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Graduate Courses

Fall 2020 Graduate Courses 
(Subject to change)

Engl    698     Gen Ed. Practicum                             by arrangement          R. Mordecai
Engl    698B   P-Intro. To Teaching Writing               Writing Program Schedules    
Engl    698I    P-Teaching Basic Writing                    by arrangement    A. Bello
Engl    698J    P-Teaching Mentoring                        by arrangement    P. Woods
Engl    698L   P-Teaching Creative Writing               by arrangement    J. Jacobson/J. Parker
Engl    698MA P-Teaching MFA Online Courses      by arrangement            J. Jacobson  
Engl    698R    P-Applied Literary Arts                      by arrangement            J. Jacobson
Engl    698RA  P-Applied Literary Arts RADIUS       by arrangement           E. Meidav           
Engl    698V-1   P- Spec. Topics: Teaching Writing   M, 4-5      Woods/LeCourt/Bello/Dingo
Engl    698V-2   P-Spec. Topics: Teaching Writing    M, 4-5      Woods/LeCourt/Bello/Dingo    
Engl    698V-3   P-Spec. Topics: Teaching Writing    M, 4-5      Woods/LeCourt/Bello/Dingo    

699-----Master’s Thesis                            Staff

780-1    Imaginative Writing: Poetry     Cynthia Cruz     
Fri 1:00–3:30pm 
A Thing That Questions: Poetry Workshop 
                        Does ‘writing’ exist in and of itself?
                        No. It is merely the reflection of a thing that questions.
                                    --Clarice Lispector, A Breath of Life
 In this poetry workshop we will explore the concept of the poem as a form of question. Entering our writing with a question, in unknowing, we will undoubtedly discover new forms, subject matter, and, perhaps, even hopefully,  even more questions. During the semester we will read and discuss the work of published poets while, at the same time, share our own writing in weekly workshops. In both instances we will focus on the poem’s construction: how the poems are made and what the result of each poets’ choices result in.

Cynthia Cruz is the author of six collections of poetry: Ruin (Alice James Books, 2006), The Glimmering Room (Four Way Books, 2012), Wunderkammer (Four Way Books, 2014), How the End Begins (Four Way Books, 2016), Dregs (Four Way Books, 2018) and Guidebooks for the Dead (Four Way Books, 2020). 

A collection of critical essays, Disquieting: Essays on Silence, was published by Book*hug in 2019.  Her second collection, The Melancholia of Class, is forthcoming from Repeater Books in 2021. A novella, Steady Diet of Nothing, is forthcoming from Four Way Books. Cruz's background is in German literature and philosophy. She regularly publishes essays and art writing in The Brooklyn Rail and Degree Critical. 

Cruz is the Kowald Visiting Writer in Poetry in the MFA Program in Creative Writing at the City College of New York. Cruz for Fall 2019/Spring 2020. Cruz also teaches at Sarah Lawrence College and in the Columbia University Graduate Writing Department.

780-2    Imaginative Writing: Poetry                    Peter Gizzi
Mon 1:25–3:55pm         
The workshop is a 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/or essays, and required participation and attendance. Permission of instructor required of students not enrolled through the MFA Program for Poets & Writers. 

Peter Gizzi is the author of Now It’s Dark (Wesleyan, 2020), Sky Burial: New & Selected Poems (Carcanet, UK 2020), Archeophonics (Wesleyan 2016), 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). 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, The John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, and The Judith E. Wilson Visiting Fellowship in Poetry at Cambridge University.

780-3    Imaginative Writing: Poetry        Tue 2:15–4:45pm        Dara Wier    
is it possible to question enough what we think we think so that we can bring to our lives and poems possibilities of shaping them toward what we desire ;
this workshop will change and shift by collective will and serendipitous convergence; by means of sensitivity and carefulness; initially we’ll begin with an eye directed by concepts of configuration, of structural confinement:  a panopticon, a boundary, a border, an identification, a definition, an inheritance, a coincidence of birth, of place, of birth order, of location, of language, of tradition, fate, predestination, prejudice, preference, ignorance, institutionalization, preoccupation, anything you determine to be relevant to an aesthetics of what you prefer to believe to be possible-----they always say the tension of restraint creates occasions for imaginative release—but they rarely say why----what might it take to make something that isn’t a poem a poem (if it takes anything); we’ll begin with your interest in addressing what this might have to do with making poems and we’ll go on from there;  your poems or pages of prose will be our greatest concern; bring 5 pages of your recent work (prose or poetry) to our first meeting, copied for distribution; bring a poem by someone else; bring a page with something on it that describes somehow or other something about your immediate poetic concerns
Dara Wier’s forthcoming book is Tolstoy Killed Anna Karenina; latest book is in the still of the night Wave 2017; recent new chapbook THRU.  Books in progress include Extremely Expensive Mystical Experiences for Astronauts (poems), The Pieces (poems in pieces), The Camouflage of Marriage (stories) and INSIDE UNDIVIDED (prose); she is the author of HAT ON A POND and REVERSE RAPTURE, a book length poem of 81 line poems in 9 stanzas of 9 lines, SELECTED POEMS, and YOU GOOD THING, all from Wave Books. Guggenheim, National Endowment for the Arts and Massachusetts Cultural Council and Lannan Foundation fellowships have supported her work which can be found in Best American  Poetry, The Pushcart Prize Anthology, The Golden Shovel, Black Ocean's Anthology of Surveillance Poetics; the Norton Anthology of American Hybrid Poetry,  Granta, Fence, Verse, Divine Magnet, American Poetry Review, The Nation, Conduit, Volt, Bat City Review, Tin House, Massachusetts Review, Boston Review, The Fairytale Review, The Academy of American Poets and The Poetry Foundation's websites, in the Wave Newsletter, LITERATURA, HYPERALLERGIC, on CA Conrad's blog and in the lecture series PLATFORM, and in chapbooks from Rain Taxi, The Song Cave, Small Anchor Books, Oat City Press, Scram and as a big broadside in Rain Taxi's brainstorm series.  REVERSE RAPTURE was awarded The Poetry Center’s book of the year award; her work was awarded American Poetry Review's Jerome Shestack Prize.  She is a founding editor of Factory Hollow Press, and founding Director of the Juniper Initiative for Literary Arts and Action and the Juniper Institute Summer Writing Workshops. She serves as jubilat's executive editor and publisher. 

781-1    Imaginative Writing: Fiction                    Edie Meidav
Tue 11:30–2:00pm
In this generative workshop, students are paired to co-write two drafts of a thirty-minute pilot script for screen. Classwork consists of workshop, reading, viewings, presentations, and a final project. Permission to take the course required for those outside the MFA.  

Edie Meidav is the author of KINGDOM OF THE YOUNG, a collection of short fiction with a nonfiction coda (2017), as well as three award-winning novels, called editorial picks by the New York Times and elsewhere: LOLA, CALIFORNIA (FSG/Picador), CRAWL SPACE (FSG/Picador) and THE FAR FIELD: A NOVEL OF CEYLON (Houghton/Mariner) as well as a coedited anthology STRANGE ATTRACTORS (2019, UMass Press). Honors have come from sites including the Lannan, Howard, Whiting, and Fulbright programs (Sri Lanka and Cyprus), the Kafka Prize, the Village Voice, the Bard Fiction Prize, Yaddo, Macdowell, VCCA, Fundacion Valparaiso and elsewhere. Former director of the MFA at the New College of California in San Francisco, a past judge for Yaddo, the NEA, Mass Cultural Council, Juniper Prize, and the PEN/Bingham first novel prize, she serves as senior editor at Conjunctions and advises other journals.

781-2    Imaginative Writing: Fiction                    Jeff Parker
Thurs 1:00–3:30pm    
Exhaustion v. 5.0: Consider this workshop interval training. Students will hand in ten pages of work every week for abbreviated, impressionistic critique. Some of this work will hold promise (may 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. The idea here is: to put the emphasis of the workshop on writing rather than on critique; to improve your speed and cardiovascular fitness; to create generative habits; and to amass a good bit of material, 100+ pages over the course of the term. Come prepared to write a lot and submit almost immediately. Permission of instructor required of students not enrolled in the MFA.

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 many collaborative books and anthologies include: Clean Rooms, Low Rates; Erratic Fire, Erratic Passion: The Poetry of Sportstalk; A Manner of Being: Writers on their Mentors; Rasskazy: New Fiction from a New Russia; Amerika: Russian Writers View the United States; and The Back of the Line.  His short fiction and nonfiction have appeared in American Short Fiction, McSweeney's, Ploughshares, Tin House, and others.

781-3    Imaginative Writing: Fiction                    Noy Holland
Weds 5:15–7:45pm    
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. Books ordered at Amherst Books.
Noy Holland is the 2018 recipient of the Katherine Anne Porter prize from the American Academy of Arts & Letters. She is the author of the novel Bird, and four collections of short fiction, The Spectacle of the Body, What Begins with Bird, Swim for the Little One First, and I Was Trying to Describe What It Feels Like: New and Selected Stories.

791D---Major Texts for the Study of U.S. Culture            Laura Furlan
Tuesdays, 1:00-3:30
In this course, we will take on the impossible task of surveying some of the most critical and innovative work in American Studies, particularly those that participate in key discussions and debates in feminism, transnationalism, regional studies, Indigenous studies, ethnic studies, as well as material, visual, and popular cultural studies. The texts will represent a broad range of subjects and methodologies, written by established scholars and newer voices. We will read (mostly) recent multi-disciplinary Americanist scholarship as a way to survey many models for doing compelling work in American Studies, to gain a working competence in its debates and approaches, and to establish a vision of where the field is today. 

Laura M. Furlan specializes in American Indian literatures. She is the author of Indigenous Cities: Urban Indian Fiction and the Histories of Relocation (University of Nebraska Press, 2017) and is working on a new book project entitled The Archival Turn in Native American Literature, a study of the function of archives in contemporary Native literature. She is currently co-editing a special issue of Studies in American Indian Literatures (where she also serves on the Editorial Board) on Deborah Miranda’s Bad Indians and another special issue of Massachusetts Review on contemporary Indigenous writing. She has published articles on Louise Erdrich and Janet Campbell Hale and has a forthcoming article on Miranda.

791E---Theorizing the Discipline                        Randall Knoper
Thursdays, 4:00-6:30
The purpose of this course is to provide an introduction to the theories and methods that inform and shape English studies—particularly the study of literature and culture, performance, and writing and rhetoric.  You will have the opportunity to identify the critical questions and conversations that are most compelling to you and that can guide your course of study as you pursue your degree. Following the new format from last year, faculty members in the department will be invited to the class to discuss how theory informs their work and to identify what they see as the new questions and directions emerging in their areas of specialization.  Students will learn about theoretical approaches from specialists and have the chance to meet and talk with them.  Our guests will address such areas as performance studies, environmental humanities, inter-imperial studies, postcolonial studies, indigenous literary studies, history of science, history of the book, transnational/translingual theories of writing, and textualities and circulation studies.  The subject headings one might expect in a course like this will be missing—e.g., formalism, deconstruction, poststructuralism, feminism, Marxism, psychoanalysis, critical race theory, queer theory, affect theory, and so on.  In much the same way that individual critics (and our guests) now combine aspects of these theories according to their utility, you’ll find that these conventionally established theories and methodologies weave their way throughout the course. One of our tasks will be to consider how they are absorbed, repudiated, reconfigured, or reinvented, and to what ends. To get up to speed on these theories, I would recommend purchasing one of the standard theory anthologies, e.g., Julie Rivkin and Michael Ryan, eds., Literary Theory: An Anthology; Vincent B. Leitch, et al., eds., The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism; or David H. Richter, ed. The Critical Tradition: Classic Texts and Contemporary Trends. We will also try to spend some time thinking and talking about English as a profession, particularly the unspoken expectations regarding the kinds of preparation required to enter it. Most of the readings will be available in electronic form.  I have no plans, yet, to order books for the course.

Randall Knoper is the author of Acting Naturally: Mark Twain in the Culture of Performance and of essays in such journals as American Literary History, American Literature, Modern Fiction Studies, and College Literature.  He is finishing a study of late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century U.S. literature and sciences of the brain and the nervous system tentatively titled Reflex and Life Force: Race, Sex, and Representation in U.S. Literary Neurophysiology, 1860-1910.

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.  Forms for registering for this course are available from Wanda Bak in the Graduate English office in South College.  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.
796W---INDEPENDENT AREA-1                        By arrangement
796X----INDEPENDENT AREA-2                        By arrangement

891AA---Re-Orienting Arab America                    Mazen Naous
Mondays, 5:30-8:00
The rise of neo-orientalist, Arabophobic and Islamophobic discourses in the US has put pressure on Arab American writers to respond to these stereotypes and misrepresentations. Furthermore, the very designation of “Arab American writing” posits the cultural production of Arab Americans in overdetermined socio-political matrices that prescribe certain readings, which deemphasize the artistic and aesthetic significance of this production. How, then, do Arab American writers tread the fine line between political and aesthetic considerations? What cultural and cross-cultural strategies do they employ to promote both a counter politics and artistic innovation? How do they address and persuade potentially hostile audiences? The literature of Arab Americans is emerging from years of neglect in the US academy, where it was not readily admitted alongside other literatures of migration and exile, and our focus will extend in part to the possibilities and orientations of this newly visible field of study. We will negotiate these questions and issues in the works of Diana Abu-Jaber, Rabih Alameddine, Rawi Hage, Laila Halaby, Mohja Kahf, and Laila Lalami. Literary and cultural theory will guide our readings. Books will be ordered at Amherst Books.

Mazen Naous specializes in Arab American literature, Arabic literature, postcolonial studies, translation theory, and music and literature. He is currently writing a book provisionally titled The Musiqa of Arab American Literature. Naous is the author of a monograph titled Poetics of Visibility in the Contemporary Arab American Novel (2020) and editor of an interdisciplinary collection of essays titled Identity and Conflict in the Middle East and its Diasporic Cultures (2016).

891B---Poetry of the Political Imagination                    Martín Espada
Mondays, 1:00-3:30
Poetry of the political imagination is a matter of both vision and language. Any progressive social change must be imagined first; any oppressive social condition, before it can change, must be named in words that persuade. Poets of the political imagination go beyond protest to define an artistry of resistance. This course explores how best to combine poetry and politics, craft and commitment. Students will read classic works ranging from the epigrams of Ernesto Cardenal, written against the dictator of Nicaragua, to Allen Ginsberg’s Howl, the book that sparked an obscenity trial. They will also read the farmworker poems of Diana García, born in a migrant labor camp; the emergency room sonnets of Dr. Rafael Campo; the prison poetry of political dissident Nazim Hikmet; and the feminist satire of Marge Piercy, among others. Course texts will be available at Amherst Books.

Martín Espada has published more than twenty books as a poet, editor, essayist and translator. His forthcoming book of poems with Norton is called Floaters (2021). He is the editor of What Saves Us: Poems of Empathy and Outrage in the Age of Trump (2019). His recent awards include the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize (2018), an Academy of American Poets Fellowship (2018), and an honorary Doctor of Letters from Middlebury College 2017).

English 891BV Beauty & Truth: On the Importance of Looking            Cynthia Cruz
        The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it.
                    —Flannery O’Connor 
We live in a world in which suffering coexists with beauty and mystery. If we turn away, if we refuse to see what is happening in the world we live in, to distract or detract, we fail, in some sense, as writers. In this seminar we will discuss the work of writers whose work is tethered in the real, in reality, and how such writing works to avoid nihilism by including the mysterious and the beauty, the inexplicable. Writers we will be reading and discussing include Lawrence Joseph, Linda Gregg, Czeslaw Miłosz, Marina Tsvetaeva, Clarice Lispector, Marguerite Duras, and Flannery O’Connor. Furthermore, we will en-gage in a series of writing exercises that enable us to draft poems grounded to reality and the world we live in. 

891DD---Literacy Studies                            Haivan Hoang
Mondays, 1:00-3:30
Literacy in the U.S. and in most nations is an unquestioned good. But why? What is literacy? Why does or should literacy matter? What are the consequences of literacy systems and practices? What institutions sponsor literacy and to what ends? What discourses about literacy circulate, and how do everyday readers and writers enrich or overturn such discourses? This course is an introduction to the interdisciplinary field of literacy studies. I begin this course by taking a cue from historian Harvey J. Graff who describes literacy as both "act" and "symbol." The act of reading and writing (and teaching reading and writing) is always sedimented with literacy's cultural meanings; in American history, literacy has variously symbolized moral virtue, democratic expression, and economic progress. Scholars in this field—compositionists, literary scholars, education researchers, linguists, anthropologists, social historians, and economists—have sought to define literacy, describe its uses, and analyze literacy in light of broader contexts (nationhood, economics, public policy, schools, racial legacies, discourse systems, and pedagogy). Researchers have employed varied methods (theoretical, historical, quantitative, interview-based, ethnographic) and may also differ in their units of analysis (literacy data from public records, literacy acts and events, literacy practices and contexts). This course explores the following aspects of literacy:

Literacy in U.S. History
Literacy Communities
Beyond the Local Community: Race and Citizenship, Economies, & Transnational Contexts
Course readings emphasize the practice of reading and writing situated in intimate communities and wider sociopolitical contexts, with emphasis on interview-based and ethnographic research that speaks to composition studies. While school settings are sites for literacy practice in some readings, the focus of this course is not on how to teach reading and writing, but rather literacy as a social, cultural, and political practice.

Professor Haivan Hoang's scholarly interests center on critical race theory, literacy studies, writing pedagogy, writing in the disciplines, and qualitative research methodologies. She is author of Writing against Racial Injury: The Politics of Asian American Student Rhetoric (U of Pittsburgh, 2015), and her current research explores how race becomes salient for students and teachers in discipline-specific writing courses.

891G-1 Form & Theory of Fiction    Weds: 11:15-1:45            Edie Meidav
How do writers create the effect of moral intimacy? In this seminar oriented toward writers, we will closely consider nine works from writers such as the following: Adiga, Alvar, Augustine, Babel, Baldwin, Bulgakov, Camus, Carey, Coates, Coetzee, Crane, Dostoyevsky, Ellison, Flaubert, Freed, Gardam, Gay, Green, Hamid, Ishiguro, Johnson, Kafka, Knauusgaard, Lanchester, Lawlor, Lorde, Machado, Miaojin, Messud, Mosfegh, Nabokov, Nelson, Orange, Rankine, Rousseau, Salvayre, Shonagon, Winterson, and Yuknavitch. One of our conversational goals will be to emerge with a deep heuristic understanding of the intimate voice, its motivation, outcome, and audience, and to create a working taxonomy of distance within a text on such topics as gender, orientation, ethnicity, class, nation.
Classwork will consist of presentations pairing outside sources with our assigned texts, weekly assignments, and a final project. Permission to take the course required for those outside the MFA.  

891GD---Empire and Literary Dialectics in Global Context            Laura Doyle
Thursdays, 1:00-3:30
This interdisciplinary course focuses on literature as a world-shaping force, bound up in power struggles and state formation, both before and since the rise of European hegemony.  To understand literature’s constitutive role in world politics and economy over the longue durée, we will read non-eurocentric historiography as well as an array of critical theory. Critical readings will include feminist-intersectional, world-systems, materialist, and decolonial analysis. Our discussions will address larger questions about historical processes, the micro- and macro-dynamics of power and resistance, the historical role of literature and translation projects in state formation, and the linked histories of activist and literary movements. Our selected literary texts will range from The Thousand and One Nights to postcolonial fiction, possibly with a focus on Atlantic-world texts. 

English 891KK  Fiction to Film                         Sabina Murray
Wednesdays, 2:30-5:00
This is a course that looks at elements of narrative—time, interiority, voice, summary, backstory, character, et cetera—as they transition from prose into screenplay. In addition to learning the basics of writing scripts, you will also learn how to better manage time, dialogue, structure, information,  and group scenes in your fiction. Works studied will (most likely) include Twelve Years A Slave (Northrup/McQueen), The Painted Veil (Maugham/Curran), The Lover (Duras/Anaud), and some others. Class participants will be required to work on a creative adaptation of their own selection.
FYI, my script for the film Beautiful Country (directed by Hans Petter Moland, commissioned by Terrence Malick) was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award and an Amanda Award. The film was a finalist for a Golden Bear. I have worked on numerous film projects, including adaptations and rewrites.

Sabina Murray is the author of three novels and two story collections, including The Caprices, which won the 2002 PEN/Faulkner Award. She has been awarded fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the Radcliffe Institute.  She teaches in the MFA Program at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. 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, Wordsworth for the Paris Review blog, time theory and historical fiction for LitHub, Duterte and the Philippines for VICE, Spam (the meat) for The New York Times, and published gothic fiction in Medium.  Her most recent book, Valiant Gentlemen, was included in the New York Times 100 Notable Books of 2016.  Two books are forthcoming: The Human Zoo, set in Duterte’s Philippines (Jan 2021) and Vanishing Point, a collection of literary horror fiction (June 2021).

891LC---Literature and Climate Change                     Malcolm Sen
Wednesdays, 1:00-3:30
This is payback time, Margaret Atwood noted, thinking about the “shadow side of wealth”. It is an apt analogy for this moment of climate crisis. This debt is everywhere: invisible when atmospheric and psychological, coded when cultural and social, legible when stratigraphic and somatic. This debt is prone to be financially packaged, ideologically managed, and generally misapprehended, which may be the reasons why our vocabularies have to modulate, why our futures appear closer, and why retellings and re-phrasings become urgent. Contemporary literatures are being shaped by the climate crisis in a manner that repeatedly highlights the critical importance of language and narrative, of metaphor and story, in conceptualizing this amorphous, intellectual behemoth, which is both personal and planetary. Imagining the multi-scalar transformations and multigenerational challenges heralded by climate change, indeed to identify it as a moment of civilizational and multi-species crisis across the planet, requires a felicity with humanistic concepts and a linguistic and literary alertness. The climate crisis is far from simply being a political one with economic solutions. 

This course allows students a thorough understanding of major issues, theoretical concerns, and cultural representations surrounding the climate crisis. In Fall 2020, when the shadow of Covid-19 will still be determining everyday lives and directly informing critical practices, our seminars will pay special attention to the cross-border toxicities of capital and the bio-physical, eco-social and multi-generational aftermath of such catastrophes. Covid-19 is, of course, a tragic allegory of the wider and more entrenched crisis surrounding climate, and we shall determine why this might be so. Novels and films from the around the world, and critical texts addressing a range of environmental, cultural and political issues, will guide us in our deliberations. Assignments include an annotated bibliography (mid-semester) and one critical essay (end of semester). A full list of primary and critical readings, films and documentaries, will be available upon request in late June 2020. 

Malcolm Sen is an Assistant Professor in the Department of English at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He is the editor of The Cambridge History of Irish Literature and the Environment (Cambridge UP: Forthcoming 2021), Race in Irish Literature and Culture with Julie McCormack Weng (Cambridge UP: Forthcoming 2022), and Postcolonial Studies for the New Millennium (London: Routledge, 2017) with Lucienne Loh. His monograph, Unnatural Disasters: Contemporary Irish Literature, Climate Change and Sovereignty will be published by Syracuse University Press (2020/21). Some publications from 2019 include: “Dragon-Ridden Days: Yeats, Apocalypse and the Anthropocene,” International Yeats Studies: Vol. 4 : Issue 1 , Article 10., 2020; “Sovereignty at the Margins: The Oceanic Future of the Subaltern,”in Barbara Haberkamp-Schmidt, Ed., Representing Poverty and Precarity in a Postcolonial World (Amsterdam: Brill, 2019/20); “Risk and Refuge: Contemplating Precarity in Contemporary Irish Fiction,” Irish University Review, vol. 49., Issue 1., 2019; “Godhuli / Twilight,” Matthew Schneider Mayerson and Brent Ryan Bellamy, Eds., An Ecotopian Lexicon (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2019).

891LL---Composition Theory                        Donna LeCourt
Tuesdays, 1:00-3:30
Designed as a survey course, composition theory provides an introduction to various writing theories, focusing almost exclusively on modern theories.  While many of these theories emerge from studies of teaching writing, our focus will not be on the practice of teaching.  Rather, the course interrogates the act of writing itself--how it takes place, what effect it has on people and their world, what purposes/goals it serves the writer, how it functions within culture, etc.  Our primary goals will be to understand both the variety of perspectives on how writing might be theorized as well as the debates and disagreements that exist between and among these theories.  Broader questions that will be pursued include the relationship between writing and reality, the status of the writer/agency, questions of difference and identity, the ideologies of writing theories, and the materiality of writing.  By the end of the course, students should have a clear understanding of what is at stake in such theorizing and begin to consider how they position themselves within these debates as teachers and scholars.  Readings will be drawn from a wide range of approaches, including expressivism, cognitivism, genre theory, Marxism, poststructuralism, feminism, queer theory, circulation studies, posthumanism, and globalization.  

Donna LeCourt’s work focuses on identity difference, digital rhetorics, and writing theory.  She is currently working on a book tentatively titled Social Mediations:  Writing for Public Spheres in the Digital Age.  

891M---Form and Theory of Poetry                        Dara Wier
Mondays, 6:15-8:45    
This seminar is for jubilat readers, jubilat’s Managing Editor, Assistant Editors, Interview and Special Features Editors, Media Editor, Special Projects Assistants, jubilat/Jones Reading Series Interns/Hosts----it is also for anyone interested in becoming associated with jubilat. There are many roles one can assume, and there is room for inventing new ones.. jubilat thrives because new voices join in year after year;  please let me know if you have any questions; email me at or make an appointment.
You may receive 3 hours credit for a year’s affiliation via registration for this seminar; please talk with me about ways you can contribute and receive credit. If the work you propose and accomplish extends through the year and merits additional credit hours (which it may) you can arrange for that credit via Independent Study with me.
The seminar meets at the beginning of the semester during its regularly scheduled hours, at which time we’ll distribute meeting times, assignments, consultations, work schedules. 

891VM---Vibrant Matter: Material Culture and Early Modern English Drama  
Wednesdays, 4:00-6:30                              Adam Zucker
This course is designed both for students pursuing a degree in early modern studies, and for students hoping to read across time and place with an eye on the material engagements of theatrical culture. We will focus on plays written by William Shakespeare, Ben Jonson, and their contemporaries in order to consider questions that have organized the past 20 years of scholarship on ‘object’ studies: Why and how do objects and material spaces shape relations between subjects, and in what sense might objects and spaces be forceful agents in their own right? How do questions of environment, ecology, and global epistemology change when materiality is centered within them? How does the theatrical performance of human identity in particular (in its spatial and narrative forms) deal with or enact these questions? How might we balance historical research and presentist critique and rhetoric? Contemporary theorist such as Jane Bennet, Mel Chen, and Bruno Latour will help us consider work by early modernists such as Jonathan Gil Harris, Ian Smith, Lena Orlin and others.

Students will be expected to write one 800-word book review and one 20-25-page research paper, in addition to organizing a conference-paper-style presentation accompanied by an annotated bibliography. 

Adam Zucker has been teaching at UMass since 2004. His teaching and research are focused broadly on the intersection of historical textual language and transhistorically significant social forms. He is the author of book on the materiality of wit in early modern comedy, and recent publications, drawn from a book-in-progress on stupidity in Shakespearean contexts, focus on pedantry and the philology of nonsense in Twelfth Night

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