For all registration dates and deadlines, see the GC academic calendar
 
The course schedule and course descriptions for the current semester are 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. For the most up-to-date course listings, visit CUNY's course listings:

Dynamic Course Schedule

Fall 2022

 

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

11:45AM-1:45PM

Musser
Diss Wkshp

 

DiGangi
Queering
 

Musser
Intro

Craig
Hip Hop Lit

 

 

2:00PM-4:00PM

Chuh
Entanglements

Perera
Utopian

McGlynn
Intro

Richardson
Sci/Fic

 

4:15PM-6:15PM

Hintz
YA Lit

Koestenbaum
Art Writing

Kruger
Arthurian

Miller
Witness

 

6:30PM-8:30PM

 

Lott
Sound

Hitchcock
Global South

Kaye
Decadence

 

ENGL 80600. Entanglements of being, history, aesthetics. Kandice Chuh. Mondays 2 PM - 4 PM. 2/3/4 Credits.
In this discussion-driven and reading-intensive course, we'll be studying how entanglement names a condition of, variously, "being with," non-sovereignty, compresence, and multiplicity -- a condition that refuses and refutes understanding of such matters as being, history, and aesthetics as discrete and separable entities. We'll engage work that unfolds in difference from the compartmentalization of knowledge that regularly organizes the academy, with the aim of understanding how such an approach aligns (and doesn't) with such efforts to remediate the legacies of liberal-colonial modernity as unfold under the rubrics of decolonial, de-imperial, anti-racist, and queer of color feminist critique. What critical approaches and pedagogies correlate with the study of entanglement? What aesthetics help attune us to such conditions? Readings by Lisa Lowe, Chris Patterson, Katherine McKittrick, Jodi Byrd, Manu Karuka, José Muñoz, Erica Edwards, among others, as well as an array of primary (aesthetic) objects to be determined collectively, will help us address such questions. Students taking the course for 2, 3, and 4 credits will have writing assignments increasing in number and kind, to include such things as blog posts, writing for non-academic audiences, annotated bibliography, and writing toward presentation at conferences and the like. Students should read Ruth Ozeki's A Tale for the Time Being in advance of the first class session. No auditors.

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ENGL 89010. Stacks, Sounds and a Record a Day: Hip Hop Literacies, DJ Rhetoric and Sonic Happenings. Todd Craig. Wednesdays 11:45 AM - 1:45 PM. 2/3/4 Credits.
This course aims to take participants through an exploration of Hip Hop literacy and culture. Oftentimes, courses rely solely on academic readings to think about the living and breathing culture we call Hip Hop. In “Stacks, Sounds and a Record a Day” we will upend this mindset…
 
The main question this course aims to address is how do we understand the rhetoric, literacy and discourse of Hip Hop? Our answer is simple: through listening. In order to interrogate this question, we must do so in the same way Hip Hop was formed. The DJ is the key figure in the formation of Hip Hop, studying records, manipulating breaks and moving the crowd at parties through a sonic journey. Thus, the first component of this class will be establishing a “code of listening conduct”: identifying the elements of a song or album, and how they help us to quantify and qualify our sonic sensibilities. The DJ ushered the emergence of the emcee; from interlude-enchanter to stadium stage-rocker, the greatest emcees have always loved the language of the culture. The second component of this course will be charting the literacy and discursive patterns of Hip Hop culture by following the lyrical flashbacks and rhetorical savvy of great emcees such as MC Lyte, Nas, Queen Latifah, Rakim, Prodigy, Camp Lo, Rapsody, Black Thought, K. Dot and others.

We will use sonic scholarship from Hip Hop’s greatest organic intellectuals, while also pulling from a variety of disciplines (including Comp/Rhet, Sound Studies, Sonic Rhetoric, New Literacy Studies and Hip Hop Studies) to examine Hip Hop literacy and sonics. Scholarship from academics including Elaine Richardson, H. Samy Alim, AD Carson, Joseph Schloss and Jeff Chang will help us paint a picture of how the rhetoric and literacy of an urban underclass’ subculture evolved from counterculture, to a national trend, and then to global popular culture.

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ENGL 82100. Queering the Renaissance, 2022. Mario DiGangi. Mondays 11:45 AM - 1:45 PM. 2/3/4 Credits.
Thirty years ago, LGQ early modern scholarship arrived with the publication of four monographs—Bruce Smith’s Homosexual Desire in Shakespeare’s England (1991), Gregory Bredbeck’s Sodomy and Interpretation (1991), Valerie Traub’s Desire and Anxiety (1991), and Jonathan Goldberg’s Sodometries (1992)—and one anthology, Goldberg’s Queering the Renaissance (1993). What did “queering the Renaissance” mean in the early 1990s? What does it mean today? In this seminar, we will explore the origins, development, present state, and possible futures of queer early modern studies. We will begin by establishing the galvanizing influence upon the field of Alan Bray’s Homosexuality in Renaissance England (1982), Foucault’s History of Sexuality: An Introduction (1976; tr. 1978), and feminist Shakespeare criticism of the 1980s; and we will consider what might still be generative in the methodologies that Smith, Traub, Bredbeck, and Goldberg offered for reading early modern sexuality. We will also explore how queer early modern scholarship has since expanded into other fields and subdisciplines such as postcolonialism and globalism (Freccero, Arvas), critical race studies (Ian Smith, Sanchez), adaptation/appropriation studies (Chedgzoy, Burt, Geddes and Fazel, Patricia), disability studies (Nardizzi, Hobgood), rhetoric and philology (Menon, Masten, Rubright), ecological studies (Nardizzi), animal/posthuman studies (Dugan, Rambuss, Raber, Varnado), trans studies (Chess, Gordon), and material studies (Fisher, Blake, Bailey, Lin). Finally, we will address the emergence of, and controversy over, “queer unhistoricism” (Menon, Goldberg, Freccero, Traub, Friedlander, Bromley, DiGangi). Primary readings (from Shakespeare, Marlowe, Middleton, et al.) will be selected to illustrate critical methods and controversies.

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ENGL 86100. Young Adult Literature: Theory and Method. Carrie Hintz. Mondays 4:15 PM - 6:15 PM. 2/3/4 Credits.
Our seminar will consider how scholars of YA (Young Adult) literature develop their research—and their methodological and theoretical underpinnings as they do so. We will consider YA’s use of formal experimentation, its role in popular culture, and its construction of an adolescent audience. We will look in detail at how the #WeNeedDiverseBooks movement is transforming YA publishing, reviewing, and instruction in multiple ways, as well as YA’s role in facilitating political reflection and change (in both realist and speculative modes). Primary sources will include works from the postwar period to the present, with an emphasis on contemporary works by Angie Thomas, Jack Gantos, M. T. Anderson, Meg Medina, Benjamin Alire Sáenz, Gene Luen Yang, Neal Shusterman, Cece Bell, Jerry Craft, and others. Critical methods might include historicism, critical race theory, feminist and queer theory, psychoanalysis, visual and sound studies, disability studies, the new formalism, affect theory, postcolonial theory, popular culture approaches (esp. film and television), and youth studies scholarship.

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ENGL 86800. The Global South as Politics and Aesthetics. Peter Hitchcock. Wednesdays 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM. 2/3/4 Credits.
Of course, the Global South is not a geographic referent, and yet reading the South globally is a vital heuristic in postcolonial and decolonial critique. Rather than ask “south of what?” or “global where?” this course is designed to interrogate the critical grounds for thinking the Global South as a decolonial “worldliness.” Eschewing the lure of cartographic consciousness, we will instead explore the parameters of the Global South as forms of political and aesthetic transnationalism and postnationalism (in theoretical as well as literary expression). Globalization itself is often rendered as a scene of combined and uneven development, one in which vibrant struggles against colonialism and coloniality simultaneously confront the systemic demands of capitalism as a world system. While it is true certain versions of world literature as subject and archive cleave quite closely to a logic of commodification and circulation, we will examine how the Global South can be thought of as, whatever else it is, an injunction about the terms of a global literary (“global Anglophone,” “global novel,” “postcolonial exotic,” etc.). How might this shed light on the Global South’s primary identity as a political genealogy, one inflected by the Bandung Conference (1955), the Non-Aligned Movement, Pan-Africanism, Tri-continentalism, and Third World solidarity? Literature does not simply express the new political grammar of these events and processes, but reading the world is a way of writing it otherwise and this can be understood as very much a postcolonial problematic (on political identities of race, gender, sexuality, and class for instance, but also around abstractions of space and time, territory and temporality). The conceptual framework developed is avowedly interdisciplinary and comparativist and the course in general can be considered both an introduction to the global study of literature and a specific investigation of what we might call postcolonial prerogatives in that endeavor, a politics and aesthetics for which the term “Global South,” while easy to misconstrue, seethes with hermeneutical possibility. Texts will address how the Global South is theorized at the intersection of anti-colonial practices and literary imaginaries (Spivak, Prashad, Mbembe, Simone, Mishra). Rather than being an effect of postcolonial and decolonial autonomy, literature will be thought of as active in that process, with the Global South refusing the map in favor of mentality, a discrepant “worldmentality” to borrow from Diawara on Glissant (other examples may include Mohamed, Hamid, Apostol, Aw). Course requirements will vary according to credits and will range from a term essay to a class presentation on an individual work or theme.

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ENGL 76000. Aestheticism, Decadence, Modernism, 1880-1930. Richard Kaye. Thursdays 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM. 2/3/4 Credits.

This class explores the relation between the aestheticist and decadent movements as well as their determination of modernist aesthetics. We will begin with late-nineteenth-century British, American, and French works by Hardy, Wilde, James, and Huysmans. The fin de siècle 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, the latter reaching an apotheosis in Wilde’s Salome. In the diverse writings of Pater, Olive Schreiner, Vernon Lee, and Wilde, aestheticism emerged as a theoretically coherent and varied movement absorbed in exquisite surfaces, tantalizing ambiguities, 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 dealing with hysteria and sexual disorder, preeminently in Dora: Fragment of a Case of Hysteria, Women writers, meanwhile, struggled to find a place within the male-defined coteries of aestheticism and decadence, a theme dramatized in Henry 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 its aims as immoral. Yet there were also alliances between male decadents and feminist writers (Wilde promoted Schreiner’s novel The Story of an African Farm because of its bold challenge to realist conventions and depiction of colonialist malaise.)  In France, the woman writer Rachilde publishes Monsieur Venus (1884), a symbolist/decadent novella concerning a dominatrix noblewoman, Raoule, who gradually transforms her working-class lover Jacques into her mistress by emptying him of all his “masculine” traits.

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, Conrad, Joyce, Lawrence, and Djuna Barnes.  The morbidity, subjectivism, sexual experimentalism, and excesses of literary technique characteristic of 1890s sensibility foment modernist revisions that seek to repress their origins in decadent poetics. Wilde's Picture of Dorian Gray, with its hero who cannot "develop," inspires modernist counter-bildungsromanae. 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 lyrical The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge (arguably the first modernist novel) and that helps to form the paralyzed solitary consciousness of Eliot’s “Prufrock.” Arguably the narrator of Conrad’s Heart of Darkness adopts decadent techniques for his coiled narrative of colonial tragedy.  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. We will consider how the Aestheticst and Decadent movements shaped the writing of the Harlem Renaissance. 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 works we will read: Hardy, Jude the Obscure, Huysmans, Against Nature; Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray, Salome; Schreiner, Story of an African Farm; Freud, Dora: Analysis of a Fragment of a Case of Hysteria; Conrad, Heart of Darkness, Joyce, Stephen Hero, Yeats, Selected Poems; Lawrence, Selected Short Fiction; Eliot, Selected Poetry; James, The Golden Bowl; Barnes, Nightwood; Showalter, Elaine, ed., Daughters of Decadence.  We will read relevant critical and theoretical texts, including Walter Pater, “Conclusion” to The Renaissance; Arthur Symons, “The Decadent Movement in Literature”; Mario Praz, from The Romantic Agony; George Bataille, from Literature and Evil; Richard Ellmann, “The Uses of Decadence”; Richard Gilman, from Decadence: The Strange Life of an Epithet; Linda Dowling, “The Decadent and The New Woman”; Michael Riffaterre, “Decadent Paradoxes,” Leo Bersani, from The Culture of Redemption; Regenia Gagnier, “Individualism, Decadence, and Globalization,” Vincent Sherrry, from Decadence and the Reinvention of Modernism”; Matthew Potolsky, from The Decadent Republic of Letters.  There will be a mid-term paper as well as a final paper.

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ENGL 80200. Experiments in Art Writing. Wayne Koestenbaum. Tuesdays 4:15 PM - 6:15 PM. 2/3/4 Credits.
In this seminar, we will investigate and experience the pleasurable complexities of writing imaginatively about visual art, mostly contemporary.  How might art—however we define it—provide impetus for linguistic experiment?  Seeking inspiration, we will read a range of poets, artists, and critics, including Sigmund Freud, Gertrude Stein, Stéphane Mallarmé, Rosalind E. Krauss, T.J. Clark, Eileen Myles, Maggie Nelson, Darby English, Hilton Als, Amy Sillman, Glenn Ligon, Legacy Russell, Teju Cole, and others.  A wayward practice of stylistic license—of liberties taken—awaits our fond analysis and emulation.  In lieu of a final paper, students will write, each week, a two-page composition that responds to an object, occasion, event, or constellation considered “art,” whether painting, drawing, sculpture, film/video, photograph, installation, dance, sound....  (I don’t mean to imply that art is always exclusively optical.) 

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ENGL 80700. Arthurian Traditions. Steven Kruger. Wednesdays 4:15 PM - 6:15 PM. 2/3/4 Credits
Arthurian stories continue, in our own moment, to shape a sense of the historical past, and particularly the Middle Ages—as we see in a recent cultural production like the movie The Green Knight. In this course, we will take a long view of the Arthurian tradition, from its elaboration in the twelfth century by such writers as Geoffrey of Monmouth, Beroul, Chretien de Troyes, and Marie de France, through its later medieval development in romances by such writers as Geoffrey Chaucer, the anonymous author of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, and Thomas Malory, to its postmedieval incarnation in a wide variety of works. In taking up this body of material, we will be especially attentive to how such legends like the Arthurian may serve a number of political ends: the excavation of a point of national origin and the construction of a sense of national identity; the reinforcement, but also the potential reshaping, of certain gendered expectations and ideas about sexuality; the construction of ideas of ethnicity and race. Here, we will confront how the Arthur story can be (and has been) used both to prop up conservative ideologies—white supremacy, British imperialism—and to gesture toward new, potentially liberatory, possibilities that would work against these. We will read, alongside the primary texts, a number of theoretical and critical treatments that interrogate how traditions, like the Arthurian, operate in relation to politics.

The postmedieval writers and works that the syllabus takes up will be determined by student interest, but could include (for instance) Spenser, Tennyson, T.H. White, Marion Zimmer Bradley, Ishiguro, Camelot, Disney’s The Sword in the Stone, Monty Python and the Holy Grail (and so forth). I will set up the first half to two-thirds of the course to trace the medieval tradition. Students will then choose texts to include on the later part of the syllabus. Each student will be responsible for presenting one text in this postmedieval section of the course. Each will also do an oral presentation on one of the medieval texts, or on a critical work that pertains to the medieval material.

Students taking the course for two credits will be responsible for the course readings, active participation in class discussion, and the two oral presentations. Students taking the course for three credits, will (in addition to those requirements) complete a paper of approximately 3000 words. Students taking the course for four credits, will complete a paper of approximately 4500 words.

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ENGL 87300. Soundworks/Phonographies. Eric Lott. Tuesdays 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM. 2/3/4 Credits. (Cross-listed with ASCP 81000).
This seminar will offer an introduction to the field and intellectual genealogies of American Studies by way of a range of issues arising from the last couple of decades in sound studies.  The field has long been preoccupied with sound—the work of George Lipsitz, Gayle Wald, Daphne Brooks, Robin Kelley, and current American Studies Association president Shana Redmond come to mind—a preoccupation that has only intensified in the last several years.  If, as Henri Lefebvre wrote, “sovereignty implies ‘space,’” how does sound produce space and intervene in the power relations that define it?  Who has the right at any given moment to legislate and regulate sound, either juridically or critically?  How does it take up the everyday soundscape of its location—clipped speech, screeching industry, the sound of the street, crickets chirping—and give it significant form?  Sound as exclusionary, and as a mode of self-possession: music and music-making take up space—organize and announce new collectivities, confer rights, produce obstructions and transgressions, the latter also known as “noise.”  The cultural history of sound might be written by observing who at any given moment has the right to say “you are hurting my ears.”  We’ll survey some of the most provocative theoretical work on sound, soundscapes, sound technologies, and music’s relation to space, politics, and the body, including thinkers such as Ralph Ellison, Amiri Baraka, Roland Barthes, Jacques Attali, Ellen Willis, Wayne Koestenbaum, Christopher Small, Jean-Luc Nancy, Alexandra Vazquez, Suzanne Cusick, Emily Lordi, Karen Tongson, Alexander Weheliye, José Esteban Muñoz, and Fred Moten.  Theoretical readings will be paired with apposite musical and sonic examples, from John Philip Sousa to K-pop, sonic warfare to sonic booms.  We may delve into certain classics of pop music scholarship—Greil Marcus’s Mystery Train (1975), Tricia Rose’s Black Noise (1994), Tim Lawrence’s Life and Death on the New York Dance Floor (2016).  We’ll investigate the “writing of sound” by way of phonography and its successive apparatuses from the wax cylinder to the player piano, shellac discs on Victrolas to hi-fi vinyl albums, magnetic tape to compact disc to the digital formats that surround us now.  Part of our project will entail considering the sonic dimensions of literary, photographic, and cinematic forms.  And we’ll examine lived, contested spaces of sound, whole vibrational ontologies—bustling “urban crisis” New York and racially segmented pop capital Los Angeles, cotton belt soul studios and “Chicago School” blues lounges and house dance floors—collective, and therefore spatial, world-making (and –breaking) interventions performed by American musics.

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ENGL 70000. Introduction to Doctoral Studies in English. Mary McGlynn. Wednesdays 2 PM - 4 PM. 4 Credits. Restricted to Ph.D. Program in English Level 1 students.
This course will seek to address four aspects of graduate studies in English: 1) English studies as a field and discipline; 2) research questions and practices; 3) connections to intellectual communities and networks (i.e. professionalization); and 4) the function of the university. Theoretically, we will examine the boundaries and objects of interest for the field, discussing how they intersect with but also remain distinct from other areas and approaches, and how various theories and methods (formalist, historicist, activist, etc.) define, in sometimes contradictory ways, English studies. Practically, we will discuss how to define objects of inquiry (“texts” and “contexts”) within the field, how to research such objects, how to identify the main debates currently circulating around them, and how to develop new knowledge and innovative ideas and approaches.

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ENGL 88000. Women Writing Witness. Nancy K. Miller. Thursdays 4:15 PM - 6:15 PM. 2/3/4 Credits.  
The seminar will explore feminist texts from a range of genres that all bear witness to violence, injustice, and the aggressions of everyday life. Memoir, poetry, essay, or fiction, in each case the “I” records circumstances that are not simply singular, but also collective. What literary strategies do these writers deploy to make connections between “I” and “we,” story and life, aesthetics and politics, trauma and testimony? Readings include: Anzaldúa, Brison, Delbo, Ernaux, Hartman, Jacobs, Menchú, Lorde, Nestle, Rich, Una, Williams.

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ENGL 70000. Introduction to Doctoral Studies in English. Amber Musser. Tuesdays 11:45 AM - 1:45 PM. 4 Credits. Restricted to Ph.D. Program in English Level 1 students.
This course will seek to address four aspects of graduate studies in English: 1) English studies as a field and discipline; 2) research questions and practices; 3) connections to intellectual communities and networks (i.e. professionalization); and 4) the function of the university. Theoretically, we will examine the boundaries and objects of interest for the field, discussing how they intersect with but also remain distinct from other areas and approaches, and how various theories and methods (formalist, historicist, activist, etc.) define, in sometimes contradictory ways, English studies. Practically, we will discuss how to define objects of inquiry (“texts” and “contexts”) within the field, how to research such objects, how to identify the main debates currently circulating around them, and how to develop new knowledge and innovative ideas and approaches.

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ENGL 91000. Dissertation Workshop. Amber Musser. Mondays 11:45 AM - 1:45 PM. 0 Credits. Restricted to Ph.D. Program in English Level 2 & 3 students only.
This seminar will give participants the opportunity to develop and complete their dissertation prospectus and/or draft dissertation chapters.  It will be conducted as a workshop with members reading and commenting on one another’s work under the professor’s guidance.  We will discuss the dissertation as an always-evolving genre as well as practical issues of writing and revision, research and research methods, documentation, presentation, and more.  We will also talk about professionalizing matters including engagement with current scholarly conversations and theoretical discourses, creating conference presentations and scholarly articles as part of the dissertation writing process, and thinking about the dissertation as a draft of a first monograph.

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ENGL 76200. Utopian Fictions: Literature and Human Rights. Sonali Perera. Tuesdays 2 PM - 4 PM. 2/3/4 Credits.
What does it mean to invoke human rights in an age where, as one theorist puts it, “the banalization of human rights means that violations are often committed in the Orwellian name of human rights themselves, cloaked in the palliative rhetoric of humanitarian intervention?” What can the study of literature teach us about the paradoxes and enabling fictions of human rights? How do we understand the emergence of the Human Rights novel as a literary genre—as “popular” fiction? What do we make of the interpretative turn towards discourses of utopia and fictions of dystopia in our age of statelessness, internal displacement, and border wars? Where and how does literature as cultural practice intersect with the activism of international civil society groups and local human rights initiatives? By way of addressing these questions, in this course we will study the formal, historical, and ideological conjunctions between human rights and particular world literary forms.

Over the course of the semester, towards framing the question of how we produce the concept of human rights in historical and literary studies, (1) we will read historical scholarship tracking the origins of the United Nations and International Law. (2) We will also consider alternative genealogies for internationalism opened up in postcolonial feminism, critical race studies, the literature of social movements, and other forms of world literature.

We will view film clips from Dheepan (2015). Via Zoom, we may also have the opportunity to hear from guest speakers (interdisciplinary scholars, activists, and cultural workers) from South Asia and Europe.

Required Texts May Include: J.M. Coetzee, Disgrace; Michael Ondaatje, Anil’s Ghost; Sinan Antoon, The Book of Collateral Damage; Bessie Head, A Question of Power; Lynn Nottage, Ruined (play); Edward Said, After the Last Sky; No Violet Bulowayo, Glory; Sujatha Fernandes, Curated Stories: The Uses and Misuses of Storytelling.

ADDITIONAL REQUIRED READINGS WILL BE AVAILABLE ON BLACKBOARD. THEY MAY INCLUDE: Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, “Righting Wrongs”; Sylvia Wynter, “Unsettling the Coloniality of Being/Power/Truth/Freedom: Towards the Human, After Man, Its Overrepresentation—An Argument”; Hannah Arendt, Origins of Totalitarianism and We Refugees (selections); Giorgio Agamben, “Beyond Human Rights” from Means Without End; Walter Benjamin “Theses on the Philosophy of History” and other selections; T. Shanaathanan, The Incomplete Thombu; Sophocles, Antigone; Judith Butler, Antigone’s Claim and Precarious Life (selections); Ariel Dorfman, Widows; Saadat Hasan Manto, “Toba Tek Singh” from Khalid Hasan trans. A Wet Afternoon (short story); Gloria Anzaldua, Borderlands/La Frontera (selections); Valeria Luiselli, Tell Me How it Ends and Lost Children Archive (selections); Aime Cesaire, A Discourse on Colonialism (selection); Frantz Fanon, Wretched of the Earth (selections); Gary Wilder, Freedom Time: Negritude, Decolonization, and the Future of the World; Jacqueline Rose, “On the Universality of Madness” and “Apathy and Accountability”; Mark Mazower, No Enchanted Palace: The End of Empire and the Ideological Origins of the United Nations (selections) ; David Greig, “The Miniskirts of Kabul” (play); Crystal Parikh, Writing Human Rights (selection) Joseph Slaughter, “Novel Subjects and Enabling Fictions: The Formal Articulation of International Human Rights Law” from Human Rights, Inc; Juliana Spahr, Du Bois’s Telegram (selection); Samuel Moyn, Not Enough: Human Rights in an Unequal World and The Last Utopia (selection); Oxford Amnesty Lecture series (selection)Text of the UDHR (Universal Declaration of Human Rights)

Course Requirements vary by 2,3, or 4 credits. (As a frame of reference, 4 credit requirements are included below):
1.) A 15 minute oral presentation on one or two of the weekly readings (in combination with a pre-circulated 3 page presentation paper) (20%)
2.)  A 1 page prospectus for the final paper/or in lieu of a written prospectus, we might have a meeting during office hours to discuss tentative theses and research directions (10%)
3.) A 15-20 page final paper. (40%)
4.) Engaged class participation. (30%)

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ENGL 80200. How To Read. What To Do: Science and/or/as Fiction. Joan Richardson. Thursdays 2 PM - 4 PM. 2/3/4 Credits.
The verb to read comes from the Old English raedan, meaning “to advise, interpret (something difficult), interpret (something written).” Keeping this definition in mind, the concern of this seminar will be, in general, to learn how to read, interpret, what is offered under the rubrics of the various “sciences”—to sift from the mass of information available—what we need to pay attention to, consider, so to imagine what to do, what we might do, to change the habits of mind that have imperiled our relationship to our world. As Walter Benjamin observed already a century ago in One Way Street, our connection to the cosmos has been lost. Course corrections are necessary to sustain living in what has been called our “critical zone”—the habitable space of earth’s atmosphere. More particularly, the seminar will investigate the emergence and nature of mind, of consciousness—not limited to human consciousness—foregrounding (following William James) that “consciousness” is not an entity, but a function: it matters what we pay attention to, and the activity of the imagination is primary. The 19th-century Irish physicist John Tyndall—whose investigations of carbon dioxide predicted the “greenhouse effect—delivered a lecture in 1870 “On the Scientific Use of the Imagination.” For us in the 21st century it is crucial to recognize that the imagination is seeded by what is observed, including, if we pay attention to them, the facts of nature: how we interpret these facts determines the uses to which they will be directed. We need to imagine in order to recognize the inter-relatedness of the facts. Power of action depends on an informed population. We need to extend our scope, cultivate ecological imagining to be able to address our current crisis responsibly.

As the individual “sciences” gradually precipitated out of natural philosophy in the 19th century, it was the inherited schema of the Enlightenment that directed how they would be conceived and considered—a Newtonian clockwork mechanism was the model, each thing in its place. But then came the Darwinian event and the discovery that we inhabit a universe of chance—mutation, randomness, ongoing process entered to offer different ways of considering and imagining. The political implications of recognizing the continuity of human consciousness with the life forms of other animals, plants and bacteria are immense. The most recent work into the nature of cells posits “that every cell in existence is a direct descendent of a single original—a split of a split of a split, through generations”: the basis of our connection to all forms of earthly life has begun to be evidenced. The exploration leading to this point has grown out of interdisciplinarity, an ecology of different practices that is unsettling categories put in place by “imperial science” to allow for the cross-pollination of ideas, of imaginings earlier confined within disciplinary boundaries. As Henry Louis Gates Jr. has recently observed, we need to understand the facts of genetics to overturn “race theory”: “…while race is socially constructed, genetic mutations—biological records of ancestry are not, and the distinction is a crucial one….[I]f we don’t disentangle these concepts, we may miss the great promise of using genetics to push back against a very long and sad history of the misuse of science for pernicious purposes.”   

Consideration of three differently inflected kinds of texts will open discussion during the first weeks of the term: Benjamin Labatut’s When We Cease to Understand the World (2020), a weaving of fact into fiction around the imaginings and historical impacts of a handful of 20th-century scientists and mathematicians, including Erwin Schrodinger (of “Schrodinger’s cat”) and Werner Heisenberg; Amitav Ghosh’s The Great Derangement: Climate Change and the Unthinkable (2016); and Donna Haraway’s “Symbiogenesis, Sympoiesis, and Art Science Activisms for Staying with the Trouble” (in  the collection Arts of Living on a Damaged Planet [2017]). Readings for the rest of the term will be drawn from (but not limited to) a rich list of texts/authors concerned with the question, “Where do we find ourselves?”. The list will include (in no order here): an account, ‘The Haudenosaunee/Mohawk Imagination and the Ecology of the Sacred”; work by William James, Rachel Carson, Erwin Schrodinger (from What is Life?), Gregory Bateson (from Steps Toward an Ecology of Mind), Lynn Margulis, David Bohm (from Wholeness and the Implicate Order), Antonio Damasio, Emanuele Coccia, Isabelle Stengers, Stephon Alexander, Richard Feynman, Sylvia Wynter, Bruce Clarke (from Gaian Systems), Anna Tsing, Frans de Waal, Peter Godfrey-Smith (from Metazoa: Animal Life and the Birth of the Mind), and….

Requirements: participation in discussions and a term paper/project.

Return to Fall 2022 Schedule

Spring 2022 Semester

 

Monday 

Tuesday 

Wednesday 

Thursday 

11:45AM-1:45PM 

Gillespie
Film Blackness 

 

 

 

2:00PM-4:00PM 

Steel
Little Beasts 

Agathocleous
Practice II 

Schaffer
Vic Fem Crit 

Reynolds
Am Renaissance 

Richardson 
Diss/Wrt Wkshp 

4:15PM-6:15PM 

Craig 
Af Am Rhetoric 

Perera 
South Asian Wrt 

Koestenbaum 
Essay Film 

Miller 
Women Wrt/Intell 

6:30PM-8:30PM 

Reitz 
Mad Women 

 

Hintz 
Child Lit/Animal 

 

ENGL 89900. Practice of the PhD II. 

Tanya Agathocleous. Tuesdays 2:00PM – 4:00PM. 0 Credits. Restricted to Level 3 students in the Ph.D. Program in English. Hybrid: In-person meetings on 2/1; 2/22; 3/8; 3/22; 4/5

This course is intended to address the shifting landscape of higher education by providing students guidance on non-academic career possibilities throughout their graduate studies, as well practical advice on how to navigate the academic job market. Practice of the Ph II is designed specifically for Level 3 students who are in the last phase of their doctoral degrees in English. We will address academic career preparation as well as non-academic career paths into which scholarly and teacherly experiences translate. For the academic job market, we will practice the different genres of professional writing, including abstracts, conference papers, articles, fellowship applications and job market materials. This is a non-credit-bearing class but it will work best if everyone attends as many sessions and events as possible—you will be sharing writing so should be present to provide as well as receive feedback.

ENGL 79010. “From the Block with Chains to da Block wit’ Chains”: Flashpoints in African American Rhetoric. 

Todd Craig. Mondays 4:15PM - 6:15PM. 2/3/4 Credits. (Cross-listed with WSCP 81000). Hybrid: In-person meetings on 2/14; 3/7; 4/4; 4/25; 5/9

This course aims to take participants on a journey of various flashpoint moments in African American rhetoric, examining the debates, strategies, styles, and forms of persuasive practices employed by African Americans with each other, and in dialogue with other cultures both within, and outside, the United States. 

Many times, we categorize African American rhetoric as persuasive oratory practices: moments where we think Black folks are speaking and communicating eloquently in order to convince, argue, or shift the thinking of a speaking audience. However, what if we shifted the definition of African American rhetoric, to include what gets communicated in stories, dance, song, paintings, and everyday banter in order to interrogate the effects on beliefs, values and ethics (Kynard)? How would this definition shift allow us to see the world before, during, and after these flashpoint occurrences? With this expanded definition of rhetoric in mind, this class will explore African American culture and identify acute, intriguing and seismic shifting moments that shape our collective knowledge of African American rhetoric. We will (re)imagine the time/space continuum, as we strive to pursue the everchanging landscape of African American rhetoric: from the pulpit and the sanctuary…to the written page and the studio recording booth…to the White House…and back to the block, the whip and the Trap House. 

We will engage with myriad multimodal scholarship from Carmen Kynard, Geneva Smitherman, Spike Lee, Lauryn Hill, Rapsody, James Baldwin, Bettina Love, Jalaiah Harmon, King Johnson and others in order to plot a trajectory of contemporary African American rhetoric.    

ENGL 85500. Film Blackness

Michael B. Gillespie. Mondays 11:45AM - 1:45PM. 2/3/4 Credits. (Cross-listed with FSCP 81000). In-person 

This course is devoted to the study of the idea of black film as an enactment of black visual and expressive culture. With attention to the critical and creative capacities of film blackness, the course considers new paradigms for genre, narrative, aesthetics, historiography, intertextuality, and pleasure. Avoiding reductive considerations of the idea of black film in terms of authenticity/truth, a fixed category, or by way of a representational politics of positive and negative images, the course instead advocates for greater attention to film as art and the discursivity of blackness. 

ENGL 80600. Children's Literature and Animal Studies: A Dialogue

Carrie Hintz. Wednesdays 6:30PM - 8:30PM. 2/3/4 Credits. Hybrid: In-person meetings on 2/2; 2/23; 3/2; 3/9;3/23;3/30;4/6;4/17; 5/4 

The abundant representation of animals in children’s literature imagines, and to some degree promotes, an affinity between children and animals as fellow “wild” creatures. A desire to critically explore this affinity—and other animal/ child connections—has inspired the field’s “animal turn.” In our spring seminar, we will consider anthropomorphism and anthropocentrism, the politics and aesthetics of “cuteness,” the cultivation of “humane” affects in the young, “wild” boys and girls, racialized animality, and the role played by specific genres like fables, picturebooks, and graphic novels. Works by Kipling, Lofting, and others will provide illuminating (and disturbing) examples of how Children’s Literature participates in racism and colonialism, inculcating the young into systems of violence and inequality.  We will evaluate the potential of contemporary animal narrators and characters to challenge and re-shape current conceptual hierarchies and social organization.   

Children’s literature also remains a promising space to envision the separate ontologies and destinies of non-human animals, outside of human control. Early animal "autobiographies" (like Black Beauty and Beautiful Joe) reveal both the affecting potential and the frustrating limits of the animal “voice.”  Can children’s literature (and scholarship in the field) become a cultural site to imagine the relationship between people and non-human animals—and by extension the entire natural world—differently? 

"Children's Literature and Animal Studies: A Dialogue” is paired with Karl Steel’s seminar, “Little Beasts,” and the two seminar groups will meet (virtually or in-person) three times during the semester.  Our first common session will explore Critical Keywords in Animal Studies.  Our second common event will delve into Jacques Derrida’s writings on animals.  Our final gathering will consider academic and professional opportunities in the field of animal studies (journals, professional organizations, book series, online fora, research guides and digital projects). 

Students completing the course for two credits will complete regular blog and in-class assignments; those completing the course for three credits will complete blog assignments, in-class assignments, and a short paper.  For four credits, students will complete a 20-page seminar paper, regular blog assignments, and in-class assignments. 

ENGL 87500. The Essay Film: Portraits and Self-Portraits

Wayne Koestenbaum. Wednesdays 4:15PM – 6:15PM. 2/3/4 Credits. (Cross-listed with BAM 70500, section 2). In-person 

In this seminar, we will explore portraits and self-portraits that might be called “essay films.”  A perplexing category; a fruitful category; a pretext for flight, for immersion, and for an end to naysaying.  Critic Tim Corrigan argues that “although for many the notion of an essay film remains less than self-explanatory, this particular mode of filmmaking has become more and more recognized as not only a distinctive kind of filmmaking but also, I would insist, as the most vibrant and significant kind of filmmaking in the world today.”  (Corrigan, The Essay Film: From Montaigne, After Marker, Oxford U. Press, 2011).  Some of the films we will study resemble paintings; some resemble monologues, stand-up comedy, intimate encounters, documentaries, surveillance footage, collage.  All do the work that is historically the province of the literary genres of autobiography and biography, and the visual media of photography, drawing, and collage.  Artists studied may include such unclassifiables as Agnès Varda, Shirley Clarke, Isaac Julien, Werner Herzog, Jonas Mekas, Ja’Tovia Gary, Andy Warhol, Peggy Ahwesh, Tourmaline, Tiona Nekkia McClodden, Su Friedrich, Kalup Linzy, Chantal Akerman, Barbara Hammer, Cheryl Dunye, Trinh T. Minh-ha, Sky Hopinka, William Greaves, Albert and David Maysles, and Apichatpong Weerasethakul.  Suggestions welcome.  We will read some theoretical texts:  Georg Lukács, Theodor Adorno, André Bazin, Alexandre Astruc, Hito Steyerl, and others. For a final project, students may write a work of biography or autobiography, make a short film, or write a critical essay.  

ENGL 78000. 20th and 21st-century Women Writers and Intellectuals: Genre, Style, Nation

Nancy K. Miller. Thursdays 4:15PM – 6:15PM. 2/3/4 Credits. (Cross-listed with WSCP 81000). In-person

Virginia Woolf’s anti-war essay “Thoughts on Peace in an Air Raid” was published in 1940, months before the author’s death in 1941. Beginning here, and with the death of this author, we will explore the work of British, French, and American women writers who produced memoir, essays, novels, and poetry from the war years through the advent of second-wave feminism and into the 21st century. Cultural figures and icons, these writers also have played important roles in public debate: Hannah Arendt, Simone de Beauvoir, Julia Kristeva, Audre Lorde, Toni Morrison, Maggie Nelson, Claudia Rankine, Adrienne Rich, Jacqueline Rose, Susan Sontag, Simone Weil, and Virginia Woolf. Of critical interest to the seminar will be questions of gender, personality, and authority. Whose first-person matters, when, and how? 

Work for the course: one oral presentation, weekly responses, and one final exercise.  

ENGL 86700. South Asian Writing in a Global Context: Place, Culture, Politics

Sonali Perera. Tuesdays 4:15PM – 6:15PM. 2/3/4 Credits. Hybrid: In-person meetings on 3/29; 4/5; 4/12; 4/26; 5/3; 5/10

South Asia’s nations and disputed territories figure prominently in the prose of counter insurgency produced by colonial administrators, human rights activists, and contemporary CNN journalists alike. In brief news sound bites, South Asia as a world region—including India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Kashmir, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, and Nepal among other places—is described in terms of recurring “cycles of violence,” unceasing political unrest, and spontaneous disturbances. But how have the region’s novelists, poets, essayists, historians, activists, and cultural workers challenged and reimagined this static world picture from a South Asian perspective—from a trans-national perspective? In this class we will consider how South Asian literary forms and polemical traditions narrate historical causality and human agency against and through a poetics of space. Readings may include Rabindranath Tagore’s The Home and the World, Saadat Hasan Manto’s “Toba Tek Singh,” “Cold Meat,” “Open It,” and “Letters to Uncle Sam,” Aravind Adiga’s White Tiger, Leonard Woolf's Village in the Jungle (selections); Mulk Raj Anand's Letters on India and Conversations in Bloomsbury (selections); R.B. More, Memoirs of a Dalit Communist: The Many Worlds of R.B More (selection); Mahasweta Devi’s “The Hunt,” “Statue,” and "Draupadi"; Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children, Ernest Macintyre’s Rasanayagam’s Last Riot (play), Michael Ondaatje’s Anil’s Ghost, Arundhati Roy’s Ministry of Utmost Happiness and Capitalism A Ghost Story (selections); Thamotharampillai Shanathananthan’s The Incomplete Thombu; Malik Sajad’s “A Wedding Under Curfew”; Meena Kandasamy’ The Gypsy Goddess; Gaiutra Bahadur’s Coolie Woman: The Odyssey of Indenture, Meena Alexander’s “Krishna, 3:29 am” and Agha Shahid Ali’s The Country Without a Post Office (selected poems). We may also consider selections from Isabel Wilkerson’s Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents alongside anti-caste writing and reportage on anti-caste activism from South Asia. Theory, literary criticism, and history texts may include texts by B.R. Ambedhkar (selections from Annihilation of Caste, Vivek Bald (selections from Bengali Harlem) Fredric Jameson (both his old and new meditations on "allegory"), Aijaz Ahmad, Edward Said (selections from Orientalism), Ranajit Guha, Sumit Sarkar, Tanika Sarkar, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak (“Du Bois in the World: Pan Africanism and Decolonization” and selections from Other Asias), Ulka Anjaria, Saadia Toor, Anupama Rao, Aniket Jaaware, Qadri Ismail, Yogita Goyal, Poulomi Saha, Betty Joseph, and Mrinalini Chakravorty (selections from In Stereotype). We will also consider film clips from Satyajit Ray’s (1984) film, Ghare Baire (The Home and the World), Jacques Audiard's (2015) film, Dheepan, and Leena Manimekalai’s (2019) film Maadathy.  

Over the course of the semester, class participants will be encouraged to keep up with reportage and analyses of politics and culture journals like Himāl Southasian. Where possible, seminar members will also be encouraged to attend events and film screenings at CUNY’s Center for Place, Culture and Politics, Columbia’s South Asia Institute, and The New School’s India China Institute. 

ENGL 78100. Mad Women: Sleuths, Spies, and Villains

Caroline Reitz. Mondays 6:30PM – 8:30PM. 2/3/4 Credits. (Cross-listed with WSCP 81000). In-person

Feminist anger is having a moment, but the double meaning of “mad” as angry and crazy has shaped the representation of women in popular crime fiction since Lady Audley burned down the house over 150 years ago. This course puts sleuths, villains, spies, and superheroes in conversation with the politics of the representation of female emotion. When is rage, as Brittney Cooper suggests, a “superpower” and when is it incapacitating? When is it justice and when is it revenge?  

We will read both popular and academic feminist treatments of anger, such as works by Soraya Chemaly, Myesha Cherry, Brittany Cooper, Audre Lorde, Sianne Ngai, and Rebecca Traister, as well as scholarship in Mad Studies, Trauma Theory, and Critical Race Theory, as part of an interdisciplinary exploration of crime fiction, comics, and television. This class will begin in the mid-19th century and go through 2021. We will also think about how we make transhistorical arguments about cultural figures and how that shapes projects like dissertations or syllabi. While most of our works will be drawn from the anglosphere, we will ground our explorations of the genre in an understanding that crime fiction is world literature. 

Writing assignments for the class will be steered toward both scholarly practice (a conference paper for the Research Society for Victorian Periodicals or the Popular Culture Association, for example, or an article submission to a journal on crime fiction) and non-academic publication, such as for the online newsletter, CrimeReads. Any questions please reach out, creitz@jjay.cuny.edu

ENGL 75100. The American Renaissance

David Reynolds. Thursdays 2:00PM – 4:00PM. 2/3/4 Credits. (Cross-listed with ASCP 81500). Online 

The decades leading up to the Civil War, known as the American Renaissance,  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. 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 Girl, The Scarlet Letter,  Leaves of Grass, Walden, Poe’s tales, Emerson’s essays, and Dickinson’s poems--we discuss current approaches to cultural history, American Studies, and the study of race and gender.

ENGL 91000. Dissertation/Writing Workshop

Joan Richardson. Thursdays 2:00PM – 4:00PM. 0 Credits. Restricted to Level 2 & 3 students in the Ph.D. Program in English. Hybrid: In-person meetings on 2/3; 3/3; 3/31; 4/14; 5/1

In this workshop you are invited to plan, draft, compose, and revise any kind of writing connected to your professional development and/or progress to degree—conference papers, journal submissions, essays, reviews, prospectuses, dissertation chapters. I have been leading these workshops for years now and find that a mix of participants at different levels working on different projects creates a most productive atmosphere. Sharing the variety of experiences, concerns, and resources stimulates thinking about writing as the lively experiment it is at its best. Enrollment will be limited to twelve, open to Level 2 and 3 students and to Level 1 by my permission. 

ENGL 80500. Gender and the Archive: The History, Theory, and Practice of Victorian Feminist Criticism

Talia Schaffer. Wednesdays 2:00PM – 4:00PM. 2/3/4 Credits. (Cross-listed with WGS 71601/WSCP 81601). In-person

In this course we will attempt to outline a contemporary feminist approach sensitive to global, trans, queer, disability, and digital phenomena, while exploring the history of academic feminist work in Victorian studies. We will start with the first wave of feminist recovery work of the 70s and 80s by Showalter, Spacks, Gilbert and Gubar, Poovey, Spivak, using “Cassandra” and Jane Eyre as case studies. Middlemarch and Miss Marjoribank will take us into the cultural feminist criticism of the 90s, Armstrong and Gallagher, and use Mansfield Park to look at the 21st century queer, ethical, and digital turns of feminist work in criticism by Marcus, Ehnenn, Ahmed, Manne, Nowviskie, Berlant. In assessing fifty years of Victorian feminist criticism, we will be looking at race, empire, bodies, and sexuality, but we will also be interrogating what kind of feminist criticism might be appropriate to a decentralized, gender-fluid, digital contemporary mode. Students will find and present their own feminist case studies, which may include interrogating the place of feminist criticism in environmental humanities, critical race theory, disability studies, animal studies, postcolonialism, affect studies, Latinx, graphic narratives, etc. Presentations will introduce the rest of the class to the current state of feminist work in this area, and the final paper will aim to craft a new form of feminist criticism for your chosen field. At the end of the course, we will work collaboratively to craft a joint ‘keywords’ project for feminist criticism in the 21st century.   

ENGL 80600. Little Beasts: Children, Animals, and other Unruly Creatures

Karl Steel. Mondays 2:00PM – 4:00PM. 2/3/4 Credits. (Cross-listed with WSCP 81000). In-person

Human children are strange animals. They're perhaps en route to being responsible, rational adults, but on the way there, they need care, training, defending, and worrying over. Our seminar will linger with these small irrational creatures to think about children and animality together.  

 Our work in "Little Beasts" will draw on, among other fields, critical animal theory, feminist care ethics, and critical race studies. Our primary texts will mostly be medieval, but if your final project ends up exploring the course themes without being especially medieval, that can work too. 

"Little Beasts" is paired with Carrie Hintz's seminar, “Children's Literature and Animal Studies: A Dialogue.” and the two seminar groups will meet (virtually or in-person) three times during the semester.  Our first common session will explore Critical Keywords in Animal Studies.  Our second common event will delve into Jacques Derrida’s writings on animals.  Our final gathering will consider academic and professional opportunities in the field of animal studies (journals, professional organizations, book series, online fora, research guides and digital projects). 

Texts for "Little Beasts" will include representatives of major educational genres like fable collections and conduct literature; medical texts on fetal development, particularly on matters of gender (with engagement with Leah Devun's important new book, The Shape of Sex: Nonbinary Gender from Genesis to the Renaissance); marriage laws and other medieval biopolitical texts; the anti-Semitic saint's life of William of Norwich (along with Chaucer's Prioress's Tale and Jewish responses of the Rhineland pogroms of 1096); child-focused narratives like Sir Gowther and the King of Tars; writing on feral, isolated, or abducted children, including the strange story of the Green Children of Woolpit, the Melusine Legend, and, from the 18th century, the story of Memmie le Blanc, a Native American girl enslaved, brought to France, and trained into becoming French. You are welcome to read the texts in their original languages (Latin, Middle English, Old French, Hebrew, etc), but translations into modern English will be provided for everything. 

Interuniversity Doctoral Consortium

The Consortium helps to unite graduate students at seven New York area universities by enabling them to take courses at any institution within the consortium.

For more information about the Consortium, including registration information and a list of participating institutions, visit the Interuniversity Doctoral Consortium page.

Past Semesters

 

Monday 

Tuesday 

Wednesday 

Thursday 

11:45AM-1:45PM 

Ahmed
Intro Doc Stu

 

DiGangi
Embodiment 

 

Israel
Modernism 

McGlynn
Aesthetics

Kruger
Canterbury Tales

2:00PM-4:00PM 

Schlutz
Anthropocene

Agathocleous
Colonial

Musser
Black Feminisms

 

Reynolds
Archives

Richardson
Meaning

4:15PM-6:15PM 

McBeth
Bureaucrat 

 

Gillespie
Noir (ends at 8:15)

Vardy
Flâneur

Hitchcock
Decolonizing

 

Koestenbaum
Diss Wkshp

Miller
Memoir

ENGL 86700.  Colonial Sex Life.  Tanya Agathocleous.  Tuesdays 2:00PM – 4:00PM.  2/4 Credits.  
This course takes its title from Durba Mitra’s recent publication, Indian Sex Life: Sexuality and the Colonial Origins of Modern Social Thought (Princeton 2020).  Mitra argues that the figure of the prostitute, a concept embodying deviant female sexuality, was crucial to modern ideas of the social and to the study of society as such. Both British and Indian social analysts used deviant female sexuality to define the contours and limits of the social, and to understand and classify caste, race, and religious difference as constitutive elements of social life. Expanding Mitra’s focus on the prostitute to other concepts embodied in social types that played a central role in colonial forms of knowledge (such as the mother, the prude, the veiled woman, and the homosexual), this course will trace these figures through nineteenth and early-twentieth century texts from a range of disciplines that defined the social (philology, law, criminology, sexology, and anthropology) in order to understand their relationship to imperial governance and to postcolonial state. We will also read literary texts by writers such as Rudyard Kipling, E. M. Forster, Rokheya Hossain, Tayeb Salih, Assia Djebar, and Mahasweta Devi and theoretical texts by Fanon, Foucault, Spivak, Mrinalini Sinha, Joan Scott, Neville Hoad, Deborah Cherry, Tanika Sarkar, Z.S. Strother, Svati Shah, Jasbir Puar, and of course Durba Mitra, among others.   

ENGL 70000.  Introduction to Doctoral Studies in English.  Siraj Ahmed.  Mondays 11:45AM-1:45PM.  4 Credits.  Restricted to Ph.D. Program in English Level 1 students. 
This course will address four aspects of graduate studies in English: 1) English as a field and discipline; 2) research questions and practices; 3) the history and function of the university; and 4) the practical and professional lives of the doctoral degree in and outside of the academy.  We will make use of key critical and theoretical texts to ground our discussions in each of these areas. We'll also explore resources like the NYPL and other local institutions, as well as the conduct of research in virtual modes.  Questions organizing this course include: What coheres the field of English? What is a discipline, and what is interdisciplinarity? How are research questions generated and pursued? What is "theory"? "literature"? "cultural studies"? What is the relationship between teaching and scholarship? between scholarship and the world? How do we locate ourselves in relation to existent fields and discourses? In relation to emerging ones? In what practical ways do we construct academic communities? What are the horizons of doctoral studies? Students are expected to produce a series of short essays and/or the equivalent to fulfill the written requirements of this course. 

ENGL 82100.  Early Modern Embodiment: Race, Gender, and Sexuality.  Mario DiGangi.  Tuesdays 11:45AM – 1:45AM.  2/4 Credits.  
In this seminar we will explore race, gender, and sexuality as overlapping and intersecting modes of embodiment in the literature and culture of premodern England. While our focus will be sixteenth- and seventeenth-century England, we will consider continuities and differences between medieval, early modern, and modern constructions of race/gender/sexuality. Drama will be at the center of our investigations, but we will also examine a variety of texts from multiple genres, including poetry, visual art, prose romance, court masque, and travel narrative, in an effort to understand the tropes and formal conventions through which racial, gender, and sexual differences were made to signify. Readings will include Shakespeare, Titus Andronicus, The Merchant of Venice, Othello, and Sonnets; Jonson, The Masque of Blackness; Lanyer, Salve Deus Rex Judaeorum; Massinger, The Renegado; Fletcher, The Island Princess; Dekker, Lust’s Dominion; Heywood, The Fair Maid of the West; Ligon, A True and Exact History of the Island of Barbados; and Day, Rowley, and Wilkins, The Travels of the Three English Brothers. Through the work of scholars such as Abdulhamit Arvas, Dennis Britton, Kim Hall, Geraldine Heng, Carol Mejia LaPerle, Arthur Little, Ania Loomba, Joyce Green Macdonald, Jeffrey Masten, Jennifer Morgan, Carmen Nocentelli, Melissa Sanchez, Ian Smith, and Valerie Traub, we will also consider how different theoretical and historical approaches have produced varying accounts of race/gender/sex as objects of inquiry in the premodern and contemporary eras. 
 

ENGL 87400.  Noir of the 1990s.  Michael Gillespie.  Mondays 4:15PM – 8:15PM.  2/4 Credits. Cross-listed with FSCP 81000. 
This course takes an interdisciplinary approach to American noir films of the 1990s that considers their distinctive measure of genre not as fixed category but as discourse or what James Naremore calls “the history of an idea.” The course considers how these films consequentially restaged themes of criminality, detection, the social contract, the city, and the ambiguities of good and evil. Rather than defer to the classical noir mode the class instead is driven by an attention to how this period poised deeply critical enactments of film form, cultural history, gender, sexuality, class, and race/ethnicity. 

ENGL 76200.  Decolonizing the Novel in Theory and Practice.  Peter Hitchcock.  Wednesdays 4:15PM – 6:15PM.  2/4 Credits.   
Cultural processes of decolonization are multiple and disjunct and vary considerably by region, history, and form.  Rather than simply provide a description of cultural decolonization at large, this course will focus on a specific genealogy of genre in order to address contemporary difficulties in decolonial critique.  Whether world literature has become the supercanon of literary study in the last twenty-five years is not without challenge or significant dissent, but the major question of genre for postcolonial and decolonial studies seems to have produced a notable consensus around one genre.  This genre is the novel.  Why is this so?
 
We know that the novel is deeply implicated in the rise of particular class interests and most certainly mediates Western projects of colonialism and imperialism.  Is it precisely because the novel is contaminated and coterminous with these histories that it is so radically contested from within by counter-narratives?  To the reader primed to refract the political conditions of decolonization, does the novel provide disciplinary and/or aesthetic solace from all the “real” work of anti-colonialism, anti-capitalism, and anti-racism within the methodological prerogatives of the social sciences, or does it reimagine the reality of these vital concerns as the very substance of its intervention?  Does the novel embrace a logic of knowledge, novelization, that makes it particularly adept at representing the frisson of genre in its own name?  To what extent does a sub-genre like the postcolonial novel betray the absorption of critique by the niche-marketing of yet one more monetized exception?  How does the novel in theory and practice inhibit or exceed the work of decolonization itself?  What would it mean to suggest that the novel is the last of colonialism as currently construed?  How could the withering of one possibly imply the deracination of the other?
 
With these questions in mind the course will attempt to plot three necessarily conflictual trajectories.  We will explore several examples of novels that contest the terms of conventional literary history by narrating a decolonial imperative.  We will then cast this genealogy against pertinent and disputed peculiarities of the novel in theory.  We will also consider what lessons the novel thus provides for interdisciplinary research on decolonization (In what language, in what region, in what history, in what environment?).  Do writers consider the nub of knowledge in the novel decolonial avant la lettre?  Where does praxis lie in the theory and practice of the novel?
 
In the main, this course encourages an interdisciplinary approach to literary decolonization that does not eschew the terms of literary hermeneutics themselves.  It can thus serve both as an introduction to postcolonial/decolonial studies and as a serious engagement with the limits and possibilities of the novel in that endeavor.  Readings will be drawn from but not limited to Spivak, Marx, Roy, Lukacs, Mukasonga, Bakhtin, Buluwayo, Bofane, Chamoiseau, Mukherjee, Said, Vera, Conde, Hamid, Lazarus, Brouillette, Ganguly, Gopal, Krishnan, Collins, and Ngugi. 
 

ENGL 76000.  Detonating Modernism.  Nico Israel.  Tuesdays 11:45AM – 1:45AM.  2/4 Credits.   
The Nobel Prize in Literature was one of five prizes set up in the will of the Swede Alfred Nobel, the inventor of dynamite, a major supplier of armaments throughout the later 19th century, and, somewhat later, a generous supporter of the arts. Nobel’s 1895 will stipulated a literary prize to be given for a work “in an ideal direction” (“i idealisk rikning” in Swedish). What Nobel intended by “idealisk rikning” has long been open to question: did the word mean something akin to a residual romanticism, a universal humanism, or simply inventive literature (in the way the physics prize rewards “outstanding contributions in physics”)? Given the historical context of the earlier twentieth century—the persistence of massive war, colonialism and imperialism, and fascism (themselves undergirded by weaponry)—is literature to be perceived as an “ideal” antidote to violence (hence the connection to the Nobel peace prize), or itself a reflection of and response to that violence?  

This seminar explores the history of the prize and some examples of the writing of its early winners--Kipling, Tagore, Bergson, Hamsun, Yeats, and Pearl S. Buck—as well as losers--Rilke, Kafka, Proust, Mann, Lawrence, Woolf, Joyce, Pound, Pessoa, Musil, Williams, Moore, Hughes, Mandelstam, and Celan. We will occasionally dip into the Nobel’s archives to see how decisions were rationalized. (The rejection and then, later, acceptance of Samuel Beckett is particularly instructive). While thus acknowledging the micropolitics of prize committees, the seminar’s central focus will be on assessing the determination of literary “value,” a conception that is easy to deride but not possible to entirely explode. Critical reading to include works by Kant, Benjamin, Sartre, Arendt, Foucault, Agamben, Rancière, Guillory and others. 

ENGL 91000.  Dissertation Workshop.  Wayne Koestenbaum.  Wednesdays 4:15PM – 6:15PM.  0 Credits. Restricted to Level 2 &3 students in the PhD Program in English 
In this workshop, we will think together about the varieties of critical writing—its tactics, pleasures, traits, problems, and wanderings.  You may use this class as a chance to draft and revise any kinds of work you desire—conference papers, essays, dissertation chapters, prospectuses, proposals, or other forms your thinking-in-words may take.  Always we will search for ways to make the composition process less arduous, more playful, more feasible, and more surprising for its practitioner.    

ENGL 70500.  Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales.  Steven Kruger.  Thursdays 11:45AM – 1:45PM.  2/4 Credits. 
Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales remains a compelling work even more than six centuries after its composition. Presenting a fictional pilgrimage that functions simultaneously as religious devotion and secular entertainment, it sets up a frame into which Chaucer writes an extraordinarily wide range of stories: stories both poetic and prosaic; bawdy and religious; taking on grand themes of empire at one moment and then the petty rivalries of a small town at the next. We will learn to read this complex text in its original Middle English form (and in doing so, we’ll learn a lot about the history of English as a literary and spoken language). We’ll also consider what the poem might teach us about medieval (and specifically fourteenth-century) culture and history, highlighting ways in which modern constructions—of nations, race, religion, gender, sexuality, individual subjectivity—differ from their medieval predecessors. But we’ll also consider how and why Chaucer’s work has remained of deep interest across a long history and how it might speak to us in the twenty-first century. What does it mean to encounter a world that is so different from our own, and yet, of course, still “the same” world? What can we learn from this encounter with difference that might allow us to think about ourselves—our culture, our politics, our identities, our relationship to the earth—in new ways? And might this encounter, even, be productive for a creative movement into the future that, while not replicating anything like the medieval past, nonetheless remains cognizant of how that past, with its violences and its beauties, might help us chart human and earth-bound futures that are less violent and more beautiful?  

Though the text of The Canterbury Tales will form the core of our course reading, we will also intensively explore those theoretical and critical approaches that have most significantly shaped readings of Chaucer across the past decade. These include critical race theory and postcolonial theory (with particular attention to Chaucer’s representation of Islam, Asia, North Africa, and Judaism); feminist, gender, and queer theory, including especially trans approaches (with attention to Chaucer’s writing “as a woman,” to characters we might think of as genderqueer, and to Chaucer’s own implication in rape culture); historicizing readings that emphasize politics, class formations, and material culture; the history of the book and manuscript studies; disability theory; and ecocritical and environmental approaches, including animal studies.  

Students will give oral presentations as part of the seminar structure of the course. Students taking the course for 3 or 4 credits will develop an independent research project; this can be focused on Chaucer and the Middle Ages, but it also can take up material from other periods (as long as that material bears some connection to the kinds of question at the center of the seminar). First-year students in the English Program will have the option of working on one element of the portfolio examination for their project. Students taking the course for 2 credits will be expected to do all the work of the course except for the larger final project. 

ENGL 89010.  The Intellectual Bureaucrat: Resisting Bartleby the Administrator.  Mark McBeth.  Mondays 4:15PM – 6:15PM.  2/4 Credits.   

But writing program administration courses can, along with other aspects of WPA preparation like experiential learning opportunities, help to inculcate a WPA way of being, give us the knowledge that our work will be contextual, offer ways of reading those institutions and situations, and help us situate our specific work in larger contexts. We can, as WPA educators and mentors, give future faculty members opportunities to see, think, and act as a WPA might, even if they never become an official WPA on campus.  GenAdmin (71) 
 
When you begin as a new member of an English department faculty (especially as comp/rhet faculty), your department chair or academic dean may ask you to revamp a course (or entire writing curriculum), spearhead an assessment project, oversee contingent faculty, bolster tutoring/support services, or develop a campus literacy initiative.  These leadership roles demand specialized knowledge and specific know-how, so this course will investigate the theoretical underpinnings of administrative work as well as to provide rehearsing scenarios for a better comprehension of the praxis of such vital academically sustaining work. Rather than an exercise in perfunctory paper-pushing and form-signing, we will investigate this type of professional work as an intellectual process, ethical performance, and productive research strategy.   
 
As Richard Miller advises in As If Learning Mattered: 

Those truly committed to increasing access to all the academy has to offer must assume a more central role in the bureaucratic management of the academy … [I]t is at the microbureaucratic level of local praxis that one can begin to exercise a material influence not only on how students are represented or on which books will be a part of the required reading lists but also, and much more important, on which individuals are given a chance to become students and on whether the academy can be made to function as a responsive, hospitable environment for all who work within its confines. (46) 

In other words to promote effective educational systems in which teaching and learning can happen, the intellectual bureaucrat must resist the inner voice that says "I'd prefer not to" and, instead, pro-actively engage with the problems posed by educational administration.  
 
Before we consider how to administer literacy programs, we review a consolidated history of composition concepts and research so that we can make informed decisions about what educational and programmatic leadership entails.  There are no right ways of doing administration, only sensibly and sensitively chosen administrative decisions based on what one knows about what others have done and how those choices will fit into a contextually local situation of literacy sponsorship.  As a central question, we will ask: What administrative structures will one put in place and how will this decision-making and program-planning affect the pedagogical conditions of teachers and learners in a particular educational scenario? 
 
ENGL 80600.  Cheap Aesthetics.  Mary McGlynn.  Wednesdays 11:45AM – 1:45PM.  2/4 Credits.   
Jason Moore and Raj Patel argue in A History of the World in 7 Cheap Things that “the modern world has been made through seven cheap things: nature, money, work, care, food, energy, and lives” (3).  Crossing this idea with Sianne Ngai’s framing of aesthetic categories, this class will consider cheap as an aesthetic category to explore the complicated relationship of capitalism, the commodity, and the object. We will consider the processes and practices by which we arrive at aesthetic judgments and categories (Kant, Adorno, Bourdieu, Ngai); the interrelation of the aesthetic with formal techniques, particularly in the representation of agency, powerlessness, and precarity, as well as in the activation of “minor” affects; and the way that the cheap in particular is a feature of contemporary literary and media production, from the publishing industry to greenwashing to viral spread. 

ENGL 78000.  Post / Modern Memoir.  Nancy Miller.  Thursdays 4:15PM – 6:15PM.  2/4 Credits. 
“I do not know how far I differ from other people,” Virginia Woolf remarks in Moments of Being, thus summarizing the memoirist’s dilemma. In this course we will explore strategies of self-representation in the works of twentieth and twenty-first century writers and artists, for whom questions of identity have led to experiments in form. Readings include works by Lynda Barry, Roland Barthes, Alison Bechdel, Teresa Cha, Nan Goldin, Zora Neale Hurston, Maxine Hong Kingston, Maggie Nelson, Gertrude Stein and Virginia Woolf.  

Weekly responses, in-class presentations, and a final paper, which may be a creative exercise. 

  

ENGL 85500.  Black Feminisms and the Flesh.  Amber Jamilla Musser.  Wednesdays 2:00PM – 4:00PM.  2/4 Credits.   
Black feminisms have persistently been entwined with theorizations of the flesh—that difficult to define materiality that is not quite the body. Flesh speaks to commodification, state-violence and histories of enslavement and settler-colonialism. Flesh has been used to reference the non-linguistic, pre-discursive, queer, and maternal. From this often-marginalized locus, black feminist theory has created many different possibilities. This course will look at several of different genealogies of fleshiness. First, focusing specifically on Audre Lorde, Saidiya Hartman, and Hortense Spillers before moving to the way these theories have radiated outward to inflect performance studies, literary theory, and aesthetics more broadly. Just as the specifics of enfleshment matter, we will investigate the differing contexts for these deployments of flesh to tell us how blackness, feminism, and black feminism are functioning in these different theoretical arenas. Potential readings from: Samantha Pinto’s Infamous Bodies, Shana Redmond’s Everything Man, Jayna Brown’s Black Utopias, Zakiyyah Iman Jackson’s Becoming Human, Alvin Henry’s Black Queer Flesh, C. Riley Snorton’s Black on Both Sides, Jillian Hernandez’s Aesthetics of Excess, Tiffany Lethobo King’s The Black Shoals, Uri McMillan’s Embodied Avatars, Omise’eke Natasha Tinsley’s Ezili’s Mirrors, Amber Jamilla Musser’s Sensual Excess, and Jessica Marie Johnson’s Wicked Flesh

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ENGL 89000.  Mining the Archives, Reinterpreting the Past.  David Reynolds.  Wednesdays 2:00PM – 4:00PM.  2/4 Credits.   
During the past two decades, a revolution has occurred in scholarship: troves of archival materials that were once very hard to access and search have been digitized and put online. Rare books; entire runs of newspapers; obscure pamphlets; letters; manuscripts; images—these are some of the rich resources that are now universally available and instantly searchable. The implications for the study of literature, popular culture, history, and biography are immense. With the help of now-available archives, previously unnoticed dimensions of past cultures can be explored. Famous figures or writings of the past can be placed in fresh contexts, and new ones can be unearthed. And it’s not only primary research that has profited from digitalization: so has secondary research. An ever-increasing number of scholarly journals and books are online. This surfeit of online material, however, brings new challenges. How does one sort through the apparently endless digitized archives? How do we take notes without accumulating masses of mere trivia? Most importantly, what are the most effective strategies for using archival research as the basis for writing original essays or book-length monographs? How do we move from the raw material of the archive to the publishable article or book? This course addresses such issues. Students from any field or period concentration will have the opportunity to explore online archives that are especially interesting to them and relevant to their work. If Covid permits, each student will also visit at least one physical archive in order get hands-on exposure to works of interest and to seek out material that has not been digitized. Class readings include articles or book chapters about archival research. Students will periodically report to the class about their progress in the archives and will write a term paper based on their research. 

ENGL 80200.  Meaning and/as Moaning: Somatic Discourses and Aesthetic Affections.  Joan Richardson.  Thursdays 2:00PM – 4:00PM.  2/4 Credits.   
Key questions and themes of this seminar will amplify the common etymological root of “meaning” and “moaning” to explore when and how the mind-body split emerged in language and how writers have attempted to repair or overcome it. As 18th-century minister Jonathan Edwards—considered by many to be both America’s first philosopher and first psychologist—observed, “The mind feels when it thinks.” We will sample pages/texts from a diverse array of voices spanning various periods and cultures to search out how what Stanley Cavell beautifully termed “passionate utterance” is made; a partial list might include, i.e., Heraclitus, Augustine, Tu Fu, Ibn ‘Arabi, Emerson, Dickinson, William James, W. E. B. DuBois, Wallace Stevens, Zora Neale Hurston. The samplings will be considered against a background of readings in current cognitive science, affect theory and neuroaesthetics. Active participation in discussion and a term paper or project (for those registered for 4 credits) will be required; for first-year students the project could be a version of a component of the First “Portfolio” Examination.
 

ENGL 80600.  Anthropocene Investigations.  Alexander Schultz.  Mondays 2:00PM – 4:00PM.  2/4 Credits.  
The term “Anthropocene,” first introduced by the chemist and Nobel Laureate Paul Crutzen and the biologist Eugene Stoermer twenty years ago, has by now become the most widely used designation for the current period of global, human-induced environmental catastrophe in both scholarly and public discourse. The appropriateness of the term (though of course not the global crisis it seeks to highlight) has, however, been subject to vigorous critique in the social sciences and the humanities, mainly due to its problematic naturalization of the human and its erasure of crucial questions of human difference and responsibility. From the perspective of the humanities in particular, a return to a species narrative, with an undifferentiated anthropos writ large as the protagonist, can seem to erase in one fell swoop decades of scholarly work in critique of essentialist conceptions of “the human.” A range of alternatives, from Capitalocene to Chtulucene, have been proposed in an effort to alter the narrative parameters in order to call anthropocene grand narratives into question. 

At the same time, a growing number of scholars in the humanities take seriously the challenge of the “Anthropocene” to rethink what viable narratives about and representations of the relationships of human beings to their environments might look like at a moment of global crisis where human and natural history can no longer be thought of as disentangleable. Such attempts include a newly framed engagement with literature and art more broadly as modes of representation that might allow us to bring the contemporary human predicament into view in different ways than scientific data and public policy debates. 

To address these overlapping discussions, this seminar will offer a two-fold investigation. On the one hand, we will attempt to take stock of the disciplinary discussion surrounding the “Anthropocene” and examine a range of critical perspectives and proposed alternatives in naming and timeline. At the same time, we will also turn our attention to emergent transdisciplinary approaches in the environmental humanities, as well as to the creative practice in literature and the arts, in order to investigate what a poetics for the “Anthropocene” might look like. Our theoretical interlocutors will include Bruno Latour, Donna Haraway, Kathryn Yussof, and T.J. Demos, among others. 

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

Course requirements: 3 short position papers; 15-minute conference presentation at the in-class, end-of-semester course conference; final 15-20 page research paper. 

Course readings: 

Latour, Bruno. Facing Gaia. Eight Lectures on the New Climatic Regime. Cambridge: Polity, 2017. ISBN: 978-0-7456-8434-5 
Yussof, Kathryn. A Billion Black Anthropocenes or None. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota Press, 2018. ISBN: 978-1-5179-0753-2, available for free online: https://manifold.umn.edu/projects/a-billion-black-anthropocenes-or-none 
Demos, T.J. Against the Anthropocene. Visual Culture and Environment Today. Berlin: Sternberg Press, 2017. ISBN: 978-3-95679-210-6 
Bilodeau, Chantal. Sila. Vancouver: Talon Books, 2015. ISBN: 978-0-88922-956-3 
Bilodeau, Chantal. Forward. Vancouver: Talon Books, 2017. ISBN: 978-1-77201-183-8 
Kimmerer, Robin Wall. Braiding Sweetgrass. Minneapolis: Milkweed, 2013. ISBN: 978-1-57131-356-0 

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

ENGL 84200.  The Nineteenth Century City and the Birth of the Flâneur.  Alan Vardy.  Tuesdays 4:15PM – 6:15PM.  2/4 Credits.   
We’ll begin the seminar with Wordsworth’s itinerants: blind beggars, discharged soldiers, female vagrants, et al. in order to discuss the rapid depopulation of the British countryside under enclosure and the dramatic and chaotic growth of cities. We’ll explore the London of the essays of William Hazlitt and Charles Lamb, before turning to Thomas De Quincey and his peripatetic alter-ego the English Opium-Eater. Our focus will then shift away from the British context as we take up the writing of later figures (and devotees of De Quincey) Edgar Allen Poe and Charles Baudelaire, including Poe’s “The Man of the Crowd” and The Murder in the Rue Morgue and Baudelaire’s experimental prose poem Paris Spleen. After witnessing the emergence of the flâneur, we’ll consider how this historical figure operates in our understanding of modernity via Walter Benjamin’s “A Berlin Chronicle.” We’ll end the course with a contemporary look back at the nineteenth century with Alan Moore’s graphic novel From Hell.   

Teaching College English: Practicum 

Baruch, Wednesdays, 10:00AM-12PM
Brooklyn, Tuesdays, 4:30PM-6:10PM
John Jay, Mondays, 9:00AM-11:00AM
Lehman, Wednesday, 3:00PM-5:00PM
Queens, Tuesdays, 10:05AM-11:55AM

 

  

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. 
 

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 ItThe 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 GridHathiTrust, Bitcurator, JStor LabsOmeka, 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.   
 

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. 

 

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


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. 

  Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
11:45-1:45 Vardy
Villages
Gray
Comics/Film
Reynolds
Archive
Kruger
Queerness
Agathocleous
Empire
2:00-4:00 Chuh
Orientalism
Perera
Fem/Glob
Lott
Intro Doc Stu
   
4:15-6:15 Hintz
Intro Doc Stu
Israel
Modernism
Miller
Diss Wkshp
 
Koestenbaum
Poetry
Dolan
Narratives

 
 
6:30-8:30   Kaye
Aestheticism
Hitchcock
Political Econ
   




ENGL 86700. Tanya Agathocleous. Race, Caste and Empire.  Fridays 11:45AM – 1:45PM.  2/4 Credits. 
While today’s conversations about intersectionality are (usually) careful not to conflate race, class, and caste as they study their interactions, in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, these words were often used interchangeably in Anglophone writing, particularly that which sought to create anti-racist and anti-colonial alliances across imperial space. This course will analyze this phenomenon and its implications, focusing in particular on the ways these categories were used as comparative and strategically conflated terms in explicit and implicit exchanges between South Asian, African, and African American writers via the circulation of letters, periodicals, pamphlets, conference proceedings, and literary texts such as novels and poems. Students will analyze these literary and paraliterary texts in a transnational comparative context in order to think about the history and problems of comparative racialization, as well as comparison itself, and their consequences for our understanding of the conjunction of political and literary discourses.  Reading such texts as Jane EyreThe Half-CasteThe Curse of CasteDark Princess, Jyotirao Phule’s “Slavery” and Ambedkar’s The Annihilation of Caste, the Proceedings of the Universal Races Congress, and essays and poems from The CrisisAnti-CasteIndian Opinion, and The African Times and Orient Review, as well as contemporary theorists of race and caste, we will trace a prehistory of the assumptions about identity and difference that still challenge our attempts to think intersectionally.


ENGL 80600. Kandice Chuh. Orientalism and the Project of Decolonization. Mondays 2:00PM – 4:00PM. 2/4 Credits.
Since the publication of Edward Said’s Orientalism in 1978, orientalism has served as a key concept across a wide variety of fields and discourses.  Afro-Orientalism, Techno-orientalism, Cold War orientalism, American orientalism, and even Asian orientalism are formulations peppering the contemporary critical landscape.  In this class, we’ll survey this range of formulations and the formations out of which they emerge, with an eye toward apprehending the heterogeneity of critical, political, and aesthetic valences of these various invocations of orientalism.  How do these formulations of orientalism engage the broad project of the address of coloniality, or in other words, the project of decolonization?  In what ways are de-orientalization and decolonization aligned and not?  What kinds of geographies and temporalities are implied or produced by both orientalist discourses and efforts to defunction them?  These are some of the key questions motivating and organizing this course.
Those enrolling in this course will please read Edward Said’s Orientalism in preparation for the first class meeting.  Students should expect substantial reading loads in this discussion driven course.  Those enrolled for 2 credits will be asked to write short essays or the equivalent to fulfill the writing requirements of the course.  Students registered for 4 credits will be asked to produce a seminar project in addition to these short essays.  No auditors, please.

ENGL 87000. Marc Dolan. Serial Narratives. Thursdays 4:15PM – 6:15PM. 2/4 Credits. 
This course will consider the popularity and peculiar aesthetics of longform, open narratives over the last two hundred years, from the romans-feuilleton of Eugene Sue’s day down to the streaming video obsessions of our own.
The specific balance of classes will be determined by student interest but the course will be purposely multimedia, and will probably include classes on the following topics: Victorian magazine serials; the silent film-and-newspaper serials of the Progressive/Edwardian era; Irna Philips’ creation of the soap opera in Chicago radio (and its continuation into the television era); the shift from yellowback and pulp novels into comic books during the 1940s; and the continued popularity and reinvention of Coronation Street and Doctor Who. Some attention will also be paid to the effect serialization has on conceptually closed narratives (e.g., Dickens and James’ encounters with serialization; telenovelas).   Secondary readings will be drawn from structuralist narratology and media studies.
Students from all area groups are welcome, and they will be encouraged to choose forms and topics for their final projects that tie the course’s more general themes into their specific needs and areas of focus.


ENGL 87400. Johnathan Gray. Representing the Other: Race and Ethnicity in Comics and Film. Tuesdays 11:45AM – 1:45PM. 2/4 Credits. 
Representing the Other examines comics and graphic novels—and the 21st century films influenced by them—in part by departing from Scott McLoud’s claim that when a reader sees an illustration “he sees himself.” This class instead builds on the idea that, as Michael Gillespie claims about film, comics “operat[e] as a visual negotiation, if not tension, between [the text] as art and race as a constitutive, cultural fiction” in part by exploring the ways that the right to look always involves a mediation on the cultural narratives that circulate around race. Creative texts will include Ron Wimberly’s Prince of Cats, Kyle Baker’s Nat Turner, Ezra Daniels and Ben Passmore’s BTTM FDRS, Marguerite Abouet and Clement Oubrerie’s, Aya: Love in Yop City, Jaime Hernandez’s Angels and Magpies: A Love and Rockets Book, Jennifer Crute’s Jennifer’s Journal, Gene Luen Yang’s Boxers and Saints, Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples Saga and others. Films and television shows will include HBO’s WatchmenBladeSpider-Man: Into the Spider-verse and others. Critical texts will include Nicholas Mirzoeff’s The Right to Look, Tina Campt’s Listening to Images, Michael Gillespie’s Film Blackness and others.

ENGL 70000. Carrie Hintz. Introduction to Doctoral Studies in English. Mondays 4:15PM – 6:15PM. 4 Credits.  Restricted to first-year Ph.D. Program in English students.
This course will seek to address four aspects of graduate studies in English: 1) English studies as a field and discipline; 2) research questions and practices; 3) connections to intellectual communities and networks (i.e. professionalization); and 4) the function of the university. Theoretically, we will examine the boundaries and objects of interest for the field, discussing how they intersect with but also remain distinct from other areas and approaches, and how various theories and methods (formalist, historicist, activist, etc.) define, in sometimes contradictory ways, English studies. Practically, we will discuss how to define objects of inquiry (“texts” and “contexts”) within the field, how to research such objects, how to identify the main debates currently circulating around them, and how to develop new knowledge and innovative ideas and approaches.

ENGL 76200. Peter Hitchcock. The Political Economy of Decolonial Forms. Wednesdays 6:30PM – 8:30PM. 2/4 Credits. 

The disarticulation of colonialism and coloniality takes many forms across the social, the political, the economic, etc. but how might one specify decolonizing the mind in terms of cultural expression and, particularly, literary form?  Is the latter merely an effect of, for instance, political/economic demands or does it have a more active presence in transforming the foundations of a colonizing world system as such?  This course will examine the antinomies and entanglements of literariness and literary form with economic and political structures.  One aim throughout will be to understand what is being decolonized and how an articulation of form might contribute to decolonial processes (of modernity, of the state, of thinking).  Avowedly interdisciplinary, we will explore the interanimation of the aesthetic and the economic, the idea and the ideological.  Moving among and within fiction, drama, poetry, and non-fiction we will consider several major examples of anti-, de-, and post-colonial writing as both forms of dissent and as dissent in form.  Such counter-critique will also introduce us to key examples of theory in this regard.  Together the literature and theory are not offered as a formalism but as a way to decolonize political economy itself.  This may prove useful for research in other directions. Readings will be drawn from Quijano, Onwueme, Glissant, Ngugi, Spivak, Fanon, Mignolo, Braschi, Mbembe, Cesaire, Roy, Marx, Arrighi, Wynter, Farah, Hamid, Bulawayo, Adichie, Piketty, and Vuong.  The basis of our discussions will be critical curiosity not estimable fluency.  A class presentation and/or term essay will be required in consultation with the instructor.


ENGL 76000. Nico Israel. Modernism Once and For All?. Tuesdays 4:15PM – 6:15PM. 2/4 Credits. 
This seminar will focus on the writings of Franz Kafka, Marcel Proust, Gertrude Stein and James Joyce, writers to earn the distinction of having the suffixes “-ian” or “esque” appended to their names to indicate a certain style of writing. Reading these writers closely means being invited to think otherwise about animality, coloniality, habit, disappointment, memory, objects, and the status of knowledge and the limits of the sentence. 
These writers’ texts will be approached as a way to think through interlinked questions of singularity and universality. In literary studies, the idea of “universality” has for decades been suspect for its presumptiveness and its exclusions—its subsumption of genders, social classes, races, body types and geographical regions--to say nothing of its human-centric approach to animals and the environment. This turn away from universalism in aesthetics and aesthetic theory coincides with and responds to an increasing suspicion of universalism in politics, a suspicion shared, but expressed in decidedly different ways, by the political left (where diversity tends to be extolled and encouraged) and right (where ideas of nationality, race and territoriality are defended).  And yet, the major transnational political challenges of the twenty-first-century—climate change, immigration, human rights abuses, pandemics—not to mention national calls for universal health care or universal basic income--all clearly demand some account of the universal, the general, or the human, even if merely an expanded or contested one. 
At no time were the ambitions and contradictions of universalism more clearly raised, set forth and heatedly debated than in the first half of the twentieth century, when universalism was called upon to substantiate radically different ideas of art and politics. In this seminar, we will pursue the idea that the temporalities inherent to the idea of singularity provide a way to open up and challenge abstract universality, not to defend or overturn universality but to reveal its residual potentialities. Singularity, a term which must be distinguished from both particularity and originality, is a temporal inclination that bears within itself repetition and discontinuity but moves outside of the logic of the individual author or work of art to reveal a prism onto a collective. It is in this contradictory and multiplicitous way that modernism might be approached as “once and for all.”
Other writers to be encountered in the seminar include Kant, Benjamin, Arendt, Derrida, Badiou, Latour, and Sekyi-Oto.

ENGL 76000. Richard Kaye. Aestheticism, Decadence, Modernism, 1880-1930. Tuesdays 6:30-8:30.​ 2/4 Credits. 
This class explores the relation between the aestheticist and decadent movements as well as their determination of modernist aesthetics. We will begin with late-nineteenth-century British, American, and French works by Hardy, Wilde, James, and Huysmans. The fin de siècle 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, the latter reaching an apotheosis in Wilde’s Salome. In the diverse writings of Pater, Olive Schreiner, Vernon Lee, and Wilde, aestheticism emerged as a theoretically coherent and varied movement absorbed in exquisite surfaces, tantalizing ambiguities, 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 dealing with hysteria and sexual disorder, preeminently in Dora: Fragment of a Case of Hysteria, Women writers, meanwhile, struggled to find a place within the male-defined coteries of aestheticism and decadence, a theme dramatized in Henry 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 its aims as immoral. Yet there were also alliances between male decadents and feminist writers (Wilde promoted Schreiner’s novel The Story of an African Farm because of its bold challenge to realist conventions and depiction of colonialist malaise.)  In France, the woman writer Rachilde publishes Monsieur Venus (1884), a symbolist/decadent novella concerning a dominatrix noblewoman, Raoule, who gradually transforms her working-class lover Jacques into hermistress by emptying him of all his “masculine” traits.
In the class’s section part we will explore how the fin outlasted the siècle, maintaining an intense afterlife in the Anglo-American modernist writing of Yeats, James, Eliot, Conrad, Joyce, Lawrence, and Djuna Barnes.  The morbidity, subjectivism, sexual experimentalism, and excesses of literary technique characteristic of 1890s sensibility foment modernist revisions that seek to repress their origins in decadent poetics. Wilde'sPicture of Dorian Gray, with its hero who cannot "develop," inspires modernist counter-bildungsromanae. 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 lyrical The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge (arguably the first modernist novel) and that helps to form the paralyzed solitary consciousness of Eliot’s “Prufrock.” Arguably the narrator of Conrad’s Heart of Darkness adopts decadent techniques for his coiled narrative of colonial tragedy.  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 novelNightwood as a more positively transformative cultural agent. 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 works we will read: Hardy, Jude the Obscure, Huysmans, Against Nature; Wilde,The Picture of Dorian Gray, Salome; Schreiner, Story of an African Farm; Freud, Dora: Analysis of a Fragment of a Case of Hysteria; Conrad, Heart of Darkness, Joyce, Stephen Hero, Yeats, Selected Poems; Lawrence, Selected Short Fiction; Eliot, Selected Poetry; James, The Golden Bowl; Barnes, Nightwood; Showalter, Elaine, ed., Daughters of Decadence.  We will read relevant critical and theoretical texts, including Walter Pater, “Conclusion” to The Renaissance; Arthur Symons, “The Decadent Movement in Literature”; Mario Praz, fromThe Romantic Agony; George Bataille, from Literature and Evil; Richard Ellmann, “The Uses of Decadence”; Richard Gilman, from Decadence: The Strange Life of an Epithet; Linda Dowling, “The Decadent and The New Woman”; Michael Riffaterre, “Decadent Paradoxes,” Leo Bersani, from The Culture of Redemption; Regenia Gagnier, “Individualism, Decadence, and Globalization,” Vincent Sherrry, from Decadence and the Reinvention of Modernism”; Matthew Potolsky, from The Decadent Republic of Letters.  A mid-term paper as well as a final paper that may be drawn from the mid-term essay. This class can be adapted to parts of the New Portfolio Examination.

ENGL 87200. Wayne Koestenbaum. Poetry After All: Contemporary Possibilities. Wednesdays 4:15PM – 6:15PM. 2/4 Credits. 
Ignore the fact that every word in this course title demands interrogating.  I’m not always sure what poetry is.  I’m not sure what after or before means:  isn’t chronology contestable?  All implies a totality or absoluteness we must shirk.  Who qualifies as contemporary?  Do we necessarily coincide, temporally, with everything else on earth and in galaxy?  Perhaps possibilities is the only word I’ll let stand, if only because it suggests meagerness as well as amplitude. 
Moving on, past the demolition job, into the practical:
At many moments in history, genres and media question their viability, currency, efficacy, ethics, necessity.  Maybe poetry makes nothing happen, or makes the wrong things happen.  Maybe poetry is broken.  Maybe poetry is not indubitably “poetry,” but simply a series of linguistic events that we can choose to embrace or ignore.  Atrocity shadows poetic possibility, but apparently doesn't foreclose it, not yet. 
No Adorno in this seminar, but at least one poem by Paul Celan.
I'll speak for myself:  poetry keeps me listening to the blur and emergency of the moment, keeps me suspicious of poses and nostrums, keeps me hopeful about the pliancy and plasticity of mortal materials, their sometime ability to make meaning and unmake destructive fixities.  Not every poem, or poetic movement, or moment in a poem, can manage to make or unmake in the proper proportion;  but poetry, still, might offer a zone of attempting, strategizing, practicing, sounding out, rubbing, conjuring, unraveling, and trying on.  Refuge?  Refusal?  Rebuttal?  Redirection? 
Because “contemporary" is an elastic and unstable term, we’ll read poems from not now as well as from now.  We might read thirteen individual volumes of poetry by thirteen different poets, or we might read two hundred poems by two hundred different poets.  If you plan to take this course, tell me some of the poets who matter most to you.
In lieu of a final project, each week you will write a two-page exercise, in response to specific assignments.  These compositions will allow you to experiment with an assortment of structures, modes, and styles, including manifesto, poem, critical essay, close reading, list, questionnaire, play, story, screenplay, recipe, description, itinerary, dream-vision, collage, letter, syllabus, test, and transcription. 
I considered calling this class "Damaged Goods," but changed my mind.  The notion that poetry contains damage, however, hovers near.

ENGL 80700. Steven Kruger. Racial, Religious, and Sexual Queerness in Medieval Literature. Thursdays 11:45AM – 1:45PM. 2/4 Credits. 
Medieval religious difference often involves constructions that, in modernity, might be thought of as more strictly racial. When the Muslim Sultan in the Middle English King of Tars converts to Christianity, his black skin becomes white. And boundaries between religious-racial communities are often policed through the categories of gender and sexuality. Canon law prohibits intermarriage, and it insists that Christian families not employ Jewish or Muslim nursemaids. From at least the thirteenth century on, Jewish and Christian masculinities are sharply differentiated from each other, with (for instance) a myth of Jewish male menstruation and/or anal bleeding being one strong way in which Christian and Jewish bodies are kept ideologically separate. “Sodomy,” too, is often strongly associated with racial-religious others—Mongols, Jews, Muslims, heretics.
In this course, our readings will focus on how racial, religious, gender, and sexual differences—and their intersections—are represented in (mostly) English texts of the Middle Ages. Readings will be drawn from a wide range of writers and works—for example, Marie de France, Chaucer, Gower, Lydgate, Henryson, Christine de Pisan, Malory, The King of TarsThe Croxton Play of the SacramentMandeville’s Travels. Alongside such primary texts, we will read queer, postcolonial, and critical race theory, and recent medievalist work that explicitly takes up such theory in its analysis of medieval culture. And we will read at least one post-medieval text (Shakespeare’s Troilus and Cressida? Octavia Butler’s science fiction? Ishiguro’s the Buried Giant?), to consider how the medieval constructions we have been analyzing are taken up and modified in later literature.
Students will present orally as part of the seminar structure. Those taking the course for 4 credits will pursue a semester-long writing project. First-year students in the English program will have the opportunity to use the writing project to work on one element of their first-examination portfolios.



ENGL 70000. Eric Lott. Introduction to Doctoral Studies in English. Wednesdays 2:00PM – 4:00PM. 4 Credits.  Restricted to first-year Ph.D. Program in English students.
This course will seek to address four aspects of graduate studies in English: 1) English studies as a field and discipline; 2) research questions and practices; 3) connections to intellectual communities and networks (i.e. professionalization); and 4) the function of the university. Theoretically, we will examine the boundaries and objects of interest for the field, discussing how they intersect with but also remain distinct from other areas and approaches, and how various theories and methods (formalist, historicist, activist, etc.) define, in sometimes contradictory ways, English studies. Practically, we will discuss how to define objects of inquiry (“texts” and “contexts”) within the field, how to research such objects, how to identify the main debates currently circulating around them, and how to develop new knowledge and innovative ideas and approaches.

ENGL 90000. Nancy Miller. Dissertation Workshop. Wednesdays 4:15PM – 6:15PM. 0 Credits. 
This seminar will give participants the opportunity to develop and complete their dissertation prospectus and/or draft dissertation chapters.  It will be conducted as a workshop with members reading and commenting on one another’s work under the professor’s guidance.  We will discuss the dissertation as an always-evolving genre as well as practical issues of writing and revision, research and research methods, documentation, presentation, and more.  We will also talk about professionalizing matters including engagement with current scholarly conversations and theoretical discourses, creating conference presentations and scholarly articles as part of the dissertation writing process, and thinking about the dissertation as a draft of a first monograph.

ENGL 86700. Sonali Perera. Feminism and Globalization. Tuesdays 2:00PM – 4:00PM. 2/4 Credits.  
A significant document in the official annals of globalization and development, the 1980 Brandt Report titled North-South: A Program for Survival maps the world in the simplest, starkest terms—divided between the rich nations (the North) and the poor (the South). In his concluding reflections to Culture and Imperialism, Edward Said, among other critics, finds such “global thinking” to be reductionist—if well intentioned—unwittingly reifying the very terms it proposes, in the name of poverty alleviation, to erase. And yet, beyond the Brandt Report, “the global South” retains value as an interpretative framework—as a metaphor or strategy, rather than precisely demarcated territory—for Marxist, and especially Marxist-feminist writers and theorists across the international division of labor. Antonio Gramsci called our attention to the “Southern Question.” How is the (global) “Southern question” negotiated in our age of globalization and food insecurity? What is at stake in making claims for feminism predicated not on comfortable solidarities, but based on an avowal of difference?

In this class we will enter into the debates on gender and globalization by focusing on the texts of feminist, counter-globalist, and anti-colonial writers and theorists of the Global South. We will also read a range of interdisciplinary material drawing from examples of working-class literature, subaltern studies, Marxist theory, feminist theory, activist journalism as well as selected UN and World Bank documents. While texts from the global South provide us with our departure point, we will constantly place these writings in conversation with a range of theorists of neoliberalism and globalization. How do feminist cartographies of labor complicate the North-South divide? What might feminism as both a social movement and as knowledge-politics have to teach us about institutionalized concepts of “comparative racialization” and “critical regionalism”? What ethical models of socialized labor—of “an impossible un-divided world,” of “fractured togetherness”—are represented in the literature of labor and of radical ecology? What does it mean to invoke “working-class literature” in an age of outsourcing and neoliberal scarcity? These are some of the questions that I hope will direct our inquiries over the course of the semester. Literary texts may include works by Bessie Head, Tayeb Salih, Tillie Olsen, Diamela Eltit, Mahasweta Devi, Toni Morrison, Gloria Anzaldua, Valeria Luiselli, Lynn Nottage, Saidiya Hartman, Nuruddin Farah, and Arundhati Roy. Theory texts may include writings by Karl Marx, Antonio Gramsci, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, Angela Davis, Hortense Spillers, David Harvey, Michael Hardt, Antonio Negri, Silvia Federici, Kathi Weeks, Arturo Escobar, Maria Josefina Saldaña-Portillo, Lila Abu-Lughod, Chandra Mohanty, Chela Sandoval, Sara Ahmed, Sarah Brouillette, Aren Aizura, Lisa Lowe, Ruth Wilson Gilmore, and Sylvia Wynter. (Where time permits, we may also consider shifts in framework and nomenclature put forward in the recent Progress of the World’s Women UN Report: Transforming Economies, Realizing Rights.)

Course Requirements: 

1.) A 10 minute oral presentation on one or two of the weekly readings.*
2.)  A 2 page prospectus for the final paper.
3.) A 15-20 page final paper.
4.) Engaged class participation. 

*Serving as a respondent to a presenter: In addition to signing up for your own presentation, you must also select a date where you will serve as respondent to a presenter. 


ENGL 89000. David Reynolds. Mining the Archives, Reinterpreting the Past. Wednesdays 11:45AM – 1:45PM. 2/4 Credits. 
During the past two decades, a revolution has occurred in scholarship: troves of archival materials that were once very hard to access and search have been digitized and put online. Rare books; entire runs of newspapers; obscure pamphlets; letters; manuscripts; images—these are some of the rich resources that are now universally available and instantly searchable. The implications for the study of literature, popular culture, history, and biography are immense. With the help of now-available archives, previously unnoticed dimensions of past cultures can be explored. Famous figures or writings of the past can be placed in fresh contexts, and new ones can be unearthed. And it’s not only primary research that has profited from digitalization: so has secondary research. An ever-increasing number of scholarly journals and books are online. This surfeit of online material, however, brings new challenges. How does one sort through the apparently endless digitized archives? How do we take notes without accumulating masses of mere trivia? Most importantly, what are the most effective strategies for using archival research as the basis for writing original essays or book-length monographs? How do we move from the raw material of the archive to the publishable article or book? This course addresses such issues. Students from any field or period concentration will have the opportunity to explore online archives that are especially interesting to them and relevant to their work. Each student will also visit at least one physical archive in order get hands-on exposure to works of interest and to seek out material that has not been digitized. Class readings include articles or book chapters about archival research. Students will periodically report to the class about their progress in the archives and will write a term paper based on their research.

ENGL 84200. Alan Vardy. Deserted Villages: Enclosure, Dispossession, and “Slow Violence.” Mondays 11:45AM – 1:45PM. 2/4 Credits.  
“Deserted Villages”: Enclosure, Nostalgia, and ‘Slow Violence’ will look at the complete upheaval of the British countryside from ca. 1770 to 1835 via  Goldsmith’s “The Deserted Village,” Cowper’s The Task and “The Yardley Oak,” Wordsworth’s “Simon Lee,” “The Ruined Cottage,” “Michael,” “Home at Grasmere” and “The Solitary Reaper,” Dorothy Wordsworth’s “Tour of Scotland, 1802,” Robert Bloomfield’s “The Farmer’s Boy,” Cobbett’s “Cottage Economy” and a few of his “Rural Rides,” and Clare’s “Helpstone,” “The Village Minstrel” and other poems.  We will employ a variety of critical approaches including Raymond Williams’ classic The Country and the City, the last 20 years of ecocriticism, Rob Nixon’s Slow Violence, other theories of social trauma, the problems of witness and memory, class difference, dispossession, etc.  One goal of the course will be a reevaluation of the political valences of Romantic nostalgia.
Please buy the Oxford edition of Clare.  There has been much debate about editing Clare, and it’s important that we work from the same texts.  Any editions of the other authors will do.  Goldsmith, Cowper, and Dorothy Wordsworth will be available on Blackboard, as will other materials to be announced (two chapters from Ann Bermingham’s Landscape and Ideology are currently available).  Nixon’s influential book is available in the system as an e-book, and I’d encourage students to read the Introduction to become familiar with his working hypothesis.

Course Requirements

3 short papers (2-3 pages)
A conference abstract (250-500 words)
A conference paper (15-20 minutes)
A research paper (15-20 pages)

The short papers are intended to give you a chance to start using the seminar’s focus to read various materials on the reading list.
The format for the rest of the course is structured like professional academic work: an abstract for a conference (real or imaginary); the talk developed from the abstract (to be delivered in a seminar conference after the Thanksgiving break); a research paper based the conference talk geared toward submission for publication.  While this structure is primarily an exercise, in the past, many students have given conference presentations as a result, and a significant number have published articles.

ENGL 79000. Teaching College English: Practicum. 4 credits
John Jay, Tuesdays, 12:30PM-2:30PM
Brooklyn, Tuesdays, 4:30PM-6:10PM
City, Wednesdays 4:45PM-6:35PM
Queens, Thursdays 10:05AM-11:55AM
Lehman, Thursdays 2:00PM-4:00PM