Loyola University Chicago

Department of English

Fall 2012 Graduate Course Descriptions

Fall 2012


Introduction to Graduate Study (ENGL 400)

Section: 800 #2376
Instructor: P. Jay
3.0 credit hours Lecture
TR 4:15 PM – 5:30 PM LSC

This course provides a comprehensive introduction to graduate-level work in literary studies. It offers concrete, practical advice about choosing your course of study, conducting research, participating actively in class discussion, writing seminar papers, developing conference papers, and thinking ahead to preparing for your doctoral examination and the dissertation, all with an eye toward negotiating the challenges of the job market in English. In addition, we will explore the historical development of English as an academic discipline with some attention to current issues in the profession. And finally, this course will include an overview of literary and critical theories and methodologies you will be encountering in your course work at Loyola. Requirements will include informal critical commentaries, two short critical essays, an in-class presentation, and a longer seminar paper.

Textual Criticism (ENGL 413)

Section: 803 #
Instructor: P. Shillingsburg
3.0 credit hours Lecture
M 7:00 PM – 9:30 PM LSC

This course is intended to promote understanding of the 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 examine theories of text, 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.

Chaucer (ENGL 447)

Section: 801 #5475
Instructor: E. Wheatley
3.0 credit hours Lecture
T 7:00 PM – 9:30 PM LSC

This course will focus on some of the most important poems of Geoffrey Chaucer, including lyrics, dream visions, and most of The Canterbury Tales. We will also read works important to Chaucer, such as Boethius’ Consolation of Philosophy, Macrobius’ writings on dreams, and some of his likely source texts. Critical readings will engage with these works in their historical and literary‑historical contexts. Students will learn Middle English grammar, vocabulary, and pronunciation.

17th Century Literature (ENGL 457)

Section: 802 #5476
Instructor: J. Knapp
3.0 credit hours Lecture
W 7:00 PM – 9:30 PM LSC

This course will focus on literature from the first half of the 17th century in the context of philosophical, scientific, and theological debates over the nature of material and immaterial “substances”—body and soul for example but also ideas and things—and the relationships between them.  Guiding the organization of the course will be various developments in early modern thought that led to the mind body dualism of René Descartes and related debates surrounding the existence of immaterial substances.  We will explore attitudes towards the material body and its immaterial other in literary texts alongside philosophical treatises, sermons, scientific manuals and other archival material representative of the intellectual tenor of the age.  Literary authors may include: Shakespeare, Middleton, Jonson, Webster, Lanyer, Donne, Bacon, Wroth, Herbert, Hobbes, Vaughan, Bradstreet, and Crashaw. 

Topics in American Literature (ENGL 490)

Section: 804 #5478
Instructor: J. Glover
3.0 credit hours Lecture
R 7:00 PM – 9:30 PM LSC

Literature is often thought of as synonymous with the printed word.  But print often signifies in tandem with other ways of sharing information, including writing, oral publication, and public readings and performances. In this course, we will undertake a comparative survey of the English-language literatures of the early Atlantic world.  Our aim will be to situate English colonial writing in a broader public context that included Spanish, French, Dutch and Native cultures.  Our readings will range across a number of genres, including settlement histories, spiritual autobiography, and captivity narratives, as well as several different forms of media, including print, manuscript, oratory and performance.  We will discuss topics such as conquest and discovery, religion and magic, intercultural encounter, independence movements and nationhood, states as publishers, and the theory and practice of international law.  Our focus throughout will be on written and printed artifacts rather than anthologized texts.

African-American Literature (ENGL 496)

Section: 805 #5479
Instructor: B. Ahad
3.0 credit hours Lecture
MW 4:15 PM – 5:30 PM LSC

This course highlights some current (and exciting!) debates that are reshaping traditional disciplinary boundaries in the field of African-American literature. Recently, scholars have begun to suggest that “blackness” is no longer sustainable as a locus of identity precisely because racial identities have been so “thoroughly abstracted from any social context.” Correspondingly, literary critics are questioning the value, and even the existence, of African-American literature in an increasingly “post-racial” world. According to Kenneth Warren, “…African American literature itself constitutes a representational and rhetorical strategy within the domain of a literary practice responsive to conditions that, by and large, no longer obtain.” The course will be structured in dialogue to Warren’s provocative claim that what we once knew as African American or “black” literature is “of rather recent vintage.” Some questions we will consider are: To what extent does African-American literature continue to function as a mode of self-articulation and “protest?;” What, if anything, is the political currency of African-American literature? Specifically, how does black literature intersect with more contemporary politics around immigration, sexuality, human rights, etc.?; And finally, does African-American literature, as it has been historically defined, now cease to exist or have the “conditions” to which it responds simply shifted in nature and form? In order to address these questions, we will be reading fictional narratives from the era of slavery to the present, as well as critical texts and essays including, Representing the Race: A New Political History of African American Literature (Garrett), Freedom with Violence: Race, Sexuality, and the US State (Reddy), the special issue of African-American Review on post-soul literature, Chaotic Justice: Rethinking African-American Literary History (Ernest), and, of course, What Was African-American Literature? (Warren)