English 5191: Internship in English Studies
Instructor: Katherine Stanutz
Students may receive credit for internships across a wide variety of career fields including, but not limited to, the arts and nonprofit administration; creative, business, and technical writing; communications, marketing and public relations; consulting; education; human resources; law and politics; media production; publishing; sales; social services and counseling; and technology services.
*Advanced undergraduate students are encouraged to enroll in 5000-level courses.*
English-5710.01/.02: Introduction to Old English Language and Literature—The Language of Beowulf
Instructor: Leslie Lockett
This course teaches students to read and declaim Old English, the spoken language of the English people in the early Middle Ages (up to ca. 1150), and the original language of evocative poems including Beowulf and The Wanderer. In the first half of the semester, we will learn declensions, conjugations and vocabulary; in the second half, we will translate works of Old English prose and poetry. Students are graded on their preparation for each class meeting, eight quizzes, three written translation assignments and a final exam. No prior knowledge of Old English or other languages is required.
*Advanced undergraduate students are encouraged to enroll in 5000-level courses.*
English-6410: Introduction to Graduate Study in Medical Humanities and Social Sciences
Instructor: James Phelan
This core course for the Interdisciplinary M.A. in Medical Humanities and Social Sciences is also open to any graduate student interested in the medical humanities and social sciences. It explores the question of how our understanding of medicine alters when we shift from conceiving it primarily as a science to conceiving it as a cultural practice, something that inevitably has political, ethical, ideological and even aesthetic dimensions. We will divide our inquiry into several units, most likely: the nature of medical inquiry; historical foundations, cultural critiques of medicine, disability studies and narrative medicine.
English-6662: Literary Publishing
Instructor: Michelle Herman
This omnibus seminar designed especially for first-year Creative Writing MFA students means to do many different things at once. From the first day, we will examine the very idea of "literature," and in addition to launching you into the three years or writing and workshopping ahead, this seminar's primary purpose is to bridge the gap - to begin the bridge the gap - between your education as writers and the real-world concerns of literary editing and publishing (from both ends of the spectrum--that is, as writers who are being published and as editors discovering, helping to shape and disseminating new work). Since editors don't read in precisely the same way that "civilian" readers or writers do (or for that matter the way writing instructors do), we will work toward an understanding of what it means to read as an editor. We will all become editors, at least for the time being. We will look at what editors do and how and why they do it; we will ask the questions that most readers don't --but that editors must-- ask themselves.
We will also talk about the slippery terms "popular" and "literary" (and the slipperiest of all: "popular literary"). And even as we figure out who we are - or might be someday if it comes to that - as editors, we will try to make sense of what other editors are looking for, what the literary market is like right now, how it works and where it is headed (because the world of publishing has changed a great deal, particularly over the last fifty years - and even more particularly over just the last few years - and no doubt will continue to change just over the course of this semester).
This course includes a "laboratory component" of hands-on editorial experience in addition to the assigned reading. You will all serve (in most cases, you will continue to serve after this semester, but this autumn you will receive course credit for your service and will be expected to fulfill your weekly reading responsibilities) on the editorial staff of The Journal, evaluating submissions with an eye to their publication; participating in editorial meetings if you uncover any stories, essays or poems that are potentially publishable; and working together to suggest changes as necessary in a manuscript that needs work. You will also be reading and evaluating book-length works of poetry, helping to screen for a distinguished annual poetry book prize. In other words, the "lab" will give you hands-on experience in both literary magazine and literary book publishing. We will talk about taste and about what we're talking about when we talk about "good" (or "great" - or "good but not great" and the difference been "good" and "I like it" and the difference between "bad" and "I don't like it." I am especially interested in the category of "I recognize that this is good, but "ugh").
English-6746.01/.02: Introduction to Graduate Study in British Literature of the Romantic Period
Instructor: Clare Simmons
This course serves as a graduate-level introduction to British literature of the Romantic period and to the types of critical strategies current in scholarship today. A loose theme for the course is “Ballads, Traditions, Superstitions.” We will examine the emergent interest in ballads and tales passed down by oral tradition and the ballad’s influence on Wordsworth and Coleridge’s Lyrical Ballads and works by other poets of the time, including Mary Robinson, Felicia Hemans, Blake, Keats, Percy Shelley and others, paying attention to both cultural and historical context and variations on poetic form. We will also consider how this emphasis on “romance”—the historically distant, the supernatural, the fantastic, and the larger-than-life—influenced the Romantic-era novel , focusing on John Polidori’s Vampyre, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Matthew Lewis’s Monk, and Walter Scott’s Bride of Lammermoor. The course should be of relevance to anyone working in nineteenth-century literature, both British and American; folklorists; students of the Gothic; and those interested in poetry and poetic theory. The main text will be The Longman Anthology of British Literature, 5th edition. Assignments will include an in-class presentation and for those in 6746.01 a final project in the form of a seminar paper or negotiated equivalent.
English-6751.01/.11: Introduction to Graduate Study in Folklore I—The Philology of the Vernacular
Instructor: Merrill Kaplan
How do we interpret traditional forms and the cultural practices that create them? How can we read cultural expression as text within the context of its performance? How can we cope with the multiple existence and variation of our object of study? This course provides a lightning introduction to folklore and the intellectual wellsprings of folkloristics. It then moves on through several canonical genres of traditional expression such as festival, fairy tale, legend, folk belief, jokes and costume with an eye towards developing the tools necessary for their interpretation. Written work includes an annotated bibliography on a genre of the student’s choice and a short paper interpreting an item belonging to that genre. Folklore GIS course.
English-6757.01/.11: Introduction to Graduate Study in African American Literature, 1746-1900
Instructor: Andrea Williams
This course delves into eighteenth- and nineteenth-century African American literature to address the historical figures, forms and events that continue to influence contemporary black expressive culture. Framed as a call-and-response, readings in the class will address writers such as Phillis Wheatley, David Walker, Anna Julia Cooper, Frances E. W Harper and W. E. B. DuBois while also considering how more recent writers echo, adapt and resist earlier literary voices. This course will enable students to engage critical scholarship, conduct archival research and contribute to current trends in teaching, critiquing and theorizing African American literature. Course requirements may include active participation, oral presentation, short papers or Carmen posts and a final critical essay.
English-6761.01/.02: Introduction to Graduate Study in Narrative and Narrative Theory
Instructor: Sean O’Sullivan
English 6761: Introduction to Graduate Study in Narrative and Narrative Theory. How do we tell stories—and why do we tell stories? This course will explore narratives and narrative theory, across media and genres, by paying attention to the what, the how and the why of storytelling. We will study basic elements of narrative—such as event, character, time and space—and consider the range of ways we can understand these elements, their interactions and their effects. By examining different storytelling contexts—including television, short stories, graphic narratives, novels, non-fiction narratives, film and poems—we will consider the contours of theory in practice. One of our continuing concerns will be the relation between theory and narrative: how can theory illuminate narrative, and how can narrative challenge theory? Our materials will likely include: A Visit from the Goon Squad; the second season of Fargo; Pride and Prejudice; Grizzly Man; Fun Home; Interpreter of Maladies; and Memento.
English-6763.01: Graduate Workshop in Poetry
Instructor: Kathy Fagan Grandinetti
A graduate-level workshop in the writing of poetry.
English 6765.01: Graduate Workshop in Fiction
Instructor: Lee Martin
This is a graduate fiction workshop intended for students in our MFA in Creative Writing Program. The workshop will focus on the production and analysis of student-written fiction. We will examine the artistic choices writers make with characterization, structure, point of view, detail and language that create specific effects in short stories. We will also consider revision and the literary marketplace. Each student will present two pieces of fiction for workshop discussion. At the end of the semester, each student will hand in a significantly revised version of one of those pieces.
English 6768: Graduate Workshop in Creative Nonfiction
Instructor: Michelle Herman
A graduate-level workshop in the writing of creative nonfiction..
English-6769: Special Topics in Creative Writing
Instructor: Kathy Fagan Grandinetti
The new iteration of this course, taught by the DCW each autumn, is intended strictly for MFA students, and open to all genres. We will focus on literary citizenship and professional activities involving OSU creative writing communities: The Journal, the OSU Press Prizes, Writers Guild, Stu-Fac, Editors’ Panel, Epilog, etc.
Email Kathy Fagan Grandinetti for details.
English-6778.01/.02: Introduction to Graduate Study in Film and Film Theory
Instructor: Ryan Friedman
"While film may disappear, cinema nonetheless persists."
D. N. Rodowick, The Virtual Life of Film (2007)
In the last two decades, technologies of digital simulation have begun to replace the medium of film (celluloid film stock) in the recording, reproducing and exhibiting of moving images. As D. N. Rodowick points out, this shift comes on the heels of film studies' achieving legitimacy as an academic discipline and will have considerable consequences for the discipline's future. The disappearance of film raises the prospect of a form of study without a proper object. But, as the earliest debates about the "ontology" of moving images suggest, film studies may always have been a discipline without a single, clear object. Moreover, the camera techniques, narrative conventions and social functions we associate with "cinema" seem to "persist" in the face of the demise of "film."
This course provides an introduction to graduate-level film studies, departing from the peculiar perspective offered by the "death" or "end of film." We will examine major debates in film theory in historical perspective, looking at how earlier thinkers have responded to the question, "What is film/cinema"? and how major technological developments in the medium have shaped their responses. We will view films from a range of periods and national cinemas while moving between critical approaches rooted in a range of traditions, including: aesthetic philosophy, psychoanalysis, ideological critique, historicism, gender theory, queer theory and critical race theory.
English-6779.01/.11: Introduction to Graduate Study in Rhetoric—Classical to Early Renaissance
Instructor: James Fredal
English 6779 is a foundational class in the history and theory of rhetoric. We will read, discuss and criticize central texts and issues concerning rhetorical practice, theory and culture from ancient Greece to the Renaissance. We will also examine historical connections between rhetoric and other cultural practices and forms of knowledge, including (for example) politics, law, literacy, education, literature, performance, philosophy, gender, colonialism, religion and others. Students will write weekly short response papers, two or three longer issue papers and a final project. Primary authors will include Lysias, Gorgias, Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, Quintilian, Augustine, Petrarch, Ramus and others. Secondary scholarship will complement and complicate primary texts.
English-6781: Introduction to the Teaching of First-Year English
Instructor: Eddie Singleton
Introduction to the theory and practice of teaching first-year English. Required of new GTAs in English.
English-6795.01/.02: Introduction to Research Methods in Rhetoric and Composition
Instructor: Jonathan Buehl
An introduction to the historical, empirical, and analytical methods used by researchers in Rhetoric, Composition and Literacy Studies.
English-7818.01/02: Seminar in Later Medieval Literature— Malory's Morte Darthur
Instructor: Karen Winstead
Thomas Malory's magnum opus, the Morte Darthur, is an extraordinary epic of the Arthurian world, a generic hybrid filled with complex characters who struggle to navigate a morally ambiguous world. The Morte is immensely rich and rewarding. It is important not only as a gem of medieval literature but as an influence on post-medieval authors from Spenser to Tennyson to Steinbeck to Martin. Today its stamp is evident in films, games and television. We will explore Malory's work in its medieval context as well as in its remarkable afterlife.
English-7837.01/.02: Studies in 18th Century Genre—How the Eighteenth Century Isn't Over Yet (and why we should care)
Instructor: David Brewer
This seminar will investigate the inventive (and often deeply weird) world of the theater in the “long” eighteenth century. This is the world that gave us many of the things that still define our sense of dramatic and filmic performance: actresses, celebrity, glamour, spectacle, eroticism, musicals, the hyper-canonicity of Shakespeare, the curiously persistent belief that characters should be regarded as a kind of faux-people. But in the eighteenth century those things were intertwined with a host of practices that now seem quite alien: xenophobic riots in the playhouse, incessant jokes about cuckoldry, laying out a carpet before a death scene, blackface, "hippodrama" (it involves horses). We will investigate how the forms taken by eighteenth-century plays intersected with both the familiar and the profoundly strange aspects of the eighteenth-century theater in order to produce a set of expectations that are still with us, whether or not we've ever read or seen anything from the period (and that are still with us not only for more recent kinds of performance, but also for older ones: our ideas about Renaissance drama are in no small part an invention of the eighteenth century). Course requirements will include posing questions for our discussions, active participation in those discussions, a speculative presentation on some materials from our Rare Books Library and a final project of a form to be negotiated.
English-7850.01/.02: Seminar in U.S. Literatures before 1900—Capital and the American Art of Making Money
Instructor: Elizabeth Hewitt
This seminar will introduce students to the interdisciplinary study of literature and political economics through a survey of capitalism as it is represented in the American literary tradition in the 18th and 19th centuries. We will read a variety of 18th and 19th century economic literature by Adam Smith, David Hume, Karl Marx, Henry Carey, W.E.B. DuBois, Charlotte Perkins Gilman and Max Weber. We will also read across various genres of literary writing including work by Benjamin Franklin, Olaudah Equiano, Charles Brockden Brown, Emily Dickinson, Herman Melville, Rebecca Harding Davis, Ralph Waldo Emerson, William Dean Howells, Charles Chesnutt and Edith Wharton. More generally we will consider the various ways we can integrate the study of exchange and value across imaginative and economic writing.
English-7858.01/.02: Seminar in U.S. Ethnic Literatures and Culture
Instructor: Martin Ponce
This course takes a queer comparative approach to 20th and 21st-century U.S. ethnic literatures. Focusing in particular on formally innovative writing that highlights the intersections of race, class, gender and sexuality, we will consider how writers of color have critically and creatively engaged with the legacies and ongoing practices of U.S. colonialism and imperialism. Potential genres and topics include historiographical metafiction, speculative fiction, experimental poetry and nonlinear autobiography dealing with settler colonialism, slavery, continental and overseas expansion, racialized bodies and desires and political radicalism.
English-7860.01/.02: Seminar in 20th Century British and/or American Literature—Science-Fiction Poetics and the Literary Mainstream
Instructor: Brian McHale
The purpose of this seminar is to track the astonishing migration of science fiction, over the course of the past half-century or so, from its niche in the genre-fiction universe to the mainstream of "literary" fiction. For the first half of the semester, we will survey the theory and practice of science fiction as reflected in classic short-stories, films and theoretical statements. In the second half, we will sample a range of post-1945 literary fictions (sometimes coupled with their film adaptations) that illustrate the pervasiveness and legitimation of science fiction in our time, including novels by Anthony Burgess, Kurt Vonnegut Jr., Russell Hoban, Rachel Ingalls, Colson Whitehead, Kazuo Ishiguro, Jennifer Egan and others.
English-7871.01: Seminar in Forms of Literature—Of Novels and Their Characters and Their Plots
Instructor: Nick White
The sometimes great Somerset Maugham famously said: "There are three rules for the writing of a novel. Unfortunately no one knows what they are." This quote, I think, illuminates what many writers feel when they begin working on a novel: daunted, unsure, afraid. No one may know for certain what the rules of writing a novel are, but many authors and literary theorists have given their best guesses over the years, and we might find their commentaries useful in helping with our own attempts at crafting novels.
This forms course is designed for graduate students who are working on a novel, or who think they might, one day, want to write one.
In this class, we will explore what contemporary and not-so contemporary authors have to say about the art and craft of making novels. We will also read a selection of novels, ruthlessly picking them apart, seeing how they "work." We will pay particular attention to character development and the uses (and misuses) of plot.
Assignments will include: weekly readings, workshopping the first thirty or so pages of your novel-in-progress, crafting an tentative outline for the rest of your book and one presentation on a novel of your choosing that, in some way, is in conversation with your own novel-in-progress.
English-7876.01/.02: Seminar in Critical Theory— Reading for Feeling
Instructor: Molly Farrell
How can attention to emotions improve our critical practice? What if reading for feelings, or "affective reading," is not a "fallacy," as the New Critics called it, but instead opens up new approaches and avenues for our work? This seminar will prepare graduate students working in all fields of study to engage with what has been called the "affective turn" in the humanities and social sciences in twenty-first century. We will study major theories of affect and how they apply to our respective fields in order to interrogate these approaches. Collectively, we will ask, is this simply a new form of structuralism or a way out of the so-called "identity politics" of the 1990s? How do we benefit from the work of affect theorists if we are working on historical periods that understood what we now call emotions as "the passions," or other completely different concepts? How can we bring together studies of feelings with critiques of capital and colonialism?
Readings will include work by Sara Ahmed, Brian Massumi, Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, Silvan Tomkins and others. The syllabus will be designed to incorporate recent critical texts innovating within affect theory within the respective fields of the enrolled students.
English-7883.01/.02: Seminar in Literacy Studies— Captive Bodies, Resistant Literacies, and the Rise of the Carceral State
Instructor: Wendy Hesford
Over two million men, women and children are incarcerated in prisons, jails and detention centers across the United States. These carceral subjects of the state are disproportionately African-Americans and Latinos. This cross-disciplinary seminar highlights the policing of age, race, sex, gender, disability and the politics of literacy. Specifically, the course explores the limits of the prison literacy complex and its positioning of hegemonic literacies as a remedy to crime, as well as the transformative power of resistant literacies and prison literature in solidarity with other social justice struggles. Finally, the course traces the rise of the carceral state and the explosion of the prison population to the legacies and technologies of enslavement and addresses the limits of carceral feminisms' turn to policing to resolve gender-based violence.
Readings span a range of disciplines and genres, including Black feminist studies, critical pedagogy, critical race studies, new literacy studies, (neo)slave narratives and contemporary prison writing, and rhetoric and visual culture studies. Readings will include works by Michelle Alexander, Jeremy Bentham, Elizabeth Bernstein, Patrick W. Berry, Lisa Marie Cacho, Kimberlé Crenshaw, Angela Davis, Michel Foucault, Joy James, Carmen Kynard, Gwendolyn Pough, Eric Darnell Pritchard, Catherine Prendergast, Beverly Moss and Elaine Richardson, among others.