Loyola University Chicago

Department of English

Fall 2018 Graduate Course Descriptions

Fall 2018


Intro to Graduate Study (ENGL 400)

Section: 800 #1817
Instructor: J. Kerkering
3.0 credit hours Lecture
M 7:00 – 9:30 PM 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). 

Topics in Drama (ENGL 437)

Dramatic Revisions: Adaptation, Dramaturgy, and Culture

Section: 801 #5838
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 translate/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 translations and adaptations of classic dramatic texts by Euripides, Shakespeare, and Chekhov, including Liz Lochhead’s Medea, Marina Carr’s By the Bog of Cats . . ., Cherríe Moraga’s The Hungry Woman, Tom Stoppard’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, and Paula Vogel’s Desdemona: A Play about a Handkerchief. We will also explore Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’s “meta-melodrama,” An Octoroon, adapted from Dion Boucicault’s nineteenth-century melodrama The Octoroon. We will move on to dramatic revisions of fiction (Nick Dear’s Frankenstein—we will attend Remy Bumppo’s production),myth (for example, Timberlake Wertenbaker’s The Love of the Nightingale), and 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, Elia Kazan’s 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 translation theory (e.g., Susan Bassnett, Translation Studies), 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 Orlando for 2019.        

Seventeenth-Century Lit (ENGL 457)

Section: 802 #5839
Instructor: J. Biester
3.0 credit hours Lecture
W 7:00 – 9:30 PM LSC

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.

Top in American Lit (ENGL 490)

Section: 803 #4635
Instructor: S. Bost
3.0 credit hours Lecture
T 7:00 – 9:30 PM LSC

This seminar will focus on what it means to be human in a time and place where human lives are intertwined with technology, when the byproducts of human creation are destroying plant and animal habitats, and when many human lives continue to be treated as if they were expendable or unlivable. In the last 20-30 years, a variety of posthumanist theories have emerged that rethink common assumptions about the role of the human in our world. Building from the insights of postmodernism, critical studies of science and technology, animal studies, postcolonial studies, environmental studies, disability studies, and feminist new materialisms, posthumanist theorists have challenged anthropocentrism as well as Humanist values like autonomy, rationality, objectivity, and universal equality. This course will begin with an introduction to a variety of these approaches to posthumanism and then turn to works of contemporary American literature that push our thinking beyond the limits of the human. In our readings of theoretical works by Donna Haraway, Cary Wolfe, Karen Barad, Rosi Braidotti, and Ian Bogost and literary works by William Gibson, Leslie Marmon Silko, Gloria Anzaldúa, Toni Morrison, Octavia Butler, Alejandro Morales, Salvador Plascencia, Susanne Antonetta, and Samuel Delany, we will examine the ways in which misogyny, racism, and environmental toxicity demand a rethinking of the status of the human as well as ethical alternatives that emerge from other-than-Humanist traditions. Assignments will include one class presentation, regular response papers, a final research paper, and a final exam. 

Early American Literature (ENGL 491)

Section: 804 #5840
Instructor: J. Glover
3.0 credit hours Lecture
TR 4:15 – 5:30 PM LSC

The European colonization of the Atlantic world saw a historically unprecedented movement of populations, objects, and ideas. This course will consider the many literary traditions that emerged from the encounter between Native American, African, and European people in early Atlantic settlement. The course will focus in particular on how Native Americans and Africans who confronted European colonization used writing and print to formulate ideas of freedom and sovereignty and to challenge the notions of dominion and mastery imported by settlers. Our readings will include a range of genres, from exploration narratives and Puritan sermons to slave narratives and legal treatises. 

African American Lit (ENGL 496)

Black Queer Methods and the Literatures of Slavery

Section: 805 #5841
Instructor: F. Staidum
3.0 credit hours Lecture
MW 4:15 - 5:30 PM LSC

In recent years, scholars of African American literature and culture have engaged gender and sexuality in ways that have challenged earlier heteropatriarchal and cishet assumptions about race, liberation, citizenship, diaspora, and identity formation and have made legible those bodies/identities that exist outside of these assumptions.  Nevertheless, and as with literary studies writ large, extending gender and queer interpretive moves to pre-twentieth-century writing has remained controversial and rare.

In this course, we will focus upon the literatures of slavery (i.e., nineteenth-century ex-slave autobiography, anti-slavery fiction, and twentieth-century neo-slave narratives) in order to explore how early Black writers have wrestled with the ways in which black(ened) genders and sexualities, including seemingly cisgender embodiments and heterosexual practices, were always already queered by normative, post-Enlightenment racial ideologies.

The goal of this course is to provide students with a range and breadth of creative and non-fiction works that ground them in the critical sexual and gender frameworks emerging from African Diaspora studies (e.g., Kimberlé Crenshaw’s intersectionality, Hortense Spiller’s pornotrope, Roderick Ferguson’s queer of color critique, and C. Riley Snorton’s “mechanics of invention” of blackness and transness), as well as familiarize them with a range of authors and creative traditions from the canonical (e.g., Frederick Douglass, Toni Morrison) to the largely overlooked (e.g., Julia C. Collins, Harriet Wilson) but equally vital voices offering new perspectives, methods, and perhaps even “solutions”.