Fall 2017 Courses

SUMMER TERM: May 22 – June 29
ENWR 583: Teaching Writing through Literature
Professor Melinda Knight
Tuesday, Thursday 6:05-9:15 p.m.

This course considers the best theories and practices for teaching writing through literature, including a review of relevant critical theory. Students will also examine the social and historical intersections of literary studies and literacy crises. The course will begin with a consideration of the connections and dissonances between teaching writing and teaching literature and then move to an examination of the public sphere.  To demonstrate how various technologies can enhance learning, the class will produce a wiki for teaching a major work of literature, including sections on historical context, the author’s biography, critical reception, sample assignments, multimedia resources, and an annotated bibliography.  The final unit of the course will focus on putting theory into practice, including a proposal for research and a syllabus and rationale for teaching writing through literature.  Other assignments include blogs, response papers, and critical essays.


ENLT 605: Seminar in Literary Research
Professor Naomi Liebler
Wednesday, 5:30-8:00 p.m.

This course offers a foundation for research and scholarly writing in literary study across specializations and an introduction to how to participate in the scholarly conversations of the profession. Students will learn to distinguish between literary theory, criticism, and analysis, and between literary criticism and archival materials. We will explore ways of developing arguments that matter, persuade, and are 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 508: Shakespeare Studies: Tragedies
Professor Adam Rzepka
Monday, 5:30-8:00 p.m.

This course undertakes a collective close reading of three of Shakespeare’s tragedies in historical, theoretical, and performance contexts. We will begin with beginnings, examining Shakespeare’s first tragedy, Titus Andronicus, in concert with theories of tragedy as a genre and a consideration of the role of tragic drama in early modern culture. Hamlet will occupy the extended middle of the course, and we will ask how critical approaches including psychoanalysis, gender theory, and performance theory speak to it (and how it speaks back). Finally, King Lear will open complex historical questions as we explore the play’s multiple texts, its importance to new historicism, and its performance and film histories.

ENGL 601: Seminar in American Literature: American Gothic
Professor Monika Elbert
Thursday, 5:30-8:00 p.m.

This course will provide an introduction to the “Gothic” mode and tradition along with recent historicist and gender theory on the Gothic. Though the focus will be American, I shall give some background on the English Gothic novel (e.g., Walpole’s The Castle of Otranto). Moreover, I shall be giving an historical overview of this genre by showing how it developed from the early nineteenth century to the late twentieth century.

We shall be discussing important questions raised by recent theoretical criticism--such as how (or if) the female Gothic differs from male Gothic, what makes a work ecogothic, how considerations of class and race enter an analysis of Gothic texts, what makes American Gothic different from European Gothic, and if there is a concept such as global Gothic.. We shall define the Gothic genre according to psychological, historical, philosophical, and literary criteria.

ENLT 602: Seminar in International Literature: Literature of Latin America
Professor Johnny Lorenz
Tuesday, 5:30-8:00 p.m.

This course will introduce students to the literature of Latin America, with a particular emphasis on astonishing works that challenge our expectations regarding genre.  Writers might include: Machado de Assis, Gabriel Garcia Márquez, Jorge Luis Borges, Clarice Lispector, Manuel Puig, Julio Cortázar and Roberto Bolaño.  We’ll explore the “magical realism” of One Hundred Years of Solitude as a response to the limitations of the Realist tradition.  We’ll read the work of the Brazilian “concretist” poets, who re-conceptualized the relationship between the written word and blank space.  We’ll read a novel (Kiss of the Spider Woman) in which there is no narrator but rather an interplay of voices.  Julio Cortázar’s Hopscotch is a “counter-novel” that includes so-called “expendable chapters” and a variety of possible readings that are not sequential.  We'll consider the idea of “foundational texts” - texts that might represent a national character or, on the other, conjure an imagined community into being.  All books and articles are in English translation - students are not expected to know Spanish, for example, or Portuguese.