Telling Tales: A Chaucer Remix

Dr. Martin Warren, Spring 2019

Transnational Lit: Age of Neoliberalism

Dr. Kanishka Chowdhury, Spring 2019

Victorian Literary Genres

Dr. Alexis Easley, Summer 2019

Modernism and its Afterlives

Dr. Emily James, Fall 2019

Tolkien: Middle Ages, Middle Earth

Dr. Martin Warren, Fall 2019

Spring 2019 Courses

How has English emerged from an inconsequential and marginalized dialect in the eleventh-century England to a global language today? In what ways have writers of Anglophone literature (i.e., literature written in English) in various cultural, ethnic, and literary traditions shaped English into a rich, flexible, and creative language? This course investigates the complex issues and debates surrounding the question of language as narrated and evidenced in literary texts that can be united under the umbrella term of "Anglophone literature." We will do so by studying key texts and authors who have played an important role in shaping the English language through their writings in dominant varieties of English as well as forms of English that challenge powerful linguistic and literary traditions. We will begin with the earliest English literature in the eleventh-century English and end with the twentieth century Anglophone literature written in postcolonial settings. The central question we will ask in studying these texts is how these authors have shaped and transformed the English language and English literary traditions through their language use. In the process of our deliberation, we will discover that Anglophone writers' uses of language are often linked with issues of personal, social, cultural, and national identities. Course readings may include authors/texts such as Beowulf, Chaucer, Shakespeare, Josh Conrad, Jane Austen, Walt Whitman, Mark Twain, Salman Rushdie, Cathy Park Hong, and so on. This course satisfies Literature in a Global, Transatlantic, or Transnational perspective requirement (new curriculum).

GENG 572-01 Language & Identity in Anglophone Literature Mondays, 6:00 - 9:00 pm Dr. Juan Li Room TBD

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A workshop experience involving the ongoing exploration of subject matter and technique. Readings will include theoretical and creative texts. This course will also discuss fiction writing in publishing contexts – how literary works are written, revised, submitted, acquired, edited, and marketed by presses. The course will also give students insight into broader issues in the publishing world such as the rise of small and independent presses, university presses, traditional major presses, as well as online publishing, self publishing, and issues of access and diversity in the literary marketplace. The course will include guest lectures or other engagements with agents and/or editors from the publishing community.

GENG 602-01 Writing Fiction Thursdays, 6:00 - 9:00 pm Sal Pane Room TBD

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This course will explore the history of women’s writing about miscegenation and its consequences for women’s lives in the United States.  Before the Civil War, “tragic mulatta” tales like Lydia Maria Child’s “The Quadroons” and Dion Boucicault’s popular play The Octoroon invoked sympathy for female characters born in mixed-race unions who are raised as affluent white women only to discover, on their father’s death, that they are legally black by the “one drop” rule and will be sold as slaves.  Like the parading of near-white slaves at rallies, these narratives were used in the service of enlisting white support for abolition.  Yet more sophisticated texts, like Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Harriet Jacobs’ Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, and Child’s Romance of the Republic worked changes on the “tragic mulatta” tale that allowed these writers to grapple with complex questions of racial identity raised by the highly charged subject positions of mixed-race persons in antebellum society.  Obviously, the racial rift in America did not disappear with the ending of slavery; twentieth century writers continued to interrogate issues of identity formation, civil rights, women’s rights, and relational and familial dynamics using the liminal position of the mixed-race woman to define both problems and triumphs.  We’ll explore the no-win situations created by Nella Larsen in Quicksand and Passing and the somewhat more hopeful explorations of race offered by current authors like Gloria Naylor (Mama Day) and Natasha Trethewey (Bellotcq’s Ophelia), along with a selection from the compelling body of historical and literary criticism on miscegenation. This course satisfies the pre-1900 American Literature distribution requirement for the old curriculum or the early British/American requirement for the new curriculum.

GENG 573-01 Between Worlds: Living on the Racial Divide Tuesdays, 6:00 - 9:00 pm Dr. Cathy Craft-Fairchild Room TBD

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In what forms do Chaucer and the Middle Ages persist in the modern cultural landscape? This question will guide this seminar, which explores the global reception history of Geoffrey Chaucer from his earliest English and French contemporaries to modern-day popular culture and digital media. Focusing on Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales, the seminar will “code-switch” between medieval and postmedieval frames of reference. First, we will read The Canterbury tales by Chaucer; second, we will consider how Chaucerian works are repurposed in modern media (such as spoken word poetry, visual art, film, dialect literature, YouTube videos, and comic books). As this course toggles between modes of reading, it tests the boundaries between literary criticism and popular reception history. It also asks how present-day translation theory confronts a perceived chasm separating static text-based models of “translation” from embodied culture-based models of “adaptation.”

Thus, beyond studying Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, the seminar will (1) examine the online Global Chaucers project that logs and links translations and adaptations across the world; (2) explore the work of British-Nigerian poet, performer and rapper, Patience Agbabi, who revisits The Canterbury Tales and mines the Middle-English text to offer a 21st-century take on the characters, its poetry and its performance elements; and (3) wrestle with the six-part BBC Canterbury Tales adaptations of specific Canterbury Tales which are transferred to a modern, 21st-century setting, but still set along the traditional Pilgrims' route to Canterbury.

This course satisfies the Pre-1800 British Literature distribution requirement and counts as a 600-level seminar. This course also satisfies the Literature in a Global, Transatlantic, or Transnational Perspective for new curriculum. Prerequisite: GENG 513 or permission of the instructor and degree-seeking status.

GENG 621-01 Telling Tales: A Chaucer Remix Mondays, 6:00 - 9:00 pm Dr. Martin Warren Room TBD

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In a recent piece, "The Location of Literature: The Transnational Book and the Migrant Writer," Rebecca Wolkowitz suggests that "contemporary literature in the age of globalization is, in many ways, a COMPARATIVE literature: works circulate in many literary systems at once, and can-- some would say, need [to]--be read within severe national traditions" (my emphasis). In this course, we will examine the premise of this claim, examining a range of texts within the context of some of the vast changes that have taken place in the global economy in the last twenty years. We will focus on just a few distinctive feature of the present conjuncture: the political economy of transnationalism--how the acceleration in transnational capital accumulation and the accompanying dispossession of the poor and rise in migrant and refugee populations (especially in/from the Global South), have been highlighted or displaced in the transnational text; the emergence of a transnational citizen --how questions about citizenship have evolved at a time when national borders have become both more rigid and more fluid; gender in a transnational world--how gender has been used to demarcate and negotiate political and economic conflicts; and finally, the idea of transnational ethics-- how the events of 9/11 and the subsequent "war on terror" have realigned our notions of human rights. The texts we will read do not merely serve as "vessels" for economic or social positions, nor are they simply allied or resistant to dominant neoliberal paradigms; instead, like most texts, they yield contradictory "meanings," and we will consider ways in which these texts succeed or fail within the conditions of their own production. The course will explore a range of voices, including Arvind Adiga, Anthony Appiah, Giovanni Arrighi, Alain Badiou, Judith Butler, Rey Chow, Teju Cole, Amma Darko, David Harvey, Eduardo Galeano, Muhammed Hanif, Caren Kaplan, Arundhati Roy, Amartya Sen, Gayatri Spivak, and Slavoj Zizek. Each student will write blog entries, a mid-term paper, and a final essay, and s/he will also be responsible for an extended presentation. A list of books and films will be available at the end of the fall semester. This course satisfies the Multicultural Literature distribution requirement and counts as one 600-level course. This course also satisfies the Literature in a Global, Transatlantic, or Transnational Perspective for new curriculum. Prerequisite: GENG 513 or permission of the instructor.

GENG 660-01 Transnational Lit in the Age of Neoliberalism Wednesdays, 6:00 - 9:00 pm Dr. Kanishka Chowdhury Room TBD

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Summer 2019 Courses

The Victorian age was a period of literary innovation. With the rise of periodicals came the serial novel, which soon became a ubiquitous part of everyday life. The three-volume realist novel emerged with the proliferation of lending libraries, which imposed a censoring effect on literary production. The sensation novel, New Woman novel, and detective serial genres were all born in the Victorian period, and the epic poem, fairy tale, and gothic novel were reinvented in ways that spoke to the scandals and social controversies of the modern age. New genres arose alongside other new technologies and innovations – e.g., the railway, illustrated advertisements, film, mass-market journalism, and photography – which intersected with literary genres in exciting ways. The reading list will include works by Charles Dickens, Alfred Tennyson, Mary Braddon, and Frances Browne. This is a hybrid course. We will meet three hours per week for ten weeks. The other four weeks will be dedicated to conferencing and independent research. This course satisfies the Early British Literature requirement (previous curriculum) or the Early British/American requirement (new curriculum).

GENG 630-01 Victorian Literary Genres Wednesdays, 6:00 - 9:00 pm Dr. Alexis Easley OEC 208

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Fall 2019 Courses

This course provides an introduction to the expectations and conventions of graduate study, including research and writing methodology. In addition, it will introduce students to the field of English studies: its areas of specialization, key issues, and genres of writing. This course must be taken as one of the first three courses in the MA in English program.

GENG 513-01 Intro to Grad Studies in English Wednesdays, 6:00 - 9:00 pm Dr. Laura Zebuhr Room TBD

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In this course, we will examine the border both as geographical line and limit and imaginative space and method. How might the current regimentation of borders work on and against the increasing dispersal of global culture and capital? How might our analysis of the border as an epistemic framework shape the way we read texts? This class will consider the ways in which writers and theorists are rethinking notions of the border as a political and aesthetic category. This course is required for all students entering the program in the summer of 2018 and beyond.

GENG 516-01 Questions in Literary Theory: Borders Wednesdays, 6:00 - 9:00 pm Dr. Kanishka Chowdhury Room TBD

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J.R.R. Tolkien is best known for The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, works that have been popular since they were first published. As an Oxford Professor and eminent medievalist, he wrote out of what we knew about Old English, Old Norse, and Middle English literature. He was a ground-breaking medieval scholar who loved his work so much that he created fictional works rooted in the language and traditions of the Anglo-Saxon, Norse, Gothic, and Celtic cultures that he studied. This class is for those who wish to journey through these cultures, traditions, and languages with other like-minded student-scholars to examine those wonders that make J.R.R. Tolkien’s writings so fascinating for so many modern readers. This course satisfies the Early British literature required (previous curriculum) or the early British/American Literature requirement (new curriculum). 

GENG 521-01 Tolkien: Middle Ages, Middle Earth Thursdays, 6:00 - 9:00 pm Dr. Martin Warren Room TBD

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This graduate course in the writing of poetry will include practical, theoretical and creative explorations of poetry writing and publishing. A combination of readings, workshop experiences, and writing exercises designed to facilitate exploration of subject matter and technique, this course welcomes students exploring the genre of poetry for the first time, as well as students continuing studies in poetry writing. Readings will include practical, theoretical and creative texts, and address poetry writing in publishing contexts-- how poetry collections are written, revised, organized, submitted, acquired, edited, and marketed. Students will also gain insight into broader issues in the publishing world such as the roles of small and independent presses, university presses, traditional major presses, online publishing, audience development, and issues of access and diversity in the literary marketplace.

GENG 601 Writing Poetry Mondays, 6:00 - 9:00 pm Dr. Leslie Miller Room TBD

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Beginning with the turn of the twentieth century, this class will look closely at modernist experiments across the arts and then turn to the homages and reactions they inspired later in the century. Writers may include E.M. Forster, Virginia Woolf, Mina Loy, Roddy Doyle, Kazuo Ishiguro, Zadie Smith, Helen Oyeyemi, and Ali Smith. This course satisfies the Transnational Literature requirement of the new curriculum.

GENG 632-01 Modernism and its Afterlives Tuesdays, 6:00 - 9:00 pm Dr. Emily James Room TBD

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Spring 2020 Courses

This course explores the history, theory, practice, and pedagogy of English studies as a field. We will focus on how English is taught at the college level across a variety of sub disciplines such as Literature, Linguistics, Rhetoric and Composition, Second Language Writing, and Professional Writing. Students will reflect on the connection between research, theory, and practice in English pedagogy.

GENG 507-01 Teaching College English Mondays, 6:00 - 9:00 pm Dr. Fernando Sánchez Room TBD

Taking a cue from Dr. Philip Deloria (Dakota), this class will survey the "unexpected" long history of indigenous North American fiction, essay, poetry, and theory from the 18th Century to the present. From the gynocratic (Paula Gunn Allen - Laguna Pueblo) roots of Native women's writing to the survivance (Gerald Vizenor - Anishinaabe) rhetoric deployed pan-tribally over centuries, we wil look at the many ways Native writers show us that sometimes "the body needs a story more than food to survive (Barry Lopez from Crow and Weasel).

GENG 559-01 Indians in Unexpected Places Tuesdays, 6:00 - 9:00 pm Dr. Elizabeth Wilkinson Room TBD

This course will combine the study of translation and practice with literary texts across cultures. A more detailed description is forthcoming.

GENG 572-01 Literary Translation & Culture Wednesdays, 6:00 - 9:00 pm Dr. Ray MacKenzie Room TBD

Middle grade children’s literature and young adult literature are vibrant areas in writing and publishing right now; and almost any genre open to adults is also open to MG and YA authors: fantasy, sci fi, poetry, literary realism, mystery, humor, and so on. In this course, we’ll read widely in both MG and YA; try our hand at writing in both categories; and learn about the many issues that currently face authors, publishers, agents, and editors—not to mention readers and various gatekeepers—in MG and YA literature. Finally, you’ll choose one area (MG or YA) to focus on for your final creative project of the semester: a 4000-6000 word opening (minimum two chapters) to a MG or YA novel.

GENG 603-01 Writing for Young People Thursdays, 6:00 - 9:00 pm Dr. Heather Bouwman Room TBD

Beginning with the turn of the twentieth century, this class will look closely at modernist experiments across the arts and then turn to the homages and reactions they inspired later in the century. Writers may include E.M. Forster, Virginia Woolf, Mina Loy, Roddy Doyle, Kazuo Ishiguro, Zadie Smith, Helen Oyeyemi, and Ali Smith. This course satisfies the Transnational Literature requirement of the new curriculum.

GENG 622-01 Laugh-Crying Through Shakespeare Thursdays, 6:00 - 9:00 pm Dr. Amy Muse Room TBD