Fall 2016 Grad courses

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ENG 430: Rhetorical Traditions/Contemporary Renditions
Dr. Kevin Mahoney| M  6:00-8:50  pm

This course studies the histories of rhetoric as well as contemporary intersections and applications across disciplines. Depending on the particular interests of the professor, one or more specific area(s) such as media, popular culture, sciences, feminisms and gender studies, composition studies, literary theories, literacies, global issues, pedagogy, arts, and political discourse will be chosen for a more detailed study. Critical to the course are the writing assignments that allow students to examine issues in more depth and explore alternative rhetorical stances and situations.

ENG 455: Seminar in Major Modern Poets
Dr.Jonathan Shaw | TH  6:00-8:50  pm

A little less than a century ago, F.R. Leavis asserted that reading poetry makes us better people. It’s rare that I agree with Leavis, but in this case I do—resoundingly. Reading poems makes us better readers, better scholars, and better people. This fall semester’s version of Modern Poets focuses on contemporary poems in English, largely written by American authors, with an excursus or two to the British Isles. We’ll read adventurously and rigorously. We’ll contextualize the poems in relation to theories of contemporary poetics, socio-political history, and cultural production.

We’ll start with some discussion of the formalist tradition. We’ll read Marilyn Hacker’s astounding work from the early nineteen-seventies, and we’ll read the more recent neo-formalist poetry of Rafael Campo, from What the Body Told. We’ll move on to consider the poems of Paul Muldoon, in Horse Latitudes; Tracy K. Smith, in Life on Mars; and Steve Kistulentz, in Little Black Daydream; all of whom are creating innovative work in the lyric mode. We’ll also read some more startlingly experimental work: M. NourbeSe Philip’s word-banked poem Zong!; Tao Lin’s Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, which explores the odd poetry of flattened affect; and the surrealist delights of Harryette Mullen’s S*PeRM**K*T. Finally, we’ll consider two works that flirt with the idea of the epic: Kate Tempest’s Brand New Ancients, and Campbell McGrath’s long work, “The Bob Hope Poem.”

While poetry will dominate our reading (and what could be better?) we’ll read some critical and theoretical prose, by Muldoon, Jay Parini, Marjorie Perloff, Amy Robbins, Mary Gallagher, and likely some others. Two shorter papers and one long one. One of the shorter papers can be replaced by a sheaf of your own poems.

ENG 575: Seminar in Literary Criticism
Dr. John Ronan | T 6:00-8:50 p.m.

In this semester’s version of the course, we will examine connections between literature, philosophy, history, and politics by reading theoretical texts produced primarily, though not exclusively, in the United States and Europe during the past 100 years. Over the course of the semester, we will move from works associated with Formalism, New Criticism, and Deconstruction to recent interventions in the fields of Postcolonial Criticism, Critical Race Theory, Gender Studies, and Queer Theory. Throughout, we will apply what we have learned to literary texts.

ENG 587: English Renaissance Literature
Dr. Jennifer Forysth | W 6:o0-8:50 p.m.

Our taste for everything from dystopian fiction to the supernatural to wicked satire to bloody horror finds its roots in the Renaissance. And although Shakespeare (who has his own course, so we won’t be reading him here) has certainly helped to shape our modern preferences, he was just one of a number of brilliant authors who were all celebrated for different accomplishments at the time; unfortunately, many of those other authors’ works largely go unread today. In this class, we will fire our imaginations with a tantalizing selection of romantic, heroic, and macabre works from these neglected masterpieces across multiple genres.

In addition to weekly readings of primary texts, students will write a number of informal writing responses, take turns sharing their research with the class, and design and compose term projects. These larger projects may, depending on a combination of interests and skill sets, be on the traditional side or be more innovative. There are many fantastic opportunities to present Renaissance papers at graduate conferences, for instance, and various publication opportunities for academic or pedagogically-based works on non-Shakespearean texts also exist, so conference-length papers and short journal articles may be attractive possibilities. However, we’ll also be exploring many of the current innovations in Renaissance digital humanities, so contributing to these initiatives or developing new ones is also a possibility.

ENU 405: Teaching Writing
Dr. Patricia Pytleski | W 6:00-8:50 p.m.
Teaching Writing is open to graduate students and advanced undergraduates. Conducted as a workshop, this course explores what it means to be effective teachers of composition and ways in which to enhance writing skills in English classes in general. Class content focuses on literacy development, teaching writing as a process, assigning, responding to, and evaluating written products, and teaching writing for the 21st century. Issues of race, class, and gender and their impact on the ability to be effective teachers and mentors will also be examined.


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