Graduate Courses

"The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid."

- Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey (1817)


Spring 2016 Graduate Course Offerings

Introduction to Critical Theory - EH 501| Pat Cesarini
R, 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm, Humanities 0266

In this course, we will briefly survey major theories of literature (e.g., formalism, reader-response, and political theories focused on history, gender, class, and race), and we will explore several overlapping problems in the field, such as: What is literature, and Can you say what it is without saying what it should be? Why are people required to study literature? What’s the relationship between the interpretation and the evaluation of literature? Is a work of literature best understood as a work of art, a therapeutic event, an act of expression, a form of propaganda, a marketable commodity? You will write several essays—including a longer researched essay—on these kinds of questions, with the aim of making you conversant in the long conversation (or slap-fight) about literature’s varied natures and purposes.

In addition, you will read at least one book-length work of literary theory or criticism,  write two longer essays (between 10 and 15 pages), and make at least one research presentation in class.

Rhetorical Criticism or "Analyzing Our Worlds" - EH 507 | Larry Beason
MW, 3:30 pm to 4:45 pm, Humanities 0264

The official title of this course is cumbersome, but the focus this spring will be Rhetorical Criticism--putting theory into practice by analyzing an array of texts, from architecture, to tattoos, to presidential speeches.

This course is for students who want to understand the varied types of persuasion that affect our everyday lives.  Specifically, the course will provide a "theoretical toolkit" so we can…

  • understand several major types of modern and contemporary rhetorical criticism,
  • apply diverse procedures we can use to rhetorically analyze a ‘text,’ and
  • evaluate hidden, as well as overt, forms of persuasion that surround us in everyday life.

Our world is full of messages dealing with power, control, and group-identity--even when the author is not fully aware s/he is sending anything other than "objective information." These messages can be highly persuasive, especially if we are not aware someone is trying to persuade us.  Should we not realize what these messages are—and whether they are manipulative, benign, or "good"?  To answer such questions, this course will draw on specific approaches that analyze texts and put theory into actual practice.

Studies in Shakespeare I - EH 516 | John Halbrooks
T, 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm, Humanities 0266

This course will focus on Shakespeare’s comedies and romances from a variety of angles through discussion of performance history, representations of gender, source study (especially Chaucer), and recent scholarship and criticism. The course’s title refers to C. L. Barber’s classic book Shakespeare’s Festive Comedy; we will expand Barber’s scope to consider Shakespeare’s theater as a kind of public space in which the limits of social order are articulated and tested to an extent not possible in most other spaces.

Contemporary Fiction - EH 573 | Justin St. Clair
W, 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm, Humanities 0266

This course is designed to provide an introduction to twenty-first-century literary fiction.  Our readings will be divided into three units:  the first will include influential works of twentieth-century world literature (in translation) in an effort to contextualize contemporary literary fiction; the second will examine texts that subversively engage our digital present by making unconventional use of typography; and the third will consider the ongoing influence of Dave Eggers and his hipster empire.

Graduate Fiction Writing Workshop I & II - EH 583 & 584 | Carolyn Haines
T 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm, Humanities 0264

Graduate Fiction Workshop I and II build upon the coursework in Fiction I and II. Students are expected to write with proficiency, creating short fiction or chapters of longer works. Character arcs, story arcs, series issues, narrative summary versus immediate scene, the use of exposition are all explored through writing. Students are expected to complete polished work in short or long fiction or nonfiction. Class participation is a large part of the class as each student reads and critiques his peers. Students are expected to apply the rules of their chosen genre as they write and discuss their classmates work and chosen novels.

Graduate Poetry Writing Workshop I & II - EH 585 & 586 | Mira Rosenthal
M, 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm, Humanities 0148

In this workshop, we will investigate how poetic preoccupations propel writers and unify their work to make a compelling whole. We will read a number of books by mid-career poets as a way to investigate not only the traditions and techniques that define writers’ voices, but also how they surprise us and remain innovative at the same time. We will do the same in workshopping ten-page packets of your poems with an eye toward helping you develop a body of work for a coherent manuscript.

Thesis Hours - EH 599

Please see Dr. Harrington if you would like to register for thesis hours and have not already discussed your committee, graduation requirements, etc.