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University of Massachusetts Amherst

University of Massachusetts Amherst

English Department

Graduate Courses

Schedule of Graduate English Classes

Fall 2014




(Subject to Change)


Course Number

Title

Meeting Pattern

Instructor

 Engl

 698

 GenEd Practicum

 by arrgmnt.

 

 Engl

 698B

 Intro to Teaching Writing

 Tu 10:10-11:15

  Haivan Hoang

 Engl

 698I

 Teaching Basic Writing

 by arrgmnt.

 Anne Bello

 Engl

 698J

 Teaching Mentoring

 by arrgmnt.

 Peggy Woods

 Engl

 698L

 Teaching Creative Writing

 M 5-6

 S. Murray & J. Jacobson

 Engl

 698R

 Applied Literary Arts

 by arrgmnt.

 Jennifer Jacobson

 Engl

 698V-1

 Special Topics: Teaching Writing

 M 4-5

 H. Hoang, D. Fleming, A. Bello

 Engl

 698V-2

 Special Topics: Teaching Writing

 M 4-5

 H. Hoang, D. Fleming, A. Bello

 Engl

 698V-3

 Special Topics: Teaching Writing

 M 4-5

 H. Hoang, D. Fleming, A. Bello

         

 Engl

 699

 Master's Thesis

 by arrgmnt.

 

         

 Engl

 731

 Bible as Literature

 W 4-6:30

 Dave Toomey

 Engl

 767

 Contemporary British Fiction

 Tu 5:30-8

 Stephen Clingman

 Engl

 780/1

 Imaginative Writing: Poetry

 Tu 6:30-9

 Dara Wier

 Engl

 780/2

 Imaginative Writing: Poetry

 Tu 1-3:30

 Jim Tate

 Engl

 780/3

 Imaginative Writing: Poetry

 M 1:25-3:55

 Peter Gizzi

 Engl

 781/1

Imaginative Writing: Fiction

 W 1:25-3:55

 Edie Meidav

 Engl

 781/2

 Imaginative Writing: Fiction

 Th 10-12:30

 Noy Holland

 Engl

 781/3

 Imaginative Writing: Fiction

 W 4-6:30

 Sabina Murray

 Engl

 781/4

 Imaginative Writing: Fiction

 Tu 5-7:30

 Jeff Parker

 Engl

 791AS

 New Theoretical Dimensions in Shakespearean Studies

 W 1-3:30

 Jane Degenhardt

 Engl

791CP

 Introduction to Performance Theory

 M 5:30-8

 Daniel Sacks

 Engl

 791D

 Major Texts for the Study of American Culture

 Tu 5:30-8

 TreaAndrea Russworm

 Engl

 791E

 Theorizing the Discipline

 Th 5:30-8

 Suzanne Daly

         

 Engl

796

 Independent Study

 by arrgmnt.

 

 Engl

 796A

 Independent Study

 by arrgmnt.

 

 Engl

 796W

 Independent Study

 by arrgmnt.

 

 Engl

 796X

 Independent Study

 by arrgmnt.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Engl

 891BD

 Milton

 Tu 1-3:30

 Joseph Black

 Engl

 891BE

 The Neoliberal Turn

 W 4-6:30

 Ruth Jennison

 Engl

 891G-1

 Form & Theory of Fiction:Beyond Good & Evil: The Possibility of a Moral Fiction

 Th 1-3:30

 Edie Meidav

 Engl

 891G-2

 Form & Theory of Fiction: Reading the Russians

 Th 4-6:30

 Jeff Parker

 Engl

 891M

 Form & Theory of Poetry

 M 6-8:30

 Dara Wier

 Engl

 891TT

 Introduction to Rhetorical Theory

 Th 5:30-8

 David Fleming

 Engl

 891ZZ

 Genre, Context, and Social Action

 Tu 4-6:30

 Anne Herrington

 Engl

 899

 Doctoral Dissertation

 by arrgmt

 

 

 

 

 

 


Graduate Course Descriptions
Fall 2014

698-----Gen Ed Practicum By arrangement
698B---Intro. To Teaching Writing H. Hoang
698I----Teaching Basic Writing A. Bello
698J---Teaching Mentoring P. Woods
698L---P-Teaching Creative Writing S. Murray/J. Jacobson
698R---Applied Literary Arts J. Jacobson
698V-1---P-Special Topics: Teaching Writing H. Hoang, D. Fleming, A. Bello
698V-2---P-Special Topics: Teaching Writing H. Hoang, D. Fleming, A. Bello
698V-3---P-Special Topics: Teaching Writing H. Hoang, D. Fleming, A. Bello

699-----Master’s Thesis Staff

AFROAM 690E. Blackness and Utopia
Wed 12-2:30 Instructor: Britt Rusert
This seminar explores the vibrant history of utopian thought in Black Studies and African American literature and culture. It considers how the black radical tradition poses particular challenges to Western utopian thought as well as how the question of utopia might contribute to, or help to re-configure, the future(s) of Black Studies. Topics of discussion will include Afrofuturism, utopia and the black radical tradition, cultures of life and cultures of death in Black Atlantic, black science and speculative fiction, and blackness and metaphysics.

731---Bible as Literature
Wed, 4:00-6:30 Instructor: David Toomey

The class will explore several of the most studied and influential books of the Old and New Testaments.

As a whole, the class will read (from the Hebrew Bible or Old Testament) the books Genesis, Exodus, Ruth, Job, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon and Isaiah and (from the New Testament) the synoptic gospels Matthew, Mark and Luke. Most class meetings, following Luther’s doctrine of sola scriptura (scripture alone) will involve collective efforts to derive coherent close readings of particularly provocative or problematic passages. Where necessary, following the historical-critical type of exegesis called Higher Criticism, we will appeal to secondary sources like Karen Armstrong’s The Bible: the Biography (Atlantic Books, 2007) and Richard Elliott Friedman’s Who Wrote the Bible? (HarperOne 1987).

Individually, students will undertake term projects culminating in seminar papers that examine the influence of a particular Biblical passage or figure on a literary text (from any historical period) chosen by the student and approved by the instructor. Additionally, each student will make an in-class presentation on a subject related to the Bible, providing the class as a whole with cultural and historical context not supplied by course readings. Subjects for presentations might include: influential interpreters like Augustine, Aquinas and Luther, themes like epiphany and the Incarnation, religious movements like Gnosticism and Arianism, types of exegesis like lectiodivina and sola scriptura, and the extra-Biblical cultural life of personages like King David, Job and Mary Magdalene.

Books will be ordered through Amherst Books, 3 Main Street, Amherst.

David Toomey’s most recent book is Weird Life: the search for life that is very, very different from our own. (W.W. Norton, 2013).

767---Contemporary British Fiction
Tu, 5:30-8:00 Instructor: Stephen Clingman
This course is a survey of contemporary British fiction, tending to interpret each of those terms somewhat capaciously, as befits the current setting. The aim is take a close look at works which have established particular landmarks, both literary and cultural, with special emphasis on themes of identity and constructions of the nation. During the last fifty years, narrative mappings of country, nation and globe have changed in Britain, as have the identities that help constitute them. From the assurances of imperial power, Britain has entered realms of disaggregation and recombination, encountering new horizons, both internal and external. Its fiction has explored spatial, temporal, and cultural boundaries, meditating, in the process, on concepts of self and society. A number of the writers we’ll consider have been migrants to a Britain that has been changed by the social shifts of which they are a part. Others have ventured to various sectors of the world to consider questions of identity, movement and belonging. Some have inspected intersections between national and sexual identities, or explored the past through the perspectives of the present. Many have been formally inventive, as the world they intersect with seems to invite new ways of representing it. Overall, we are introduced to a complex meshing of the national and transnational, and of domestic and transcultural subjectivities. Writers will include a selection from the following (and possibly others): Caryl Phillips; Zadie Smith; Bruce Chatwin; Jeannette Winterson; Alan Hollinghurst; W. G. Sebald; Kazuo Ishiguro; Salman Rushdie; Monica Ali; HanifKureishi; V. S. Naipaul; Hilary Mantel; Graham Swift; HariKunzru; Amitav Ghosh.

Stephen Clingman is the author of The Novels of Nadine Gordimer: History from the Inside, and editor of The Essential Gesture: Writing, Politics and Places, by Nadine Gordimer. His Bram Fischer: Afrikaner Revolutionary won Alan Paton Award in South Africa, and was republished in a new edition in 2013. He has held fellowships at the Southern African Research Program (Yale), The Society for the Humanities (Cornell), the Woodrow Wilson Center (Washington, D.C.), and the Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study (South Africa). His book, The Grammar of Identity: Transnational Fiction and the Nature of the Boundary (OUP, 2009), was released in paper back in 2013.

780/1 – Imaginative Writing: Poetry
Tu, 6:30-9:00 Instructor: Dara Wier

Words and pictures. Words as pictures.Pictures as words. Petroglyphs, pictograms, rebus composition, amalgamations, signs and symbols, synesthesia, hand drawing, collage, assembling, combining, making up, following through. This workshop will invite you to view your words adjacent to images, or sometimes your words as images, in ways you imagine will provide a unified field of attention within distributions of sensory interactions. Imageless pages also welcome so long as metaphorical potential remains possible.

Not everything (if you're going to let us read 12 new pieces (poetry or poetry and prose together) about half of these should be practicing various approaches to sustaining word and picture combinations) you do during our 3 months together has to be a combination of words and images, but for a final portfolio I'm asking you to compose a pamphlet (or chapbook) length work that combines words and images. (up to 22 pages and no more than). Found material to be collaged, erasure, traditional illustration, composition via combination (any kind of combination), broadside & pamphlet design, animation, credible & conceptual graphic manifestation, elegant and egalitarian design, text collections, to be commonly held.

Workshop will culminate with an exhibit and reading at Flying Object, 43 West St. Hadley MA.

Readings, samples, not definitive list: William Blake (watch Dead Man Walking) George Herbert, Art Speigelman, Werner Herzog, Peter Laird and many others you will suggest and bring to our attention.

CODEX Seraphinianus , encyclopedia in manuscript; hand-drawn, colored-pencil illustrations of bizarre and fantastical flora, fauna, anatomies, fashions, and foods. It has been compared to the Voynich manuscript, Tlön, Uqbar, OrbisTertius,[6] and the works of M.C. Escher, Hieronymus Bosch. with possible guest artists and curators and others you bring to our attention: Rosamond Purcell, Alex Kennedy, Peter Laird, James Haug, Emily Hunt, Chris Ward, Rob MacDonald, Rebecca Wolfe, Brandon Downing, Ben Katchor.

Dara Wier’s new book is You Good Thing (Wave Books, 2013), a collection of sonnet-length poems. Guggenheim, NEA and MCC fellowships have supported her work which can be found in Best American Poetry, The Pushcart Prize Anthology, the Norton Anthology of American Hybrid Poetry, Fou, American Poetry Review, The Nation, Conduit, Maggy, Fence, Volt, Bat City Review, Tinhouse, Glitterpony, Skein, Notnostrums, Jubilat, Massachusetts Review, Boston Review, Sixth Finch, Oh No, Telephone, Lungful, Green Mountain Review, Make, Mater, Scythe, The Fairytale Review, Wolf in a Field, Salt Hill Journal, elsewhere and on The Academy of American Poets website. Her work has been selected as the San Francisco Poetry Center’s book of the year and awarded The Jerome Shestack Prize. She is a founding editor of Factory Hollow Press and member of Flying Object, a center for the arts and book art, performance and sometimes collaborative laboratory located in Hadley, Massachusetts. Her books include Selected Poems, Reverse Rapture, Hat on a Pond, Voyages in English, and chapbooks from Pilot Books, Small Anchor Books, The Song Cave and others. In progress: collection of stories, novel, two collections of poems, book of essays. Serial installments of Inside Undivided, a Series of Notes and Fragments about Chance, Fate, Context and Intention appear regularly on the Flying Object website.

780/2 – Imaginative Writing: Poetry
Tu, 1:00-3:30 Instructor: James Tate

Each week, a close reading analysis of poems submitted by poets and writers enrolled in the workshop, and occasional poems brought in from outside. Attention to the way in which a poem works and how it comes together through its choice of images, rhythms and subject matter. Assignments in an anthology of contemporary poetry and supplementary reading. Permission of instructor required of students not enrolled through the MFA Program for Poets and Writers.

James Tate is the author of The Eternal Ones of the Dream: Selected Poems, 1990-2010, The Ghost Soldiers, Return to the City of White Donkeys, Memoir of the Hawk, Shroud of the Gnome, Worshipful Company of Fletchers, which won the National Book Award; Selected Poems, which won the Pulitzer Prize and the William Carlos Williams Award; Distance from Loved Ones, Reckoner, Constant Defender, Riven Doggeries, Viper Jazz, Absences, Hints to Pilgrims, The Oblivion Ha-Ha, and The Lost Pilot, selected for the Yale Series of Younger Poets. He has published two books of prose, Dreams of a Robot Dancing Bee and The Route as Briefed. His awards include a National Institute of Arts and Letters Award, the Wallace Stevens Award, and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. He is currently a Chancellor of The Academy of American Poets and has been recently elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

780/3 – Imaginative Writing: Poetry
Mon, 1:25-3:55 Instructor: Peter Gizzi

The workshop is a very demanding class. It consists of work-shopping several batches of poems, providing in-depth written comments, handing in revisions, reading several books of poetry and essays, and required participation and attendance. Enrollment is limited to 10. Permission of instructor requires of students not enrolled through the MFA Program for Poets & Writes. All course books available at Amherst Books.

Peter Gizzi is the author of In Defense of Nothing: Selected Poems 1987-2011 (Wesleyan 2014), Threshold Songs (Wesleyan 2011), The Outernationale (Wesleyan 2007), Some Values of Landscape and Weather (Wesleyan 2003), Artificial Heart (Burning Deck 1998), and a reprint of his first book, Periplum and other poems 1987-1992 (Salt Publishing UK 2004). He has also published several limited edition chapbooks, folios, and artist books. His work has been translated into numerous languages and anthologized both here and abroad. His honors include the Lavan Younger Poet Award from the Academy of American Poets and fellowships in poetry from The Fund for Poetry, The Rex Foundation, Howard Foundation, The Foundation for Contemporary Arts, and The John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. In 2011, he was The Judith E. Wilson Visiting Fellow in Poetry at Cambridge University.

781/1, Imaginative Writing-Fiction
Wed, 1:25-3:55 Instructor: Edie Meidav

What creates your distinctive voice? In this workshop, dedicated primarily if not exclusively to the writing of the short story, we seek to help you define your aesthetic ambitions, consider your lineages, shake up some pieties, and free you to create the work that awaits you. Since your critical reading will greatly aid your writing, in addition to peer review and the submission of your work, together we will read selected published work as exemplars of the genre, available both in-class and from selected anthologies available at Amherst Books. Students interested in the course but not enrolled through the MFA Program for Poets and Writers would do well to contact emeidav@hfa.umass.edu.

Edie Meidav is the author of three novels: THE FAR FIELD: A NOVEL OF CEYLON (Houghton Mifflin), CRAWL SPACE (FSG), and LOLA, CALIFORNIA (FSG). Among the citations her work has received are fellowships (Lannan, Howard, a Fulbright in Sri Lanka); the Kafka award for best novel by an American woman, the Bard Fiction prize for writers under 40 and a Village Voice award; novels listed as editorial picks or books of the year by the New York Times, the L.A. Times and other sites; residencies at Macdowell, Vermont Studio Center, Fundacion Valparaiso and other sites; stories, excerpts, reviews, homages and poetry published in Artweek, Conjunctions, The Chicago Tribute, Kenyon Review, Ms., Poetry Flash, Village Voice, Zyzzyva and other publications. A former director of the MFA Program at New College of California in San Francisco and a writer-in-residence at Bard College, she is a contributing editor to Conjunctions, Fifth Wednesday Journal, and the International Literary Quarterly, and has been a judge for Yaddo, the NEA, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, the Juniper Prize and elsewhere.

781/2, Imaginative Writing-Fiction
Thurs, 10:00-12:30 Instructor: Noy Holland

This is a course about learning to be better at being, as Mr. Joyce says, "above the text, paring one's fingernails." My hope is that the class inspires fanaticism, perversions of the given, a new sense of the plasticity of the language, its instability, a fresh devotedness to the task of exploring lingual effects, the texture and coloration of words, the deep structure of sentences. The course seeks to encourage work that produces not sensationalism but sensation or what Nabokov called "aesthetic bliss; that is, a sense of being where art (curiosity, tenderness, kindness, ecstasy) is the norm." Please note that we will be reading at least 3 collections of short fiction for this course, and I will expect submissions to the workshop to be, in the main, short fiction. If you are working on a novel, please check with me first to determine whether or not this is the best workshop for you. Books ordered at Amherst Books.

Noy Holland is the author of three collections of stories, Swim for the Little One First, The Spectacle of the Body, and What Begins with Bird. Her work has appeared in several literary magazines, including The Quarterly, Ploughshares, Story Quarterly, Glimmer Train, Conjunctions, Black Warrior Review, and Open City. She has taught at Phillips Academy and the University of Florida, and has received fellowships from the University of Florida, the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, and the National Endowment for the Arts.


781/3, Imaginative Writing-Fiction
Wed, 4:00-6:30 Instructor: Sabina Murray

“Write what you don’t know. What you know is boring.” --John Gardner.

Research Basics Workshop. How does research enrich the writing of fiction? If this question relates to your work in progress, or if moving in a direction that necessitates research is just interesting, this workshop will address your needs. Research is necessary in any work with historical import, is essential in creating a broad roster of characters, keeps the “philosopher” muscle of the writers’ brain engaged, and becomes inescapable in books of ideas. Books assigned will include Valerie Martin’s The Ghost of the Mary Celeste, Karen Fowler’s We All Beside Ourselves, Lionel Shriver’s Big Brother, and others. We will be inviting writers who embrace research to come and chat with the class.

Sabina Murray's most recent book is Tales of The New World, a collection of stories. She is the author of the novels A Carnivore’s Inquiry , Slow Burn, and Forgery. Her short story collection The Caprices received the 2002 PENFaulkner award. Her stories are anthologized in The Norton Anthology of Short Fiction and Charlie Chan is Dead II. She has held fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, Guggenheim Foundation, Radcliffe Institute, and Massachusetts Cultural Council. She has written on Sebald for the Writers Chronicle, and Wordsworth for the Paris Review blog. Recent fiction has appeared in Manila Noir, an anthology of Manila noir, and xo Orpheus, an anthology of adaptations of myths, as well as in the Yale Review, New York Tyrant, Southwest Review, and others.

781/4, Imaginative Writing-Fiction
Tues., 5-7:30 Instructor: Jeff Parker

This semester we’ll be trying something new: Interval training. For part of the workshop, everyone will hand in work every week. Some of it will hold promise (maybe even be good) and some of it won’t. But there won’t be much time to dwell on it either way, because we’ll be onto the next week’s stuff. At a certain point we’ll slow it down and revert to a more traditional workshop approach with scheduled stories/excerpts that we can dig into deeper. The idea here is that, when all is said and done, you’ll have improved your speed and cardiovascular fitness, and you’ll have generated quite a bit of material. Come prepared to write a lot and submit immediately. Permission of instructor required of students not enrolled through the MFA Program for Poets and Writers.

Jeff Parker is the author of several books including Where Bears Roam the Streets: A Russian Journal, the novel Ovenman, and the short story collection The Taste of Penny. His writing has appeared in American Short Fiction, The Best American Nonrequired Reading, n+1, Ploughshares, Tin House, and others. He co-edited the anthologies Rasskazy: New Fiction from a New Russia and Amerika: Russian Writers View the United States. He also co-translated the novel Sankya by Zakhar Prilepin from the Russian. He is the Director of the DISQUIET International Literary Program in Lisbon.

791AS—New Theoretical Dimensions in Shakespeare Studies
W, 1;00-3:30 Instructor: Jane Degenhardt

This course will offer focused attention to twelve of Shakespeare’s plays, read in conjunction with selected theoretical and historical materials. Emphasis will be given to less canonical plays (e.g. Timon of Athens, Henry VIII, King John, Two Noble Kinsmen) and secondary readings that offer a survey of formative and emerging theoretical frameworks in the field of Shakespeare Studies. Readings will be organized into separate units, and may include the following (1) Formative texts from the late 20th century (Stephen Greenblatt, Jonathan Dollimore); (2) Cultural Materiality (Natasha Korda; Peter Stallybrass; Lena Orlin); (3) the New, New Formalism (Stephen Cohen, Douglas Bruster); (4) Cultural Geography (Mary Bly, Julie Sanders); (5) the Global Renaissance (Valerie Forman, Emily Bartels, Ania Loomba) (6) Ecocriticism and the Limits of the Human (Steve Mentz, Vin Nardizzi; Bruce Boehrer); (7) Performance and the Public Sphere (Paul Yachnin, Jeff Doty, Erika Lin); (8) Affect, Emotion, and Sense (Patricia Cahill, Holly Dugan, Mario DiGangi); (9) Queering the Renaissance (Will Fisher, Madhavi Menon; Stephen Guy-Bray); (10) the Religious Turn (Anthony Dawson; Susannah Monta; Julia Reinhard Lupton); (11) and Science and Medicine (Kaara Peterson, Gail Paster, Elizabeth Spiller). Students will be encouraged to engage, emulate, and critique these models. Assignments include a conference presentation, an oral presentation on a secondary source, a book review, and an annotated bibliography.

Jane Degenhardt is currently working on a book-length study of “fortune” in early modern drama, which considers how England’s nascent engagement in imperial exploration placed new pressures on the cultural authority of religious belief and gave rise to a new faith in the secular forces of chance, hap, and luck. What is the relationship between fortune and divine providence, and how might they offer analogies for the organizing assumptions of a dramatic production? Professor Degenhardt is particularly interested in the conventions of dramatic form, theatrical semiotics, and generic structure, as well as in issues of performance and audience. Her previous books include Islamic Conversion and Christian Resistance on the Early Modern Stage (2010) and Religion and Drama in Early Modern England (2011). Related to this earlier work, she published numerous articles on early modern inter-cultural encounter as well as the on the intersections between public theater and religious belief.

Engl 791CP Introduction to Performance Theory
Daniel Sacks Mondays, 5:30-8:00

Over the past fifty years, theories of performance have become influential means for articulating questions of enactment, embodiment, representation, and temporality in an increasingly mediated cultural landscape. This course surveys some of the major strands of thought concerned with these many forms of performance in the theatre, the gallery, and on the page. We will devote particular attention to performativity derived from Speech Act Theory and to how performance might question the nature of presence and "liveness" in the 20th and 21st century. A portion of the course will be treated as a workshop for exploring performative writing that seeks to join the creative and critical voice. Each week we will accompany our theoretical readings with the study of exemplary texts, performance documentation, and live art from the surrounding area.

791D---Major Texts for the Study of American Culture
Tu, 5:30-8:00 Instructor: TreaAndrea Russworm

In this class we will begin by reading the presidential addresses delivered at the annual American Studies Association meeting from the past decade. As we read, we will pay close attention to the ways in which American studies has taken to distinguishing itself as a field in recent years, particularly as the critical conversations about identity politics, transnationalism, diasporic studies, postcolonial subjectivities, and new media studies have continued to change and challenge the intersectionalities between American studies and other fields. Weekly, we will read relatively recent works from the field, such as Anne Cheng’s The Melancholy of Race, Michael Denning’s Culture in the Age of Three Worlds, Lauren Berlant’s The Female Compliant, and Judith Halberstam’s In a Queer Time and Place. Our aim will be to establish many models for doing compelling work in American studies as well as establish an updated vision on where the field is today.

TreaAndrea M. Russworm received her Ph.D. in English from The University of Chicago. Currently an Assistant Professor of English at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, she teaches classes on American studies, popular culture, and new media. Her articles and book chapters have appeared in Teaching Media, FlowTV, and in the anthologies Watching While Black and Game On, Hollywood! She is the co-editor of two edited collections in progress, From Madea to Media Mogul: Theorizing Tyler Perry which is forthcoming from The University of Mississippi Press, and a new collection on identity and representation in video games. Professor Russworm’s monograph, Blackness is Burning, explores the civil rights era’s popularization of the psychoanalysis of race and is forthcoming from Wayne State University Press.

791E---Theorizing the Discipline
Th, 5:30-8:00 Instructor: Suzanne Daly

This course is designed to introduce first-year Ph.D. students to current critical and theoretical frameworks in English studies; these may include affect theory, animal studies, ecocriticism, various formalisms, theories of globalization, posthumanism, and/or speculative realism/object-oriented ontology. Our central task will be to theorize the aesthetic and ideological investments of these approaches and to consider what possibilities each holds for literary analysis. We will concurrently consider the fates of more established methodologies, including feminist, Marxist, postcolonial and queer theory: where do we see them being absorbed, appropriated, co-opted, defanged, repudiated, reconfigured, or reinvented, and to what ends? As we proceed, we will seek to analyze English as a profession and to map itschanging protocols. Course material will be posted on Moodle.

Suzanne Daly teaches and writes about Victorian literature and culture.


796---Independent Study By arrangement
For students wishing to do special work not covered by courses listed in the curriculum. Each student when registering should submit a brief description of the semester’s work agreed on by the student and the instructor. This must be signed by both the instructor and the student. No instructor should do more than one such course. Form for registering for this course are available in Bartlett 452. The Director of Graduate Studies must approve each proposal.


796A---Independent Study By arrangement

For students who are taking more than one independent study course per semester.


796B---Independent Study By arrangement
796W---INDEPENDENT AREA-1 By arrangement
796X----INDEPENDENT AREA-2 By arrangement

891BD--Milton and Revolution
Tu, 1:00-3:30 Instructor: Joseph Black

The seventeenth century was marked by political, religious, cultural, scientific, and literary revolutions. The work of John Milton, most actively revolutionary of major English authors, reflects these movements in complex ways. We will read a broad selection of Milton’s writings, including his shorter English poems, Samson Agonistes, Paradise Regained, Paradise Lost, and selections from his prose. We will also read various texts with which Milton engages in explicit or implicit dialogue, including seventeenth-century works of radical politics and religion. The course explores such issues as the intersection of literature and revolution; Milton and the Renaissance notion of woman; and Milton’s afterlife in the imagination of later writers and critics.
Texts: Paradise Lost (Modern Library, 2008); Paradise Regained, Samson Agonistes, and Complete Shorter Poems (Modern Library, 2012); Essential Prose (Modern Library, 2013). All are edited by W. Kerrigan, J. Rumrich, and S. Fallon. You can also use their one-volume version, Complete Poetry and Essential Prose (2007), or any well-annotated edition of the Works. Texts will be ordered through Amherst Books.

Joseph Black’s recent books include John Milton: Samson Agonistes and Shorter Poems (2013),The Library of the Sidney Family of Penshurst Place (2013), and Private Libraries of Renaissance England, vol. 8 (2014). His current projects include co-editing the Complete Works of Thomas Nashe for Oxford UP.


891BE---The Neoliberal Turn: Contemporary American Literature and Capitalist Crisis
W, 4:00-6:30 Instructor: Ruth Jennison

This course examines the relationship between the rise of neoliberalism and American poetry written from 1970s to the present. We will begin by grounding ourselves in histories and theories of the neoliberal period of capitalist development. We will also read selected social histories from below: on the transformation of labor regimes, on the rise of racial incarceration, outsourcing, and feminized casual service sectors of employment, and on the corporatization of the educational ideological state apparatus. In conversation with these economic, political and social accounts, we will read poetry that offers a diverse range of responses to the crises and cultures of austerity and asymmetrical class conflict. Proceeding roughly chronologically, we will explore the rise of the postmodern avant-garde. We will explore representative works of many of the major poetry movements of the last thirty years: Those Aligning Themselves with Struggles for National, Black and Feminist Liberations, Language and post-Language, Conceptual and neo-Marxist among others. We will aim to interrogate the convergence of late capitalism and contemporary poetry thusly: How does poetry use formal techniques to represent the opaque circuits of finance capital? Is there a relationship between the rise of formal minimalism and the politics of austerity? Also, what strategies do some poets use to mark their cultural labor, amidst discourses of immaterial labor? In what ways has American poetry responded the rise of resistance to neoliberalism in the Global South, in Europe, in the Middle East, and within the United States itself?

Ruth Jennison is the author of The Zukofsky Era: Modernity, Margins and the Avant-Garde (Johns Hopkins, 2012). Her current book project is entitled “Figurative Capital: Poetry and the World System, 1929-1989.” Research interests include Modern and Contemporary American Poetry, Marxism, Critical Geography, and Revolutionary Feminisms.

891G-1, Form & Theory of Fiction: Beyond Good & Evil: The Possibility of a Moral Fiction
Thurs., 1-3:30 Instructor: Edie Meidav

Fulfills Modern/Contemporary Fiction requirement
Whose shadow stalks the fictional landscape? Degenerates and angels explode their worlds in work by such writers as Adiga, Bolano, Bowles, Coetzee, Galeano, Jackson, Jelinek, Johnson, Kapuscinski, Lee, Lessing, Levy, Li, Lowry, Mann, McCarthy, McEwan, Munro, Nabokov, Padura, Roth, Rhys, St. Aubyn, Tevis, Wallace, Wharton, Winterson and others. This practice-based seminar will be especially useful for writers grappling with questions of creating characters and milieus in which a moral math matters. In a classroom open to theory, such as Nietzsche and Spinoza, we will explore morality’s affect and edge in both modern and contemporary fiction. We will also focus on war writing. Presentations, creative work and critical writing will supplement our reading. Come prepared to question your assumptions about the construction of a morally engaged fiction.

891G/2---Form & Theory of Fiction: Reading the Russians
Th, 4:00-6:30 Instructor: Jeff Parker

Fulfills Modern/Contemporary Fiction requirement
In this class, we will read the Russians. This may intimidate, even frighten you. The class will seek to desensitize you to any intimidation or fear that may obtain when someone proposes reading the Russians. Part of the class will focus on the dense and dreary required reading—the novels that you have been warned about. (You have been misled: Crime and Punishment [it’s a detective story!]; Anna Karenina [it’s a soap opera!]; Dead Souls [um, I don’t know what it is—and that’s what I like about it!].) In addition we’ll examine a whole undercurrent of classic to contemporary Russian writing that is light, absurd, purely comic even when it concerns itself with matters of the gulag (especially, perhaps, when it concerns itself with matters of the gulag, since, as Flannery O’Connor, herself a connoisseur of the Russians, reminds us: all humorous writing must be about matters of life and death) such as Daniil Kharms and Mikhail Zoshchenko. Being that this is a fiction course, we will focus on novels and short stories (not only Chekhov’s) with the aid of several critical/theoretical texts (Nabokov, Shklovsky, Stanislavsky) that inform/enlighten, but we’ll also touch on some poetry, art, and punk rock. Expect to read a lot. This is not a class for Oblomovs.

Engl 891GC Genre: Texts, Contexts, and Social Action
Tu 4-6:30 Instructor: Anne Herrington

Genre is a ubiquitous concept for classifying all sorts of things—e.g., literature, film, music, public speeches, legal documents—but what explanatory or heuristic power can a theory of genre have beyond classification? And, what are we seeing when we use a particular genre lens? We will read theorizations of genre, beginning with Bakhtin and moving to contemporary theorists, including rhetorical and critical discourse conceptions of texts and genre. Some key questions: How do various theories lead us to understand texts and the dynamic relation between texts and contexts (including writers and readers, groups, institutions, and dominant and subordinated cultural values)? Who controls genres? What’s the function of genres, socio-culturally and individually, and the relation between conventions and agency? The role of genre in learning to write? We’ll consider print texts and online texts and venture into the murky territory of hybridity and blurred genres. Readings will likely include, among others, the following: Bakhtin, “The Problem of Speech Genres”; John Frow, Genre; Coe, Lingard, and Teslenko, eds., The Rhetoric and Ideology of Genre: Strategies for Stability and Change; and Bawarshi and Reiff, Genre: An Introduction to History, Theory, Research, and Pedagogy.

Requirements: Co-convening a portion of one seminar session, two discussion papers, a genre analysis, and a seminar paper on a relevant topic of your choice.

Anne Herrington is Distinguished Professor of English Emerita. Her professional interests include writing assessment, genre theory, writing across the curriculum, and writing development. With Charles Moran, she has co-edited Genre across the Curriculum (2005), and along with Kevin Hodgson, they also co-edited Teaching the New Writing: Technology, Change, and Assessment (2009). With Marcia Curtis, she co-authored, Persons in Process: Four Stories of Writing and Personal Development in College (2000), recipient of the David H. Russell Award for Distinguished Research in the Teaching of English, NCTE, 2002. Her work on assessment has included studies with Charles Moran of automated programs for assessing writing. They recently co-authored “Seeking Guidance for Assessing Digital Compositions/Composing,” in Digital Writing Assessment & Evaluation (2013).



891M – Form & Theory of Poetry: Nothing 891
Mon., 6-8:30 Instructor: Dara Wier

THE TROUBLE WITH BEING BORN E.M. CIORAN (nothing in this book strays from its title's premise); THE NOTHING THAT IS Robert Kaplan;COLLECTED POEMS Wallace Stevens (when nothing appears anywhere here, its advantage is its palpable practicality);FLOW CHART John Ashbery, nothing generates plent);Collected Poems Elizabeth Bishop to search through nothing as if through sand; TODAY I WROTE NOTHING DanilKharms (edited & translated by MatveiYanklelevich) necessity of nothing; CURIOSITY: Art and Pleasures of Knowing (Hayward Publishing) with nothing to lose directions in which nothing will be missed; ECSTATIC ALPHABETS/HEAPS OF LANGUAGE Bulletins of the Serving Library; ZERO Charles Selfie; NOTHING Anne Marie Wirth Cauchon; THE COLLECTED STORIES OF LYDIA DAVIS ; CONQUEST OF THE USELESS Werner Herzog. Leopardi said, "Two truths that men will never believe: one, that we know nothing, the other, that we are nothing. Add the third, which depends a lot on the second: that there is nothing to hope for after death."

THE BEGGAR WOMAN OF NAPLES
When I lived in Naples there was always a beggar woman at the gate of my palace, to whom I would toss some coins before climbing into my carriage. One day, surprised at never being thanked . I looked at the beggar woman. Now, as I looked at her, I saw that what I had taken for a beggar woman was a wooden case painted green which contained some red earth and a few half-rotten bananas.
Max Jacob (translated by John Ashbery)
"There is so much Everything/that Nothing is hidden quite nicely."
Szymborska

891TT---Introduction to Rhetorical Theory
Th, 5:30-8:00 Instructor: David Fleming

The study of rhetoric is traditionally concerned with how messages are crafted to achieve desired effects in audiences. The oldest rhetorical theories are mainly arts of public speech, but rhetoric has also been important as a school subject devoted to eloquence more generally, including arts of written composition. Today, “rhetoric” is probably best known in the wider culture as a term of political abuse; but, in the academy, it survives in a variety of approaches for looking at the suasory uses of discourse. Whether revived or moribund, capacious or narrow, rhetoric is one of the best-developed and most powerful verbal disciplines available to us. This course is a graduate-level introduction to that discipline. It will be divided into two parts: In the first, we’ll look at the development of ancient rhetorical theory and pedagogy in classical Greece, especially as that development can be traced in the works of Plato and Aristotle, their forerunners, and their successors. In the second part, we’ll test the value of ancient rhetorical theory and pedagogy in contemporary life and examine modern and postmodern developments, especially as these have grappled with the new conditions of our lives and new ways of thinking about language, performance, character, community, and reason. My fall 2012 syllabus for this course is available online at http://people.umass.edu/dfleming/english891tt.html . There will be changes for fall 2014, but the overall approach will remain the same.

David Fleming is Professor of English. He has published widely on histories and theories of rhetoric, pedagogies of writing, and civic education. His book City of Rhetoric: Revitalizing the Public Sphere in Metropolitan America was published by SUNY Press in 2008. Another book, From Form to Meaning: Freshman Composition and the Long Sixties, 1957-1974, was published by the University of Pittsburgh Press in 2011. He is currently at work on a study of the bachelor’s degree in U.S. higher education: past, present, and future; it is tentatively titled American Baccalaureate.

899----Doctoral Dissertation Staff
All graduate students must have a minimum of 18 credits at the time of their graduation.