Loyola University Chicago

Department of English

Fall 2016 Graduate Course Descriptions

Fall 2016 


Graduate-level Courses

Introduction to Graduate Study (ENGL 400)

Section: 800 #1935
Instructor: Kerkering, J.
3.0 credit hours Lecture
M 7:00 p.m. – 9:30 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, two short papers (6-8 pp), and a longer final paper (10-12 pages).

Feminist Theory and Criticism (ENGL 426)

Section: 801 #5516
Instructor: Bost, S.
3.0 credit hours Lecture
W 7:00 p.m. – 9:30 p.m., LSC 

This course will introduce students to important questions, developments, and approaches in contemporary Feminist Theory – including women of color feminisms, postmodern feminisms, queer theory, disability feminisms, and global feminisms, among others. Our readings from anthologies will present breadth and diversity of arguments and styles to be balanced by in-depth exploration of the different critical trajectories of two leading theorists, Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick and Donna Haraway. Course assignments are designed to engage students in a real practice of Feminist Theory, including regular written responses, discussion leadership, and a final seminar paper. Most of the readings will be challenging, and there are many difficult ideas to absorb from these readings, but there will also be much room for student contributions, dissent, debate, and fun.

Dramatic Theory (ENGL 427)

Section: 802 #5517
Instructor:  Foster, V.
3.0 credit hours Lecture
R 7:00 p.m. – 9:30 p.m., LSC 

In this course we will explore some of the major historical and theoretical approaches to the study of drama from the Greeks to the present. Our discussions will focus on plays as well as on theoretical readings. After surveying classical (Plato and especially Aristotle), neoclassical, and romantic views of drama and in particular dramatic genre (tragedy, comedy, tragicomedy), we will devote the greater part of the course to an examination of modern and contemporary approaches to the study of theatre and drama. We will focus on realism (Ibsen, Moi), naturalism (Zola, Strindberg), expressionism (Strindberg), theatre of cruelty (Artaud), epic theatre (Brecht), theatre of the absurd (Esslin, Ionesco), semiotics (Elam), and feminist theories of drama (Reinelt, Churchill). We will conclude by discussing adaptation, reception, audience, performance, theatre and film, and the place of dramatic literature in the academy. (Names of authors in parentheses represent a selection from those we will be reading.) ASSIGNMENTS: (a) Paper (15-20 pages; two drafts) exploring a chosen play or plays in light of some aspect of dramatic theory or exploring the usefulness of some aspect of dramatic theory in terms of a chosen play or plays. (b) Class Participation: contributing to class discussion, introducing topics for class discussion, and offering practical applications of aspects of dramatic theory (by way of brief in-class performance or brief video presentation). For one presentation a short paper (4-5 pages) is due one week after the presentation.

Topics in Early Modern Literature & Culture (ENGL 450)

Section:  803 #5518
Instructor: Biester, J.
3.0 credit hours Lecture
MW 4:15 p.m. – 5:30 p.m., LSC 

This course will examine magic and the representation of magic in the literature and culture of the early modern period, or Renaissance, when ideas about magic overlapped with ideas about nature and science, religion, social and political hierarchy, gender, and crime. To explore how magic intersected with these various spheres of the culture, and how writers envisioned their art in relation to magic, we will read texts in a variety of genres, including plays, poems, ballads, witchcraft pamphlets, and selections from treatises on magical practices, and consider a variety of approaches to the study of magic. Requirements will include short and long papers, presentations in class, and possibly a take-home final exam. 

Early American Literature (ENGL 491)

Section:  804 #5520
Instructor: Glover, J.
3.0 credit hours Lecture
T 7:00 p.m. – 9:30 p.m., LSC 

New World Narratives

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 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. 

American Literature since 1914 (ENGL 494)

Section:  805 #5521
Instructor: Bosco, M.
3.1  credit hours Lecture
T 1:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m., LSC 

The “Age of Crisis” in 20th Century American Literature 

Building on Mark Greif’s The Age of The Crisis of Man: Thought and Fiction in America, 1933-1973 (Princeton University Press, 2015), this course will look at the intellectual trope of “crisis” in American literary history. How do the questions of modernity and postmodernity become embedded in or provide for an existential analysis of the nature of human persons? We will read a survey of novels and short stories that excavate ways that American literature—as much as philosophy, politics, and theology—engage the question of being and the deep moral convictions about human meaning and flourishing that were so much a part of the intellectual life of 20th century America. 


  • E. Hemingway, The Sun Also Rises
  • W. Faulkner, Light in August
  • S. Bellow, The Adventures of Augie March
  • F. O’Connor, The Complete Short Stories and Wise Blood
  • T. Morrison, Beloved
  • D. DeLillo, White Noise
  • C. McCarthy, Blood Meridian