Master's in English - Summer Class Schedule

Session 1: 06/19/17-07/13/17

Session 1: 06/13/16-07/07/16

Title: American Modernism
Instructor: Danner, K
Room: HIB 341
MTWTH 9:00-10:50am
Desc for American Modernism: Modernism is rightly considered an international arts movement, one that spanned not just continents, but media from the visual and plastic arts to poetry and fiction. Our concern here is with the movement as it appeared in the United States between the World Wars, and with the debates that it raised about the function and purpose of the literary in the American context. Like their European counterparts, most American writers of the period were concerned with stylistic innovations, a willingness to disrupt syntax and form, [and mixed] together modes or levels of writing that had often been kept separate, [while risking] incoherence and experimentation in order to challenge the audience's preconceived notions of value and order. (Paul Lauter) But the American context, without being entirely exceptional, shifts the way that we understand these typical questions most notably when it comes to race and the political repression, resistance and reform in the wake of the Great Depression. The nature and detail of that shift will form the bulk of our inquiry. 2 short papers, with required drafts. Tentative reading list includes: Gertrude Stein, William Faulkner, Jean Toomer, Tillie Olsen, Djuna Barnes and Richard Wright.
Title: Medieval Romance
Instructor: Allen, E
Room: HIB 341
MTWTH 11:00-12:50pm
Desc for Medieval Romance : In its modern forms, the genre of romance does not carry much literary prestige: it is typically identified with female readers and erotic fantasy, though there are also reflexes of romance in westerns, historical fiction, and of course Arthuriana. For the Middle Ages, however, romance was the elevated vernacular genre of aristocratic society—a society concerned with gender, eros, social etiquette, and aesthetic beauty because such values could mediate the violence of war and idealize chivalric culture. Thus the love of Tristan and Iseult highlights the lovers’ competing loyalties (to king vs. lover), while papering over the constant potential for baronial war. Or Sir Gawain strains to keep arbitrary promises, while his life careens toward inevitable death. Yet romances typically fail to idealize their heroes completely; there will always be gaps or ruptures in the gorgeous surface of the scene. Idealization and its limits will often be registered in the signal use of magic: Tristan and Iseult fall in love because of a potion; Yvain falls in love at a magic spring; Le Freine finds her mother using a jeweled robe. Magic will seem to explain the mechanisms of survival and social community—Arthur becomes king because he can pull the sword from the stone. But such explanations are always partial and heavily mystified—why Arthur and no one else, after all, is a question consigned to the impenetrable workings of Merlin and his ilk. In this course we will investigate the traits and tropes of romance, especially magic, with an eye to discovering the genre’s peculiar balance between ideality and what we might call realism. In the process of idealizing aristocratic culture, romance calls into question its very foundations. Requirements: 2-3 page paper 5-6 page paper
Title: Chaucer's Canterbury Tales
Instructor: Davis, R
Room: HIB 341
MTWTH 3:00-4:50pm
Desc for Chaucer's Canterbury Tales : This course examines Geoffrey Chaucer's fourteenth-century masterpiece The Canterbury Tales, a collection of stories voiced by a motley band of pilgrims on their way to St. Thomas's shrine. No prior experience with Middle English is expected, but with plenty of practice, you'll gain substantial reading ability in Chaucer's original language, familiarity with its pronunciation, and knowledge of its distinctive vocabulary and syntax. We'll study a bit of historical context and read the poem's General Prologue and several of the individual tales in great detail, focusing on the design of the poem, its thematic patterns, narratorial techniques, modes of characterization, and philosophical inquiries. Additionally, we'll read excerpts from some of Chaucer's probable sources and consider how he shaped existing narratives and traditions to give them new meaning. It will be a challenge to cover such a rich text in its original language in four short weeks: my goal in teaching this course will be to provide you with interpretative tools that enable further independent study of Chaucer's works.
Title: The Figure of the Boundry Crosser in Film, Literature, and Folklore
Instructor: Burke, C
Room: TBD
MTWTH 5:00 - 6:50pm
Desc for The Figure of the Boundry Crosser in Film, Literature, and Folklore: In this course we will examine the figure of the boundary crosser as it appears in folk and popular cultures. Boundary crossers can terrify, but they can also beguile. They can subvert the conventional order and in so doing generate new possibilities. Whether the traditional trickster, the devil who refuses to stay forever sealed in an underworld, or the invading alien, the boundary crosser threatens to merge with the human in a horrifying hybridity. We will look at this figure from the perspectives of literary convention, religion, psychology, and the fantastic. The latter, according to Todorov is “ that hesitation experienced by a person who knows only the laws of nature, confronting an apparent supernatural event.” Texts will include Native American tales, European fairytales, Milton’s Paradise Lost, Enders Game, and several contemporary fiilms.

Session 2: 07/11/16-08/04/16

Title: Romantic Identities
Instructor: Abrams, B
Room: HIB 341
MTWTH 9:00-10:50am
Desc for Romantic Identities: This course will explore the development and transformation of Romantic conceptions of identity and the self through a variety of texts, primarily from the English Romantic period itself as well as from the late 18th Century, the Victorian era, and Modernism, including some American as well as English writers. As the title and this general outline suggest, essential Romantic narratives or myths of individual self-development and cultural identity still shape our perceptions, beliefs, or ideologies concerning the meaning and value of our experiences and the goals of existence. Similarly, the perceived antitheses of Romanticism still appear, accurately or not, as realities or ideologies that question or transform our beliefs in autonomy, self-definition, and imaginative consciousness. We will also explore the relationship between the historical literature and contemporary culture, as these Romantic and anti-Romantic conceptions of the self pervade not only our individual experiences and desires, as well as our perceptions of that experience, but also the public actions and decisions that shape or attempt to shape our choices and beliefs.
Title: The Modern in Ruins
Instructor: Bartlette, J
Room: HIB 341
MTWTH 11:00am - 12:50pm
Desc for The Modern in Ruins: In this course we will read a number of literary works that explore the concept of ruin as it influenced the distinctive thematic and stylistic qualities of English literature in the twentieth century. The battle cry of literary modernism as expressed by poet and critic Ezra Pound "make it new!" not only implies that the remains of the old whatever they are remain, but that they are the raw stuff of innovation. T.S. Eliot elaborated on Pound's claim in his essay "tradition and the Practice of Poetry": "the perpetual task of poetry is to make all things new. Not necessarily to make new things. It is always partly a revolution, or a reaction, from the work of the previous generation." There was much to react to: rising education rates, political liberalism, scientific advances in technology, and the deveoo9pment of mass production had weakened the certainty of ongoing social, religious and cultural stability at the end of the nineteenth century, and no one figure had the authoritiy to compel it the idea that the writer had a moral obligation to uplift and educate the masses seemed as irresponsible and ironic as the idea that the complacent, exploitative, and rapidly expanding empire would do the same for the rest of the world so the tradition, habit, and certitude of the Victorian period and its literatures gave way to the rerelentless change, loss, and destabilization of modernism. All of the writers we will read this quarter considered themselves to be confronting the ruins of a culture of conviction and optimism, and to be remaking old, resistant materials, and we will trace their conceptualization of the "ruin" as a noun and a verb through novels, manifestos, poems, and essays that reimagine human identity in these terms. “The center cannot hold,” wrote William Butler Yeats, “Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,” and indeed, the matter of our analysis will be anarchic, for alongside the rapid pace of social and technological change, the mass dislocation of populations by war, empire, and economic migration, and the mixing of cultures and classes in rapidly expanding cities, the force of modernity disrupted the old order, upended ethical and social codes, and cast into doubt previously stable assumptions about self, community, the world, and the divine. The literature of the period took on a variety of stylistic imperatives in response: it was by design and intention aggressively difficult for Eliot, a writer “must become more and more comprehensive, more allusive, more indirect, in order to force, to dislocate if necessary, language into his meaning” and its resistance to interpretation was not only unapologetic, but the point: in foregrounding the device of literary style, twentieth-century writers were not only searching for new modes of expression to convey new insights, they were revealing that style itself is never innocent but always already ruined by the historical conditions that produce it. REQUIRED TEXTS Ford, Ford Madox. The Good Soldier. 1915. New York: Penguin, 2007. Greene, Graham. The End of the Affair. 1951. New York: Penguin, 2004. Woolf, Virginia. Mrs. Dalloway. 1925. Orlando: Mariner, 1990.
Title: Language in the City
Instructor: Lee, J
Room: HIB 341
MTWTH 3:00-4:50pm
Desc for Language in the City: Through an examination of texts from geography, linguistic anthropology, and sociolinguistics, this course will consider the interrelationship between language and the urban spaces in which they are used. We will examine the ways in which the spaces we traverse and the places we occupy shape our understandings of language and our usage of various language resources. Developing Michel de Certeau’s notion of “walking in the city” as a means of spatial production, we will simultaneously consider how the usage and circulation of language resources reconfigure and reconstitute the spaces and places themselves. In addition to several short articles, required books include Pennycook and Otsuji’s Metrolingualism: Language in the City (Routledge, 2015) and Jaworski and Thurlow’s Semiotic Landscapes: Language, Image, Space (Continuum, 2010).
Title: Politics of Romance
Instructor: Silver, V
Room: HIB 341
MTWTH 5:00-6:50pm
Desc for Politics of Romance: The course includes narrative and dramatic romances from The Odyssey to the western, exploring the tragic origins and political assumptions of these tales of erotic crime, punishment and redemption. It will examine the nature of the romance protagonist, the arc of romantic actions, the character of erotic suffering (and it's opposite), and their relationship to ideas of moral, political and cosmic order. sounds vast and unwieldy but trust me. After Homer, the readings are as follows: Xenphon's Ephesian Tale; Chretien's Arthurian Romances; Skakespeare's The Winter's Tale (for those of you who took the Shakespeare course from me and were denied it); Austen's Northanger Abbey; and Jack Shaefer's Shane. If there is time, we will conclude with a foray into grocery-store romances, with the principle of selection being whether they have Fabio on the cover. Movies are always possible.

Session 1: 06/15/15-07/09/15

Title: Dickens
Instructor: Abrams, Barry
Room: HIB 341
MTWTH 9:00am
Desc for Dickens: As the most widely read novelist of his day, Charles Dickens fully represents Victorian society and its values or ideologies even as he questions and often subverts them. His novels reflect, amplify, and explore the anxieties, prejudices, beliefs, insights, and contradictory energies of 19th Century England—all of the uncertainties and fears of uncertainty that pervade Victorian life and its discourse concerning the central issues of the time. These include the nature of the imagination, the authenticity of the self and self-formation, the impact of finance capitalism and industry on individual and social life, the role of society in shaping human experience and the origins of human nature, the role of the individual in history, and the nature of gender and class as categories of experience. Just as interesting for this course, the narrative complexity of Dickens’ work, its rhetorical variety, and its fictional construction of a world not only present an equally complex response to the age and its anxieties, but also raise central questions about the limits of our knowledge and the meanings of experience, about our awareness of our existence, about the hidden life of others and ourselves, and about the role of fiction in exploring these limits and uncertainties. These uncertainties, framed in the 18th and 19th century terms engaged by Dickens, remain central to contemporary discourse, often underlying or provoking the critical discourse by which we examine the past as it shapes itself and the future. We will explore these issues through the interpretation of several Dickens novels, incorporating critical theory as appropriate, as well as through the analysis of selected related Victorian texts and contemporary narratives, including film and/or television that build on the tradition of multi-plot narratives and mixed modes of rhetoric and genre
Title: Literacy, Technology & Multilinguality
Instructor: Queen, Brad
Room: HIB 341
MTWTH 11:00am
Desc for Literacy, Technology & Multilinguality: The academic study of literacy has become a central imperative in post-secondary institutions across the United States, due in large measure to two exigencies: technological affordances have expanded communicative methods and modes and enabled cross-cultural connectivity; and demographic changes in student populations have deepened the linguistic heterogeneity of classrooms. Together these social phenomena are having profound effects on the ways we understand literacy and literacies as they are enacted through teaching, learning, and curricular systems. This course explores the conceptual evolution of literacy within the field of Composition & Rhetoric, a broad disciplinary configuration that serves as a register of political, cultural, and pedagogical tensions during moments of educational change and reform. To elucidate and study such tensions, this seminar will first trace the shifting contours of the field over the course of the twentieth century and into the twenty first, and then it will examine another historical layer—its guiding pedagogies and approaches—before moving into focused investigations of issues and problems of current importance: genre theory, portfolio assessment, multi-modality, and pedagogies for teaching academic writing in linguistically diverse composition & rhetoric classrooms.
Title: Literary Animals
Instructor: Davis, Rebecca
Room: HIB 341
MTWTH 1:00pm
Desc for Literary Animals: In this course, we’ll consider these and other questions about the relationship between humans and animals in literary texts, exploring how the category of the animal functions to construct what it means to be human, and how the stories we tell about animals both facilitate and constrain animal-human relationships. So that we may think historically about a very familiar cultural phenomenon, our reading schedule pairs medieval and contemporary representations of animals, seeking to highlight the continuities as well as the differences among the texts we’ll discuss. Because there are so many animal stories to choose from (everyone has a favorite), students will pursue an independent research project on an animal story of their own choosing that is not part of the course syllabus.
Title: Shakespearean Tragedy
Instructor: Silver, Victoria
Room: HIB 341
MTWTH 3:00pm
Desc for Shakespearean Tragedy: Although it is entitled 'Shakespearean Tragedy,' this is a course in what amounts to an English innovation: the theater of mixed dramatic modes. Unlike French drama, whose neoclassicism imposed strict divisions between the 'heroic,' 'tragic,' or 'comic,' English drama employed more than one genre, conceptual model or pattern in its writing, viz. Polonius' notorious account in "Hamlet" of current dramatic practice: "tragedy, comedy, history, pastoral, pastoral-comical, historical-pastoral, tragical-historical, tragical-comical-historical-pastoral." To investigate the role of such mixed patterns or modes in Shakespeare, we will read "Richard III," "Much Ado About Nothing," "Hamlet," "Lear," and "The Winter's Tale." Neither tragedy nor comedy will ever look the same, which I promise will enrich your teaching of Shakespeare's plays. Movies of course.

Session 2: 07/13/15-08/06/15

Title: Teaching Young Adult Fiction
Instructor: Alexander, Jonathan
Room: HIB 341
MTWTH 11:00am
Desc for Teaching Young Adult Fiction: Young Adult (YA) fiction is amongst the most lucrative genres in the publishing industry. Millions of young people read YA fiction, educators increasingly use it in their curricula, the culture industry develops mass media out of it, and literary critics and literacy theorists trace the appeal (and controversies) of this publishing phenomenon. Like any mass produced literary genre, YA has a history—one intimately tied to the development of literacy and the mass marketing of fiction over the last 100 years. This course will trace that history, with particular attention to the development of pedagogical approaches to YA fiction that take into account YA fiction as a cultural and economic phenomenon.
Title: 1890
Instructor: Bartlett, Jami
Room: HIB 341
MTWTH 1:00pm
Desc for 1890: In this course we will read a number of works associated with Aestheticism and the Decadence, a period marked by great social, literary, and philosophical ambivalences, including the paradox of the cosmopolitan subject, the circulation of criticism and the exclusivity of the coterie, the aestheticization of the object and the relation between the useful and the beautiful. We will read philosophies of art and culture by John Ruskin, anthropology by W. K. Clifford, sociology by Georg Simmel, sexology by Havelock Ellis, and psychical research by William James. Our literary texts will include prose and poetry by Oscar Wilde, Max Beerbohm, and Aubrey Beardsley. We will end the course with Arthur Machen’s bizarre scientific-gothic novel The Great God Pan, because, frankly, we can’t do better.
Title: Ideologies and Ecologies of English: Local Practices, Global Contexts
Instructor: Lee, Jerry
Room: HIB 341
MTWTH 3:00pm
Desc for Ideologies and Ecologies of English: Local Practices, Global Contexts: What does it mean to use, study, and teach “English” in today’s era of globalization? The course will explore this question through a close examination of theoretical texts from a range of disciplines, including literary theory, applied linguistics, sociolinguistics, and literacy studies. In this course, we will begin by examining why certain users of English are considered perpetually deficient. We will then consider various popular assumptions regarding English, including the belief that learning English guarantees social and economic mobility, and how these myths operate at the local and global levels. Finally, we will explore how the language attitudes and practices of resistant users of English from the peripheries challenge dominant assumptions about English. In addition to several articles and chapters, book-length readings will include the following texts: · H. Samy Alim & Geneva Smitherman – Articulate While Black: Barack Obama, Language, and Race in the US (Oxford UP, 2012) · Deborah Cameron – Verbal Hygiene, 2nd ed. (Routledge, 2012) · Suresh Canagarajah – Translingual Practice: Global Englishes and Cosmopolitan Relations (Routledge, 2014) · Rey Chow – Not Like a Native Speaker: On Languaging as a Postcolonial Experience (Columbia UP, 2014) · Gregorio Hernandez-Zamora – Decolonizing Literacy: Mexican Lives in the Era of Global Capitalism (Multilingual Matters, 2010) · Rosina Lippi-Green – English with an Accent: Language, Ideology, and Discrimination in the United States, 2nd ed. (Routledge, 2011) · Alastair Pennycook – Global Englishes and Transcultural Flows (Routledge, 2007)
Title: Documenting War
Instructor: Burke, Carol
Room: HIB 341
MTWTH 5:00pm
Desc for Documenting War: Photographers, filmmakers, videographers, journalists, and more recently bloggers document the wars we fight and the conflicts we avoid. They send their dispatches from “the front” in the heat of conflict. They record the losses that come with any war and the atrocities suffered by those caught in harm’s way. They distill for those of us on the home front the complications and chaos of war into narratives of heroism and sacrifice, efficiency and excess, liberation and injustice. They bring us the assessments of war from leaders, both military and civilian, whose task it is to manage conflict, if not to win it. They produce the iconic images that sear a war in our memory. In this course, we will look closely, but not exclusively, at the work of documentary filmmakers and print journalists. We will consider the arguments they make, the scenes they depict, and the stories they tell in their efforts to write the first draft of history or to bring to light a previously hidden truth about a specific war. We will also examine oral history projects established to document the reflections of soldiers and civilians touched by war, and each student will leave the course with a sense of how, as teachers, they might involve their students in collecting the stories of others. Members of the course will be required to screen the films out of class. Many of these films will be available either on Netflix or Amazon; others can be seen at scheduled screenings.

Session 1: 06/16/14-07/11/14

Title: Modern Identities
Instructor: Abrams, Barry
Room: HIB 341
MTWTHr 9-10:50am
Desc for Modern Identities: This course will explore the development and transformation of Romantic conceptions of identity and the self through a variety of texts, primarily from the English Romantic period itself as well as from the late 18th Century, the Victorian era, and Modernism, including some American as well as English writers. As the title and this general outline suggest, essential Romantic narratives or myths of individual self-development and cultural identity still shape our perceptions, beliefs, or ideologies concerning the meaning and value of our experiences and the goals of existence. Similarly, the perceived antitheses of Romanticism still appear, accurately or not, as realities or ideologies that question or transform our beliefs in autonomy, self-definition, and imaginative consciousness. We will also explore the relationship between the historical literature and contemporary culture, as these Romantic and anti-Romantic conceptions of the self pervade not only our individual experiences and desires, as well as our perceptions of that experience, but also the public actions and decisions that shape or attempt to shape our choices and beliefs.
Title: Before Harlem: African-American Literature Before the Harlem Renaissance
Instructor: Gilmore, Paul
Room: HIB 341
MTWTr 11-12:50pm
Desc for Before Harlem: African-American Literature Before the Harlem Renaissance: This course aims to give students a broad overview of the development of early African-American literature before the Harlem Renaissance. We will survey a wide-variety of works written by African Americans in the nineteenth century and early-twentieth century, from a sampling of slave narratives and antebellum era novels to selected poetry and postbellum novels, collections, and short stories. Along the way we will dip into recent criticism engaging some of the key questions surrounding this material and its relationship to the twentieth-century flowering of African- American literature. Authors examined will include Frederick Douglass, Harriet Jacobs, William Wells Brown, Frances Harper, Paul Laurence Dunbar, Charles Chesnutt, Booker T. Washington, James Weldon Johnson, and W. E. B du Bois. Required Texts: Henry Louis Gates, ed. Classic Slave Narratives Signet 978- 0451532138 John Hope Franklin, ed. Three Negro Classics Avon 978-0380015818 William Wells Brown, Clotel, 2nd. Ed. Bedford 978-0312621070 Frances Harper, Iola Leroy Penguin 9780143106043
Title: History and Theory of the Graphic Novel
Instructor: Alexander, Jonathan
Room: HIB 341
MTWTr 1-2:50pm
Desc for History and Theory of the Graphic Novel: This course will examine the development of the graphic novel, from its early formation in serialized comic books of the 1940s and 50s, to the avant-garde work of R. Crumb in the 1960s and 70s, and to more recent experimental works by novelists such as Art Spiegelman (Maus I and II) and Alan Moore (The Watchmen). Some attention will be paid to the contributions made to the genre by Japanese authors, such as Osama Tezuka, whose influence on American graphic novel writing has been immense. We will also examine the transformation of some graphic novels into film (e.g., Frank Miller’s 300). Methodologically, this course will attempt to understand the development of the graphic novel as a form blending both popular culture elements and highbrow aesthetics. We will also attempt to situate these works in the economic, socio-cultural, and political climates surrounding their publication. Most significantly, we may understand some of these works as "cultural work"--that is, as intentional interventions in helping mass audiences understand complex social and political phenomena (e.g, Persepolis and its depiction of modern day Iran). Texts: Scott McCloud’s Understanding Comics Will Eisner’s Contract with God Alan Moore’s Watchmen Art Spiegelman's Maus 1 & 2 Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis Jessica Abel’s La Perdida Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home Yoshihiro Tatsumi’s Push Man & Other Stories American Born Chinese
Title: The Fine Art of Revenge (Tragedy)
Instructor: Silver, Victoria
Room: HIB 341
MTWTr 3-4:50pm
Desc for The Fine Art of Revenge (Tragedy): Hearts on sticks, people backed in pies, others kissing poisoned skulls and grasping the hands of dead men--this is the happy realm of late sixteenth- and seventeenth-century revenge tragedy, which has come back into academic fashion with (dare I say it?) a vengence. For those with strong stomachs, the course will cover a selection of these plays, beginning with their literary inspiration and Roman original, Seneca’s Thyestes: we will read Middleton’s The Revenger’s Tragedy, Webster’s Duchess of Malfi, Chapman’s Revenge of Bussy D’Ambois, Tourneur’s Atheist’s Tragedy, Ford’s ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore, and possibly the most appalling of all, Shakespeare’s arguable parody of the early modern vogue, Titus Andronicus. We will ponder the reasons and sources of that vogue, consider whether this species of ‘tragedy’ IS tragedy, and penetrate to its peculiar workings, with the help of at least one film. Buyer beware. (Not really.) Required Texts: Seneca, Four Tragedies and Octavia, ed. E. F. Watling (Penguin). Shakespeare, Titus Andronicus, ed. Russ McDonald (Pelican / Penguin). Four Revenge Tragedies, ed. Katherine Maus (Oxford World’s Classics). John Webster, The Duchess of Malfi and Other Plays, ed. Rene Weis (Oxford World Classics). John Ford, ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore and Other Plays, ed. Marion Lomax (Oxford World Classics).

Session 2: 07/14/14-08/08/14

Title: Milton and His Makers
Instructor: Collins, Rachael
Room: HIB 341
MTWTr 9-10:50am
Desc for Milton and His Makers: This course will examine the major works of John Milton through the lens of his “Makers.” Beginning with his Latin poem Ad Patrem (“To His Father”), we will consider the role of paternal maker in this early articulation of Milton’s poetic aspirations. From there we will turn to the makers of Milton’s history—those key events, ideologies, and figures that helped shape the religious, political and cultural climate of the seventeenth century. And of course we will investigate the “almighty maker” of Paradise Lost who appears in various guises as creator, king, tyrant, father and (perhaps most importantly) as supreme author of Milton’s work. Finally, as we make our way through Milton’s great Restoration poetry, we will look at some notable critics of Milton’s work, examining what it means for us, his readers, to be “made” into a “fit audience.” Texts: Complete Poems and Major Prose, ed. Merritt Hughes (Hackett). We will read key early works, political tracts and all of the major Restoration poetry. Course Text: Milton: Complete Poetry and Selected Prose, ed. Merritt Hughes (Hackett) *Expect the occasional ancillary reading in the form of a handout or pdf.
Title: The Wisdom of This World: Irony in Dante
Instructor: Chiampi, J
Room: HIB 341
MTWTr 11:00am-12:50pm
Desc for The Wisdom of This World: Irony in Dante: This year's course on the Divine Comedy will study the way in which Dante uses irony to upset the mundane certitudes and perspectives we employ to make sense of the Inferno and Purgatorio. Romantic criticism with its titanism, exalted such figures as Francesca, Farinata, Pier della Vigna, and Count Ugolino, swooning over the "tragedy" of their damnation. Carefully read, the play of Dante\'s poem achieves the contrary: the glance backward from the education imparted by the Paradiso--axiological and critical fulcrum of the poem--reveals the error that makes the damned glorious in the eyes of the world, and indeed, even attractive to us readers. Having arrived at such insight, retrospection of the Inferno and Purgatorio reveals the subtle way in which the play of the poem's figuralism subverts such reading. We see what we may have overlooked before. Reading sub specie aeternitatis, our entire reading of the earlier canti changes completely. Thus do we overcome the wisdom of this world in favor of the foolishness of God. Text Books: Dante Alighieri. The Divine Comedy of Dante Alighieri. Trans. Allen Mandelbaum. 3 vols. New York and Toronto: Bantam Books, 1982-1988. (PQ 4315.M33 1980). Boethius. The Consolation of Philosophy. Trans. Richard Green. New York and London: Macmillan, 1962. (B659.C2 E59).
Title: THEORIES OF CHARACTER
Instructor: Bartlett, Jamie
Room: HIB 341
MTWTr 1-2:50pm
Desc for THEORIES OF CHARACTER: This course will introduce you to the complexity of the idea and implementation of character in the nineteenth-century realist novel through the analysis of an irregular figure, the stock character. Neither minor nor major, neither flat nor round, too familiar to require much in the way of a personal history and yet unique in their reactions to immediate events, stock characters wander at a rich intersection between character and plot. If, as Forster has it, the difference between flat and round characters is that the round ones are capable of surprising us, we could say that stock characters often surprise us, but rarely themselves. Mr. Brownlow, the grand benefactor of Oliver Twist, is both reliably and literally deep—"his kindness and solicitude knew no bounds"—but at key moments, the novel makes a point of withholding the very details that we would anticipate (and probably skim over): Brownlow "forced a supply of tears into his eyes, by some hydraulic process which we are not sufficiently philosophical to be in a condition to explain." By reverting to an unfathomable type in such moments, stock characters like Brownlow both reveal and aggravate a fundamental contradiction in the relationship between form and character in the novel, pushing the details that are said to conjure "realism" into uneasy abstractions. My vision for this course will be similarly, blurrily bifocal: we will use the characters of two realist novels and two short stories as points of entry into the form of the realist novel itself, and we will situate that form in a genealogy of the archetype by reading a smattering of secondary material from the fields of anthropology, psychoanalysis, literary criticism, and sociology. Requirements include regular engagement with course readings, one presentation followed by some discussion facilitation, and one 7-10 page paper.
Title: READINGS IN ROMANTICISM
Instructor: Warminski, Andrzej
Room: HIB 341
MTWTr 3-4:50pm
Desc for READINGS IN ROMANTICISM: Close reading of Wordsworth’s Prelude and some other major romantic poems. The course will focus on the self-consciousness and self- reflexivity proper to the romantics and the vision of history that this self- reflection engenders. One hypothesis of the course is that (both older and more recent) attempts to “historicize” the romantics need to overlook the “negativity” peculiar to the language of romantic poetry in its truly historical and material specificity. Another hypothesis is that, once read, the texts of the romantics, rather than legitimating the aesthetic, historicist, or other (“Romantic” or “German”) ideologies that dominate contemporary theory, can instead serve as the most powerful resource for their critical dismantling. Testing these hypotheses will require some attention to Hegel’s project in the Phenomenology of Spirit and Paul de Man’s (abandoned?) attempt at a “historical definition” of Romanticism. Texts: Wordsworth, short lyrics and The Prelude; selected poems by Coleridge and Keats; Hegel, Phenomenology of Spirit; de Man, Romanticism and Contemporary Criticism and The Rhetoric of Romanticism; essays by Abrams, Hartman, Bloom, and others. Texts: Wordsworth, William, _The Prelude: 1799, 1805, 1850_ (Norton Critical Edition) Hegel, G.W.F., _Phenomenology of Spirit_ (Oxford U Press)