Graduate Courses

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The Department of English offers over 200 courses for undergraduate- and graduate-level students. These courses focus on a diverse array of topics from across the fields of American and British literature; world literature; critical and narrative theory; film, video game analysis and other areas of popular culture studies; rhetoric, composition and literacy; digital media studies; and folklore. We also offer creative writing workshops in fiction, nonfiction and poetry. 

For complete and accurate meeting days and times for courses of interest, and to register, please visit the Ohio State Master Course Schedule. The master schedule is maintained by University Registrar and includes information about Department of English courses offered across all of our campuses. While we make every effort to ensure that the information below is complete and correct, the link above is guaranteed to be so. 

Advanced
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SPRING 2021

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English 5189S: Ohio Field School 

Instructor: Cassie Patterson and Jasper Waugh-Quasebarth 

The Ohio Field Schools Course provides an introduction to ethnographic field methods (participant-observation, writing field notes, photographic documentation, audio-interviewing), archiving and the public exhibition of research for both undergraduates and graduate students. Students will contribute to a team-based, immersive research project designed to document the ways that diverse communities express and preserve a sense of place in the face of economic, environmental and cultural change. The semester-long, experientially-based course will consist of three parts: 

  • Introduction to fieldwork (on OSU campus in Columbus) 
  • A one-week field experience in Scioto County during spring break (where students will reside together on-site) 
  • Accessioning, digital gallery preparation and reflection (on OSU campus in Columbus) 

Thus, throughout the semester, students will practice all of the skills necessary to construct a permanent record of local expressive culture that will be accessible to future researchers and community members. Participation in all parts of the course is required. 

Cross-listed in CompStd 


English 5612: History of the Book in Modernity 

Instructor: David Brewer 

This course will explore books from the past two centuries as physical objects and consider what difference that makes for our understanding of the texts they bear and the uses to which they've been put. We will range widely in terms of genre, language and price point, drawing extensively on the holdings of The Ohio State University's Rare Books and Manuscripts Library (in ways that are safe for the age of COVID). By the end of the course you'll understand not only why judging books by their covers is impossible to avoid, but also why it's actually a good thing: how it can help us make sense of the many ways in which books work in (and on) the world. And you'll be able to share your newfound knowledge with the world by collectively acting as the curators for an online exhibition in which you select, research, arrange and showcase objects from our collections. 

Potential assignments: A weekly object journal; a few short, informal presentations of objects from Ohio State's collections; a midterm scavenger hunt; active participation in discussions; and substantial contribution to a collectively curated online exhibit 


English 5664: Studies in Graphic Narrative—Comics Before the Comic Book, 1660-1930 

Instructor: Jared Gardner 

As a field, comics studies in the U.S. has devoted much of its energy to studying a relatively small body of work, most of it produced in the last 30 years with relatively little devoted to the long history of comics and cartooning before the rise of the comic book form in the late 1930s. One result of this is that the field has cut itself off from the insights that might be gained from this rich and understudied history before formats like the comic book and graphic novel were devised as solutions to historically specific challenges. This class will study the history of what was originally termed "caricature" until the middle of the 19th century when the newer terms "cartooning" and "comics" entered common usage. While the class will focus primarily on Anglophone texts, comics in the West was from the start an international form, involving much exchange and "borrowing." We will begin with the development of popular caricature in Bologna in the late 17th century, before following the migration of the new art to England where it will shape the graphic narrative work of William Hogarth and other 18th-century artists, culminating in the rise in the 1830s and 40s of the first periodicals devoted to comics and cartooning. This new medium—the illustrated periodical of the 19th century—will ultimately give way to the rise of the newspaper comics supplement at century's end, which will provide our final unit of focus. Along the way we will study changes in print history, including the tools and techniques of making and reproducing graphic images, as well as methods for engaging with both traditional and online archives dedicated to recovering and preserving this history. 


English 5722.01/02: Graduate Studies in Renaissance Poetry—John Milton's Paradise Lost 

Instructor: Hannibal Hamlin 

John Milton’s epic prequel to the Bible, Paradise Lost, is one of the greatest works of literature in English. In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, if a person had three books on their shelf, one would be the King James Bible, and another Paradise Lost. It’s not an exaggeration to say that Milton invented Satan, at least as he’s been understood for the past several centuries. Romantic writers all wrote under Milton’s shadow, and his influence is obvious in Blake’s "Milton," Wordsworth’s "The Prelude," Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Keats’ "Hyperion" and Byron’s "Don Juan." Percy Shelley wrote that “nothing can exceed the energy and magnificence of the character of Satan in Paradise Lost.” Malcolm X read Paradise Lost in prison, like Shelley sympathizing deeply with the rebel Satan. Charles Darwin took the poem with him on The Beagle. Paradise Lost is at the heart of Melville’s Moby Dick, Salman Rushdie’s Satanic Verses, Philip Pullman’s fantasy trilogy His Dark Materials and Toni Morrison’s A Mercy. It was the basis for Haydn’s oratorio The Creation, and has influenced songs by Nick Cave, Eminem, David Gilmour, Marilyn Manson and Mumford and Sons. Film pioneer Sergei Eisenstein called Paradise Lost a “first rate school in which to study montage and audio-visual relationships.” Twelve-year-old Helen Keller read Paradise Lost on a train ride, and she named the John Milton Society for the Blind after the poet, who was blind before he wrote his greatest poems. Popular versions of Paradise Lost shaped the liturgies of early Mormonism, and marathon readings of the poem have become a ritual at colleges and universities across the United States. 

Potential texts: Paradise Lost in any standard edition, as well as some shorter works by Milton and others, and a selection of critical essays available on Carmen 

Potential assignments: A close reading, a seminar presentation, and a substantial critical essay 

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English 6716.01/02: Introduction to Graduate Studies in the Middle Ages 

Instructor: Karen Winstead 

In this course you will sample the rich corpus of Middle English literature in light of current critical issues and approaches. We will consider how legends of dragon-slayers, virgin martyrs and holy transvestites variously enforced and repudiated norms of gender and sexuality. We will consider the representation of races, religions and ethnicities in medieval romance. We will examine the eccentric “autobiography” of Norfolk wife and visionary Margery Kempe. We will consider experiments in narrative form and voice in Malory’s Morte d'Arthur and the eruption of social tensions into Salvation History in the Mystery Plays. We will reflect on how the Middle Ages, reincarnated in poetry, novels, movies, TV series and video games, continues to capture our imagination and shape the ways we think about our present. 

Potential assignments: Requirements include short response papers and a final project you will develop in consultation with Dr. Winstead. The final project may well take the form of a seminar paper, but alternatives options are available depending on students' interests and expertise. 


English 6747.01/02: Introduction to Graduate Study in British Literature of the Victorian Period 

Instructor: Clare Simmons 

By the time that John Ruskin wrote The Storm-Cloud of the Nineteenth Century in the 1880s, Victorians were well aware that their industrial “progress” had affected the landscape, the air quality, and the lives of the community as a whole. In this course we will read a wide selection of Victorian texts that represent in different ways the relationship between nineteenth-century Britons and their environment. We will also read some recent examples of related ecocriticism. Although the environment is the organizing focus, we will also bear in mind other concerns, such as the representation of race, gender, and sexuality, and particularly Britain’s relationship with its colonies. No prior coursework in Victorian literature is necessary. 

Guiding questions: How did the Victorians respond to a changing world and new ideas about the relationship between humans and nature? 

Potential texts: Texts will include the novels Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë, Bleak House by Charles Dickens, After London by Richard Jefferies, The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot and News from Nowhere by William Morris. We will also read poetry by Tennyson, Arnold, the Brownings, the Rossettis and others, as well as prose by Thomas Carlyle, John Ruskin, Mary Seacole and Charles Darwin. 

Potential assignments: Course requirements for those taking a letter grade include active participation, including posting to an online discussion board; a short evaluation of a relevant critical essay; a presentation; and a final project in the form of a term paper or equivalent. Course requirements for those taking P/NP are negotiable. 


English 6756.01/02: American Literature, 1840-1914 

Instructor: Elizabeth Renker 

This class serves three essential purposes for graduate students.  First, it will be a methods class that will introduce you to the current scholarly discussions about traditional “movements” and “periods” in American literary history. We will discuss their practical utility; their limitations; how recent scholars have challenged them; and meaningful pedagogies for addressing these theoretical, methodological, and practical issues in your own future writing, reading, scholarship, and teaching.  Second, it will develop your expertise in U.S. literature from 1840-1914 through a necessarily brief but tactical survey of poems, fiction, and nonfiction, including work by canonical writers as well as by little-known, recently rediscovered, and even anonymous writers, all of whom were engaged in discursive exchange in the public sphere.  We will interrogate the major conventional frameworks for organizing materials written during these tumultuous decades (including the rise of the short story, Transcendentalism, the Civil War, Realism, Naturalism, and The Gilded Age), thickening them with recent scholarly challenges, approaches, and arenas of inquiry (such as periodical culture; transatlanticism; gender; slavery; Reconstruction, civil rights, and Jim Crow; regionalism; archival silences, and so on).  Our goal will be to ground our work in traditional scholarly narratives about this period more broadly as well as to understand how and why those designations have changed.  Third, 6756 will explore practical ways to integrate current approaches to this complex era in U.S. literary history into your own writing and teaching. I have thus designed class requirements to function at two levels: to serve students’ graduate-level training in this period and in your studies more generally and to serve as methods you can employ with your own student populations. For example, while I do not typically include quizzes in my graduate-level classes, I do include very brief, short-answer quizzes in my undergraduate classes; our class will employ this practical tool to explore its utility and how we might make it serve the learning goals of our various teaching situations.  Across the semester, we will discuss scholarly strategies for positioning and presenting our work in the academic profession as well as pedagogical strategies for effective teaching of our course content.   The class includes a unit that will train you in the basics of archival research. 

Course Materials: I have ordered a bundle at the OSU Bookstore with special discount pricing. It contains Vols. B and C of The Norton Anthology of American Literature, ed. Robert S. Levine, 9th edition and the Norton Critical Edition of Charles Chesnutt, The Marrow of Tradition.  Additional readings will be provided through Carmen.  

Course Requirements: On a daily basis: attendance, participation, very brief short-answer quiz, and short oral summary for the class of one critical article of your choice related to the day's reading.  Writing assignments:  annotated bibliography about your archival primary sources (10 pages) and final project (12-15 pages). 


English 6757.02/22: African American Literature, 1900-Present 

Instructor: Adeleke Adeeko 

This course will introduce you to the dominant engagements in African American literature—mainly fiction and poetry—and criticism. Determinants of just representations and strategies of asserting life affirming ethics will recur constantly in seminar discussions.

Guiding questions: Ethics of identity in literary writing

Potential texts: Wheatley’s Poems on Various Subjects; Douglass’s The Heroic Slave; Harper’s Iola Leroy; Washington’s Up From Slavery; Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God; Wright’s Native Son; Morrison’s Beloved; Reed’s Mumbo Jumbo; Beaty’s Sellout; a course anthology of poetry; and a course anthology of theory and and criticism. This list is tentative and not exhaustive. We may also discuss two films: Jordan Peele's Get Out and Denzel Washington's Great Debaters.

Potential assignments: Lead an assigned class session and write two analytical papers: (a) mid-semester essay of no more than 2,000 words and (b) end of term paper of about 5,500 words.

Cross-listed in African American and African Studies 


English 6763.01: Graduate Workshop in Poetry 

Instructor: Marcus Jackson 

Each meeting, we will workshop your poems. Also, we will make efforts to become familiar with the poets and books that are guiding our current writing, thereby giving us more informed perspectives from which to critique weekly drafts.


English 6764: Workshop in Screenwriting 

Instructor: Angus Fletcher 

In this course, we’ll leverage the skills you’ve developed in your graduate fiction, poetry, and creative non-fiction classes to learn how to write for TV or film, any genres, any audience, from Fleabag to Little Women to that obscure French flick you saw while backpacking though Canada to your favorite guilty pleasure on Hulu.
   
Instead of imposing a universal screenwriting structure, we’ll work together to analyze your creative influences (in any medium, from music to visual arts to lyric poetry to serial narrative) to tailor a story structure to your own personal creative, cultural, social, and aesthetic commitments. We'll also explore how screenwriting can help you sharpen storytelling and visual communication skills that you can translate back into any other mode of writing, from novels to chapbooks to personal essays.
   
So, whether your dream is to write a story that uplifts the billions of souls on this planet who are too lazy to read, or to put what you love about your favorite films and tv series into your prose or your poetry, we'll tailor this class to the secret screenwriter in you.


English 6765.01: Graduate Workshop in Fiction 

Instructor: Lee Martin 

This is a graduate-level fiction workshop for students in our MFA program. The workshop will ask us to consider narrative in the service of literary fiction. We’ll consider stories that are more character-driven than plot-driven. Literary fiction shows us something about the complexity of human existence by concentrating on characters and their conflicting wants, needs, fears, hopes, etc. I don’t mean to suggest that these types of stories are without plots. Plenty happens, but what happens externally is less important than what happens internally to the characters involved and what it means for the rest of their lives. In other words, events occur because of the types of people characters are, and the plots that unfold always reveal something new about the inner lives of those characters. We might put it this way: characters create plots, and plots reveal characters. We’ll think about the technical choices writers make and the effects these choices have on the process of storytelling. Reading and analyzing from a writer’s perspective gives us a chance to think about how stories are made and also an opportunity to build our own technical repertoire when it comes to constructing narratives. 


English 6765.02: Graduate Workshop in Fiction 

Instructor: William White 

A graduate-level workshop in the writing of fiction. 


English 6767.01/02: 20th-Century Literature, 1945-Present 

Instructor: Brian McHale 

What was postmodernism? As the verb’s past tense implies, here at the beginning of the twenty-first century we seem to have emerged at the other end of the postmodern period. Whether or not that is actually the case, we are certainly now in a better position than ever before to reflect on postmodernism as a period. Looking back on the postmodern period, we will read Anglophone texts in several genres – novel, short fiction, lyric poem, long poem, drama, graphic narrative – by writers of diverse identities – women and men, writers of color, LGBTQ writers – ranging in time from the mid-century through the “long sixties” (1954-1975) and the postmodern decades (the seventies through the nineties) down to the new millennium.

Potential Texts: Acker, Kathy. Empire of the Senseless; Ashbery, John. Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror; Bechdel, Alison. Fun Home; Beckett, Samuel. Endgame; Burgess, Anthony. A Clockwork Orange; Carter, Angela. The Bloody Chamber; Díaz, Junot. The Brief, Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao; Ellison, Ralph. Invisible Man; Gray, Alastair. Lanark; Heaney, Seamus. North; Hejinian, Lyn. My Life; Hughes, Langston. Montage of a Dream Deferred; Jones, Leroi (Amiri Baraka). Dutchman; Kushner, Tony. Angels in America; Long-Soldier, Layli. Whereas; Morrison, Toni. Beloved; Paley, Grace. Enormous Changes at the Last Minute; Pinter, Harold. The Homecoming; Plath, Sylvia. Ariel: The Restored Edition; Pynchon, Thomas. The Crying of Lot 49; Rankine, Claudia Citizen; Rushdie, Salman. Midnight’s Children

Potential Assignments: Lead one class discussion; prepare an annotated bibliography; submit a conference-length paper (10-12 pages); regular participation.

Guiding Questions: In completing this course, you will…familiarize yourself with classic English-language texts of imaginative literature from 1945 through the beginning of the 21st century; practice thinking critically, theoretically and historically about texts in a range of genres, by writers of diverse identities; develop a working definition or model of postmodernism.


English 6768: Workshop in Creative Nonfiction 

Instructor: Elissa Washuta 

This course is devoted to furthering MFA students' development of the craft of creative nonfiction. Through the study of published nonfiction pieces and craft texts, development of new work, peer critiques, and revision, students will continue to refine their individual approaches and further their understanding of how to most effectively use craft elements to shape their work. Open only to MFA students in creative writing.

Assignments: Creative work, revisions, and peer responses

Guiding Questions: What are students' goals for their essays, and how can they best achieve them through craft decisions?

Additional Materials: Internet access for use of Carmen and Zoom


English 6769: Special Topics in Creative Writing 

Instructor: Michelle Herman 

The goal for this class is to prepare you as much as humanly possible for what lies ahead, careerwise, writing lifewise, publishingwise, and otherwise. We'll cover everything from artist statements, grant applications, research on and querying literary agents, writing book proposals, and giving readings of your work to academic cover letters and CVs, job talks, interviews, and non-academic careers [not an all-inclusive list by any means].


English 6788.01: Studies in the Theory and Practice of Imaginative Writing 

Instructor: Marcus Jackson 

In this course, we will read and discuss selections of contemporary fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction that explore race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and politics. Our aim will be gaining a fuller understanding of the stylistic and formal approaches different writers choose when taking on large-scale subjects involving identity and society, so that our findings may inform our own imaginative/creative writing processes.

Assignments: Weekly readings and discussions with a final paper.

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English 7861.01/02: Narrative Theory 

Instructor: James Phelan 

This course will examine the relationships among narrative, narrative theory, and social justice as it explores questions such as the following: how can narrative be marshalled to advance the cause of social justice? Are fictional or nonfictional narratives likely to be more efficacious, and how do we decide? How can narrative theory, especially feminist and rhetorical approaches, offer insight into narratives whose purposes include promoting social justice? What do narrative theory and critical race theory have to learn from each other? By the end of the course, we all should have a deeper understanding of the relationships among the three overarching concepts of the course as well as of some remarkable narratives composed over the last seventy-five years.

Texts: The list is still under construction, but I expect to include Ellison, Invisible Man; Morrison, Beloved; Whitehead, The Underground Railroad and Nickel Boys; Moonlight (film, dir. Barry Jenkins); Luiselli, Tell Me How It Ends and The Lost Children Archive; one or more graphic narratives.

Assignments: Agenda settings; one or two short analytical papers; abstract of final paper; presentation; and final paper. Writing assignments can be tailored to students' interests.


English 7871.01: Forms of Literature 

Instructor: Elissa Washuta 

This craft seminar will focus on form in creative nonfiction: what it is and how to look at it (whether or not it calls attention to itself), with particular attention paid to the lyric essay and other recent developments in approaches to narrative. Students will engage in craft analysis of essays and book-length works, and they will draft essays and discuss form in their own work.

This course is open to all MFA students in creative writing. Other graduate students with experience in creative nonfiction writing may be admitted, subject to instructor approval.

Guiding Questions: What is "form" in creative nonfiction, and what decisions can we make to shape its implementation?


English 7872.01/02: Seminar in English Language 

Instructor: Gabriella Modan 

For students interested in examining discourse as part of a linguistics, literature, humanities, or social science research project, this course will give you the tools to investigate how language structure (not just content) shapes perceptions, values, social interaction, and power struggles. The course provides an overview of the major approaches to analyzing spoken and written discourse used in sociolinguistics and linguistic anthropology, including interactional sociolinguistics, conversation analysis, ethnography of communication, pragmatics, and critical discourse analysis. We will explore how the contexts of various spheres of social interaction both shape and are shaped by discourse that occurs in or in relation to them. The approach that we will take to analyzing texts is a micro-level one, focusing on the details of linguistic structure and how those details connect to more macro spheres of social engagement. Students will collect examples of spoken and written texts, and analyze them in short paper assignments.
   
The format of this course will be synchronous distance learning. Before each class, students will write and post a reading response. Class discussion will be organized around these responses, either with the class as a whole or in breakout groups, depending on the size of the class. Most classes will also include hands-on analysis of spoken or written discourse, in order to help develop the analytical skills that discourse analysis entails.

Texts: Deborah Cameron, Working with Spoken Discourse articles and book chapters

Assignments: Weekly reading responses, transcription assignment, 3 short papers, one final conference-length paper.

Additional Materials: Students must have the capability to audio record and play back recordings.


English 7878.01/02: Seminar in Film and Media Studies—African American Film, 1960-Present 

Instructor: Ryan Friedman 

This course examines the history of African American film since the 1960s, a transformative period both within the American film industry and society at large. We will trace the recurring themes in African American cinema from that period through our present moment and familiarize ourselves with the diverse approaches to film artistry (narrative form, composition, genre, mise-en-scene) developed by African American filmmakers working both independently and in Hollywood. We will read relevant critical and theoretical texts in order to contextualize the visual materials, paying particular attention to how black film artists interrogate racist conventions of screen representation, negotiate questions of authorship and cultural authority and reflect upon social injustices, like state violence and the systematic devaluation of Black lives. 

Potential texts: Films may include I Am Not Your Negro, Cotton Comes to Harlem, Killer of Sheep, Bush Mama, Daughters of the Dust, Malcolm X, Pariah, Moonlight 

Potential assignments: Essays and presentations 


English 7880.01/02: Teaching Writing Online 

Instructor: Susan Lang 

In this course, we will explore what it means to teach writing online and to teach online writing. Teaching writing online has a nearly four-decade history of research and scholarship, much of it conducted by first-year writing programs and instructors; however, the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in more instructors and students confronting what it means to teach and learn online at all levels. While much of the early exploration of teaching writing online involved the teaching of print-based genres using digital technologies, new platforms and tools have enabled a variety of online writing opportunities that significantly alter or move beyond the print genres of the last century. The course has the following goals: to familiarize students with the key texts and tenets of online writing pedagogy, including the role of writing in relation to other common pedagogical components; to enable students to explore current tools and technologies used in teaching writing online and in doing online writing; and to explore how the sudden shift to online writing instruction because of COVID-19, whether synchronous or asynchronous, has thrust traditionally vulnerable populations of students and instructors, as well as those newly at risk, into unchartered territory, and what this means for the future of writing instruction. 

Potential assignments: Active class participation; weekly discussion posts; a literature review on some aspect of the course topic; and a completed course syllabus for a course the you will or hope to teach online, along with a short presentation that explains the development of the syllabus 


English 7889.01/02: Digital Media Studies Seminar—The Politics of the Interface Through Critical Access Studies 

Instructor: Margaret Price 

This seminar focuses on critical access in digital space and time. Critical access studies, as defined by Aimi Hamraie (2017), questions “historical perspectives of the user as a white, middle-class, productive citizen [and pushes] toward a more robust account of the politics of knowing-making” (14). Together, we will build a shared vocabulary that includes key concepts such as access, knowing-making, mode (modality), retrofit, participatory design, speculative design and crip spacetime. Our work together will not seek to determine what is or is not accessible in digital media, but rather to explore the emergent effects of interaction in various interfaces, or, as Jos Boys (2014) puts it, the “acts of translation between bodies, events, artefacts, and space.” Students will read, discuss, and write about current conversations in critical access studies and digital media studies, and will also acquire practical skills in captioning, description and design of accessible online spaces/events. Drawing upon the work of scholars including Adam Banks, Janine Butler, Elizabeth Ellcessor, Gerard Goggin and Christopher Newell, Remi Yergeau, and Sean Zdenek, these skills will be approached critically and creatively, as sources of invention and knowledge. 

Potential assignments: Online discussion and reading responses; short multi-modal exercises; and a final seminar paper 


English 7891.01/02: Seminar in Disability Studies Theory—Disability and the Early/Modern: Wheeling Strangers of Here and Everywhere

Instructor: Amrita Dhar 

In this seminar, we shall study disability in the context of a global early modernity, with specific attention to the crossings between race, empire and disability. We shall also study this early modernity’s dialogic relationship to the present, particularly through explorations of some generative afterlives of canonical texts. Here are some of the questions we shall consider: how was disability perceived, represented and negotiated in premodern societies? How was disability theorized in premodern societies—and particularly, for purposes of this class focused on literatures in English, how was disability theorized by premodern English authors on stage and page at the moment of inception of the British empire? What was—is—the relationship between disability and racial formation? And how do these theorizations, representations and negotiations continue to inform current conceptions and representations of disability and its intersections with gender, race, sexuality and nationality/citizenship/immigration/ documentation?

Texts: Manuscript texts: anonymous ballads, and culinary and medicinal recipes. Printed texts: anonymous broadsides and plays, accounts of actual and second-hand travel, Othello (Shakespeare), King Lear (Shakespeare), Paradise Lost (Milton).

Assignments: A class discussion lead, a methods presentation and a final project, alongside consistent class preparation and participation.


English 7895.01/02: Research Methods Seminar 

Instructor: Christa Teston 

This research methods seminar tether theory with practice by devoting half of class time to reading, discussing, and critiquing extant research method/ology scholarship in the field and the other half to designing and executing your own a six-week pilot study. You’ll learn how to navigate the institutional review board, compose a research protocol, draft a methods section or chapter, and outline what could become a publishable manuscript. By the end of the course, you will become adept at describing the current methodological state of our discipline, and be able to articulate your scholarly piece therein; know how to work with IRBs and compose a research protocol; feel confident when writing a methods section or chapter; and, through a six-week pilot study, understand the iterative nature of asking a researchable question, designing a study, collecting data, analyzing data, drawing conclusions and drafting a publishable manuscript. In class, we'll negotiate how these learning objectives will be achieved (i.e., either through collaboratively or individually written reports/disciplinary maps). 

Potential assignments: IRB protocol, methods map, pilot study (research memos; final write-up) and research philosophy 


English 8858.01: Vernacular Ecologies of the Central Appalachian Forests: A Research Practicum

Instructor: Mary Hufford

A vernacular forest emerges through processes of ordinary living; through forms of expression and customary practice that render human and forest communities mutually constitutive.  This seminar, which focusses on communities of Central Appalachia’s mixed mesophytic forest, is designed for graduate students in folklore, anthropology, environmental studies, geography and allied fields.  In scholarly literature over the past three decades indicating a global trend toward legitimizing traditional ecological knowledge and the validity of socio-ecological systems as objects of research and stewardship, Central Appalachia is strikingly invisible.  Yet a small but growing body of archeological, environmental, and ethnographic literature suggests that vernacular ecological knowledge within the region is historically deep, persistent, and vital to the cultivation of food security and livelihoods in a time of climate crisis.  To gain entry into the rich social lives of Central Appalachian forest species and their habitats, you will design a place-based ethnography that engages vernacular ecological knowledge in a Central Appalachian forest community of your choosing.  Using a performance theory framework, we will identify forms of social communication – conversational genres, festive events, customary practices etc. -- that serve as matrices for a vernacular forest community of human and more-than-human inhabitants. We will ask: how might we engage such forms as both means and objects of shared inquiry?  Methods will include a literature survey, archival research, and at least one interview (online or telephone).  Your final project will be a well-wrought proposal which you will submit to an appropriate funding source.  

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PREVIOUS COURSE OFFERINGS

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English 5189s/CompStd 5189s: Ohio Field School 
Instructor: 
Jasper Waugh-Quasebarth and Katherine Borland 
The Ohio Field Schools Course provides an introduction to ethnographic field methods (participant-observation, writing field notes, photographic documentation, audio-interviewing), archiving and the public exhibition of research for both undergraduates and graduate students. Students will contribute to a team-based, immersive research project designed to document the ways that diverse communities express and preserve a sense of place in the face of economic, environmental and cultural change. This year’s projects involve working with grassroots organizations on succession planning.The semester-long, experientially-based course will consist of three parts: 

  • Introduction to fieldwork (on OSU campus in Columbus) 
  • A one-week field experience in Perry County during spring break (where students will reside together on-site)  
  • Accessioning, digital gallery preparation and reflection (on OSU campus in Columbus) 

Thus, throughout the semester, students will practice all of the skills necessary to construct a permanent record of local expressive culture that will be accessible to future researchers and community members. Participation in all parts of the course is required. 
*Advanced undergraduate students are encouraged to enroll in 5000-level courses.* 


English 5191: Internship in English Studies—Promotional Media Internship 
Instructor: 
Scott DeWitt 
This internship opportunity will offer students experience in creating timely, relevant and compelling short-form promotional media (primarily video and audio) for the Department of English. Students will work closely with their supervisor as well as with key communications personnel to develop projects and set priorities and deadlines. English 5191, Promotional Media Internship, will be intensely hands-on and focus almost exclusively on digital media production and related work-management skills in professional settings. This internship site requires students to work both independently and collaboratively. This internship opportunity is especially applicable to English majors who would like to develop their digital media skills in a workplace setting and for those who have digital media skills with nowhere to apply them.  

Students with digital media skills are encouraged to enroll.  However, media skills are NOT a prerequisite; students will learn all media skills necessary for the class. (This internship does not fulfill the digital media requirement for the Writing, Rhetoric and Literacy concentration in the English Major.)


English 5194: Group Studies—Death 
Instructor:
 Hannibal Hamlin 

Humanity’s death rate remains steady at 100%. We all die. How we come to terms with death, or resist it, or deny it, varies among peoples and cultures. No surprise then that death has been so popular a topic throughout the history of the arts. Adam and Eve bring death into the world by eating the forbidden fruit. Gilgamesh mourns his beloved friend Enkidu. Priam and Troy mourn the death of Hector. David laments Saul and Jonathan. The pyramids, the Taj Mahal, the terra cotta army of Emperor Qin Shi Huang, the Treasury at Petra, and Ohio’s Serpent Mound are all tombs.

This course explores plays, poems, stories, novels and films about death. Aided by readings in sociology, philosophy and medical ethics, we will ask what death is, why and how we die, how we grieve, why we treat the dead as we do and why we imagine the dead returning to the living. Readings will include excerpts from Atul Gawande’s Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End, Thomas Lynch’s The Undertaking: Life Studies from the Dismal Trade and Mary Roach’s Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers. Literary works will include excerpts from the Bible and Gilgamesh, Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying, George Saunders’ Lincoln in the Bardo, Alejandro Amenábar’s The Others, David Lowery’s A Ghost Story, stories by M.R. James and Raymond Carver and poems by John Donne, Thomas Gray, Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson and Tony Harrison.


English 5664: Studies in Graphic Narrative: Comics, History and Time 
Instructor: 
James Phelan 
The focus of this course will be graphic medicine: fiction and nonfiction narrative about illness and disability.  We'll read the Graphic Medicine Manifesto, some other  work on comics theory, and some other work in narrative theory.  But the main focus will be on the practice of graphic artists, including Alison Bechdel, Ian Williams, Ellen Forney, and many others.  Students will do agenda settings, two analytic papers, and will try their hands at graphic storytelling.  By the end of the course, students should have a great appreciation for the power of graphic narrative and its efficacy (and limits) in medical situations.
*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: 
Christopher Jones 
This course introduces students to Old English language—the form of early English in which Beowulf and many other works were composed. While learning to read actual Old English texts, we will also examine aspects of the cultural history of early medieval England. There will be a series of short quizzes and translations assignments, as well as a final project devised by the student in consultation with the instructor. No prior study of linguistics or the Middle Ages is required to enroll. 


English 5720.01: Graduate Studies in Shakespeare 
Instructor: 
Jennifer Higginbotham 
This course is designed for teachers pursuing an MA in English who want to achieve an advanced knowledge of Shakespeare. Emphasis will be on understanding Shakespeare’s work in historical context and exploring the most up-to-date research on his theatrical practices, the early history of his plays in print, and scholarly methods for understanding his work. Readings will include representative works from his comedies, tragedies, and histories as well as examples of literary criticism that have impacted how we read, watch, and think about Shakespeare.  
*Advanced undergraduate students are encouraged to enroll in 5000-level courses.* 


English 5721.01/.02: Graduate Studies in Renaissance Drama—The Plays of Beaumont and Fletcher: Kings, Courts, Suspense and Pretty Tricks 
Instructor: 
Alan Farmer
Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher were two of the most popular and innovative playwrights in Renaissance England. Their plays were regularly performed at court, were best-sellers in print and were eventually monumentalized in a 1647 folio collection. The plays they wrote by themselves, collaboratively with each other and collaboratively with other playwrights permanently changed the genres and forms of English drama. Beaumont's wildly allusive The Knight of the Burning Pestle challenged audiences to follow its ironical, metatheatrical plots, while their collaboratively written tragicomedies Philaster, A King and No King and The Island Princess astonished and confused audiences with their complex plots and surprise endings.  In this course, we will read several well-known and lesser-known plays by Beaumont and Fletcher, as we consider how these plays engage with such important early modern topics as courts and kings, gender and sexuality, London and colonialism, revenge and tragedy. 


English 6410: Introduction to Graduate Study in Medical Humanities and Social Sciences 
Instructor:
James Phelan 
This course, which functions both as an elective in the PhD program and as the core course for the Interdisciplinary MA in Medical Humanities and Social Sciences addresses 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. That shift entails recognizing medicine as having political, ethical, ideological and even aesthetic dimensions. We will divide our inquiry into the following units: historical foundations, cultural perspectives on medicine, disability studies and narrative medicine. 


English 6662: Literary Publishing 
Instructor:
Marcus Jackson 
Theory and practice of editing and publishing literature for MFA students in creative writing. 


Disabilities Studies 6700: Introduction to Disability Studies for Graduate Students
Instructor: 
Margaret Price
This course offers a multi-disciplinary introduction to Disability Studies (DS) as a field and theoretical frame. We will examine its emergence from the disability rights movement, focusing particularly on ways that DS’s history intersects with movements in civil rights and human rights, as well as efforts toward reform in schools, prisons and asylums. Our survey of the history of DS will include attention to the discipline’s intersection with other academic areas such as education, psychiatry and the arts. We’ll explore conventional models of disability, including the social model and medical model; we will also discuss ways these models have been challenged and have changed in the past 20 years through approaches including Black Disability Studies, feminist theory, queer studies, disability justice, inclusive/universal design and posthumanism.
GIS Elective: Disability Studies


English 6700.01/02: Introduction to Graduate Study in English 
Instructor:
Amanpal Garcha 
To introduce you to graduate study in English, this course will help you understand some answers to a number of large questions: What are some of the main theoretical assumptions that underlie the field’s practices?  What counts as research in English studies? What counts as knowledge?  What are some of its concrete, lived realities– in terms of its system of graduate education, the job prospects of its scholars and its mechanisms of publication and advancement?
We will approach these questions in a variety of ways– through close readings of literary texts, discussions of essays in literary theory, reviews of recent and past examples of criticism in English studies and analysis of research by OSU faculty members.  To ground our discussions throughout the semester, we will often focus on a few particular problems in literary and cultural studies including the following: the history of nationalism and its relationship to language and literature; how to understand what language refers to and how it gains meaning; the history and theory of prose narrative, one of the contemporary age’s most ubiquitous, distinctive literary forms; the concept of social power and that concept’s relationship to language; and the ideas of individuality, social collectivity and social action as it is conceived by some scholars in our field.  To ground our discussions even further, we will take Virginia Woolf’s 1925 novel Mrs. Dalloway as our object text, which will help us understand something about literary history, cultural studies, popular culture, rhetorical analysis, theoretical controversies and how research is and has been done.
The tasks of understanding and contextualizing these challenging issues will take up a large amount of class time and discussion; yet in the course, you will also receive periodic instruction in some of the conventions of academic writing as well as receive guidance on how to navigate the specific demands of OSU’s graduate program.


English 6718.01/02: Introduction to Graduate Study in ChaucerChaucer and His Afterlives
Instructor: 
Ethan Knapp
No figure has loomed larger in the stories told about the shapes of culture and the forms of literary history in both the Medieval and Early Modern periods than Geoffrey Chaucer. This course is going to reexamine Chaucer's work and later influence by following three routes of inquiry that have been rewriting a number of traditional readings of Chaucer. 1) Gender and Sexuality. Chaucer's treatment of both gender and sexuality have been the subject of intense debate from the beginning. As the creator of characters such as the Wife of Bath, he has often been credited, by people such as Carolyn Dinshaw, with startling insights into both gendered identity and the shifting forms of sexuality present in medieval culture. Others, of course, have questioned the extent to which he was entirely a friend to women. This disagreement has meant that all of the most important scholarship on gender and sexuality in medieval studies in the past couple of decades has had to take its course through Chaucer's works, and we will consider this debate in detail. 2) Global Chaucers. Another revolution in the reception of Chaucer has been a reconsideration of how little the old category of 'Englishness' really does to describe the context of his writing. Following recent biographers such as David Wallace and Marion Turner, we will think about how Chaucer's work develops in a truly global context, one reaching out to France and beyond, to Genoa and beyond, to all the imaginations that spread out from this Mediterranean culture into the east and the global imagination beyond. 3) Chaucer's Afterlives. Beginning with the sense of diasporic cultures in Chaucer's own work, we will move beyond his own writings to think about what subsequent writers have done with Chaucer. Here I anticipate looking at the ways his writings are revitalized in Early Modern England, considering both continuities and displacements across this divide.  We will also move into contemporary diasporic culture and look at ways that Chaucer has been reimagined by contemporary poets, both in England and elsewhere. (To get a sense of the remarkable archive of Chaucerian retellings/adaptions, take a look at the website "Global Chaucers." Exact readings here would vary according to student interest, and the rich potential for research projects, but I would plan to begin with Baba Brinkman and Patience Agbabithe—the first a contemporary rap artist, the second a contemporary British poet of Nigerian background.) Secondary readings will be selected to fit the particular research interests of enrolled students, with some group consultation. The aim of this course will be both to equip everyone to be able to teach Chaucer in the future, and to advance the particular research interests of each student.  


English 6750.01/02: Introduction to Graduate Study in Literacy 
Instructor:
Beverly Moss 
Introduction to advanced study of the development of reading, writing and the study of literacy; attention to historical, theoretical, ideological and technological issues and change. 


English 6755.01/02: Introduction to Graduate Study in American Literature, Origins to 1840—How to Read the Natural World in Early American Literature 
Instructor:
 Molly Farrell 
Climate, ecology and species extinction are central concerns that reappear across colonial and early U.S. writing. What we now call science was an essential colonizing tool, but more than that, settler colonialism insists on delineating which forms of knowing the world are authoritative, or "real." This class investigates early American literature as a sustained fascination with the natural world, and a site of contestation over indigenous, African and European medical and scientific practices. What can we learn from early debates about the effect of changes in climate? How can we listen to science today in a way that respects the settler colonial violence involved in deciding whose knowledge of the natural world gets to matter? Readings may include writings by Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, Samson Occom, Cotton Mather, Olaudah Equiano and Leonora Sansay; we will also consider documents relating to debates about inoculation and the practice of Obeah. Secondary sources will span works from science studies, environmental humanities, early American literary criticism and the history of natural philosophy. 


English 6760.01/02: Introduction to Graduate Study in Postcolonial Literature and Theory 
Instructor:
Adélékè Adéẹ̀kọ́ 
Introduction to graduate-level study of representative examples of the literary, cultural and theoretical texts that inform postcolonial studies.


English 6761.01/02: Introduction to Graduate Study in Narrative and Narrative Theory 
Instructor:
Amy Shuman 
An introduction to the foundations of narrative study. The course provides the tools necessary to do narrative analysis for a thesis or dissertation on any sort of narrative text, including both narratives collected in interviews or on the web or in published fiction. We will discuss a wide variety of narratives including folk tales, everyday conversational narratives, stories about illness and disability, refugee stories and stories about the ordinary and extraordinary experiences of everyday life. We will analyze narratives from a variety of sources, including published fiction and non-fiction, internet blogs and other media, and stories recorded in everyday life.


English 6763.01: Graduate Workshop in Poetry 
Instructor:
 Marcus Jackson 
A graduate-level workshop in the writing of poetry.  


English 6765.01: Graduate Workshop in Fiction 
Instructor:
 William White 
A graduate-level workshop in the writing of fiction.  


English 6765.01: 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:
Michelle Herman 
A graduate-level workshop in the writing of fiction.


English 6767.01/02: Introduction to Graduate Study in 20th Century Literature, 1945-Present 
Instructor:
 Jessica Prinz 
We will read broadly in the area of literature from 1945 to the present, focusing on the theme of science. Although “science fiction” is a genre devoted to science and its fusion with literature, we will be looking at other genres, as well, as we explore some of the central concerns and themes of the period. Along with a smattering of theory (to be assigned), the following works will be considered: Pynchon, The Crying of Lot 49; Ishiguro, Never Let Me Go; Delillo, White Noise; Zadie Smith, White Teeth; Egan, A Visit from the Goon Squad; Calvino, If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler; LIghtman, Einstein’s Dreams; Eggers, The Circle; Spiegelman, MAUS (Volume One); McEwan, Machines Like Me. Other works may also be assigned.

Course Requirements: One seminar presentation including a writing component, and one term paper, 10-15 pages in length.


English 6768 (10): Graduate Workshop in Creative Nonfiction 
Instructor:
 Elissa Washuta 
A graduate-level workshop in the writing of creative nonfiction.  


English 6768 (20): Graduate Workshop in Creative Nonfiction 
Instructor:
 Lee Martin 
A graduate-level workshop in the writing of creative nonfiction.  


English 6768: Graduate Workshop in Creative Nonfiction  
Instructor:
Lee Martin 
A graduate-level workshop in the writing of nonfiction.


 English 6769: Graduate Workshop in Creative Writing (Special Topics) 
Instructor:
Kathy Fagan Grandinetti 
A special topics course in the writing of fiction, poetry and/or creative nonfiction.


English 6769: Graduate Workshop in Creative Writing (Special Topics)—Intro to Story Engineering 
Instructor: 
Angus Fletcher 
In this course, we'll learn how to create effective (and personalized) plots for novels, short stories, memoirs, essays, lyric chapbooks and all other narrative forms of fiction, creative nonfiction and poetry. We'll learn some general strategies for story engineering, and we'll also workshop your own original creative projects (new, projected or already underway). Whether you're stuck on a specific plot-point in your novel or just want to grow your storytelling abilities in general, you'll explore and apply cutting-edge methods for story development (many of them developed here, at Ohio State's Project Narrative, the world leader in story science). Our goal will not be to impose any unified master narratives, but to help you expand your own personal storytelling technique, tailored to your particular aesthetic, ethical and social commitments, and consistent with your unique writing style. 


English 6776.02: From 1900 to the Contemporary Period 
Instructor: 
Adeleke Adeeko 
The seminar will be organized around the theme of representation. Among the questions to be addressed are: "why represent"? "does representation report or create"? "what does representation create"? "what does it report"?  These topics will be approached through "literary theory," that briefcase phrasing used to refer to writings that examine the ends of representation as these pertain to literature and culture. We are going to be reading original texts and (not summaries of concepts) from diverse disciplines, ranging from philosophy to narratology.  

Each student will lead two class sessions of approximately 1-hour each. Each student will also write two papers, each about 10 pages. Of course, punctual and regular class attendance and active participation in seminar discussions will be expected. 

One main anthology--to be determined--will be required. 


English 6778.01/02: Introduction to Graduate Study in Film and Film Theory 
Instructor:
Sean O'Sullivan  
An advanced survey of the methodologies, contexts and development of film and film theory.


English 6781: Introduction to the Teaching of First-Year English 
Instructor:
Edgar Singleton 
Introduction to the theory and practice of teaching first-year English. Required of new GTAs in English 


English 6788.01: Studies in the Theory and Imaginative Writing 
Instructor:
Nick White 
Instruction in imaginative writing as a method for studying scholarly issues in English, e.g., disability narratives, ethnicity and literature, gender and genre. 


English 6788.01: Introduction to Graduate Study in Digital Media 
Instructor:
Scott DeWitt 
Explores how scholars in English studies use computer technologies and multiple media to make meaning, represent and analyze information, teach and conduct research.


English 7350.02/22: Theorizing Folklore II—The Ethnography of Performance 
Instructor: 
Dorothy Noyes 
Performance as a heightened mode of communication characteristic of vernacular cultural process, studied in the context of ongoing social interaction. Folklore GIS course. 


English 7817.01/02: Seminar in Early Medieval English Literature 
Instructor:
 Christopher Jones 
This seminar on Old English poetry will allow students to continue to develop their reading fluency of the original language while also considering some important critical questions: What features constituted the "poetic" in the earliest period of English?  What did early English poetry owe to oral traditions, and how did the growth of literacies impact the composition and transmission of vernacular verse?  In what ways can study of surviving manuscripts help contextualize Old English poems?  While exploring these and related issues through a sampling of recent scholarship, we will ground our discussions of Old English verse through a close examination of specific poems, mainly from the "Exeter Book," the most extensive and diverse collection of poetry that has survived.  We will cover all the poems of the Exeter Book in Modern English translations, and we will read and discuss representative selections of many of them in the original Old English, including the famous Old English riddles, elegies and bestiary poems, as well as examples of heroic legend ('Deor" and "Widsith"), hagiography ('Guthlac"), theological meditations ("The Advent Lyrics" and Cynewulf's poem on Christ's Ascension) and wisdom literature ("The Gifts of Men"). Basic reading knowledge of Old English (equivalent to ENG 5710) is recommended, but the course is open to students who are willing to work with the texts in translation. Course requirements include daily primary and secondary readings, frequent short presentations, a bibliography project and a final project (with variable options).

Textbooks:

  • S.A.J. Bradley, Anglo-Saxon Poetry, Everyman Library, revised edition (London, 1995).  ISBN-13:  9780460875073 
  • Jun Terasawa, Old English Metre: An Introduction (U of Toronto P, 2011). ISBN-13: 9781442611290 
  • J.R. Clark Hall, A Concise Anglo-Saxon Dictionary, 4th edition, with supplement by Herbert Dean Meritt, Medieval Academy of America Reprints for Teaching 14 (U of Toronto P, 1984) ISBN-13: 9780802065483" 

English 7818.01/02: Seminar in Later Medieval Literature—Romance and the Birth of the Novel
Instructor:
 Ethan Knapp 
No form looms larger in the cultural and political imagination of the medieval period than that of chivalric romance.  This seminar will investigate both the history and theory of the form.  We will read the foundational medieval texts, including the work of Chrétien de Troyes, the Gawain poet, Thomas Malory and the English versions of the romances of Marie de France.  We will also read a selection of recent critical and theoretical works thinking both about the ways that Romance functions generically, as well as the ways in which it survives both as an element within the development of the novel and as a crucial set of ideas and images in the modern understanding of the medieval world.  This course should thus be very useful both for students of the medieval period, but also any student interested in the history of the novel, or the shapes of contemporary medievalism.


English 7820.01/02: Seminar in Shakespeare 
Instructor: 
Jennifer Higginbotham 
Queer Shakespeare. Readings and assignments will offer intensive study of the influence that queer theory has had on Shakespeare Studies with a particular focus on his poetry.


English 7838.01/02: Seminar in Critical Issues in the Restoration and 18th Century 
Instructor: 
Sandra MacPherson 

An intensive consideration of a selected critical problem or a selected intellectual focus in the scholarly study of Restoration and/or eighteenth-century literature and culture.  


English 7840.01/02: Seminar in English Romantic Literature—Inhabiting the Genres of Modernity: Lyric, Pastoral, Romance 
Instructor: Jacob Risinger  
In this seminar, we'll investigate the momentous transformation of three key genres at the turn of the nineteenth century and explore the repercussions of these transformations on into the twenty-first century.  Taking stock of literary history and critical theory, we'll also think about the competing claims of historicist and presentist perspectives in literary study. 


English 7850.01/02: Seminar in U.S. Literatures before 1900—American Radicalism: The Literature of Protest in the U.S., 1776-1906 
Instructor: 
Elizabeth Hewitt 
Although founded in revolution and divided during a violent civil war, the United States has nevertheless historically been associated with an ethos of political moderation and a suspicion of radical social change. This course has two goals. First, to study the enormous archive of American radical literature from Thomas Paine to Emma Goldman. Second, to ask why, despite this rich tradition, the enduring lesson that has been taken is filial piety. We will organize our study around the imaginative, political and economic writing about:  1) labor rights and the socialist tradition in the U.S.; 2) abolitionism and anti-racist movements in the U.S.; 3) women's rights and anti-marriage movements in the U.S.; and 4) the sovereignty rights of Native American tribal nations. Likely authors we will read include: Tom Paine, Mary Wollstonecraft, David Walker, William Apess, Robert Owen, Martin Delany, Henry David Thoreau, Orestes Brownson, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Margaret Fuller, Rebecca Harding Davis, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Ida B. Wells, Emma Goldman, Simon Pokagon, Upton Sinclair and Theresa Malkiel. The course will provide graduate students with broad exposure to nineteenth-century U.S. literature and will also emphasize political and economic theory and history. Our theoretical readings will include work by Alexis de Tocqueville, Karl Marx, W.E.B. Dubois, C.L.R. James and Hannah Arendt.


English 7864.01/02: Postcolonial/Transnational Literatures: Race, Caste and ClassComparing Dalit and African American Histories and Identities
Instructor: 
Pranav Jani 
The historical oppression and marginalization of Dalits in India and African Americans in the US has often led to comparisons between these two groups. Dalits (disdainfully called “untouchables”) and Blacks have been subject to bonded labor and enslavement, and entire ideologies have been built to justify their subordination. Ritually marked as impure, their very bodies have been subject to violence and assault from ruling elites. On the flip side, Dalit and Black resistance has involved the assertion of a distinct cultural identity, debates about tactics and militancy and an awareness that their liberation would involve a restructuring of the entire society. At a deeper level, caste oppression has often been described as racialized, and racial oppression has been said to function like a caste system.

Using an interdisciplinary approach, we will examine histories, literature, essays, political speeches and film to investigate parallel and divergent tracks of Dalit and Black experiences and identities. I contend that understanding race and caste in the context of changing forms of class societies will help to develop a common framework for comparison. We will aim to answer questions such as the following: What were the origins of caste in India, and how was it shaped during and after British colonialism? How were Dalit identities shaped amidst the racialization of all Indians under colonial rule? What parallels can we draw between this history and that of Blacks in the US, from enslavement and emancipation amidst the rise of the US as an industrial power, to ongoing struggles against white supremacy and structural racism? What comparisons can we make between Dalit and Black writers and artists, both in terms of their struggles to exist and to be recognized, and their representations of those struggles in literature and film? How have Dalit and Black writers challenged their marginalization and objectification in the face of ongoing white supremacy and upper-caste dominance?

Requirements: Short Carmen posts; 3 short papers; final paper, and a willingness to read literature and autobiography alongside comparative historical and sociological work. 


English 7871.01: Seminar in the Forms of Literature 
Instructor:
 Marcus Jackson 
A graduate seminar in the forms of poetry, fiction and/or creative nonfiction.  


English 7871.01: Seminar in the Forms of Literature  
Instructor: 
Lee Martin 
A graduate seminar in the forms of poetry, fiction and/or creative nonfiction. 


English 7878.01/02: Seminar in Film and Media Studies — Disney (Plus): From Mickey to the MCU 
Instructor: Jared Gardner 
This course will study the history of Disney from its founding in 1923 as a small animation studio in a Hollywood dominated by major studios to its emergence in the 21st century as the world's most profitable global media conglomerate. Along with analysis of film, television and other media texts, the course will engage heavily with film history (including studio and industry history), media history and popular culture studies from 1920s-2020, considering not only Disney's own theatrical output but also the wide range of media that the company has acquired and developed, including Pixar, the Star Wars franchise and, of course, the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The launching of the new Disney+ streaming platform will also provide us with an occasion to consider the state (and future) of transmedia storytelling and media circulation in the new age of the horizontally integrated "studio." 


English 7879.01/02: Seminar in Rhetoric--Special Topic: Precarious Rhetorics: Contagions, Pandemics, and Catastrophe Capitalism
Instructor:
 Wendy Hesford 
This interdisciplinary seminar in rhetoric draws together research in border studies, carceral studies, critical race theory, disability studies, feminist legal studies, and modern and contemporary rhetorical studies through investigations of how the discourse of precarity is projected onto certain bodies—but not others--and how these bodies take on the burden of representation in the context of a global pandemic such as COVID-19. Through a materialist-rhetorical analysis of public policies, news and social media, social protect movements and art activism, and literary works, this course exposes the differential distribution of precariousness along the lines of race, class, religion, gender, sexuality, ability, nation, and citizenship.


English 7880.01/02: Seminar in CompositionThe Writing Center as a Scholarly and Pedagogical Site 
Instructor: 
Beverly Moss 
Writing Centers have, in the past, been primarily examined as pedagogical sites, specifically sites focused on one-on-one, face-to-face discussion between an inexperienced writer and an expert reader/writing consultant about a specific writing task.  However, in the past 15-20 years, this master narrative of the work of the writing center has been challenged.  Writing Center practitioners push back against the "only for inexperienced writers" label by emphasizing that they work with all writers from all disciplines.  Emerging technologies challenge the traditional model of how writing center work is carried out:  do we need to be face-to-face; how do we accommodate writing groups and writers with multi-modal texts?  The growing body of scholarship on writing centers also establishes the writing center as a viable scholarly site where important questions about writing theories and practices are investigated.  In this seminar, we will examine the growth of writing center scholarship and how this growth influences the day-to-day running of centers.  We will read canonical and new theoretical and pedagogical texts, explore the role of technology and writing across the curriculum on current writing center practices as well as explore how writing centers serve English language learners.  Other topics will include how writing center work is named and valued within the academy and the future direction of writing centers within and beyond the university.  This course will be valuable for those interested in working in writing centers as writing consultants, for those interested in directing writing centers and those interested in engaging in writing center scholarship. 


English 7881.01/02: Teaching Basic Writing 
Instructor: 
Evonne Halasek 
A graduate seminar in the history, theory and practice of the teaching of basic writing, English 7881.02 examines the historical, intellectual, social, political, institutional and disciplinary conversations and contexts surrounding the teaching of basic (aka remedial, developmental, non-credit bearing) writing at the university. Students in the course will conduct disciplinary research, observe basic writing classrooms, interview basic writing instructors and administrators and examine the implications of national and state higher education policy on the teaching of basic writing and the students who enroll in basic writing courses. Course readings will come largely from disciplinary and educational scholarly literature (e.g., Journal of Basic Writing, Harvard Educational Review, College Composition and Communication) but will also include public sector writing to examine representations of basic writing and basic writers. Assignments may include reading responses, annotated bibliographies, policy briefs and course syllabi and assignments. 


English 7889.01/02: Seminar on Digital Media Studies 
Instructor:
 John Jones 
This course will explore the history, theory and practice of computer-based writing and rhetoric teaching and research. We will read foundational research and explore the tools of computers and writing instruction, placing them in the context of theoretical debates that have shaped research and pedagogy in the field. From this foundation we will explore contemporary trends in digital rhetoric, digital media studies and multimodal writing research and practice.  


English 7891.01/02: Seminar in Disabilities StudiesStigma, Competency and Normalcy 
Instructor:
 Amy Shuman 
One might say that stigma marks the difference between disability and illness, between normalcy and its opposites, and between competency and incompetency.  Stigma is a social marking (for the Greeks a literal mark on the body), that assigns negative, discrediting, value to particular personal attributes.  The study of disability shares many foundational concepts with studies race, class, gender and sexuality; the Disability Rights Movement grew out of the Civil Rights Movement and shares many of the premises developed in feminist research.  Although disability itself is a pervasive dimension of social life, the study of disability is often overlooked in studies of race, class and gender.  Our focus on stigma, competency and normalcy will address some of these overlooked dimensions and consider the many intersections, for example the role of disclosure as a choice/strategy/requirement.  Our methodological approach combines research in folklore/ethnography/linguistic anthropology with narrative research and feminist research. Readings include excerpts from Goffman’s StigmaThe Disability Studies Reader, Ato Quayson’s AestheticNervousness, Michael Berubé’s Secret Life of Stories, Ann Cooper Albright’s “Strategic Abilities” and others. The course requires a final project.


English 8904: Writing for Publication 
Instructor: 
Roxann Wheeler 
This course focuses on writing and revising for publication in academic journals, and its objective is to help advanced graduate students prepare a work in progress for publication in a journal. While the course features various aspects of publishing in an academic journal, it also touches on writing for a graduate seminar versus writing for a conference, the dissertation, and book publication. The three main activities that will organize the course are workshops on your writing; visits by journal and academic press editors to demystify the submission, revision, and publishing processes; selected readings, discussions and critical treatments of journals in your own field and the profession more widely. The one prerequisite is that you arrive on day one with a seminar paper, dissertation chapter, or article that is a work in progress and that can be transformed during the semester.

Likely text: Wendy Belcher, Writing Your Journal Article in Twelve Weeks: A Guide to Academic Publishing Success. Likely assignments: Revisions of your work in progress; presentations of findings from research in journals in your field and the profession at large