The English Renaissance

Dr. Raymond Mackenzie, Fall 2017

Feminisms in Thought & Action

Dr. Elizabeth Wilkinson, Fall 2017

19th Century American Literature

Dr. Laura Zebuhr, Fall 2017

Theorizing Black Body

Dr. Todd Lawrence, Spring 2018

Social Justice & Urban Design

Dr. Fernando Sanchez, Spring 2018


Fall 2017 Courses

Issues in Criticism

An introduction to the principal theoretical issues and questions in the discipline of literary studies. The course explores the major contemporary approaches to literary studies in the context of various traditions of literary theory and criticism. It encourages students to assess constructively some of the key controversies in contemporary critical theory and apply their learning to the interpretation of literary texts. This required course must be taken as one of the first three courses in the program.

GENG 513-01 Issues in Criticism Mondays, 6:00 - 9:00 pm Dr. Alexis Easley JRC 481

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The English Renaissance

In this course, we’ll study the literature of the Early Modern period in England, with some glances at its Continental context.  Among the many topics we’ll be examining are the new sense of human psychology and the inner person, the new view of religion and its relation to the state, new views of women and of male-female relations, and new views of literature and its place in society.  The works we will study represent a broad range of genres, styles and approaches; the authors will include Thomas More, Sidney, Spenser, and Shakespeare as well as Amelia Lanyer, Mary Wroth, and Margaret Cavendish. This course satisfies the pre-1830 British Literature distribution requirement.

GENG 522-01 The English Renaissance Thursdays, 6:00 - 9:00 pm Dr. Ray MacKenzie MHC 211

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19th-Century American Literature

This course investigates a concept that is very intimately tied to commonplace narratives about the United States: freedom. Specifically, we will ask 19th-century literary and philosophical texts to help us think through the relationship between freedom and constraint. While we might perhaps think of freedom as the absence of constraint, such a conception of freedom makes it challenging to imagine our lives together, or to speak of “the common good.” We will look at how 19th-century texts theorize and represent what it might mean to be free. Secondary readings that introduce transnational philosophical and political debates about freedom and free will in the late 18th and 19th centuries, as well as slavery and emancipation, Indian Removal, immigration, and industrialization will frame our discussions. This course satisfies the pre-1900 American Literature distribution requirement.

GENG 547-01 19th-Century American Literature Wednesdays, 6:00 - 9:00 pm Dr. Laura Zebuhr MHC 211

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Feminisms in Thought & Action

2.9 million marching for women’s rights and for human rights…. In the words of the 1960s rock band Buffalo Springfield, “There’s something happening here / What it is ain’t exactly clear / There’s a man with a gun over there / Telling me I got to beware / We better stop, children; what’s that sound / Everybody look what’s going ‘round….” In a lot of ways, it does feel like we have landed squarely in a twilight zone that harkens back to the protests of the 1960s. But it’s not 1967; it’s 2017. What is happening here? That’s what this course will examine, currently and historically, through a Woman’s Studies lens. We’ll be using a combination of the text Reading Feminist Theory by Susan Archer Mann and articles available digitally via Ms. Magazine in the Classroom and our library edition of Bitch magazine. We’ll look at the intersectionality at work in the world and in our small corner of it. Our goal will be to write conference level papers that could be presented at the National Women’s Studies Association Conference (NWSA) or the Feminisms and Rhetorics Conference (FemRhet) or any of a number of other conferences that focus on feminist / womanist scholarship. Prerequisite: GENG 513 or permission of the instructor.

GENG 613-01 Feminisms in Thought & Action Tuesdays, 6:00 - 9:00 pm Dr. Elizabeth Wilkinson JRC 481

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Spring 2018 Courses

Teaching College English

What is English studies for—to appreciate art, develop empathy, construct self or national identity, make social change?  Given that, how do we teach it?  This seminar will explore the debates and controversies in the research on teaching English at the university level.  We will hone in on key terms and threshold concepts in both Composition Studies and Literary Studies (including literacy studies, cultural studies, literary theory, pedagogy, and rhetoric), and translate what we learn in these debates to actual classroom practices that reflect both our evolving pedagogical values, and the current research in English studies pedagogy.  In their assignments, 507 students will explore and apply concepts to classroom practice.   This course is designed to prepare future university professors in English as well as current high school English teachers who teach in the College in the Schools program.

GENG 507-01 Teaching College English Thursdays, 6:00 - 9:00 pm Dr. Lucia Pawlowski Room TBD

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Science Fiction Literature

Think of GENG 514 “Genre Studies: Science Fiction” as a "window washer" for your mind.  You have the opportunity to wake up to the fact that, when you read a text, you are living within your own world view and already are applying a specific kind of interpretation whether you are aware of it or not.  That unexamined, perhaps even invisible world view is the prison within which your mind currently encounters texts.  Like all recently freed prisoners, you probably will be suspicious of other world views, but until you try thinking with their rules, “seeing” by their light, you have no idea whether they are valid or invalid, powerfully liberating or merely coercive, useful or toys.  The texts we will read and watch will offer us other world views.  Questions we will examine are: How do SF authors present issues of cultural differences and relationships in terms of colonized peoples, male/female relationships, and social classes? How does SF engage in social criticism? How do speculative fiction texts help us examine the clash between cultural identity/political ideology and theological worldviews?


GENG 514-01 Science Fiction Literature Mondays, 6:00 - 9:00 pm Dr. Martin Warren Room TBD

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Professional Writing: Social Justice & Urban Space

This course focuses on a pressing question in the field of professional writing: How can we promote social justice in urban contexts? Too often, the needs of low-income, disabled, and minority citizens are not taken into account when city planners, architects, and lawmakers make decisions about how urban spaces will be designed and used. As writers, we can influence decision-making in a way that takes into account the needs of disenfranchised members of our community. This course will provide you with the research and writing tools you need to promote "spatial justice" -- the creation of urban parks, buildings, and other public spaces that are safe, accessible, and useful for all members of the community. As part of the course, we will study issues of social justice and space right here in the Twin Cities community (e.g., the controversial redesign of the former Ford site in Highland Park). Students will also write and submit project proposals on issues pertaining to social justice and urban space to national conferences such as Conference on College Composition and Communication and The Watson Conference.

GENG 572-01 Professional Writing: Social Justice & Urban Space Wednesdays, 6:00 - 9:00 pm Dr. Fernando Sanchez Room TBD

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Transnational Literature by Women

From the tumultuous period of the French Revolution through the Napoleonic Wars and into the transitional period of the 1830s, British women writers experienced tremendous opportunities in the political, educational, and literary landscapes. Cultivating their voices and expanding their repertoire, many of them wrote about journeys into foreign lands. Exploring various genres (including poetry, novels, plays, epistolary forms, etc.), these women writers experimented with various literary trajectories usually assumed to be the prerogatives of male writers (Byron being the most celebrated case). Residing in distant times or traversing different geographical areas, their memorable female travelers seem to work as their avatars; and the “exotic” female characters reflect their own aspirations and anxieties. Thus these women writers challenged the cult of domesticity inculcated in women of the time on the one hand, and commented on the prevailing ideologies of British nationalism and imperialism on the other. Further, they revealed that individual and national identities were often socially constructed along gendered lines. These issues concerning war, emigration, and transnational crossings resonate in our time as much as theirs. Course readings may include authors such as Madame de Graffigny, Mary Wollstonecraft, Mary Shelley, Mary Hays, Jane Austen, Germaine de Staël, Mary Tighe, Maria Jane Jewsbury, Felicia Hemans, Letitia Landon, and Jemima Layton. This course satisfies the pre-1830 British literature requirement. Prerequisite: GENG 513 or permission of the instructor.

GENG 629-01 Transnational Literature by Women Tuesdays, 6:00 - 9:00 pm Dr. Young-ok An Room TBD

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Theorizing The Black Body

Potential topics may include figures such as James Baldwin, Toni Morrison, or Zora Neale Hurston; race, gender, and sexuality in the black novel; the Harlem Renaissance; and trauma and the 19th century American slave narrative. Credit may be earned more than once under this number for different emphases. This course satisfies the Multicultural Literature distribution requirement. Prerequisite: GENG 513 or permission of the instructor

A more detailed description is forthcoming.

GENG 660-01 Theorizing The Black Body Wednesdays, 6:00 - 9:00 pm Dr. Todd Lawrence Room TBD

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