3.0 credit hours Lecture
T 7:00 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. LSC

In narrow terms this course will consider various attempts to ground recent literary criticism in a return to “literature itself” and “literariness.” In this context we’ll read critics who call for a return to the exploration of aesthetics, affect, emotion, pleasure, formalism, and narratology (all of these are featured in the October, 2010 issue of PMLA called “Literary Criticism for the Twenty-First Century,” edited by Jonathan Culler, and we’ll start by reading a number of the articles contained in the volume), asking ourselves what happens to history, culture, and politics in such returns?. The wider context for our consideration of these various returns (aside from an analysis of the very trope of a return) will be an analysis of recent declarations that literary studies have gone adrift and that there is a “crisis” in the humanities. We’ll see by reading a range of short essays running back thirty years or so that the humanities have been in a perpetual state of crisis since the early 1980s, and that indeed, a case can be made that they have been in a state of crisis for the entire twentieth-century. Given this fact, we’ll ask what is new about the current crisis in the humanities. What are its implications for literary studies in general, and for literary criticism and theory in particular? With disciplines under pressure in a corporatizing university in an age of scarcity in which practical vocational utility is becoming the new bottom line for justifying work in the humanities, how should the study of literature position itself? What role does literary criticism have in this environment? We can’t separate the narrow question asked by the PMLA special issue without taking these wider changes into account. We’ll do so, and along the way read a range of critics and theorists both debating general questions about the humanities and making concrete propositions about new directions for literary criticism and theory. For the larger historical picture we’ll read selections from Terry Eagleton, Jonathan Culler, Martha Nussbaum, Stanley Fish, Marjorie Garber, and Gerald Graff. We’ll turn to a range of work from younger critics as we explore and assess new work on aesthetics, narratology, close reading, and the role of affect and pleasure in reading and criticism. Requirements will include one short paper, a long seminar paper, and an in-class presentation on your final paper project.

Textual Criticism (ENGL 413)

Section:  802 #3237
Instructor:  Shillingsburg, P.
3.0 credit hours Lecture
W 7:00 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. LSC

This course is intended to promote understanding of the practical and theoretical underpinnings of scholarly editing and textual criticism, providing students with the whys and wherefores of textuality involved in composition, revision, publishing, distribution, consumption and interpretation of (literary) texts.  These activities and their strategies and consequences will be studied in a wide variety of contexts, with a view toward understanding the status, functions, and uses of scholarly editions (in print and electronic), developing abilities to perform literary criticism informed by textual criticism, and an understanding of procedures for the production of scholarly editions.  It will provide training for students undertaking or intending to undertake doctoral work in which a core part will involve genetic interpretation and / or the preparation of a genetic textual study or of a scholarly edition.  The course is designed to dovetail with the MA course in electronic publishing (when it is implemented).

The course will survey the history of textual scholarship, explore the current debates among Anglo-American and European scholars and in other disciplines such as music, philosophy, law and psychology, and provide hands-on textual scholarship in an area of particular interest to each student, contingent upon availability of relevant materials.  Delivery will be by a mixture of lecture, structured discussions, oral reports on individual projects, staged debates, various short papers and a term project.  Students will need to consult their own literary research interests and survey the availability of and access to textual materials.

Contemporary Issues in Literature and Culture (ENGL 419)

Section:  803 #4072
Instructor:  Caughie, P.
3.0 credit hours Lecture
R 7:00 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. LSC

Speaking for and writing about the working-class can put one in an untenable position insofar as one's daily life depends upon the invisibility of their work and because of the elusive and unstable nature of class itself.  "While class is constantly being rethought vis-à-vis the social, it is generally undertheorized in terms of the literary," writes literary critic Peter Hitchcock. In this course, we will confront the ethics and the hermeneutics of reading and writing across class lines. We will analyze literature, film, and theory from the early 20th century to our contemporary era in terms of the semiotics, not just the economics, of class.  We will examine the implications of various definitions of class; analyze how class is negotiated in various types of writing (fiction, memoir, journalism, theory); confront how writers attempt to deal with the discomfort of writing across class boundaries; and discuss the class-inflected history of our own discipline. Reading class in literature is a matter of understanding how aesthetic taste and reading practices do not simply reflect but  constitute class identity, and a matter of understanding how class “acts” in our everyday lives. 

This course will be a seminar in the strict meaning of the term: a group of advanced students studying with a professor and each doing original research and all exchanging research and ideas through reports and discussions (adapted from Webster's Ninth). This course can fulfill either a theory or a modern literature requirement. We will begin with Pierre Bourdieu’s Distinction : A Social Critique of the Judgment of Taste (1984), and the PMLA Special issue: "Rereading Class" (January 2000). Other theorists we will likely read include Jean Baudrillard, Barbara Herrnstein-Smith, Jacques Rancière, and Rita Felski. Sample literary and filmic works (American and British) include Edith  Wharton’s House of Mirth (1905); Fannie Hurst’s Imitation of Life (1933) and the 1934 film adaptation, Dir. John Stahl; Stella Dallas (1937), Dir. King Vidor; Ann Petry, The Street (1946); Margaret Llewelyn Davies, Life as We Have Known It (1931); Virginia Woolf’s Flush (1933); George Orwell’s The Road to Wigan Pier (1937); Kazuo Ishiguro, The Remains of the Day  (1988); and Don DeLillo, Cosmopolis (2003).

Offbeat Shakespeare (ENGL 455)                                                   

Section:  804 #____
Instructor: Gossett, S.
3.0 credit hours Lecture
TR 4:15 - 5:30 p.m. ECLAS LSC

This course will examine not “all the Shakespeare you have never read” but a good part of it. We will begin with the early poems that gained Shakespeare great success, Venus and Adonis and The Rape of Lucrece. In the next sections of the course we will look at plays that Shakespeare wrote alongside, in imitation of, or in competition with his early rival Christopher Marlowe: Tamburlaine and Titus Andronicus, Dr. Faustus and Richard IIIThe Jew of Malta and The Merchant of Venice. Depending on the class’s experience, we will read some assortment of CoriolanusTroilus and Cressida and All's Well that Ends Well, as well as some of Shakespeare’s latest plays and collaborations, including Cymbeline, Henry VIII and Two Noble Kinsmen. (The syllabus will be finalized at the first class meeting.)

For secondary material, as a class we will read two short books to introduce major approaches to Shakespeare today, John Jowett’s Shakespeare and Text (Oxford, 2007) and Jonathan Gil Harris’s Shakespeare and Literary Theory (Oxford, 2010). Students will be responsible for finding specific criticism of the poems and plays under consideration, and one recurrent topic of the course will be the variety of approaches possible to Shakespeare and early modern drama.

Note: before class begins, all students should be familiar with:

King Lear
Henry IV, Part I

At least one “regular” Shakespeare comedy, such as As You Like It, Twelfth Night, or A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Texts:  The preferred text for the course will be the Norton Shakespeare 2nd edition; Riverside or Bevington will also be acceptable, as will single volume Arden or Oxford Classic editions. For Marlowe the text ordered is Christopher Marlowe: The Complete Plays, ed. Romany and Lindsey.

Topics in Romanticism (ENGL 470)                                                   

Section:  805 #6056
Instructor: Cragwall, J.
3.0 credit hours Lecture
M 7:00 - 9:30 p.m. LSC

This course is an intensive study of the role of religion in Romantic-era Britain.  Many influential thinkers have argued that European culture underwent a transformative process of secularization during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, in which the power of established forms of Christianity withered in the face of an emergent “public sphere” of rational debate and massive textual circulation.  Previously unthinkable blasphemies were now spectacular bestsellers, and Thomas Paine confidently titled the 1790s The Age of Reason, scoffing that Christianity was a thing that could now only “excite laughter by its absurdity, or detestation by its profaneness”: it was “impossible to conceive a story more derogatory to the Almighty, more inconsistent with his wisdom, more contradictory to his power, than this story.”  But just as Paine was publishing, England saw one of the largest religious revivals in its history, and men and women who claimed to speak with God parlayed their powers into astonishing celebrity and influence—this was also, as one of Paine’s competitor’s insisted, The Age of Prophecy.  Within this contest over the national identity (or soul, depending), an exhilaratingly rarefied aesthetics of spontaneous inspiration, transcendent imagination, and visionary power that we have come to call “Romanticism” emerged, and we will explore how a host of writers (especially Wordsworth, Coleridge, Southey, Keats, Blake, Byron, and the Shelleys) managed and were managed by secularizing and spiritualizing impulses, in a wide variety of poetry, fiction, and periodical essays.  We’ll also read the prophecies, spiritual autobiographies, and sermons (they’re more exciting than they sound) that were the best-selling books of the era, along with twentieth-century Marxist accounts and revisionist historians who claim “the Enlightenment never happened.” 

Jazz Age (ENGL 484)

Section:  800 #
Instructor: Chinitz, D.
3.0 credit hours Lecture

A decade of rapid and profound social change, the "Jazz Age" of the 1920s was also extraordinarily conscious of its own modernity. In this course we will examine the changes in culture, both high and low, that marked this period. Our focus will be interdisciplinary: we will cross over into music, film, and other genres in order to study the culture of the period more comprehensively, and to examine the cross-fertilization and mutual influences among the arts as the age of literary modernism reached its peak. We will read works by such authors as Eugene O’Neill, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Langston Hughes, T. S. Eliot, E. E. Cummings, Nella Larsen, and F. Scott Fitzgerald as we consider such topics as, for example, the cult of the primitive, the reinvention of the "New Woman," the Harlem Renaissance, the rise of modern popular culture, and the relationship of jazz to all these phenomena. Work by Jazz-Age and contemporary critics will supplement our primary readings.

Newberry Seminar (ENGL 540)

Section:  808 #2488
Instructor:  Caughie, P.
3.0 credit hours Lecture
TBA Newberry Library

Section:  809 #3508
Instructor:  Caughie, P.
3.0 credit hours Lecture
TBA Newberry Library