ENG 502: Introduction to English Studies — Traditions, Boundaries, and Change
Dr. Amy Lynch-Biniek | M 5:30-8:20 p.m.
This course is a revision of and replacement for ENG 502 Problems of Research in English. This course provides beginning graduate students an introduction to the history, traditions, issues, problems, and debates of English Studies. From the perspective of the outsider or newly initiated, the proliferation of areas of interest within English Studies can be confusing if not daunting. It is the goal of this course to familiarize new graduate students with the historical development of English Studies and the shape of English Studies today. Designed as one of the core courses for all English MA students, this course will include studies of the profession, experience in writing professional documents (such as conference proposals, abstracts, book reviews, thesis proposal), practical guidance in relevant research methods, and inquiry into the major theoretical and disciplinary issues and challenges of English Studies. This is a required course of all English MA students.
ENG 564: Cultural Studies Seminar in American Modernism
Dr. Andrew Vogel | W 5:30-8:20 pm
ENG 564 is designed to be a seminar in American Modernism that links cultural studies theory with research methods and writing practice. We’ll start the semester reading theory in cultural materialism (Marx, Gramsci, Foucault, Williams, New Historicism, and some Eco Criticism). We’ll then zoom into the modernist moment by studying American road stories written from the second half of the 19th century thru the middle of the twentieth century. Is there anything more quintessentially modern and American than the road story? We’ll look at writing by Walt Whitman, Sinclair Lewis, Emily Post (yes that one), Theodore Dreiser, and a bunch of folks you haven’t heard of yet but you’ll be glad you read. We’ll study maps, films, popular music, legislation, political rhetoric, and basically all the modes of discourse that contributed to the idea to build literally millions of miles of durable paved roads all over the face of our landscape. By and large what we’ll do is map the crystallization of one of America’s most definitive genres and, not incidentally, trenchant ideological presuppositions. By the end of the semester, you will have participated with our research community in uncovering new research that ought to set you up for possible publication down the road.
ENG 594: Victorian Poetry
Dr. Anne DeLong | T 6:00-8:50 p.m.
This course covers the broad range of poetry that flourished during the period from approximately 1832 to 1900 in England, the era generally known as the Victorian Age. Gypsies, runaway slaves, murderous madmen….these are some of the dynamic figures who populate Victorian poetry, alongside of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table. This graduate course in Victorian poetry expands the traditional canon of Tennyson, Arnold, and (Robert) Browning to include women poets, both the well-known (Elizabeth Barrett Browning, George Eliot, Christina Rossetti) and the lesser known (e.g. Michael Field—the collective pen name of Katherine Bradley and Edith Cooper, who were aunt and niece as well as lesbian lovers. Victorian poetry will be studied in relation to its social, historical, and cultural contexts. For example, women’s sentimental poetry of the period is examined in light of the cultural context of various forms of social oppression, including sexism, slavery, and poverty. Similarly, the epic poems, Tennyson’s Idylls of the King and R. Browning’s The Ring and the Book, while set in faraway milieus, reveal a great deal about Victorian-era politics, religion, and theories of criminality. Students will also read Victorian poetic theory and consider the definitions of poetry and the poet. Students will be required to deliver an oral report, write two papers, and participate in lively and engaging class discussions. The final project, in lieu of a final exam, can be completed as a literary critical research paper or as a teaching unit designed to be delivered to undergraduate or secondary students.