Loyola University Chicago

Department of English

Fall 2019 Graduate Course Descriptions

FALL 2019


Intro to Graduate Study (ENGL 400)

Section: 800 #1795
Instructor: S. Bost 
3.0 credit hours Lecture
T 7:00 – 9:30 PM LSC

This course introduces incoming graduate students to important issues in the profession of literary studies and the changing nature of our discipline.  Students will develop skills, theories, and research methods to help carry them through their graduate studies.  Required texts include Gregory Semenza’s Graduate Study for the 21st CenturyCritical Terms for Literary Study, 2nd edition; Adventures of Huckleberry Finn: A Case Study in Critical Controversy; MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing, 3rd edition; and Literary Studies in the Digital Age (online).  Assignments will include regular response papers, research exercises, three brief papers, and a final exam. 

Textual Criticism (ENGL 413)

Section: 801 #6164
Instructor: M. Werner
3.0 credit hours Lecture
MW 4:15 – 5:30 PM LSC

This  seminar on textual studies will explore the archive as a primary setting for the work textual scholars do and as a living site of memory and forgetting; consider the literary manuscript and book as material objects and autonomous agents; analyze the printed work as cultural construction and time-bound envoi; enumerate the many and varied genres of editions; survey the landscape of Anglo-American and European textual scholarship and editorial theory, with an emphasis on key tenets and turning points; explore the promise and boundaries of the digital environment as a medium for textual representation and interpretation; and cross briefly into new discourses inside and outside the humanities (e.g., deep mapping; ecology; vital materiality) that might meaningfully intersect with textual studies and help us collectively imagine new horizons for textual studies in the age of the Anthropocene and the nonhuman turn.


The seminar is designed to emphasize the dialogue between theory and practice. Seminar participants will read widely, take part in focused seminar discussions, contribute regularly to the course blog, collaborate on the bibliographical description of a book, and engage in project-based work with primary documents of interest to them. For the term project participants will have the option of curating a small-scale scholarly edition in print and/or digital form, composing a biobibliography, or preparing a traditional seminar paper that approaches a literary work through the lens of textual criticism.

Participants will be encouraged to attend as often as possible the events sponsored by Center for Textual Studies and Digital Humanities as well as the one-day fall symposium on textual studies hosted by the English Department and the CTSDH.

Shakespeare (ENGL 455)

Section: 802 #6165
Instructor: J. Knapp 
3.0 credit hours Lecture
R 7:00 – 9:30 PM LSC

This course will focus on the body, bodies, and embodiment in Shakespeare’s poetry and drama. We will read the Sonnets as well as some of the long poems with questions about the nature of embodied subjectivity in mind. We will then move on to explore the way Shakespeare’s plays exploit the theatrical reliance on bodies, considering, among other things, how sleep, voice, music, death, violence and desire are connected to and severed from bodies in the course of theatrical performance. We will also consider the relationship of human to nonhuman bodies and the philosophical status of embodiment (and corporeality) to spirit and life in the moment leading up to the Cartesian distinction between extended body and non-extended mind. Recent theoretical work in the areas of phenomenology, distributed cognition, and material emotion will inform the seminar throughout.  

Topics in Romanticism (ENGL 470)

The Beast, the Whore, and the Year 1798
Section: 803 #6166
Instructor: J. Cragwall
3.0 credit hours Lecture
TR 4:15 – 5:30 PM LSC

“To defend the Bible in this year 1798,” snarled William Blake, “would cost a man his life—the Beast & the Whore rule without controls.” We’ll attempt a deep history of this year 1798, when Blake thought the promises of Revolution—American, French, English—had given way to Antichrist. As we’ll read, this single year saw Australia transformed into a prison; England and France in the throes of apocalyptic war; universal starvation forecast as inevitable Principle of Population by the Reverend Malthus; Mary Wollstonecraft, mother of feminism, dead and remembered as whore by her own husband’s Memoirs; prophecies on the imminent End of Days seriously debated in Parliament; the “Rights of Man” ruined, its proponents jailed, silenced, and disappeared. Yet in the shadow of this year, the greatest English poets since John Milton began to speak. William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge produced the astounding and disturbing Lyrical Ballads. Wordsworth also began his epic Prelude, the most important autobiography in the language, while Coleridge veered from opium fevers in “Kubla Khan” to vampire pornography in Christabel. Blake had pronounced a host of “Prophetic Books,” all spectacularly engraved by his own hand—and all mysteriously silenced by 1798.  But the year saw a secret renaissance of English prose, in Jane Austen’s first (though unpublished) novel, the gothic parody Northanger Abbey (which we’ll read along with Ann Radcliffe’s The Italian and Matthew Lewis’s The Monk), and when George Eliot meditated in Adam Bede on the time when an Old England became the New, she settled on the year 1798. This literary moment—of isolation, despair, and luminous hope—will be our subject.

Early American Literature (ENGL 491)

Pursuing Freedom in the Early Atlantic World
Section: 804 #4943
Instructor: J. Glover
3.0 credit hours Lecture
W 7:00 – 9:30 PM LSC

This course will consider how indentured and enslaved people in colonial America sought relief from servitude, in the process redefining English notions of freedom and developing antislavery arguments that predated the abolitionist movement by centuries. Focusing on what we will call freedom strategies--the inventive, adaptive, and often improvised means enslaved people used to seek freedom--the course will consider how enslaved people challenged the rationales for slavery propagated by colonial slavery laws, addressing their arguments for freedom to the treaties, legal codes, and natural-law precedents that formed the foundation of colonial labor regimes. Over the course of the semester, we will consider a range of documents, including court petitions, public speeches, manuscripts and letters, and printed works. We will also have the opportunity to do primary research at the Newberry and in digital archives into documents not yet fully utilized by scholars, with the aim of making original research discoveries. Ultimately, the aim of the course is to revise our understanding of the history of abolition and antislavery by showing that it originated in seventeenth-century freedom struggles.

African-American Literature (ENGL 496)

CP Time: Race and Temporality in African American Literature
Section: 805 #4944
Instructor: B. Ahad
3.0 credit hours Lecture
M 7:00 – 9:30 PM LSC

In 1851 famed physician Dr. Samuel Cartwright published an essay in DeBow’s Review in which he described the condition, “DYSAETHESIA AETHIOPICA, OR HEBETUDE OF MIND AND OBTUSE SENSIBILITY OF BODY,” also known as “rascality.” In Cartwright’s words, the “disease is the natural offspring of negro liberty--the liberty to be idle.” ​

This course will explore the fraught relationship between black racialization and time as it is expressed in literary and cultural studies, specifically through the examination of concepts like trauma, nostalgia, boredom, afterlives, leisure, labor and "theft." We will discuss a number of critical works (Michelle Wright, The Physics of Blackness, Daylanne English, Each Hour Redeem), literary texts (Toni Morrison’s Song of Solomon, Edward P. Jones’s, The Known World), and cultural productions (Tricia Hersey’s “Nap Ministry” and Krista Franklin’s collages), among other texts in order to consider the ways that African Americans have resisted  the constraining logic of the clock to express alternative possibilities for agency and freedom.