Summer 2014 Graduate Course Descriptions
Special Studies in Literature (ENGL 404)
Instructor: J. Evans
3.0 credit hours Lecture
If you approach it in the right spirit, teaching is the hardest thing you’ll ever do. In this course we will examine what teaching is and isn’t, as well as what the “right spirit” is and how one might cultivate and sustain it. Courses like this one are rare opportunities for graduate students, who are not often encouraged to think hard about teaching before they find themselves in front of students of their own, wondering what to do next and how; for graduate students in English, pedagogy courses can offer a chance to explore the practical consequences of all that theorizing, time and space to consider what happens when theoretical and political commitments seem to run aground on institutional exigencies.
In this seminar we will read and think about a variety of pedagogical scenes (such as composition and literature courses and two- and four-year colleges) and perspectives. Readings may include Jacques Ranciere’s The Ignorant Schoolmaster, Rebecca Cox’s The College Fear Factor, Pamela Caughie’s Passing and Pedagogy, Gerald Graff’s Clueless in Academe, and others. Assignments include a statement of teaching philosophy, a critique of or response to a proposed reform of higher education, and a prospective syllabus for a college English course. Jason Evans has been teaching English at community colleges since 2002.
Seminar in Individual Authors (ENGL 433)
"Virginia Woolf and Transnational Modernism"
Section: 801 #1015
Instructor: P. Caughie
3.0 credit hours Lecture
MW 3:00 - 6:00PM LSC
This single-author seminar is designed around the 24th Annual International Conference on Virginia Woolf, to be held at Loyola University Chicago’s Lakeshore campus June 5th -8th. “Virginia Woolf: Writing the World” aims to address such themes as the creation of worlds through literary writing, Woolf’s reception as a world writer, world wars and the centenary of the First World War. (For more information on the conference, visit www.niu.edu/woolfwritingtheworld/) Our course will also address the transnational turn in modernist studies through Woolf criticism. We will read critical works by some of the scholars participating in the conference. Students will be required to attend one keynote address and one seminar (if space is available) at the conference and to write a short response (3-4 pages) to each. Other requirements include two papers—a review of selected criticism on Woolf and a reading of one or more primary works by Woolf (7-10 pages each)—and one class lead. Alternative assignments are negotiable.
During the six-week term we will read five novels (in the Harcourt annotated editions): The Voyage Out (1915), Mrs. Dalloway (1925), Orlando (1928), The Waves (1931), and Between the Acts (1941). We will also read Woolf’s book-length feminist-pacifist essay, Three Guineas (1938), as well as some selected essays, such as “The Leaning Tower,” “The Artist and Politics,” and “Thoughts on Peace in an Air Raid.” Other primary works may include Sigmund Freud’s Civilization and Its Discontents (Dover edition, translation published by the Hogarth Press in 1930) and John Maynard Keynes, The Economic Consequences of Peace (1920 Harcourt Brace edition). Criticism will include chapters from Maud Ellmann’s The Nets of Modernism: James, Woolf, Joyce and Freud (Cambridge 2010), Christine Froula’s Virginia Woolf and the Bloomsbury Avant-Garde: War, Civilization, Modernity (Columbia 2005), and Mark Hussey’s edited collection Virginia Woolf and War (Syracuse 1981)—all scholars participating in the conference. We may also read excerpts from Paul Fussell, The Great War and Modern Memory (Oxford 1975) and Natalya Reinhold, ed., Woolf Across Cultures (Clemson 2004).
Early Modern Drama (ENGL 456)
Section: 802 #2420
Instructor: S. Gossett
3.0 credit hours Lecture
TR 10:00 - 12:00PM LSC
This course will serve as a broad general introduction to major authors, genres, and topics of the English drama contemporary with Shakespeare. The tendency to teach “Shakespeare” separately creates a false impression of “the Bard” as removed from this theatrical world, and consequently reference will be frequent to plays of Shakespeare, although only All’s Well That Ends Well will form part of the syllabus. The course reading will focus on primary texts rather than secondary materials, but student presentations will introduce current critical interpretations and written work will permit a variety of approaches.
The first part of the course will center on the ways that focusing on gender illuminates the difficulty of drawing generic boundaries in early modern English tragedy. We will start with a section on “revenge tragedy,” with Hamlet in the background, and then look at a number of tragedies that focus either on murderous women (background Macbeth) or tragic women (background Romeo and Juliet), asking whether there really is such a thing as “she tragedy.”
The second part of the course will look at a variety of plays that can be considered comedies but stretch that form in different directions, including fairy tale, satire, and tragicomedy, and then focus on whether this context helps clarify the form of All’s Well, a play traditionally labeled a “problem comedy.”
The final section of the course will turn from genre to historicism, and look at a several late Jacobean plays where the drama confronts the effects of early modern capitalism, colonization, and the globalization of trade (background The Tempest).
Students will be responsible for two class presentations, a short paper and a long paper.