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Spring 2019


ENGL550: Seminar in Poetry – The Hybrid Poem

Meetings: Monday, 5 pm-7:30 pm

Professor Juda Bennett

In recent years, some of the most boundary-pushing, genre-busting creative works have puzzled, shocked, and delighted readers, but what—we must ask—is at stake in creating works of art that defy categorization?  In blurring lines between poetry and prose, visual and linguistic, authorship and chance, even text and non-text, contemporary hybrid works have offered new possibilities and created new horizons. These poets have learned lessons from William Carlos Williams Paterson, George Herbert’s shape poems, and even those outrageously inventive Greeks, but in responding to new technologies and social and cultural shifts they are clearly of our time, redefining poetry and the reading experience.


ENGL505: Literary Theory

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.


ENGL597: Special Topics in Literature – Creative Writing and Reading

Meetings: Wednesday, 5 pm—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 552 Seminar in Drama – The Tragic Vision

Meetings: Thursday, 5 pm—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? We will read classical Greek, Shakespearean, and modern tragedies and major theories of tragedy to gain greater understanding of tragedy and the tragic vision;  we will also consider manifestations of the tragic vision in genres or art forms other than theatre: in fiction, poetry, film, and contemporary music.