Spring 2019 Graduate Course Descriptions


Graduate Courses, Spring 2019
(subject to change)


Core Courses

ENGL 507 – Introduction to Graduate Studies in English (required for all students enrolled starting in Fall 2018)
Professor Stallcup – Wednesdays, 7-9:45

ENGL 604 – Linguistics
Professor Klein – Mondays, 7-9:45pm

ENGL 638 – Literary Theory (required for all students enrolled prior to Fall 2018; required for all LIT option students enrolled starting in Fall 2018)
Professor Carassai – Thursdays, 7-9:45

ENGL 651 – Rhet/Comp Theory (required for all Rhet/Comp students)
Professor JC Lee – Thursdays, 4-6:45PM

Creative Writing

ENGL 609 – Seminar in Poetry
Professor Barresi, Tuesdays 7-9:45

ENGL 623 – Seminar in Prose Fiction
Professor Haake, Tuesdays 4-6:45

ENGL 410: Advanced Dramatic Writing
Professor Mitchell, Tues/Thurs 11-12:15

Literature Courses

Title: Black Performance/Black Literature
Short Title: Black Performance
Professor Morris Johnson, Wednesdays, 4-6:45PM
Description: Students in this course will engage theorists of black performance and performance writ large, including Fred Moten, Peggy Phelan, and Saidiya Hartman. We will interrogate the impact that expressive modes such as music and religious ritual have upon authors such as Ralph Ellison and Ntozake Shange. How do performances impact authors' probing of the meanings of blackness in their literature, and to what effect?

Title: Comic Studies Now
Short Title: Comic Studies Now
Professor Hatfield, Mondays, 4-6:45
Description: This course will introduce students to the range of disciplines and research problems addressed in comics studies today. Students will apply the methodology and research questions of recent scholarship in the field to the subject matter of comics. Areas covered will include graphic memoir, superheroes, science fiction, humor, graphic novels, comic books, webcomics, and strips.

ENGL 525GAF: Frontier Spaces and Mean Streets in American Literature and Film
Title: Genres in American Film and Literature
Short Title: Genre Am Film & Lit
Professor Stanley, Mondays 4-6:45
Description: Both the genres of the American Western and Detective narrative have been closely identified with a central U.S. identity or, more specifically, with an American masculinist mythos. We will begin by briefly looking at the nineteenth-century roots of these genres, and then move quickly to both literary and filmic classic and revisionist approaches to the western and detective story in the twentieth and twentieth-first century. For instance, Ford’s classic The Searchers depicts one vision of the West, while Alexis’s Smoke Signals, Arriaga and Jones’s Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada, and McCarthy and the Coen Brother’s No Country for Old Men present neo-western views of frontier spaces. While Hammett’s hard boil detective narrative depicts an iconic view of American mean streets, Mosley’s novel and Franklin’s film Devil in a Blue Dress, Capote’s novel and Brooks’s film In Cold Blood, and Gillian Flynn’s Sharp Objects offer revisionist views of D. H. Lawrence’s “essential American soul” through the lens of race, gender, and sexuality. Drawing from theorists of these genres (from Richard Slotkin to Slavoj Žižek) we will also examine the ideologies underlying these work as a means of critiquing the psychological and social anxieties rendered in these popular forms. 

ENGL 617
Studies in Shakespeare: Female Rage from Medea to Lady Macbeth
Professor Bryson, Tuesdays 7-9:45
This course will emphasize the influence of classical tragedy on Shakespearean tragedy (and that of selected contemporaries). It will especially focus on the way Euripides, and to a lesser extent, Aeschylus and Seneca focus on female grief and loss and the desire for revenge, and the ways in which that emphasis manifests in Shakespeare's portrayals of both female and male characters experiencing grief and loss and the desire for revenge. Literary readings will include Aeschylus' Agamemnon, Euripides' Iphigenia in Aulis and Medea, Seneca's Medea, as well as Thomas Kyd's The Spanish Tragedy, Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus, Hamlet, and Macbeth, and John Webster's The Duchess of Malfi(among others). Scholarly/critical/theoretical readings will include selections from Tanya Pollard's Greek Tragic Women on Shakespearean Stages, Colin Burrow's Shakespeare and Classical Antiquity, T.W. Baldwin's William Shakespeare's Small Latine and Lesse Greeke (among others).

Though the course will not screen films in class, there are excellent video renditions of many of these plays, as well, of course, as modern films influenced by this over-2400-year-tradition of drama, including Park Chan-wook's 2005 film Lady Vengeance, David Fincher's 2011 adaptation of Stieg Larson's The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Ana Lily Amirpour's 2014 film A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, and Sofia Coppola's 2017 film, The Beguiled.

As the great John Coltrane once said, "you've got to look back at the old things and see them in a new light." Shakespeare and his contemporaries did just that--and so do artists to this day. Art never simply reflects the now without being informed by, reacting to, reworking and reshaping the then. This course will be an attempt to explore that process.

Rhetoric and Composition

ENGL 600A/College Compositon: Theory/Pedagogy
Professor Irene Clark, Tuesdays 4-6:45pm

Capstone Classes

ENGL 698D (CW) – Professor Mitchell, Thursdays, 4-6:45pm

ENGL 698D (Lit and RC) – Professor Wexler, Thursdays, 7-9:45pm

Suggested 400-level courses

Course: ENGL 421SF
Title: Science Fiction and Popular Culture
Short Title: SF and Pop Culture
Description: This course will examine science fiction as it manifests itself in popular culture. Students will examine the short stories, essays, and novels of science fiction through historical and critical perspectives and discuss how these works relate to current critical issues in the field of popular culture studies.

Course: ENGL 495LA
Title: The Language of La-La-Land: Reading & Writing Los Angeles
Short Title: Language of LA
Description: This senior seminar will offer students a chance to think critically and creatively about the historical, political, and cultural context of the particular space we inhabit here in Los Angeles.