Graduate Course Descriptions Spring 2013

ENG 532 – Love & Marriage in 18th C. Comedy
Thursday 6:15-8:30
Readings in representative writers of the period, including Swift, Pope, Johnson, Sheridan, Radcliffe. Some discussion of historical contexts.

ENG 541 – Native American Literature
Monday 6:15-8:55
Critical reading and discussion of a variety of Native American texts from oral and written traditions. Readings will be situated in a variety of cultural contexts, ranging from Columbian contact to contemporary popular culture. Applicable critical lenses may be employed in student reading and research, including postcolonial, poststructural and emerging Native American critical theory. Writers studied will vary and may include transcriptions of oral texts as well as twentieth- century writers like Zitkala-Sa, McNickle, Momaday, Silko, Young Bear, Erdrich, Ortiz, Harjo, and Alexie. Fulfills a theory requirement.

ENG 554 – Victorian: Rel. Doubt, Secularism, Nature

Tuesday 6:15-8:30
Charles Darwin’s writings about evolution led to an upheaval in Victorian thought about humankind’s origins and place in the universe. We will look at how writers reacted to this intellectual revolution in how to look at nature, whether pushing toward a more secular society or moving more firmly toward the affirmation of a Christian deity. The plurality of voices in the wake of evolutionary theory reaches out in numerous, unexpected ways, and we will see how social theory by the end of the century reacts to the doubts raised by scientific advances and discoveries.

Possible readings: Charles Darwin, Alfred Tennyson, John Ruskin, Karl Marx, Robert Browning, Christina Rossetti, Mary Kingsley, Oscar Wilde

ENG 565 – Composition Theory
Wednesday 6:15-8:30
A survey of historical and contemporary composition theories, practices, and pedagogical approaches. Students will conduct significant research on writing and the teaching of writing. Designed for writers and writing teachers.

ENG 576 – Contemporary Narrative
Wednesday 6:15-8:30
Any number of recent studies contend that our reading practices, strategies, and skills are shifting dramatically in light of the digital age (e.g., Carr’s “Is Google Making Us Stupid,”; Bauerlein’s The Dumbest Generation; Hayles’s How We Think). In this course, we’ll take stock of these contentions and use them as a staging ground on which to re-examine classic theoretical approaches to reading processes (i.e., affect, intertextuality, paratexts, meta-narratives, etc.). The collision of contemporary anxieties and canonical statements should allow us to flesh out this question: to what extent have our investments, expectations and skills as readers fundamentally changed (if at all), and how are contemporary narratives resisting, driving, or acceding to changes in the reader?

Possible narratives include: Perlman, Seven Types of Ambiguity; Lethem, Chronic City; Ferris, The Unnamed; Julavits, The Uses of Enchantment; Ross, Mr. Peanut; Harkaway, The Gone Away World; Yu, How to Live Safely in a Science Fiction Universe; von Trier, Melancholia; Mills, Beginners; Milch, Deadwood.

WRT 561 – Writing Poetry
Thursday 6:15-8:30
An in-depth workshop focusing on the practice of writing and critiquing poetry, both free verse and various poetic forms (such as ballad, sonnet, sestina, villanelle, and others). Some attention to poetics and publication. Fulfills writing requirement. May be
taken twice, if space allows, by written permission of instructor only.

WRT 563 – Creative Nonfiction
Monday 6:15-8:55
A workshop in writing creative nonfiction. The focus will be on the personal essay, memoir, first-person journalism, and/or lyrical essay. Readings in various nonfiction and theoretical modes will round out the course. Some attention to publication submission requirements. Fulfills writing requirement. May be taken twice, if space allows, by written permission of instructor only.

WRT 664 – Advanced Fiction
(not yet scheduled)
This advanced fiction workshop will focus primarily on student work in the form of short fiction and/or novels. We will study numerous elements of a fiction writer’s craft in order to explore the aesthetics of creative writing. Students will learn to recognize the different possibilities available when constructing a narrative, so that they may then make informed choices when producing work of their own. Prerequisite: WRT 564 or permission of instructor. Fulfills 600-level writing requirement. May be taken more than once for credit.


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