COURSES: SUMMER SESSION II 2012
ENG-L680 (Section 8823) Special Topics: Psychology and Literature
Professor Joe Chaney
COURSES: FALL 2012
ENG-L501 (Section 5102) Professional Scholarship in Literature
ENG-L612 (Section 31306) Chaucer
Professor Robert Meyer-Lee
Is Geoffrey Chaucer’s Wife of Bath’s Tale the first feminist text in English literary history, the first critique of feminism, both, or neither? In this course, we will not just encounter several different answers to this question, but we will learn about what is at stake, and what is problematic, in asking it. More generally, we will make use of the famous ambiguity, irony, and inconclusiveness (not to mention the trenchant wit and urbane humor) of some of Chaucer’s most celebrated works as a vehicle for entering into contemporary literary critical debates. We will combine close study of these works with readings in Chaucer criticism and historical sources; and you will bring together knowledge of these with the theories and research practices that constitute professional literary scholarship in 2012 to author your own contributions to this scholarship in some of its most typical forms: for example, paper proposals, conference papers, and journal articles.
ENG-L631 (Section 31203) English Literature 1660-1790: Women Novelists and the Public Sphere
Professor Lee Kahan
With the commercialization of literature and the rise of a popular press, the eighteenth century witnessed the beginnings of modern celebrity culture. For the first time, readers were as interested in the daily lives of writers and actors—where they bought their clothes, how much they drank, and, of course, who they had sex with. Indeed, by the end of the century, readers began to assume that a literary work was not fully intelligible without such personal information about its author, and new genres like the magazine and the biography attempted to provide it. Such publicity both made literature by women more popular and threatened the female author’s reputation as a proper woman, which the culture associated with modesty and privacy. In this class, we will examine how several women novelists used their works to interrogate this new celebrity culture and how their conflicted relationship to it impacted the form of the novel itself. We will likely read the following works: Charlotte Lennox, The Female Quixote; Frances Burney, Evelina and Cecilia; and Maria Edgeworth, Belinda. We will also read Burney’s Diary and Letters and Edgeworth’s advice manual for women writers, Letters to Literary Ladies. We will contextualize these works through a variety of primary sources about femininity, the literary marketplace, consumer culture, the impact of novels on readers, and literary celebrity. We will also read selections of cultural history and contemporary media theory that can help us think about the nature of media culture and its impact on women. Grades will be based on a midterm paper, a final research paper, and short weekly responses to the readings.
ENG-L680 (Section 31204) Special Topics: Film and Genre
Professor Elaine Roth
This class investigates the nature, particularly the political nature, of U.S. genre films. Are films that follow a generic model the most crassly commercial texts churned out by Hollywood, or do generic conventions actually provide terrain for political intervention? We will consider gender and genre, genre cycles, and the history of academic criticism dedicated to certain genres. We will focus on melodrama, comedy, action and film noir in class, but students will pursue other genres in their final projects.
ENG-W513 (Section 5021) Writing Poetry
Instructor David Dodd Lee