Previous Courses

Graduate Seminars

6220 Studies in Shakespeare

  • 101 MW 2:00-3:15 Professor John Curran

    Course Title: Shakespeare and Greatness

    Course Description: In this seminar we investigate the issue of greatness as it seems to be reflected in Shakespeare’s drama. The idea of individual human greatness has accounted for much of the attention Shakespeare’s characters have enjoyed, but more recently they have been deemed interesting to the extent he undermines or interrogates this concept. Does Shakespeare cast his characters as “great?” What is greatness? What theoretical, political, or theological implications does it carry? In considering these questions with regard to Shakespeare’s characters, we also consider his own greatness. What makes him stand apart in our minds from his fellow Renaissance dramatists? Does he capture greatness better than they? Or does he rise above them for complicating the idea in ways they cannot? We will concentrate on Shakespeare’s histories and tragedies, examining each play in tandem with an analogous selection from another dramatist. Selections will include plays by Marlowe, Jonson, Beaumont and Fletcher, Middleton, Chapman, Massinger, and Webster.

6400 Studies in 19th Century British Literature

  • 101 TTh 3:30-4:45 Professor Christine Krueger

    Course Description: A century after the death of Queen Victoria, the culture that bears her name is alive and well in contemporary society, from critical and political discourse to the popular media and consumer culture. The popularity of Alice in Wonderland, “A Christmas Carol,” Jane Eyre, Dracula, Sherlock Holmes stories, among other Victorian texts, is at once an “instant sell” to your future students, and a challenge to excavate through layers of adaptation to discover what’s peculiar and alien about Victorian culture. This course will give you opportunities to develop related teaching and research strategies for Victorian literature, using historical scholarship to think about adaptation theory and to investigate what distinguishes the usable from the unusable past. We will consider current uses of Victorian culture in the following areas: Architecture, Fashion and Taste; Human and Animal rights; Wealth, Class, and Philanthropy; Childhood; Feminism; Homosexuality; Law and Policing; Empire, Race and Post-Colonialism; and Satire and Popular Entertainment in mass culture. Each student will develop a scholarly research project and model undergraduate research assignments, and give a lecture/discussion presentation. Scholarly research projects will be modeled on the online resource BRANCH (British Representation and Nineteenth-Century History), so students are encouraged to familiarize themselves with this site.

    Readings: Required Texts: Longman Anthology of British Literature: Victorian period, Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol, Anna Sewell, Black Beauty, Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland (Norton), Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre (Norton), Arthur Conan Doyle, Stories (Bedford), Gilbert and Sullivan, Plays (Norton).

6700 Studies in 20th Century American Literature

  • 101 TTh 2:00-3:15 Professor Heather Hathaway

    Course Description: Toni Morrison has been a formidable force shaping 20th (and now 21st) century American literary history. As an editor at Random House, she played a pivotal role in selecting contemporary fiction for publication and mentoring a generation of young African American writers, in particular. As a literary critic, she has worked toward transforming scholarly interpretations of the role of race in both black and white writing.  As an educator, she has helped students understand the richness, depth, and changing nature of the American literary canon. Most importantly, as a writer, she has provided the reading public with novels, short fiction, drama, children’s literature, a libretti, and non-fiction novels—an oeuvre for which she has been awarded the Pulitzer and Nobel Prizes for literature and, most recently, the 2012 Presidential Medal of Freedom. In this course we will study Morrison’s role in American literary history by studying her primary texts, both fictional and critical, within the historical, cultural and political contexts framing their production. Fiction focused on will include The Bluest Eye, Song of Solomon, Beloved, Jazz, Love, A Mercy, Home and God Help the Child.

6840 Rhetoric Composition Theory

  • 101 TTh 11:00-12:15 Professor Rebecca Nowacek

    Course Title: Foundations for Writing Teachers

    Course Description:
    This course is designed to help new teachers as well as teachers new to college-level writing instruction develop historically informed, theory-based, data-driven approaches to teaching writing (especially first-year composition) and to participating in first-year composition programs such as the First-Year English Program at Marquette. Our twice-weekly meetings will emphasize discussion of readings, writing assignments, and teaching-related research. Everyone will have opportunities to complete scholarly projects that include (if desired) creative and/or digital components, and the class will participate in an end-semester pedagogy conference held at Marquette and planned in collaboration with UWM graduate students and faculty.

    Naming What We Know: Threshold Concepts of Writing Studies, and other selected readings.

    Assignments: Will likely include a series of integrative, reflective writings; a more formal, systematic inquiry into teaching and learning; presentation of the findings of that inquiry at a joint conference with grad students at UWM.















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