Fall 2012 Courses

English Department Graduate Courses
Fall 2012

CORE COURSES (departmental approval required)
ENGL 605: Seminar in Literary Research
Prof. Liebler                Wed. 6:30-9:00
This course offers a foundation for research and scholarly writing in literary study across specializations. Students will learn to distinguish literary theory, criticism, and analysis, and will sharpen their ability to participate in the scholarly conversations of the profession. We will explore ways to identify and produce arguments that matter and persuade, supported by engagement with current and traditional scholarship. Research methodologies, MLA documentation formats, clear and effective academic writing, and the creation of informative scholarly discourse form the backbone of this course.

ENGL 555: American Romanticism
Prof. Elbert                 Wed. 5:30-8:00
The objective of this course is to discuss literary works of American Romantics, more specifically, of American Transcendentalists, in relationship to social, cultural, and political movements of the mid-nineteenth century.  Obviously, issues of gender, race, and class will be important to our analysis.  In addition, we will discuss the aesthetics of Transcendentalism—what kind of audience were these Idealist writers hoping for, and how did they define the American literary scene?  How did spiritual ideas implicit in the Transcendentalist movement challenge the materialistic values of the emerging industrial nation?  What was the relationship between and among the four writers we are studying?  What was so new and innovative about the ideas expressed by Transcendentalists?  Why did Emerson seem to become the center of the Transcendentalist circle; why did he become the sage of Concord—and Thoreau the hermit of Concord?  And why were so many intellectuals afraid of Margaret Fuller?  How did Julia Ward Howe’s The Hermaphrodite reflect notions about gender derived from Margaret Fuller and other Transcendentalists? In addition to reading Emerson, Fuller, Thoreau, and Howe, we will read other Transcendentalist works by authors (such as Ripley, Bronson Alcott) included in Myerson, Joel, ed.  Transcendentalism:  A Reader (Oxford UP).

ENGL 600: Seminar: U.S. Border Literatures
Prof. Cheng                 Mon. 5:30-8:00
This course deals with literatures and cultures of U.S. border spaces. Taking a transnational approach to the study of U.S. borders, immigration histories, and “the Americas” broadly constructed, we will examine how border-texts, including novels, corridos, films, and memoirs, both construct and contest dominant histories of cross-cultural encounters in border spaces and militarized zones. For instance, we might look at works by Gloria Anzaldúa, Sandra Cisneros, Carlos Fuentes, Karen Tei Yamashita, among others. Students will be introduced to key critical works in border studies.

ENGL 600: Seminar: Modern British and Irish Poetry
Prof. McDiarmid         Tues. 5:30-8:00
Students in Modern British and Irish Poetry will study W. B. Yeats, T.S. Eliot, W. H. Auden, Stevie (aka Florence Margaret) Smith, and one or two other British or Irish poets, such as Paul Muldoon.    We'll consider stylistic issues (the multi-part long poem, the very short [two-line] poem, "fragments," allusiveness, revisions of 19th century poems), thematic issues (politics, sex, politics-and-sex, nationality, transnationality, oblique, ambiguous, & direct comments on class & gender), biographical background, and manuscript drafts of the poems we read. Students who take this class should be prepared to participate regularly in discussion as together we do close readings of major twentieth-century poems. Work will include an oral report, several short papers, a long final paper, and regular participation.  For those who are interested, there will be a field trip to the Berg Collection of the New York Public Library (the one with the lions at 42nd Street) to view the original manuscripts of The Waste Land and poems by Yeats.   In an academic bonus that is typical of the fallout from a post-imperial system, this course can be considered both “British” and “international” literature.

ENLT 602: Seminar in International Literature: Naipaul, Rushdie, Coetzee
Prof. Greenberg               Tues. 8:15-10:45
In the past half-century, English literature has become truly a global phenomenon.  What is sometimes called “Anglophone” literature or “postcolonial Anglophone” refers to English-language writing around the globe, with a special emphasis on literature from nations and regions that had the English language imposed on them through colonization.   Writers from these nations often approach the English language and the Western tradition of the novel with a special critical edge, and reinvent it in remarkable and dexterous ways.  We will focus on three major Anglophone writers—two Nobel Prize winners and a likely future winner—whose identities and work cannot be confined by a single national tradition: V.S. Naipaul (born in Trinidad of Indian ancestry, currently a resident of England), Salman Rushdie (born in India to a Muslim family, educated in England, currently a U.S. resident), and J.M. Coetzee (born in South Africa, of Dutch-Afrikaans descent, currently a resident of Australia).  In addition to questions of language, nationhood, and identity, these writers explore all facets of what Naipaul has called “that great movement of peoples… in the second half of the twentieth century… a movement and a cultural mixing greater than the peopling of the United States.” 

ENWR 586:  Teaching Writing and the Basic Writer
Prof. Knight                Thurs. 5:30-8:00
This course explores the social, educational, and linguistic foundations of writing instruction, with special attention to the needs of the basic writer.  We will review models of composing and approaches to writing pedagogy. We will experiment with how to respond to student work, identifying strengths and strategies for improvement, and we will also explore ways to encourage revision. Our learning will also be shaped by consideration of the larger influences on student performance, such as issues of second-language writing, socioeconomics, and previous education.  Practicing and prospective teachers will examine the theory, research, and practice of writing instruction through inquiry, workshops, and analysis of their own writing.

ENWR 598: Rhetorical Theory and the Teaching of Writing
Prof. Restaino            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 and being that are often discussed in theoretical discourse.