ENGL graduate courses, Spring 2021

Graduate courses act as Honors credit, as long as you earn a grade of B- or higher

The instructors for the following graduate courses in English invite Honors students to enroll. For longer course descriptions, please see the listing of English graduate seminars.

ENGL 6500-001: Seminar in Literary Theory: Theory of Irony

Instructor: Charles Mahoney

This seminar takes as one of its central concerns the question (to paraphrase Kevin Newmark) of what it is about irony – as both an object of serious philosophical reflection and as a literary technique and trope – that makes it a seemingly inevitable topic for seemingly endless critical debate (beginning with Plato, and never ending…). This class may be of interest to students of rhetoric, of literature, of literary theory, and of the human condition (not least in the second decade of the twenty-first century). It takes seriously the enigmatic tropological power of irony and seeks to address both as fully and as insufficiently as possible Schlegel’s haunting question: “What gods will be able to save us from all of these ironies?”

ENGL 6550-001: Seminar in Rhetoric and Composition: Teaching Twenty-First Century Professional Writing

Instructor: Brenda Jo Brueggemann

Technical writing. Business writing. Workplace writing. Copy writing. Grant writing. Editing and publishing. These are some of the primary subgenres under the larger umbrella of professional writing that we will engage in the triangulated theory, practice, and pedagogy of this course.This course will introduce and engage participants in two braided strands:

  • the theories and practices of doing professional writing and
  • the theories and practices of teaching thoughtful approaches to professional writing

Seminar participants will learn about how the world of professional writing “works” (both historical and current) AND they will also learn how to teach professional writing courses to undergraduates. Upon completion of the course, participants will be ready to teach an undergraduate course in professional, technical, or business writing and they should also have some important skills that would make them viable candidates for positions in professional writing positions.

ENGL 6700-001: Seminar in Major Authors: Jane Austen and the Bröntes

Instructor: Jean Marsden

This course is designed to offer an in-depth study of some of the most important novelists of the nineteenth century: Jane Austen and the Brönte sisters. The bulk of the reading will consist of the major novels (Austen’s entire published corpus, Charlotte Brönte’s major novels, one of Anne Brönte’s works, and Emily Brönte’s only novel), supplemented by selected scholarly work and historical context. As all four writers explored issues specifically related to female experience, particular attention will be paid to issues related to the status of women in the nineteenth century.

ENGL 6750-001: Seminar in Language and Literature: Edges of Personhood

Instructor: Fiona Somerset

This course aims to engage with the interests of students in rhet/comp as well as a range of historical and contemporary fields by inviting them to critique Western post-Enlightenment understandings of the self. In conversation with queer theory, critical race studies, and ecocriticism, we will read literary works that interrogate the limits post-Enlightenment Western culture has placed on personhood in order to deny it to (for example) women, slaves and the underclass, people of color, non-Christians, and animals.We will begin with Erin Lynn’s extraordinary poem Grendel’s Mother to the Spear Danes, and go on to read other poetry, music, and a limited selection of longer works (because reading loads should be manageable in this difficult year). Readings will largely be selected by students.