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Fall 2011

COURSES: Fall 2011

For all registration dates and deadlines, see the GC academic calendar.

To view detailed course descriptions click here or click on the faculty name in the grid below.

Register on Record: CRN 15500 (If you ROR you must also register for WIUs)

Weighted Instructional Units: CRN 1550X (the last digit is the value of credits you need to bring you up to 7 credits).

For Dissertation Supervision click here

Room assignments subject to change


  Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday
11:45-1:45 Chuh
Time and...
(Narr, Rep,
Ident, Being)
Lit After
"Lit": US Fic
Since 1989
Thry & Prac
of Lit

2:00-4:00   Koestenbaum
Desire to

Film and
Invention of
the Human
(ends at 5:30)
Rom Aesth
& Affect

Readings in
Af Am Lit &
Cult Crit
Pass, & Hum
Erly Mod Eng

Am Aesth:
Fact of
4:15-6:15 Chuh
and Blackness
in US Law &

19th c. Brit
Novel in


Early English


and Melville


Cloth Cult
Erly Mod
Italy and
6:30-8:30 Yood
Res Meth in
Writ & Rhet

Rep,Cont, &
Tra: Erly
Mod Cult Mem
Literacy &

Conscious &
Lit Exp

Ammm Fic
& the 1930s

Inher & Lib:
Hist, Schlsp
& Poet Influ

Courses listed alphabetically by instructor


ENGL 80200. “Inheritance & Liberation: History, Scholarship, & the Poetics of Influence.” Ammiel Alcalay. 2/4 credits. Thursdays 6:30PM-8:30PM. [CRN 15546].
In the process of making knowledge active, we will look at scholarship as an intervention in the world of experience through a research approach to primary texts. How can one begin to imagine and formulate a context fitting to our present historical and cultural moment? How far afield should one go to seek useful and liberating conceptual models? What kind of a bibliography might one construct around a work in order to make its context legible? What kinds of knowledge are required to edit a text or prepare a critical edition? In approaching such questions, we will dislodge ourselves from some of the constraints imposed by disciplinary boundaries and “presentist” notions of theoretical approaches. While grounding ourselves in the practices of textual scholarship and the process of cultivating publishable archival projects, we will explore conceptual models from various disciplines as we consider the relationship of evidence and imagination, authority and judgment.

Our initial context will take into account legacies of the national security state in the sphere of global decolonization. We will consider propaganda and communication, the growth of academic and specialized knowledge, and responses elicited in post-WWII North American culture, particularly those centered around and growing out of what have come to be called the Beat movement and the New Americans, both poets and prose-writers. Our approach will be very specific, considering a precise chronology that places writers in relation to each other; for example, Diane di Prima, Joanne Kyger, Amiri Baraka, John Wieners, John Rechy, and Henry Dumas were all born in 1934. Thus, one might consider the relationship of Dinners & Nightmares (di Prima), The Tapestry & the Web (Kyger), The System of Dante’s Hell (Baraka), The Hotel Wentley Poems (Wieners), City of Night (Rechy), and Knees of a Natural Man (Dumas), as responses to and in a particular time. In mapping a literary history, we will also map worlds of consciousness as our aim is to grasp how contexts are created and connections forged in the process of transmission, influence, discovery, and rediscovery, in, and for, the present.

There will be a series of common texts, both primary/literary (poets and prose-writers associated with both Beat, New American and associated labels), and conceptual/theoretical (may include texts like George Kubler’s Shape of Time, Eric Havelock’s Preface to Plato, and Keith Basso’s Wisdom Sits in Places). We will look at specific examples of exegesis: Stephen Fredman and Grant Jenkins’s annotations to Edward Dorn’s Gunslinger, for instance. We will also explore a wide array of interviews and transcribed lectures, and the previous Lost & Found projects. In last year’s seminar, we found ourselves collectively editing two lectures by Diane di Prima, published in the Lost & Found series. At a certain point a group of students organized themselves into a committee to transcribe a lecture by Robert Duncan, also published in the series. Without imposing a particular project at the outset, the success of that transcription project suggests further work that we might collectively undertake during the semester. Regardless, the intention is for each student to read widely, take on a text or author whose sources and parameters will be researched and reported on, and engage in archival work of some kind. Each of these projects will assume a form fitting the matter at hand and become part of the common vocabulary of the class, with an emphasis on the kind of “generational plotting” given above and extending backwards into various sources. Part of this emphasis will be to fulfill Robert Duncan’s mandate: ‘an end to masterpieces, a beginning of testimony.’

Please feel free to make inquiries ( as some of our reading will be determined by particular interests.


ENGL 86400.  “Asianness and Blackness in U.S. Law and Literature.” Kandice Chuh. 2/4 credits. Mondays 4:15PM-6:15PM. (cross-listed with ASCP 81500). [CRN 15547].
This seminar brings together two distinguishable literary historical traditions and legal genealogies of racialization referred to by the constructs, “Asianness” and “Blackness.”  Questions at the core of this course include: In what ways does comparative racialization illuminate the legal and cultural processes of U.S. national identity formation?  How do Asian American and African American literatures articulate or respond to different processes of racialization and national identity formation?  How do they speak across such differences?  What are the exigencies for comparative approaches to the study of race and national identity?  How might such approaches alter the field imaginaries by which American literature is apprehended?  We’ll read both primary and secondary literary and legal texts as points of entry into engaging such questions.  Students taking the course for 2 credits will be asked to produce an annotated bibliography as their major course assignment.  Students taking the course for 4 credits will be asked to produce a series of short writings in addition to a 15-20 page seminar paper.


ENGL 80600. “Time and…(Narrative, Representation, Identity, Being).” Kandice Chuh.  2/4 credits. Mondays 11:45AM-1:45PM. [CRN 15548].
This course responds to and engages with the recent resurgence of critical interest in time.  From the relationship of time to questions of human ontogeny, to the ways in which temporal protocols organize critical practices, to the ways that narrative and representation operate in and/or themselves theorize time, it is and has been everywhere present.  We’ll try in this seminar to grapple with time and its significance.  Readings will include work by Lee Edelman; Paul Ricoeur; Martin Heidegger; Elizabeth Freeman; Jose Munoz; Elizabeth Grosz; J. Jack Halberstam; Jonathan Gil Harris; Walter Benjamin; and Bruno Latour among others.  Students taking the course for 2 credits will be asked to present to the class analysis of a primary literary or other aesthetic text that itself theorizes time.  Students taking the course for 4 credits will be asked to produce a series of short writings in addition to a 15-20 page seminar paper.


ENGL 87400. “Film and the Invention of the Human.” Morris Dickstein. 2/4 credits. Tuesdays 2:00PM-5:30PM. (cross-listed with FSCP). [CRN 15549].
This course takes inspiration from the celebrated line by the director/actor Jean Renoir in The Rules of the Game: “The really terrible thing is that everyone has his reasons.” Renoir is referring ruefully to the mixed, ambiguous character of human motives and morals, as well as the importance of seeing things from the point of view of the other people - not demonizing them or blocking off our understanding of them. In art this quality is often thought of as Shakespearean. Keats called it Negative Capability and Harold Bloom described it hyperbolically as Shakespeare’s “invention of the human.” This kind of empathy, with its insight into character and refusal to judge people too harshly or prematurely, is often thought to be the basic gift of the genuine novelist. Yet one of the great achievements of film is that it developed new techniques for portraying the most intimate and fundamental human experiences: joy and sorrow; love and loss; childhood and maturity; illness, aging, and death. Close-ups and reaction shots, for example, offered new ways of portraying intense feeling. The human face became a map of the interior life, the actor’s voice an instrument different from how it was used in the theater. This course will trace the development of what might be called a cinema of empathy, using examples from different periods and from varied cultural situations.

Despite these disparities, this kind of human-interest film has some typical elements. It tends to avoid the formulaic elements of genre and stereotype so common in commercial moviemaking. Its slice-of-life aesthetic leans to ordinary rather than extraordinary characters and situations, and it has served as a potent technique for exposing serious social problems. It sometimes deploys at least the appearance of improvisation to bolster an all-important sense of authenticity and verisimilitude. It de-emphasizes plot and focuses on character, leaning to “round” rather than “flat” characters, zeroing in on the individual’s mixed motives and on complex shadings of moral ambiguity. But it tends to do so in an understated manner, dramatizing experiences in ways more recognizably human by avoiding melodrama and sentimentality. Such strategies are also typical of great novels, but films have developed their own visual grammar for achieving these effects. The course will begin with two early masters of cinematic emotion, Jean Vigo (L’Atalante) and Charlie Chaplin (City Lights). We’ll then turn to one of their greatest successors, Renoir, beginning with La Chienne and Boudu Saved from Drowning, along with some parallel Hollywood films, including Leo McCarey’s Make Way for Tomorrow, a moving story of an aging couple discarded by their grown children.

Other examples of this humanist cinema will come from postwar Italian Neorealism (Rossellini, De Sica), the French New Wave (especially Truffaut), Indian cinema (Satyajit Ray, including the Apu trilogy), Japanese cinema (late Ozu), and American independent cinema (especially Cassavetes). The course will conclude with some more recent versions of this kind of filmmaking, such as Canadian director Atom Egoyan’s The Sweet Hereafter and Paul Schrader’s Affliction, both based on novels by Russell Banks. It’s crucial that many of these directors knew and admired each other and were directly influenced by each others’ example. Ray, for example, worked with Renoir and was inspired by De Sica’s Bicycle Thieves. Renoir admired both Chaplin and McCarey, while McCarey’s film certainly influenced Ozu’s Tokyo Story. There will also be readings and reports focused on literary work closely related to this film tradition, including texts by Tolstoy and Chekhov.

Requirement for the course will include a term paper, an oral report, and weekly home film-viewing.


ENGL 91000. “Dissertation Workshop.” Marc Dolan. 0 credits. Thursdays 11:45AM-1:45PM. [CRN 15551].
Open to level 2 and 3 students in the English Program only.  This seminar covers techniques of dissertation writing, research, analysis, and documentation.  Students at the prospectus stage or the chapter stage will work on their own projects and read each other’s work under the professor’s guidance.  In addition, the course explores avenues toward publishing students’ work in scholarly journals or as book-length monographs.


ENGL 86400. “Literature after 'Literature': US Fictions since 1989.” Marc Dolan. 2/4 credits. Tuesdays 11:45AM-1:45PM. (cross-listed with ASCP 82000). [CRN 15550].
In this course, we will attempt to inductively form hypotheses as to when “contemporary literature” began.  (Surely not way back in 1945, when even the parents of many current graduate students were not yet born.) So that the task is not too daunting, we will restrict ourselves to fiction from the United States, although nonfiction and/or non-US works may obviously be highly relevant to our concerns.  The reading list will be drawn from the twenty-one books listed below, one from each year from 1990 forward.  After consultation in late spring between the instructor and early registrants, some books will be read during the summer in preparation for the course and some will be read during the fall course itself.  If we have time, we may also read Stephen King’s 11/22/63, which is due to be published in fall 2011.  In our deliberations, we will try to be comprehensive without being reductive, not merely limiting post-1989 U.S. fiction to just postmodernism or just the increased mainstream acceptance of previously marginalized literatures or even (God forbid) just books written by people in New York City. 

Course requirements will include: active, lively, open participations in class discussions; a brief presentation on the existing scholarship on an author and/or work we read in common; a bibliography, longer presentation, and 20-to-30-page essay on a work of U.S. fiction published since 1989 written by an author that we are not reading in common.

Readings:  Paul Auster, Leviathan (1992); Michael Chabon, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay (2000); Douglas Coupland, Generation X (1991); Don DeLillo, Underworld (1997); Junot Diaz, The Short Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (2007); E. L. Doctorow, The March (2005); Louise Erdrich, The Plague of Doves (2009); Jeffrey Eugenides, Middlesex (2002); Jonathan Franzen, The Corrections (2001); Lauren Groff, The Monsters of Templeton (2008); Ha Jin, War Trash (2004); Edward P, Jones, The Known World (2003); Jhumpa Lahiri, The Interpreter of Maladies (1999); Cormac McCarthy, The Crossing (1994); Toni Morrison, Paradise (1998); Daniyal Mueenuddin, In Other Rooms, Other Wonders (2010); Tim O’Brien, The Things They Carried (1990); Richard Powers, The Echo Maker (2006); Philip Roth, Operation Shylock (1993); Neal Stephenson, The Diamond Age (1995); David Foster Wallace, Infinite Jest (1996).


ENGL 81100. “Repression, Continuity, and Trauma:  Early Modern Cultural Memory.” Martin Elsky. Mondays 6:30PM-8:30PM. [CRN 15552].
We will begin with an introduction to cultural memory studies, with special focus on the construction of a coherent personal and social present through retrieving the past.  We will focus primarily on two concepts: the dialectic of forgetting and remembering, repressing and recovering in the formation of memory in the present; and the recovery of past events that can either be integrated or resist integration into an historical narrative.  Using these concepts, we will explore the role of memory mostly in early modern England considered as a time of uncertainty, ambivalence, and catastrophe, conditions that produced ambiguous national and religious identity borders. We will begin with the period’s greatest anxiety-driven memory project, the recovery of Roman antiquity.  We will examine the deep ambivalence of the principal initiator of the project, Petrarch, especially in his contemplation of ruins. The course will then move to classical imitation in early modern England in the context of the recovered and repressed memory of native Roman tyranny in Britain as well as other ethnic pasts in Britain—Celtic, Gothic, and Norman.

The second half of the course will turn to the period’s other major memory project, religious memory. We will focus on narratives of trauma memory during England’s Catholic and Protestant reigns. We will consider how Catholics and Protestants remembered their own past in relation to each other during times persection. We will end this half of the course by considering the formation of English identity through memory of the scriptural and medieval Jewish past, including Jewish London. The course will conclude with the period’s iconic meditation on archaeology and the recovery of the past, Thomas Browne’s Urn Burial. Readings will also include Petrarch’s travel letters, Shakespeare, the poetry of Ben Jonson and George Herbert, histories of England, Catholic and Protestant poetry and pamphlets, and Stow’s topographical description of London.


ENGL 82100. “Clothing Cultures of Early Modern Italy and England.” William Fisher and Eugenia Paulicelli. Thursdays 4:15PM-6:15PM. (cross-listed with RSCP 83100 and WSCP 81000). [CRN 15553].
This course will examine the clothing culture of early modern Italy and England. During this period, “fashion” was much broader than a simple notion of dress; it could refer to a wide variety of things like behavior and manners, and even to national character and identity.  Thus, fashion became an important institution of modernity. This course will investigate how and where fashion came to the fore, establishing itself as a threat to morality and religious belief, and serving as a vehicle for gender, class and ethnic definitions. We will draw on a broad interdisciplinary framework and discuss sources from both the English and Italian literary traditions (although all the reading will be in English). We will examine texts from many different genres, including costume books, plays, poetry, novellas, treatises, and satires. We will also be analyzing early modern visual and material culture. We will ultimately consider how dress (and other types of ornamentation that covered the body) became a cause for concern for the Church and State. These institutions sought to regulate individual vanity and any desire to transgress the accepted societal codes.
• The sumptuary laws from the period that prescribed the types and styles of fabrics that could be worn by persons of various ranks.
•The importance of clothing and fashion in court culture, especially as discussed by Castiglione’s The Courtier.
•The significance of clothing and accessories in public space. In hierarchical environments, but also the street, rituals, parades, spectacles etc.
•The significance of costumes on the early modern stage, both symbolically and materially.
 •The role that accessories of dress like the codpiece and farthingale played in materializing masculinity and femininity, as well as the cultural context and significance of gendered crossdressing (both inside and outside the theatrical context).
•The use of cosmetics, and especially their relationship to the formation of racial ideals.
•The practice of forcing members of religious groups to wear specific forms of dress (Shylock, for example, mentions his “Jewish gabardine” in Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice).
 •The erotics of dress in love poetry, and in everyday life.
English texts such as William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night; Ben Jonson’s Volpone; the poetry of Robert Herrick; polemical pamphlets about crossdressing such as Hic Mulier and Haec Vir.
Italian texts such as Baldassare Castiglione’s The Courtier; excerpts from Cesare Vecellio’s Habiti Antichi et Moderni di tutto il mondo and Giacomo’s Franco’s Habiti; Pietro Aretino’s The School of Whoredom, Arcangela Tarabotti’s, Antisatira


ENGL 79500. “Theory and Practice of Literary Scholarship.” David Greetham. 4 credits. Wednesdays 11:45AM-1:45PM. [CRN 15554].
This course takes up questions both practical and theoretical about what it means to do scholarship in the discipline of “English,” and even attempts a definition of the field. Theoretically, we consider what it means to study a national language and literature that has become global in its reach; we examine the boundaries of the discipline, how it intersects with but also is differentiated from other disciplines and interdisciplinary fields (and thus the concept of “disciplinarity” itself); we consider how varied theories of language, text, narrative, poetics, author, gender, race, psyche, society, culture, history, identity, politics (etc.) define, in sometimes complementary but also sometimes contradictory ways, the discipline as it has emerged (and changed) since its first being added to the university curriculum as a “vernacular” version of “classical” studies. Practically, we take up the question of how we define objects of inquiry within “English” studies, how we research such topics, how we identify the main debates currently circulating around them, how we develop new knowledge—in sum, we consider nitty-gritty questions crucial to pursuing graduate and professional work in literary scholarship. The course follows four main lines of inquiry, examining 1) the historical, institutional context of the discipline, 2) archival and bibliographical work, 3) concepts of textuality, and 4) theoretical approaches.

Requirements: Preparations for all class discussions and several in-class presentations. The final paper is similarly flexible: students may produce one of three possibilities—a scholarly “edition” of a short work embodying the textual principles discussed in the course; an introduction to such an edition or collection of works, focusing on the archival and other cultural issues involved; a critical essay founded on the archival, bibliographical, and textual approaches explored. I am also open to other methods of integrating the “scholarly” and “critical” components of the course, including work on a topic that might later become the focus of a dissertation.


ENGL 86600. “Postcolonialism and/as Transnationalism: Discourses of Nation and Beyond.” Peter Hitchcock. 2/4 credits. Wednesdays 4:15PM-6:15PM. [CRN 15555].
Most historical forms of decolonization have been based on nationalism and anti-imperialist formations of nation.  It is hardly surprising, therefore, that much postcolonial theory has debated the role of the nation as concept in political and cultural discourses of decolonization.  Clearly, the idea of nation has been a crucial pivot in imagining worlds beyond imperial and colonial epistemes but the historical record also shows that nationhood has been far from unproblematic for the peoples and cultures of the global south.  Will “nation” continue to define the crucial lineaments of postcolonial experience and expression?  To what extent does nation represent an impasse for decolonization from extra-territorial hegemony?  Among discourses of global culture and world literature, is postcolonialism as a national discourse simply effete?

This course will examine the historical claims of nation on postcoloniality not to excuse its limitations but precisely to forward the notion that in its literature and theory, postcolonialism also offers profound transnational implications for the study of culture.  For instance, we will consider whether the advent of “failed states” is less a verdict on postcolonial configurations but rather a symptom of imaginative challenges in the ways we understand what transnationalism can mean in the current conjuncture.  The course will begin with key postcolonial statements on nation in theory and culture.  We will then move to a series of case studies where we consider the “mixed messages” of nation in the experience of postcolonialism.  A third trajectory will then take up the question of transnationalism as coterminous with postcolonial expression in fiction and theory.  Students will be encouraged to explore their own suggestions in this regard.  In general the aim is not only to introduce students to vital statements on postcolonial study but also to underline that the transnational valences of postcolonialism require sustained elaboration within the theory and practice of otherwise “global,” “planetary” or “world” critique.

Writers/theorists will include, among others: Said, Bhabha, Spivak, Anderson, Cheah, Shih, Lazarus, Lionnet, Ahmad, Glissant, Ranciere, Balibar, Zizek, Butler, Farah, Rizal, Iweala, Alaidy, Djebar, Chamoiseau, Kadare, and Krog.

Course requirements: a class presentation and a term paper to be discussed with the instructor.


ENGL 84300. “The Nineteenth-Century British Novel in Context.” Anne Humpherys. 2/4 credits. Mondays 4:15PM-6:15PM. (cross-listed with WSCP 81000) [CRN 15556].       
This course will modify the traditional survey of the British novel by concentrating on clusters of novels that were published usually within months of each other.  We’ll spend two weeks on each cluster, everybody reading the same novel the first week, and then having a choice among the rest of the cluster for the second week. We’ll begin with the year 1818 which saw publication of Jane Austen (Persuasion), Walter Scott (Heart of the Midlothian), and Mary Shelley (Frankenstein), move on to the annus mirabilis, 1847, with novels by Emily, Anne, and Charlotte Brontë, Thackeray (Vanity Fair) , Disraeli (Tancred ), and Dickens (Dombey and Son which begins serialization). The next really significant single year is 1859 with novels by George Meredith (Ordeal of Richard Feverel), George Eliot (Adam Bede), Dickens (Tale of Two Cities), and Anthony Trollope (Can You Forgive Her? the first Palliser novel) not to mention Tennyson’s Idylls of the King, Samuel Smiles’s Self Help, John Stuart Mill’s “On Liberty,” and Darwin’s Origin of Species plus a few other poems and non-fiction works. The cluster of novels that appeared in 1860-2 that defined the sensation novel include those by Wilkie Collins (Woman in White 1860) and (No Name 1862), Ellen Wood (East Lynne 1861), Dickens (Great Expectations 1861), and Elizabeth Braddon (Lady Audley’s Secret 1862). Charles Reade, an important if now forgotten sensation novelist, published the most popular historical novel of the Victorian period during this same time period: The Cricket on the Hearth (1861).  The 1870s saw novels published by Margaret Oliphant (Phoebe Junior) and George Eliot (Daniel Deronda) in 1876; Henry James (Daisy Miller) and Thomas Hardy (Return of the Native) in 1878, and George Meredith  (The Egoist) in 1879. In the 1880s Meredith published Diana of the Crossways (1885) while Thomas Hardy and Henry James published major works in 1886: The Mayor of Casterbridge and The Princess Casimassima. The 1880s also saw two novels on religious subjects that used to be canonized texts: Walter Pater’s Marius the Epicurean in 1885 and Mary Ward’s Robert Elsmere in 1888. The course will conclude with yet another annus mirabilis, 1891,in which Thomas Hardy, Oscar Wilde, Arthur Conan Doyle, and George Gissing published major works: Tess of the D’urbervilles, Portrait of Dorian Gray, the Sherlock Holmes stories, and New Grub Street. Obviously we won’t cover all these novels (and there are others we could add); the class will have some choices.

The requirements for the course will depend on the size of the class. Ideally every student will give a short oral report contextualizing one of the novels read by everybody which will then be written up as a 8-10 page paper (the length of a 20 minute “conference” presentation), and on the days when we take up the other novels in the cluster, everybody will say a few words about the novel they read in relation to the text all read. There will be a final paper of around 20 pages in which the writer focuses on some of the issues that have arisen in the course in the context of at least two related novels.


ENGL 76000. “High Modernisms.” Nico Israel. 2/4 credits. Thursdays 11:45AM-1:45PM. [CRN 15557].
This seminar explores the project of modernism in literature and visual art during one of its most inventive, assertive periods, 1919-25, and charts changing critical responses to that project over the course of the subsequent near-century.  Focus of the class is on the triumvirate of works published in 1922—Joyce’s Ulysses, Eliot’s The Waste Land, and Pound’s early Cantos—but we will also investigate slightly earlier and later literary, philosophical and speculative works, including Woolf’s To the Lighthouse, Wittgenstein’s Tractatus, Yeats’s A Vision, the Vorticist Manifesto and maybe Williams’ Spring and All. In addition, we will read the work of some of the chief antagonists and proponents of literary high modernism, from Wyndham Lewis and Georg Lukács to Hugh Kenner and Theodor Adorno.  Some of the terms of debate over the durability of Anglophone literary modernism include its difficulty, perceived elitism and failure to engage with material social relations (or outright reactionary-seeming politics).  Around the middle of the century, among both New Critics and then with the emerging Yale School, these aspects of modernism were at times viewed as its primary virtues. More recent work, first in new historicism and then in the so-called “New Modernist Studies” (as well as in that of philosophers Alain Badiou and Jacques Rancière) has returned to these terms of debate and theorized them anew, exploring the temporalities and geographies of modernism (or modernisms) and its “popularity,” and complicating its perceived political stance and its links to and critique of modernity.  Our course will engage this revision by analyzing some key artworks and art projects produced in this period, including Tatlin’s never-built Monument to the Third International (“Tatln’s Tower”), Duchamp’s Rotoreliefs and Anémic Cinéma, and Breton’s Surrealist Manifesto, and exploring the work of some of the major twentieth century theorists of the visual, from Walter Benjamin through Clement Greenberg to Rosalind Krauss and Thierry Du Duve.  By analyzing the asymmetries between Anglophone literary high modernism and European art historical high modernism, the course will attempt to come to terms with the projects’ uncertain legacies.

Oral presentation, 2000-word midterm paper, 4000 word final paper.


ENGL 86000. “Aestheticism, Decadence, Modernism, 1880-1930.” Richard Kaye. 2/4 credits. Wednesdays 6:30PM-8:30PM. (cross-listed with WSCP 81000). [CRN 15558].
This class explores the relation between the aestheticist and decadent movements and their crucial determination of modernist aesthetics. Beginning with the fin de siècle, we will consider works by Hardy, Wilde, James, and Huysmans. The late-Victorian period was a time of pervasive fears and fantasies dominated by such figures as the New Woman, the urban detective, the homosexual bachelor, the Anarchist, the Oriental, the overreaching colonialist, the self-preening aesthete, the vampire, and the femme fatale. In the diverse writings of Pater, Olive Schreiner, Vernon Lee, Symonds, and Wilde, aestheticism emerged as a theoretically coherent and varied movement absorbed in exquisite surfaces and useless artifice. For decadent writers and artists, scientific theories of “degeneration” could be recalibrated as erotically charged, non-teleological experiments, while Freud drew on “decadent” scenarios for his proto-modernist narratives of hysteria and sexual disorder. Women writers, meanwhile, struggled to find a place within the male-defined coteries of aestheticism and decadence, a theme dramatized in James’ tale “The Author of Beltraffio,,” narrated by a decadent acolyte, in which the aestheticist project must be sequestered from female readers, who can only misconstrue it as immoral. Yet there were also alliances between male decadents and their feminist colleagues; Wilde promoted Schreiner's "Story of an African Farm," saluting its bold challenge to realist conventions as well as its symbolist exploration of colonialist malaise.

In the class’s second part we will explore how the fin outlasted the siècle, maintaining an intense afterlife in the Anglo-American modernist writing of Yeats, James, Eliot, Joyce, Lawrence, and Djuna Barnes.  The morbidity, subjectivism, sexual experimentalism, and excesses of literary technique characteristic of 1890s sensibility foment modernist revisions. Wilde's "Picture of Dorian Gray," with its hero who refuses to "develop," inspires modernist counter-bildungsromans. We consider Joyce’s “Stephen Hero,” an early version of “Portrait of the Artist as Young Man,” arguably a satire of aestheticism as well as a novel with an explicitly Paterian protagonist. The keenly observing, detached bachelor familiar from James also narrates Rilke’s “The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge” (arguably the first modernist novel) and forms the paralyzed solitary consciousness of Eliot’s “Prufrock.” We will consider, too, Eliot’s absorption in the figure of the Jew as an emblem of a malevolent decadent cosmopolitanism versus Djuna Barnes’ depiction of the decadent Jew in her novel “Nightwood” as a more positively transformative cultural agent. In Lawrence's "The Woman Who Rode Away," we discover a modernist investment in a savage, socially reactionary primitivism.  Intensifying our class’s focus on productively murky transitions, we will consider the discord between Edwardian realists, with their stress on social and historical topicality, and modernist experimenters obsessed with subjectivity and interiority, a rift made famous in Virginia Woolf’s essay “Mr. Bennett and Mrs. Brown.” 

Yet this breech may have been overstated.  Our class concludes with James’ “The Golden Bowl,” a novel of twinned adulteries that is one of James’ most topical, aesthetically difficult, and decadent works of fiction. Among the texts we will read: Hardy, “Jude the Obscure,” Huysmans, “Against Nature”; Wilde, “The Picture of Dorian Gray”, “Salome”;  Schreiner, “Story of an African Farm,” Huysmans, “Against Nature,” Freud, “Dora: A Case of Hysteria”; Conrad, “Heart of Darkness,” Stoker, “Dracula”; Joyce, “Stephen Hero,” Yeats, “The Celtic Twilight”; Lawrence, “The Woman Who Rode Away”; Eliot “Selected Poetry;” James, “The Golden Bowl”; Barnes, “Nightwood,” Showalter, ed., “Daughters of Decadence.” We will read relevant critical and theoretical texts in the fields of Victorian, modernist, New Formalist, Feminist, Psychoanalytic, Gender, and Queer Theory as well as critical texts such as Symons, “The Decadent Movement in Literature”; Mario Praz, “The Romantic Agony,” George Bataille, “Literature and Evil”; Richard Ellmann, “The Uses of Decadence”, Richard Gilman, “Decadence: The Strange Life of an Epithet”; Linda Dowling, “The Decadent and The New Woman”; Michael Riffaterre, “Decadent Paradoxes,” Leo Bersani, “The Culture of Redemption,“ Regenia Gagnier, “Individualism, Decadence, and Globalization.” 

A mid-term paper and a final paper that may be drawn from the mid-term essay.


ENGL 86400. “The Desire to Write.” Wayne Koestenbaum. 2/4 credits. Tuesdays 2:00PM-4:00PM. [CRN 15559].
Imagine that we could separate “the desire to write” from the object (novel, poem, story, essay, tract, etc.) thus produced; imagine that this desire demanded its own itinerary of explanation.  Imagine that, by interrogating the desire, we intensified its magic.  Imagine a shadow canon—the literature of “the desire to write,” a tradition of strange artifacts infused with triumphant pathos.  Imagine a seminar devoted to three such works—odd monuments delineating and inciting “the desire to write.”

Our itinerary will begin with Roland Barthes’s The Preparation of the Novel, lecture notes from his last course at the Collège de France, before his death in 1980; the course revealed his attempts to write a novel that never came to fruition, unless we consider The Preparation of the Novel (ostensibly a work of literary theory) to be a disguised novel.  Slowly we will retraverse Barthes’s seminar, in a séance-like act of homage, of glad mimicry.  Next, we will study Gertrude Stein’s A Novel of Thank You, which, despite its title, is not exactly a novel:  instead, it is a wish-for-a-novel, or a gesture of gratitude toward the genre, “novel,” for giving her the liberty to ignore its codes.Stein uses words with an emphatic certainty that gleefully overshadows content.  And, because content seems to disappear, we are left (a happy state of abandonment!) with the material manifestations of the desire that impelled her hand.  Our seminar will conclude withthe protean Fernando Pessoa’s The Book of Disquiet, a posthumously published collection of fragments,supposedly written by his alter ego Bernardo Soares, an assistant bookkeeper in Lisbon.  Pessoa:  “My semiheteronym Bernardo Soares…appears whenever I’m tired or sleepy, when my powers of ratiocination and my inhibitions are slightly suspended; that prose is a constant daydreaming.”  (We will read Barthes and Pessoa in English translation.)

In lieu of a final paper, students will write, each week, a two-page essay, in response to specific, idiosyncratic assignments.


ENGL 80700. “Medieval Conversions.” Steven F. Kruger. 2/4 credits. Thursdays 4:15PM-6:15PM. [CRN 15560].
This course examines the significance of religious conversion for medieval literature and culture. We will read a wide range of medieval work in which conversion experience is at the center, drawing from such genres as autobiography, saint’s life, dream vision, miracle of the Virgin, drama, lyric, romance, and from such authors as Hermann/Judah, Hildegard of Bingen, Dante, Chaucer, Langland, Gower, Margery Kempe, Julian of Norwich, Lydgate, and Hoccleve. Though the main line of readings in the course will be medieval, we will work comparatively, considering how medieval texts reshape their predecessors (Acts of the Apostles, Augustine) and prepare for their successors (Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice, Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress, Fitzgerald’s Great Gatsby, Kushner’s Angels in America). We will also consider how a religious self is shaped by and shapes other categories of identity (gender, sexuality, race/ethnicity, class, age), and what happens to these other “parts” of one’s identity when a religious conversion occurs. Alongside primary texts, we will read a variety of theoretical and critical work that takes up conversionary experience, including scholarship that treats non-religious experiences that might nonetheless be useful for thinking about religious conversion (e.g., transgender theory). Here, we will also consider how the New Testament writings of the convert Paul have recently become central to a complex line of thought represented by Agamben, Badiou, Boyarin, Taubes, and others. Students will complete semester-long projects that include both oral and written components; non-medievalists are encouraged to work comparatively, bringing material from their primary fields of interest into conversation with the course material.


ENGL 71600. “Bodies, Passions, and Humors in Early Modern England.” Tanya Pollard. 2/4 credits. Thursdays 2:00PM-4:00PM. (cross-listed with WSCP 81000). [CRN 15561].
This course will examine how writers imagined and represented bodies in early modern England.  Conceptually, bodies changed dramatically in the period: the longstanding humoral model, inherited from the Greek physician Galen, was confronted with challenges from Vesalian anatomy, Paracelsan pharmacy, Harvey’s discovery of the circulation of the blood, and new illnesses and medicines introduced by international travel and trade.  Amid all these changes, bodies on page and stage were dissected, dismembered, drugged, displayed, disciplined, adorned, painted, and ravished.  We will examine how different genres represent these and other bodily states, with attention to the body’s relationship to the mind, the emotions, the environment, and literature itself.  Readings will include tragedies (probably including The Duchess of Malfi, The Revenger’s Tragedy, and Hamlet); comedies (probably including The Taming of the Shrew, Bartholomew Fair, and Volpone); and erotic epyllia (including Venus and Adonis and The Metamorphosis of Pigmalions Image); as well as selections from cookbooks and cosmetic manuals (such as Platt’s Delights for Ladies), antitheatrical polemics (including Gosson’s School of Abuse), and medical texts (such as Elyot’s The Castle of Helth, and Crooke’s Mikrocosmographia).  Assignments will include two presentations, several brief written responses, and a final paper.


ENGL 85500. “Readings in African American Literary and Cultural Criticism.” Robert Reid-Pharr. 2/4 credits. Wednesdays 2:00PM-4:00PM. (cross-listed with WSCP 81000 and ASCP 81500). [CRN 15562].
Focusing primarily on “space” and “performance”, this seminar will introduce students to some of the more significant recent critical and theoretical trends within the study of Black American literature and culture. Participants will be asked both if it is possible to produce a specifically black literary criticism and whether Black American identity is effected, manipulated, challenged or perhaps even erased within “peculiar” performative or spatial contexts.  At the same time, the course will examine how African American Studies intersects with and challenges Feminist Studies, Gay and Lesbian Studies, Ethnic Studies, and American Studies. Students will be asked to write several short papers during the course of the semester. They will also do at least one in class presentation. Texts that we will examine include: Daphne Brooks, Bodies in Dissent: Spectacular Performances of Race and Freedom, 1850 – 1910 (Duke, 2006); Susan Buck-Morris, Hegel, Haiti, and Universal History (U. Pittsburg, 2009); Tina Campt, Other Germans: Black Germans and the Politics of Race, Gender, and Memory in the Third Reich (U. Michigan, 2005); Darby English, How to See a Work of Art in Total Darkness (MIT, 2010); Nicole Fleetwood, Troubling Vision: Performance, Visuality and Blackness (U. Chicago, 2011);  Kevin Gaines, American Africans in Ghana: Black Expatriates in the Civil Rights Era (UNC, 2007); Paul Gilroy, On the Moral Economies of Black Atlantic Culture (Harvard, 2010); Andre Guridy; Forging Diaspora: Afro-Cubans and Afro-Americans in a World of Empire and Jim Crow (UNC, 2010); Walter Johnson, Soul by Soul: Life Inside the Antebellum Slave Market (Harvard, 2001); Tavia Nyong’o, The Amalgamation Waltz: Race, Performance, and the Ruse of Memory (U. Minnesota, 2009); Shane Vogel; The Scene of Harlem Cabaret; Race, Sexuality, Performance (U. Chicago, 2009); Penny von Eschen, Race Against Empire: Black Americans and Anti-Colonialism, 1937 – 57 (Cornell, 1997).


ENGL 75100. “Hawthorne and Melville.” David S. Reynolds. 2/4 credits. Wednesdays 4:15PM-6:15PM. (cross-listed with ASCP 82000). [CRN 15563].
A peak moment in American literary history was 1850-51, which saw the publication of two acknowledged masterworks, Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter and Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick.  This course assumes that you’ve read these novels fairly recently (if not, you can make them part of your summer reading) and uses them as reference points. The main gist of the class is to probe the “other” Hawthorne and Melville—the full range of their writings, spanning their careers and incorporating various genres.  Among Hawthorne’s works, we’ll read short fiction from Twice Told Tales and Mosses from an Old Manse as well as a number of his novels, including House of the Seven Gables, The Blithedale Romance, and The Marble Faun.  With Melville, we’ll start with his first novel, Typee, and go on to later works including Mardi, Pierre, The Confidence-Man, The Piazza Tales, Billy Budd, and samples of his poetry. Among the other primary texts we’ll explore are Melville’s letters to Hawthorne and his appreciative review of Mosses from an Old Manse, which attest to the exhilarating “shock of recognition” that Melville felt when he discovered Hawthorne.  The course probes the many literary, cultural, and political phenomena that fertilized the imagination of both writers.  A variety of critical approaches to Hawthorne and Melville are considered.  Course requirements include an oral report on selected criticism and a 15-page term paper.


ENGL 80200. “American Aesthetics: The Fact of Feeling” Joan Richardson. 2/4 credits. Thursdays 2:00PM-4:00PM. (cross-listed with ASCP 81500). [CRN 15564].
We will begin the term by revisiting A Natural History of Pragmatism: The Fact of Feeling from Jonathan Edwards to Gertrude Stein (Cambridge University Press 2007-pbk), coordinating that reading with the texts that are its subjects: selections from Jonathan Edwards (Personal Narrative and selections from sermons; selections from Ralph Waldo Emerson’s Essays and Lectures; William James’s The Varieties of Religious Experience, selections from The Principles of Psychology and Pragmatism; Henry James’s The Ambassadors; selections from Wallace Stevens’s poetry and prose; Gertrude Stein’s Melanctha and selections from The Making of Americans).  Rather than follow “the flat historic scale,” discussions will radiate from the materials as they engage the changing experience of time to culminate, finally, with a consideration of film and filmic techniques into the present, as exemplified, paradigmatically, by Christian Marclay’s “The Clock.”


ENGL 70800. “Early English Drama.” Michael Sargent. 2/4 credits. Tuesdays 4:15PM-6:15PM. [CRN 15565].
Recent work in the psychology and history of affect has begun to focus critical attention on the public spectacle of “medieval English drama”.  Recent documentary work, on other hand, has brought to the fore the observation that none of the surviving manuscripts of this “medieval” drama, in fact, dates from before the end of the fifteenth century (in what sense is it, then, “medieval”?), in copies whose relation to actual performance is often quite tenuous (is it, then “drama”?). In this course we will read a number of mystery, miracle and morality plays with an eye to the shifting construction of just what was “medieval English drama”, and to the social and ethical “reading” of these works – sometimes in the city streets, sometimes in a constructed playing-space (indoors or outdoors), and sometimes from books in the cells of hermit-monks vowed to perpetual silence.

We will read a selection of these texts in Middle and Early-Modern English (although we will start off with an edition in modern spelling): the York Corpus Christi cycle; the Towneley plays; selections (at least the “Mary Play”) from N-Town; selections from the Chester cycle; probably the e Museo “Burial” and “Resurrection”; the Digby “Conversion of St Paul”, “Mary Magdalen” and “Killing of the Children”; the Croxton “Sacrament”; the moralities “The Castle of Perseverance”, “Mankind” and “Wisdom”; and we will end with “Everyman”. There will also be free candy.


ENGL 79010. “Literacy and Conquest: Rhetorics of Domination and Resistance.” Ira Shor. 2/4 credits. Tuesdays 6:30PM-8:30PM. [CRN 15567].
A recent Supreme Court decision upheld a fundamentalist church’s extreme protests at burials of soldiers, where its anti-gay signs declare that deaths of young servicemen and women are God’s revenge on a nation tainted by tolerance of homosexuality. Outraged families of the dead sued to stifle the Church but a majority on the Court ruled in favor of its First Amendment rights. In doing so, Chief Justice Roberts acknowledged how hurtful and harmful words can be. The material impact of ‘mere words’ was confirmed in the immense uprising in Egypt which compelled the American-backed dictator Mubarak to surrender his 30-year reign. This revolt was impelled by digital activists who called for the original day of protest January 25 through Facebook, a tool supplied by the status quo and here used against it. Dominant power does confer on the dominant the power to dominate discourse, but opposition, like rust, never sleeps.

Recognition of discourse’s power to sustain or to undermine the status quo comes from many sources, historical and academic. One widely-read academic source in the last decade is Jared Diamond’s Guns, Germs, and Steel.  In that Pulitzer-winning text, a NY TIMES bestseller for years, Diamond argued for the history-changing impact of the three factors in the book’s title, but he said of writing  that it was “possibly the most important single invention of the last few thousand years.”(p.30) Diamond examined how European control of printed texts enabled its conquest of the Americas and its vast riches.  

However, despite Diamond’s compelling discussion of writing as a tool of conquest, the mere achievement of literacy confers no automatic power. For example, the Cherokees’ extraordinary invention of their own syllabary (ca.1820) enabled them to publish books, newspapers, and a tribal constitution in their own tongue. Yet, this discursive breakthrough did not save them from The Trail of Tears in 1837. A century later, the intense textuality of European Jews did not save them from the Nazi ovens, organized by a German nation whose universities had been models for American higher education. In Brazil, where a pre-revolutionary moment spread in the 1950s and 1960s, Paulo Freire developed a pedagogical discourse which fed into the democracy campaign, only to be arrested and exiled by a coup in 1964. Writing, texts, and speech, then, are rhetorical factors whose impacts are conditioned by the complex panorama of power relations. 
In this seminar, I will define rhetoric as directive frameworks which enable us to produce discourses for various contexts in practical shapes such as speech, writing, and printed or digital texts. Rhetoric, a productive guide for composing symbolic communication, generates discourses which can either confirm or challenge the way things are. The terms on which discourses function like this will be the subject of the seminar. Readings will be from Foucault, Bourdieu, Graff, Street, Ohmann, Pratt, Freire, Mignolo, Berlin, and others. 

ENGL 86000. “Consciousness and Literary Experiment.” Jason Tougaw. 2/4 credits. Tuesdays 6:30PM-8:30PM. [CRN 16148]
''On or about December 1910 human character changed,'' Virginia Woolf wrote in 1924. Woolf’s pithy statement has generated a great deal of debate, but it’s certainly true that the representation of character changed as Modernist writers experimented with literary forms to portray and examine the complexity and mystery of human consciousness. Nearly a century later, neurobiologist Antonio Damasio asked how “consciousness may be produced within the three pounds of flesh we call brain." Literary experiments like those of Woolf and her contemporaries have been asking versions of this grand question for at least a century. While nobody can answer it with any assurance, theorists from William James to Damasio have investigated the nature of consciousness through both empirical observation and philosophical theory, while writers from Virginia Woolf to Kazuo Ishiguro have experimented with literary forms that represent what Damasio calls “private first-person phenomena.” In the past decade, theoretical neuroscience has begun to take questions about subjectivity seriously, and as a result new kinds of dialogue between the literature and science of consciousness have begun to emerge. In this course, we will pursue—and create—such dialogue. The focus will be on literary experiments and theories of consciousness.

Course texts will likely include novels by Virginia Woolf, William Faulkner, Ralph Ellison, Dennis Cooper, Kazuo Ishiguro, and David Lodge; autobiographical writing by Gertrude Stein, Lauren Slater, and David B; theories of consciousness by William James, Sigmund Freud, Antonio Damasio, Oliver Sacks, and Jaak Panskepp; and literary and cultural theory by W.E.B. DuBois, Nancy K. Miller, Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, Elizabeth Wilson, and Lisa Zunshine.


ENGL 74000. “Romantic Reveries.” Alan Vardy. 2/4 credits. Tuesdays 4:15PM-6:15PM. [15569].
This course will explore the various modes of reverie represented by British Romantic writers, including (in no particular order): daydreams, visions (religious and imaginative), ecstasy, nightmares, the unconscious, dreams, waking dreams, rapture, inspiration, hallucinations, madness, imaginative reveries, etc.  In such a conceptual frame, the Romantic canon takes on a slightly different shape.  For example, de Quincey becomes a major figure, and his work will take up a significant portion of our time.  The other giant of this reconfigured field is Coleridge (he coined the term “the unconscious” in its modern sense), and we will consider canonical works like “Rime of the Ancient Mariner” and “Kubla Khan” alongside notebook entries and letters to give us a broad understanding of his contribution.  Other writers we will study include: Blake, Percy and Mary Shelley, Byron, Clare, Wordsworth and perhaps Southey (the reading list will be supplemented during the course).  The specific Coleridge and de Quincey texts will be assigned, and the other readings will be available on e-reserve.

Familiarity with Freud’s “The Dream-work” from Interpretation of Dreams and/or “The Uncanny” would be helpful, but not necessary.  Parts of Bachelard’s Poetics of Reverie may be assigned.  In each case, we’ll look at these texts not as keys to Romantic literary works, but rather the converse.   


ENGL 75300. “American Proletarian Fiction and the 1930s.” Jerry Watts. 2/4 credits. Wednesdays 6:30PM-8:30PM. [15570].
In the Introduction to his 1935 edited collection, Proletarian Literature in the United States, Joseph Freeman wrote:
Whatever role art may have played in epochs preceding ours, whatever may be its function in the classless society of the future, social war today has made it the subject of partisan polemic. The form of polemic varies with the social class for which the critic speaks, as well as with his personal intelligence, integrity, and courage. The Communist says frankly: art, an instrument in the class struggle, must be developed by the proletariat as one of its weapons. The fascist, with equal frankness, says: art must serve the aims of the capitalist state. The liberal, speaking for the middle class which vacillates between monopoly capital and the proletariat, between fascism and communism, poses as the "impartial" arbiter in this, as in all other social disputes. He alone presumes to speak from above the battle, in the "scientific" spirit.
Wrapping himself in linen, donning rubber gloves, and lifting his surgical instruments—all stage props—the Man in White, the "impartial" liberal critic, proceeds to lecture the assembled boys and girls on the anatomy of art in the quiet, disinterested voice of the old trouper playing the role of "science." He has barely finished his first sentence, when it becomes clear that his lofty "scientific" spirit drips with the bitter gall of partisan hatred. Long before he approaches the vaguest semblance of an idea, the Man in White assaults personalities and parties. We are reading, it turns out, not a scientific treatise on art but a political pamphlet. To characterize an essay or a book as a political pamphlet is neither to praise nor to condemn it. Such pamphlets have their place in the world. In the case of the liberal critic, however, we have a political pamphlet which pretends to be something else. We have an attack on the theory of art as a political weapon which turns out to be itself a political weapon.
The liberal's quarrel with the Marxists does not spring from the desire to defend a new and original theory. After the ideas are sifted from the abuse, the theories from the polemics, we find nothing more than a series of commonplaces, unhappily wedded to a series of negations. The basic commonplace is that art is something different from action and something different from science. It is hard to understand why anyone should pour out bottles of ink to labor so obvious and elementary a point. No one has ever denied it, least of all the Marxists. We have always recognized that there is a difference between poetry and science, between poetry and action; that life extends beyond statistics, indices, resolutions. To labor that idea with showers of abuse on the heads of the "Marxists-Leninists" is not dispassionate science but polemics, and very dishonest polemics at that.

Freeman’s introduction highlights some of the hotly contested issues that were being discussed in American literary circles during the 1930s.  Is all art politicized?  Can politicized art get beyond propaganda?  Must it be mediocre?  Is writing that is concerned with aesthetics inherently bourgeois? In this class, we will revisit these debates by focusing on several American writers who chose to write proletarian fiction. We will read: Forty Second Parallel and Nineteen Nineteen by John Dos Passos; Uncle Tom’s Children by Richard Wright; The Disinherited by Jack Conroy; Call It Sleep by Henry Roth; Yonnondia by Tillie Olsen; and  The Girl by  Meridel LeSeur.
The class will center around discussions of the readings.  Participation in in-class discussions will be graded.  There may be occasional short papers (3-5 pages) and a larger final research paper (25 pages). 


ENGL 75600. “James Baldwin: The Writer in Search of American Redemption.” Jerry Watts. 2/4 credits. Thursdays 6:30PM-8:30PM. [CRN 15571].
James Baldwin was one of the distinctive voices in American intellectual life during the latter half of the twentieth-century. From his roots in Harlem as a child minister, Baldwin would employ his deeply held Christian sensibilities to buttress his authority as a secular moral prophet. It was his willingness to assume the role of moral critic of American society that brought Baldwin his greatest national acclaim. He is situated among those American writers who mastered the form of the "jeremiad." Baldwin first gained prominence as a writer of fiction. His initial novel, Go Tell It On the Mountain, is now considered a classic text of post WWII American fiction. He would publish numerous novels during his lifetime including Giovanni's Room, the first novel by a serious black writer to openly explore homosexuality. Though Baldwin was a major American novelist, his greatest achievements may have been realized as an essayist. The essay collections: Notes of a Native Son; Nobody Knows My Name; and The Fire Next Time; and some of the essays in No Name in the Street and The Devil Finds Work remain vibrant in large measure because of Baldwin's forthright honesty and his willingness to openly violate social and cultural sacred cows. In particular, Baldwin utilized fiction and nonfiction to repeatedly scratch the racial wound that, he believed, lay at the very center of the American experience. In addition to the works named above we will read the novels, Another County, Tell Me How Long the Train's Been Gone and If Beale Street Could Talk;, the play, Blues for Mister Charlie; and several short stories.  The class will center around seminar discussions and an extended final research paper.   


ENGL 89000. “Research Methods in Writing and Rhetoric: Designing Projects for an Emerging English Studies.” Jessica Yood. 2/4 credits. Mondays 6:30PM-8:30PM. [CRN 15572].
This course has three sections: a traditional “research methodologies” survey, a study of the theory of knowledge connected to those methodologies, and a workshop centered on the next stage of students’ research projects.
 We will begin with an overview of the methodologies that have driven influential scholarship in the fields of rhetoric, composition and literary studies over the last three decades. Our concern is the connection between the research approach and the epistemology and politics of disciplinary boundaries. The second half of the course will be devoted to preparing and revising students’ own projects. In addition to receiving feedback on proposals and drafts, we will discuss how these projects fit into or extend the parameters and possibilities for that field.

Students will present on a research methodology, draft a conference proposal for an academic conference, and prepare a final piece of writing appropriate to their stage of research.  Readings will include chapters from Gesa E. Kirsch and Patricia Sullivan, Methods and Methodology in Composition Research, Cathy N. Davidson and David Theo Goldberg, The Future of Thinking, Cary Nelson and Dilip Parameshwar Gaonkar, Disciplinarity and Dissent in Cultural Studies, Richard Ohmann, English in America, Steven Mailloux, Disciplinary Identities: Rhetorical Paths of English, Speech, and Composition and several journal articles. For a full reading list or to contribute a suggestion, please contact


ENGL 84200. “Romantic Aesthetics and Affect: Melancholy, Gratitude and Literary Form.” Nancy Yousef. 2/4 credits. Wednesdays 2:00PM-4:00PM. [cross-listed with WSCP 81000). [CRN 15573].
This course will explore the aesthetics of mood in romantic era literature, focusing particularly on the phenomena of melancholy and gratitude as articulated in lyric, narrative, and non-fiction prose. While melancholy (despondence, despair, bereavement, indolence) has long been seen as the paradigmatic—indeed symptomatic—stance of introspection in romanticism, gratitude (thankfulness, appreciation, humility, receptivity) no less frequently shapes reflection on the self and others in the period.  Our focus on these particular moods will entail a broader investigation of how romantic aesthetics, in practice and in theory, imagine the expression, communication, and phenomenology of emotion.  How is affect shaped and inflected by literary form?  How is literary form strained by affect?  As political implications and moral aspirations are always explicitly bound to aesthetic practice in the romantic era, we will also be attending to the ways in which ostensibly private moods involve public and ethical entanglements.  Readings will include Wollstonecraft, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Keats, Hazlitt, and Austen. Supplementary readings in romantic aesthetics will include Rousseau, Schiller, Lessing, Burke, and Kant.  Contemporary theoretical touchstones will include Freud, Arendt, Cavell, Levinas.  Course requirements: bi-weekly response papers, oral presentation, 20-25 page research essay.


Dissertation Supervision

CRN Instructor    
00401 Alcalay Ammiel  
00719 Alexander Meena  
00078 Bonaparte Felicia  
00299 Bowen Barbara  
00243 Brenkman John  
00148 Brownstein Rachel  
00402 Burger Glenn  
00137 Caws Mary Ann  
00282 Coleman William Emmet  
00077 Cullen Patrick  
00255 Danziger Marlies  
01030 Dawson Ashley  
00246 De Jongh James  
00264 Di Salvo Jacqueline  
00080 Dickstein Morris  
00571 DiGangi Mario  
00758 Dolan Marc  
00403 Elsky Martin  
00202 Epstein Edmund  
01032 Faherty Duncan  
00064 Fletcher Angus  
00565 Greetham David  
00404 Hall N. John  
00405 Hayes Thomas  
00890 Hintz Carrie  
00581 Hitchcock Peter  
01031 Hoeller Hildegard  
00298 Humpherys Anne  
01088 Israel Nico  
00618 Joseph Gerhard  
00118 Kaplan Fred  
00893 Kaye Richard  
00147 Kelly William  
00760 Kelvin Norman  
00378 Koestenbaum Wayne  
00287 Kruger Steven  
00182 Marcus Jane Connor  
00167 McCoy Richard  
00245 McKenna Catherine  
00823 Milhous Judith  
00063 Miller Nancy  
00983 Mlynarczyk Rebecca  
00330 Otte George  
00583 Parker Blanford  
00591 Perl Sondra  
00577 Reid-Pharr Robert  
00221 Reynolds David  
00146 Richardson Joan  
00388 Richter David  
00406 Sargent Michael  
00407 Savran David  
00408 Schaffer Talia  
00274 Shor Ira  
00570 Stone Donald  
00782 Suggs Jon-Christian  
00076 Timko Michael  
00135 Tolchin Neal  
00889 Vardy Alan  
00751 Wallace Michele  
00409 Watts Jerry  
00325 Webb Barbara  
00308 Westrem Scott  
00203 Whatley E. Gordon  
00688 Wilner Joshua  
00075 Wittreich Joseph  
00891 Yousef Nancy