Courses

For undergraduate courses, the distribution requirements that a course fulfills will appear in parenthesis at the end of the description. For courses offered prior to 2018-19, distribution requirements are flagged using the following system: (A) gateway, (B) fiction, (C) poetry, (D) drama, (E) pre-1650, (F) 1650–1830, (G) 1830–1940, and (H) literary or critical theory. 

Students should consult the following list of courses that have been approved to fulfill the new literature in translation option for the undergraduate Foreign Language Requirement. Courses taken prior to 2019-20 or otherwise not on this list must be approved by the Director of Undergraduate Studies (Benjamin Saltzman).

ENGL 10112 Poe

In this course we will survey the works of Edgar Allan Poe. While attending closely to his texts, we will place Poe in the cultural and literary contexts in which he wrote. In some cases, we will challenge his politics and silences. In others, we will come to understand Poe as a shrewd author attempting to negotiate the rapidly growing yet unstable antebellum print market. Students can expect to read essays, verse, short prose fiction, and a novel. We will also survey a range of literary criticism to assist our readings. Final projects will involve a research component.

2023-2024 Autumn
1830-1990

ENGL 10116 Medicine in British Popular Culture

From 17th-century public dissections to the sewage scene on “Ted Lasso”, how has medicine and public health been represented in London’s popular media? In the city’s theatrical productions, museum exhibitions, literature, film, and television, where do representations of Western medicine reflect, undermine, or strengthen its authority, particularly as it became an increasingly professionalized and distinct discipline to the exclusion of other systems of knowing? We’ll look at the tools cultural producers use to reinforce, challenge, or complicate medical theories and definitions of what makes a healthy body, a raced body, a gendered body. With particular attention to horror and satire, we’ll track anxieties and hopes over the “medicalized” body and the “healthy” city, drawing on scholarship in critical race theory, queer studies, disability studies, and media theory. This course focuses on research methodology and producing original, personally meaningful scholarship. Each week we will visit a different archival or cultural site, speak with scholars in the field, create a network of peer support, and ultimately build a robust toolkit for our own work. The final project is an independent research paper scaffolded through a series of mini-assignments and peer workshops. Our syllabus is intentionally conceptual and capacious—spanning centuries, mediums, and disciplines—in order to open up points of entry for every student to make their own

2023-2024 Autumn
Fiction
Theory
1830-1990

ENGL 10117 "She'll never be human again!": Superheroes and Bodily Transformation

This course looks at the mutated, rearranged, supplemented, and hyper-able bodies of superheroes and supervillains. Drawing on disabilities studies, critical race theory, gender studies, and trans and queer studies, we’ll examine 20th- and 21st-century representations of super-anatomies and their place in American culture. Within superhero media—a genre full of spectacular bodily transformation, biological difference, and physical violence—where do ideologies around race, gender, sexuality, ability, and definitions of “human” get reproduced or destabilized? How can these biodivergent figures who stretch, incinerate, and bubble with muscle be resources for envisioning new possibilities for queer and racialized living, or for reading outside of traditional fantasies of white male power? What is the role of Western science and medicine, of accidents, experiments, and evolutions? Looking at film, graphic novels, and literary texts, we’ll ask how materiality—what the body’s made of—can (re)produce ideology. Finally, we’ll consider these narratives in relation to how bodily transformation is policed today, from bans on gender-affirming care to non-consensual “mutations” caused by environmental racism. Students of all majors are welcome.

2023-2024 Spring
Fiction
1830-1990

ENGL 10120 Contemporary Fiction

Crosslistings
GNSE 18120

How do we approach literature that's being made at the same time we're studying it? In this course we read recent “mainstream” “literary” hits and cult darlings, while keeping an eye on how social structures affect how books get made, read, and acclaimed. We discuss how recent fiction reflects, dodges, or disputes legal structures, financial systems, race, gender, class, and social media. Course readings will focus on fiction in the American context in the past five years; authors might include Percival Everett, Sally Rooney, Jackie Ess, Ottessa Moshfegh, Ling Ma, Jennifer Egan, Roberto Bolaño, and/or Helen DeWitt. We will also read theories of the culture industry from the Frankfurt School through the present, and recent popular literary criticism. Throughout, we develop strategies for keeping in touch with what’s being written right now. Course writing will include the option to develop a magazine-style review essay.

2023-2024 Spring
Fiction
Theory

ENGL 10122 Gothic Fiction in the Caribbean and American South

This course examines Blackness and Indigeneity in the Gothic literature (broadly conceived) of the Caribbean and the American South. How does the grotesque and the sublime manifest in Caribbean and Southern Gothic texts, and how do these themes bear upon the constructs of Blackness and Indigeneity, particularly as they relate to questions of abjection and land? We will read the work of Toni Morrison, Louise Erdrich, Maryse Condé, William Faulkner, Edwidge Danticat, and Leanne Howe alongside theoretical texts from Black Studies, Caribbean Studies, and Indigenous Studies.

2023-2024 Spring
Fiction
Theory

ENGL 10124 Poverty, Crime, and Character: 18th Century and Now

Crosslistings
GNSE 18124

From highwaymen and vagrants to thieves and murderers, this course will look at fictional representations of crime and criminology from the 18th century and the present. We will ask how changing concepts of character, literary and legal, shape a society’s understanding of what criminality is and how it should be managed. Looking first at how the early British novel asks us to think about literary and personal character by way of crime and confession, we will then turn to the 20th- and 21st-century afterlives of these 18th-century crime narratives, attending to how configurations of moral constitution and personal identity—especially relating to class, gender, and race—become intertwined in more recent fiction and film. Syllabus may include fiction by Daniel Defoe, Henry Fielding, William Godwin, James Hogg, Richard Wright, Patricia Highsmith, Philip K. Dick, and Jordy Rosenberg; films by Steven Spielberg, Bong Joon-ho, Horace Ové, Hirokazu Koreeda, and Richard Linklater; and theoretical texts by David Hume, Jeremy Bentham, Patrick Colquhoun, and recent criminologists.

2023-2024 Winter
Fiction
1650-1830

ENGL 10126 Self-Help, Medieval and Modern

This course explores the literature of advice, wisdom, and instruction in the Middle Ages. Is literature, in Kenneth Burke’s phrase, “equipment for living?” In this class, we’ll aim to understand “literature” and “life” as historically emergent and culturally contingent concepts. We’ll consider the formal and rhetorical properties of these texts that want to tell us how to live, as well as their relationship to narrative and poetic forms. What makes these texts so compelling or so off-putting? What does the compulsion to deliver and receive advice, wisdom, and instruction tell us about the project of constructing a “self,” in the Middle Ages and now? Although the readings for this course will come primarily from the medieval period, we’ll also range across topics such as ancient Near Eastern wisdom literature and “self-help” as a modern commercial phenomenon. The eclecticism and contradictions of these texts will be of particular interest. Readings will include selections from: The Book of Proverbs, Old English Maxims, William Langland’s Piers Plowman, Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, and Rhonda Byrne’s The Secret. (Pre -1650)

Mary Kemp Thornberry
2023-2024 Winter
Pre-1650

ENGL 10130 Fiction and the Invention of Privacy

The NSA spies on us through our phones. Tech companies sell our personal data. Friends post embarrassing pictures of us on social media. There can be little doubt that in an increasingly interconnected world, our right to privacy is under attack. But what is this “privacy” that appears to us at once so essential and so precarious? In this course, we will take up fictions in which privacy appears simultaneously desirable and impossible. While we will encounter works from a variety of periods, we’ll pay particular attention to the eighteenth century, an era that witnessed the side-by-side emergence of both the modern novel and the modern concept of privacy. Among our guiding questions: how does fiction shape the way we understand privacy? And how might our understanding of privacy have shaped the history of literature?
We will read literary works by a variety of authors, including Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Jane Austen, Eliza Haywood, Herman Melville, and Kazuo Ishiguro. We will also engage with several notable theorists of privacy, including John Stuart Mill, Karl Marx, Hannah Arendt, and Michel Foucault.

Jasper Burget
2023-2024 Spring
Fiction
1650-1830

ENGL 10132 Rise of the Short Story

The short story today is one of the most profitable and aesthetically valued forms of fiction. Surprisingly, the anglophone short story, along with the collection, cycle, etc., did not emerge as a distinct market or aesthetic form until the late-19th century. This class will track the evolution of this form, from the early 19th century sketch to the experimental modernist short story cycle, to better understand (a) what makes the short story distinct from other literary forms (especially the novel), and (b) how literary forms develop in relation to social forms. (Fiction, 1830-1990, Theory)

2023-2024 Winter
Fiction
Theory
1830-1990

ENGL 10620 Literature, Medicine, and Embodiment

Crosslistings
GNSE 20620, HLTH 26020

This class explores the relations between imaginative writing, embodiment, and medical care. We will take up literary texts that grapple with culturally charged illnesses from the 1800s-present (e.g. TB, hysteria, cancer, AIDS), as well as theoretical texts that will help us think through the importance and problems with mediating the body in language.

2023-2024 Spring
Fiction
Theory
1830-1940

ENGL 10709 Genre Fundamentals: Fiction

This course offers an introduction to narrative fiction. Taking up texts from a range of historical moments, we will consider the various genres and material forms through which fiction has found audiences. We will ask: what have those audiences wanted from fiction? What functions has fiction served? What work can stories do, and what pleasures can they offer? Focusing on the short story and the novel, we will explore key elements of narrative and try out different ways of interpreting fiction. Our discussions will take up topics including point of view, characterization, the relationship between narrative and time, the role of narrative in shaping identities, the powers of realism and its contraries, and the experience of suspense.

2023-2024 Spring
Genre Fundamentals
Fiction

ENGL 10812 Intro to Black Studies

This course will focus on the development of Black literary and political writing, while also keeping a critical eye on the institutionalization of Black Studiers. Authors include Frederick Douglass, WEB Du Bois, CLR James, Ida B Wells, Fanon, Angela Davis, Sylvia Wynter, and more.

2023-2024 Autumn
Fiction
Theory

ENGL 10952 History of Western Drama since 1880

This course surveys key historical movements, playwrights, and theatrical styles that have shaped the contemporary theatrical landscape. Through readings, lectures, discussions, and performances, students will explore the social, cultural, and political contexts that influenced the creation and reception of modern and contemporary drama. Topics covered include the emergence of realism and naturalism in the late 19th century, the rise of avant-garde movements such as expressionism, surrealism, and absurdism in the early 20th century, the Harlem Renaissance, the rise of political theater and feminist theater in the 1960s and 1970s, and the ongoing evolution of drama in the late 20th and 21st century. The course culminates in a scene project assignment that allows students put their skills of interpretation and adaptation into practice. No experience with theater is expected. Fulfills the Genre Fundamentals requirement in English.

2023-2024 Spring
Drama

ENGL 10954 Cow, Tree, Corpse: Staging Renaissance Intimacy

This course will look at the representation of three sexual scenarios that figure prominently in early modern England's media ecology and that raise a lot of ethical, logistical, and interpretive questions. Using Ovid as our foundational treatment of the myths of Io, Daphne, and Adonis, we will read plays by Heywood, Lyly, Shakespeare, and Jonson, and investigate the built environment and embodied repertoire of early modern England to speculate about what playwrights were calling for when they called up Ovidian poses and positions. (Drama, Poetry, Pre-1650)

2023-2024 Winter
Drama
Poetry
Pre-1650

ENGL 11200 Fundamentals of Literary Criticism

An introduction to the practice of literary and cultural criticism over the centuries, with a particular emphasis on theoretical debates about meaning and interpretation in the late 20th century and present.

2023-2024 Winter
Genre Fundamentals
Theory

ENGL 12106 Women of the Avant-Garde

Crosslistings
CHST 12106, GNSE 12106

This course provides an introduction to the written materials of women artists who belonged to various twentieth-century avant-garde movements and circles. The institutions of “woman art” and “the avant-garde” will come under scrutiny as we consider the literary and archival miscellany of pan- & non-sexual, cross-generational, inter-aesthetic, multilingual, and transnational works by such makers as Gertrude Stein, Gwendolyn Brooks, Clarice Lispector, Frida Kahlo, and Yoko Ono. How do these artists conceive of their work and process as interventions into social, political, and historical realities? How does their subjective view of those realities provide an account of the identificatory powers of their gender and sexuality? We will examine the ways in which abstraction in writing becomes useful for commenting on issues raised by feminist and queer theory, periodization, canonization, and institution.

Taking to the Regenstein’s Special Collections Research Center, we will also open up the criticism, diaries, and letters of these artists to gain a new perspective on their creative processes. In addition to learning how to constellate these materials with the course readings, students will acquire hands-on experience in archival research, annotation, and curation as they make an archival project of their own. Students’ final projects will serve as the basis for a prospective library exhibition in concert with Special Collections.

2023-2024 Winter
1830-1990

ENGL 12522 Chaucer's Dream Poems

This course takes Chaucer's three dream poems as the basis to explore the English poet's experimental verse and the nature of medieval poetry in the later fourteenth century. As a class, we'll test ways of reading and interpreting this philosophically ambitious and riddling body of writing. No previous experience with medieval literature required.

2023-2024 Winter
Pre-1650

ENGL 13580 Introduction to Asian American Literatures

Crosslistings
CRES 13580, RDIN 13580

This is a survey course that introduces students to the complex and uneven history of Asians in American from within a transnational context. As a class, we will look at Asian American texts and films while working together to create a lexicon of multilingual, immigrant realities. Through theoretical works that will help us define keywords in the field and a wide range of genres (novels, films, plays, and graphic novels), we will examine how Asia and Asians have been represented in the literatures and popular medias of America. Some of the assigned authors include, but are not limited to, Carlos Bulosan, Maxine Hong Kingston, Joy Kogawa, Fae Myenne Ng, Nora Okja Keller, Cathy Park Hong, Ted Chiang, and Yoko Tawada.

2023-2024 Autumn
Fiction

ENGL 13582 Crime/Fiction

What is the relationship between plotting a crime and plotting a narrative? In this course, we will examine the genre of crime fiction but work to push against the borders of the category to include works on and discussions about the politics and poetics of confession, the affinities between testimony and fiction, and the racialization of crime.

2023-2024 Autumn
Fiction

ENGL 15004 War, Culture, and Imperialism: Russia and the West from the 19th Century to the Present

Crosslistings
REES 15004

This course will survey literature shaped by the history of imperial conflict between Russia and “The West,” ultimately with a view to better understanding our current geopolitical situation and mediascape. The course will be anchored in the nineteenth century, focusing on writing related to the Crimean War (1853-6) and the long contest between Britain and Russia for domination in Central Asia and India known as “The Great Game,” but it will also provide a snapshot of Cold War cultural production, with an emphasis on ideological dissent among Black radicals and Russian emigres, before turning finally to our contemporary moment.

2023-2024 Winter
Fiction
1830-1990

ENGL 15006 The Radical Atlantic: Literature and Politics in Migration, 1780-1920

This course will survey the literary, political, and life writing of radical circum-Atlantic travelers and emigrants in the long nineteenth century. We will focus on how the movement of these people and their ideas between the Caribbean, the United States, and Britain impacted the various political formations and reform movements in which they took part. From fugitive and formerly enslaved Black West Indians and African Americans who became leaders and propagandists in British working-class movements to British working-class political refugees who joined the anti-slavery cause in the United States, and beyond, we will consider the productive yet uneven ways in which a diverse, multiethnic and transnational group of writers contributed to a single radical literary tradition. Readings may include periodicals, political tracts, letters, poetry, novels, and memoirs by such writers as Robert Wedderburn, James Dawson Burn, Frederick Douglas, and Claude McKay as well as key historical and critical works like Peter Linebaugh and Marcus Rediker’s The Many-Headed Hydra.

2023-2024 Spring
1830-1990
Theory

ENGL 16600 Shakespeare II: Tragedies and Romances

Crosslistings
FNDL 21404, TAPS 28406
Prerequisites

This course explores mainly major plays representing the genres of tragedy and romance; most (but not all) date from the latter half of Shakespeare's career. After having examined how Shakespeare develops and deepens the conventions of tragedy in Hamlet, Othello, Macbeth, King Lear, and Antony and Cleopatra, we will turn our attention to how he complicates and even subverts these conventions in The Winter's Tale and Cymbeline. Throughout, we will treat the plays as literary texts, performance prompts, and historical documents. Section attendance is required.

2023-2024 Autumn
Pre-1650
Drama

ENGL 16600 Culture and the Police

Crosslistings
CRES 18108

How do cultural products facilitate, abet, and enable the form of social ordering that we call policing? This course will explore the policing function of what modernity calls “culture” by exploring the parallel histories of policing, the emergence of modern police theory, and the rise of the novel. We will focus in particular on how both literature and the police emerge to navigate a series of linked epistemological and political problematics: the relation between particularity and abstraction, the relation between deviance and normalcy, and indeed that of authority as such. While we will focus on texts from the eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Atlantic world, students with a broader interest in policing are encouraged to enroll. Readings will include Aphra Behn, Daniel Defoe, Henry Fielding, G.W.F. Hegel, Louis Althusser, and Michel Foucault, in addition to historical documents including gallows narratives, newspapers, and early theorizations of the police concept.

2023-2024 Autumn
Fiction
1650-1830
1830-1940
Theory

ENGL 17440 August & After: Contemporary Black Drama & Performance

This course surveys the landscape of contemporary back theater-makers and performance artists (and may include, where relevant, the historical predecessors they explicitly invoke or work against). What forces animate works of contemporary black theater and performance? What tropes or conventions do they jettison, and which do they keep? Is there enough uniting these works that an underlying coherence prevails, or does studying them alongside one another instead reveal the dissolution of a racial center?

2023-2024 Winter
Drama

ENGL 17950 The Declaration of Independence

Crosslistings
FNDL 27950, HIST 17604, HMRT 17950, LLSO 27950, SIGN 26039

This course offers an extended investigation of the origins, meanings, and legacies of one of the most consequential documents in world history: the Declaration of Independence. Primary and secondary readings provide a series of philosophical, political, economic, social, religious, literary, and legal perspectives on the text’s sources and meanings; its drafting, circulation, and early reception in the age of the American Revolution; and its changing place in American culture and world politics over nearly 250 years. (1650-1830, 1830-1940)

In addition to the noted class times, there will also be discussion sections to be scheduled once the class begins. There is also an optional in-person component to be held in Special Collections.

2023-2024 Winter
1650-1830
1830-1940

ENGL 18250 Irish Literature and Cinema

Crosslistings
CMST 21650

Major works of poetry, fiction, drama, and film. In literature, the course ranges from Jonathan Swift and Maria Edgeworth to Seamus Heaney and Anna Burns, and, in cinema, from silent film to Neil Jordan and Lenny Abramson. Literature and cinema are intertwined through all the weeks of the quarter in various connections (including Hitchcock's adaptation of O'Casey's JUNO AND THE PAYCOCK).

2023-2024 Autumn
Fiction
Poetry
Drama
1650-1830
1830-1990

ENGL 19902 Virginia Woolf and the Bloomsbury Group

A controversial art exhibition organized by Roger Fry, “Manet and the Post-Impressionists,” provoked Virginia Woolf to write that “on or about December 1910 human character changed.” The Bloomsbury Group, renowned for its role in vilifying Victorian culture and promoting English modernism, was no less famous for its own efforts to change human character: for its unprecedented understanding of aesthetics, economics, social politics, and sexuality. Taking advantage of our particular location in London (the neighborhood in which the group lived, met, wrote, and painted), this course will provide the opportunity to engage a broad spectrum of Bloomsbury work: the essays and fiction of Virginia Woolf; the art of Venessa Bell, Duncan Grant, and Roger Fry; the macroeconomics of John Maynard Keynes. This engagement will unfold through different analytics (formalist, psychoanalytic, materialist), and with sustained recognition of two Bloomsbury institutions—the short-lived Omega Workshops, and the enduring Hogarth Press. The British Library and the Tate Modern will provide us with intimate access to literary and visual texts, and we will talk with contemporary writers about the cultural legacy of this coterie.

2023-2024 Autumn
Fiction

ENGL 20148 English Renaissance Verse and the Poetics of Place

This course will explore sixteenth- and seventeenth-century English poetry by focusing on the poetic treatments of diverse places, including commercial, legal, and theatrical London venues, courtly palaces, aristocratic country houses and rural estates, churches, prisons, and imaginary landscapes. Poets might include Wyatt, Spenser, Sidney, Shakespeare, Donne, Jonson, Herbert, Herrick, Lovelace, Milton, Marvell, Philips, and Cowley. Genres might include sonnet, epithalamion, satire, pastoral, georgic, epistle, epigram, country-house poem, and ode. Trips within and close to London might include the Tower of London, the Whitehall Banqueting House, the Globe Theater, Hampton Court, Penshurst Place, and Knole.

2023-2024 Autumn
Poetry
Pre-1650
1650-1830

ENGL 20162 Eighteenth Century Black Lives: BlackLondon in an Around Abolition

This course will focus on representations of Black life and experience in literature published during the age of the British slave trade and abolition, as well as on more recent writing that seeks to imagine, honor, or reckon with the unrepresented Black lives of this period.
During the first two weeks of the course, our reading will center on eighteenth-century writing. Primarily, we will focus on the work of prominent Black writers in London in and around abolition, including the life narratives of the formerly enslaved Olaudah Equiano (1789), Ottobah Cugoano (1787), and Mary Prince (1831), the published letters of Ignatius Sancho (1780), and the poetry of Phillis Wheatley Peters (1773). We may also read selections from white-authored abolitionist poetry, relevant legal cases, as well as the anonymously published novel, The Woman of Colour (1808).
In our third week, we will tum to a number of recent works that look back to the eighteenth century in order to reimagine the past and present of Black life in British culture, or to reclaim ·a place in the national imaginary: Honoree Fanonne Jeffers' The Age of Phillis, M. NourbeSe Philip's Zangl, and perhaps a play or two 0asmine Lee-Jones' Curious, Jackie Sibblies Drury's Marys S eacole, Giles Terera's The Meaning of Zon!). We will supplement our reading with selections from historians, cultural theorists, and literary critics (likely to include Paul Gilroy, Christina Sharpe, Simon Gikandi, Peter Fryer, David Olusoga, Gtetclten Gerzina and others).

2023-2024 Autumn
Drama
1650-1830

ENGL 20224 Water Worlds

Taking its cue from a remarkable convergence of interest in recent and forthcoming cultural touchstones like Avatar: The Way of Water, Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, and Wakanda Forever (along with recent scholarship on the cultural history of swimming; popular fascination with the aquatic ape theory of human evolution; recent theoretical embrace of aquatic scenes or modes of criticism and being; and productive conceptual distinctions between depths and shallows, fresh and saltwater, and the liquid and solid), this course examines foundational and new aquatic scenes of imagination: literary, cinematic, historical, and theoretical. (

2023-2024 Winter
Fiction
Theory

ENGL 20226 Subgenres of British Romantic Fiction: Gothic, Historical, Courtship

Survey of three major subgenres of the British Romantic novel: Gothic, Historical, Courtship, likely including work by Jane Austen, Walter Scott, Matthew Lewis, Ann Radcliffe, James Hogg, and Maria Edgeworth.

2023-2024 Autumn
Fiction
1650-1830

ENGL 20250 The Means of Production: Contemporary Literary Publishing I (Books)

This course will introduce students to the aesthetic criteria, cultural and institutional infrastructures, and collaborative practices of literary evaluation in the making of contemporary American poetry. How does a manuscript of poetry 'make it' onto the list of a literary publisher, and from there to the bookshelves of the Seminary Coop? How do individual readers and editorial collectives imagine the work of literary assessment and aesthetic judgment in our time? We will begin the course with a survey of new directions in Anglophone poetry as preparation for an intensive editorial practicum in the evaluation and assessment of literary manuscripts in the second half of the term. Visits with literary editors and authors will offer students opportunities to learn about the field of contemporary literary publishing. Course work will include reviewing and evaluating manuscript submissions to the Phoenix Poets book series at the University of Chicago Press.

2023-2024 Autumn

ENGL 20252 The Means of Production II: Contemporary Literary Publishing (Magazines)

How does a poem 'make it' into the pages of Chicago Review, or The Paris Review? How do individual readers and editorial collectives imagine the work of literary assessment and aesthetic judgment in our time? This course will introduce students to the aesthetic criteria, cultural and institutional infrastructures, and collaborative practices of literary evaluation in the making of contemporary American poetry. We will begin with a survey of new directions in Anglophone poetry and poetry in translation as preparation for an intensive editorial practicum in the production of literary magazines in the second half of the term. Visits with magazine editors will offer students opportunities to learn about the field of contemporary literary publishing. Course work will include researching and soliciting work from contemporary poets for The Paris Review. Note, "Means of Production I: Books" is not a prerequisite for this course.

Prerequisites

"Means of Production I: Books" is *not* a prerequisite for this course.

2023-2024 Winter
Poetry

ENGL 20266 Coming of Age: Autobiography, Bildungsroman, and Memoir in Victorian Britain and its Empire

Crosslistings
GNSE 22266

In this course, we will consider the broad generic category of “coming of age” stories that characterized the literary writing of the nineteenth century. Across several different kinds of writing, a focus on the growth and development of the child into adulthood became an obsessive focus. We will read autobiographies by Mill and Martineau, Bildungsroman by Bronte and Eliot, memoirs by Dickens but also lesser known figures: working class autodidacts, women in childbirth, colonial subjects. We will, along the way, learn more about Victorian childhood, the emergence of developmental psychology, psychoanalysis, and the socio-psychological “invention” of adolescence.

2023-2024 Spring
1830-1990

ENGL 21690 Empire and the Novel

This course investigates how the rise of the nineteenth-century British novel is intimately linked to the expansion of the British Empire. Many understand that this empire was based on unfair trade relations, indigenous genocide, and the exploitative labor of millions, but it can be difficult at times to see how this atrocious history fits into the domestic and metropolitan realism of the novel. How does the practice of imperialism impact the conventions of domestic fiction? How are the novel’s constructions of gender, race, and class related to the political status of colonized and enslaved peoples? Our focus will be to connect narrative form with the realities of imperialism and colonial rule, but we will also draw on other genres of nineteenth-century cultural production such as autobiography, visual art, and political essays in order to help us trace the sociopolitical conditions that made empire possible. Fictional readings may include work by Charlotte Brontë, Wilkie Collins, George Eliot, Olive Schreiner, and others. Non-fictional readings may include work by Aimé Césaire, Franz Fanon, Saidiya Hartman, Karl Marx, Mary Jane Seacole, Edward Said, Gayatri Spivak. (Fiction, 1830-1990, Theory)

2023-2024 Winter
Fiction
Theory
1830-1990

ENGL 21926 People, Places, Things: Victorian Novel Survey

Quarter Systems and the Victorian novel do not mix well, which is only to say that this course cannot aspire to a comprehensive accounting of the Victorian novel, or the myriad forms of the novel that emerged during Victoria’s reign (1837-1901). What it does seek to do, however, is give you some little sense of the Victorian novel’s formal and thematic range in a few of the uncharacteristically shorter novels of the period, and—in the bargain—give you a few critical tools and concepts to better figure out what these novels are and what they might be doing. Critical approaches to the Victorian novel are as varied as the novels themselves, perhaps, but I’ve tried to give you access to some of the more recent interventions that centrally query character and characterization (people), things and the circulation of things, and location and spatialization (places). Jane Eyre, Hard Times, Lady Audley’s Secret, The Warden, Jude the Obscure, The Hound of the Baskervilles.

2023-2024 Spring
Fiction
1830-1990

ENGL 22200 Marxist Literary Criticism: Fredric Jameson

This seminar will provide students with an overview of Marxist literary criticism via the career of one of its most innovative living practitioners.

Prerequisites

Recommended: BA - ENGL 11200: Fundamentals of Literary Criticism

2023-2024 Spring
Theory

ENGL 22212 Special Topics in Criticism and Theory: Gender and Sexuality

Crosslistings
GNSE 20134

An introduction to classic texts in feminist and queer literary criticism.

2023-2024 Spring
Theory
1830-1990

ENGL 22408 Trans Genre

Crosslistings
GNSE 20133

This course explores genres of writing and cultural production concerned with transgender life and politics. Students will engage genre's relationship to gender, as they will read across memoir, fiction, poetry, and criticism.

2023-2024 Winter
Theory

ENGL 22930 Intro to Critical Race Theory

Crosslistings
RDIN 22900, CRES 12900

Critical Race Theory (CRT) has recently filled headlines as it has become a hotly debated topic in U.S. political, educational, and media discourse. However, the tenets and thinkers that shape CRT tend to be left out of the conversations that dominate the media. What is this theoretical framework? Who are the thinkers who shape and contribute to these theories of the construction of race? What does CRT say about the relationship between race and institutions, such as the United States' legal system or education? To address these questions, students in this course will read and engage with foundational texts of CRT by scholars including Eduardo Bonilla-Silva, Kimberlé Crenshaw, and Cheryl Harris. In addition to learning the key tenets of this theoretical framework, students will also use it to think across disciplines, institutional structures, and forms of media.

2023-2024 Winter

ENGL 29102 Mobile Life

This is a research-intensive course which aims to provide both theoretical frames and methods for research for exploring topics related to migration and literature in the contemporary world and in historical contexts. We will explore various aspects of the migratory experience; the ways in which literary texts shape or shed light on them; and how contemporary theories help us to understand migration and its literatures. Key terms will include migration, mobility, exile, refugees, settlement, kinship, border crossing, bureaucracy. We will ask questions such as: how do print and other forms of information enable/regulate movement? What happens when we cross a border? What is a stake in settlement? Who is a refugee? How do children function in the migratory imagination? The assessment for the course will include an outline of a research project of your own devising. In class we will focus mainly on anglophone texts from the nineteenth century onwards, but you will be free to consider your own materials and develop your own archive.

2023-2024 Winter
1830-1990
Theory

ENGL 29700 Reading Course

An instructor within ENGL agrees to supervise the course and then determines the kind and amount of work to be done. These reading courses must include a final paper assignment to meet requirements for the ENGL major, and students must receive a quality grade. Students may not petition to receive credit for more than two ENGL 29700 courses. Students may register for this course using the College Reading and Research Form, available in the College Advising offices. This form must be signed by the instructor and the Director of Undergraduate Studies and then submitted to the Office of the Registrar.

Prerequisites

Consent of instructor

ARR
2023-2024 Autumn

ENGL 29900 Independent BA Paper Prep

Senior students completing a Critical BA Project may register for this course using the College Reading and Research Form, available in the College Advising offices. This form must be signed by the faculty BA advisor and the Director of Undergraduate Studies and then submitted to the Office of the Registrar. This course may not be counted toward the distribution requirements for the major, but it may be counted as a departmental elective.

Prerequisites

Consent of instructor

ARR
2023-2024 Autumn

ENGL 30304 James Beyond the Novel

Henry James is perhaps the single most acclaimed American novelist. And yet some of his most extraordinary writing sits outside his novels, in his shorter fiction and critical prose. Focusing on those shorter forms, this course examines James's theory of fiction, his vexed relations with the marketplace, and his relentlessly ambitious formal experimentation. We'll also consider the scholarly conversation about his work. Observing remarkable change over the course of a career that extends from the Victorian period into the era of modernism, we'll read texts in a range of genres, taking up early ghost stories, landmark critical essays, travel writing, autobiographical writing, and late masterworks of short fiction.

2023-2024 Spring
18th/19th

ENGL 24526/34526 Forms of Autobiography in the Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries

Crosslistings
GNSE 24526, GNSE 34526

This course examines the innovative, creative forms autobiography has taken in the last one hundred years in literature. From unpublished sketches to magazine essays and full-length books, we will see autobiography take many forms and engage with multiple genres and media.

Christine Fouirnaies
2023-2024 Winter
20th/21st

ENGL 24960/34960 California Fictions: Literature and Cinema

Crosslistings
MAPH 34960

This course will consider works of literature and cinema from 1884-2018 that take place in Oakland, San Francisco, Los Angeles, the Inland Empire, and rural California to offer a case study for everyday life and critical space theory. Beginning with Helen Hunt Jackson’s Ramona and ending with Boots Riley’s Sorry to Bother you, we will also consider how “the west” provides an opportunity for reconsidering canon formation and genre.

2023-2024 Spring
20th/21st

ENGL 38240 Rise of the Novel

Survey of eighteenth-century British "rise of the novel" criticism and theory.

2023-2024 Spring
18th/19th

ENGL 28619/38619 Postcolonial Openings: World Literature after 1955

Crosslistings
CRES 28619, GNSE 24520, GNSE 34520, HMRT 34520, MAPH 34520

This course familiarizes students with the perspectives, debates, and attitudes that characterize the contemporary field of postcolonial theory, with critical attention to how its interdisciplinary formation contributes to reading literary works. What are the claims made on behalf of literary texts in orienting us to other lives and possibilities, and in registering the experiences of displacement under global capitalism? To better answer these questions, we read recent scholarship that engages the field in conversations around gender, affect, climate change, and democracy, to think about the impulses that animate the field, and to sketch new directions.
We survey the trajectories and self-criticisms within the field, looking at canonical critics (Fanon, Said, Bhabha, Spivak), as well as reading a range of literary and cinematic works by writers like Jean Rhys, E.M. Forster, Mahasweta Devi, Derek Walcott, Arundhati Roy, and Salman Rushdie).

2023-2024 Winter
20th/21st

ENGL 20182/40182 Early Modern Loss and Longing

Crosslistings
GNSE 22182, GNSE 42182, MAPH 40182

This course examines depictions of early modern desire and loss in genres including the essay, lyric, drama and fiction. The class will also have substantial engagement with affect theory as well as period theorizations (Neoplatonic accounts of desire, humoral accounts of melancholy, etc.)

2023-2024 Winter
Pre-1650
1650-1830

ENGL 20304/40304 Medieval Romance

Medieval romance is one of the main ancestors of fantasy and SF. This course examines the speculative work of fantasy in medieval romance's explorations of aesthetics, desire, and politics.

2023-2024 Autumn

ENGL 20464/40464 The Lives of Others

How much can you ever really know someone else? In this course, we take up the inscrutability of others through a range of narratives about - politically, socially, and geographically - distant others from the early 20th century. Texts include fiction, documentary film, and critical theory around transnationalism, contact zones and ethnography).  Some of these texts meditate on the general problem of living with others. Others take on the limits of empathy, access, and friendship whether explicitly or in their formal arrangement. Specifically, we focus on works that engage with an ethics or “work on the self” as a preliminary to having knowledge of others. We will be guided by primary readings that likely include Claude Levi-Strauss, Kazuo Ishiguro, Werner Herzog, Maggie Nelson, Amitav Ghosh, and J.M. Coetzee.

2023-2024 Autumn

ENGL 40812 Freedom and the Black Counterenlightenment

This course will explore Black writers’ improvisations with the concept of freedom alongside key political-philosophical of the 18th and 19th centuries. Readings will include Hobbes, Locke, Spinoza, Adam Smith, Robert Wedderburn, David Walker, Maria Stewart, and more.

2023-2024 Winter
18th/19th

ENGL 21360/41360 Gender, Capital, and Desire: Jane Austen and Critical

Crosslistings
GNSE 21303, GNSE 41303, MAPH 40130

Today, Jane Austen is one of the most famous (perhaps the most famous), most widely read, and most beloved of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century British novelists. In the 200 years since her authorial career, her novels have spawned countless imitations, homages, parodies, films, and miniseries – not to mention a thriving “Janeite” fan culture. For just as long, her novels have been the objects of sustained attention by literary critics, theorists, and historians. For example, feminist scholars have long been fascinated by Austen for her treatments of feminine agency, sociality, and desire. Marxists read her novels for the light they shed on an emergent bourgeoisie on the eve of industrialization. And students of the “rise of the novel” in English are often drawn to Austen as an innovator of new styles of narration and a visionary as to the potentials of the form. This course will offer an in-depth examination of Austen, her literary corpus, and her cultural reception as well as a graduate-level introduction to several important schools of critical and theoretical methodology. We will read all six of Austen’s completed novels in addition to criticism spanning feminism, historicism, Marxism, queer studies, postcolonialism, and psychoanalysis. Readings may include pieces by Sara Ahmed, Frances Ferguson, William Galperin, Deidre Lynch, D.A. Miller, Edward Said, Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, and Raymond Williams.

2023-2024 Autumn
18th/19th

ENGL 21710/41710 Rocks, plants, ecologies: science fiction and the more-than-human

Crosslistings
MAPH 41710

Science fictional worlds are full of entities more familiar and perhaps less noticeable than the aliens that are often thought to typify the genre. Rock formations, plants, metallic seams, plastics, crystalline structures, nuclear waste and oozing seepages are among the entities that allow SF to form estranging questions about what it means to be in relation to others, what it means to live in and through an environment, and what it means to form relations of sustenance and communal possibility with those who do not or cannot return human care and recognition. Such questions about are urgent ones for thinking about climate catastrophe, capital, settler colonialism and endemic pandemics, as well as for thinking substantively about resistance and what life and livable worlds beyond the bleak horizons of the capitalocene could be. This class will engage science fiction (authors may include Ursula Le Guin, Vonda McIntyre, Kim Stanley Robinson, Nalo Hopkinson, Jeff Vandermeer and more) and environmental and social theory of various kind (authors may include Zakkiyah Iman Jackson, Elizabeth Povinelli, Katherine Yusoff, Andreas Malm, Eduardo Kohn, James C. Scott, David Graeber, Jasper Bernes, Mike Davis and more).

 

2023-2024 Winter

ENGL 42350 George Eliot's Fiction and Nonfiction

Crosslistings
GNSE 42350

This course will examine the works of George Eliot in their intellectual and print contexts. We will look at selected works from across her oeuvre including some of her translations from German, her journalism, short fiction, poetry and novels, as well as letters and journals. During the course we will emphasize her immersion in contemporary debates by considering her exchanges with friends and associates, people like, for example the writer, George Henry Lewes, the evolutionary philosopher and biologist, Herbert Spencer, feminists such as Barbara Bodichon and Edith Simcox, and legal theorist, Henry Sumner Maine.

2023-2024 Autumn
18th/19th

ENGL 43121 Translation Theory and Practice

Crosslistings
CMLT 43121, CRWR 43121, CRWR 51503

This course introduces students to the field of Translation Studies and its key concepts, including fidelity, equivalence, and untranslatability, as well as the ethics and politics of translation. We will investigate the metaphors and models that have been used to think about translation and will consider translation as a transnational practice, exploring how “world histories” may be hidden within “word histories,” as Emily Apter puts it. In the process, we will assess theories of translation and poetry from classical antiquity to the present; compare multiple translations of the same text; and examine notable recent translations. Students will carry out translation exercises and create a final translation project of their own.

2023-2024 Winter
20th/21st

ENGL 46202 Performance Theory: Action, Affect, Archive

This seminar offers a critical introduction to performance theory organized around three conceptual clusters: a) action, acting, and forms of production or play, in theories from classical (Aristotle) through modern (Hegel, Brecht, Artaud), to contemporary (Richard Schechner, Philip Zarilli, others)
; b) affect, and its intersections with emotion and feeling: in addition to contemporary theories of affect and emotion we will read earlier modern texts that anticipate recent debates (Diderot, Freud) and their current interpreters (Joseph Roach, Erin Hurley and others), as well as those writing about the absence of affect and the performance of failure (Sara Bailes etc); and c) archives and related institutions and theories of recording performance, including the formation of audiences (Susan Bennett) and evaluating print and other media recording ephemeral acts, including the work of theorists of memory (Pierre Nora) and remains (Rebecca Schneider; Mark Fleishman), theatre historians (Rose Bank, Ellen Mackay etc) and tensions between archive and repertoire (Diana Taylor).

2023-2024 Winter
20th/21st

ENGL 27600/47600 Cinema in Africa

Crosslistings
CMLT 42900, CMST 24201, CMST 34201, GNSE 28602, GNSE 48602

This course examines Africa in film as well as films produced in Africa. It places cinema in Sub Saharan Africa in its social, cultural, and aesthetic contexts ranging from neocolonial to postcolonial, Western to Southern Africa, documentary to fiction, art cinema to TV, and includes films that reflect on the impact of global trends in Africa and local responses, as well as changing racial and gender identifications. We will begin with La Noire de... (1966), by the “father” of African cinema, Ousmane Sembene, contrasted w/ a South African film, African Jim (1960) that more closely resembles African American musical film, and anti-colonial and anti-apartheid films from Lionel Rogosin’s Come Back Africa (1959) to Sarah Maldoror’s Sambizanga, Sembene’s Camp de Thiaroye (1984), and Jean Marie Teno’s Afrique, Je te Plumerai (1995). The rest of the course will examine 20th and 21st century films such as I am a not a Witch and The wound (both 2017), which show tensions between urban and rural, traditional and modern life, and the implications of these tensions for women and men, Western and Southern Africa, in fiction, documentary and fiction film.

Prerequisites

One or more of the following: Intro to Film/ International Cinema AND/OR Intro to African Studies or equivalent

2023-2024 Winter
20th/21st

ENGL 27703/47703 Queer Modernism

Crosslistings
AMER 27703, AMER 47703, GNSE 23138, GNSE 47702, MAPH 47703

This course examines the dramatic revisions in gender and sexuality that characterize the early twentieth century in the U.S. and Europe. Together, we will read literary texts by queer writers to investigate their role in shaping the period's emergent regimes of sex and gender. We'll consider queer revisions of these concepts for their effect on the broader social and political terrain of the early twentieth century and explore the intimate histories they made possible: What new horizons for kinship, care, affect, and the everyday reproduction of life did modernist ideas about sex and gender enable? Our examination will center primarily on queer lives relegated to the social and political margins—lives of exile or those cut short by various forms of dispossession. Towards the end of the quarter, we will also consider how more recent cultural producers—and in particular Black filmmakers associated with the New Queer Cinema movement— have sought to imagine or in some sense recover queer lives and scenes that have been silenced or apparently lost to history. This class will double as an advanced introduction to queer theory, with a particular emphasis on literary criticism and cultural studies.

Prerequisites

Open enrollment for all graduate students, as well as 3rd- and 4th-year undergraduate students with majors in the Humanities and Social Sciences. All others, please email amalinowska@uchicago.edu to request permission to enroll. 

Agnes Malinowska
2023-2024 Winter
1830-1990
20th/21st

ENGL 27708/47708 Feeling Brown, Feeling Down

Crosslistings
AMER 27708, AMER 47708. CRES 20030, MAPH 47708

Taking its cue from José Esteban Muñoz’s 2006 essay in Signs, this course interrogates negative affective categories as they are expressed in US ethnic literature in the 20th and 21st centuries. As Muñoz argues, “depression has become one of the dominant affective positions addressed within the cultural field of contemporary global capitalism”; this course explores orientations such as depression, shame, sickness, and melancholy to think critically about racial formations amidst capital and how these are posed alongside literary questions. Primary texts may include Larsen, Ozeki, Morrison, and Okada; secondary texts may include Ahmed, Freud, Muñoz, Cheng, and Spillers.

2023-2024 Winter
Theory
20th/21st

ENGL 27711/47711 What is Literature For?: Theories of Literary Value

Crosslistings
MAPH 47711

This class will examine different theories about the meaning and social role of literature over a historical long durée. Why do we find literature valuable? What do we ask from it, and what is it able to provide? Is art's very uselessness the key to its role in the lives of readers? Or can we expect literature to effect changes in the world we live in? Does literature serve a therapeutic function? An expressive one? To what or whom is a writer responsible? Students will develop their own answers to these questions, and also examine how attitudes about the function of literary text have changed over the last few centuries— centuries that have seen a staggering transformation in the growth of literacy and the volume of print and digital culture. Readings will range from the Renaissance to the 21st century, and may include texts by Philip Sidney, Oscar Wilde, William Faulkner, Elizabeth Bishop, James Baldwin, Jaques Ranciere, and Gayatri Spivak.

2023-2024 Spring
Theory
18th/19th
20th/21st

ENGL 27714/47714 Reproductive citizens: sex, work, and embodiment

Crosslistings
CRES 27714, GNSE 27714, GNSE 47714, MAPH 47714

This course examines literature, film, theory, and historical sources that deal with biological and social reproduction, motherhood, the domestic sphere, and "women's work." We will focus in particular on how issues of reproduction intersect with debates about citizenship and political belonging. The course spans the late nineteenth century into the present and will be centered in the U.S.

Prerequisites

Open enrollment for all graduate students, as well as 3rd- and 4th-year undergraduate students with majors in the Humanities and Social Sciences. All others, please email amalinowska@uchicago.edu to request permission to enroll.

Agnes Malinowska
2023-2024 Spring

ENGL 27752/47752 The Radical 1790s

Across the Atlantic world, the 1790s were a decade of massive transformation and political possibility. Grounded in material conditions and material struggle, guided by emergent and often quite radical political theory, revolutions in Europe and North America took on monarchy, slavery, and inequality broadly defined. At the same time, the 1790s were a decade of reaction -- when extant hierarchies fought against those transformations with increasing anxiety, and empire and imperial capital continued to rapidly expand. This course will read widely in literature and political theory from the late 18th and early 19th centuries that attempted to represent, and to produce, these transformations, as well as modern theory and criticism in anti-racism/postcolonialism, feminism/gender theory, carceral studies, and Marxist analysis to better understand the legacies of this remarkable political moment.

2023-2024 Winter
1650-1830
18th/19th
20th/21st

ENGL 50001 Collage

Within an overarching frame that stretches between Moby Dick and the present, this course will focus foremost on 20th c. literary collage, both poetry and prose fiction, with particular attention to Williams, Rukeyser, Burroughs, Ashbery, Reed, Howe, Acker.

2023-2024 Spring
20th/21st

ENGL 50400 Teaching Undergraduate English

This course seeks to provide a setting in which graduate students in English, prior to their first formal teaching assignment at this institution, can explore some of the elements of classroom teaching. With the recognition that not all our students will teach at the graduate level, the course is intended primarily as an introduction to teaching undergraduate English. While emphasizing the practical issues of classroom instruction, the class includes theoretical readings on pedagogy to help students reflect on and talk about their practice. Students will have significant opportunities to practice conceiving, designing, and running a college-level course in English, e.g., the opportunity to construct a sample syllabus, to lead a mock-classroom discussion, to grade a common paper.

2023-2024 Autumn

ENGL 50404 Literary Persons: Theoretical and Methodological Approaches

This class will provide a varied overview of the theory and history of “literary persons,” including recent scholarly perspectives. Rather than being stabilized via a single genre (i.e., the realist novel), literary persons will be treated more capaciously, in their adjacency to personification, lyric and dramatic personae, and varied genres of narrative, from the Middle Ages to the present. The class will be more or less evenly divided between primary and secondary works.

2023-2024 Autumn

ENGL 51000 PhD Colloquium

This course provides a theoretical and practical introduction to advanced literary studies. Readings are drawn from four modes of inquiry that helped to produce our discipline and that continue to animate scholarship in the present – namely, philology, criticism, aesthetics, and genealogy. In addition, participants will complete several short assignments meant to familiarize them with common skills and practices of literary studies.

2023-2024 Autumn

ENGL 51000 PhD Colloquium

This course provides a theoretical and practical introduction to advanced literary studies. Readings are drawn from four modes of inquiry that helped to produce our discipline and that continue to animate scholarship in the present – namely, philology, criticism, aesthetics, and genealogy. In addition, participants will complete several short assignments meant to familiarize them with common skills and practices of literary studies.

2023-2024 Winter

ENGL 53000 Dissertation Proseminar

Required for students in their 4th year of the English Ph.D. program and all English Ph.D. students who have not yet entered candidacy.

Prerequisites

English Ph.D. students only.

2023-2024 Autumn

ENGL 53103 The Uses of Fiction: Poetry and Philosophy in Early Modernity

Crosslistings
SCTH 53103

This course attempts to unpack the ancient quarrel between poetry and philosophy by examining how each discourse draws on the power of poiesis in different ways. We will approach this topic by examining four discourses: first, formal treatments of poetry and poetics from antiquity (Plato, Aristotle) through the late Renaissance (Sidney, Tasso, Milton); second, explicitly fictional thought experiments employed by philosophers (Avicenna, Ibn Tufayl, Descartes, Locke, Condillac); third, poetry explicitly invested in the making of fictional worlds (Spenser, Milton, Cavendish); and fourth, recent scholarship on poetry’s relationship to philosophy (Stanley Rosen, Victoria Kahn, Ayesha Ramachandran, Russ Leo, Guido Mazzoni, and others).

2023-2024 Winter

ENGL 55000 Advanced Writing for Publication Proseminar

Required for students in the 5th year of the English Ph.D. program or above, this course will be a venue for converting a chapter of the dissertation into article form.

2023-2024 Winter

ENGL 56000 Job Market Proseminar

Required for students in their 6th year of the program and open to all English Ph.D. students on or preparing for the academic job market.

2023-2024 Winter

ENGL 56500 Anthropological Poetics

This course enables higher-level students and scholars to think critically and creatively in the disciplinary intersection of anthropology and poetics, reading anthropological texts that are poetically disposed, and reading poetic texts that are anthropologically orientated—in order to help them frame the problem of multi-disciplinarity in their own work. In the end the course is really about trying to train disciplinary self-reflection by amplifying the noise of disciplines when they intersect or overlap, and hence to encourage students to be more self-reflective and commanding of their own disciplinary formation (whatever that might be).

2023-2024 Winter
20th/21st

ENGL 58613 Poetry of the Americas

In what tangled ways does poetry transform through dialogue across linguistic and geographical distances, and through performance, translation, and collaboration? This seminar takes a comparative, hemispheric approach to 20th- and 21st-century poetries from the Southern Cone to the Caribbean to Canada, with significant attention to Latinx poets. We will examine developments in poetic form, especially transformations of the epic and the lyric, in conjunction with questions of modernization, globalization, and colonialism, race, ethnicity, sexuality, and gender. This course is held in tandem with Fall quarter events including Chicago’s Lit & Luz Festival, which stages Mexican-U.S. artistic collaborations. Seminar members will have the opportunity for dialogue with poets and translators who visit our seminar and/or give poetry readings on campus. (No knowledge of Spanish, French, or Portuguese is required.)

2023-2024 Autumn

ENGL 59900 Reading and Research

This course is intended for graduate students in the English doctoral program who can best meet program requirements by study under a faculty member's individual supervision. The subject, course of study, and requirements are arranged with the instructor.

ARR
2023-2024 Autumn