Loyola University Chicago

Department of English

Spring 2014 Graduate Course Descriptions




Teaching College (ENGL 402)

Section: 800 #1581
Instructor: J. Janangelo
3.0 credit hours Lecture
M 7:00 PM – 9:30 PM LSC

Our course will prepare you to teach college-level composition. This preparation includes studying and practicing activities such as invention, revision, collaboration, and peer review. Drawing on formative and contemporary Composition scholarship, we will explore ways of developing our pedagogy, designing effective assignments and creating interesting syllabi. In examining both essayistic and multimedia composition, we will examine ways that Composition has been situated and theorized as a source of pedagogy, scholarship, and service. Our work includes designing writing assignments, a “course concept” essay, a syllabus and a teaching philosophy statement.

Textual Criticism (ENGL 413)

Section: 801 #5043
Instructor: J. Knapp
3.0 credit hours Lecture
R 7:00 PM – 9:30 PM LSC

This course will explore the theory and practice of textual criticism through the example of early modern drama.  Focusing of what it means to establish a scholarly “text,” we will study competing rationales for the basis of textual authority, the range of material evidence available to the textual scholar, and new challenges raised by the prospect of digital texts and the preparation of digital editions.  The course will cover a broad range of work done under the umbrella of “textual studies”—from descriptive bibliography to book history and electronic publishing.  The primary aim of the course is to convey the importance of textual scholarship to the interpretation of literary texts. The workload for the course will include readings in textual and editorial theory and criticism as well as hands on project-based work with texts.  For the term project students will be asked to demonstrate how a textual approach to a particular work can resolve or complicate a critical interpretive problem.

Marxist Theory (ENGL 423)

Section: 802 #5044
Instructor: C. Kendrick
3.0 credit hours Lecture
MW 4:15 – 5:30 PM LSC

The seminar will especially be concerned with five writers within the Western Marxist tradition of literary and cultural criticism: Lukacs, Benjamin, Adorno, Althusser, and Jameson. We'll read enough of their work to have a good sense of how they went (or go) about doing Marxist criticism, and of their interventions in the tradition. We'll also read essays by several other writers, including Ernst Bloch, Antonio Gramsci, Sartre, Spivak, Nancy Fraser, Susan Buck-Morss, Franco Moretti, David Harvey, and (probably) Zizek. If Marxism is distinct conceptually from other forms of social thought, the difference centers on the key notions of surplus value, modes of production, and class struggle, and early on we will review these ideas, which are also problems. After that, the seminar will be concerned with the following topics, among others: debates on the novel and realism (especially the so-called Brecht-Lukacs debate); theories of genres in general; issues of ideology and narrative form; arguments about postmodernism; and debates about post-colonial literature.

Topics in Literary Studies (ENGL 430)

Section: 803 #5120
Instructor: V. Strain
3.0 credit hours Lecture
T 7:00 PM – 9:30 PM LSC

This course provides a grounding in the most influential texts and critical methods in the field of law and literature. While literature’s close ties with the law are evident in ancient texts, the modern interdisciplinary movement took shape in the later twentieth century and has continued to benefit from emergent literary trends and schools of critical thought (not to mention developments in cultural, social, and legal history). We will concentrate on literary borrowings from the law (in the form of language, content, ordering principles, and ethical questions), as well as literature’s ability to critique the premises and practices of the law. We will approach the law as a source of language, metaphors, narratives, and interpretative strategies; as a mode of categorizing, analyzing, and representing human experience. Through literary works such as Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure, Melville’s Billy Budd, and Kafka’s The Trial, we will examine the signature tensions that connect, and the signature perspectives that divide, these two fields. Law and literature both struggle to make meaning by constructing relationships between principles and particulars, texts and contexts, tradition and innovation. Assignments, lectures, and class discussions will help students use law and literature to put pressure on the definitions and practices that shape our lives.

20th Century Literature in English (ENGL 488)

Section: 804 #5122
Instructor: J. Wexler
3.0 credit hours Lecture
TR 4:15 – 5:30 PM LSC

As twentieth-century writers confronted the political violence of their time, they were overcome by rhetorical despair. Unspeakable acts left writers speechless. Writers knew that the atrocities of the century had to be represented, but this was a daunting responsibility. What made writing about twentieth-century violence so difficult was that it occurred in a secular age. In the past, communal beliefs had justified or condemned the most horrific acts, but the late nineteenth-century crisis of belief made any consensus about the meaning of violence unattainable. This situation produced an aesthetic dilemma because representation always expresses beliefs. To write about violence is to give it a meaning. A dead body does not explain itself, and the narrative of the suicide bomber is not the story of the child killed in the blast. In this course we will ask how the new forms of the early twentieth century represent the political violence of the period. Our primary texts will be Heart of DarknessWomen in LoveThe Waste LandMrs. DallowayMidnight's Children, and Austerlitz.

Latino/a Literature (ENGL 495)

Section: 805 #5046
Instructor: S. Bost
3.0 credit hours Lecture
W 7:00 PM – 9:30 PM LSC

This course will introduce students to cultural contexts, formal styles, theoretical issues, and critical debates in the field of Latino/a literature.  This semester, we will focus on the issue of humanity and identity, examining the ways in which Latino/as first established themselves as persons (and citizens) in colonial and neo-colonial contexts and the ways in which Latino/a literature today continues to push the boundaries of individual personhood and identity politics.  The writers we study will include María Amparo Ruiz de Burton, José Martí, Américo Paredes, José Antonio Villarreal, Piri Thomas, Arturo Islas, Cherríe Moraga, Gloria Anzaldúa, Cristina García, Junot Díaz, Salvador Plascencia, and Aurora Levins Morales.  Secondary essays will focus our attention on cultural hybridity, nationalism and transnationalism, feminism and queer theory, ecology, postpositivist identity politics, and posthumanism.  Assignments will include regular response papers, class discussion leadership, a final seminar paper, and a final exam.