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 2017 Graduate Course Offerings

Introduction to Critical Theory - EH 501 | Becky McLaughlin
R, 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm

The aim of this course is to help you understand critical theory not as a rarefied or esoteric practice but as a strategy for making sense of the world around you as you experience it in your courses, at your job site, and when you’re being reflective about your life vis-a-vis family, community, and our increasingly global environment. Simply put, this course will attempt to show that theory operates every day and that it is utterly bound up with the everyday. The everyday, however, is not to be confused with the banal or the mundane, although both may be aspects of the everyday. My hope is that you will leave this course with a strong desire to examine and evaluate the textual objects you encounter in the world around you, including cultural attitudes, practices, and events; an ability to speak and write about what you see with elegance, thoughtfulness, generosity, and creativity; and a confidence that you’ve gained insight into your own position with respect to the theoretical conversations taking place before you. In more practical terms, it is my hope that I can help you learn skills that will be of use to you in any job you might get after graduation, in any further degree programs you undertake, and in your everyday lives. These skills are, quite simply, critical reading, thinking, speaking, and writing.

Rhetoric and Postmodernity - EH 507 | Patrick Shaw
TR, 3:30 pm to 4:45 pm

Twenty-five hundred years of rhetorical history, from Gorgias to Stanley Fish. This course examines and compares various movements in the history of rhetoric, with particular emphasis on the relationship between rhetorical strategy and one’s image of human beings. The course aims to increase the scope of students’ understanding of rhetoric and help them apply this knowledge to their own communication and to their evaluation of the communications of others.

Reinventing Chaucer - EH 513 | John Halbrooks
T, 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm

Chaucerian scholarship presents us with a confusing array of possible Chaucers: moralist Chaucer, heretical Chaucer, misogynist Chaucer, feminist Chaucer, postmodern Chaucer, ecological Chaucer, historicist Chaucer, and many others. Why is he so difficult to pin down? In this course we will address this question through study of The Canterbury Tales and Troilus and Criseyde, as we try on and evaluate various critical lenses.

Late Romantics - EH 534 | Cris Hollingsworth
W, 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm

In this course we will investigate excess and transformation in selected late Romantic and neo-romantic works. Of the late Romantic writers, Percy and Mary Shelley will receive special attention. Later writers and artists examined will include Emily Bronte, Allen Ginsberg, Sylvia Plath, George Clinton, and David Bowie. Evaluation will include a project proposal, a presentation, and a research essay.

Modern British Fiction - EH 571 | Chris Raczkowski
M, 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm

Modernism as a literary and intellectual movement (1900-1945) has frequently been characterized in terms of a general sense of homelessness. The various crisis and uprisings experienced during the era—War! Strike! Women! The Irish!—leading many artists and intellectuals to feel that the traditional foundations of British culture were no longer stable or even desirable. As a result, one feature of much modernist art is sense of exile from home (in terms of nation, aesthetic tradition, patriarchal family or religion). Reading British modernist fiction by E.M. Forester, Dorothy Richardson, Virginia Woolf, Ford Maddox Ford, James Joyce, Evelyn Waugh and others, we will consider how different writers contribute to a modernist literature about homelessness that was alternately filled with despair for what had been lost and animated by a sense of the new that became possible.

Graduate Fiction Writing I / II - EH 583 / 584 | Linda Busby Parker
T, 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm

Intensive writing of the short story and the novel. Heavy reading and writing requirement. Constructive critique of writing in a workshop setting. Permission required for this course.

Graduate Poetry Writing I / II - EH 585 / 586 | Nick Sturm
W, 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm

This advanced- and graduate-level poetry workshop will explore and critique the concept of "other lineages," of the various micro-traditions and aesthetic affiliations that exist between poets. What role does the canon play in these other lineages? How can we write both with and against a canon, a tradition? By reading the work of a wide range of 20th century and contemporary poets in sets of unique pairings, we will ask how these other lineages are generated – aesthetically, historically, affectively, or critically – between individual books. Students will generate their own poems in tandem with our creative-critical discussions of these poets, which will culminate in a chapbook-length set of poems. This chapbook will be accompanied by an essay describing how your creative work merges into its own other lineage.

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.