Spring Quarter 2007 — Graduate Course Descriptions

520 Puritan Thought & Lit (w/CLit 546) Searle TTh 1:30-3:20

This seminar will take as its nominal theme Puritanism, but we will be concerned with dimensions of Puritan thought which directly shaped subsequent conceptions of literature, ethics, politics, and religion. The course will be comparative, both in drawing upon English, American, and European source materials, and upon later works that draw substantively from the complex inheritance of the Puritanism.


527 Gift, Sacrifice & the Rites of Literary Exchange: Coleridge & Wordsworth (w/CLit 548A) Modiano MW 1:30-3:20

The literary relationship between Coleridge and Wordsworth constitutes a unique episode in literary history and has been the object of great fascination among critics and biographers, particularly in recent years. As Thomas McFarland accurately states, Coleridge and Wordsworth “not only pervasively influenced one another; they did so in a way that challenges ordinary methods of assessment.” Indeed, it is hard to bring to mind two other writers whose literary careers changed so dramatically under each other’s influence and who appropriated each other’s identity to such an extent that one critic thinks it plausible to regard their poetry as a single work, constituted by two interdependent voices (Paul Magnuson). The myth that Wordsworth was the great poet of nature, as demonstrated by “Tintern Abbey,” and Coleridge was the great poet of the supernatural, as evinced by “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” obfuscates the fact that prior to meeting Coleridge, Wordsworth’s primary interest was in Gothic supernaturalism and victims of social injustice with no model of the mind’s relationship with nature in sight, whereas Coleridge wrote successful nature poetry. During their collaboration of the Lyrical Ballads, Coleridge began to explore the nightmarish effects of supernaturalism on the psyche, though, ironically enough, just at the time when Wordsworth, under Coleridge’s influence, lost interest in the subject. Such moments of merging and separation are particularly instructive, showing the extent to which Coleridge’s and Wordsworth’s literary careers were shaped by what each took to be the identity of the other, often misconceived through the distorting lens of self-projections.
In this course we shall study the relationship between Coleridge and Wordsworth from the perspective of gift and sacrifice, a richly suggestive model that will shed new light on this remarkably intimate and conflicted friendship and will offer the opportunity of investigating a new theory of literary influence based on the dialectic of contractual exchange.
We will begin with a close examination of Marcel Mauss’s seminal study of the gift and the
response to it by Claude Levi-Strauss, Marshall Sahlins, Pierre Bourdieu, Lewis Hyde, Georg Simmel and Jacques Derrida, followed by an analysis of theories of sacrifice, as proposed by
Henri Hubert and Marcel Mauss, Robertson Smith, Sigmund Freud, Rene Girard and Georges
Bataille. Among other topics we will focus on: the principle of over-reciprocation in the gift,
the incommensurability between originary and return gifts; the erasure of the distinction between donors and receivers in gift exchange, and conversely, between sacrificer, victim, priest and deity in sacrifice; the role of intermediaries in sacrifice and the gift, i.e. the sacrificial victim and the person through whom the gift passes; the recuperative nature of gift and sacrifice; and the function of misrecognition in both economies. In the second half of the course, we will study the successive phases of Coleridge’s literary exchange with Wordsworth, from an early period when they regarded their productions as “one work” in the spirit of gift exchange, to progressive alienation and rivalry.
Requirements: two brief (2-3 pp.) response papers on theories of gift and sacrifice; a final paper on Coleridge and Wordsworth (10 -15 pp.).


528 Victorian Poetry LaPorte MW 11:30-1:20

This course explores the vexed position of poetry in Victorian literary culture, which in turn may help us to understand the paradoxes inherent to literary hierarchies. The Victorian cult of literature contributed a great deal to the shape of English studies today, of course, and poetry stood at the center of that cult. But this pride of place was mostly reserved for older poetry: recall George Eliot's praise for Dorothea Brooke as having '"the impressiveness of a fine quotation from the Bible,—or from one of our elder poets." By contrast, contemporary poetry, especially by younger poets, retained a paradoxical status in Victorian culture. It was ambitious and experimental, and moreover enjoyed a readership that would today seem enviable, competing commercially with the novel and other "popular" forms. And yet it could never attain the Biblical or Shakespearean status that contemporary reviewers expected of it. For this reason, poetry's lofty position in the hierarchy of literature invariably served as a burden as well as a prop. We will study the deliberate post-Romantic poetics of the 1830s-1850s, the working-class Spasmodic school, the emergence of nonsense poetry, pre-Raphaelitism, aestheticism, and the poetry of Empire. The course will assume no prior expertise in poetry or Victorian literature.


532 Myth of National Community in 19C U.S. Abrams TTh 3:30-5:20

An exploration of the powers–-and limits–-of cultural mechanisms seeking to impart integrity and focus to a sprawling US society during the nineteenth century. To some degree we’ll study US art and culture in general--maps, Currier and Ives prints, and other cultural artifacts through the lens of which cultural wholeness and identity are imagined–-as well as major theorists and critics of the nation-building process such as Homi K Bhabha and Sacvan Bercovitch. But the major focus will be on how the problem of a US focal center plays itself out in literary texts. To what degree does a US national imaginary become persuasive and credible against a backdrop that includes increasingly globalized, trans-national space, racial and class division, Indian removal, immigration, and civil war? What sort of cultural work do national myths, symbols of unity, and rhetorics fusing American society with utopian aspiration and divine providential will perform–-or fail to perform-–throughout this period? Readings that throw the question of national identity into relief against a troubled backdrop will include “Chief Seattle’s Speech,” Whittier’s SNOWBOUND, Margaret Fuller on her encounter with native tribal peoples of the upper American Midwest, MOBY-DICK, selected fiction by Hawthorne and Poe, Linclon’s Gettysburg Address, selected writings by Frederick Douglass, Du Bois’s THE SOULS OF BLACK FOLK, fiction by Rebecca Harding Davis, Kate Chopin, and Stephen Crane, and, finally a close reading of excerpts from Henry James’s THE AMERICAN SCENE, which from its turn-of-the-century vantage point will help both to sum up and to sharpen our discussion of the problematics of the US national imaginary.

540 Fashion & Modernism Burstein TTh 3:30-5:20

"It is only superficial people who do not judge by appearances." –Oscar Wilde

"Fashion and Modernism" undertakes a historical look at some nodes in the constellation of English and European sartorial culture circa the mid-nineteenth century through the 1930s. "Fashion" in this context means both clothing and style, and while our focus will be on the consumption of female fashion, we will also explore theories of ornamentation, emergent forms of urbanism, spatiality, and embodiment. Topics will include: shopping/the department store; ornament/anti-ornament; flâneurie; and some literary and visual instances foregrounding fashion or the fashion industry.

"F&M" is a reading-intensive seminar. Students will be responsible for one class presentation, and a final research paper employing historical materials/an archive such as Vogue of the period, or the Henry's textiles collection.

********NOTE: Acquaintance with a Western modernism is required. Students must have taken at least one previous course in either British, American, or European modernism. The methodology will be an historical one from the specified time period; this class does not deal with contemporary fashion.
Prior to the first class, Students must have (re)read Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway , and Andreas Huyssen, "Mass Culture as Woman" from After the Great Divide , and made a serious dent in Zola's Au Bonheur du Dames (The Ladies Paradise), in the Nelson translation. All readings will be in English.

In addition to a course reader, required texts will include the following (Should you acquire them on your own, perhaps saving some money in so doing, make sure to get these editions):


546 American & 20th/21st Century Publication Workshop Allen TTh 1:30-3:20

It is increasingly important to begin publishing as a graduate student if your goal is an academic job. In this workshop we will be preparing previously-drafted graduate seminar papers or MA essays for journal publication.

So come with an essay approximately 20-35 pages in length. We will read each others' work, make suggestions for revision, identify appropriate journals for publication and aim toward sending the finished essays out at the end of the quarter. In the course of the seminar we'll also work on writing manuscript reviews, investigating journals in relevant fields, considering the politics of publishing, learning about the submission and publication process. and taking up other relevant topics of interest to the workshop.

The course is open to anyone with a graduate-level scholarly essay that is ready to revise for publication on a topic relevant to literatures, theories and cultures from the late nineteenth-century forward.

Required texts: We will make a packet of the essays; in addition you'll need the MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing (2nd edition). Recommended, but not required: Getting Published (William Germano).

551 Contemporary Transgeneric Writing Reed MW 11:30-1:20

Contemporary Trans-Generic Writing. Since the 1960s, a growing number of women authors have begun writing works that refuse to abide by conventional rules governing literary genres. They mix prose and verse, combine images with text, place reportage side by side with autobiography, and otherwise blend modes, voices, and discourses. Much of this unusual corpus has been categorized as “poetry,” though the label is frequently misleading. Some has been pigeon-holed as écriture feminine, a French poststructuralist term even more unhelpful in important respects. To grapple with the phenomenon of contemporary trans-generic writing, this course will concentrate on reading closely a series of books by two figures, Ann Carson and Susan Howe. Supplemental readings will likely include excerpts from longer works by Gloría Anzaldúa, Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, Lyn Hejinian, Lisa Robertson, and Bernadette Meyer.


556 ATheories of Biopower (w/CLit 535A) Weinbaum W 3:30-7:20p

Theories of Biopower
In recent discussions about the shape, scope, and formation of power in the context of economic globalization and neoliberalism the idea of biopower (first developed by Michel Foucault) has gained a degree of primacy. In this course we will explore the possibilities and pitfalls of biopower as a description and analysis of power in the contemporary moment. In so doing we will first seek to construct a genealogy of the term within Foucault’s work and across a variety of philosophical and theoretical texts that directly engage Foucault. In the second part of the course we will explore recent scholarship that implicitly supplements, augments, or in other ways “corrects” the theory of biopower through engagement with questions of population control and containment, sexuality, racial formation, and the biological body. The aim of the seminar will thus be threefold: 1) to excavate a genealogy of the concept of biopower in Foucault’s work; 2) to explore the various ways in which this concept has been set to work by other thinkers; and 3) to collectively expand and refine the concept of biopower for ourselves, with the goal of making the concept useful for our own political and scholarly purposes.

The readings: we will begin the course by reading a number of texts by Foucault including volume one of the History of Sexuality; several lectures from “Society Must be Defended,” and essays on “governmentality” and “technologies of the self” If time permits we may also cover Discipline and Punish. We will then move on to Giorgio Agamben’s reworking of the concept of biopower, and Thomas Malthus’s pre-figuration of the idea of population in his Essay on the Principal of Population. In the second part of the course we will engage a range of readings that explore the production of power over populations and bodies in the context of Euro-American imperialism and neo-liberalism including those by Hannah Arendt, Uday Singh Mehta, Elizabeth Povinelli, Mae Ngai, Kaushik Sunder Rajan, and Ruth Wilson Gilmore.

Expectations: During the course of the quarter you will work collaboratively with colleagues in presenting key seminar texts to the group. You will also be expected to keep a reading journal and to respond in writing to the work of your colleagues on a weekly basis. Formal paper abstracts will be due during week 6 and a final conference length paper at the end of the quarter.

556 BPostcolonial/Black Transnationalism(w/CLit 535B) Chrisman TTh 9:30-11:20

This course explores the complex relationship between nationalism and transnationalism. Theoretical, cultural and historical in approach, the course focuses on black political cultures of the early 20^th century. It concentrates on the relationship between black America and black South Africa. Attention to the crucial if variable interactions between these two communities, their activists, intellectuals and writers, will expand scholarly understanding of the meanings of race, nationalism, colonialism and transnationalism.

Drawing upon the resources of African, black Atlantic, and postcolonial studies, this interdisciplinary course fuses literary criticism, cultural studies, critical theory, political thought and intellectual history. Several Africanists have examined the circulation of black diaspora ideas and practices among black South Africans. Their studies are important in moving beyond the colonizer/colonized axis that has dominated ‘postcolonial’ accounts of modern African political cultures. But they assume a unidirectional flow of influence from the ‘new world’ diaspora. This course instead begins with the premise that these two racially-subordinated, resistant populations were involved in a mutually transformative relationship, and seeks to explore elements of this complex dynamic. Among other things we will consider how black South Africans both affirm and criticize black American thought, intimating alternative conceptions of political and cultural leadership for themselves and for the US diaspora. While dominant postcolonial and transnational theories presuppose that nationalism and transnationalism are antagonistic impulses, and that nationalism and feminism are equally antagonistic impulses, this course interrogates such presuppositions by rigorous examination of original source materials.

562 Discourse Analysis Stygall TTh 7:00-8:50p

This course is an introduction to and survey of the basics of language analysis beyond the sentence level, covering approaches both to discourse analysis and sociolinguistics. It is also a survey of the various ways in which discourse analysis is theoretically grounded, with a special focus on critical discourse analysis (CDA) in its two major presentations, neo-Marxist and Foucauldian. Students in ENGL 562 will also study the social theorists–Foucault, Bourdieu, Habermas, and Giddens–so that they will be able to ground their work in theory.


570 Practicum in TESOL Kanno F 10:30-12:20

English 570 is a credit/no credit course in which students sharpen their understanding of the technical, interpersonal, and practical elements involved in effective ESOL teaching. The course involves regular observations of ESOL classes, daily language teaching, weekly observation of other language classrooms, microteaching, seminar discussion, and written projects. No required texts. This Practicum is only open to MAT(ESOL) students.


572 Methods & Materials for Teaching English as a Second Language Wennerstrom TTh 10:30-12:20

The purpose of this practical course is to provide knowledge and experiences that will help you, as professionals in TESOL, become more effective and flexible. The course also aims to familiarize you with the most current trends and theories in language teaching. You will develop an understanding of what impact various materials, activities and techniques are likely to have on the students in each learning situation based on their backgrounds, needs, and learning processes. With a largely hands-on approach, we will discuss, plan, and practice implementing a variety of materials, activities and techniques.

578 Bilingualism, Education, and Identity: Principles, Theories, and Politics Kanno TTh 1:30-3:20

The bilingual/multilingual population in the world is possibly larger than the strictly monolingual population, and yet in monolingually-oriented countries such as the United States, bilingualism is still considered something of an anomaly. This course provides basic principles and theories of bilingualism, demystifying the bilingual development process along the way, and goes on to examine the relationship between bilingualism and identity and the role of schooling in the development and educational possibilities of bilingual learners.

The course covers four areas: (1) basic principles and theories of bilingualism; (2) bilingual education; (3) multilingual and multicultural identities, and (4) politics of bilingual education. The course will provide an ample opportunity for novices in this field to familiarize themselves with the basic typologies and psycholinguistic theories of bilingualism and bilingual education. However, the main spirit of the course is to critically examine why bilingualism tends to be evaluated and judged by monolingual standards; what range of identity options are available to bilingual individuals; how the opportunity to develop additive bilingualism is related to issues of socioeconomic class; and what role schools play in increasing or limiting the educational possibilities and bilingual development of language minority students.


581 Creative Writer as Critical Reader Triplett W 3:30-7:10p

The class is called The Poetics of Excess. By "excess" I have in mind Keats' notion that poetry should surprise by a fine excess, and we should load all our rifts with ore. That said, we'll look at musicality in poetry beyond the traditional formal dimension toward developing an ear for sonic texture, word bindings, verbal virtuosity, innovative syntax, and disproportion in general rather than balance. Lots of mermaids, griffins and flying snakes, as Horace would have it. Craft issues will (most likely) include the multivocal, the "wordrich" (Hopkins) of pattern in assonance, consonance and the like, fragment, syntax, tone, the image, metaphor and figure. We'll cover (at least) Stevens, the apocalyptic, lesser known Roethke, Berryman, Graham, Hopkins, Eliot, Robert Hayden and more.

Each class period will be devoted to several extended, extremely close readings. Strongly recommended additional reading will be suggested to add breadth to the students’ knowledge of each author, but depth of analysis with a writer’s muscles in mind will be the goal of our limited class time.

Written assignments will include 2-3 creative responses (poems) with revisions, and a brief critical paper (5-10 pages) due at the end of the term. In addition, we may engage in shorter journal-like prose responses to the in-class readings, to be done prior to our meetings.

Books are to be purchased from Open Books. Standard collected works by each major writer will be fine in most cases, and so library copies will suffice also (though as a practicing poet, you probably should own say, a collected Hopkins or Stevens, etc.). Individual poems not included in collected volumes but still of interest will be provided in the form of handouts from the professor.

584 Advanced Fiction Workshop Sonenberg MW 12:30-2:20

In this graduate workshop, I’ll expect you to generate new work and take risks. As you do so, you should be developing a good sense of your own passions, obsessions, and fears as writers, as well as honing your critical abilities. We will use the Critical Response Process developed by Liz Lehrman as the basis for our workshop sessions, a method that focuses on questions (from both the readers and the writer) rather than statements, and places the writer at the center of the discussion. Written work will include at least 40 pages of fiction, written responses on each other’s work, and a variety of exercises devoted to analyzing prose styles.

Priorities for Graduate workshop registration—in the following order: First year MFA students in fiction; Second year MFA students in fiction; MFA students in poetry; other graduate students, with instructor’s permission only; others, with instructor’s permission only

585 Advanced Poetry Workshop Bierds TTh 10:30-12:20
593 Hypertext (w/CLit 596A & Hum) Vaughan MW 1:30-3:20

The seminar, the fourth in the core series for the Textual Studies Program, examines the capabilities of computer and network technology and their applications in the creation, reproduction, transmission, and study of literary texts.
The seminar will take up a number of theoretical and practical issues and problems, such as: electronic archives and editions, textual mark-up systems, the “authenticity” of e-texts and their stability, digital rhetoric and the multiplicity of audiences, research sites, digital presentation/delivery of texts, text and image/graphics, and some legal (e.g., copyright) and ethical issues.

We will consider how hypertexts may impact pedagogy and definitions of literacy. And we will become familiar with various existing hypertext sites and projects, and initiate (or develop) our own digital editions/archives/sites.

Participants will deliver reports on one or more of these topics and will develop a (small) editing project as a site for testing theoretical and practical issues associated with development and presentation of electronic texts.
Completion of (at least one of) the earlier three seminars in the series is highly recommended.


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