Class Numbers are included in parentheses following the course number.
List of all graduate course numbers.
Graduate Courses, Spring 2012
ENGL 6330-001 (5680). EARLY MODERN BRITISH LITERATURE: EARLY MODERN LITERATURE AND THE ENVIRONMENT. 2 M. 137 Dallas Hall. Swann.
Air pollution, acid rain, climate change, deforestation, destruction of wetlands, endangered species, the ethical treatment of animals: Shakespeare, Milton, and their contemporaries faced a host of environmental issues that continue to affect us today. If we understand the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries as an era of environmental crisis, how should we interpret early modern texts? What forms of “environmental imagination” do we find shaping literature and culture in early modern England?
We will develop answers to these questions by reading and discussing a wide range of literary works, historical sources, and interdisciplinary scholarship. We will explore the environmental history of early modern England; consider what “ecocriticism” means for scholars of early modern literature; and examine primary texts in all genres by both canonical and non-canonical authors. Our richly diverse reading will range from farming manuals to Shakespearean tragedy, tracts on vegetarianism to Paradise Lost.
Throughout our time together, each student will develop an independent research project. At the end of the semester, we will share our work with each other in the form of a mini-conference, in which all students will deliver their conference papers, answer questions, and provide feedback to their colleagues. Each student will thus complete the course with a polished conference paper that s/he could present at national conferences and/or use as the basis of a publishable article.
Texts: William Shakespeare, King Lear and Timon of Athens; Margaret Cavendish, selected poems and prose; Aemilia Lanyer, selected poetry; Andrew Marvell, selected poems; John Milton, Paradise Lost; Izaak Walton, The Compleat Angler; Lawrence Buell, The Future of Environmental Criticism; Keith Thomas, Man and the Natural World: Changing Attitudes in England, 1500-1800; and many weird and wonderful things available via the online database Early English Books Online (EEBO).
ENGL 6340-001 (5681). BRITISH LITERATURE IN THE AGE OF REVOLUTIONS. 2 W. 137 Dallas Hall. Murfin.
A reading-intensive survey of six or seven major works (dare I say “blockbusters?”) by the following Victorian novelists: Charlotte Brontë, Charles Dickens, Wilkie Collins, William Makepeace Thackeray, Anthony Trollope, George Eliot, George Meredith, and Thomas Hardy. In order to ensure that every student taking this course emerges from our Ph.D. program with a mastery of—and hence the ability to teach—as many Victorian novels as possible, the final reading list will established via a survey that will be sent to those who enroll in the class. Ideally, we will end up studying six or seven indisputably canonical texts that no one but the professor has previously read.
This course will be loosely linked with a 4000-level class in which undergraduates will be reading four or five of these same works. Each graduate student taking this course will lead one fifty-minute discussion of a text common to the graduate and undergraduate versions of the course.
Because a significant amount of reading will be required, writing assignments will be limited to one short and one medium-length paper.
ENGL 6370-701 (5682). AFRICAN AMERICAN LITERATURE. 5 MW. 120 Dallas Hall. Dickson-Carr.
This proseminar will focus upon critical issues and debates within African American literary and cultural history. Our goal will be to examine how these debates manifested themselves in the literature in both implicit and explicit forms. We will begin in antebellum times and end in the contemporary era. In the process, we will have an opportunity to read literature of various genres, movements, and perspectives. Requirements: Weekly critical responses; two 10-15 page papers; regular and vocal participation.
Texts: Napier (ed.), African American Literary Theory; Gates and Burton, Call and Response; selected works by Douglass, Jacobs, Dunbar, J.W. Johnson, Du Bois, Hurston, Schuyler, Wright, Ellison, Himes, Morrison, Walker, Jones, M. Johnson.
ENGL7370-001 (5685). SEMINAR IN MINORITY LITERATURE: THE INTERETHNIC FORM OF BORDERLANDS LITERATURE. 2 Th. 137 Dallas Hall. Sae-Saue.
In a recent study on contemporary ethnic American fiction, Carolyn Rody offers important insights on how interethnic sensibilities and transcultural traffic contribute to the ways by which US minority literatures negotiate issues of citizenship, race, class, and gender. According to Rody, contemporary plots of minority texts have moved away from “binary face-offs” between an ethnic protagonist and a monolithic white America towards a self-inventive project expressed through interethnic relationships and cross-cultural symbolic articulations (Rody, The Interethnic Imagination, 2009: 19). Rody terms this shift away from binary paradigms in the ethnic literary imagination its “interethnic turn” (ibid.).
With an emphasis on Chicana/o narratives, this course seeks to understand how foundational minority texts anticipate the interethnic turn in contemporary minority literatures. We will investigate how key minority texts imagine the particularities of racial difference in the US and abroad; and we will study how they negotiate complex flows of cultural values in order to articulate transformative identity politics. Students should note that this course will emphasize a formalist approach to understanding how minority texts imagine a broad spectrum of ethnic and spatial difference. That is, we will not only examine the thematic relationships between a range of minority literatures, but also we shall investigate their formal innovations and investigate how certain narrative features may be read as literary abstractions of multiracial social relations on a global scale. How do ethnic narratives at the borderlands negotiate and represent fields of racial differences in order to assert a particular minority consciousness as a matter of literary form? Can a formal argument be made in order to theorize the aesthetic, rather than the thematic, relationships between seemingly diverse minority texts? What do such investigations lend to current trends in “transnational” and “interethnic” scholarship on US minority letters? As these questions imply, this class will map past and contemporary arguments in ethnic literary scholarship; it will seek to make interjections by proposing formalist readings of interethnic contact and transnational symbolic traffic, complicating further standing theories that suggest that early ethnic narratives are linear stories of a racial subject in transit between the borders of two distinct nations and two competing cultural discourses.
Lastly, this course will require students attend 3 evening panels on borderlands politics, law, and cultural theory which will be staged on SMU’s campus. The purpose of these panels is to highlight how historical, social, legal, and political discourses move us into interdisciplinary and comparative frameworks for regarding borderlands literature.
Texts: Americo Paredes: The Hammon and The Beans; “The Mexican Texan”, Tomas Rivera: And the Earth Did Not Devour Him, Rolando Hinojosa: Korean Love Songs; Rites and Witnesses, Luis Valdez:Vietnam Campesino; Soldado Razo, George Mariscal: Aztlan and Vietnam (Selections), Karen Tei Yamashita: Tropic of Orange, John Steinbeck: Tortilla Flat, Alfredo Vea: Gods Go Begging, Rudolfo Anaya: Chicano in China, Elena Rodriguez:Peacetime Spirit of the Eagle, Daniel Cano: Shifting Loyalties, Michael Rodriguez: Humidity Moon
ENGL 7376-001 (5882). SPECIAL TOPICS: THE ROMANTIC LYRIC. 2 T. 120 Dallas Hall. Spiegelman.
This graduate seminar will study the contributions of the major Romantic poets (Wordsworth, Coleridge, Keats and Shelley) to the unfolding of the lyric genre. Some, but less, attention will be paid to Blake, Byron, Clare, and Charlotte Smith.
Literary theory, in the form of the theories of lyric, and literary history, in the form of the development of a genre, will constitute the course's "theoretical" underpinnings. The primary focus will be on the individual poems and their reception over the past two centuries. Each student will be responsible for both a casebook on a specific canonical poem, and a final paper. Additional classroom assignments to be made as the course develops.