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. . .

Summer 2015

English 504:  Practicum in the Teaching of English Composition I.  Professor Karen Bishop-Morris | Mondays through Thursdays,  9:00-11:50

Prepares new Graduate Aides in the Department of English and Philosophy to teach Freshman English. Orients new Graduates Aides to issues in college and provides practice in applications of those issues. This course is not,however,a part of master’s degree requirement.

Fall 2015

English 501:  Introduction to Literary Methods.  Professor Daniel Punday | Tuesdays, 5:00-7:50

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.

English 595:  Contemporary American Fiction.  Professor Jane Campbell |Wednesdays, 5:00-7:50

Contemporary American Fiction, a course designed for graduate students in English, explores novels and short stories written within the last four decades or so, looking at techniques and themes that have shaped and defined works by selected well-known authors. We will look at fiction by authors from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds, and we will consider issues of race, class, gender, and sexuality, as well as culture. Thus, the course will be framed by a cultural studies perspective, emphasizing marginalized voices. All students must actively participation; participation is required.