"My English degree is the foundation of my career. If you can write, you can do anything."
~ Jimmy Daly
"My professors taught me how to think creatively, read analytically and write persuasively. "
~ Michael A. Iannucci
"My studies provided a solid background in literature and honed my critical skills for my own writing."
~ Catherine Carter
"I made lifelong friends and I got my butt kicked intellectually. I’m eternally grateful for both."
~ Alexander Long
"The friendship and support of my mentors helped me to grow tremendously as a writer."
~ Erinn Batykefer
"I became an Assistant Editor in less than two years with my English degree."
~ Rachel A. Gearhart
"I use my English degree to advocate for my clients. The program helped me become a better writer & thinker."
~ Mary Akhimien
"I honed my writing & research on diverse issues of the human condition, focusing on ethics and civic justice."
~ Brian Byrd
"An education in the humanities helps to render the world into a language that is profound, mysterious & complex."
~ Rachel Eliza Griffiths
"My internships & editorial work at UD prepared me for a challenging but ever-rewarding career as a reporter."
~ Wallace McKelvey
"My job demands perfection when it comes to grammar, accuracy and objectivity, and it needs to happen fast."
~ Matt O'Donnell
"I found my passion for counseling students and helping them stay on track to attend college."
~ Sara Linton
"I got a great job teaching 9th grade English and film studies and will soon pursue my master's degree."
~ Kelly Emery
"Taking a variety of English courses allowed me to master and teach the modes of discourse to my own students."
~ Danielle Allen
"I secured my job prior to graduation at a UD teacher job fair. "
~ Melissa Paparozzi
The goals of this colloquium are to (1) teach new graduate students to negotiate the modes of reading and modes of authority they will encounter in their academic work; (2) introduce them to the library and other resources for graduate study in English; and (3) help them acquire a better understanding of the genres of our profession—especially the academic article and monograph. The colloquium will exemplify to examine and discuss the reading and writing practices that are essential to scholarship in the discipline of English. The class will focus on a single text and move from a basic reading to a close reading, turning finally to a critical reading that prepares them for producing scholarship on the text.This 1-credit course is required of all first year students.
Offered in Fall 2017. Meets Wednesdays, 11:15am-12:05pm
In this course, we will explore the diverse, and sometimes disturbing, plays written during the Elizabethan and Jacobean periods. During this time, the “Stage” acts as far more than a source of entertainment for London’s citizens and rulers. It also invites spectators to join the lively, at times dangerous, early modern debates over topics such as the correct use of royal power, the roles of men and women, proper sexuality, proper theology, the uses (and abuses) of violence, what it means to be part of a nation, and the life of books, music, dancing, and visual arts. In this course we will explore these and other issues by reading representative dramas, including revenge tragedy, closet drama, city comedies, court masques, and the entertainments performed in London streets and on country estates during royal progresses. Our readings of these texts will be supplemented by a number of critical works by influential theorists and scholars of early modern literature. These critical readings will help us address our plays ideologically, culturally, and historically. All oral and written requirements for this course are meant to encourage the academic labor typical of MA/PhD programs (as well as the profession in general). Assignments include active participation in weekly discussions; three response papers of 2-3 pages (at least one of which should focus on teaching); the creation of a short, but detailed, teaching unit on non-Shakespearean drama – any level; leading discussion twice with a classmate; and a paper (conference length) which we will take through two drafts.
Offered Fall 2017. T/TH 2:00-3:15
How did a national press emerge in Britain during the first decades of the Victorian period? How did that press contribute to the formation of the liberal modern state? In what ways was the emergence of this press a transatlantic phenomenon associated with such core concerns of liberalism as the abolitionist movement and the social position of women? How were the evolution of this press and the rise of professional women authors interconnected? Using the work and complex interactions of Charles Dickens and Harriet Martineau as its lens, this course will address questions such as these and consider the role of the press in the formation of the Victorian public sphere. Beginning with an exploration of their accounts of travel in the United States, we will then move to examine Martineau and Dickens’s subsequent representations of America from the 1840s through the Civil War. Texts will include Dickens’s American Notes and Martin Chuzzlewit and Martineau’s Society in America and Retrospect of Western Travel, as well as selections from other travel accounts by British visitors to the United States, and we will read across the journalism of our two focal authors.Writing requirements will total approximately 30 pages and include a number of short responses to daily reading, an annotated bibliography, and a seminar paper.Research Track: Transatlantic/TransnationalThis course satisfies the requirement for 1700-1900
Offered Fall 2017. MW 8:40-9:55
Only 63 years ago, educational segregation was still permissible in America. When Delaware’s Gebhart v. Belton (1952) helped set the stage for Brown v. Board of Education (1954), Delaware schools – particularly Wilmington schools – simultaneously became a critical window of and mirror for schools all across the country, roles they continue to play in 2017. The course begins with the understanding that educational inequity still persists in Wilmington, and in America more broadly, despite great efforts to the contrary. In this course, we will confront the complex history of educational spaces in Wilmington, consider Wilmington as a lens through which to examine issues of race and equity in education, and work alongside Wilmingtonians to increase racial educational equity. Students will explore the dialogic nature of texts and communities in past and present struggles toward racial equity in schools; this exploration will include interacting with a wide variety of texts, which will likely include general works like Pedagogy of the Oppressed (Freire) and The Shame of the Nation: The Restoration of Apartheid Schooling in America (Kozol) as well as more specific works like Between North and South: Delaware, Desegregation, and the Myth of American Sectionalism (Gadsden) and “Educational Equity and Brown v. Board of Education: Fifty Years of Desegregation in Delaware” (Ware). Students will also learn and use basic qualitative methodology (e.g., methods from ethnographic and narrative research traditions) to learn from and work with partners in the community with long-standing commitments to educational equity, such as the Delaware Historical Society, Howard High School of Technology, Metropolitan Wilmington Urban League, PACE Wilmington (Parent Advocacy Council for Education), and West End Neighborhood House. Required work will include participant observation in the community, short reflections, and teaching; for the final project, students will produce a text with and for the community that promotes equity among minoritized community members. Note: Obtaining clearances (e.g., background checks and TB tests) with UD’s Office of Clinical Studies is required to work in facilities serving youth under age 18; you will receive further information when you register for the course.
Cross-listed with BAMS, EDUC, SOCI and UAPP
Offered Fall 2017. Tues 3:30-6:15
The goal of this course is to orient students toward the presuppositions and practices of contemporary (post-1960) literary theory and criticism. Rather than a "tool box" course that applies a theory-of-the-week to a given literary text, this course is designed to help students understand current theory and criticism in relation to the long history of literary criticism. Therefore, readings will draw on foundational works in philosophy, linguistics, and social theory (Hegel, Marx, Freud, Saussure, Levi-Strauss, Lacan, Althusser, et al.) as the basis for cultural theory in general (Kristeva, Foucault, Butler, Spivak, Baudrillard, Sedgwick, and the like) and literary theory in particular (such as Bakhtin, Barthes, Derrida, Fish, Hernstein Smith, et al.).Written work will consist of multiple short papers and exercises (3-5 pages) over the course of the semester, totalling approximately 20 pages.This course is required of all first year students.
Offered in Fall 2017. Meets Thurs 3:30-6:15
This course will consider American women's fiction of the nineteenth century from the perspectives of women’s rights to property and ownership, including the ownership of their own bodies, the impact of slavery and the anti-slavery movement, women’s changing roles in an immigrant and industrial society, Native American women, Chinese American women, and developments in education, printing, and publishing that affected women's access to a literary market. How did North American women write the future in early science fiction and utopian novels?How did women’s literary and self-reflexive narratives represent women’s changing roles in nationhood? How did American women writers use literary forms to depict the anti-slavery movement, and how did that in turn re-fashion women’s writings? Were there particularly female literary forms? How did African American, Chinese American, and Anglo American women writers use these literary traditions differently? What was the marketplace and what was the audience for fiction written by women of color in the nineteenth century? Why was women’s fiction initially delegated in literary studies to popular fiction? How did women’s popular fiction become a bad thing? How did 19th century women writers depict lesbian love?
As we read through 19th c. women’s fiction we will likely discuss the changing representation of the female body and female sexuality. We’ll discuss women’s humor. How did new possibilities for female labor perforce change plot, and hence alter American realism and naturalism? What did women actually do in the nineteenth century and what did they do in plots? What did they do in bed? How did birth control and abortifacients emerge in literary representations? How were female friendships and relationships depicted? What did female relationships and female communities do to unravel the marriage plot? How did female authors represent their relationship to nature? What about mom? Who was mad?How were American women writers impact and were impacted by traditions in American seduction plot, sentimentalism, realism and naturalismLikely authors may include: Hannah Foster, Lydia Childs, Rebecca Harding Davis, Harriet Jacobs, Harriet Wilson, Louisa May Alcott, Ruth Hall, Kate Chopin, Susan Warner, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Sui Sin Far/Edith Maude Eaton, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Mary E. Bradley Lane, Sara Orne Jewett, Mary Wilkes Freeman, T'tc~tsa, and Zitcala Sa?We will consider both early (post 1960) to recent critical and theoretical studies.Course work to include leading textual and critical discussions, short textual and critical response papers, and a research paper. Attendance at all seminars is required. Students will be welcome to write archive-driven research papers. Students will write and present their research in the format of a conference paper, with respondents. We will visit the Library of Congress to tour their rare books, photograph, newspaper and periodical and legal collections.
Offered Fall 2017. Tues 9:30-12:15
In Staying With the Trouble (2016), Donna Haraway argues for braiding together “science fact and speculative fabulation” (3) as a means of thinking through the challenges of ecological crisis. Like other ecocritics before her, she treats the science fiction of authors such as Ursula K. Le Guin not as traditional literary texts but as an alternate form of theorizing the (post)human. In this seminar we will explore the links between the environmental humanities and the science fiction and fantasy literature typically referred to as “speculative fiction.” We will read texts by critics such as Donna Haraway, Dipesh Chakrabarty, Ursula K. Heise, and Rob Nixon alongside works by authors like Ursula K. Le Guin, Octavia Butler, Paolo Bacigalupi, and China Miéville. Given that ecocritics often use speculative fables to advance their arguments, assignments will include a short fiction-writing assignment as well as a traditional seminar paper or public humanities project.
Offered Fall 2017. Thurs 9:30-12:15
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