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Spring 2021


Spring 2021 English Program Course Offerings


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. 
 
Level 2 students who have completed coursework register for Register on Record (ROR) and 7 Weighted Instructional Units (WIUs). Class numbers for ROR and WIUs can be found by doing a “class search” in CUNYfirst. These are also sent to all students by the Office of the Registrar. 
 
Level 3 students must register for Dissertation Supervision. Class numbers for Diss Sup can be found by doing a “class search” in CUNYfirst.  
 
Course listings are subject to change. 

 

  

Monday  

Tuesday  

Wednesday  

Thursday  

Friday  

11:45AM-1:45PM  

Steel  
Animality
  

Josephs  
Caribbean 

Schaffer  
Disability 

 

Burger  
Affect 

Dawson  
Commoning
  

2:00PM-4:00PM  

Wan  
Resisting
  

Agathocleous 
Practice II  


DiGangi
Alternative

Reynolds  
Am Ren 
 
  

Richardson  
Diss/Writ Wkshp
 

  

  

4:15PM-6:15PM  

Schlutz  

Nature  
  

 

Koestenbaum  
Vibrations 

Miller  
Memoir 

  

6:30PM-8:30PM  

Chuh 
Practice I
 

Faherty & Rhody 

Archival  

  

  

  

  

ENGL 94000. The Practice of the PhD in English II. Tanya Agathocleous. Tuesdays 2:00PM-4:00PM. 2 credits. Restricted to Level 3 students in the PhD Program in English. 
This course provides structured professional guidance to students as they near completion of their doctoral degrees in English. This includes academic career preparation (cover letter preparation, selection of writing samples, etc.) as well as non-academic career paths into which scholarly and teacherly experience translate. The course will cover such topics as public humanities; non-academic writing; resume development; and c.v. development.  

ENGL 80700. Medieval Affect, Feeling, and Emotion. Glenn Burger. Thursdays 11:45AM-1:45PM. 2/4 credits. 
This course will consider various theoretical frameworks—both contemporary and medieval—useful in discussing the production and management of affect and emotion.  It could be said that the Middle Ages invented affective devotion, and the course will begin by focusing on medieval emotional relationships with texts, devotional objects and religious drama concerned with Christ’s passion: for example, “The Wooing of Our Lord,” Richard Rolle’s Meditation, Nicholas Love’s Mirror of the Blessed Life of Jesus Christ, and lyric laments of The Virgin.  We will track the ways that affect in courtly love poetry provided medieval readers with intimate scripts to put inner and outer states of feeling into contact with one another, particularly as the individual perceives herself in relation to (private) desires and (public) pressures.  We will examine such texts as Guillaume de Lorris’s Romance of the Rose, Machaut’s Dit de la Fonteinne Amoureuse, Chaucer’s Book of the Duchess, and John Lydgate’s Complaynt of the Loveres Lyfe.  We will also examine the crucial role that affect management played in late medieval conduct literature, and we will consider how the production of self-restraint in such texts, particularly within the structures of the married household, helps form emotional communities that allowed emergent social groups new modes of self-identification.  We will examine conduct texts such as The Good Wife’s Guide (Le Menagier de Paris) and The Book of the Knight of La Tour Landry, as well as literary texts such as Chaucer’s Legend of Good Women and The Wife of Bath’s Prologue and Tale, as well as Thomas Hoccleve’s Series, and Boccaccio’s, Petrarch’s, and Chaucer’s versions of the Griselda story.   

Each student will be required to deliver an oral presentation and produce a 15-20 page seminar paper. In lieu of the final seminar paper, students in the first year of the PhD program may produce an annotated bibliography of 15 primary and secondary sources and an 8-10 page conference paper 

ENGL 95000. The Practice of the PhD in English I. Kandice Chuh. Mondays 6:30PM-8:30PM. 2 credits. Restricted to Level 1 & 2 students in the PhD Program in English
This course introduces students to the expansive career itineraries related to doctoral education in English language and literature. Students will become familiar with both academic and non-academic possibilities and identify how scholarly and teacherly experience translates to capacities critical to every profession. The course will cover such topics as public humanities; non-academic writing; resume development; and c.v. development.  Specifically designed for students early in their doctoral studies, in this first offering, it is open to anyone in the English program. 

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ENGL 86800. Commoning . Ashley Dawson. Fridays 11:45AM-1:45PM. 2/4 credits 
From Chiapas to Occupy, from the Gezi Park uprising to disaster communism during the pandemic, acts of commoning have been central to new political imaginaries and formations over the last decades. Capitalism was born, Marx famously argued, when peasants were forcibly torn from their means of subsistence and hurled onto urban labor markets as free and “unattached” proletarians. As Marx evocatively put it, “the history of this expropriation is written in the annals of mankind in letters of blood and fire.” Recent theorists of capitalism have asserted that the process of violent dispossession not only has continued unabated for the last five centuries but has been intensifying during the neoliberal age. Indeed, for many, today’s enclosures are the leading edge of contemporary capitalism. We live in a period of violent land grabbing and resource extraction that is pushing planetary systems towards terminal breakdown.  

This seminar will explore contemporary processes of – and resistance to - capitalist and neocolonialist enclosure. Our conversations will be oriented around three key theoretical and political interventions. The first is the assertion that enclosure and extraction pertain not just to material things like land and minerals but also to relatively immaterial social resources such as information, culture, and even affect. The commons is thus a social form that is constantly created and recreated. The corollary of this, and the second key theoretical hypothesis of the seminar, is the idea that the commons is not solely a thing but a social practice. The commons, in other words, is the space of social relation created in and through acts of mutual aid and solidarity. Lastly, we will explore the extent to which commoning presents political possibilities beyond the stale opposition between the vampiric free market and top-down state power. 

The seminar will excavate experiences of commoning, and of capitalist extraction and decomposition, across six key sectors: land, water, cities, social reproduction, social media, and energy. We will track how these contested processes manifest in the letters of blood and fire through which today’s acts of dispossession are recorded. How does commoning affect literary fabulation, and, conversely, how does representation affect struggles over the commons? Does commoning require or catalyze new genres of expression? Is there such a thing as a common or commoning voice or mode of narration?  

We will read and discuss work by the following authors, activists, and theorists: Chris Abani, Sarah Brouillette, Octavia Butler, Pierre Dardot & Christian Laval, Bernadine Evaristo, Silvia Federici, Matthew Gandy, Amitav Ghosh, Guerrilla Media Collective, Jennifer Haigh, Mohsin Hamid, Garrett Hardin, Fredric Jameson, Michael Hardt & Toni Negri, Peter Linebaugh & Marcus Rediker, Justin McGuirk, Sandro Mezzadra & Brett Neilson, Timothy Mitchell, Fred Moten & Stefano Harney, José Esteban Muñoz, Elinor Ostrom, Arundhati Roy, Raja Shehadeh, Olivia Sudjic, Latife Tekin, Siva Vaidhyanathan, Alys Weinbaum, Eyal Weizman. 

ENGL 81500.  Alternative Families in Early Modern England.  Mario DiGangi.  Tuesdays 2:00PM - 4:00PM.  2/4 credits
In contemporary parlance, an “alternative family” is one that departs from the “traditional nuclear family” of husband, wife, and biological children. While traditional families have no doubt existed, households both now and in the past are often messier than we imagine—my own childhood home comprised two parents, a (gay) biological child, a (gay) adopted child, an uncle from Italy, and a very old woman who rented the upstairs apartment). In this course, we will focus on the complex sexual, gender, racial, and class dynamics of the households depicted in early modern drama: households that contain servants, friends, apprentices, single parents, childless couples, cousins, single people, siblings, prostitutes, suitors, cuckolders, demonic familiars, and sodomites. Plays discussed might include Shakespeare, As You Like It, The Merchant of Venice; Jonson, Volpone; Dekker and Webster, Westward Ho!; Dekker, The Shoemaker’s Holiday; Rowley, Dekker, and Ford, The Witch of Edmonton; Middleton, A Chaste Maid in Cheapside; Middleton, The Family of Love; Dekker and Middleton, The Roaring Girl; Heywood, A Woman Killed with Kindness; Middleton, The Changeling; Brome, The English Moor. We will also look at the notorious trial of the Earl of Castlehaven and possibly at the alternative families imagined by religious sects such as the Family of Love, Ranters, and Fifth Monarchists.
 

ENGL 86800. Remote Archival Encounters. Duncan Faherty & Lisa Rhody. Tuesdays 6:30PM-8:30PM. 2/4 credits 
In “Remote Archival Encounters” we will take an interdisciplinary and participatory approach to archival research. In so doing, we will attend to how current health protocols have fundamentally shifted the practice and possibilities of working with archival materials. Part seminar, part individualized research tutorial, part laboratory, part skills workshop, this course will combine traditional scholarly practices with emergent ones through analog and digital methods. We will consider new modes of access (for both scholarly and public audiences) to archival materials, paying attention to how our current situation has limited physical access to materials. By the end of the course, students will assemble a portfolio that articulates the challenges to archival research, approaches scholars may take to continuing their work, regular short public writing about archival research during troubled times, and a plan for how to move their individual research forward in the coming year. 

The course will have four main units, including an introduction to current scholarly debates about the politics of archival work (readings may include work by Lisa Lowe, Jennifer Morgan, Britt Russert, and David Kazanjian), virtual “field visits” with archivists and librarians (crafted in response to the interests of the enrolled students), training in textual editing and book history (readings may include Greetham’s Textual Scholarship, McGann’s Radiant Textuality, Hayles and Pressman’s Comparative Textual Media), and workshops in digital research methods, platforms, annotation and encoding, and design (including but not limited to Archive Grid, HathiTrust, Bitcurator, JStor Labs, Omeka, and Tropy). Students will have an opportunity to interact with curators and archivists working at the various libraries, repositories, and special collections with which we aim to partner (including such possibilities as The New York Public Library, The Morgan Library, The New-York Historical Society, The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, The Library for the Performing Arts,The Lesbian Herstory Archives, and the Interfernce Archive). 

The course will provide PhD students the opportunity to advance (or experiment with) their own research agendas by pursuing further study in archival research, book history, and scholarly editing. For students in the MA in Digital Humanities program, projects could be expanded to form a digital capstone project--a requirement for completion of the degree.

Course Requirements: Active and engaged participation, a brief oral presentation, weekly reflections, a project outline, a brief mid-semester progress report, and a final portfolio of the student’s own design.   

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ENGL 86800. Caribbean Women Writers. Kelly Josephs. Tuesdays 11:45AM-1:45PM. 2/4 credits (cross-listed with WSCP) 
This course is designed to explore the issues and themes commonly found in literatures of the Caribbean written by women.  We will consider prose and poetry published in English in the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries, reading the texts from several different angles – including colonialism, globalization, and migration – with feminism as the overarching/organizing theme of the course. In addition to the general literary study of author, genre and discourse, our methodology will include strategies of close reading, contextualization, and a range of interdisciplinary critical approaches utilized to assess the significance and role of Caribbean women’s writings as part of national and women's literatures and to explore questions of identity formation and/or disintegration, gender, social status, and ethnicity. We will be examining well-known “forerunners” of the genre – for example, Paule Marshall, Jamaica Kincaid, and Jean Rhys – although not necessarily their most famous texts.  We will also read works from relative newcomers – possibly Marcia Douglas, Shani Mootoo, and Staceyann Chin – to determine how they continue old trends while blazing new trails. 
 

ENGL 80200. Vibrations. Wayne Koestenbaum. Wednesdays 4:15PM-6:15PM. 2/4 credits. Restricted to PhD students. 
Sometimes you need a word, one word, only one word, to get you through the day.  Let the word, today, be vibration.  Studying sound, word, and image, we’ll let vibration, its resonances, guide us to find nuances and remembrances, prognostications and salves.  Drawing correspondences between unlike objects of attention, we’ll hope to discover how solitudes radiate to become more-than-one, how waves of implication and sonority travel between particles striving for relationship, or surrendering to it. 

The syllabus may include some of the following.  Sarah Vaughan and Leontyne Price:  vibrato.  Lionel Hampton and Milt Jackson:  vibraphone.  Percussion:  Max Roach, Evelyn Glennie.  A novel or novella by Henry James:  intuition, innuendo, clairvoyance.  An essay by Walter Benjamin:  shock, awakening, correspondence.  A novel by Ivy Compton-Burnett:  overhearing.  August Wilson’s The Piano Lesson:  what to do with an instrument.  Wai Chee Dimock’s essay “A Theory of Resonance.”  Keywords in Sound, edited by David Novak and Matt Sakakeeny:  a guidebook to sound studies.  Marcus Boon’s essay “A place where the unknown past and the emergent future meet in a vibrating soundless hum:  Thoughts on Energy and the Contemporary.”  Douglas Kahn’s Earth Sound Earth Signal:  Energies and Earth Magnitude in the Arts.  Baudelaire’s poem “Correspondances.”  Aimé Cesaire’s Solar Throat Slashed.   Nina Sun Edsheim’s Sensing Sound:  Singing and Listening as Vibrational Practice.  Julian Henriques’s Sonic Bodies:  Reggae Sound Systems, Performance Techniques, and Ways of Knowing.  Selections from Vibratory Modernism, an essay collected edited by Anthony Enns and Shelley Trower.  Laura Riding’s Progress of Stories:  how to cooperate and how not to cooperate and why we might need a world with both tendencies.  Something by Gertrude Stein, perhaps “Pink Melon Joy,” to remind us of joy.  Brent Hayes Edwards’s Epistrophies:  Jazz and the Literary Imagination.  David Grubbs’s The Voice in the Headphones.  Luigi Nono’s La lontananza nostalgica utopica futura, a composition for violin, eight magnetic tapes, and eight to ten music stands.  Steina Vasulka’s video Violin Power.  Music by Olivier Messiaen, John Cage, Pauline Oliveros.  Adrienne Rich’s poem “Planetarium.”  Some Wassily Kandinsky paintings, and a piece of his synesthetic prose.  A Shakespeare play?  Michel Chion’s Sound:  An Acoulogical Treatise. An essay on mirror-touch synesthesia.  More poems, more very short films.  Despite the dreaming overabundance of the above list, I hope for the final syllabus to feel spacious and uncrowded.   

Requirement:  a final project, which may utilize a variety of media.  (Students are welcome to use their final project as a way to complete elements of the Portfolio Exam.)  Course restricted to students enrolled in Ph.D. programs. 

ENGL 87500. Memoir/Illness/Graphic/Grief. Nancy K. Miller. Thursdays 4:15PM-6:15PM. 2/4 credits
“Considering how common illness is,” Virginia Woolf writes in On Being Ill, “how tremendous the spiritual change that it brings,…it becomes strange indeed that illness has not taken its place with love and battle and jealousy among the prime themes of literature.” Contemporary nonfiction and fiction have long since belied Woolf’s 1926 lament. The theme of illness occupies a prominent place in postwar culture, and the seminar will explore its many variations through a wide range of literary and visual representations of bodily and mental suffering, including cancer, AIDS, depression and mourning. We will also map the social and political contexts of illness, in particular through collective research on the national experience and discourses of Covid-19. What have we learned about healthcare and how does the pandemic reframe our understanding of the sick and the well, and the meaning of recovery? It’s too soon to predict the forms this experiment in collaborative criticism will take. 

Among the writers and artists: Elizabeth Alexander, Roland Barthes, Simone de Beauvoir, Audre Lorde, Eve Sedgwick, Susan Sontag, Tolstoy, and Woolf; graphic narratives by Bobby Baker, Anne Carson, David B., Miriam Engelberg, Ellen Forney, and David Small. 

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ENGL 75000. American Renaissance. David Reynolds. Wednesdays 2:00PM-4:00PM. 2/4 credits. 
Known as the American Renaissance, the decades leading up to the Civil War are generally regarded not only as the peak moment in American cultural expression but also as a watershed of themes reaching back to ancient and early-modern periods and looking forward to modernism.  The American Renaissance saw the innovations in philosophy, ecological awareness, and style on the part of Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau; the metaphysical depth and cultural breadth represented by the fiction of Herman Melville and Nathaniel Hawthorne; the poetic experimentation of Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson; the psychological probing and ground-breaking aesthetics of Edgar Allan Poe; and landmark portraits of race and slavery by Harriet Beecher Stowe, Harriet Jacobs, and Frederick Douglass. Urban life and class conflict were dramatized in fiction by George Lippard, and gender issues were vivified in writings by Margaret Fuller and Sara Parton. Lincoln’s speeches crystalized the nation’s enduring political themes. In addition to reading central works of American literature—among them Moby-Dick, “Bartleby,” Incidents in the Life of a Slave GirlThe Scarlet Letter,  Leaves of Grass, Walden, Poe’s tales, Emerson’s essays, and Dickinson’s poems--we discuss current approaches to American Studies, criticism, and cultural history. 
 

ENGL 91000. Dissertation/Writing Workshop. Joan Richardson. Thursdays 2:00PM-4:00PM. 0 credits. Restricted to Level 2 & 3 students in the PhD Program in English
I have for years been leading what English Program has listed as the “Dissertation Workshop,” and it has increasingly been the case that those who participate have worked as much on preparing the Prospectus, preparing papers for conferences, drafting essays/articles for submission to journals, as in working on dissertation chapters. This variety of endeavors has been greatly stimulating, creating a most productive creative atmosphere. Participants at different levels contribute freely and actively, helping one another by relating their experiences and sharing resources. For the Spring 2021 term this broadened range will continue in the “Dissertation/Writing Workshop,” inviting all those involved with projects connected to their professional development and progress to degree at the various levels mentioned above. The Workshop will be limited to twelve registrants, open to Level 2 and 3 students and to Level 1 by my permission. Last Spring’s experiment thrived even in the transition to Zoom meetings, so much so that the Workshop continued, unofficially, through the summer and on…! Please join us.   

ENGL 80600. Disability Studies, Bodies, and Care Relations in Nineteenth-Century Fiction. Talia Schaffer. Wednesdays 11:45AM-1:45PM. 2/4 credits (cross-listed with WSCP) 
This course investigates the burgeoning field of disability theory, with special attention to the nineteenth century as the period when an older idea of disability gave way to the modern medical model. Up to the 1850s, people accepted an 'ordinary bodies' model in which they expected long-term intermittent suffering, managed through social amelioration. But in the 1850s, the new medical professionalism emerged, with its diagnosis/treatment/cure dynamic. How did this shift affect bodies and minds, and how did it play out in the novel? In this course we  we will start with some of the formative disability studies theoretical texts, by Lennard Davis, Rosemarie Garland-Thomson, Alison Kafer, Tobin Siebers, Robert McRuer, Martha Stoddard Holmes, and Melanie Yergeau, along with historical work on nineteenth-century disability by Maria Frawley, Miriam Bailin, Martha Stoddard Holmes, Erika Wright, and Jennifer Esmail. We will also interrogate ethics of care as a philosophy that might explain 'ordinary bodies' in the nineteenth century, reading Daniel Engster, Nel Noddings, Eva Feder Kittay, and Virginia Held to see how care theory might lead us to think performatively rather than diagnostically about disability, and how it might alter ideas of gender and community. The course will focus on recent disability studies work in particularly interesting fields: neurodiversity (particularly around autism), sensory issues (including blindness and Deaf culture), and social conditions (including the built environment and the gaze). We will pair these studies with Austen's Persuasion, Dickens's A Christmas Carol, and Eliot's Middlemarch

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ENGL 84200. Romantic Concepts of Nature. Alexander Schlutz. Mondays 4:15PM-6:15PM. 2/4 credits. 
The reception of Romantic concepts of nature has played an important role in the development of ecocritical discourse. Since the rise of ecocriticism and green Romanticism it has become commonplace to present Romantic writers as anticipating contemporary environmentalist concerns and to (re)mobilize for contemporary ecological debates the Romantic critique of nascent processes of industrialization and a Cartesian, mechanical, view of the natural world. At the same time, ecologists and environmental writers perceive the “romanticization” of nature – the projection of imaginary, aesthetic and cultural constructs onto a material world fundamentally alien to them – as one of the main obstacles to a fruitful understanding of our relationship to the environment. And more recently, as ecocritics embrace Donna Haraway’s call to “stay with the trouble” of a ravaged planet where natural history and human activity can no longer be clearly kept apart, Romantic desires to draw on a natural world untainted by human influence as a source of healing or resistance have come to be seen as themselves problematic. Consequently, in the contemporary discussion, one can see the Romantics being lauded for writing against the objectification of nature, critiqued for neglecting the difference between the products of the writer’s consciousness and affect and the material Other he or she confronts, or one may see Romantic poetics and concepts of nature discarded altogether as no longer truly of use for avant-garde ecologically-informed literary production. 

To position ourselves with respect to such conflicting assessments, we will investigate what a variety of Romantic-period concepts of nature – a plurality rather than a single position – looked like concretely. We will examine two of the central philosophical positions on the relationship of the human mind to the natural world Romantic-era writers could draw on, those of Baruch Spinoza and Immanuel Kant, and discuss the writings and philosophical positions of Mary Wollstonecraft, William and Dorothy Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and John Clare. Throughout, our goal will be to ascertain the answers the texts of these writers can offer to questions about the place of human beings in the natural world, the relationship of mind and matter, and of human and natural history, central philosophical questions they indeed share with contemporary environmentalist thinkers. 

Portions of this course can be used to fulfill the requirements for the first-year portfolio exam.  

Course requirements: 4 short position papers, including a “conference abstract”; 15-minute conference presentation, to be delivered at the in-class, end-of-semester course conference; final 15-20 page research paper. 

Course readings: 
Spinoza. Ethics. Ed. And Trans. G.H.R. Parkinson. Oxford: OUP, 2000. ISBN: 9780198752141 
Kant. Critique of the Power of Judgment. Ed. and Trans. Paul Guyer. Cambridge: CUP, 2001. ISBN: 9780521348928 
Mary Wollstonecraft: Letters Written During a Short Residence in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark. Ed. Ingrid Horrocks. Peterborough: Broadview, 2013. ISBN: 9781551118086 
Coleridge's Poetry and Prose. Ed. Nicholas Halmi, Paul Magnuson, and Raimonda Modiano. New York: Norton, 2004. ISBN: 0393979040 
William Wordsworth The Major Works. Ed. Stephen Gill. Oxford: OUP, 2008.ISBN: 978-0-19-953686-3. 
Dorothy Wordsworth. The Grasmere and Alfoxden Journals. Ed. Pamela Woof. New York: OUP, 2002. ISBN: 978-0-19-953687-0 
John Clare. Major Works. Ed. Eric Robinson and David Powell. Oxford: OUP, 2008. ISBN 978-0-19-954979-5 

Additional primary and secondary readings will be available via the course e-reserve page. 
 

ENGL 80600. Reason, Freedom, and Animality. Karl Steel. Mondays 11:45AM-1:45PM. 2/4 credits. 
Humans, as Porphyry influentially defined us long ago, are “the rational mortal animal”: an animal, because a living thing; mortal, because we are not gods; and rational, because we – alone among mortal things – have reason. Or so holds a standard taxonomy, which separates humans from a homogeneously irrational mass of dogs, horses, crows, oysters, apes, and so on. The claim to having reason is also the claim to have free will: to be morally responsible, to be a legal subject, to be a citizen, and to have ownership over oneself and one’s actions. And the corollary claim that other things lack reason offers them up to supposedly rational subjects as objects, as property, as chattel, as things to be cultivated, perhaps, but never really to be cared for. 

“Reason, Freedom, and Animality” will lean on the question of humans as the rational form of life, examining texts ranging from ancient Greeks to (at least) the early modern period, lingering mostly in the Middle Ages, but always with engagement with later 20th and 21st century philosophical texts. We will explore how the claims to the possession of reason and freedom underlay debates about enslavement, gender hierarchies, racialization, and other ways of denying certain human populations resources and exposing them to premature death. Dominant humans tend to judge subordinated groups as wanting in reason, and therefore as more animal than human, which opens them up to being treated, as the common phrase goes, ‘like animals’: at best, as a dependent form of life, and, at worst, as a life made to be used by others, with all this implies in terms of exposure to captivity and abuse, so that being treated “like an animal” means nearly the opposite of being treated “like a living thing. 

Because the question of the possession of reason accompanies the claim to freedom, we will also explore critical habits of praising freedom where it can be found. How does the hunt for “agency” or the praise of categorical strain, instability and openness encode an at least vaguely supersessionary logic, that accords to some favored objects and groups the liberation from the law that “grace” provides? How do our critical habits participate in a language of freedom inherited from, among other places, the Christian scriptures? 

The ideal set of primary texts is still being assembled. Course organization will be roughly chronological, looking first at questions of freedom, reason, and logos in some foundational philosophical and political documents, then moving into medieval narrative and theology, and concluding with some skeptical work, perhaps by Margaret Cavendish. Theoretical readings will be some classics in posthumanism, critical animal theory, feminist care ethics, and disability theory, with generous reference to more recent work, like Zakiyyah Iman Jackson’s Becoming Human: Matter and Meaning in an Antiblack World. I will aim to connect course themes to the participants’ individual research interests. Each student will be responsible for a weekly presentation; you will also write a book review; and, in the end, produce a seminar paper, or a conference paper with very thorough notes. We will conclude the class with a mini conference. 

ENGL 89000. Resisting Institutional Methodologies. Amy Wan. Mondays 2:00PM-4:00PM. 2/4 credits.  
In some form, we are all participants in the institution of higher education. This course is an examination of the terms of our participation through a consideration of the institution and our own methodological and intellectual choices. Recent work on decolonial methods, anti-racism, and abolitionist university studies will be centered as we consider how we might make connections between our theoretical goals and our everyday practices. The main goal of the class is to provide a space for students to make connections between scholarship that questions traditional methodologies and their own research and professional goals. Some of the class will be spent exploring the efforts to decolonize universities/the syllabus/institutions in light of work such as Tuck and Yang’s “Decolonization is Not a Metaphor.” This class would be structured in a way that acknowledges that exigency has created fast-paced conversations that aren’t always consistent with decolonial methods. Following this, members of the classroom community would be expected to co-construct knowledge in this class and no one needs to be a specialist about decolonizing methods and theories, anti-racism or abolitionism before entering the classroom. 

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