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2018 Spring Course Offerings

 ENGL612: Shakespeare Rewriting Shakespeare 

Meetings: Monday, 5 pm-7:30 pm

Professor David Venturo

Facing a double challenge in seeking to satisfy both London theater audiences and his fellow actors in the Lord Chamberlain’s Men (later renamed the King’s Men), Shakespeare has a tendency to return to certain basic themes, concerns, and interests — and an ability to create enough variety in how he explores them to keep his plays fresh. In this course, we will discuss eight plays: The First and Second Parts of Henry the Fourth, Henry the Fifth, As You Like It, Troilus and Cressida, Hamlet, Othello, and The Winter’s Tale, all plays connected by Shakespeare’s continuing, and evolving, interest in problems of legitimacy, inheritance, freedom, order, myth, history, equity, revenge, and forgiveness.  The course will be informed by secondary readings in history, theory, and criticism, with special focus on Northrup Frye’s “green world” and Mikhail Bakhtin’s “novelization” and “zone of contact.”


ENGL550: Seminar in Poetry

Meetings: Tuesday, 5 pm—7:30 pm

Professor Jean Graham

Intensive study in the close reading of poetry.  The course emphasizes the tools necessary for the explication of poems.  Topics include prosody and form, metaphor and figurative language, and the history of major movements, styles, and genres.


ENGL505: Literary Theory

Meetings: Wednesday, 5 pm—7:30 pm

Professor Ellen Friedman

An introduction to the scholarly methods necessary for graduate work in literature and to the study of theoretical frameworks important to contemporary literary criticism, including formalism, structuralism, Marxism, deconstruction, feminism, post-colonial studies, cultural studies, new historicism, and psychoanalysis. The course exposes students to the primary texts from which those theoretical frameworks are derived and requires students to critique and construct applications of those theories to specific literary texts.


English 652: American Realism & Naturalism

Meetings: Thursday, 5 pm—7:30 pm

Professor Michael Robertson

This course focuses on novels written between the end of Reconstruction in 1877 and the early twentieth century. The course is centered on the useful but highly contested terms “realism” and “naturalism” and explores the relation between these literary categories and the era’s social, scientific, and philosophical movements. Special attention is given to the topics of race and ethnicity, gender, and class. The reading list includes novels by Charles Chesnutt, Kate Chopin, Theodore Dreiser, William Dean Howells, Henry James, Sarah Orne Jewett, Frank Norris, Mark Twain, Edith Wharton, and Anzia Yezierska.