Loyola University Chicago

Department of English

Graduate Course Descriptions

Summer 2014 and Fall 2014

Summer 2014

Seminar in Individual Authors (ENGL 433)

"Virginia Woolf and Transnational Modernism"
Section: 801 #1015
Instructor: P. Caughie
3.0 credit hours Lecture
MW 3&ndash6 p.m. 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 5–8. “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).

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.

Early Modern Drama (ENGL 456)

Section: 802 #2420
Instructor: S. Gossett
3.0 credit hours Lecture
TR 10 a.m.–noon 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.

Fall 2014

Intro to Graduate Study (ENGL 400)

Section: 800 #2056
Instructor: P. Jay
3.0 credit hours Lecture
T 7–9:30 p.m. LSC

This course provides a comprehensive introduction to graduate-level work in literary studies. We will begin by examining the historical development of English as an academic discipline, paying particular attention to how that history is shaped by debates about critical theories and methodologies. We'll use this as a point of departure for studying contemporary critical theory and its relationship to recent trends in literary studies. Particular attention will be paid to the challenge of writing successful seminar and conference papers. In addition we will review practical advice about choosing your course of study, conducting research, participating actively in class discussion, and thinking ahead to preparing for your MA and doctoral examinations (and the dissertation for those of you in the PhD program). Requirements will include informal critical commentaries, two short critical essays, an in-class presentation, and a longer seminar paper.

Women Authors in English (ENGL 436)

Section: 801 #5389
Instructor: J. Bouson
3.0 credit hours Lecture
TR 4:15–5:30 p.m. LSC

In English 436, students will become familiar with and participate in the lively critical conversations surrounding representative 20th and 21st century women-authored novels that are regularly taught in university courses by authors such as Doris Lessing, Jamaica Kincaid, Dorothy Allison, Toni Morrison, and Margaret Atwood. We will consider a wide range of topics as we review contemporary critical approaches to the works we investigate, such as the engendering of sexual/textual identities in Toni Morrison’s Sula; the parodic reworking of Gothic fantasy in Margaret Atwood’s The Robber Bride; cultural resistance and coming of age in Jamaica Kincaid’s Lucy; and sexual trauma and working-class violence in Dorothy Allison’s Bastard Out of Carolina. Each student will lead the class discussion on one of the novels chosen for the course and will also prepare a comprehensive introduction to the novel, which will establish a critical context for the study of the novel and provide an overview of recent critical approaches to the work (and which will be a useful guide for those preparing to teach the work in a Women in Literature course). Course requirements will include oral presentations; one or two short papers; and a seminar paper.

Topics in Drama (ENGL 437)

Section: 802 #5044
Instructor: V. Foster
3.0 credit hours Lecture
R 7–9:30 p.m. 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 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 three classic plays—Euripides’s Medea, Shakespeare’s Othello, and Chekhov’s The Three Sisters—and representative adaptations/revisions of them (such as Marina Carr’s By the Bog of Cats..., Paula Vogel’s Desdemona: A Play about a Handkerchief, Beth Henley’s Crimes of the Heart and Mustapha Matura’s Trinidadian Three Sisters: After Chekhov). We will move on to dramatic revisions of myth (for example, Timberlake Wertenbaker’s The Love of the Nightingale, Sarah Ruhl’s Euridice) and of 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, films of Crimes of the Heart and 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 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 Baltimore for either 2015 or 2016.

Topics in Medieval Literature (ENGL 440)

Section: 803 #5392
Instructor: E. Wheatley
3.0 credit hours Lecture
F 2–5 p.m. LSC

This course, which will be taught at the Newberry Library, will focus on disabled bodies and the cultural forces that acted upon them, as represented in a variety of types of early Christian and medieval texts in Latin, French, and English. We will devote special attention to blindness because of its strong metaphorical associations in medieval Christian discourse. The course will begin with readings in disability theory and its relation to the study of literature. Literary texts will include Old French farces and fabliaux, hagiographic texts, “The Croxton Play of the Sacrament,” “The Tale of Beryn,” and texts by Chaucer and Henryson. Students will write two essays and a research paper based on an oral report presented to the class.

Seventeenth-Century Literature (ENGL 457)

Section: 804 #5393
Instructor: J. Biester
3.0 credit hours Lecture
MW 4:15–5:30 p.m. 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.

Early American Literature (ENGL 491)

Justifying Colonization: English Colonial Literature in the Atlantic World
Section: 805 #5395
Instructor: J. Glover
3.0 credit hours Lecture
M 7–9:30 p.m. LSC

In this course, we will undertake a comparative survey of the English-language literatures of the early Atlantic world, with a special emphasis on legal justifications of colonization. The work of justifying settlement was an imperialistic project, but it often involved reckoning with the legal systems of one’s enemies. Even as settlers and other travelers waged war against each other and against their Native neighbors, they also waged publicity campaigns in Europe, sending home letters, narratives, and treatises that attempted to justify their wars according to the many different kinds of legal systems that reigned in the Atlantic. Our aim will be to situate English colonial writing in a broader multimedia context that included Spanish, French, Dutch and Native legal cultures and rituals.