Loyola University Chicago

Department of English

Fall 2014 Graduate Course Descriptions

Fall 2014 Courses



Intro to Graduate Study (ENGL 400)

Section: 800 #2056
Instructor: P. Jay
3.0 credit hours Lecture
T 7:00 PM – 9:30 PM LSC

This course provides a comprehensive introduction to graduate-level work in literary studies. We will begin by examining the historical development of English as an academic discipline, paying particular attention to how that history is shaped by debates about critical theories and methodologies. We'll use this as a point of departure for studying contemporary critical theory and its relationship to recent trends in literary studies. Particular attention will be paid to the challenge of writing successful seminar and conference papers. In addition we will review practical advice about choosing your course of study, conducting research, participating actively in class discussion, and thinking ahead to preparing for your M.A and doctoral examinations (and the dissertation for those of you in the PhD program). Requirements will include informal critical commentaries, two short critical essays, an in-class presentation, and a longer seminar paper.

Women Authors in English (ENGL 436)

Section: 801 #5389
Instructor: J. Bouson
3.0 credit hours Lecture
TR 4:15 – 5:30 PM LSC

In English 436, students will become familiar with and participate in the lively critical conversations surrounding representative 20th and 21st century women-authored novels that are regularly taught in university courses by authors such as Doris Lessing, Jamaica Kincaid, Dorothy Allison, Toni Morrison, and Margaret Atwood.  We will consider a wide range of topics as we review contemporary critical approaches to the works we investigate, such as the engendering of sexual/textual identities in Toni Morrison’s Sula; the parodic reworking of Gothic fantasy in Margaret Atwood’s The Robber Bride; cultural resistance and coming of age in Jamaica Kincaid’s Lucy; and sexual trauma and working-class violence in Dorothy Allison’s Bastard Out of Carolina. Each student will lead the class discussion on one of the novels chosen for the course and will also prepare a comprehensive introduction to the novel, which will establish a critical context for the study of the novel and provide an overview of recent critical approaches to the work (and which will be a useful guide for those preparing to teach the work in a Women in Literature course).  Course requirements will include oral presentations; one or two short papers; and a seminar paper.

Topics in Drama (ENGL 437)

Section: 802 #5044
Instructor: V. Foster
3.0 credit hours Lecture
R 7:00 – 9:30 PM LSC

Drama, more than other literary forms, “has always been centrally concerned” with “the retelling of stories already known to its public” (Marvin Carlson, The Haunted Stage, 17).  In this course we will explore why, how, and with what effects plays adapt/revise “sources.”  (The terminology is vexed.)  Throughout the course we will be especially concerned with the kind of cultural work that adaptations perform.  We will begin by examining three classic plays – Euripides’s Medea, Shakespeare’s Othello, and Chekhov’s The Three Sisters --and representative adaptations/revisions of them (such as Marina Carr’s By the Bog of Cats . . ., Paula Vogel’s Desdemona: A Play about a Handkerchief, Beth Henley’s Crimes of the Heart and Mustapha Matura’s Trinidadian Three Sisters: After Chekhov).  We will move on to dramatic revisions of myth (for example, Timberlake Wertenbaker’s The Love of the Nightingale, Sarah Ruhl’s Euridice) and of history/biography (Bertolt Brecht’s Galileo, Liz Lochhead’s Mary Queen of Scots Got Her Head Chopped Off). We will be concerned, too, with the kind of “adaptation” that performance may provide -- and whether it is “adaptation” – (for example, Mabou Mines Doll House) and with the adaptation/revision of drama to film (for example, films of Crimes of the Heart and A Streetcar Named Desire; Blue Jasmine as a revision of Streetcar). To help us explore the dramatic revisions we are reading, we will utilize and interrogate adaptation theory (e.g., Linda Hutcheon, A Theory of Adaptation, Wertenbaker, “First Thoughts on Transforming a Text”) and dramatic theory (e.g., Brechtian theory).  Requirements: class participation, presentation(s), short paper (5 pages), research paper on (a) dramatic adaptation/revision (15-20 pages).  Students will be encouraged to submit abstracts of their work to the Comparative Drama Conference in Baltimore for either 2015 or 2016.

Topics in Medieval Literature (ENGL 440)

Section: 803 #5392
Instructor: E. Wheatley
3.0 credit hours Lecture
F 2:00 – 5:00 PM LSC

This course, which will be taught at the Newberry Library, will focus on disabled bodies and the cultural forces that acted upon them, as represented in a variety of types of early Christian and medieval texts in Latin, French, and English. We will devote special attention to blindness because of its strong metaphorical associations in medieval Christian discourse. The course will begin with readings in disability theory and its relation to the study of literature. Literary texts will include Old French farces and fabliaux, hagiographic texts, “The Croxton Play of the Sacrament,” “The Tale of Beryn,” and texts by Chaucer and Henryson. Students will write two essays and a research paper based on an oral report presented to the class. 

Seventeenth-Century Literature (ENGL 457)

Section: 804 #5393
Instructor: J. Biester
3.0 credit hours Lecture
MW 4:15 – 5:30 PM LSC

Seventeenth‑Century Literature.  James Biester.    We will examine poetry and prose of the earlier seventeenth century, including works by Bacon, Donne, Jonson, Lanyer, Wroth, Herbert, Marvell, Burton, and Browne.  Investigating these works in relation to early modern (or late Renaissance) culture, we will explore their intellectual, social, political, and religious contexts while assessing their own contributions to significant developments within the culture, such as the emergence of the vocation of author, and the unsettling of traditional forms of order‑‑domestic, social, and political.  We will also consider changes in the canon, and in the methods and goals of critical approaches to texts from this period, from New Criticism to New Historicism and beyond.  Requirements will include oral presentations and short and long papers.

Early American Literature (ENGL 491)

Early American Literature: Massacre and Memory in the Atlantic World
Section: 805 #5395
Instructor: J. Glover
3.0 credit hours Lecture
M 7:00 PM – 9:30 PM LSC

According to international law, the killing of a defenseless person in war is a crime.  However, accusations of war crimes are also frequently part of the legal justification for waging wars, including those that kill civilians. In this course, we will study early modern debates about the killing of unarmed or innocent people in war, with a special emphasis on the writing of the colonial Americas. Even as colonial settlers waged war against Native Americans, they carried out publicity campaigns in Europe, sending home letters, narratives, and reports that sought to justify conquest. These justifications concerned not only the invasion of territory but also the infliction of injury and death on domestic populations. Many early modern theories of just war gave conquerors absolute power over the lives of the vanquished, while others insisted that earthly rulers were constrained by the law of nations. Debates about the permissibility of killing had a powerful influence on the outcome of settlement, as diplomats, jurists, Native leaders, and ecclesiastical authorities sought to justify particular understandings of the laws of war. In pursuit of this topic, we will read several key works of settlement history, focusing on their engagement with the laws of war and their portrayal of violence. Our inquiry will address a number of related questions. How did theories of just war shape early American contests for land, power, and resources? How did the portrayal of violence in different kinds of media (stories, rituals, letters, woodcuts, print) shape early modern understandings of humanity?  How do expressions of pain and injury shape our ideas of justice?  How have the inhabitants of this continent remembered the many massacres of its history, and to what use do they put those memories today? The course will conclude with a consideration of colonial massacres in contemporary fiction, film, and government and corporate documents concerned with reparations. While the readings below are required, we will read as our interests compel us—readings subject to change at my discretion. You must print and bring all .pdfs to class.