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)


Fall 2017 Graduate Course Offerings

Graduate Writing: Gay Auden? - EH 502 | Richard Hillyer
R, 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm

Much recent discussion of W.H. Auden has focused on his profile as a gay poet and his perceived influence in that capacity on such fellow authors as John Ashbery, Allen Ginsburg, Richard Howard, James Merrill, Frank O'Hara, Adrienne Rich, and James Schuyler. With the assistance of John Fuller's exhaustive "Commentary" and other perspectives, we will examine poems from all stages of Auden's career to assess the extent to which these reveal a specifically gay sensibility or outlook. Assignments will consist of oral reports on critical perspectives, an annotated bibliography, and a research paper developed in stages.

Teaching College Writing - EH 505 | Patrick Shaw
MW, 2:30 pm to 3:45 pm

This course examines issues in composition history, theory, and pedagogy in the context of teaching first-year composition. Students will use this knowledge to develop course material appropriate to teaching first-year composition. Topics include syllabus and assignment design, lesson planning, course management, teaching in the linguistically and culturally diverse classroom, and assessment. Pre-requisite/Co-requisite: EH 502.

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

This course is designed to introduce students to literary fiction of the past decade. We’ll be taking a somewhat unique approach in that we’ll be reading two books by each of the authors we cover. Texts will include:

Tom McCarthy: Remainder (2007) and Satin Island (2016)
Jonathan Lethem: Chronic City (2009) and A Gambler’s Anatomy (2016)
John Darnielle: Wolf in White Van (2015) and Universal Harvester (2017)
George Saunders: Tenth of December (2014) and Lincoln in the Bardo (2017)
Ben Marcus: Flame Alphabet (2012) and Leaving the Sea (2014)
Ali Smith: How to Be Both (2015) and Autumn (2017)

Drama, 1660 to 1800 - EH 590 | Becky McLaughlin
TR, 3:30 pm to 4:45 pm

This course takes as its subject the sticky and touchy matter of gender, which of necessity opens its polyvalent arms to embrace a number of terrifically-snarled topics, concerns, issues, and questions—most importantly, perhaps, those of love, sex, and the insanity that emerges in the division between the two.  Because discourse organizes and/or creates whatever it is we call "reality," our use of language is always highly political, and thus in this class we will explore through the plays of Dryden, Wycherley, Etherege, Behn, Congreve, Trotter, Centlivre, Steele, Goldsmith, Sheridan, and Burney the "poisonous" and "remedial" uses of language (or what might be called the homeopathy of language), searching for practices that erode the integrity of language and allow the characters in these plays to avoid accountability for what they say and/or do as well as practices that restore the integrity of language and force the characters to take responsibility for their words. The ultimate question for students, however, is whether in the theatrical world of sexual politics and intrigue, there is a language of love that allows one to stand by one’s words.

Food Writing and Food Culture - EH 590 | Christine Norris
MW, 1:00 pm to 2:15 pm

This course will focus on food writing and food culture. Specifically, we will be looking at how we use food preferences and food aversions to shape our identities, the history of good taste, and issues of authenticity and artificiality in food culture.

In addition to the requirements for 481 students, 590 students will read a variety of theoretical texts related to food and taste and present a presentation to the class on a key concept in food and taste studies.

Writing and Power in Native North America - EH 592 | Pat Cesarini
T, 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm

What happens to a people who cannot represent themselves in writing, in a society that uses writing to dominate them? What happens when those people begin to represent themselves, and to "write back"? This was the situation of American Indians during the long 19th century in the U.S. In this seminar we will explore such questions by focusing on the intersections between literary representation (novel, memoir, poetry, drama) and other, non-literary discourses (history, anthropology, law)--genres and discourses which were used by non-Indians to represent Indians, and then by Indians to represent themselves. We will read some major non-Indian writers of the period (e.g., James Fenimore Cooper, Francis Parkman), as well as some of the first non-literary Indian writers (e.g., David Cusick, William Apess) and their literary successors (e.g., Pauline Johnson, Gertrude Bonin). There will be weekly reading quizzes. Students will make presentations, and will write two essays, one of which will require research.

The Authorial "I" in Poetry, Nonfiction, and Fiction - EH 592 | Charlotte Pence
T, 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm

The relationship between the writer and the first-person speaker in creative writing is not a simple one. It is continually mediated through figurative language, omissions, dramatic irony, subject layering, and the creation of reliability (or the intentional lack of it). As Emily Dickinson wrote in a letter to Higginson: "When I state myself, as the Representative of the Verse—it does not mean—me—but a supposed person." In this creative writing workshop, we will look at how each genre crafts and subverts the use of first-person narration in three distinctive genres: poetry, creative nonfiction, and fiction. In fact, one could argue that what divides these genres is the construction of first-person and its relationship to the writer’s personal and imagined experience. As a way to aid our own of the first-person narrator, we will read texts that offer differing strategies including work by Lucille Clifton, Nox by Anne Carson, and Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov. A final portfolio of original work in poetry, creative nonfiction, and fiction with a critical introduction; a craft presentation; and attendance at two readings will constitute the course’s major requirements.

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.