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 Department of English University of Ottawa Overview of Graduate Courses, 2014-­‐2015 (Fall 2014 through Spring/Summer 2015) Please scroll down to view detailed course descriptions. ENG 6302 A. Raine, “Research Methods and Professionalization” (Mandatory course, 1.5 credits) ENG 6303 A. Raine, “Research Methods and Professionalization” (Mandatory course, 1.5 credits) ENG 6304 C. Gordon, “Critical Methodologies in Literary Studies” (Theory) (Mandatory for PhD students. MA students are also welcome to register.) ENG 6310 D. Carlson, “Beowulf and Its Contexts” (Middle English) ENG 6341 I. Makaryk, “How Shakespeare Became ‘Shakespeare’” (Shakespeare) ENG 6360 F. De Bruyn, “Authenticity, Imitation, Fraud, and Forgery in Eighteenth-­‐Century Literature (Eighteenth-­‐Century) ENG 6361 S. Landreth, “Self-­‐Control: Automatism, Volition and the ‘Secret Springs’”, 1690-­‐1799 (Eighteenth-­‐Century) ENG 6380 K. Wilson, “Thomas Hardy” (Nineteenth-­‐Century) ENG 6381 M. Arseneau, “Victorian Women Poets” (Nineteenth-­‐Century) ENG 6382 L. Gillingham, “Sentiment, Sensation and Melodrama in Nineteenth-­‐Century British Literature (Nineteenth-­‐Century) ENG 6383 J. Brooke-­‐Smith, “A Literary History of the Information Age” (Nineteenth-­‐Century) ENG 7300 C. Gordon, “Modernism and the Event: Catastrophe, Tradition, Creation” (Modern British) ENG 7310 T. Allen, “The New Vitalism: Science and Literature in the Nineteenth Century” (American) ENG 7311 A. Raine, “Post-­‐Nature? Contemporary American Ecopoetry and Ecopoetics” (American) ENG 7321 R. Stacey, “Contemporary Canadian Writing In/And Translation” (Canadian) ENG 6302 RESEARCH METHODS AND PROFESSIONALIZATION, PART 1 Fall 2014 (1.5 credits) Professor Introduction Anne Raine Method Grading ENG 6303 Professor Introduction This course is a series of workshops designed to help students develop the skills they need to succeed in graduate studies. The amount of work required is minimal, as the sessions are designed not to add to students’ workload but to provide guidance and practical help with the scholarly tasks you need to be doing anyway. Some workshops will be led by the Graduate Director and others by guest speakers from within and outside the English Department. Topics will include research methods and library resources, preparing scholarship applications, teaching strategies for new TAs, and strategies for writing graduate-­‐level essays and thesis proposals. ENG6302 is required for PhD students and will soon be required for MA students as well; thus, all MA students are strongly encouraged to register. Biweekly workshops (there may be a couple of extra sessions in September), with a minimal amount of preparatory reading for some sessions and some short follow-­‐up assignments. S/NS RESEARCH METHODS AND PROFESSIONALIZATION, PART 2 Winter 2015 (1.5 credits) Anne Raine This course is a series of workshops designed to help students develop the professional skills required for an academic career and/or for the transition from graduate studies to careers outside academia. The amount of work required is minimal, as the sessions are designed not to add to students’ workload but to provide guidance and practical help with the professional tasks you need to be doing anyway. Some workshops will be led by the Graduate Director and others by guest speakers from within and outside the English Department. Topics will include presenting papers at conferences, publishing in academic journals and other venues, course design and other advanced teaching skills, preparing for the academic job market, and preparing for non-­‐academic careers. ENG6303 is required for PhD students and will soon be required for MA students as well; thus, all MA students are strongly encouraged to register. Method Grading Biweekly workshops, with a minimal amount of preparatory reading and some short follow-­‐up assignments. S/NS ENG 6304 Professor Introduction CRITICAL METHODOLOGIES IN LITERARY STUDIES Fall 2014 [or] Winter 2015 (3 credits) (Required for PhD students; MA students are also welcome) Craig Gordon This course will survey a wide range of contemporary literary and critical theory. The primary goals of the course will be twofold: [1] To introduce, and develop a working knowledge of, various recent theoretical positions and critical concepts that have become important points of reference for many scholars working within the field of Literary Studies. And [2] to explore theoretical discourse as an important context within which to reflect upon the institutional position and disciplinary history of Literary Studies. What are the key areas of concern that shape current scholarly practice within our field of study? How have they emerged from (or how do they differentiate themselves from) the conceptual coordinates that have organized earlier moments in the history of the discipline? How do we situate Literary Studies in conversation with the scholarship in other disciplines (such as History, Philosophy, Art History, Sociology, Cultural Studies, or Linguistics)? This course does not assume that students already possess advanced knowledge in literary and critical theory. For students who are relatively new to theory, the course will introduce you to a body of theoretical discourse that has had a significant and enduring impact upon the study of literature and culture. For students with an existing interest in and knowledge of theory, the course will provide you an opportunity to develop and extend that knowledge, and to explore the ways in which different theoretical positions might speak productively to your current or future scholarly projects. In either case, the course will give you some of the methodological tools required for graduate-­‐level work, and provide an opportunity to reflect upon the fundamental assumptions that (implicitly or explicitly) underpin your study of literature and culture. Texts Evaluation Note Literary Theory: An Anthology (2nd ed.). Julie Rivkin and Michael Ryan eds. (Blackwell) Seminar work (40%); Participation (15%); Term Paper (45%) Students wishing to get a head start on the readings can get in touch with me for a finalized schedule of readings. ENG 6310 BEOWULF AND ITS CONTEXTS Spring [or] Summer 2015 (3 credits) Professor David Carlson Introduction The Old English poem Beowulf is radically unlike anything else in the surviving corpus of Anglo-­‐
Saxon literature. Nonetheless, its references to various historical matters, themselves often transmitted via song -­‐-­‐ geography, artifact, dynasty, cult -­‐-­‐ enable placing it in relation to (literary and non-­‐literary) traditions that may help make sense of its differences. The seminar will proceed by analysis of the poem's major episodes in relation such contextual information is available. Though some attention will be paid to the matter of language in the poem, this is not a course in the Old English language, nor is previous instruction in the language a prerequisite. Grading Texts Term research paper 40%; seminar presentations and other participation 60% Required texts: H. Chickering, ed., Beowulf; R. Hammer, A Choice of Anglo-­‐Saxon Verse (both bilingual OE/MnE); various readings and illustrations on the WorldWideWeb ENG 6341 Professor Introduction Grading Texts HOW SHAKESPEARE BECAME “SHAKESPEARE” Fall 2014 [or] Winter 2015 (3 credits) Irene Makaryk In 2016, major events around the globe will mark the 400th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare, the most performed and translated playwright in the world, and the one with the most remarkable “afterlife.” With an early entry into the literary and theatrical canons of many European countries, Shakespeare became as familiar as native-­‐born playwrights; thus, by the nineteenth century, for many, he had become -­‐-­‐ as the Germans expressed it -­‐-­‐ “our Shakespeare” (Unser Shakespeare). Today, in the twenty-­‐first century, Shakespeare is no longer simply an early modern English writer; he is also “Shakespeare”: a brand, a public symbol, a form of cultural Esperanto, and a banner under which various aesthetic as well as political movements have marched. This course will examine how this cultural phenomenon came about through a study of both theoretical/critical texts and an analysis of specific examples of adaptations of, and responses to, Shakespeare’s works from around the world and including in a variety of different media. Translation and adaptation theories will be our major tools for an examination of Shakespeare in his various guises. Issues of particular interest will include the concept of the classic, genre, authenticity, authorship, the relationship between high and low, post-­‐colonialism, nationalism, and gender. Because Shakespeare is the best-­‐travelled of all literary figures, his works offer an excellent case study of the complexity of the dynamics of canon formation, the broader issue which will underpin our discussions. Nota bene: This course assumes some knowledge on the student’s part of Shakespeare’s plays (ideally provided by a previously taken undergraduate Shakespeare course). Term work 60%; final essay 40% 1) Course Reader of theoretical texts (available at Reprography, Unicentre); 2) Any good scholarly edition of Shakespeare’s works (that is, with an introduction and notes); 3) other texts will be available On Reserve at the Morisset Library. ENG 6360 Professor Introduction AUTHENTICITY, IMITATION, FRAUD, AND FORGERY IN EIGHTEENTH-­‐CENTURY LITERATURE Spring [or] Summer 2015 (3 credits) Frans De Bruyn A few years ago James Frey caused a huge stir when he managed to convince Oprah Winfrey of the authenticity of his memoir A Million Little Pieces, which chronicled his struggles with drug addiction. Such cases of literary fraud, forgery, and hoax, which generally involve the creation of texts falsely attributed to an existing or invented author, or the representation of a fabricated memoir or historical text as authentic, have been with us since antiquity. They raise compelling ethical and critical questions about plagiarism, imitation, the nature of fictionality, standards of literary and historical evidence, historical authenticity, and originality. In ancient times, political and theological motives often lay behind the forgeries of the day, such as the Donation of Constantine, a forged Roman imperial decree that the medieval church used to justify its claims about the political power and authority of the papacy. The eighteenth century was a great age of such literary hoaxes. The period witnessed several spectacular literary controversies arising from claims of exciting literary discoveries: works by previously unknown ancient authors (Ossian and Rowley), manuscript documents belonging to William Shakespeare, and alleged evidence of plagiarism on the part of John Milton or of editorial interference in the publication of his work. These and other literary disputes have generated considerable interest of late, generating critical explorations of the cultural factors that appear to have enabled these hoaxes: a growing literary nationalism, the changing status of classical culture, commercial pressures in an age of print, and the social standing of writers. In this seminar we will explore these cultural contexts, beginning with the evolving standards of textual scholarship that allowed Richard Bentley to refute the claims of Sir William Temple that the Epistles of Phalaris and the works of Aesop were the greatest and earliest texts of classical antiquity. We will also explore the literary culture of imitation (such as Pope’s imitations of Horace) that gave rise to questions about literary authenticity and originality. Then we will turn to Bentley’s ill-­‐fated edition of Paradise Lost and William Lauder’s allegations (initially supported by Samuel Johnson) that Milton plagiarized his epic poem from a number of obscure neo-­‐Latin poems. The most notorious cases of literary fraud took place in the latter half of the century, in a time of nascent nationalism. These include James Macpherson’s claim that he had recovered ancient Gaelic epic poetry by the bard Ossian, Thomas Chatterton’s production of poems by the fictitious late-­‐medieval poet Rowley, and William Henry Ireland’s wholesale forgery of documents allegedly in Shakespeare’s hand. We will also consider what these episodes have in common with more recent cases in our own time, and reflect on the status of these documents as creative or literary texts. Can forgery be viewed, in the end, as a creative act? Grading Texts Seminar presentation (30%), research paper (60%), class participation (10%). The following is a selected list of texts we will consider. They are available online in the ECCO electronic database. Sir William Temple, “Essay on Ancient and Modern Learning” Richard Bentley, Dissertation upon the Epistles of Phalaris, Themistocles, Socrates, Euripides and Others; and the Fables of Aesop, in William Wotton, Reflections upon Ancient and Modern Learning Geogre Psalmanazar, An Historical and Geographical Description of Formosa . . . Together with a Relation of What Happen'd to the Author in His Travels. Alexander Pope, selected Imitations of Horace. William Lauder, contributions to the Gentleman’s Magazine and An Essay on Milton's Use and Imitation of the Moderns. John Douglas, Milton Vindicated from the Charge of Plagiarism, Brought against Him by Mr Lauder. Edward Young, Conjectures on Original Composition. James Macpherson, Fragments of Ancient Poetry Collected in the Highlands of Scotland and Ossian’s Fingal. Thomas Percy, Reliques of Ancient English Poetry John Pinkerton, Scottish Tragic Ballads Thomas Chatterton, Poems, Supposed to Have Been Written at Bristol in the Fifteenth Century, by Thomas Rowley, Priest, &c. Samuel Ireland, Miscellaneous Papers and Legal Instruments under the Hand and Seal of William Shakespeare, a publication of documents forged by Ireland’s son. Commentaries on literary fraud by Henry Fielding, Samuel Johnson, Thomas Warton, Hugh Blair, and Edmond Malone. ENG 6361 Professor Introduction SELF-­‐CONTROL: AUTOMATISM, VOLITION AND THE “SECRET SPRINGS”, 1690-­‐1799 Fall 2014 [or] Winter 2015 (3 credits) Sara Landreth In his Essay on Human Understanding (1690), John Locke notes that at times, self-­‐control is simply impossible: “If any extreme disturbance...possesses our whole Mind, as when... violent Passion[s], running away with us…we are not Masters enough of our own Minds....God, who knows our frailty...will judge as a kind a merciful Father.” In certain cases, the passions can overthrow man’s volition to such an extent that he should not be held responsible for his sins. A formulation such as Locke’s was dangerous because it opened the door to an amorality that was not only excusable but even inevitable. For many Enlightenment writers, the most pressing questions about self-­‐control were expressed in discussions of the mind’s “secret springs.” How much voluntary control did one have over one’s secret springs? Were one’s secret springs the direct influence of God upon the human mind, or rather the automatic, mechanical operations of “human nature,” a system set in motion by an absent God and animated by a self-­‐moving soul? What caused involuntary actions: God, the Devil, the individual’s internal faculties, or some unknown concatenation of Providence and human nature? These questions had strong moral import for eighteenth-­‐century writers. If a person were merely an automaton at the mercy of her passions, then could she be held responsible for actions that were immoral and yet unintentional? Grading Texts Nearly sixty years after Locke’s Essay, Samuel Johnson’s Rambler 4 warned that new kinds of verisimilar fiction might turn a young reader into an automaton who would emulate unsavoury characters “almost without the intervention of the will.” This course explores eighteenth-­‐century theories about automatism in a number of prose genres, including the epistolary novel, pornography, conduct literature, diaries, crime fiction and the it-­‐narrative. Essay 50%; Seminar presentation/participation 35%; Article critique 15% (available at Benjamin Books, 122 Osgoode Street) Eliza Haywood, Fantomina and Other Works (Broadview) 1551115247 Daniel Defoe, A Journal of the Plague Year (Oxford) 0199572836 John Cleland, Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure (Oxford) 0199540233 ‡Samuel Richardson, Clarissa (Broadview abridged) 9781551114750 James Boswell, London Journal 1762-­‐1763 (Yale UP) 0300057350 Frances Burney, Evelina (Broadview) 155111237X William Godwin, Caleb Williams (Broadview) 1551112493 Charles Brockden Brown, Edgar Huntly (Hackett) 0872208532 *Photocopied Course Reader (TBA) ‡Recommended Text: (available on The Penguin edition of Clarissa (unabridged). While the new Broadview abridgement will suffice for the purposes of our course, it is a poor substitute for Richardson’s complete novel. I strongly recommend (but will not require) that you read an unabridged version of Clarissa over the summer, especially if you plan to focus on 18th-­‐century and Romantic texts in your future academic career. ENG 6380 Professor Introduction THOMAS HARDY Fall 2014 [or] Winter 2015 (3 Credits) Keith Wilson This course involves detailed analysis of the major fiction and poetry of Thomas Hardy. Hardy’s reputation as a writer who achieves major status in more than one genre and his historical position as a nineteenth-­‐century novelist and twentieth-­‐century poet make him a unique transitional figure. A man whose youth saw the publication of Darwin’s work muses in old age over Einstein; the younger contemporary of Dickens, Meredith and Trollope anticipates the narrative techniques and perceptual presuppositions of Lawrence, Woolf, and Joyce; the young admirer of Swinburne lives to copy extracts from T. S. Eliot’s early poetry into his notebooks. By an accident of birth, longevity, generic range, and temperamental and philosophical disposition, there is no other single English writer who offers such an advantageous standpoint from which to examine the movement from high and late Victorianism to early Modernism. Grading Texts The course will examine the intellectual and socio-­‐political backgrounds to Hardy’s work. It will attempt to define his status as a regional novelist who achieves a meta-­‐regional proto-­‐
modernist reputation, and to chart his influence as a poet on the subsequent course of twentieth-­‐century English poetry. Seminar papers (2): 15% each Weekly discussion points and class contribution: 30% Research paper: 40% Under the Greenwood Tree (Penguin Classics) Far From the Madding Crowd (Penguin Classics) The Return of the Native (Penguin Classics) The Mayor of Casterbridge (Penguin Classics) The Woodlanders (Penguin Classics) Tess of the d’Urbervilles (Penguin Classics) Jude the Obscure (Penguin Classics) Complete Poems, ed. James Gibson (Macmillan) ENG 6381 Professor: Introduction: Grading Texts VICTORIAN WOMEN POETS Fall 2014 [or] Winter 2015 (3 credits) Mary Arseneau This seminar course will consider gender and poetics within the specific context of the nineteenth-­‐century British woman poet’s tradition. We will consider how women poets self-­‐
consciously identified themselves as working in a female tradition, how that identification informs their poetics, and the critical implications of approaching this female canon as sequestered from a mainstream, predominantly male, canon. Beginning with Felicia Hemans and Letitia Elizabeth Landon (L.E.L.) as originators of a discernible female poetic tradition in the nineteenth century, we will trace the tradition of the “poetess” through Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Christina Rossetti, paying particular attention to these poets’ deliberate self-­‐representations as female artists. Finally, through a study of late Victorian poets Augusta Webster and Michael Field (Katharine Bradley and Edith Cooper), we will consider how the Victorian woman poet’s tradition extends to the later part of the century. We will trace the poets’ emulations of Sappho, Corinne, and the "improvisatrice"; their experiments with genres including the epic, dramatic monologue, and sonnet; and their engagement with larger social issues. Throughout the course, we will examine these poets’ compromises and confrontations with dominant gender ideology as they attempt to negotiate a transgression into the public arena while asserting and performing their “femininity.” Through brief seminar presentations we will also consider the poetry and critical reputations of other figures whose poetry is less well known, with particular focus on identifying promising areas for future scholarship. Other poets to be explored might include Dora Greenwell, Adelaide Procter, Emily Brontë, George Eliot, Matilde Blind, Bessie Rayner Parkes (Madame Belloc), Constance Naden, A. Mary F. Robinson (Madame James Darmesteter, Madame Mary Duclaux), Alice Meynell, Amy Levy, Mary E. Coleridge, and Graham R. Tomson (Rosamund Marriott Watson). 30% major seminar presentation and handout 15% “recuperating women poets” seminar and handout 10% participation 45% final essay Barrett Browning, Elizabeth. Aurora Leigh and Other Poems. Ed. John Robert Glorney Bolton and Julia Bolton Holloway. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1995. -­‐-­‐-­‐. Elizabeth Barrett Browning: Selected Poems. Ed. Marjorie Stone and Beverly Taylor. Peterborough, ON: Broadview, 2009. Field, Michael (Katharine Bradley and Edith Cooper). Michael Field, The Poet: Published and Manuscript Materials. Ed. Marion Thain and Ana Parejo Vadillo. Peterborough, ON: Broadview, 2009. Hemans, Felicia. Felicia Hemans: Selected Poems, Prose, and Letters. Ed. Gary Kelly. Peterborough, ON: Broadview, 2002. Landon, Letitia Elizabeth. Letitia Elizabeth Landon: Selected Writings. Ed. Jerome McGann and Daniel Riess. Peterborough, ON: Broadview, 1997. Rossetti, Christina. Christina Rossetti: The Complete Poems. Text by R.W. Crump. Notes and introduction by Betty S. Flowers. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 2001. Webster, Augusta. Augusta Webster: Portraits and Other Poems. Ed. Christine Sutphin. Peterborough, ON: Broadview, 2000. ENG 6382 Professor Introduction Grading Texts SENTIMENT, SENSATION, AND MELODRAMA IN NINETEENTH-­‐CENTURY BRITISH LITERATURE Fall 2014 [or] Winter 2015 (3 credits) Lauren Gillingham This course will take up the formative relationships among sentiment, sympathy, and the melodramatic that are forged in the novel in nineteenth-­‐century Britain. Contemporary theorists of film and affect often point to the sentimentality, sensationalism, and melodrama of the nineteenth-­‐century novel as the foundation of modern cinema as well as the representational ground of what Matthew Buckley calls the “unique modes of perceptual apprehension” associated with modernity: “sensations of suspense and of continual change, the thrill – and the threat – of shock, and . . . more complex formations of urban spectatorship.” Melodrama helped to form a modern mass culture; it also articulated the transformations of everyday life and subjective experience in the urban, industrialized nation. For a novelist like Dickens, sentiment and melodrama also formed the basis of a theory of community for the modern age: community forged by collective experience of shared emotions and by modes of communication premised, not on literacy, but on what Juliet John describes as the “bodily semiotics” of gesture, passion, spectacle, and music. Our focus will be predominantly on novels of sentiment and sensation from the 1830s through 1890s. We will also read selections from film and affect theory to help frame our investigations; some recent literary criticism on our novels and related issues; and a selection of eighteenth-­‐ and nineteenth-­‐century prose texts on metropolitan life, performance, sentiment, sympathy, sensation, and melodrama. Seminar presentation and write-­‐up Participation, including archive assignment Research paper (a tentative list to be confirmed by Summer 2014) William Harrison Ainsworth, Jack Sheppard Rhoda Broughton, Cometh Up as a Flower Wilkie Collins, The Woman in White Charles Dickens, Bleak House —, Oliver Twist Thomas Hardy, Tess of the D’Urbervilles Edith Johnstone, A Sunless Heart Ellen Wood, East Lynne 35% 15% 50% ENG 6383 A LITERARY HISTORY OF THE INFORMATION AGE Fall 2014 [or] Winter 2015 (3 credits) Professor Introduction James Brooke-­‐Smith While Raymond Williams’ Keywords, that great catalogue of modernity, contains entries for “communication”, “literature”, and “media”, it lacks an entry for “information”. Rather than viewing this as an oversight on Williams’ part, we might instead cite it as an example of the way in which new information technologies are currently reshaping the past as well as the present. Williams wrote Keywords in 1985, before the personal computer became a ubiquitous feature of both domestic and professional life and before sociologists such as Manuel Castells analysed the economic and cultural forms of the new “information society”. The subsequent emergence of new digital information technologies – and the “age” or “society” which those technologies inaugurate – has made new histories possible, both in terms of the contents of our historical narratives and the forms in which we tell them. The literary history that we explore in this class, then, will be “of” the information age in two senses. First, we will examine the conditions of literary production within nineteenth-­‐century Britain’s burgeoning culture of information, a culture that was revolutionized by the introduction of the steam press, the electric telegraph, and a professional state bureaucracy. And second, we will reflect upon the changing status and methods of literary historiography within our own information age. How do new digital tools change our relationship to the past? What difference does it make that we engage with the past through the mediation of screens, search algorithms, and databases, rather than card indexes, cotton gloves, and acid free paper? Indeed, can we “read” databases at all? Does the past compute? This class is aimed at students of nineteenth-­‐century British literature and at anyone with an interest in digital humanities, media studies, and new literary methodologies. Grading Seminar presentations (50%) Research paper (50%) Texts Thomas Carlyle, from The Hero as Man of Letters Charles Babbage, from the Ninth Bridgewater Treatise and The Economy of Machinery and Manufactures Thomas De Quincey, The English Mail Coach Charles Lamb, Detached Thoughts on Books and Reading Charles Knight, The Commercial History of a Penny Magazine Herman Melville, Bartleby, the Scrivener Anthony Trollope, The Three Clerks Bram Stoker, Dracula Ella Cheever Thayer, Wired Love: A Romance of Dots and Dashes George Eliot, The Lifted Veil Henry James, In the Cage Rudyard Kipling, Kim William Gibson, Pattern Recognition Richard Powers, Galatea 2.2 Plus a Course reader including selections from: James Gleick, Lisa Gitelman, Alan Liu, Max Weber, Alan Turing, Norbert Wiener, Franco Morretti, N. Katherine Hayles, etc. ENG 7300 Professor Introduction Grading Text MODERNISM AND THE EVENT: CATASTROPHE, TRADITION, CREATION Fall 2014 [or] Winter 2015 (3 credits) Craig Gordon Whether we consider modernism as a cultural response to social and historical upheaval or turn to the question of artistic avant-­‐gardes and the formal experimentation entailed by the aesthetics of novelty, the notion of the event is absolutely central to the history of modernism (not to mention subsequent critical response to modernist culture). This course will take two influential recent philosophical theories of the event—those provided by Alain Badiou and Jacques Rancière—as the theoretical framework through which to reconsider literary modernism. The goals of the course will be twofold. On the one hand, we will consider how these theories of the event interact with the central concerns of the modernists themselves: the aesthetics of the new, modernist theories of history and tradition, and modernist conceptions of subjectivity. On the other hand, we will consider how these theories of the event might ask us to understand modernism itself as an event. If events consist in the eruption of phenomena that have no place within an extant state of affairs or mode of knowledge, what does it mean to consider modernism itself as an event when it has long been firmly ensconced within literary and artistic tradition? Does our continued interest in modernist culture (roughly a century after the fact, at a point when its much vaunted novelty and experimentation has become all too familiar) inevitably amount to a kind of antiquarianism? Or are there senses in which our critical interactions with modernism might continue to manifest what Badiou refers to as a fidelity to the event? Participation: 15%; Seminar Work: 40%; Term Paper: 45% Alain Badiou: Philosophy and the Event Samuel Beckett: Endgame, Play, and Catastrophe T. S. Eliot: selected poetry and “Tradition and the Individual Talent” Fredric Jameson: A Singular Modernity James Joyce: Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man D. H. Lawrence: The Plumed Serpent Wyndham Lewis: Self Condemned and selections from Blast Brian Massumi: selections from Semblance and Event Jacques Rancière: Aesthetics and Its Discontents Oscar Wilde: Picture of Dorian Gray and “The Critic as Artist” Virginia Woolf: Between the Acts and selected essays W. B. Yeats: selected poetry ENG 7310 Professor Introduction Texts THE NEW VITALISM: SCIENCE AND LITERATURE IN THE NINETEENTH CENTURY Fall 2014 [or] Winter 2015 (3 credits) Thomas Allen This seminar will explore nineteenth-­‐century literature in relation to the recent rise of interest in the “vitalism” associated with Lucretius and adapted by later philosophers such as Bergson and Deleuze. Vitalists maintain that life cannot be explained by mechanistic theories of causation, but is instead subject to unpredictable forces (what Bergson labeled “élan vital”) that are neither chemical nor physical. The “new vitalism” has become a hot topic in cultural theory, but how new is it? In exploring the roots of the modern revival of these notions in nineteenth-­‐century culture, we will trace the relationship between literature and science in both America and Europe, focusing especially on works that problematize the boundary between the categories of life and object. The twelve-­‐week course will be roughly organized around six sections, each of which will address an aspect or variation of vitalist thinking by placing a number of texts in dialogue. Lucretius, On the Nature of Things (first century BC; Norton, 1977) Stephen Greenblatt, The Swerve: How the World Became Modern (Norton, 2011) E. T. A. Hoffman, Tales (1814-­‐1825; Penguin, 1982) Mary Shelley, Frankenstein (1818; Broadview, third edition, 2012) Diana Coole and Samantha Frost, eds. New Materialisms: Ontology, Agency, and Politics (Duke UP, 2010) Charles Baudelaire, Flowers of Evil (1857; Oxford, 2008) Emily Dickinson, Poems and Letters (1850s-­‐1880s; Emily Dickinson Archive, open access database at Harvard UP web site) Henri Bergson, Key Writings (1896-­‐1934; Athlone, 2002) Emily Bronte, Wuthering Heights (1847; Broadview, 2007) Gaston Bachelard, The Poetics of Space (1958; Beacon Press, 1994) Edgar Allan Poe, The Portable Edgar Allan Poe (1832-­‐49; Penguin, 2006) Gillian Beer, Darwin’s Plots: Evolutionary Narrative in Darwin, George Eliot, and Nineteenth-­‐
Century Fiction (1983; Cambridge UP, 3rd edition, 2009) Elizabeth Drew Stoddard, The Morgesons (1862; Penguin, 1997) Barbara Johnson, Persons and Things (Harvard UP, 2008) Henry James, The Turn of the Screw (1898; Penguin, 1986) Other readings from theorists such as William Connelly, Jane Bennett, Bruno Latour, Isabelle Stengers, Graham Harmon, and Levi Bryant. ENG 7311 Professor Introduction Grading Texts POST-­‐NATURE?: CONTEMPORARY AMERICAN ECOPOETRY AND ECOPOETICS Fall 2014 [or] Winter 2015 (3 credits) Anne Raine This seminar will investigate the vibrant field of contemporary ecopoetry and ecopoetics, focusing on the work of American poets from the 1950s onward. We will consider the overlap and the differences between ecopoetry and ecopoetics as critics currently use these terms. “Ecopoetry” sometimes refers to poetry informed by the postwar ecology movement, and sometimes to any poetry that deals with environmental themes; “ecopoetics” refers to an ecological theory of poetry, and indicates an interest in how poetry may be “ecological” in form as well as theme. Often, “ecopoetry” is more accessible and/or activist in its orientation, while “ecopoetics” tends to designate a more formally experimental kind of work influenced by avant-­‐garde modernist poetics and/or by Marxist and poststructuralist critiques of the concept of nature. Our readings will include poetry and criticism from both camps, as well as some poetry that is not self-­‐consciously “eco-­‐” at all but still merits ecocritical attention. We will also consider whether or not ecopoetry and ecopoetics represent a critical departure from (Romantic) nature poetry, which some accuse of perpetuating a reductive binary opposition between nature and culture or reinforcing anthropocentric humanist conceptions of selfhood. As we explore various forms of ecopoetry and ecopoetics that have emerged since the 1950s, our goal will be not simply to locate and celebrate poems that express ecological values, but to investigate what conceptions of nature, ecology, or environment are operating in each text (and in our own critical discourse); to consider what social-­‐material discourses inform those conceptions; and to consider how different poetic strategies reflect, complicate, unsettle, or enrich our understanding of the more-­‐than-­‐human world and the place of humans within it. We will situate our inquiry theoretically by comparing several different definitions of ecopoetry and ecopoetics that have been offered by critics and poets. We will also seek to historicize both the poetry and the criticism by situating them in relation to relevant events such as the development of ecology, both as a science and as a popular political movement; the emergence of a “culture of spontaneity” in the 1950s and 60s; the poststructuralist turn in literary and cultural studies; the emergence of the environmental justice movement in the 1980s; and the “science wars” of the 1990s. Seminar work, 50%; seminar paper, 50%. Seminar work will include two presentations, one on a primary text and one on a critical article. Mary Oliver, House of Light (Beacon, 1990) Charles Olson, Selected Poems (U of California P, 1993) Gary Snyder, Turtle Island (New Directions, 1974) Ron Silliman, Ketjak (in The Age of Huts (compleat), U of California P, 2007) Susan Howe, Singularities (Wesleyan/UPNE, 1990) A. R. Ammons, Garbage (Norton, 1993) Mei Mei Berssenbrugge, Endocrinology and parts of Four Year Old Girl (in I Love Artists, 2006) Juliana Spahr, Well Then There Now (Black Sparrow, 2011) Derek Walcott, Omeros (Farrar, Strauss and Giroux, 1990) Linda Hogan, The Book of Medicines (Coffee House Press, 1993) Harryette Mullen, S*PerM**K*T (in Recyclopedia, Graywolf, 2006) Patricia Smith, Blood Dazzler (Coffee House Press, 2008) Plus a course packet containing theoretical and historical materials on ecology, ecocriticism, and ecopoetry/ecopoetics, as well as critical readings of particular poems. ENG 7321 Professor Introduction Grading Texts CONTEMPORARY CANADIAN LITERATURE IN/AND TRANSLATION Fall 2014 [or] Winter 2015 (3 credits) Robert Stacey Beginning with Barbara Godard’s claim that translation obliges us to “approach language(s) from the perspective of a relation with an outside, pos[ing] the question of the (in)finitude of limits, those of the self, the other, the collectivity […] of modernity even, and of knowledge” (98), this seminar will explore various aspects of translation practice and theory in modern and contemporary Canadian literature. The class will be divided into 4 units: (1) The Cultural Politics of French to English Translation, which will consider the various factors conditioning the translation of French-­‐Canadian texts for consumption by an English-­‐speaking audience; (2) Translation and Modernity, which concerns literary texts that thematize translation as part of their investigation of, or challenge to, the epistemological assumptions of modernity; (3) Feminist Translation, which is specifically invested in exposing and contesting the codifications of sex and gender in language; (4) and, finally, Translation Poetics, which relates to the production of texts by way of various experimental translation practices, including so-­‐called “homolinguistic translation.” Each unit will include both theoretical and literary texts. A reading comprehension of French will be an asset, but is not required. Theoretical gloss (10%), seminar presentation (40%), translation exercise (10%); final essay [18-­‐25 pages] (40%). Les Automatistes, Total Refusal (trans. of Refus Global by Ray Ellenwood) Gregory Betts, If Language Douglas Barbour and Stephen Scobie, The Pirates of Pen’s Chance Leonard Cohen, Beautiful Losers Douglas Glover, Elle Anne Hebert, translations of Le Tombeau des rois by F.R. Scott and J.R. Poulin Nancy Huston, Plainsong Erin Moure, Sheep’s Vigil by a Fervent Person Gabrielle Roy, The Tin Flute Daphne Marlatt, texts TBA Nicole Brossard, texts TBA Plus, course-­‐kit of theoretical readings by Mikhail Bakhtin, Walter Benjamin, Barbara Godard, Steve McCaffery, George Steiner, Louise von Flotow and others.