4450 Age of Johnson
101 MWF 10:00-10:50 Professor Melissa Ganz
Thematic Title: Legal Fictions of the Enlightenment
Description: From bigamy and robbery to treason and murder, eighteenth-century novels obsessively depict illicit behavior. In this course, we consider the tension between law and lawlessness in a range of texts from the English Enlightenment. Alongside fiction, we read selections from treatises, pamphlets, and trials in order to study the legal and cultural contexts of our novels as well as to probe the rhetorical dimensions of law. Through close analysis of texts, we examine questions concerning justice and judgment, crime and punishment, gender and marriage, testimony and evidence, and legal terror and popular violence. The course ultimately aims to give you an understanding of the role of law in the development of the novel as well as a grounding in the fiction and culture of a formative period of literary history.
Readings: Authors will likely include Daniel Defoe, Henry Fielding, Frances Burney, William Godwin, Mary Wollstonecraft, and Walter Scott; secondary readings by Martha Nussbaum, Robert Cover, E.P. Thompson, John Bender, Michel Foucault, and others.
Requirements: Approx. 150-200 pages of reading per week; two essays; a final exam; a presentation and lively participation; several short reading responses.
101 TTH 11:00-12:15 Professor Marques Redd
REQUIRED TEXTS: Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice (Norton)
Mary Shelley, The Mary Shelley Reader, ed. Betty Bennett (Oxford)
The Age of Romanticism (Broadview ed) [AR]
Olaudah Equiano, Mary Prince, and Others: Early Black British Writing, ed Richardson and Lee (New Riverside ed) [OE]
COURSE REQUIREMENTS: A take-home midterm exam, a take-home final exam, and two research papers (5-7 pp each), each assignment worth 25% of final grade. Class attendance and active participation is also expected.
4480 Modern Brit
101 TTH 12:30-1:45 Professor Leah Flack
Modernism and Modernity
In 1907, J.M. Synge’s Playboy of the Western World opened in Dublin and outraged its audiences, causing almost a week of riots (repeated in America when it premiered in New York). Six years later, Igor Stravinsky’s primitive ballet, The Rite of Spring, started a riot among shocked theater-goers in Paris. Modernist art rebelled against convention and in so doing challenged and provoked its audiences. Modernism was an international movement that emerged in Europe in the early twentieth century in response to a historical moment of global violence, rising nationalisms, expanding empires, revolution, and rapidly accelerating social, economic, political, and technological change. Old ideas and forms suddenly seemed ill-equipped to respond to the twentieth century. Modernist writers worked across languages, national traditions, and genres to reinvent the literary past and change contemporary history. In the process, they created some of the most astonishing poems, novels, and plays of the twentieth century. Students in this course will learn about this period of rebellion by reading some of the most daring, innovative, and rewarding modernist works by Joseph Conrad, Virginia Woolf, James Joyce, Samuel Beckett, Ezra Pound, T.S. Eliot, H.D., W.B. Yeats, and Gertrude Stein.
4510 Amer to 1798
101 TTH 11:00-12:15 Professor Amy Blair
Thematic Title: Sentiment, Sensation, and Revolution
Description: This research-intensive course will cover the literature produced in and about the American continents from the period just before the American Revolution up through the early national period. The themes of “captivity,” “freedom,” “romance,” and “revolution” will loosely structure our study, as we look at the convoluted and tightly imbricated rhetorics of citizenship, nation-building, race, and gender. We will focus closely on the impacts of Puritanism and the Enlightenment on the formation of the emerging United States, and will consider carefully the debates surrounding the rise of an indigenous imaginative literature alongside the literature of the trans-Atlantic English diaspora.
Readings: Authors may include Charles Brockden Brown, Benjamin Franklin, Olaudah Equiano, Susanna Rowson, Hannah Foster, and Royall Tyler.
Assignments: Structured research assignments will lead to a culminating research project; short essays and periodic short assignments on each major text; active participation; individual research presentation
Amy L Blair
Associate Professor, Department ofEnglish, Marquette University
Co-Editor, Reception: Texts, Readers,Audiences, History
4560 The Contemporary Period in American Literature
101 TTH 3:30-4:45 Professor Gerry Canavan
Thematic Title: Postmodern American Fiction
Description: “Postmodernism,” writes Gilbert Adair, “is, almost by definition, a transitional cusp of social, cultural, economic and ideological history when modernism’s high-minded principles and preoccupations have ceased to function, but before they have been replaced with a totally new system of values. It represents a moment of suspension before the batteries are recharged for the new millennium, an acknowledgment that preceding the future is a strange and hybrid interregnum that might be called the last gasp of the past.” This course traces the rise of “postmodernism” in postwar American literature and culture, as registered in several seminal novels of the period. We will investigate the various meanings and uses of this strange, seemingly oxymoronic concept—what can it mean to find oneself living after the present?—as well as investigate literary and critical resistance to postmodern aesthetics.
Readings: Texts to be discussed will include Vladimir Nabokov’s Pale Fire (1962), Toni Morrison’s Beloved (1987), Octavia Butler’s Dawn (1987), David Foster Wallace’s Brief Interviews with Hideous Men (1999), and Mark Z. Danielewski’s House of Leaves (2000).
Assignments: two shorter papers, one final paper, in-class presentations, weekly responses
4610 Individual Authors: 2 sections, Faulkner and Morrison
101 TTH 8:00-9:15 - William Faulkner - Professor Corinna Lee
102 TTH 9:30-10:45 - Toni Morrison - Professor Heather Hathaway
4630 Shakespeare Major Plays
101 MWF 1:00-1:50 Professor Lacey Conley
Description: Students will read a selection of nine plays by Shakespeare (and others), from some of his best known works to the less loved plays that have received little attention from modern readers. The purpose of this course is to gain familiarity with a breadth of Shakespeare's work, while at the same time paying close attention to linguistic and textual detail, in order to place this author accurately within his social and historical context.
Readings: The four genres of comedy, tragedy, history, and romance are represented in the reading, and we will also encounter plays in which Shakespeare collaborated with other authors.
102 TTH 9:30-10:45 Professor Al Rivero
We will read such representative plays as Hamlet, The Tempest, and King Lear, drawn from the four major genres: tragedy, history, romance, and comedy. Our class discussions will focus on the plays, their language, themes and dramatic techniques.
Readings: William Shakespeare, The Norton Shakespeare, 2nd edition (Norton)
Assignments: One or two oral presentations, one researched term paper (ca. 10pp.); midterm examination; comprehensive final examination; class participation; and regular attendance.
4710 Studies in Genre: 2 sections, Children’s Literature and Science Fiction
101 MWF 12:00-12:50 - Children's Literature - Professor Sarah Wadsworth
Thematic Title: Children’s Literature
Course Description: This course is both a survey of the canon of English and American children’s literature from the eighteenth century to the late twentieth century and an introduction to critical and theoretical approaches to the analysis of children’s literature. Combining selected classic works of fiction with literary-historical and critical texts, our reading will be guided by the following questions: How does children’s literature negotiate the divide between the desire to instruct and entertain juvenile readers? How do the texts respond to controversial social issues in Britain, Canada, and the United States? How do the readings reflect and accommodate changing notions of children and of childhood? How does the relationship between words and images operate in illustrated texts? How do the texts construct gender, race, ethnicity, and class? How does children’s literature respond to children (both as readers and as fictional characters) as marginalized “others”? How does writing for children address the power differentials upon which this marginalization rests?
Readings: Alice in Wonderland, Little Women, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Treasure Island, Peter Pan, The Wind in the Willows, Anne of Green Gables, Charlotte’s Web, The Westing Game, critical essays on children’s literature.
Assignments: Participants in the course should expect to complete two research papers (6-8 pages each), a group project, a midterm, and a final exam, plus six informal 1-page reflections.
102 TTH 2:00-3:15 - Science Fiction - Professor Gerry Canavan
Thematic Title: 21st Century Science Fiction
Description: This course will consider science fiction film, television, prose, and graphic narrative of the last decade. How have the creators of various science fictions commented on such contemporary crises as climate change, the financial collapse, undocumented immigration, 9/11, and the Iraq War? What is the role of science fiction in articulating these debates? What is the relationship between science fiction, politics, and culture in the contemporary moment? William Gibson has noted that “the sort of thing we used to think in science fiction has colonized the rest of our reality”; our task will be to investigate how and why we read science fiction in an era when, in the words of Kim Stanley Robinson, “we are now living in a science fiction novel that we are all writing together.”
Readings: Texts to be discussed may include such works as Battlestar Galactica, The Walking Dead, Margaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake, Octavia Butler’s Fledgling, Paolo Bacigalupi’s The Windup Girl, China Miéville’s The City and the City, Children of Men, Avatar, Inception, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, WALL-E, Ian Banks’s “Culture” novels, Suzanne Collins’s The Hunger Games, Ray Kurweil’s predictions of the coming Singularity, and recent work from J.J. Abrams and Joss Whedon.
Assignments: two shorter papers, one final paper, in-class presentations, weekly responses
4800 Studies in Literature and Culture: Catholic Literature
101 MW 3:30-4:45 -Catholic Imagination in Recent American Writings
Ron Bieganowski, S.J.
...can’t be categorized by subject matter, but only by what it assumes about human and divine reality.... It will see him [the human] as incomplete in himself, as prone to evil, but as redeemable when his own efforts are assisted by grace. And it will see this grace as working through nature, but as entirely transcending it, so that a door is always open to possibility and the unexpected in the human soul. But you don’t write fiction with assumptions. The things we see, hear, smell, and touch affect us long before we believe anything at all.....This discovery of being bound through the senses to a particular society and a particular history, to particular sounds and a particular idiom, is for the writer the beginning of a recognition that first puts his work into real human perspective for him.
Readings: Depending on close reading of a range of more recent American writing, class discussion will look to identify and explicate some of the assumptions that seem latent within those texts. Readings will be from O’Connor and from A. Manette Ansay, Patricia Hampl, Ron Hansen, Alice McDermott, Oscar Hijuelos.
Assignments: Written work will include several reflections ( 1p) , two medium length
papers (4-5 pp.), and a final essay exam as an overview of the course’s reading and discussion. Discussion format.
4810 Studies in Race, Ethnicity, Identity
101 TTH 12:30-1:45 Tol Foster
Description: If you thought Django Unchained (2012) was violent, you should have seen the South during and after Reconstruction. Faced with unrelenting violence and vigilantism by Southern whites, the northern states in 1877 abandoned the project of racial reconstruction in the South, after which African-Americans were forced or coerced off the voting rolls and became subject to a revived racial caste system after only a decade of equality. From 1877 to 1901 race relations in the United States reached its nadir and became engrained anew in America well into the 1940s. We all understand the racism of the pre-Civil War era, but why did race re-emerge so virulently after the conclusion of that conflict?
This turn - and its slow and painful reversals over the twentieth century -affected not only African-Americans but also Irish Americans, Catholics, Native Americans,
Jewish-Americans, Middle-eastern and Asian immigrants, and Latino/as. Using a
variety of sources anchored in the short fiction and poetry of writers from those
communities we will trace its effects and repercussions in the built environment
that separates predominantly African-American urban cores from predominantly
white suburbs, in the literature and film of both that era and our own (viewing
Django Unchained against The Birth of a Nation), and in the interplay of cultural
conversations, legal decisions, and historical forces that oscillated wildly in an America not of e pluribus unim but of becoming, in the words of Ralph Ellison both "one and yet many.''
Readings :Reed, Ishmael and Carla Blank. Pow Wow: Charting the Fault Lines in the American Experience - Short Fiction from Then to Now. 2009.
Reed, Ishmael. From Totems to Hip-Hop: A Multicultural Anthology of Poetry
Across the Americas, 1900-2002. 2003.
Loewen, James W. Teaching What Really Happened: How to Avoid the Tyranny of Textbooks and Get Students Excited About Doing History.
Treuer, David. Rez Life. 2012.
4840 Post Colonial Literature
101 MWF 12:00-12:50 Professor John Su
Thematic Title: 20th/21st century global fiction in English
Description: In this course, we will explore the literatures written in English since the 1960s in the so-called postcolonial world. The term "postcolonial" refers to the former colonies of Great Britain, whose empire once spanned a quarter of the globe. Readings will come from Africa, Southeast Asia, the Caribbean, and Great Britain itself. We will be discussing issues that will be important to students of literature, history, philosophy, political science, and those interested in interdisciplinary questions of international affairs and peace studies. This course fulfills the "Diverse Cultures" requirement for the core of common studies.
Readings: Chinua Achebe - Things Fall Apart; J. M. Coetzee - Age of Iron; Tsitsi Dangarembga - Nervous Conditions; Jamaica Kincaid - A Small Place; Ngugi - Devil on the Cross; Jean Rhys - Wide Sargasso Sea
Assignments: Two formal written essays (5-7 pages), a brief Web 2.0 project on the political and social contexts of a novel, group oral presentation, active class participation, midterm and final examinations
4931 Topics in Literature/Writing: Playing God: Theatrical Expression of Divinity
701 MON 4:00-6:40 Fr. Scott Pilarz, S.J.
Description: Overview of this course: Playwrights from Aeschylus to Tony Kushner have attempted to stage the divine in various manners and manifestations. This course will explore some of these attempts with an eye toward what they, as cultural products, reveal about the various contexts in which these plays were written and performed. Representative readings from classical antiquity, the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, and our own era will be considered, as will the always-complicated relationship between organized religion and the stage.
Readings: Playwrights we will study: Aeschylus, Euripides, Christopher Marlowe, John Osborne, William Shakespeare, Ben Jonson, Samuel Beckett, T. S. Eliot, Tony Kushner, John Patrick Shanley, and others.
Requirements: We will study texts together and discuss them; this is not a lecture course. Students will maintain a website and submit a weekly posting of 600 words (2 pages). reacting to the readings of the day. Students will also submit a final project of 3000 (10 pages) words via their websites.