MA ENGLISH LIT - CURRICULUM SURVEY 2020
Please indicate your level of interest in each course listed below, from 1 (not interested) to 3 (very interested). If you're not sure or are ambivalent about a course, select number 2. The professors who normally run each course are named alongside each title. The list is long, as our catalog of courses is deep, but please take the time to respond to each item. Your feedback is essential as it will help us create course schedules that best reflect the interests of our students. Your responses are anonymous. Please only complete this survey once so as to not skew the data.
African & Caribbean Lit (Dr. Morales) *
This survey course of cross-generational writers from Africa and the Caribbean will take as its focal point the theme of the 2016 African Literature Conference in Atlanta: “Justice and Human Dignity in Africa and the African Diaspora.” The course looks at writers whose works address the idea of justice and human dignity in the domestic, political, religious and moral arenas.
Not interested
Very interested
African-American Lit (Dr. Morales / Dr. Horton) *
This course studies a range of works of African-American literature. In some instances the course runs with a musical theme, in light of Toni Morrison’s statement that “my parallel is always the music because all of the strategies of the art are there," and in light of Richard Powell’s words that the blues provides “much contemporary literature, theater, dance, and visual arts with the necessary element for defining these various art forms as intrinsically African American.”
Not interested
Very interested
Afropolitanism (Dr. Morales) *
"Afropolitanism," a word coined by Taiye Selasi, generally refers to young, well-educated African, and by extension, Caribbean artists with global and multicultural sensibilities who have settled in a number of cosmopolitan capitals in Europe and North America. This course studies the term and the implications around it, and works by authors considered a part of it.
Not interested
Very interested
The American Renaissance (Dr. Loots) *
This course studies representative writings from “The American Renaissance,” a period during the mid-nineteenth century (roughly 1832 to 1865) which saw the rise of the first truly non-Colonial, non-Revolutionary body of national literature; a literature which no longer concerned itself with European precedent, engagement, or approval. Students read both the traditional figures associated with this era, as well as diverse voices historically unheard and unread (e.g. women's writing, Native American speeches and tales, slave narratives).
Not interested
Very interested
Animals in Lit (Dr. Sax) *
This course looks at the representation of animals in a wide range of literary and folkloric traditions; and focuses on the ways in which the literary depiction of animals is intimately tied to changing perspectives on the human condition, which in turn reflect religious, intellectual, governmental, and technological developments.
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Very interested
Contemporary Slave Narratives (Dr. Horton) *
This course examines traditional American slave narratives alongside neo-slave narratives (e.g. by Sherley Anne Williams and Toni Morrison) and post-neo-slave narratives (e.g. by Lalita Tademy and Steve McQueen). The goal of this course is to broaden our understanding of the slave narrative tradition, as well as examine how twenty-first century writers, artists, and filmmakers resist and reinforce the original slave narrative concept.
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Very interested
Creative Writing (Dr. Keckler / Dr. Vasile / Dr. Sax) *
The course develops students' creative writing ability through a close study of various writing styles and techniques, matched with assignments and writing workshops; focus depends on professor's expertise and could involve poetry, narrative, or other forms.
Not interested
Very interested
Cyberpunk, Tech-Noir, & Technoculture (Dr. Loots) *
This course focuses on speculative fiction, film, and other visual media that tend to the frontiers of humanity and identity in the age of cyber-technoculture (the culture of our internet-era). Through reading cyberpunk and related fiction, and watching media such as "Black Mirror," we will consider the implications of humanity’s increasing interweave with computer technology, social media, artificial intelligence, and online/virtual realities — with the way that humanity is becoming posthuman or cyborg.
Not interested
Very interested
Fairy Tales (Dr. Sax) *
This is a course that Dr. Sax is considering creating and that might be developed and run if this survey indicates an audience for it. The course will examine fairy tales from across geographies, centuries, and cultures.
Not interested
Very interested
From Vice to Virtue?: The 7 Deadly Sins Then and Now (Dr. Ward) *
This course explores a wide range of medieval texts in translation, including Arthurian legends and bawdy romances, in order to understand how this historical period conceived of "the seven deadly sins." Students consider how these medieval stories of intense desire for things that we might not consider virtuous relate to our own contemporary conceptions of these vices (if we even consider them vices at all). This reflection helps us begin to understand how at least some of the seven deadly sins transformed into arguably modern virtues.
Not interested
Very interested
Graphic Novel (Dr. Medoff) *
This course explores ways in which meanings emerge in several esteemed graphic novels, as well as in some emerging classics; and considers a diversity of theoretical perspectives, including visual cultural studies, postmodernism, intersectionality, and the relationships between the concepts of graphic novel, comic book, and popular culture. Students' own stories and lived experiences will factor into discussions.
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Very interested
Hemingway / Modernist Cryptography (Dr. Loots) *
This course follows Ernest Hemingway from his early days in Paris to his final moments in Ketchum, Idaho. By exploring Hemingway’s travels and writings we will experience through his eyes the rise of modernity and the unprecedented way that the world changed forever in the early twentieth century. We will consider the interrelated effects of Hemingway’s self-engineered celebrity status—as the rugged bearded “macho” world traveler—which coincided with the rise of modern media technology, and exceeded his literary fame within his lifetime. And we will consider how his style is one of subtle cipher or code, with perhaps unexpected secrets locked inside.
Not interested
Very interested
Henry James & D.H. Lawrence (Dr. Dugan) *
This course considers the question of how one attains personal and social freedom in a society that seems to reward conformity, a question relevant to both James and Lawrence. James and Lawrence differ in writing style and subject yet explore the complexities of an industrialized society and personal relationships. We will explore the stylistics, the characterization, and the themes in order to answer the question of how one resolves, if at all, conflicting demands of society’s expectations and the an individual’s quest for an understanding of self and of happiness.
Not interested
Very interested
History of Drama in English (Dr. Kilpatrick / Dr. Medoff / Dr. Ward) *
This course studies dramatic works from the vantage of the cultures of the historical epochs they are embedded in, and considers: medieval mystery cycles and morality plays; secular drama in the 16th century and earlier 17th century; precursors and contemporaries of Shakespeare; Restoration drama; the closet drama of the Romantic era; 19th-century melodrama in Britain and America; and the emergence of the modern theater in the United Kingdom and the United States.
Not interested
Very interested
History of Poetic Forms (Dr. Fritz) *
The course studies the major forms and conventions of poetry that have developed in literature from classical models to the present.
Not interested
Very interested
Humanism in Renaissance Texts (Dr. Fritz / Dr. Sax / Dr. Ward) *
This course focuses on humanism and the concepts arising from it in relation to the production and appreciation of literature during the Renaissance.
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Very interested
Irish Literature (Dr. Dugan) *
This course explores themes prevalent to Irish identity, such as nationalism, rebellion, social class, religion, oppression, gender, and family, by close textual analysis of drama, poetry, fiction, and mythology. The materials will be chronologically arranged, allowing for the study of historical events and cultural influences that shaped the literature of Ireland.
Not interested
Very interested
Latino Lit (Dr. Vasile) *
This course focuses on the literature of Latinos and Hispanics living in the United States; studies issues such as gender, race, class, diaspora, bilingualism, violence, and community as raised by the various authors whose work the course examines.
Not interested
Very interested
Lit of the Left Bank, Paris (Dr. Loots) *
This course examines the diverse people, culture, and writings of the American and British expatriate community of the Parisian Left Bank during the early/mid twentieth century; examines the power and effect of exile, expatriatism, and travel; and considers why Paris attracted so many of the world’s great writers during this era of modernism and modernity.
Not interested
Very interested
Magic in Lit (Dr. Sax) *
This course examines alchemy, with related activities that now impress us as “magical,” as an all-inclusive discipline which laid much of the foundation for later literature, art, and science. It looks at the beginnings of alchemy in the ancient world, at how these developed in the Renaissance, and at the continuing influence of "magic" in Romantic, Modern, and Post-Modern literature and culture.
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Very interested
Magical Realism (Dr. Vasile) *
This course focuses on Latin American magical realist fiction, a genre where elements of the magical, the fantastical, are included in otherwise realistic narratives.
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Very interested
Mastering the Past, Literature and National Myths (Dr. Sax) *
This course considers how every country likes to see itself as heir to a glorious past, filled with heroic and ultimately successful struggles against oppression; but the construction of such a narrative always leads to the repression or trivialization of uncomfortable aspects of the past. Students will study ways that writers have tried to come to terms with the past, and will consider: can we ever truly come to terms with the past? Can the brutalities of history ever be redeemed or compensated for? What lessons, if any, can we legitimately learn from history?
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Very interested
Medieval Lit (Dr. Ward / Dr. Fritz) *
This course is designed to cultivate students’ awareness of the themes, genres, and issues related to the study of medieval literature. Students will study the major genres of medieval literature, including epics, lays and romances.
Not interested
Very interested
Modernism (Dr. Kilpatrick / Dr. Sax / Dr. Loots) *
This course explores various literature and “isms” of modernism, while questioning if these trends emerging in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries are of the past or remain present and relevant to contemporary intellectual and aesthetic sensibilities.
Not interested
Very interested
Narrative Strategies in the Novel (Dr. Dugan / Dr. Frtiz) *
This course focuses on the narrative mode as represented in the English and American traditions; explores narrative choices in texts and how these decisions affect the reader’s perception and understanding of the novel.
Not interested
Very interested
Perspectives on the Essay (Dr. Keckler / Dr. Kilpatrick) *
The course studies the essay as a distinct literary genre; studies its characteristics, types, history, role in reflecting authorial consciousness, and more. Students will create their own "creative nonfiction" while also studying the essays of others.
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Very interested
Reason & Imagination (Dr. Sax) *
This course studies English literature between 1650 and 1850; considers the political, ideological, and literary roots of the English “Glorious Revolution” of 1688, the late seventeenth-century growth of rationalism and empirical science, followed by the flowering of Neoclassicism, and the shift in sensibility that led to the emergence of Romanticism.
Not interested
Very interested
Search for Identity in American Lit (Dr. Loots) *
This course studies the search for identity, individually and collectively, as it manifests in American literature from Colonial times through the turn of the twentieth century. Attention is paid to the rapidly changing historical/cultural contexts from which such literature emerged, as well as to different literary movements emerging in America over the eras studied (e.g. Romanticism, Realism, etc).
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Very interested
Sport Literature (Dr. Kilpatrick) *
This course considers the meaning of sport to society and culture, and studies stories about sport while considering questions such as: why do we tell stories about sport? Why does sport so readily offer itself to storytelling? What methodologies might sport studies mimic or borrow from literary criticism? Are there unique and/or dominant narrative trends or concerns that appear in literary texts that address sporting subjects? How have representations of sport changed through time?
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Very interested
Theory/Practice of Expository Writing (Dr. Proszak / Dr. Dugan) *
While learning about how writing has been studied and theorized across writing studies and related disciplines, students will consider cultural issues endemic to writing and how race, ethnicity, gender, and class enter into conversations on writing instruction and assessment. Students will work to understand how writing functions across contexts and communities, including within higher education.
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Very interested
Toni Morrison (Dr. Morales) *
This course examines Morrison's legacy and place in American letters; looks at several of her fictional works and non-fiction works; and explores her expansion into other media such as opera, film, and jazz.
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Very interested
Tragedy (Dr. Kilpatrick) *
This course explores the history and theory of tragedy as both dramatic genre and philosophical motif; moves from ancient Greece to the present, with emphasis on the Classical and English literary traditions.
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Very interested
Transformations of the Epic (Dr. Sax) *
This course considers the epic as an encyclopedic narrative featuring a central figure who reflects the values of a particular culture. It proceeds chronologically studying epics from Classical to contemporary times.
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Very interested
Ulysses, James Joyce (Dr. Loots) *
This single-book course examines one of the most famous, famously difficult, famously banned, and (arguably) profound modern novels of the twentieth century. We will throughout the semester journey through "Ulysses" and will along the way discuss the people, culture, history, and events surrounding the creation of, publication of, and outrageous reception to the novel.
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Very interested
Victorian Lit (Dr. Dugan) *
This course studies literature of Victorian England, questions what we even mean by Victorian England and how we define it, and considers the many radical changes emerging during this era (e.g. societal, religious, economic, and artistic). Attention is paid to the role of women, industrialism, gender roles, and poverty as shown in fiction, poetry, and drama of the Victorian age.
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Very interested
Working Women in the USA, 1865 - Present (Dr. Gogol) *
This course examines writings about working women from the post-Civil War era to the present; explores social, economic, and racial factors in the American work force and writings by and about such; and inquires about the shifting definitions of gender, and the development of women's rights and feminism, over the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
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GENERAL QUESTION: Would you want the MA program to offer more creative writing electives than the one ENGL 517 course we currently do? Keep in mind that because we can only run a limited amount of courses each semester (usually 5 or 6 each fall/spring, and 2 each summer) increasing creative writing offerings would mean decreasing literature offerings each semester. *
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Very interested
GENERAL QUESTION: Should the MA program create a creative writing "track" that would replace, for students who elect for the track, the four literature electives with four creative writing courses? Again consider that increasing creative writing offerings would mean decreasing literature offerings. *
Not interested
Very interested
What courses do we not offer that you wish we would?
Your answer
Any other thoughts or feedback you would like to provide about the MA English curriculum?
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