Graduate Courses, Spring 2006

English 520: Non-Fiction Writing Workshop
Professor Patricia Stephens
4:10 to 6:00 pm

This course is designed for writers who want to study and practice a range of non-fiction writing, including, but not limited to: memoir, personal essay, travel-writing, nature-writing, writing about place, and photo journalism. Students will spend the first 4-5 weeks reading essays by established authors and analyzing form, style, persona, rhetorical strategies, and uses of language and visual texts. As we immerse ourselves in the various genres of creative non-fiction, students will be asked to focus their energies on one or two specific genres and to produce one long (20-30 page) or two shorter (10-15 page) texts by the end of the semester. The second half of the semester will be conducted as a writing workshop in which students will share works-in-progress and receive constructive critique from all members of the class and the professor.

English 523.001: Fiction Writing Workshop
Professor Lewis Warsh

6:10 to 8:30 pm

This workshop explores both the art and the craft of fiction writing. Frequent writing assignments and exercises will concentrate on the conventions of fiction—description, dialogue, characterization—as well as more experimental possibilities such as fragmentation and shifting point of view. Focus will be on the ways autobiography overlaps fiction and how the past is fictionalized as a way of keeping it alive. Among the models we will look at are stories and novels by Marguerite Duras, Don DeLillo, Lydia Davis, W. E. Sebald, and Raymond Chandler. Much of the workshop time will be spent reading and discussing student work.

English 579.001: The Essay and the Public Intellectual
Professor Harriet Malinowitz
4:10 to 6:00 pm

This course will examine the genre of the essay by focusing on those practitioners of the form whose work has not been exclusively, or even primarily, addressed to audiences within academe. Philosophers, literary and cultural critics, political journalists, social commentators, artists, teachers, clergy, dissidents, and humorists—as well as "experts" (housed in disciplines and professional fields) who choose to engage a world of "non-experts" on matters of common concern—are among those who have applied sharp and wide-ranging analysis to problems of public culture and contemporary life, often using the medium of the popular or alternative press. Taking up issues of politics, citizenship, democracy, ethics, religion, science, health, race, gender, sexuality, class, globalization, and other areas of social policy and opinion, they have been galvanized by the notion that independent, thoughtfully articulated ideas matter, and need to be heard by a populace often narcotized by the myth of national consensus.

The first two thirds of the course will be devoted to identifying the "public intellectual" (who/what/where/when/why is s/he?) and to reading numerous essays by writers who may be said to lay claim to the title. The last four weeks of the course will consist of a writing workshop. Each student will be required to complete an original essay (20-30 pages) on a topic of public interest and submit it for publication to a non-academic venue at the end of the term.

The first three weeks of readings will cover the following topics:

as Russell Jacoby, Richard Posner, Edward Herman, Robert Boynton, Michael
Berube, bell hooks, Katha Pollitt, Ellen Willis, Audre Lorde, Noam Chomsky)

(from the thirties through the fifties—e.g., Lionel Trilling, Hannah Arendt, Mary
McCarthy, James Baldwin, Ralph Ellison, Irving Howe, George Orwell, Susan

(e.g., Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Cornel West, Patricia Williams, Michael Eric Dyson,
Toni Morrison, Houston Baker, Michele Wallace, Mumia Abu-Jamal, Derrick
Bell, Nell Irvin Painter, Manning Marable, Adolph Reed, Shelby Steele, Stanley

The readings for the next six weeks will be collectively selected by the class from among
the following:

•Francophones/Existentialists (Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, Franz Fanon)

•American second wave feminists (Angela Davis, Gloria Steinem, bell hooks, Barbara
Ehrenreich, Deirdre English, Adrienne Rich, Audre Lorde, Michele Wallace)

•Earlier 20th century black public intellectuals (e.g., W.E.B. DuBois, Alain Locke,
Zora Neale Hurston, Stokely Carmichael, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Jr., June

•The essay collection, edited by Toni Morrison, Race-ing Justice, En-gendering
Power: Essays on Anita Hill, Clarence Thomas, and the Construction of Social Reality.
(Includes essays by Morrison, A. Leon Higginbotham, Jr., Manning Marable, Gayle
Pemberton, Nell Irvin Painter, Nellie McKay, Wahneema Lubiano, Patricia Williams,
Cornel West, Kimberle Crenshaw, and Paula Giddings, among others.)

•Lesbian and gay activist/intellectuals who have brought biological, historical,
semiotic, political, and cross-disciplinary perspectives to their critiques of sexual
and gender normativity (John D’Emilio, CherrĂ­e Moraga, Anne Fausto-Sterling, Simon
Watney, Cindy Patton, The Combahee River Collective, Douglas Crimp, Barbara Smith)

•Art (Harold Rosenberg, Jacques Barzun, Lionel Trilling, Susan Sontag, Jamake
Highwater, Herbert Marcuse, Peter Berger, W.E.B. DuBois, Karen Finley, Leah Dilworth)

•Religion (Albert Einstein, Elaine Pagels, Stephen L. Carter, Karen Armstrong)

•Health/Science (Michael Berube, Barbara Ehrenreich and Deirdre English, Rachel
Carson, Eric Schlosser, Atul Gawande)

•Post-9/11 critics of U.S. political, military, and economic foreign policy (Noam
Chomsky, Edward Said, Vandana Shiva, Arundhati Roy, Tariq Ali, Benjamin Barber,
Barbara Kingsolver, Robert Fisk, John Pilger)

•Contemporary magazine and newspaper columnists (Katha Pollitt, Ellen Willis,
Patricia Williams, Maureen Dowd, Bob Herbert, Frank Rich)

•Other analysts of race, class, and ethnic experience in the United States (Eric Liu,
Gloria AnzaldĂșa, David Brooks, Paula Gunn Allen, Jonathan Rosen, Ward Churchill, Richard Rodriguez, Edward Said).

English 620: Theory of Teaching Writing
Professor Xiao-Ming Li
6:10 to 8:00 pm

Although an "emerging field" (North), Composition Studies traces its ancestry to the classic rhetoric that was formed in ancient democracies, where the study of rhetoric was equivalent to the study of citizenship. Ever since its birth in the 60s in the form of freshman writing in American universities, the precocious child has undergone several metamorphoses already: historicist, current traditionalist, cognitivist, expressionist, social-constructionist, empiricist, feminist, Marxist, cultural critic, and discourse analyst, among others.

Since to cover them all in one semester is next to impossible, the course intends to offer an overview of both the classic rhetoric and new theories in teaching writing. Two books comprise the core reading of the course: Ancient Rhetorics for Contemporary Students by Sharon Crowley and Debra Hawhee, and Cross-talk in Comp Theory: A Reader edited by Victor Villanueva, Jr. A collection of articles selected from various journals and monographs will add a more practical dimension to the course.

Participants in this course will keep a reading journal and conduct a library research project on a chosen theory. The research will be reported in a term paper of at least 10 pages and presented to the class.

English 624: African American Literature and Theory
Professor Carol Allen
4:10 to 6:00 pm

This course charts the contours of the African American literary tradition and the discourse of literary criticism and theory that surrounds it. Each primary text will be paired with one or more critical or theoretical works so that by the time you have finished the semester, you will have acquired a keen sense of what constitutes this body of literary work as a separate but interpenetrating tradition and how the major critics have catalogued, contextualized, critiqued, and further molded the terrain. Expect to read texts by Frederick Douglass, Jean Toomer, Houston Baker, Hortense Spillers, Zora Neale Hurston, Toni Morrison, Henry Louis Gates, Ralph Ellison, Langston Hughes, and other powerful writers.

English 626: 20th Century American Literature
Professor Leah Dilworth
6:10 pm to 8:00 pm

In this course we will explore some of the main trends of American literature of the last century through the lens of place. Growing out of the regionalism and local color writing of the 19th century and in the wake of modernism, the South and the West emerge as the primary American regions of the 20th century: the New South, where, according to Faulkner, the past isn't even past; and the West of the open road and lifestyle frontier. How are these landscapes imagined? What do they signify? How do questions of racial and ethnic identity play out in these regions of the American psyche? Readings will include poetry, short stories, and novels, by, among others, Nathanael West, William Faulkner, Flannery O'Conner, Toni Morrison, Leslie Marmon Silko, and Sherman Alexie.

English 700: Practicum in Teaching Composition
Professor Donald McCrary
4:10 to 6:00 pm

The course will examine the theoretical and practical implications of teaching and tutoring writing. Although the emphasis will be on college writing instruction, most of the theories and practices we discuss will be relevant to secondary education teaching. The course will examine important teaching issues such as constructing course syllabi, integrating reading and writing assignments, promoting process writing, responding to student papers, addressing the linguistic needs and abilities of a multicultural student population, and managing student behavior in the classroom. In each class, time will be allotted to discuss the immediate teaching issues of the class members.

English 707: Methods in Research and Criticism
Professor Maria McGarrity
6:10 to 8:00 pm

This course is designed to prepare graduate students for advanced level work in the MA program. While we attend to refining our analytical methods in textual research and analysis, in an effort to center our discussion around a cohesive topic for the term, we will focus more particularly on the reshaping of British Modernism. We will examine its transformation throughout the twentieth century from a field that examines "white Englishness" to a field that has transformed itself into a reflection of Britain's Global Cultures. For example, we will discuss not simply the import of Virginia Woolf and the Hogarth Press but will also examine the import of the Hogarth Press' 1933 publishing of CLR James' The Case for West Indian Self-Government. We will explore the foundational texts of literary analysis shaped around this topic and pay particular attention to the theories of Feminism, New Historicism and Postcolonialism. Students will offer an oral presentation, compile an annotated bibliography, and prepare a large research project that relates both to the focus of the seminar and to their particular field/tracks within the MA program.

English 708: Thesis
Time to be arranged individually.

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