2020 semester courses

Workshop in Poetry Writing | ENGL 509

Discussions center on students' poems. Selected readings are assigned to focus on the technical problems of craftsmanship and style (Credit, full course).

Workshop in Fiction Writing | ENGL 510

Discussions center on students' fiction. Selected readings are assigned to focus on technical problems of craftsmanship and style (Credit, full course).

Workshop in Nonfiction Writing | ENGL 512

Discussions center on students' nonfiction. Selected readings are assigned to focus on technical problems of craftsmanship and style (Credit, full course).

Pictorial Transformations | ENGL 519

Culture contains memories and traces–textual, visual, graphic, political, rhetorical–from earlier stories and myths. This seminar examines the ways in which iconic moments in sacred scriptural texts are transformed into pictorial language through painting or sculpture, then back again, in altered forms, into literature in English through the ages. These traces of sacred text in "Modern" culture and writing may not explicitly refer to the scriptural text itself or reflect religious belief. The course aims to examine the aesthetic and cultural implications of these transformations in scripture, painting/sculpture, and secular literature. Texts are selected from authors including Shakespeare, Andrew Marvell, John Milton, Aphra Behn, Henry Fielding, Samuel Richardson, William Blake, John Keats, Alfred Lord Tennyson, Emily Dickinson, T.S. Eliot, Sylvia Plath, Ian McEwan, plus others proposed by presenters in the class (Credit, full course).

The Life and Literature of Tennessee Williams | ENGL 530

A study of the major dramatic works of Tennessee Williams, as well as his poetry and fiction. The course also examines Williams' life and his impact on 20th-century American literature and theatre (Credit, full course).

Special Topics in British Literature: The Brontë Sisters | ENGL 572

This course focuses on a famous literary family. We'll explore both the myths and facts about the Brontë siblings and their lives on the moors. Fiction will be our primary concern, with excursions into poetry as well as biography, a tradition of "packaging" the Brontë's that began in 1857 with Elizabeth Gaskell's problematic Life of Charlotte Brontë. Our interests will be varied: the matter of form and genre (the Gothic, the Bildungsroman, epistolary novel, mystery fiction); the move from realism to romance; the themes of terror, love, and the sublime. Our four main texts will be C. Brontë's Jane Eyre, E. Brontë's Wuthering Heights, A. Brontë's The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, and C. Brontë's Villette; and we will begin with a brief look at Brontë juvenilia, the stories of Angria and Gondal. Our discussions will center around questions pertaining to female authorship, illness and creativity, embodiment and ability, and familial dynamics. The final move of our course will shift us to our present moment, to engage with what has been called "Brontëmania." Who are the NeoBrontës, and why do the Brontë siblings continue to fascinate us (in film, fiction, music, exhibitions, fashion) so utterly today? (Credit, full course). 

American Autobiography | ENGL 576

From the earliest period of European settlement, first-person narratives have been a hallmark of literary expression in America. This distinctive subgenre of creative nonfiction has been prominently and variously reflected in texts including Puritan conversion narratives, Ben Franklin’s Autobiography, Henry Thoreau’s Walden, and enslaved person accounts such as that of Omar Ibn Said, as well as in contemporary memoir by Kiese Laymon. Along the way, our course involves several purposes—artistic and otherwise—motivating such texts and this subgenre’s relation to fiction such as that by Elizabeth Hardwick. What contemporary writers might learn from exploring the history of practices in this form is also considered (Credit, full course; counts as an American literature class from before 1900 for MA students and as a literary criticism class for MFA students).

Intro to Grad Studies

This mini-seminar will introduce you to graduate-level work in our program. It is designed to organize efficiently a process of learning that would take place in any case in your literature classes. It will meet for about an hour on each of the first three Wednesday afternoons of the program (when no other classes are scheduled). A fourth, optional meeting may be announced. Prior to the first meeting, there will be a Library orientation at duPont Library. The course is required for all NEW students. There is no credit and no registration on Banner. An email will be sent to incoming students for sign-up.