Loyola University Chicago

Department of English

Spring 2021 Graduate Course Descriptions

ENGL 402 Teaching College Composition
ENGL 420  Topics in Critical Theory
ENGL 447 Chaucer
ENGL 478 The Victorian Novel
ENGL 481 Modern Poetry
ENGL 491 Early American Literature

ENGL 402 Teaching College Composition

Section: 100 #1349
Instructor: M. Bradshaw
3.0 credit hours Seminar
M 5:30–8:00 PM

English 402 examines the practices of teaching college composition and the theories that support those practices. We begin by looking at how writing programs are positioned within English departments and within universities and then move to an exploration of major pedagogical movements in the discipline. As we explore different pedagogical approaches to teaching composition, students will work to develop their own teaching philosophies. Assignments include response papers, a sample assignment, a syllabus, a formal teaching statement, and a teaching demonstration. This course is required of doctoral students who will be teaching UCWR 110, and is strongly recommended for MA students who want to use their degree to teach composition courses.  

ENGL 420 Topics in Critical Theory

Section: 101 #5134
Instructor: L. Le-Khac
3.0 credit hours Seminar
TR 5:30–6:45 PM

Theories, Methods, and Literatures of Relational Racialization 

In the academy and beyond, there is an increasingly urgent need for new vocabularies that can help us comprehend our multi-racial world, grasp the ways minority groups are linked in it, and imagine multi-racial coalitions to transform it. This course dives into groundbreaking theories and methods of relational racialization from literary studies, history, sociology, law, political science, and ethnic studies. These theories will push us beyond reductive black/white and majority/minority binaries to survey the far more variegated, entangled, and surprising landscapes of race. At the same time, we will insist that the imaginative arts possess equally formidable theorizing powers. Novelists, poets, filmmakers, and playwrights of color have developed cultural forms, images, and narratives that scaffold our thinking to see and feel related experiences and joint struggles, the groundwork for multi-racial coalitions. If entrenched categories have constrained our racial thought and politics, our gambit will be to think across racial categories, cultural forms, and modes of knowledge to trace new possibilities.  

ENGL 447   Chaucer

Section: 102   #5135
Instructor: I. Cornelius
3.0 credit hours Seminar
MW 5:30–6:45 PM

A study of the poetry of Geoffrey Chaucer, one of the great innovators in literary English. Our focus is on the Canterbury Tales, Chaucer’s unfinished masterpiece; we also read the early dream poems. Topics include Chaucer’s sources and his uses of them, his language and poetic forms, and the books that transmit his works. We also take up questions of voice, character, narrative, and theme: the surrealistic fictional worlds of his dream poems, his inclusive vision for literary fiction in the Canterbury Tales, and his persistent exploration of relations between women and men. Students will produce a translation of and critical commentary on a passage of Chaucer’s poetry, deliver a presentation on a topic of their choice, construct an annotated bibliography, and write a researched essay. 

ENGL 478   The Victorian Novel

Section: 103   #5257
Instructor: P. Jacob
3.0 credit hours Seminar
W 5:30–8:00 PM

The Paper Trails of Victorian Literature 

Before we went “paperless,” paper was the substance of our letters, our laws, and our literature. The nineteenth century saw an outpouring of paper (and paper litter), as innovations in paper production coincided with the expansion of print media, advertising, and a nationalized postal service. These bits of paper make their way into the novel as well—from the torn clue to the well-timed love note. In this seminar on Victorian literature, we will examine the literary function of paper objects: the letters that ricochet through the long narrative poem; the crucial piece of paperwork that drives plots of blackmail, detection, and inheritance; and the eerily multiplying documents of late-Victorian Gothic fiction. We will explore paper as a material, a medium, and a metaphor. Paper will also serve as an entry point for considering questions of law, media, authorship, and the archive—as well as the ways that social networks and affective ties are constituted through the circulation of calling cards and, eventually, telegrams. We will pay special attention to developments in information technology over the course of the Victorian period, and we will directly encounter the serial installments of some Victorian texts in the Special Collections. Toward the close of the semester, we will also consider the lingering place of paper in the digital world. Readings will include: Charles Dickens’s Bleak HouseGeorge Gissing’s New Grub Street, Bram Stoker’s DraculaElizabeth Barrett Browning’s Aurora LeighMary Elizabeth Braddon’s Lady Audley’s SecretHenry Mayhew’s London Labour and the London Poor, and, briefly crossing the pond, Henry James’s “In the Cage” and Edith Wharton’s House of Mirth. 

ENGL 481    Modern Poetry

Section: 104 #5136
Instructor: D. Chinitz
3.0 credit hours Seminar
T 5:30–8:00 PM

This course will investigate the process by which different ways of creating a modern poetry arose in dialogue with and, sometimes, in reaction against each other. We will investigate such competing and synergistic concepts as Decadence, Symbolism, and Imagism, and the conceptions of modernity, the cultural politics, and the poetic techniques associated with them. These rubrics hardly define a neat field, and we will see that conflicting impulses frequently coexist within the work of a single writer, and that one category of modernism often blurs into another. While considering modern poetry from this generally literary-historical perspective, the course will focus on such key figures as William Butler Yeats, T. S. Eliot, Marianne Moore, Langston Hughes, Ezra Pound, H.D. (Hilda Doolittle), William Carlos Williams, and Wallace Stevens.


ENGL 491   Early American Literature

Section: 105 #5138
Instructor: J. Glover
3.0 credit hours Seminar
R 5:30–8:00 PM

Literature of Slavery and Servitude in Early America

This course will consider how indentured and enslaved persons 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.