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2012-13 graduate courses

Please note that each course, besides the ENGL which identifies an English Department course, carries a three digit number, the first digit of which describes the general level of the course, as follows:

5 - MA students and U3 undergraduates
6 - MA and PhD students only
7 - MA and PhD students only


Note: 500-level courses with an enrollment of fewer than 7 students, and graduate courses with an enrollment of fewer than 4 students will not be given unless warranted by special circumstances.

500-level courses are restricted to an enrollment of 15 students and are open to Master's and advanced undergraduate students. M.A. students are permitted to take two courses at the 500-level. Ph.D. students may not register for 500-level courses.

Permission of instructor required.

Please click on any of the following to read the course description, the reading list, and the evaluation.


ENGL 500 Middle English

The Works of the Gawain-Poet

Professor Jamie Fumo
Winter Term 2013
Wednesday 11:35 am – 2:25 pm

Full course description

Description: Despite his historical obscurity, the Gawain-poet (a.k.a. the Pearl-poet) is counted among the most accomplished of fourteenth-century English poets, comparable in literary sophistication to Chaucer, Langland, Gower, and other major poets of the period. This course will consist of close and intensive study of the four major works of this anonymous late-medieval poet whose writings survive in a single manuscript (British Library MS Cotton Nero A.x, Art. 3): Pearl, Cleanness, Patience, and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. We will read these four poems in the original Middle English and pay attention to the material context of the manuscript in which they are preserved (which we will look at in facsimile). We will also consider the regionality of the poems’ dialect and the literary context of the Alliterative Revival; connections to London politics and contemporary trends in Middle English writing; transmission of the manuscript and its critical reception; and theoretical issues of authorship impacting an anonymous body of work. For students new to the study of medieval literature, the works of the Gawain-poet offer an excellent introduction to the range of medieval literary tastes and conventions, encompassing allegorical dream-vision, Biblical adaptation, and Arthurian romance. For those with already developed interests in medieval studies, this course facilitates intensive study of a rich body of Middle English writing rarely taught as a unified corpus in the original language, with ample opportunity for advanced pursuit of individual research interests relating to Middle English poetics, vernacular theology, manuscript study, and other topics. 

N.B. All readings will be in the original Middle English, with ample glosses and annotations supplied by the student-friendly Everyman edition of the Gawain-poet’s works that we will be using. Prior experience with Middle English is encouraged but not essential; there is no prerequisite for this course. We will learn/review the fundamentals of Middle English language and comprehension together as a class at the beginning of the semester. Learning to read and pronounce Middle English is a formal expectation of the course. 

Evaluation (provisional): 10% Middle English recitation; 15% seminar presentation; 60% essay (15-20 pages for undergraduates; 20-25 pages for graduate students); 15% participation

Texts (provisional):

  1. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Pearl, Cleanness, Patience, ed. J. J. Anderson (Everyman Paperbacks, 1996)
  2. Derek Brewer and Jonathan Gibson, eds., A Companion to the Gawain-Poet (Boydell and Brewer, 2007)

Format: seminar

Average enrollment: 15 students


ENGL 501 Sixteenth Century

Elizabethan Ovidianism

Professor Maggie Kilgour
Winter Term 2013
Wednesday 2:35 – 5:25 pm

Full course description

Description: As the recent flurry of translations and adaptations suggests, the Roman poet Ovid has been a continuous source of inspiration for later artists and writers who have metamorphosed his tales of love and metamorphoses. While it may seem extravagant to claim that English literature begins with Ovid, it is clear that the burst of creative energy in the 16th century that we call the English Renaissance was fuelled by translations and adaptations of this Protean poet. In this course we will try to understand how and why Ovid spoke to the Elizabethan situation in particular. We will examine how Ovid was taught in school and popularized through allegorical readings and English translations, and then see how his stories and verbal ingenuity in general inspired and influenced the development of epyllia, drama, and love poetry. Does the poet associated with change help Elizabethans understand the changes taking place in their own time – as he may help us in ours?

Prerequisite: No formal prerequisite; however, all students must have read the entire Metamorphoses before the first class. Knowledge of Ovid’s other works and some  background in Renaissance literature is also useful.

Evaluation: seminar presentation; final 20 page paper; participation

Texts:

  • On Web CT: selections from Elizabethan epyllia, poetry, translations, commentaries, and emblems
  • Marlowe: Hero and Leander
  • Spenser: “Muiopotmos”; Faerie Queene 3; Mutabilitie Cantos
  • Shakespeare: Venus and Adonis; Rape of Lucrece; Midsummer Night’s Dream; Titus Andronicus
  • Ben Jonson: Chloridia; Poetaster
  • Milton: Comus

Format: Seminar discussion and student presentations

Average enrollment: 15 students


ENGL 504 Nineteenth Century

Popular Victorian Fiction

Professor Tabitha Sparks
Winter Term 2013
Friday 11:35 am – 2:25 pm

Full course description

Description: this course approaches a massive and neglected body of Victorian fiction.  With the decreasing costs of print in the mid-to-late nineteenth-century, thousands of novels flooded the marketplace between approximately 1840 and 1900.  Most of these novels had an ephemeral lifespan in print, which has relegated them to near-invisibility in literary scholarship. As literary historian John Sutherland writes, “the academic study of Victorian fiction has signally failed to engage with the mass of works produced in the field.” 

This course considers that failure, examining it through critical studies of canonization, the mass reading public, and concepts of high and low culture.  We will read a variety of popular novels in digital form, and some in print form, and work together to compile an annotated database of the novels we read.  Among our points of focus will be these novels’  preoccupation with transgressive behaviour and shattered relationships (especially marital ones), which challenges the conventional status of marriage as closure and reward in the Victorian novel.  We will also seek constructive ways to analyze and criticize novels that may, at first, seem formulaic and melodramatic.  Students will have considerable freedom in choosing the novels they read as well as considerable responsibility in directing their own research, as, almost without exception, none of the novels on our list will have been the subject of previous criticism.

Evaluation: Oral Presentation (15%); Annotation Assignments (40%); Participation (15%); Final Essay (30%)

Texts: Class reader. Novels to be determined. In addition to reading three novels as a class, all students will read an two novels of their choice from a list I provide, to be determined once the semester starts.

Format: seminar

Average enrollment: 15 students


ENGL 512 Contemporary Studies in Literature and Culture

Solitude in Literature and Film

Professor Berkeley Kaite
Fall Term 2012
Wednesday 2:35 – 5:25 pm | Screening: Thursday 11:35 am – 2:25 pm

Full course description

Description: 

E. M. Forster  says, “Only connect.”  Janet Malcolm replies, “Only we can’t.”  In Loneliness as a Way of Life Thomas Dumm puts these thoughts into relief when he notes : “… our most important understandings about the shape of our present communal existence – the division between public and private, our inability to live with each other honestly and in comity, the estranged and isolating forms that our relationships with our most intimate acquaintances sometimes assume, the weaknesses of our attachments to each other and hence to our lives in common – are all manifestations of the loneliness that has permeated the modern world.”  In this course we will look at some literary and cinematic manifestations of this issue of solitude, how it is imagined, played out and, if not exalted,  is presented as inescapable: the experience of being one in a world.  Solitude may be indescribable but it does find its expression in words and images.  Do not despair!  The works we will examine should not lead to responses of forlornness.  Rather, they depict hope, longing and creative imaginings of ways to “connect.” 

Tentative Evaluation:  Précis of all films and texts ( 80%); attendance and participation (20%)

Format: seminar

Average enrollment: 15 students

Texts from:

  • Nicole Krauss, The History of Love (2005)
  • Per Petterson, Out Stealing Horses   (2005 [2003])
  • Kathryn Harrison, Seeking Rapture (2004)
  • Hjalmar Soderberg, Doctor Glas (2002 [1963])
  • Paris Texas (dir. Wim Wenders, 1984)
  • Last Tango in Paris (dir. Bernardo Bertolucci, 1972)
  • The Straight Story (dir. David Lynch, 1999)
  • Hiroshima, Mon Amour (dir. Alain Resnais, 1959)
  • In Treatment (HBO, 2008-2011)

ENGL 516 Shakespeare

Shakespeare’s Art of Personation, and the Varieties of Character Criticism

Professor Wes Folkerth
Fall Term 2012
Friday 2:35 – 5:25 pm

Full course description

Description: “Character” has long been a central, and at times controversial, category of analysis in Shakespeare studies. In this seminar we will ourselves attend to this aspect of Shakespeare’s works, and also track various responses to it through critical history. The seminar will consist of three parts. In the first part, we will introduce some key definitions, and examine the underappreciated prehistory of Shakespearean literary characterization, focusing on Geoffrey Chaucer’s “estates satire” in the Canterbury Tales. In the following weeks our readings of various plays will be connected to significant early modern contexts of character; topics to be considered will include character and gender, the rhetoric of character, character as a literary genre. The third part of the seminar will address the critical history of Shakespearean characterology, from the eighteenth century (John Dryden, William Richardson, Maurice Morgann), to Romantic statements on the topic (William Hazlitt, S.T. Coleridge), to Victorian-era feminine responses (Anna Jameson, Mary Cowden Clark), and finally to character criticism’s culmination in the work of A.C. Bradley. We will also attend to significant counterstatements by L.C. Knights and Terence Hawkes. In the last weeks of the seminar we will assess some of the ways in which character-based criticism is reconceived and revived in the work of Stanley Cavell, and Harold Bloom.

Evaluation: Seminar presentation  35%; Final Paper  50%; Weekly preparation and participation 15%

Texts:

  • Bradley, A.C.  Shakespearean Tragedy
  • Cavell, Stanley.  Disowning Knowledge in Seven Plays of Shakespeare
  • A course-pak of collected texts will be available at the McGill Bookstore.
  • The Riverside Shakespeare, or similar collection of the complete works.

    Format: seminar 

    Average enrollment: 15 students


    ENGL 525 American Literature

    Whitman and Dickinson

    Professor Peter Gibian
    Fall Term 2012
    Thursday 2:35 – 5:25 pm

    Full course description

    Description:

    “I look in vain for the poet whom I describe.” (Emerson, “The Poet”)

    This advanced seminar will compare and contrast two idiosyncratic and foundational American poets: Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson. Extended studies of their works will trace similarities and differences--especially in their responses to Ralph Waldo Emerson’s call for the emergence of an original “American Poet” and a radically new mode of “poetry.” The seminar will begin, then, with a unit on Emerson, analyzing the dynamics of his prose style and his characteristic imagery (circles, eyes, "the flowing," transparency, and so on) as well as his key notions about nature, language, symbolism, correspondence, representation, rhetorical process, eloquence, power, surprise, democracy, cultural leadership, selfhood, self-culture, self-reliance, vision, spiritual and intellectual progress, metamorphosis, dialogue and dialectic, polarity, the poet, poetry, authorship. After this contextualizing introduction, we will devote about five weeks to intensive close reading of major writings (mainly poems, but also prose pieces, letters, and manuscripts) by each poet--investigating the ways in which they can be seen to build upon, to transform, to test, or to challenge the bases of Emerson’s poetic model.

    Expected Student Preparation:  Previous university-level course work offering some training in relevant areas: critical analysis of poetry; 19th-century British and American Literature. 

    Evaluation (tentative): participation (15%); 1 oral presentation (20%); 2 critical essays; (15% each); take-home final essay exam (35%)

    Texts: Ralph Waldo Emerson, Selected Writings; Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass; Emily Dickinson, Complete Poems

    Format: seminar

    Average enrollment: 15 students


    ENGL 527 Canadian Literature

    Contemporary Canadian Fiction

    Professor Robert Lecker
    Fall Term 2012
    Thursday 2:35 – 5:25 pm

    Full course description

    Description: This course focuses on novels and short fiction written by a number of established and upcoming contemporary Canadian writers. Most of the works considered have appeared over the past decade. They allow us to rethink the ways in which history is understood, the relation between formal experimentation and radicalism, and the representation of marginalized people--from artists, to criminals, to sexual deviants and misfits. Although these works are quite recent, the course will also consider the broader development of Canadian fiction and will pay special attention to the cultural and material forces affecting literary production in Canada over the past few decades. 

    Evaluation: Seminar presentation, 20%; attendance and participation, 20%; short paper, 20%; final paper, 40%

    Texts:

    • Adamson, Gil. The Outlander
    • Blaise, Clark. The Meagre Tarmac
    • Boyden, Joseph. Through Black Spruce
    • deWitt, Patrick. The Sisters Brothers
    • Gowdy, Barbara. We So Seldom Look on Love
    • Grant, Jessica. Come, Thou Tortoise
    • Mistry, Rohinton. Family Matters
    • Moore, Lisa. February
    • Robinson, Eden. Traplines
    • Schofield, Anakana. Malarky

    Average enrollment: 15 students


    ENGL 545 Four Media of the American Uncanny

    Professor Ned Schantz
    Fall Term 2012
    Wednesday 2:35 – 5:25 pm | Screening: Monday 4:05 – 6:25 pm

    Full course description

    Description: This course is designed to bring together the Literature and Cultural Studies streams of the English Department around the concept of the uncanny—a concept that cuts straight to the troubled heart of literature, film, and other media in their definition and practice. The course may also appeal to theoretically minded Drama and Theatre students, since the uncanny cannot be fully conceived without the notion of theatricality. Together, we will attempt to track over 150 years of American Culture in some of its most unsettling manifestations in literature, film, radio, and television; it is the tradition in which “things are not what they seem,” in which tidy complacencies give way to vast unknown forces, where time is out of joint and the individual character/reader/viewer radically lost. We will provisionally expect the uncanny in three overlapping domains: in social worlds that resist navigation, in natural environments that defy mastery, and in technology that creates its own imperatives.  If these domains house respectively the American Dreams of equality, frontier, and progress, it may be only to show that there is nothing more uncanny than the idea of America itself.

    Note: for the first class meeting all students will read the first three items in the coursepack: E.T.A. Hoffmann’s “The Sandman,” Freud’s “The Uncanny,” and Samuel Weber’s “Uncanny Thinking.”

    Evaluation: term paper 40%, journals 30%, participation 20%, discussion questions 5%, paper proposals 5%

    Texts: Possible authors include Nathaniel Hawthorne, Herman Melville, Edgar Allan Poe, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Frank Norris, Edith Wharton, Shirley Jackson, Philip K. Dick, Thomas Pynchon, and Colson Whitehead.

    Possible films include Vertigo, Seconds, Rosemary’s Baby, Klute, The Stepford Wives, Daughter Rite, Safe, Diary of the Dead, and Standard Operating Procedure.

    TV and radio will include Orson Welles’ “panic broadcast” of The War of the Worlds and episodes of The Twilight Zone.

    Format: seminar

    Average enrollment: 15 students


    ENGL 566 Queer Theatre and Performance in North America

    Professor Erin Hurley
    Winter Term 2013
    Thursday 1:05 – 3:55 pm

    Full course description

    Description: In this course, we will read and view a range of queer plays and performances by North American authors.  The course will open with an introduction to the different critical investments and possibilities in the terms “queer”, “lesbian” and “gay”, as used in theatre and performance studies scholarship through readings from Jill Dolan, Sue-Ellen Case, Judith Butler, José Muõz, E. Patrick Johnson, and Tavia Nyong’o, among others.  Then, we will read widely across a range of genres of queer performance.  These will include: solo performance, puppet theatre, dramatic realism, performance art, and collective creation. Queer reception practices as theorized by Stacy Wolf, David Savran and D.A. Miller will also be engaged, especially in relation to musical theatre.

    Evaluation: Discussion Questions and response paper (10%); seminar facilitation (30%); final paper (40%); participation (20%)

    Texts: We will read -- and where possible see -- plays/performances by some of the following:Paula Vogel

    • Paula Vogel
    • Tony Kushner
    • Ronnie Burkett
    • Split Britches
    • Dayna Macleod
    • Shawna Dempsey and Lorri Millan
    • Tomson Highway
    • 2boys.tv
    • Denise Uyehara
    • Michel Marc Bouchard
    • Normand Chaurette
    • Jovette Marchessault
    • Marga Gomez
    • Nathalie Claude
    • Marie Brassard
    • Nina Arsenault
    • Sky Gilbert
    • Kate Bornstein
    • Plus whoever comes to the Edgy Women festival of performance in March

    Format: seminar

    Average enrollment: 15 students


    ENGL 587 Theoretical Approaches to Cultural Studies

    Some Assembly Required: New Collectivities and Techniques of Togetherness

    Professor Alanna Thain
    Winter Term 2013
    Wednesday 11:35 am – 2:25 pm

    Full course description

    Description: This course will explore the emergence of new modes of collectivity in recent cultural theory and political and aesthetic practices.  Our central question is: what are the techniques of togetherness being developed by artists and critics today? How have artists and critics responded to the challenges of new forms of technology, communication, labour, social assembly and creative practice in re-imagining how we might act and live together? We will read broadly in contemporary critical theory to explore concepts such as networks, distributed aesthetics, new ecologies, nonhuman affinities, creative commons, multitude, new ecologies and others. We will alternate these readings with case studies of collaborative aesthetic and social practices. 

    Evaluation: TBA

    Texts: Readings may include: The Invisible Committee. The Coming Insurrection; Paolo Virno and Michael Hardt, eds. Radical Thought in Italy: A Potential Politics; Isabelle Stengers, Cosmopolitics; Jane Bennett. Vibrant Matter: A Political Ecology of Things; Donna Haraway, The Companion Species Manifesto, Felix Guattari. The Three Ecologies; Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari.  A Thousand Plateaus; Jussi Parikka, Insect Media. An Archaeology of Animals and Technology,Alex Galloway, Protocol: How Control Exists After Decentralization, Pierre Levy, Collective Intelligence. 

    Format: seminar

    Average enrollment: 15 students


     


    Note: Open to graduate students only. The demands of 600 and 700-level courses are identical, and the Department makes no distinction in the status of these courses.
    Permission of the Director is required.

    ENGL 604 Old English Language and Literature 

    Professor Dorothy Bray
    Fall Term 2012
    Monday 8:35 – 11:25 am

    Full course description

    Description: This course is intended to be an intensive introductory course to Old English for those who have not had the opportunity to study it previously (or who have sadly neglected this part of English studies. Now is your chance!). We will begin with orthography and pronunciation, a grounding in grammar (formidable but necessary) and basic vocabulary (necessary but not formidable), morphology and syntax, using extracts from selected texts, to begin reading and translating. We will proceed from there to translation of the texts. The aim is to provide students with a grounding in the language, to enable them to read Old English works in the original. While intended primarily as a study of the language, the course will also consider Old English within the history of the English language, as the foundation of Modern English in all its varieties, and will touch on various topics concerning Anglo-Saxon literature. 

    Evaluation: Translation in class (attendance and participation), 25%, and translation quizzes, 25%; final translation project, with essay, 50%.

    Text: A Guide to Old English. Bruce Mitchell and Fred C. Robinson. (tbd)

    Format: seminar

    Average enrollment: 15 students


    ENGL 661 Editing Modernism 

    Professor Miranda Hickman
    Winter Term 2013
    Tuesday 11:35 am – 2:25 pm

    Full course description

    Description:

    Margaret Anderson, editor of the avant-garde little magazine The Little Review, once remarked, “I was born to be an editor. I always edit everything.  I edit my room once a week…. I edit people's clothes…. It is this incessant unavoidable observation, this need to distinguish and impose, that has made me an editor.” Her magazine, often remembered for publishing episodes of James Joyce’s Ulysses, was widely known to early twentieth-century readers as an outlet for the work of many writers now associated with modernist literature. 

    Anderson’s devotion bespeaks a more widespread commitment within modernism: like Anderson, whether or not editors of magazines themselves, modernist writers consistently displayed a fascination with editing. Their dedication to editorship—their drive to revise, correct, “distinguish and impose”—crucially shaped their work. In this course, as we investigate the modernists’ generative preoccupation with editorship, we will use the idea of editorship to illuminate some of the major problems and practices of modernism. 

    Considering modernism through the optic of editorship, we will address the editors of the magazines and independent publishing firms that exerted significant influence over the development of modernism. As recent scholarship attests, they played an indispensable role in that development: they supported and published the moderns when mainstream outlets would not; and they made significant contributions to the work of the moderns through their counsel, selection, and resistance. 

    We will concentrate, moreover, on the editorial practices of modernist writers themselves. Even when not editors of magazines (as were T.S. Eliot, H.D., Ezra Pound, and Marianne Moore) many moderns, in a climate that fostered self-awareness about aesthetic choices, were known for continually editing their work and the work of compatriots. We will consider, for instance, Pound’s and Eliot’s now fabled collaboration on The Waste Land; Marianne Moore’s notoriously incessant revision of her poetry; Yeats's careful arrangement of the poems in his volumes. Addressing their processes of composition and revision, we will interrogate the aesthetic criteria and social commitments governing their choices. 

    The second major dimension of the course will involve examining how recent developments in textual scholarship and editorial theory have affected the editions in which we receive modernist work—as well as the implications for interpretation of how different editions are configured. We will consider the controversy surrounding Hans Walter Gabler’s edition of Joyce’s Ulysses; debates about the principles according to which editions of H.D.’s poetry and prose have been prepared; commentary on the latter-day inclusion of Ezra Pound’s “Lost Cantos” in standard editions of The Cantos; and work from textual scholarship on Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley’s Lover and Djuna Barnes’s Nightwood. We will also consider the work of the recently inaugurated Modernist Versions Project (which will offer in digital form various versions of well known modernist texts), as well as how receiving modernist texts in digital and hypertext editions might affect our experience and understanding of them. 

    The course will also explore questions broached by construing the notion of editorship more broadly. In what ways, for instance, did the moderns wish to “edit” literary practice and literary-historical meta-narratives? How have critical accounts of modernism passed down to us been “edited” over time, affecting how we now construe “modernism”? And how does contemporary theoretical work that problematizes traditional notions of authorship affect our understanding of the process of editorship?

    Evaluation: brief critical essay (5pp.), book review (3 pp.), final essay (20 pp.), oral presentation (15 mins.)

    Format: Lecture and discussion

    Primary texts will likely include:

    • Barnes, Djuna. Nightwood (1936)
    • Eliot, T.S. The Waste Land [1971; incl. facsimile & transcript of original drafts] (1922)
    • Hemingway, Ernest. A Moveable Feast (1964)
    • H.D., Paint it To-Day (1921)
    • Lawrence, D.H. Lady Chatterley’s Lover (1928)
    • Woolf, Virginia, To the Lighthouse (1927) 
    • Readings will also include selections from W.H. Auden, James Joyce, Marianne Moore, Ezra Pound, and W.B. Yeats. 

    Secondary material on editorial work:

    • Bornstein, George, ed.  Representing Modernist Texts 

    The anthology and coursepack will include work from textual scholarship and editorial theory relevant to modernism by commentators such as Jerome McGann, D.F. McKenzie, Edward Mendelson, Lawrence Rainey, Donald Reiman, Peter Shillingsburg, Brenda Silver, Robert Spoo, Richard Taylor, Marta Werner, and Hans Zeller.


    ENGL 670 Topics in Cultural Studies

    The Cinema of Precarity

    Professor Derek Nystrom
    Winter Term 2013
    Wednesday 2:35 – 5:25 pm | Screening: Monday 1:05 - 3:25 pm

    Full course description

    Descripion: Over the past decade, the term “precarity” has been used by theorists and activists to identify the particular kinds of social and economic vulnerability generated by current conditions under late capitalism, especially the fraying of the social safety net and the attenuation of other forms of worker protection as part of capital’s demand for a more “flexible” workforce. According to many critics, these conditions have generated a new “precariat” which is made up of not only the industrial working class but also undocumented immigrants and other marginalized workers not normally represented by labour movement institutions, as well as some highly educated professional workers who have become newly exposed to the vicissitudes of “contingent” employment. This course will survey the theoretical and political work that has generated the concept of precarity—from the Italian “autonomist” movement to more recent North American theorists of “post-Fordist affect”—and utilize this body of thought to examine a series of recent films from around the globe which attempt to visualize and narrate precarious life. How do these films depict our changing social order? What narrative trajectories do they create for characters who are struggling (and sometimes failing) to locate themselves in this social order? Do the films indicate a precariat coming into being as a class-in-itself, or even a class-for-itself?

    Evaluation: To be determined.

    Format:Seminar, weekly screenings.

    Average enrollment: 15 students

    Reading: Essays by such theorists as Antonio Negri, Maurizio Lazzarato, Paolo Virno, Michael Hardt, Lauren Berlant, Judith Butler, Andrew Ross, Angela McRobbie, Nick Dyer-Witheford, Jodi Dean, Angela Mitropoulous, Zygmunt Bauman, Ulrich Beck, Pierre Bourdieu, and others.

    Films: We will likely screen the following films: La promesse (Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, Belgium, 1996), Rosetta (Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, Belgium, 1999), L’emploi du temps (Time Out) (Laurent Cantent, France, 2001), In This World (Michael Winterbottom, U.K., 2002), Fast Food Nation (Richard Linklater, U.S.A., 2006), Still Life (Jia Zhang-ke, China, 2006), Chop Shop (Ramin Bahrani, U.S.A., 2007), Wendy and Lucy (Kelly Reichardt, U.S.A., 2008), Up in the Air (Jason Reitman, U.S.A., 2009), and others.


    ENGL 680 Canadian Literature

    Canadian Modernist Poetry

    Professor Brian Trehearne
    Fall Term 2012
    Wednesday 8:35 – 11:25 pm

    Full course description

    Description: All of the major English-Canadian poets from 1920 to 1960 recognized modernism as the definitive literary, cultural, philosophical, and critical innovation of their era.  Like modernists in almost all the English-speaking traditions, Canadian poets organized themselves into cultural (usually regional) groups, produced and defined themselves through little magazines, published and “boosted” themselves and one another in those little magazines and in associated small presses, and contributed polemical and self-canonizing critical statements to the national literary discussion.  They were not, with a few exceptions, the innovators of modernism: they were innovators in Canadian poetry who saw in modernist developments elsewhere both a consciousness to which they were deeply sympathetic and an opportunity to develop and promote their own poetry as the needed Canadian expression of that consciousness.  While they pursued such modernist ideals as T.S. Eliot’s notion of impersonality and Ezra Pound’s injunction to “make it new,” they typically adopted modernist techniques and socio-political analyses to their own ends, which include an often covert cultural nationalism at odds with the internationalist assumptions of most Anglo-American modernist criticism and theory, and a socialist vision at odds with authoritarian and fascist sympathies that are occasional if incoherent in Pound, Yeats, and Eliot.  The surprisingly strong Surrealist strain in Canadian poetry is one sign of what A.J.M. Smith called its “eclectic detachment,” its readiness to import, with discrimination and adaptation, its inspirations from a wide range of sources.  The prominence of women poets in the Canadian modernist canon, from its earliest formation by anthologists, is another noteworthy national phenomenon.  Canadian modernist poets were readier to revert to traditional verse forms now and then than their counterparts elsewhere, and they were slower to develop the modernist long poem that has been seen as definitive of modernist consolidation in England and the United States.  In short, Canada’s poetic modernism is a distinct national expression which must be studied in the context of original modernisms elsewhere but is not usefully measured against them.

    We will pursue seven or eight Canadian poets as individual modernist writers first and foremost and attempt to bring important new light to bear on the work of each.  Close readings through group discussion of assigned poems will take up a substantial part of our class time.  There has been much recent editorial and critical activity in the area of Canadian modernism, and we will profit from new textual and contextual information in our studies.  The major Canadian little magazines of the period in question will provide a secondary narrative of development in the period; we will also be attentive to the history of the modernist canon in Canadian criticism, for the canonical place of many of these poets is by no means assured today.  To the extent made possible by students’ prior training in the area, other Canadian modernists not on the syllabus will be brought in for contrast and comprehension.  

    Evaluation (provisional):

    • 25%: Symposium presentation.  Symposium evaluation is based on a 5-6 page position paper circulated to class one week in advance of symposium date; 5-minute verbal synopsis of paper’s argument to open symposium; effective chairing of discussion and responsiveness to your paper’s discussion by others
    • 50%: Major research paper, minimum 20 maximum 25 pp.  It may derive from your symposium presentation or be wholly independent of it
    • 25%: Preparedness for and participation in seminar discussions and symposia.  NB: attendance is not relevant to this portion of your evaluation, since you are expected to attend every class without exception.  A failing grade will be given in this category to those who don’t participate consistently, constructively, and in an informed way in class discussions.

    Texts: to be determined, drawing seven or eight poets from the following:

    • Avison, Margaret.  Always Now: The Collected Poems.
    • Cohen, Leonard.  Stranger Music: Selected Poems and Songs.
    • Dudek, Louis.  Infinite Worlds: The Poetry of Louis Dudek.
    • Glassco, John.  Selected Poems.
    • Klein, A.M.  The Complete Poems of A.M. Klein.
    • Layton, Irving.  A Wild Peculiar Joy: Selected Poems.
    • Livesay, Dorothy.  The Self-Completing Tree and Archive for Our Times.
    • Page, P.K.  Kaleidoscope: Selected Poems.
    • Scott, F.R.  Collected Poems.
    • Smith, A.J.M.  The Complete Poems of A.J.M. Smith.
    • Webb, Phyllis.  The Vision Tree:  Selected Poems and Water and Light.

    Format: seminar with two symposia

    Average enrollment: 15 students


    ENGL 690 Theatre and Conversion in Early Modern England

    Professor Paul Yachnin
    Winter Term 2013
    Monday 11:35 am – 2:25 pm

    Full course description

    Description: Ben Jonson’s play Bartholomew Fair ends with the conversion of a puritan into a playgoer. “Be converted, I pray you,” says the puppet-master Leatherhead to “Rabbi” Zeal-of-the-Land Busy, “and let the play go on.” “Let it go on,” says Busy, “for I am changed, and will become a beholder with you.” In this course, we study theatre and conversion in early modern England. A conversion is a “turning in position, direction, destination” (OED) within a field of possibilities that reconstitutes the field itself. Religious conversion is one kind within a field of interrelated forms, including geopolitical reorientation, material transformation, commercial exchange, literary translation, and human-animal metamorphosis. We ask, how did the forms of conversion translate the horizon lines of knowledge and experience for early modernity, what were the lines of connection among the different forms, and how did theatre integrate, critique, and enable forms of conversion for its playgoers? We study plays by Marlowe, Shakespeare, Jonson, Middleton, and Webster; related texts about conversion such as those by Augustine, Ovid, Erasmus, Donne, and others; and work on the history and theory of conversion.

    Evaluation: TBA

    Format: seminar

    Average enrollment: 15


    ENGL 694: Bibliography

    Graduate Research Methods

    Professor Erin Hurley
    Fall Term 2012
    Tuesday 8:35 to 11:25 am

    Full course description

    Prerequisite: This course is open to new MA students in English only.

    Description: This course aims to familiarize students with a variety of research methods necessary for study at the graduate level. Topics of discussion in this course will include: developing effective work habits, using research resources in the discipline, understanding scholarly editions and editing, exploring libraries and archives. Students will be introduced to methodologies from literature, drama and theatre, and cultural studies, in order to prepare them to conduct their own independent research.

    Evaluation: Pass / Fail. Evaluation is based on attendance and any required in-course assignments.

    Format: Lectures by invited speakers; seminar.

    Average enrollment: maximum 30 students.


    ENGL 714 Renaissance Poetry

    Early Modern Epic:  Spenser’s  Faerie Queene and Milton’s Paradise Lost

    Professor Kenneth Borris
    Fall Term 2012
    Wednesday 11:35 am – 2:25 pm

    Full course description

    Description: A forum for inquiry into The Faerie Queene (reading Books III, IV, and VI) and Paradise Lost, with about half the course devoted to each of Spenser and Milton.  The central topics of those highly complementary parts of The Faerie Queene are, respectively, love, friendship, and courtesy.  For each text, initial sessions will introduce its literary, socio-political, and intellectual contexts, and outline effective methods of original primary research.  According to their own particular interests, seminar members will determine their own topics for seminar presentations and hence related discussions, as well as discussion topics in the final seminar session.  Insofar as possible, presentations will be grouped in a series of informal “conference sessions” on related matters according to a schedule that we will consultatively establish (bearing in mind the diverse commitments of seminar members) at the start of the course.  This format aims to establish a diverse, open, and responsive seminar.

    Evaluation: two seminar presentations at 45% each, one on Spenser and the other on Milton; seminar attendance and participation 10%

    Format: seminar

    Average enrollment: 8 students

    Text: I recommend the Longman Faerie Queene and Paradise Lost because of their very helpful annotations, which appear on the same page as the lines discussed.  There is also a Course Reader.  All these texts are available at the Word Bookstore.


    ENGL 716 Special Studies in Shakespeare

    The Birth of Bardolatry: 18th-Century Shakespeare

    Professor Fiona Ritchie
    Winter Term 2013
    Friday 10:35 – 1:25 am

    Full course description

    Description: How did Shakespeare come to occupy his preeminent place in English literature, culture and society?  Shakespeare’s fame waned after his death and in 1660 he was a little-known dramatist, but by 1814 a character in Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park could declare Shakespeare “part of an Englishman’s constitution” and the idea of Shakespeare’s cultural capital remains strong today.  This course will explore how Shakespeare achieved this reputation.  It will therefore be relevant to students with interests in:

    • the eighteenth century,
    • Shakespeare and the early modern period,
    • drama and theatre studies,
    • celebrity culture,
    • reception studies,
    • memorialisation,
    • iconicity.

    The roots of Bardolatry can be traced to the 18th century, a period in which society became fascinated both by the man and his works and in which Shakespeare was deliberately constructed as a national hero, the archetype of theatrical and literary culture and the arbiter of all things English.  We will examine the phenomenon of Bardolatry in the period 1660-1769 by analysing a variety of texts, including some of the following:

    • adaptations of Shakespeare’s plays which sought to make the works conform to new cultural and aesthetic standards (such as Nahum Tate’s “happy ending” King Lear),
    • editing and criticism of the works which often advanced a separate agenda (including Elizabeth Montagu’s Essay on the Writings and Genius of Shakespear, which mobilised the Bard against the French in the service of English nationalism),
    • discoveries and forgeries of Shakespeare plays (such as Lewis Theobald’s Double Falshood, an adaptation of the lost Shakespeare play, Cardenio, and William Henry Ireland’s Vortigern, a Shakespearean hoax),
    • performances of Shakespearean drama which portrayed his characters in line with 18th-century behavioural norms (such as David Garrick’s sentimentalised portrayal of Leontes in The Winter’s Tale as a “man of feeling”),
    • representations of Shakespeare in visual culture (including paintings, sculptures and souvenirs of the man, his works, and the actors who performed his characters),
    • social groups who promoted appreciation of Shakespeare (such as the Shakespeare Ladies Club, a group of women who petitioned theatre managers to stage more Shakespeare plays),
    • cultural events which popularised the Bard (including the most (in)famous event of 18th-century Bardolatry, David Garrick’s Shakespeare Jubilee).

    Evaluation:

    • participation (10%)
    • research presentation (30%)
    • paper proposal and annotated bibliography (15%)
    • paper (45%)

    Format of class: Discussion, possibly some performance work with adaptations. 

    Average enrolment: 15 students

    Required Text:

    • The texts studied will be supplied in a course pack available for purchase from the McGill University Bookstore. 
    • We will also be studying several of Shakespeare’s plays, therefore a good edition of the complete works (e.g. Oxford, Norton, Riverside) or of the individual plays (e.g. Arden, Cambridge, Oxford, Penguin) is recommended.
    • We will make good use of the essays and resources in Shakespeare in the Eighteenth Century, ed. Fiona Ritchie and Peter Sabor (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012).

    ENGL 731 Nineteenth Century Studies

    Science Fiction

    Professor Monique Morgan
    Fall Term 2012
    Thursday 8:35 – 11:25 am

    Full course description

    Description: In the nineteenth century, the nascent genre of science fiction was deeply eclectic, iconoclastic, and experimental. Science fiction authors imagined alternative worlds in order to defamiliarize their own world and question its premises and conditions. Their satire took aim at everything from scientific hubris, class hierarchy, and organized religion to university curricula, jingoistic rhetoric, and women’s fashion. This course will attempt to be as multidisciplinary, sceptical, and idiosyncratic as the genre it studies. Each week, we will explore both terms in the phrase “science fiction.” First, we will contextualize these novels in contemporaneous scientific debates on such topics as evolution and degeneration, psychological illness, vivisection, electricity, thermodynamics, astronomical observations, and the nature of time and space. Second, we will use theories of science fiction as a literary genre to consider the novels’ methods of thought and representation, capacity for cultural critique, and relation to other genres. Although the emphasis will be on British science fiction from Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein through the early works of H. G. Wells, we will read some representatives of the American and French traditions. 

    Evaluation: two response papers 15% each (600 words each); proposal for term paper 10% (500 words and a bibliography); term paper 45% (5000 words); participation 15%

    Texts: The following is a tentative reading list. The contents of the syllabus will be finalized by June 2012. 

    • Mary Shelley, Frankenstein (1818)
    • Edgar Allan Poe, selected short stories
    • Jules Verne, Journey to the Centre of the Earth (1864)
    • Edward Bulwer-Lytton, The Coming Race (1871)
    • Samuel Butler, Erewhon (1872)
    • Edwin Abbott, Flatland (1884)
    • Robert Louis Stevenson, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1886)
    • Edward Bellamy, Looking Backward: 2000-1887 (1888)
    • Camille Flammarion, Omega: The Last Days of the World (1893)
    • H. G. Wells, The Time Machine (1895)
    • H. G. Wells, The Island of Doctor Moreau (1896)
    • H. G. Wells, The War of the Worlds (1898)
    • M. P. Shiel, The Purple Cloud (1901)
    • Coursepack with selections from literary theory and 19th-century science

    Format: Seminar

    Average enrollment: 15 students


    ENGL 734 Studies in Fiction 

    Unreliable Narrators

    Professor Nathalie Cooke
    Winter Term 2013
    Thursday 2:35 – 5:25 pm

    Full course description

    Description: Why do some unreliable storytellers seem to spin a yarn better than their trustworthy counterparts? Unreliable narrators abound in literature and to various effects. Some trick us so that, as readers, we are drawn into the game despite our knowledge that we will inevitably lose. Others quickly reveal their unreliability, yet still have the power to draw us in to play by their rules. But they nevertheless invite us to see the world differently, and through their eyes. In both cases, we grow increasingly aware of a story as told, and our questions drift toward the motives for the telling.

    This course looks closely at unreliable narrators – a rogue’s gallery of storytellers, who deceive and delight their readers -- to identify the tools and techniques of their trade, and also to better understand their formal contribution to the creation of novelistic meaning. Wayne Booth first coined the phrase “unreliable narrator” in the early 1960s. It provided a vocabulary that was as appropriate for the modernist experimentation with perspective as it was for popular works of literature and film. Consequently, discussion will focus on developing a sense of the range and variety of unreliable narrators in the novel – differences of degree and kinds -- always keeping in mind their counterparts in other communication mediums (including print journalism, film & TV). We will also explore a relationship between the rise of formal experimentation in literary narratives through the twentieth century, on the one hand, and on the other an emerging strain of scepticism in the critical discourse. Indeed, might we be tempted to conclude that the rise of the unreliable narrator has rendered the reliable narrator increasingly difficult to establish, if not a fully endangered species? 

    The final syllabus will include about ten primary novels, in addition to some short stories – all selected for their ability to simultaneously intrigue and infuriate, fascinate and disorient their readers. Secondary readings, including commentary by Wayne Booth, Seymour Chatman, Gregory Currie, Gerard Genette, Gerald Prince, Felix Martinez-Bonati, Peter Rabinowitz, Brian Richardson, Mary Ann Piwowarczyk and F.K. Stanzel, will be available in a course pack or on myCourses(WebCT Vista) in electronic form, where reproduction permission permits. Some primary texts will also be available online.

    Evaluation: short paper & presentation 35% (1500 words); long paper 50% (5000 words); participation 15%

    Texts: We will not be reading all these works. A final decision will be made about which texts will be on the syllabus by November 2012. 

    • Robert Browning, “My Last Duchess”, 1842
    • Emily Bronte, Wuthering Heights, 1847
    • Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone, 1868
    • Henry James, Turn of the Screw, 1898
    • Ford Madox Ford, The Good Soldier, 1915
    • E. M. Forster, A Passage to India, 1924
    • F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby, 1925
    • Agatha Christie, The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, 1926
    • William Faulkner, The Sound and the Fury, 1929
    • Sinclair Ross, As For Me and My House, 1941
    • Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita, 1955
    • Alice Munro, “Something I’ve Been Meaning to Tell You”, 1974
    • Woody Allen, “The Kugelmass Episode”, 1977
    • Salman Rushdie, Midnight’s Children, 1981
    • Angela Carter, Wise Children, 1991
    • A M. Homes, The End of Alice, 1996
    • John Lancaster, A Debt to Pleasure, 1996
    • Mordecai Richler, Barney’s Version, 1997
    • Margaret Atwood, The Blind Assassin, 2000
    • John McManus, Bitter Milk, 2005  
    For Context & Discussion:
    • Citizen Kane (1941; director Orson Welles)
    • The Fight Club, in its dvd format (1999; Director David Fincher)
    • The Usual Suspects (1995; Director Brian Singer)
    • A Beautiful Mind (2001; Director Ron Howard)
    • The Others (2001; director Alejandro Amenábar)

    Format: seminar.

    Average enrollment: 15 students


    ENGL 757 Modern Drama 

    Contemporary English and Irish Theatre

    Professor Sean Carney
    Fall Term 2012
    Thursday 11:35 am - 2:25 pm

    Full course description

    Description: This course is concerned with representative plays by both established playwrights and the new generation of young dramatists in the United Kingdom.  The syllabus will be made up of plays that demonstrate an interest in the unique aesthetics of theatre while simultaneously evincing a social commitment and an engagement with politics.  We will begin with theatre of the 1960s and 1970s that challenged censorship and opened new possibilities for controversial content.  The 1980s saw playwrights responding to the election of Margaret Thatcher and to the failure of the post-war consensus, and we will focus upon the responses of predominantly leftist playwrights towards this conservative turn.  Then, examining plays by English writers that continue to revitalize the major London theatres, we will situate the work in its particular cultural moment, namely post-Thatcher and now post-Blair England.  The overall goal of the course is to provide students with an overview of contemporary English and Irish theatre in its historical context while also considering what makes theatre unique as an art form. 

    Instructional Method:  Seminar discussions

    Evaluation: Seminar presentation with accompanying written component, 20%; Two ten page essays, 30% each; Class participation, 20% 

    Texts (tentative):

    • The Methuen Book of Modern Drama (Methuen)
    • Bond, Edward Saved (Dramatic Publishing Company)
    • Friel, Translations (Dramatic Publishing Company)
    • Churchill, Caryl  Top Girls (in The Methuen Book of Modern Drama)
    • Daniels, Sarah The Gut Girls (Samuel French)
    • Edgar, David  Pentecost (Nick Hern Books)
    • Kane, Sarah Blasted (in The Methuen Book of Modern Drama)
    • Hare, David Plenty (Samuel French)
    • Butterworth, Jerusalem (Nick Hern)
    • Ravenhill, Mark Shopping and Fucking (in The Methuen Book of Modern Drama)
    • Chandrasekhar, Disconnect (Nick Hern)
    • Barry, The Steward of Christendom (Dramatists Play Service)
    • Khan-Din, Ayub East is East (Nick Hern Books)

    ENGL 761 Twentieth Century Novelists 

    The Global Cold War

    Professor Monica Popescu
    Winter Term 2013
    Monday 11:35 am – 2:25 pm

    Full course description

    Description: In 1989 the Berlin Wall came down, marking the end of a period that involved not only the USA and the USSR, but engulfed the entire world. Following the most recent research in the field, we will discuss literary works and films from Britain, the USA, and Anglophone (post)colonial nations that present the Cold War as a world-wide conflagration, which involved both superpowers from the Northern hemisphere and nations from the global South. What scientific and technological developments fueled the arms race and how were they represented in fiction? What literary genres emerged as a result of the competition between East and West? What forms of masculinity and femininity were forged by Cold War cultures? How does the East that constitutes the object of Cold War studies compare to the East discussed in postcolonial criticism? These questions will constitute the starting point for our exploration of literary representations of espionage and intrigue, the nuclear threat, the space race, new forms of imperialism, the Bandung Conference and the Non-Alignment Movement, African socialism, utopian and dystopian societies. Along with films and literary works, we will read essays by Jacques Derrida, Jean Franco, Timothy Brennan, Ann Douglas, Frantz Fanon, Aimé Césaire, etc.

    Evaluation: 20% presentation; 20% short essay (review of criticism); 45% final essay; 15% participation 

    Texts: The following are possible readings. The final selection of texts and films will be available in October 2012.

    • Graham Greene The Quiet American
    • Ngugi wa Thiong’o  Devil on the Cross
    • Mark Behr The Smell of Apples
    • Cristina Garcia Dreaming in Cuban
    • Richard Wright The Color Curtain
    • Caryl Churchill Mad Forest: A Play from Romania
    • Nina Fitzpatrick The Loves of Faustyna 
    Films:
    • Dr. Strangelove Dir. Stanley Kubrik
    • The Manchurian Candidate Dir. John Frankenheimer
    • The Hero Dir. Zeze Gamboa
    • Apocalypse Now Redux. Dir. Francis Ford Coppola
    • Double Take. Dir. Johan Grimonprez 
    • Course pack with essays.

    Format: Seminar.

    Average enrollment: 15 students


    ENGL 778 Studies in Visual Culture 

    Avant-Garde Cinema of the 1960s and 1970s

    Professor Ara Osterweil
    Fall Term 2012
    Thursday 11:35 am - 2:25 pm | Screening: Wednesday 5:05 – 7:55 pm

    Full course description

    Description: Before avant-garde cinema became sanctified in museums and university classrooms, it constituted one of the most controversial and outrageous sites of twentieth century visual culture. This course facilitates an in-depth look at the most innovative and vital period of postwar experimental film in North America, during which many of the most celebrated international artists turned towards the medium of cinema in order to transform the limits of representation and perceptual experience.

    Collapsing the fraught distinctions between high and low culture or what art critic Clement Greenberg famously described as the irreconcilable divide between “avant-garde” and “kitsch,” experimental cinema of the 1960s and 70s reshaped the codes of vision and values implanted by the mass media. Expanding the conventions of cinematic structure, form, duration and projection to accommodate new ideas of consciousness and the body made possible, in part, by the changing mores of the sexual revolution, hallucinogenic drugs, and the new availability of inexpensive 8mm and 16mm cameras, avant-garde film transformed what was acceptable to show on public screens.  In doing so, it not only challenged the mode of production of the commercial/ industrial cinema, but also the social and sexual mores of American culture.  Intimately linked to many of the rights revolutions of the 1960s and 1970s, experimental cinema became a site where diverse and often marginalized groups could re-imagine and reconstruct their social identities and desires.

    Pausing to consider the insufficiency of the standard subdivisions of experimental cinema, this course will nonetheless focus on many of the major figures associated with the so-called Lyrical film (Maya Deren, Stan Brakhage); Underground Cinema (Andy Warhol, Kenneth Anger, Jack Smith, Ken Jacobs, the Kuchar Brothers, Bruce Conner); Fluxus (Yoko Ono, Paul Sharits); the Diary Film (Jonas Mekas, Bruce Baillie); Structuralism (Hollis Frampton, Ernie Gehr, Michael Snow, Paul Sharits, Peter Kubelka, Tony Conrad); and Flesh Cinema (Carolee Schneemann, Barbara Rubin, Barbara Hammer).

    The course is an advanced seminar in which students will be expected to make a major contribution to discussion during each class meeting. In addition to copious readings in film, art history and critical theory, there are required oral presentations.  Students who fail to regularly and meaningfully participate in class discussion will simply not succeed in the course.  There is also a mandatory screening every week. As many of these rare films be will be shown on 16mm, students who are not able to attend the screening every week should not register for the course.  Nonetheless, screenings are also subject to change without prior notice in the event of unforeseen circumstances relating to rental, distribution or shipping mishaps. As the seminar only meets once a week, attendance at every seminar meeting must be a serious priority.

    Evaluation: oral presentation and short write up 20% (15 minutes); journal 15 %; long paper 50% (20-25 pages); participation 15%

    Partial Filmography:

    • Meshes of the Afternoon (Maya Deren, 1943)
    • Fireworks (Kenneth Anger, 1947)
    • Arnulf Rainer (Peter Kubelka, 1960)
    • Window Water Baby Moving (Stan Brakhage, 1959)
    • Dog Star Man (Stan Brakhage, 1961-1964)
    • Scorpio Rising (Kenneth Anger, 1963)
    • Christmas on Earth (Barbara Rubin, 1963)
    • My Hustler (Andy Warhol, 1965)
    • Fuses (Carolee Schneemann, 1964-1967)
    • Report (Bruce Conner, 1964-1967)
    • Flaming Creatures (Jack Smith, 1963)
    • Blonde Cobra (Ken Jacobs, 1963)
    • Sins of the Fleshapoids (Mike Kuchar, 1965)
    • Peyote Queen (Storm de Hirsch, 1965)
    • The Flicker (Tony Conrad, 1966)
    • Castro Street (Bruce Baillie, 1966)
    • Hold Me While I’m Naked (George Kuchar, 1967)
    • Wavelength (Michael Snow, 1967)
    • T,O,U,C,H,I,N,G (Paul Sharits, 1968)
    • Walden, Diaries, Notes and Sketches (Jonas Mekas, 1969)
    • Tom, Tom, The Piper’s Son (Ken Jacobs, 1969)
    • Serene Velocity (Ernie Gehr, 1970)
    • Fly (Yoko Ono, 1970)
    • The Act of Seeing With One’s Own Eyes (Stan Brakhage, 1971)
    • Dyketactics (Barbara Hammer, 1974) 

    Partial Bibliography:

    • This course will include selections from:
    • David James, Allegories of Cinema
    • P. Adams Sitney, Visionary Film
    • Juan Suarez, Bike Boys, Drag Queens and Superstars
    • Susan Sontag, Against Interpretation
    • Fredric Jameson, Postmodernism
    • Allan Kaprow, Assemblages, Environments, Happenings
    • Walter Benjamin, Illuminations
    • Max Adorno and Theodor Horkeimer, Dialectic of Enlightenment
    • Clement Greenberg, Art and Culture
    • Peter Burger, Theory of the Avant-Garde
    • Amelia Jones, Body Art/ Performing the Subject
    • Michael Fried, Art and Objecthood
    • Linda Williams, Hard Core
    • Herbert Marcuse, Eros and Civilization
    • Jacques Ranciere, The Politics of Aesthetics
    • as well as essays by: Annette Michelson, Rosalind Krauss, Jean Louis Baudry, Tom Gunning, Jurgen Habermas, Jean-Louis Comolli

    Format: Seminar

    Average enrollment: 15 students


    ENGL 787: Proseminar 1

    Professor Thomas Heise
    Fall Term 2012
    Tuesday 11:35 am to 2:25 pm

    Full course description


    Prerequisite: This course is open only to PhD2 students in English.

    Description: The first semester of the PhD Proseminar will focus on discussion of theoretical texts and issues. The aim of the course is to situate critical theories and their various loyalties, histories, and methodologies. The seminar will also emphasize critical exchanges—how and why they function as they do. At the same time, the Proseminar will introduce PhD students to the program. The main concern, however, is to orient participants towards a theoretically informed and professionally appropriate plan for doctoral study.

    Evaluation: Seminar presentations and short written assignments.

    Texts: TBA

    Format: TBA

    Average enrollment: 7-8 students


    ENGL 788: Proseminar 2

    Professor Ned Schantz
    Winter Term 2013
    Tuesdays 8:35-11:25 am

    Full course description


    Prerequisite: This course is open only to PhD2 students in English; it is a continuation of ENGL 787.

    Description: The emphasis of this course is divided between preparation of the Compulsory Research Project and a discussion of issues related to the profession of English studies broadly conceived. Topics of conversation include conference papers and conference-going, academic publishing, archival research, editing, expectations for the Compulsory Research Project, the dissertation, and so forth. Related issues of pedagogy, collegiality, professionalism, and originality in research may also arise.

    Evaluation: Pass / Fail based on attendance and presentation of the CRP proposal.

    Texts: None.

    Format: seminar with invited speakers.

    Average enrollment: 7-8 students