Upcoming Classes


Spring 2015

English 549: Victorian/Edwardian Literature.  Professor Dennis Barbour | Tuesday 5:00-7:50

Victorian—prim, proper, prudent . . . and, prudish. The word carries a negative connotation, perhaps based on the image of the Queen who oversaw the country during this time period. So, why study this seemingly repressed, stuffy era?

In fact, concerning this stereotype, nothing can be further than the truth. The Victorian Period is one of the most dynamic periods of English history and literature. During this time, Great Britain was the world power. Their prideful saying was that “the sun never sets on the British Empire,” since it had flags flying all over the world—India, Australia, Canada.

In the social realm, the Victorians rolled up their sleeves and tackled some of the most persistent and pernicious social evils stemming from the Industrial Revolution—poverty, unfair labor practices, slums, addiction, lack of education. The word that applies best to their efforts is “earnest.” From this period, the heroes of reform were people such as Thomas Arnold and John Henry, Cardinal Newman, in education; Gladstone and Disraeli in political and economic reform; William Morris and Charles Dickens in championing better working conditions; George Eliot (Marianne Evans) in women’s rights; the military heroes, the Duke of Wellington and Admiral Nelson, who won great victories; arbiters of cultural taste in John Ruskin and Walter Pater; influential philosophical and scientific writings in Mill, Macaulay, and Darwin.

In the literary world, the English novel came to full fruition, the essay became a prominent vehicle for furthering important ideas, and poetry achieved a high level of achievement. In the Edwardian Age after the death of Queen Victoria in 1901, energy flagged as the world transitioned to the Modern Age. The writing of the time reflects a tiring and disillusionment from the constant energy and effort characterized in the Victorian Age.

Authors we will read in this class include: Charles Dickens, Alfred, Lord Tennyson, Robert Browning, George Eliot, Thomas Hardy, Charles Algernon Swinburne, Dante Gabriel and Christina Rosetti, William Morris, John Henry, Cardinal Newman, John Ruskin, and Walter Pater. Completing this class will give you a new image of the Victorian Period and an important component of literary history as well as a more complete view of our contemporary world.

English 60200: Literary Theory.  Professor Mita Choudhury | Thursday 5:00-7:50

This course invites graduate students to think about why we consider ourselves to be postmodern or post human. And if we identify ourselves as postmodern, do not have to define and redefine our identity and experience in relation to (or in opposition to) that which preceded it, modernity?  View more details. . .



Fall 2014


English 501, Introduction to Literary Methods. Professor Dan Punday. | Tuesdays,

This course has three goals. First, it will introduce you to the methods of literary research, giving you an overview of the most effective resources for constructing a bibliography and pursuing biographical and bibliographical information. Second, it will help you to adjust to the expectations of graduate writing and scholarly publication. We will discuss citation methods, journal expectations, and how to construct an argument that will be rhetorically effective for a particular journal’s editorial staff. Third, we will investigate institutional debates within the field of literary and composition studies, considering the problems within the academic job market and conflicts over the role of reading canons.

You will do five assignments, each of which you will present to the class: an analysis of scholarly journals in your field; a bibliographic essay on the state of research and available materials in this field; a study of how your field has changed in the last fifty years in your field; a proposal to be submitted to an academic conference; an introduction (1-2 pages) that has been revised to match the style and interests of three different journals in your field.


English 591, Introduction to Composition Theory. Professor Carolyn Boiarsky. | Mondays, 5:00-7:50

This course provides an overview of the various aspects of composing, especially in light of the paradigm shift from product to process in the 1970’s. The course examines the composing process, the reading/writing connection, rhetorical theory, grammar, and assessment. Emphasis is placed on the cognitive aspects of composition as well as the relationship between composition and pedagogical theory. Discussions are situated in the high school English class and the first year composition course in junior/community colleges and Universities. Students will be expected to write two papers.