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Spring 2019

Undergradaute Courses

ETS 105 Introduction to Creative Writing
M001 TuTh 9:30-10:50am
M002 TuTh 3:30-4:50pm
Instructor: Nana Adjei-Brenyah
In this class we’ll explore the power and craft of poetry, fiction and creative non-fiction

ETS 107 Living Writers
M002-M011 W 3:45-6:30 PM
This class gives students the rare opportunity to hear visiting writers read and discuss their work. The class is centered on six readings and question-and-answer sessions. Students will be responsible for careful readings of the writers’ work. Critical writing and detailed class discussions are required to prepare for the question-and-answer sessions with the visiting writers. The first class meets in Gifford Auditorium.

ETS 114 M001 British Literature, 1789 to Present
MW 5:15-6:35 pm
Instructor: Vicky Cheng
This course offers a survey of British Literature spanning the Romantic period, the Victorian period, the twentieth century, and the present. In this course, we will focus on British identity as reflected through historical events, social reform, cultural movements, and literary form. To this end, we will read and interpret visual and written texts interrogating what it means to be British, the ideologies that consolidate this sense of identity, and how “Britishness” becomes reified or challenged through political revolution, nationalism/imperialism, and (de)colonialism. Readings will span a broad range of forms, from novels and short stories to poetry and film.

ETS 117 M001 Survey of American Literature, Beginnings to 1865
MW 12:45-2:05 pm
Instructor: Patty Roylance
This is a course about the making of America. “America” (the idea—the concept of this particular place and what it symbolized) was produced in and through representations of the Western Hemisphere written both by people who lived and traveled here and by people who had never been here at all. This course will investigate how these representations did the work of “making” “America,” in ways that still influence our conceptions of this place. We will treat early American writing as an historical artifact, in which writers responded to and attempted to shape major events and issues in their historical context. We will cover over three hundred years, during which span of time various literary genres waxed and waned in their importance, moving especially from nonfictional poetry and prose in the early periods to the rise of the novel and other fictional forms in the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. This course will be discussion-based and will help you to develop and sharpen your skills of reading, analyzing, and writing about literature, as well as encouraging you to question and investigate the meaning of “America.”

ETS 122 M001 Introduction to the Novel
TuTh 5:00-6:20 pm
Instructor: Haejoo Kim
This class explores the novel and its form by looking at some of the representative novels in terms of formal, historical, and national varieties. Some of the questions we will work on are: What are the narrative conventions of the novel? How do they affect the ways in which we perceive and imagine the world? How do the authors engage with these conventions, play with them and also challenge them? How can we understand the novelistic form in relation to the history of modernity? How do different sociopolitical perspectives and contexts change the literary form? Practicing close reading and critical analysis, students will develop skills to examine formal elements of the novel in relation to the conceptual frames of race, gender, class and nation. Readings may include: Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey, Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre, Jamaica Kincaid’s Lucy, Octavia Butler’s Kindred, Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go.

ETS 122 M003 Introduction to the Novel
MW 12:45-2:05 pm
Instructor: Evan Hixon
This course will examine the long history of the novel form, with an eye turned towards how the form has shifted and adapted over the past 500 years. Looking at a wide-range of novels, students will interrogate the texts to better understand the ways in which novels are shaped by the cultures that produce them and the ways that novels in turn shape culture. The course will examine the novel as an ever changing, self-reflective form of writing that is always in conversation with its own past. To this end, we will be reading novels from the 16th century onward, looking at major movements and genres in British and American literature. From the misguided romance of Don Quixote to the digressive mysteries of The Crying of Lot 49, this course will challenge students to engage deeply with the novel form its earliest roots in medieval chivalric tales through to its post-modern turn during the 20th century. This course will also place the novel into various critical and theoretical conversations concerning issues of class, race, gender and sexuality as the novel becomes engaged with shifting culture understandings of identity and representation. Possible texts include: Miguel de Cervantes’s Don Quixote, Toni Morrison’s Beloved and Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre.

ETS 145 Reading Popular Culture
MW 5:15-6:35 pm
Instructor: John Sanders
Can video games, television shows, and viral videos be considered “art”? How has the Internet and an interconnected media ecosystem affected how we tell and engage with stories? How do the processes of adaptation and appropriation shape cultures and identities within the United States and the world at large? In ETS 145, we will be investigating these questions by engaging with theories of popular culture and analyzing a range of texts across genres, media, and history. Over the course of the semester, students will become familiar with major approaches in the field of cultural studies and develop a critical vocabulary to talk about the media landscape which structures their everyday lives. Topics will include debates surrounding mass culture, adaptation, transmedia storytelling, fandom, nonlinear narrativity, and Internet memes. Readings will sometimes be supplemented with movie screenings, episodes of TV shows, or gameplay sessions, or with examples provided in lecture.

ETS 146 M001 Interpretation of New Media
MW 11:40am-12:35pm
Instructor: Chris Hanson
Discussion Section M002 F 10:35-11:30am
Discussion Section M003 F 11:40am-12:35pm
Discussion Section M004 F 11:40am-12:35pm
Discussion Section M005 F 12:45pm-1:35pm
While print, films, interactive texts, and other modes of expression have traditionally been construed as separate entities, now we may also read and experience these diverse forms through a screen-based device such as a computer or mobile device. This course studies the growing number of forms in which a given cultural text is expressed and how our understanding of that text is shaped by its medium. We will examine the means by which “new” screen media are defined as well as the textual, cultural, and social implications of their deployment. While the boundaries between “old” media were clearly demarcated, digital media merge forms and practices with new technologies of production, delivery, and display. We will explore the commonalities across a range of screen-based forms, while also assessing the unique aspects that truly differentiate a given medium from another. This course will examine the function of medium specificity and its application to both “old” and “new” textual forms to map the ways in which our modes of reading shift from text to text and from screen to screen.

ETS 151 M001 Interpretation of Poetry
MW 2:15-3:35 pm
Instructor: Staff
The course will consist of discussions of poems from the various traditions of poetry: from anonymous ballads to spoken word poetry. I’m interested in what makes the poem memorable and moving, how it is a vehicle for the intellect and the emotions. I’m interested too in what ways the poem provokes and challenges us, what gives the poem its power to seduce and trouble and soothe, what gives it its music and voice as distinct from speech. Students will be asked to write 6 two-page papers in which they examine closely a single poem by a poet from the text. Students may opt to write more papers (up to 8) and receive extra consideration for them. In addition, students will be asked to choose a poet and present the work of the poet in a 4 to 5 page paper. Emphasis in discussions is on style and substance, music and image. Multiple ways of reading poems will help the students expand the range of poetic possibilities.

ETS 153 M002 Interpretation of Fiction
MW 2:15-3:35
Instructor: Sean M. Conrey
This course introduces students to techniques and approaches to interpreting and analyzing fiction. We will develop close reading skills while learning to recognize the formal aspects of literary fiction, namely plot, character, setting, point of view, imagery and intertextuality. Across a range of texts from short stories, comics, novels, digital media and video games, we will work at developing critical reading habits in conjunction with the skills necessary to convey our interpretations in writing. Readings will be loosely organized around ways that cultures and countercultures interact, considering the dynamics between cultural insiders and outsiders, the position of the "other," and particularly the ways that artists can interrupt, reify, interrogate and disturb privileged ways of living. Texts in this course may include stories by Denis Johnson, Toni Cade Bambara, and Mohja Kahf, novels (graphic and otherwise) such as Watchmen by Alan Moore and The Dispossessed by Ursula K. LeGuin, films such as Strocek and Lost in Translation, and the video game Never Alone.

ETS 154 M001 Interpretation of Film
MW 12:45-1:40pm
Screenings M 7:00pm
Instructor Will Scheibel
Discussion Section M004 F 11:40am-12:35pm
Discussion Section M005 F 12:45pm-1:40pm
Discussion Section M006 F 9:30-10:25am
Discussion Section M007 F 9:30-10:25am
Discussion Section M008 F 10:35-11:30am
Discussion Section M009 F 10:35-11:30am
Film was the dominant medium of the last century and yet we have only begun to understand it, especially in the post-celluloid period of digital and convergent screen cultures. What is the formal “language” of cinema? What are the elements of style through which films communicate? What are the interpretive tools necessary to “read” those elements? In this course, you will learn the audiovisual literacy skills for approaching these broad but fundamental questions to the critical study of films as texts. We will move from close analysis of film techniques and practice (sound, mise-en-scène, cinematography, and editing) to larger contexts of aesthetic meaning: narrative, genre, stardom, marketing and reception, authorship and representation, global cinema cultures, and the relationship between film and other media. Screenings will cover both classical and contemporary cinemas, including studio-era Hollywood productions, contemporary blockbusters, groundbreaking U.S. political films, and acclaimed international art films, in addition to innovative works from documentary and avant-garde traditions.

ETS 155 Interpretation of Nonfiction
M002 TuTh 11:00 am – 12:20 pm
M003 MW 3:45-5:05 pm
Instructor: Steven Doles
This course is a cross-media introduction to the interpretation of nonfiction. Students in the course will be exposed to a variety of forms of literary nonfiction, including the essay, memoir, journalism, true crime, and popular medical account. Visual and interactive works of nonfiction will include documentaries, essay films, news broadcasts, photo essays, reality television, and serious games. The organizing idea behind the course is the way in which nonfiction texts bring us to look anew at ourselves and at others. We will give particular attention to texts which give intense scrutiny to their authors’ own lives and histories, as well as those of other people, particularly across lines of class, race, and ability. Assignments for the course will include two response papers, a shorter critical essay, an essay project proposal, and a longer final critical paper. Grades will also include a participation component and occasional pop reading quizzes.

ETS 181 M002 Class and Literary Texts
MW 12:45-2:05 pm
Instructor: Deyasini Dasgupta
“Class” is a term that is at once familiar and yet so complex: not only does it surmount the boundaries (real or imagined) of space, time, gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity and language, the concept of “class” persists even today as an indelible marker of our identity. In this course, therefore, our objective will be to explore and untangle some of the historical and lived experiences of “class”—both within and as a part of various intersecting social forces. Looking across a wide range of periods and forms, from early modern drama to contemporary novels, murder mysteries to TV shows and songs, we will interrogate and analyze the ways in which different texts serve as mediating objects in the construction of class-based identity throughout history. Using methods of close-reading and intertextual analysis, we will engage with “class” both as an identity and as a cultural category. Some of the texts we’ll look at include Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice, Downton Abbey episodes, Alice Walker’s The Color Purple, Tillie Olsen’s Yonnondio, Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express, George Orwell’s Animal Farm, Elizabeth Gaskell’s North and South (BBC adaptation), and/or song selections from Hamilton.

ETS 184 M001 Ethnicity & Literary Texts
MW 5:15-6:35pm
Instructor: Elizabeth Gleesing
The United States is commonly referred to as a multicultural society, a melting pot, and a nation of immigrants. With these designations in mind, this class seeks to question the relationship between identity and ethnicity in contemporary U.S. literary texts. In taking ethnicity as a lens, we can ask questions about what it means to be included in or excluded from American identity and what relationship there is between who we are and the places from which we and our ancestors have come. Along with these central questions, we will analyze themes of intra- and intergenerational conflict, in-between identities that seem to straddle national borders, and experiences of being a refugee or being a stateless person, effectively estranged from one’s home country. We will study short stories, poems, essays, visual works, and novels from some of the following authors: Gloria Anzaldúa, Louise Erdrich, Jhumpa Lahiri, Colm Tóibín, Helena María Viramontes, and Gene Luen Yang. In addition to written texts, we will also look at how visual works like Beyoncé’s Lemonade and digital documentaries communicate ideas of generational change, historical memory, and displacement. Assignments are likely to include weekly informal responses, short analysis assignments, and two longer argumentative papers.

ETS 184 M002 Ethnicity & Literary Texts
TuTh 3:30-4:50pm
Instructor: Chris Barnes
What is ethnicity, and what role does it play in the formation of identities and notions of belonging in the United States? Through a study of literary and other cultural texts, this course will interrogate issues of ethnicity in America in the twentieth and twenty-first century. We will address topics and themes such as the construction and negotiation of ethnic identities, generational conflicts over those identities, notions of belonging and/or estrangement from one’s homeland, and the racialization of ethnicity. Authors may include Gloria Anzaldúa, Mohsin Hamid, Leslie Marmon Silko, and Art Spiegelman. Through classroom participation, close reading exercises, and essay assignments, students will learn how to use the practice of close reading to interpret and analyze how texts engage with ethnicity as an identity and cultural category.

ETS 192 M001 Gender and Literary Texts
MW 3:45-5:05pm
Instructor: Rhyse Curtis
What does it mean to say that gender is socially constructed? In this writing intensive course, we will explore this question. Throughout the semester, students will uncover how texts represent bodies, and how ideological and social structures, such as marriage, family, friendship, heteronormativity and homosociality, and feminism and patriarchy, seek to mold and support particular gender representations while excluding or controlling other modes of being. We will also discuss how gender intersects with other identity markers such as race, class, sexual orientation, and disability. The class will look at a range of media and genres, including fiction, nonfiction, poetry, theater, film, the graphic novel, fanfic, games, and music. Readings may include works by Radclyffe Hall, Langston Hughes, Margaret Atwood, and Alison Bechdel, and critical readings may come from the works of Foucault, Butler, Halberstam, Irigaray, and hooks, among others. Students will also be required to view several films outside of class time, including Fight Club and Moonlight. Through rigorous classroom participation, weekly written responses, three essay assignments, and a class presentation, students will learn the practice and application of close reading to interpret and analyze texts for how they utilize the body as a means of “doing gender.”

ETS 192 M002 Gender and Literary Texts
TuTh 3:30-4:50 pm
Instructor: Dorri Beam
“I do/ I don’t: Marriage, Gender, and Sexuality in American Literature”: This course examines the development of the institution of marriage in the U.S. and the way it shapes lives, identities, gender roles, social relations, and the very fabric of society. Beginning in the nineteenth century and ending with recent marriage equality debates, we’ll examine literary representations of marriage and deviations from it--including bachelorhood, romantic friendship, Boston marriage, extended kinship networks, interracial marriage, divorce, polygamy, and gay marriage—to ask how gender and sexuality are being shaped by each imaginative plotting of marriage or resistance to it. Texts will range from Hannah Foster’s The Coquette and short stories by Henry James and Sarah Orne Jewett, to Zitkala Sa’s American Indian Stories, and up to Christopher Isherwood’s A Single Man, Silva Plath’s The Bell Jar, Alison Bechdel’s graphic novel, Fun Home, and the TV series Big Love.

ETS 200 M001 Special Topics: Modern Horror Fiction
MW 12:45-2:05pm
Instructor: Steven Doles
In recent decades horror fiction has become a massive genre and industry, with a number of authors such as Stephen King, Dean Koontz, and Anne Rice repeatedly topping bestseller lists. While horror has a longer lineage tracing back through the ghost and gothic tales of previous centuries, the horror genre itself developed through publishing and readership practices in the early and mid-twentieth century. Although horror fiction focuses on something as idiosyncratic and personal as what each of us finds scary, the genre is often highly self-aware of its own history, influences, and devices. We will read a number of authors throughout the semester, including (in rough chronological order) Algernon Blackwood, H.P. Lovecraft, Shirley Jackson, Stephen King, Clive Barker, Joyce Carol Oates, Thomas Ligotti, and Victor LaValle, among others. To further our understanding of how horror developed as a genre and of how authors conceive of their work, we will also read major critical statements by Lovecraft, King, and Ligotti, and might also look at small press publications by horror fans, as well as horror on old time radio shows such as Lights Out, in comics such as EC Comics Tales from the Crypt, and on television shows such as The Twilight Zone and True Detective.

ETS 215 Introductory Poetry Workshop
M 5:15-8:00 pm
Instructor: Staff
Weekly meetings of this workshop will focus on generating and critiquing student poems, and on supplementary readings of other poetry. Besides writing a new original poem every week, everyone will revise at least four poems on the basis of the workshop response. Reading and writing assignments will be handed out as we go. No prerequisites.

ETS 217 Introductory Fiction Workshop
M001 M 3:45-6:30 pm
Instructor: Nana Adjei-Brenyah
This workshop represents a chance to grow as an artist and writer. To do this we’ll focus on reading, writing and revising, which are the pillars of this kind of growth. We will think of ourselves as artists in pursuit of our greatest artistic self. We will challenge one another to work at our highest level in this pursuit. In this class we will practice through various methods, but our collective goal will be to encourage and inspire each other to write work that is “us.”

ETS 217 Introductory Fiction Workshop
M003 Tu 3:30-6:15pm
Instructor: Dana Spiotta
This class will introduce students to the fiction workshop. Participants in the workshop will learn how to write a story, how to read closely and how to critique and revise stories. In class we will discuss student work as well as published work from outside the class. We will do in-class writing exercises, and each student will keep a writing notebook.

ETS 230 M001 Ethnic Literary Traditions
TuTh 2:00-3:20 pm
Instructor: Ken Frieden
An exploration into Jewish humor and satire. What are its characteristics? What does it mean? How does it work? What does it say about Jewish identity? We begin with Freudian theory and then focus on Yiddish satire and American humor. Class sessions will analyze literary works (e.g., by Sholem Aleichem, Leo Rosten, and Philip Roth), American Jewish stand-up comedy routines (e.g., by Lennie Bruce and Allan Sherman), early Yiddish movies (e.g., Yidl mitn fidl) and American films (e.g., by the Marx Brothers, Mel Brooks, and Woody Allen). There will be weekly short writing assignments, to be posted on Blackboard and submitted in hard copy. Students are encouraged to bring their own Jewish film clips and jokes to class. To encourage active participation, students work in groups to present some aspect of American Jewish humor, such as female performances and television series, political satires, Jewish episodes in mainstream shows, and the limits of bad taste (e.g., as reflected in reactions to Larry David’s Holocaust-related humor). Last year, one option for the final project was to perform a five-minute standup routine. No prerequisites—no prior knowledge of Jewish culture or Jewish jokes is assumed. Meets with JSP/LIT/REL 237: Jewish Humor and Satire

ETS 242 Reading & Interpretation
M001 TuTh 9:30-10:50 am
Instructor: Coran Klaver
M005 MW 12:45-2:05 pm
Instructor: Erin Mackie
Introduces students to the discipline of English and Textual Studies, stressing not what is read but how we read it—and the difference that makes. Its goal, in other words, is not only to show how meanings are created through acts of critical reading but also to demonstrate the consequences of pursuing one mode or method of reading over another. This course is designed to enhance your ability to read and interpret contextually as well as closely, to help you to articulate your understanding effectively, and to draw connections through reading and writing. Through close, deep, and thoughtful reading of literary and non-literary texts as well as essays by critics and theorists, we will explore the ways texts mean and the ways readers produce meaning.

ETS 303 M001 Reading & Writing Fiction
TuTh 12:30-1:50 pm
Instructor: Nana Adjei-Brenyah
We’ll read the best fiction we can, we’ll learn to delight in its power.

ENG 304 M001 Reading & Writing Poetry
TuTh 9:30-10:50 am
Instructor: Sarah Harwell
T. S. Eliot said that minor poets borrow while great poets steal. From classical antiquity to the present, poets have always learned their trade by imitating other poets. They have pursued their individual talent by absorbing, assimilating, and in some cases subverting the lessons of the traditions they inherit. In this class, we will read and imitate poems from canonical poets. We’ll examine each poet closely, sympathetically, and predatorily. That is, we will read like aspiring writers, looking for what we can steal. We will deepen our understanding of a variety of poetic devices, such as diction, image, music, and metaphor. We will attend to each poet’s stylistic and formal idiosyncrasies, as well as his or her techniques and habits. You will be required to display an understanding of these issues by producing creative and analytical responses to the poets studied.

ETS 305 M001 Critical Analysis: Literature and Its Media
MW 12:45-2:05 pm
Instructor: Chris Forster
We usually talk about “novels,” “poems,” or “films” (and texts of various other kinds). But what about the paper and ink (or parchment or wax or celluloid or LCD screens or tablets) that carry those texts? Does the history of these materials affect literary forms? Do they change how, or what, we read? This class pursues these questions by turning to the field of media studies, to see what implications it may have students of literature and culture. This class will cover a diverse and historically broad set of materials and concerns, looking at the history of texts from the ancient world (and oral poetry) through to contemporary developments in digital culture (poetry written on, and with, the Web; novels written on Twitter). We’ll read key thinkers and theorists of media studies (and related fields, like book history) as well as literary texts which foreground their own medium in provocative ways (like Tristram Shandy). Likely critics include Plato, Walter Ong, Marshall McLuhan, Friedrich Kittler, and Walter Benjamin, alongside works by major poets, novelists, and writers (including Laurence Sterne, E. E. Cummings, and Teju Cole). Course work will include a final essay, regular short responses, and a presentation to the class, as well as some experiments with media and its history.

ETS 310 Literary Periods: Reading and Being Green Today
TuTh 12:30-1:50 pm
Instructor: Crystal Bartolovich
Earth Scientists have proposed that immediate, drastic action is needed to combat climate change and other ecological disruptions, and yet concrete interventions remain slow and inadequate. This course will consider how fiction might help encourage the lifestyle and policy changes that scientific facts, on their own, have not yet managed to produce. We will examine contemporary eco-fictions in various media, such as poems and novels by Atwood, Vandermeer, Powers, Octavia Butler, Indra Singh, Piercy, Erdrich or Silko, as well as films such as Okja, Wall-E, or Avatar. To evaluate the potential usefulness (or deficits) of their techniques and appeals, we will compare and contrast them with earlier eco-interventions that achieved considerable success, such as The Jungle, The Whole Earth Catalogue and Silent Spring, as well as current non-fiction eco-interventions such as The Sixth Extinction, Wangari Maathai’s “how to” eco-guides or “The Story of Stuff.” Assignments will include 2 short critical papers and a collaborative final project integrating literature, film or other creative cultural forms into a proposal for a concrete eco-justice initiative on campus. The class will engage throughout with serious practical considerations of how to change ourselves and the planet to encourage mutual thriving for all.

ETS 320 M002 Authors: James Joyce
TuTh 2:00-3:20 pm
Instructor: Chris Forster
This class offers an opportunity to read, with an unusual depth of attention and care, the major works of one of the most important and challenging writers of the twentieth-century: James Joyce. We will begin the semester by reading a selection from Joyce's early collection of short stories Dubliners and his autobiographical bildungsroman A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, before beginning a patient, chapter by chapter reading of Ulysses—a novel that regularly appears near, or at, the top of lists of “greatest” novels of the twentieth century. While our focus is on a single writer, Joyce’s work and the evolution of his career provide a rich opportunity for understanding the twentieth century. From his naturalist short stories to his modern (or even postmodern) novel Ulysses, Joyce offers an opportunity to survey the evolution of narrative style in the twentieth century. Ulysses poses questions at the center of our understanding of literature: about the relationship between literature, difficulty, and popular culture; about how narrative represents consciousness and interiority; about how literary form captures—or fails to capture—experience; and about how literary value relates to obscenity and provocation. Joyce’s work also opens onto questions broader than literature, concerning imperialism, Irish history, and the representation of gender. Assignments likely include short written assignments, research into Joyce’s context and background, and two major essays.

ETS 351 M002 Reading Nation and Empire before 1900: Writing Native America in Early American Literature
TuTh 9:30-10:50 am
Instructor: Scott Stevens
From captivity narratives, such as Mary Rowlandson’s, to the novels of James Fennimore Cooper, the figure of the “American Indian” in early American literature has had a lasting legacy in American culture. But how did Native writers represent themselves and their respective cultures and where does their writing fit within the larger framework of American literature? This course will read the works of key early American writers comparatively with such Native American authors as Samson Occom, William Apess, Jane Schoolcraft, Blackhawk, and Yellow Bird (aka John Rollins Ridge) in order to develop a more nuanced and balanced sense of early Native American letters. Recent critical readings by scholars such as Nancy Armstrong, Maureen Konkle, Gordon Sayre, Robert Warrior, and Jace Weaver, among others, will supplement our readings. Meets with NAT 400.

ETS 351 M003 Reading Nation and Empire Before 1900: The Literature of Revolution
MW 3:45-5:05 pm
Instructor: Patricia Roylance
This course will examine the literature and ideology of revolution in the United States and beyond. In defiance of Britain’s imperialist control, the colonies that became the United States of America struggled to unify, win their independence and form a new nation. We will read participants’ speeches, personal letters, pamphlets and declarations to analyze how this process took place through language. We will also read accounts of the Revolution and its ideals produced in later eras, including fiction by Irving, Cooper and Hawthorne and political statements from other revolutions around the world attempting to cite the U.S. Revolution as a precedent. In an interesting twist, the United States itself became the target of a serious attempt at revolution by the Southern states in the Civil War, in which the Union faced the challenge of subduing a rebellion presenting itself as the present incarnation of the “Spirit of ’76.” In this course, we will track, among other issues, how the same rhetoric of revolution is used to cast the United States first as the rebel and then as the tyrant a mere 85 years later.

ETS 352 M001 Race, Nation, Empire: Postcoloniality and the Global
MW 12:45-2:05pm
Instructor: Chris Eng
What makes a world? Popular discourses celebrate globalization as a contemporary phenomenon characterized by connectivity, access, and diversity. Yet, the proliferation of borders—geographical, legal, and symbolic—radically trouble these idealistic accounts of inclusivity and progress. This course grapples with global literatures to explore the dark underside of globalization, minding the unevenness and violences of its histories and structures. Particularly, we will work through a set of literary and theoretical texts—by scholar-writers such as Michelle Cliff, J. M. Coetzee, Frantz Fanon, Edward Said, and Karen Tei Yamashita—to investigate the role of literature and literary criticism in reproducing, complicating, and transforming the very conditions of the “global.” Following the routes and historical legacies of colonialism and postcoloniality that structure the modern world, our participation in larger academic conversations will be guided by the following inquiries: How do literary and cultural productions not only reflect, but also produce and uphold the very contours of globalization? What are the assumptions and values ascribed when we label a text as part of, or not part of, a “national literature” or “world literature”? How can we perform readings that attend to a literary text’s relationship to power dynamics and the world?

ETS 353 M001 Race, Nation & Empire before 1900: Jews and Judaism in the Renaissance Imagination
TuTh 11:00am-12:20pm
Instructor: Stephanie Shirilan
The expulsion of the Jews from England in 1290 meant that Jews were at least officially not to be found in Shakespeare’s England. Traditional historiographies have emphasized the alienation of Jews from the centers of Christian life and have largely studied representations of Jews in Renaissance literature as specimens of fantasy and conjecture from an impassable distance. Recent scholarship has, however, uncovered growing evidence of more substantive exchanges between Jews and Christians. Such encounters took place mainly on the Continent but were described in literature that circulated across Europe. We will consider these developments as we read from a selection of canonical literary depictions of Jews and Judaism (Chaucer, Nashe, Shakespeare, and Marlowe) and from the literature of travel, policy, science, and theology in which Jews or Conversos and Jewish texts figure prominently in representation or in the conditions of their production and reception. Discussion will situate both sets of texts in the contexts of the Reformation and Counter-Reformation and in relation to the rise and fall of Empire (English, Spanish, Ottoman), urbanization, mercantile and capitalist economic development, and colonial expansion.

ETS 353 Race, Nation & Empire before 1900: American Captivities – Race, Gender, and Nation in the New World
TuTh 12:30-1:50pm
Instructor: Dorri Beam
This course considers the captivity narrative as a recurring form in American literature and asks why it should be so prevalent in a “land of freedom.” We’ll expand this genre beyond its traditional focus on Puritan captivity (in which colonial settlers recounted being captured and forced to live with Native Americans) to the stories of captured Africans, Native Americans, and women. We will use the genre to examine issues of cultural contact and containment, freedom and imprisonment, and national inclusion and exclusion in early American literature.

After studying the iconic captivity stories of Captain John Smith and Pocahontas, Mary Rowlandson, and Spanish conquistador Cabeza de Vaca, we turn to captivity as a leitmotif in African American literature, from slave narratives such as Solomon Northup’s Twelve Years a Slave to Nat Turner’s Confessions to John Edgar Wideman’s powerful contemporary account of his brother’s imprisonment. We’ll explore Native American experiences of captivity in the work of Leslie Marmon Silko, Zitkala Sa, and ledger art by Plains Indians. We’ll watch several filmic adaptations of the captivity genre, including John Ford’s classic Western, The Searchers, Terrence Malick’s The New World, Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave, and Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained. Throughout, we’ll ask how, as students of American literature, we should understand our own captivation by and contact with the American captivity narrative.

ETS360 M003 Reading Gender & Sexualities: Queering Documentary
MW 5:15-6:35pm
Screening W 7:00pm
Instructor: Roger Hallas
Documentary representation has been central to the emergence and development of modern sexual identities. For instance, 19th century science turned to both photographic portraiture and written case studies in order to name and define homosexuality as a specific sexual identity. But forms of documentation have not only been used to discipline and pathologize queer sexual acts and identities. Queer subcultures, social movements and individual artists have also embraced the desire to document — but in the service of cultural expression, sexual liberation and collective memory. This course explores how different documentary genres (such as case studies, ethnographies, oral histories, historical narratives, testimonies, activist videos, portraits and [auto]biographies) in various media (film, video, photography, graphic art and literature) have become fundamental tools in the historical struggle over sexual rights across the globe. Attendance at weekly film screening required. This course counts toward the Film and Screen Studies track and the LGBT Studies minor. Crosslisted with WGS360/QSX300

ETS 360 M004 Reading Gender & Sexualities: Feminist Fictions
TuTh 12:30-1:50pm
Instructor: Coran Klaver
This course will explore the history of Anglo-American feminism through the novels that figured the social, cultural, and theoretical issues facing feminist thinkers and activists alongside their political writings and actions. These novels reveal the strengths and limits of Anglo-American feminist thought at key moments in the development the feminist movements, exploring the way that feminist frameworks at specific moments fueled certain changes, even while reinforcing the status quo in in other ways, as well as the way they created possibilities for some women, even as excluding others from their liberatory promises. The course will begin with Maria Wollstonecraft’s novel, Maria, or The Wrongs of Women and include novels such as Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre, Virginia Woolf’s Orlando, Kate Chopin’s The Awakening, George Gissings, The Odd Women, Jean Rhys’s Wide Sargasso Sea, Doris Lessing’s The Golden Notebook, Jeanette Winterson’s Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit, Erica Jong’s Fear of Flying; Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God, Marge Piercy’s Woman On the Edge of Time, Toni Morrison’s Paradise, Margaret Atwood’s The Lady Oracle, and Chimananda Ngozi Adichie’s Americanah. We will read short selections of nonfictional feminist writing from the periods alongside these novels. Students will be responsible for oral presentations on the history of feminism concurrent with the writing of these novels, two formal essays, and one creative engagement with today’s contemporary feminist moment.

ETS 400 M001 Selected Topics: The Mysteries of London
TuTh 3:30-4:50 pm
Instructor: Mike Goode
This course examines nineteenth-century crime and mystery literature about London, as well as contemporary novelists’, graphic novelists’, tourists’, and filmmakers’ fascination with this literature and with Victorian London. The course is a regular semester-long course taught on the Syracuse University campus, but students must also participate over spring break in an Syracuse Abroad short-term program involving eight days of on-site study in London with the professor. Texts covered will include Charles Dickens’s Oliver Twist, Mary Elizabeth Braddon’s Lady Audley’s Secret, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes stories, Sarah Waters’s Fingersmith, and Alan Moore and Eddie Campell’s From Hell. Assignments will consist of a 5-page paper, a 10-page paper, reading quizzes, and a 20-minute presentation to be given during the spring break trip portion of the course. The course is capped at 20 students and admission is by application only. Applications were due at Syracuse Abroad on October 15, 2018.

ETS 401 M003 Advanced Poetry Workshop
Tu 3:30-6:20pm
Instructor: Brooks Haxton
The purpose of this course is to develop the skills needed to make poems vivid and accessible for readers. In discussion and written comments on each other’s work students use their imagination and intelligence to help each other accomplish this difficult task. Everyone writes one new poem each week, some in response to assignments, and then revises four of these into carefully considered form. Requirements include reading, written analysis of poems, and memorization. The course is open to anyone who has taken the introductory workshop. Juniors and seniors who have not had a workshop may submit a portfolio of ten pages of original poetry to be considered for admission. 

ETS 403 M002 Advanced Fiction Workshop
Instructor: Arthur Flowers
Fiction Workshop. Craft. Production. Basic workshop format, 2 reader critiques a session plus assigned reading.

ETS 407 Advanced Critical Writing: The Natural and Supernatural in Medieval Literature
TuTh 11:00am-12:20pm
Instructor: Patricia Moody

This topic allows us to explore the various and complex ways in which medieval persons understood both the natural and the supernatural or “fantastic.” Historian Robert Bartlett offers the caveat that the belief systems of the Middle Ages were no more coherent than our own, but rather reflect overlapping zones of intellectual debate, difference, and even "discomfort." This literature course investigates the aesthetic-fictional structures and properties of supernatural figures, states, and worlds, and how the "natural" and "supernatural" inform each other. Theoretical texts (Freud and Todorov for example) will help us reflect upon the psychological, philosophical, cultural, social, political and other uses of the supernatural and why and how they have endured over time. We will also venture into some contemporary works, such as Tolkien and modern works such as Neil Gaiman's novel Neverwhere (1996), the film Pan’s Labyrinth and portions of historian Scott Poole's book Monsters in America: Our Historical Obsession with the Hideous and Haunting (2011). This Advanced Critical Writing course will help you to hone your research and writing skills and engage in deep and sustained critical inquiry. This course can be used in place of ETS 305.

ETS 411 Forms & Genres Before 1900: Reading, Breathing Shakespeare
TuTh 2:00-3:20pm
Instructor: Stephanie Shirilan

Acting and voice coaches have written extensively about breathing Shakespeare’s language, finding its poetry and the power of its rhythms in the “breath” of the line. What does this mean for students of literature? We will read from acting and voice pedagogy alongside classical rhetorical/oratorical treatises (that Shakespeare most certainly studied in grammar school) in order to consider what a focus on reading and breathing affords the literary, historical, and theoretical study of Shakespeare. How does reading aloud change our relationship to the plays in performance, in “private” reading, in the classroom, and in the “archive”? What becomes clearer and more accessible? What becomes more opaque and difficult? How might we observe Shakespeare’s experience as an actor in the attention he gives to the management of the breath both structurally and thematically? We will read fewer plays slowly so as to experiment with reading and performance techniques together in and outside of class. We will make at least one trip to the theater and will view a variety of adaptations and filmed productions. Non-traditional, pedagogical and performance-based, para-academic assignment options will be available for all students but may be customized to enhance the experiences of VPA/Drama and Education Majors.

ETS 420 M001 Cultural Production & Reception: The Hollywood Star System
MW 3:45-5:05 pm
Screening W 7:00pm
Instructor: Will Scheibel

Idols of the screen, models of style and politics, brand identities, and icons of popular culture, Hollywood stars continue to fascinate us as moviegoers. Identification in cinema is not the exclusive domain of the camera, but involves a relationship we share with characters, actors, and star personas. To that end, acting is not the function of scripted plot, nor is charisma a “natural” state of being; each requires critical analysis to understand the labor of artistic subjects and the roles of fan discourse, journalism, and the trade press in determining a career in the entertainment industry. In this course, we will learn the techniques and traditions from which an actor draws, the relationships between an actor and other elements of a film’s mise-en-scène, and how an actor becomes a star through the machinery of promotion, publicity, criticism, and commentary. We will look specifically at famous cases from the Classical Hollywood era, between the late-1920s and the early-1960s, the period in which actors worked under long-term contracts at studios that manufactured their images to be admired, even desired, by the public. The phenomenon of Hollywood stardom remains alive and well, and the story of contemporary celebrity culture begins here.

ETS 420 M002 Cultural Production & Reception: Esports & Games in Culture
MW 2:15-3:35
Instructor: Chris Hanson

Video games have rapidly become a leading contributor to global media culture, rivaling other media industries such as film and television. Esports have more recently become a significant part of this discussion, transforming video game competition into a globalized commodity and entertainment industry. This course will examine how esports and games function in culture, looking at U.S. and global historical contexts. We will explore a range of cultural topics in games and esports, such as fan communities; the function of gender, ethnicity, and identity through multiple registers; industrial practices; the professionalization of play; and the relationships between digital games, esports, and analog games and sports. In addition to a variety of digital and analog games, we will also study relevant screen-based media texts which explicitly or implicitly engage with the key aspects of the histories and cultures of esports and games.

ETS 421 M001 Cultural Production & Reception Before 1900: Medieval Masterpieces
TuTh 2:00-3:20 pm
Instructor: Patricia Moody

In Europe, from about the time of the fall of the Roman empire in the fifth century to roughly the end of the Hundred Years’ War in 1453, the period called “medieval” was marked by war, plague, famine, crop failures, and crusades; it was also a period remarkable for its advances in science, technology, architecture, literature, and the arts. This course examines selected masterpieces of the medieval era across cultures, from Beowulf and Boethius to the Chanson de Roland, Dante and Chaucer. Literary texts will be examined alongside other cultural masterpieces such as illuminated manuscripts, tapestries, chant, and cathedrals.

ETS 421 Cultural Production & Reception Before 1900: Christopher Columbus
MW 2:15-3:35 pm
Silvio Torres-Saillant

“Christopher Columbus” cover the cultural history of a Genoese mariner who in 1492, sailing under the flag of Catholic Spain, arrived in the Caribbean, never got close to the US mainland, yet became an unchallenged symbol of US patriotism. In the 18th century, while the US founders proudly vaunted their Protestant English stock, the Admiral became memorialized in the name of the US capital, “District of Columbia.” Subsequently, the adventurer who opened the Americas for conquest by the Spanish Empire began to lend his name to US cities, government buildings, rivers, and universities, with Columbus Circle monuments spreading throughout the country. Today the name of the Genoese appears on more US natural sites or parts of the built space than that of any of the Founding Fathers, including George Washington. We will read Washington Irving, Joel Barlow, Wilhanan Winchester, and several other key contributors to the US adoption of Columbus as an icon American patriotism. The class will consider questions pertaining to the construction of public memory and its consequences.

ETS 495 Thesis Writing Workshop
Th 3:30-6:15 pm
Instructor: Crystal Bartolovich

This course is a continuation of ETS 494. It is intended to serve as a forum for small-group mentoring and directed research toward producing an ETS Distinction Essay or Honors Thesis. Enrollment requires successful completion of ETS 494 (or equivalent) and is by instructor permission only.

Graduate Courses

ENG 615 M003 Open Poetry Workshop
M 12:45-3:30 pm
Instructor: Bruce Smith
Students in this course will be asked to write twelve poems, one “free” poem per week to push back against the world with the imagination. I’ll make assignment suggestions for either form or content. [On some occasions students may override these assignments to write the poem that needs to be written.] The emphasis will be both on the craft -- the language and the shaping and forming of the writing, and the imagination -- the vision that's unique to each individual. Classroom work will consist primarily of workshop style discussion of student work, although each class will begin with poems, ancient and modern, as model or target for discussions of technique as well as examples of tapping the resources available to the writer. In Open Workshop, I’ll be suggesting exercises and varieties of approaches. Discussion will include ways to locate the source of your poems as well as ways to "music" them, to shape them, and to revise them.

ENG 617 M001 Open Fiction Workshop
Th 12:30-3:20 pm
Instructor: Dana Spiotta
This workshop will focus on fiction-writing and the useful critique thereof. This class is a less structured, more playful version of the fall workshops. In addition to discussing your fiction, we will discuss process, issues of practice, and avenues of inspiration in hopes that the classroom experience will be generative of new work. Writing exercises/prompts/constraints will also be a part of our work. Toward the end of the semester, we will be more closely focused on strategies of revision as well as the challenges of structuring longer form fiction.

ENG 630 M002 Graduate Proseminar: English in America: A History of the Profession
Th 12:30-3:20 pm
Instructor: Harvey Teres
This course will explore the history of academic literary and cultural studies in the United States from the early 19th century to the present in light of current problems facing the academic humanities and literary study in particular. Emphasis will be given to the relationship between the academy and society at large, but attention will also be paid to the internal developments and conflicts that have shaped the process of professionalization, including, among other things, early debates between specialists and generalists, the rise of the New Criticism, the turn toward structuralism and post-structuralist theory, corporate influences on the university, the current situation, and future directions. The latter portion of the course will be devoted to a consideration of the possibilities of the public humanities and civic engagement as they may affect the 21st century English department. Readings may include Thomas Bender, Intellect and Public Life; Morris Dickstein, Double Agent; Terry Eagleton, “The Rise of English”; Rita Felski, The Limits of Critique; Gerald Graff, Professing Literature; Christopher Lucas, American Higher Education; Louis Menand, The Marketplace of Ideas; Christopher Newfield, Unmaking the Public University; Joseph North, Literary History: A Concise Political History; Martha Nussbaum, Not For Profit; Janice Radway, Reading the Romance; and Michael Walzer, The Company of Critics: Social Criticism and Political Commitment in the 20th Century.

ENG 630 M003 Graduate Proseminar: Early Modern Poetry
M 9:30-12:20 pm
Instructor Dympna Callaghan
This course will engage with the immensely rich verse of this period and with the social, cultural and historical phenomena that produced it. We will have two crucial goals: the first, to gain an understanding of the poems as poems, as very specifically literary acts of language; our second aim will be to determine the place and function of poetry in early modern English society. The poetry of this period is about love, (both homoerotic and heteroerotic, human and divine) but it is also about political aspiration, imperialism, liberty, and a range of other power relations that informed the fabric of the era's social and cultural life. We will look first at the way English poetry responds to classical precedent, especially the overwhelming influence of Ovid, and we will read, whole or in part, many of the era’s most famous--and, occasionally, most notorious-- works (Wyatt’s lyrics, Spenser’s Faerie Queene; Nashe’s Choise of Valentines, Shakespeare’s poems, Marlowe’s Hero and Leander, Chapman’s Homer, Milton’s Sonnets.) We will also pay particular attention to poetry composed by women, much of which you may not have encountered before.

ENG 630 M004 Graduate Proseminar: Introduction to Romantic Studies
Th 9:30-12:15 pm
Instructor Mike Goode
This course will examine some of the different ways that literary critics, historians, and theorists have engaged in recent years with the literature and media of Britain’s “Romantic” period (1789-1832). The course does not presuppose much familiarity with this literature and media or with how critics, historians, and theorists have engaged with it in the past. In fact, our survey of the current state of the critical field of Romantic Studies will necessarily entail reading many primary texts from the period and some “classic” critical texts, in addition to the more recent critical materials. Topical foci of the course include: ecology and environmentalism; media and mediation; the emergence of historicist thought; the history of the novel; human rights discourse; sympathy and affect; neuroscience and cognition; and identities, identity formations, and celebrity. Primary text reading will cover a wide variety of forms, genres, and media, including poetry, novels, drama, paintings, prints, gardens, political tracts, philosophical treatises, essays, sermons, and histories. In addition to completing a conference paper-length formal writing assignment and several 1-page Blackboard posts, students will also be asked to try out at least one other kind of academic research, writing, and labor, such as book reviewing, editing, encyclopedia-entry writing, blogging, curating, and data-mining.

ENG 650 M001 Forms: Life and Story
Th 9:30-12:15 am
Instructor: Sigrid Nunez
Most writers, especially in their early work, draw from personal experience. In this course, one of the main questions we explore is what happens when you use material from life as a source for stories. How do you transform real experience into imaginative writing? How do a writer’s memories become a work of fiction? What is the difference between the self who narrates an event from the past and the self who actually lived through it? What is the process involved in turning a real person into a fictional character? Authors may include Tobias Wolff, Lydia Davis, Edward St. Aubyn, Garth Greenwell, Alexander Chee, Jamaica Kincaid, Kathleen Collins, Amitava Kumar, and Weike Wang.

Attendance is required. Class participation is required. The written assignment for the course will be in the form of a reader’s journal that includes the student’s responses to each text. Requirements for the journal will be discussed in detail at the first class meeting.

ENG 650 M002 Forms: Those Literary Hoodoo Blues
Tu 9:30-12:15 pm
Instructor: Arthur Flowers
Magic and the oral tradition, magical realism and Afrofuturism. The metafictional use of magic and storytelling tropes of literature. An interrogation of the African American griotic literary tradition through the works of John Edgar Wideman, Gayle Jones, Toni Morrison, Ishmael Reed, Gloria Naylor, Larry Neal, el at.

ENG 650 M003 Forms: THE REAL
Tu 12:30-3:15 pm
Instructor: Johnathan Dee
What we talk about when we talk about “realism” in fiction is usually very narrowly defined; the history of the novel has always been furthered by formal innovations and disruptions that might best be appreciated not as avant-garde experiments but as attempts to update and refine the representation, on the page, of what it feels like to live. That feeling, of course, changes in many ways across eras and across cultures: as Milan Kundera wrote, “Every novel, like it or not, offers some answer to the question: What is human existence, and wherein does its poetry lie?” We will read a broad and evolving survey of such answers, up to the present day. Texts may include Flaubert, Dreiser, Chopin, Woolf, Dos Passos, Baldwin, Naylor, McCarthy, Heti, Zhang, Sally Rooney, et al.

ENG 650 M004 Forms: Art and Craft of Poetry
Th 3:30-6:15 pm
Instructor: Brooks Haxton
In response to weekly handouts, with selections of illustrative poems, definitions of key terms, and analysis of features of the art, students in this course will write a short exercise each week focusing on a particular challenge in poetry. We will spend several weeks on various rhythmic traditions for the organization of lines and stanzas, not with the idea that every poem must use these traditions, but with the belief that any writer who learns to feel the effect of these patterns will have a more deeply gratifying experience of most of the best poetry written in English (and in other languages), and that this experience brings greater freedom and skill in the act of composition, not only of verse, but also of prose. Other topics besides rhythm will include image, diction, tone, point of view, and argument. No prior study of poetic technique is necessary for students interested in exploring these techniques. Prose writers as well as poets of various aesthetic dispositions have found this course useful and engaging.

ENG 650 M005 Forms: Affects, Effects and The Feels: A Generative Class in How Poems Create, Sustain and Amplify Emotion
Tu 3:20-6:20 pm
Instructor: Sarah Harwell
Listen: there was a goat’s head hanging by ropes in a tree. -Brigit Pegeen Kelly

"Our studies converge in showing that poetry is a powerful emotional stimulus capable of engaging brain areas of primary reward. The fact that poetry-elicited chills differ from those evoked by music in terms of neural correlates points to the unique qualities of poetic language that could not be replaced by music and singing during the evolution of human forms of emotional expression." --Eugen Wassiliwizky et al.

Frost states that “Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words.” William Wordsworth writes poems are "the spontaneous overflow of feelings" originating from "emotion recollected in tranquility." In this class we will give sustained attention to the intertwined, inextricable braid of a poem’s thought, feeling and sound by investigating all the various ways a poem can make us feel (and by feel, I mean literal physical sensations, chills, goosebumps, heart palpitations, and tears, as well as the usual abstractions of love, fear, anger, and transcendence) and the methods in which the poem conveys those feelings to the reader or listener. We will explore the links between content and sound, content and syntax, content and diction, content and image, content and narrative, content and lyric, content and the intellect, etc. What makes a poem manipulative vs. sentimental vs. heartwrenching? How does a poem transform the banality of feelings into art? How can a poem startle us into feeling despite our desire for numbness?

We will look at poems in form, “free” poems, poems that rhyme and poems that don’t. We will start from poems that we love, that have affected us deeply, and go from there.

As well we will devote several classes to the oral reading of poems. Utilizing guest speakers, youtube videos, and skype interviews, we will question working poets about their various approaches to reading their own work, and conduct experiments on how best to read our own poems out loud.

You will be required to present on a poem that makes you feel "physically as if the top of [your] head [was] taken off."" You will be required to write poems in response to the topics brought up in class. You will be required to participate in class critiques of oral renditions of both your own poems and your classmates’ poems. One on one conferences will be scheduled throughout the semester.

Possible poets to be studied include: Gerard Manley Hopkins, Alice Oswald, Robert Hayden, Louis MacNeice, Gwendolyn Brooks, Paul Celan, Brigit Pegeen Kelly, Seamus Heaney, John Berryman, Anne Sexton, Robert Frost, Lorine Niedecker, D.H. Lawrence, Ted Hughes, Laura Kasischke, Marina Tsvetayeva, Zbiegniew Herbert, Thom Gunn, Wallace Stevens, Li Po, Terrance Hayes, Robert Hass, Elizabeth Bishop…

ENG 730 M001 Graduate Seminar: Cinema and the Documentary Idea
Tu 3:30-6:15 pm
Screening Tu 7:00pm
Instructor: Roger Hallas
Invented at end of the nineteenth century, cinema was inevitably shaped by industrial modernity’s demand for empiricism and rational, scientific evidence as well as its profound investment in visual spectacle. Cinema has continued to be regarded in various ways as a powerful visual technology for documenting the world, and for capturing the “real.” This seminar investigates the complex history and theorization of the documentary idea across various film, video and digital practices. We shall examine not only classic and contemporary documentary films, but also experimental cinema, travelogues, essay films, autoethnographies, mockumentaries, and docudrama. We shall interrogate the very term “documentary,” which has a long and contested history that traverses scientific, legal, aesthetic, political, sociological, and ethnographic discourses. Moving from the euphoria and anxiety around the first public film screenings by the Lumière Brothers in 1895, through the modernist estrangement of the world in Soviet and 1960s political cinema, to the inflammatory provocations of Surrealist filmmakers and contemporary fake documentaries, the course explores the relations between film, video, and digital practices from (often radically) different national, historical, and political contexts. This course has been conceived in an interdisciplinary vein, so we will also be examining documentary moving images in relation to other forms of documentary practice, both textual and visual. Student research projects may thus concentrate on moving image media or examine their relationship to other documentary forms.

ENG 730 M003 Graduate Seminar: Queer of Color Affects
Tu 12:30-3:15 pm
Instructor: Chris Eng
This course delves into the generative critical interventions of queer of color critique through a focus on its theorizations of affect. In exploring this intersection, it aims to thicken and complicate understandings about operations of power and resistance. In this regard, “queer of color affect” thus serves as not only our object of analysis, but also—more importantly—a method of analysis. On the one hand, the course will challenge students to reassess the ways in which historical and ongoing processes of racialization, gendering, sexualization, and corresponding modes of differentiation materialize through differential distributions of affective capacities. On the other, it attends to and proliferates the innovative ways that creative and theoretical practices by queers and women of color have mobilized affects of anger, shame, disgust, and melancholy as platforms for mobilizing toward visions of radical social justice. By centering queer of color critique and lessons learned from women of color feminisms, the class will explore the intimate entanglements between affect, aesthetics, difference, biopolitics, and performance through recent scholarship published in the interdisciplinary fields of American studies and critical ethnic studies.

ETS 730 M004 Graduate Seminar: Concept of the Common
M 3:45-6:30 pm
Instructor: Crystal Bartolovich
This course explicitly responds to persistent requests from students for a dedicated follow-up “theory” class to 631. It will take up the concept-metaphor of the “Common” as it appears in various current sites, where it is widespread (as “Common,” “Commons,” “Undercommons,” “latent commons,” “common good,” “electronic commons” etc.). Critical race theory, feminism, Marxism, new materialism, historicism, queer theory, eco-criticism, etc., converge on a terrain in which the “Common” appears, variously, as an aspiration, site of struggle or lived transformative subjective experience. It is often (not always) deployed to reimagine “totality,” “communism,” “intersectionality,” “universality,” “collectivity” or similar concepts, while attempting to elude perceived deficits with these concepts. Overall it signals a dissatisfaction with previous attempts to figure or theorize affiliations or combinations inflected by dissent, difference, exclusion and inequality, while recognizing that such figurations or theorizations are needed. Some attention will be given to earlier debates in which the Common(s) has been crucial, especially “Primitive Accumulation” in Marxism. In all cases, we will be exploring the relation of theory, poiesis—making aesthetic forms—and praxis—that is, translating theory and creative work into practical, concrete struggles for social justice.

Because the need for attention to planetary ecological justice is particularly urgent, we will explore the “Common” and allied concepts concretely as they manifest in figural form in contemporary eco-fiction, including poems and novels by Atwood, Kim Stanley Robinson, Vandermeer, Munif, Chamoiseau, Powers, Mieville, Octavia Butler, Indra Singh, Saro-wiwa, Piercy, Erdrich or Silko, as well as films such as Okja, Wall-E, or Avatar. We will evaluate the potential usefulness (or deficits) of their techniques and appeals by comparing and contrasting them with earlier eco-interventions such as The Jungle, The Whole Earth Catalogue and Silent Spring, as well as current non-fiction eco-interventions such as Sixth Extinction, Wangari Maathai’s “how to” eco-guides or “The Story of Stuff.”

Critical final projects (20-25 paged seminar papers) should identify a theoretical site, or sites, of the Common on which you will focus, but can involve engagement with cultural forms from any period, as approved by the instructor (I have to know something about your topic to evaluate it). I am also open to alternative projects as pitched by members of the seminar, and have some ideas myself about what shape alternative projects might take, including working with my “Reading Green” undergraduates in their collaborative groups, where they will be experimenting with integrating cultural forms into concrete ecological-justice initiatives on campus, or by designing and implementing a “Common” initiative of your own design.

ENG 799 Second Year MFA Essay Seminar
Fr 9:30-12:15 pm
Instructor: Jonathan Dee
Each student will write a critical essay of approximately five thousand words (20-30 pp.), addressing a specific aspect of a major writer’s formal technique. The essay will focus on craft elements in one work (or several short works) of one writer in your genre (fiction or poetry). Ideally, this should be an element or issue that ramifies in your own creative work. The essay is not a research paper; it is intended as a demonstration of your close-reading skills and of the utility of criticism as a way of clarifying some of your own beliefs and aspirations regarding your artistic practice.