This is a course on modern criticism from Kant up to the point immediately preceding the onset of structuralism and post-structuralism. We will spend the first three weeks of the term on Kant’s Critique of Judgment (known informally as the ‘Third Critique’), which is universally considered the beginning of modern aesthetics and is an extremely difficult read. I will order the Cambridge edition of the Third Critique; the rest of our readings will be taken from Critical Theory Since Plato, ed. Hazard Adams. This is a big, very expensive book, but it is an invaluable work of reference, containing many of the essential texts in critical theory from over two millennia.
Preliminary reading list:
Schiller, from Letters on the Aesthetic Education of Man
Baudelaire, from The Salon of 1859
Nietzsche, from The Birth of Tragedy and Truth and Falsity in an Ultramoral Sense
T. S. Eliot, “Tradition and the Individual Talent”
Eichenbaum, “The Theory of the Formal Method”
Trotsky, “The Formalist School of Poetry and Marxism”
Bakhtin, “Epic and Novel”
Wimsatt and Beardsley, "The Intentional Fallacy"
Brooks, "The Heresy of Paraphrase and Irony as a Principle of Structure"
I will ask for two short papers during the quarter, with an 8-10 page final paper.
A selective examination of British and Continental theory of the Romantic period, with some attention to relations to issues in current literary theory. Readings, which will range from Hume to Madame de Staël, will be organized under the following conceptual rubrics: limiting reason, aestheticizing reason, feminizing reason, and perhaps ironizing reason. All required texts will be made available in English. Some knowledge of Enlightenment criticism (e.g. from English/Comp. Lit. 508 or 509) would be helpful, but not essential.
This seminar explores the history and experiences of US black women in institutions of higher learning, examines the impact of black feminist studies on a variety of disciplines in the academy, and analyzes African American feminists' educational philosophies as discursive practice. Readings cover several academic disciplines, and explore African American feminist theories of knowledge, gender, race, sexuality, and class; theories that outline an emancipatory educational vision and a liberatory pedagogy.
The seminar will explore the complicated relationship between early twentieth-century women writers and the emergence of literary modernism. We will consider such topics as the role of women in furthering a modernist agenda, the question of "feminine prose", male writers’ responses to women’s writing, and other issues of interest to the members of the seminar. We will read fiction by three of the greatest innovators of the period: Katherine Mansfield, Dorothy Richardson, and Virginia Woolf. We will also use Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own for its now classic investigation of the relationship between gender and literary productivity, and a number of critical essays in Bonnie Kime Scott’s anthology: The Gender of Modernism for further theoretical frameworks for our discussions. Oral reports on particular issues in modernism,, as expressed by some of the other modernists collected in the anthology, should allow seminar members the opportunity to explore topics of individual interest.
Although this course is appropriate for first year graduate students, it should not be taken as an introductory course in the modernist period. Some familiarity with the general intellectual background of modernism and its major texts will be assumed.
The End of the Family Romance?
Kinship, Governmentality, and the Post-Modern Novel
This course will explore notions of family and governmentality in the late twentieth century United States. Originally titled “new literary markets,” this course will now focus on one particular literary market of the post-WWII period: that of the family romance genre. We will begin with a short introduction to the genealogy of the “family romance” in American literary history. We will then turn to our project for this course, “re-reading the family romance,” in which we will pair a very few novels with some of the major theories of kinship, culture, and the state from this period. Together we will query how this genre has been read to mark changes in the political economy and representational media of family life at different moments in U.S. history, looking in particular at how the genre has been recycled in the post-modern and post-colonial era. We will pay particular attention to changing ideas about gender, race, and sexuality in our reading. Our shared discussion will focus on the late twentieth century and the United States, but students may pursue final projects in other areas as is deemed appropriate. Book list and course reader tba; you may email me with questions about likely content.
(co-taught by Dianah Leigh Jackson (French)
This is a jointly taught seminar on early modern English and French epistolary fiction, cross-listed with French and Comparative Literature. The course and texts will be taught in English. Early modern European literary culture produced a great age of letter writing, and this epistolary habit had a crucial impact on the growth of the modern novel, which began almost literally by adopting the form of the letter as a way of telling invented stories. We will survey this subject from beginnings in the Portugese Letters (1669), with glances at works like Eliza Haywood’s sensational romance Love in Excess (1719-20) , Marivaux’s La Vie de Marianne (1731-41), and Richardson’s Pamela (1740).
The main reading of the course will be concentrated in two internationally triumphant examples of the genre: Richardson’s Clarissa (1747-48), which sent not just England but all of Europe into a frenzy of reader involvement with that tragic story, and crucially influenced the second main text of this course, Rousseau’s Julie, or the New Héloise (1761), which, like Clarissa before, had readers all over Europe in the grip of its love story and passionate fictional debate about earthly versus spiritual value. Our aim in the seminar is to give students an opportunity to study this very important cultural and literary history, and to reflect on its theoretical implications, in an interdisciplinary setting. We will introduce a range of related topics along the way, including the material history of letter-writing in the early modern period, the genre and gender of letters, class implications of a democratized narrative form, and modern analogues like email correspondence or fictionalization. Both faculty will be involved in every class session, in an effort to model a genuinely cross-disciplinary approach to the subject. You won’t need a background in French. For questions or more information check with Tom Lockwood (firstname.lastname@example.org).
This course will trace the rise of the short story as a coherent genre of modern literature. We will begin by looking at genealogies of the short fictional form: in classical works such as Petronius’ Satyricon and Aesop’s Fables; in medieval and early Renaissance story cycles such as The Thousand and One Nights and Boccaccio’s Decameron; and in European folktale traditions, with an eye towards Vladimir Propp’s monumental Morphology of the Folktale and Italo Calvino’s edition of Italian Folk Tales. We will also consider some immediate precursors to the modern short story by such writers as E. T. A. Hoffman, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Arthur Conan Doyle, and Henry James. Some prior knowledge of these works or authors will be assumed.
A large part of the course will involve working through some classic short stories and collections of stories spanning the twentieth century. We will read across national literatures and we will examine some of the ways in which the short story broaches literary, political, social and philosophical issues. Some attention to the consolidation of the genre, and subsequent challenges to it, will center upon individual stories and coherent collections. Major authors include: Edgar Allen Poe, Nikolai Gogol, Katherine Mansfield, Jorge Luis Borges, Flannery O’Connor, Italo Calvino, and Raymond Carver. Further readings will be made available in a Course Pack. We will also touch upon aspects of narrative theory and recent developments in composition, such as so-called Computational Story Generating Algorithms.
Edgar Allen Poe. Complete Tales and Poems. New York: Vintage, 1975. 
Nikolai Gogol. Collected Tales. New York: Vintage, 1999. 
Katherine Mansfield. Stories. New York: Vintage, 1991. 
Flannery O’Connor. The Complete Stories. New York: Noonday, 1996. 
Italo Calvino. t zero, trans. William Weaver. New York: Harvest, 1976. 
Jorge Luis Borges. Ficciones, trans. Anthony Bonner. New York: Grove, 1989. 
Passing, Policing and the Economy of Sex
The African-American who crosses or resides on the color line, the woman who works and lives as a man, the homosexual who seems to be heterosexual, the "born criminal" whose character cannot be read, the "low born" mimic of the "well-bred," the person who is transgendered, and the alien who plays at being a "true American" make up a family of passing figures. Each of them was familiar to late 19th and early 20th century American audiences, and their descendants are with us yet.
This seminar is about passing--primarily as a different race, class, sexuality, or gender. It is equally about individual and national anxieties which reports of passing and related practices of surveillance beget. One set of practices types cultural minorities as sources of criminality, disorder, degeneracy and/or deviance; a second examines bodies, gestures, tastes, etc. for signs that differentiate "them" from "us"; a third pinpoints sexuality as the locus of (moral) health and disease; a fourth warns that corporeal differences are slippery and difficult for untrained eyes to detect, and it insists that an unremarkable appearance may disguise an "abnormal" appetite, "degenerate" character or "deadly" threat. Accordingly, this seminar is equally about ongoing efforts to teach mainstream Americans how to read. The pronounced aims of this reading lesson are to render unremarkable differences remarkable (i.e., visible and significant); to track and often circumscribe the movements of cultural minorities; and thus to assure "normal" Americans that they are safe and the reproduction of their kin(d) is assured. Nonetheless, because not all cultural differences are discernible, and because passing renders every identity uncertain, the very act of reading potentially triggers a more intimate form of anxiety, raising the question: am I really the character I seem? Our study of passing figures and policing strategies draws on a range of cultural practices (eg., fiction, law, bioscience, sexology, criminology, sociology, film, and other popular media) some of which are frankly regulatory, whereas others challenge normative regimes. We will focus on late-nineteenth and early-twentieth century works; we will selectively examine cold war and presentday texts; and in the process we will identify continuities and departures in the production and policing of normal and deviant Americans.
Texts will include: Mark Twain, Pudd'nhead Wilson; James Weldon Johnson, The Autobiography of an Ex Colored Man; Nella Larsen, Passing, and a large course packet.
Engl 570 is a credit/no credit course in which students sharpen their understanding of the technical, interpersonal, and practical elements involved in effective ESL teaching through regular observations of ESL classes, daily ESL teaching or assistance in an ESL classroom, and seminar discussion of issues related to ESL teaching. There is no required textbook.
This course is intended to improve your understanding of the research process, to familiarize you with a variety of methods of commonly used in the field of TESOL and Applied Linguistics, and to provide basic, practical skills in designing, carrying out, and reporting on a research project. The course will focus on a variety of research models, including survey research, discourse analysis, case study, experimental research, and ethnography. The main work of the quarter involves conducting an original research project. In addition, you will read and critique selected research in second language acquisition.
In many multiethnic and multilingual countries around the world, the choice of language(s) for the medium of instruction raises a fundamental educational question: What combination of instruction in students’ native language(s) and in a second language of wider communication will ensure that students gain both effective subject-content education as well as the second language skills necessary for higher education and employment? While this question focuses primarily on the educational agenda of providing effective instruction, medium-of-instruction policies also raise other complex issues: Which ethnic and linguistic groups will benefit from alternative medium-of-instruction policies? What language policy best fulfills the need for inter-ethnic communication? What is the impact of alternative policies upon political stability? In exploring these questions, we find that medium-of-instruction policies are not only about the choice of the language(s) of instruction, but also about a range of important sociopolitical issues, including globalization, migration, labor policy, elite competition, and the distribution of economic resources and political power.
The purpose of this course to explore the links between medium-of-instruction policies and these broader issues, by focusing on the tension between the educational agenda and other underlying social, political, and economic agendas in different sociopolitical contexts. We will particularly examine the role of English in settings where it is the dominant language, in post-colonial countries, and in other contexts in which diglossia/triglossia may be evident.
TEXT: James W. Tollefson and Amy B.M. Tsui (Eds.), Medium of Instruction Policies: Which Agenda? Whose Agenda? Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum, 2004. Additional texts and readings will also be required.
We'll look at ~10 self-reflexive documentary films as a way to get at such immemorial questions as: What is art? What is the relation of the artist to his or her material? What is the relation between 'fiction' and 'nonfiction'? What's public, what's private? What's remembered? What's imagined? What's 'true'? What's 'real'? Answers provided at end of course. Several brief response papers, one long critical essay.
What questions do you have about your own writing? What risks do you want to take? What do you want to focus on as a writer? These are the issues we will be addressing in the graduate fiction workshop. I’ll be asking you to general lots of fiction, at least 40 pages, to think and write about your own fiction, and to comment extensively on each other’s fiction. You will also prepare an oral report on the work of a fiction writer and write one brief paper.
Preference given to MFA fiction students, then MFA poetry students, then other graduate students but only with the instructor’s permission.
Text: Xeroxed packet
This seminar on oral and scribal texts examines the first of the chronological stages in the production and transmission of written texts. Focusing particularly on the manuscript transmission of literary texts in medieval England, it will look at a number of distinct features in the development of scribal handwriting (paleography), the construction of books (codicology), and the ways in which written texts may reflect (and interact with) elements of their writers’ and readers’ oral cultures. We will consider topics such as: Insular manuscripts (such as the Lindesfarne Gospels), multilingual manuscripts (such as Harley 2253), production of vernacular literary collections in early 14th century London (the Auchinleck MS), the composition of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales.
Books required for the seminar include: Michelle P Brown, A Guide to Western Historical Scripts from Antiquity to 1600; Mark C Amodio, Oral Poetics in Middle English Poetry; Susanna Greer Fein, Studies in the Harley Manuscript: The Scribes, Contents and Social Contexts of British Library MS Harley 2253; and Barbara A Shailor, The Medieval Book.
Recommended are: Bischoff, Bernhard, Latin Paleography: Antiquity and the Middle Ages; and N. R. Ker, Ed. Facsimile of British Museum MS. Harley 2253.
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