Upcoming Courses

Previous Courses


Graduate Seminars

6210 Studies in British Literature to 1500

  • 101 MW 2:00-3:15 Professor Tim Machan

    Course Title: Kingship & Nation

    Course Description: Nationhood was a fraught enterprise in the Middle Ages. Long before the technologies and institutions that make possible the imagined communities of the modern era, late-medieval English people and their kings explored ways to define their nation and themselves in relation to one another. Strategies could vary from despotic approaches in which kings simply asserted their powers and prerogatives, to structural approaches that utilized the French and the Scots to define England, to communal approaches emphasizing shared values and histories, to a benign neglect that took for granted a posited unity among a people whose definition was equally taken for granted. And all the while what would become Great Britain contained multitudes of people (clerics and plowmen as well as kings and knights), ethnicities (Cornish, Scots, Welsh, and French), and socially perilous moments (the Lollard reforms, the deposition of Richard II, the Hundred Years’ War). This seminar surveys such issues by considering how a variety of works written between the thirteenth and fifteenth centuries engage and represent the issues of nationhood and kingship.

    Readings: Will include poems such as Sir Orfeo, Havelok the Dane, King Horn, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, and The Regiment of Princes, as well as selections from works by Chaucer, Gower, Henryson, Langland, Lydgate, Malory, and Wycliff

    Assignments: One brief paper, one seminar paper, one class presentation, one seminar report

6220 Studies in Shakespeare

  • 101 MW 3:30-4:45 Professor Amelia Zurcher

    Course Description:
    In this course we will read a few of Shakespeare's most canonical plays, a few of his less canonical plays, and three or four plays by such writers as Marlowe, Kyd, and Jonson, with the goal of understanding the work they performed in their culture. We will also review the field of Shakespeare Studies over the last half century or so in order to become familiar with the complex and often pivotal role Shakespeare's plays have played in early modern and in literary studies more broadly.

    Readings: The Norton Shakespeare, editions of a few other individual plays

    Assignments: 1 short paper, 1 seminar presentation and teaching of a reading, one longer seminar paper

6400 Studies in 19th Century British Literature: Victorian Realism

6700 Studies in 20th Century American Literature


6840 Studies in Rhetoric and Composition Theory


8282 Studies in Critical Theory and Practice