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2019 Spring Course Offerings

ENGL 505: Literary Theory

Meetings: Wednesday, 5 – 7:30 PM

Professor: Holly Hanes

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.



ENGL 554: Seminar in Prose Fiction

Creative Writing and Reading: Vice Versa

Meetings: Tuesday, 5 – 7:30 PM

Professor: Catie Rosemurgy

In this course, we will explore how attentive reading can inspire, complicate, and transform our practice as writers and vice versa. We will read and discuss contemporary poems and short fiction, and each week students will generate creative and critical work in response to our reading. We will share and discuss student work regularly. No previous Creative Writing coursework is necessary, but everyone is encouraged to bring their full experience as writers, readers, and possibly as current/future teachers of reading and writing to the discussion. Each student will complete a creative project and an accompanying essay that theorizes the relationship between their reading and writing.


ENGL 550: Seminar in Poetry

Still Making It New: Poets and Form

Meetings: Monday, 5 – 7:30 PM

Professor: Juda Charles Bennett

“Make It New” was the rallying cry of the Modernists, but this desire to upend formal traditions has shown no signs of dying in the 21st century. In this class, we will pair recognizable poetic forms–everything from the love sonnet to the confessional poem–with recent formal innovations.  What if the sonnet did not have fourteen lines?  What if the epic form lost every shred of its grand sweep?  What if lyric wasn’t even lyrical, and the prose poem transformed into a visual work of art?


ENGL 552: Seminar in Drama

The Tragic Vision

Meetings: Thursday, 5 – 7:30 PM

Professor: Lincoln Konkle

“The Tragic Vision” refers to more than just the genre of tragedy in theatre and drama; it is a way of looking at life, a worldview, a philosophical outlook most famously expressed in the great tragedies by the Greeks and Shakespeare but also manifested in modern plays.  Though it could be argued that all literature and art imply a worldview, tragedy seems to more explicitly reflect on the meaning of life, addressing such timeless issues as why do we suffer?  Is it due to fate (in one form or another) or our free will choices? Perhaps this is why great philosophers from Aristotle to Nietzsche have written treatises on tragedy; they try to answer the same questions as tragedy.  Over the course of the semester we will read classical Greek, Shakespearean, and modern tragedies and major theories of tragedy to gain an in-depth knowledge and appreciation of tragedy and the tragic vision.  In addition, we will read a novel and a few poems, view a film, and analyze rock/pop song lyrics to see if it is possible to convey the tragic vision in genres or art forms other than theatre.