Spring 2011

CORE COURSES

ENLT 514: Theoretical Approaches to Literature

Prof. Elbert

Thur. 5:30-8:00

Objective: To introduce you to different critical and philosophical theories which have beenapplied to literary and filmic texts throughout the last century. Though our focus will be on theories that are current, we will also read about and apply theories from the earlier part of the century (i.e., formalism, structuralism) to several literary texts. Some questions to ponder: How does a text mean? How does the rhetoric or terminology of these schools of thought allow us to claim (and defend) literary study as a serious discipline or even as a science? How have critical approaches changed, and why? Have changing critical concepts allowed us to redefine the literary canon? What are the political implications of allying oneself to one particular critical theory or ideology?

 

AMERICAN LITERATURE

ENGL 601: Seminar in American Literature: The Holocaust in American Fiction

Prof. Jacobs

Wed. 5:30-8:00

This seminar examines the ways in which post-World War II American authors create fiction featuring survivors of the Holocaust while they construct the events and aftermath of theHolocaust itself. Among the works we may examine will be Saul Bellow’s Mr. Sammler’s Planet, Philip Roth’s The Ghost Writer, Cynthia Ozick’s The Shawl, Louis Begley’s Wartime Lies, Edward Lewis Wallant’s The Pawnbroker, Isaac Bashevis Singer’s Enemies, A Love Story, Francine Prose’s A Changed Man, Nicole Krauss’ The History of Love, Art Spiegelman’s Maus, Jonathan Safran Foer’s Everything Is Illuminated and short stories by Rebecca Goldstein and Bernard Malamud.

 

BRITISH LITERATURE

ENGL 540: The Modern British Novel

Prof. Greenberg

Mon. 8:15-10:45

In this seminar will read a variety of novels, and criticism about them, from the literary period known as modernism, stretching roughly from 1890-1940. This is an era of great change in the form and content of the novel, as writers explored methods such as interior monologue, spatial form, and unreliable narration to represent human consciousness and to challenge the established novelistic conventions that governed the construction of plot and the representation of character. Modernist fiction was also responding to dramatic changes in social and political life: changing gender roles, new openness about sexuality, psychoanalysis, world wars, the decline of the British Empire, the rise of Communism and fascism, new representational media (film, radio, advertising) and vast changes in social organization. Novelists read may include Joseph Conrad, H.G. Wells, Ford Madox Ford, E.M. Forster, Virginia Woolf, D.H. Lawrence, Rebecca West, James Joyce, Jean Rhys, and Samuel Beckett. Regular attendance and participation, short writing assignments, a presentation, and a 20-page research paper are required. Syllabus should be available in mid-December.

ENGL 542-01 The Irish Revival

Prof. McDiarmid

Tues. 5:30-8:00

Taking as its narrative framework Yeats’s literary career from 1889 to 1939, this seminar will mix close readings of Yeats’ poems with study of the folklore, history, and cultures of the Irish Revival. Students will, for instance, look at three varieties of Revivalist ethnography: Yeats’s CELTIC TWILIGHT (stories from "peasants" in the west of Ireland modified for sale to metropolitan audiences), Synge’s ARAN ISLANDS (the travel writing of an educated, Europeanized Dublin Protestant visiting a rural, Catholic, "primitive" island), and folklore with a proto-feminist emphasis on childbirth, female healers, and the abduction of children, collectedby Lady Gregory from country people in Galway and the Aran Islands. Later in the semester, the class will focus on the Easter Rising of 1916, reading Gregory and Yeats’ co-authored "incendiary folk-drama" KATHLEEN NI HOULIHAN, Yeats’ poems on the Rising’s leaders, and the poems of those leaders themselves, anticipating their martyrdom. Having studied peasants and rebels, we will not neglect the rich and powerful: students will also become familiar with the domestic culture of the "Big House" and Yeats’s interest in it as asymbol of a moribund class and as an architectural measure of masculinity. The approach throughout will be pluralist and eclectic, using feminist, postcolonial and new-critical methodologies when they seem helpful, but seeking always to situate our reading among the many voices and practices of the Irish Revival. Evaluations will be based on participation, one oral report, a number of one-page papers, and one long paper due at the end of the semester. Students will not be permitted to use electronic devices during class.

 

INTERNATIONAL LITERATURE

ENLT 516: Ancient Comedy

Prof. English

Tues 8:15-10:45

Study of selected plays of Aristophanes, Menander, Plautus, and Terence. Topics include origins and development, staging, and theories of old and new comedy at Athens and of Roman comedy, mime, farce, influences on later comedy.

 

WRITING STUDIES

ENWR 588: Research in Writing Studies

Prof. Restaino

Mon. 5:30-8:00

An introduction to representative empirical research in composition pedagogy and writing studies. In the first half of the semester, students will be introduced to a range of methodologies used in research in writing and composition studies. Inquiry models will include survey, ethnography, case study, and interview. In the second half of the semester, students will explore a research question using one or more of the methodologies taught.

ENGL 590: Rhetorical Theory and the Teaching of Writing

Prof. Whitney

Tues. 5:30-8:00

An inquiry into the rhetorical and theoretical roots of current questions, methods and practices of writing instruction--to investigate the possibility that both teaching writing and writing itself are deeply constructed endeavors, rooted in structures of language, perception, knowing andbeing that are often discussed in theoretical discourse.