"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 2016. Meets Wednesdays, 11:15am-12:05pm
Open to students of all historical specializations and approaches, this seminar offers a crash course in what it means to write about a play or plays by William Shakespeare in 2016. We will focus at most on two plays (likely A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Tempest). Issues to be discussed will include questions of genre and form; how to model the ideological place the stage among other forms of speech and performance in the early modern period; how to map textual cruxes and critical debates on to the afterlife of plays in other media; how to navigate the sometimes overwhelming bibliographies a play occasions; when and how to delve into the textual history of a play-text (its pre-First Folio publication history and textual variants); and how to situate your voice within the conversations that attend each play. What and when is A Midsummer Night’s Dream? What and when is The Tempest? Our answers to these questions will productively delimit the object, permitting us to ask certain questions (and not others). A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1593-95), for example, comes freighted with new historicist debates about the status of the stage in Shakespeare’s England, concerns with marriage patterns, agency, about the status of England’s residual Catholic belief, about the place of Ovid in an early modern cultural imaginary, and with questions of ecology and multispecies belonging. The Tempest (1610-11) seems to hail from a radically different moment in the life of Shakespeare’s stage and to designate a scene of cross-cultural encounter or contact. For some, the play provides the script or finds itself scripted by colonial and postcolonial plots, by shipwreck ecology, salvage accumulation, and exaggerated forms of sovereignty. Methodologically, then, the course offers a model that might be generalized to other plays and poems by Shakespeare as well as to texts by other writers. We will assume that to work on any text requires a grounding in its textual history, circulation, critical reception, and afterlife. Writing Requirements will include 15-30 pages of prose to be configured in a manner that advances your writing goals for the semester. Research Tract: Print and/or Material Culture StudiesThis course satisfies the requirement for pre-1700
Offered in Fall 2016. Meets Thursdays, 3:30-6:30pm
Why is it that Americans take special pride in durable objects—skyscrapers of steel and well-built bridges—while also endlessly craving new, ephemeral objects that seem to vanish almost as quickly as they appear? What are we to make of this ambivalence, and of the transient objects that confound our assumptions about matter as inert and enduring? Fiction has always stored and cataloged the objects that populate our world, but many contemporary novels also depict the decay and disappearance of objects– leaving us a literary history of transience that has gone largely unchronicled. What are the methods and modes of reading that can help us attend to a history of disappearance? How do these methods shift our understanding of 20th and 21st century American literature? In this course, we will approach these questions by considering psychoanalytic concepts alongside foundational theories of material culture studies. Our goal is to learn to read (for) the disappearing object that has become central in fiction attuned to the experience of perpetual change and loss. Our reading will include foundational psychoanalytic texts by Sigmund Freud, Jacques Lacan, and Melanie Klein as well as psychoanalytically inflected material culture texts by Bill Brown, Anne Cheng, Diana Fuss, and Susan Stewart. We will also read post-45 novels from a wide range of genres such as Thomas Pynchon’s The Crying of Lot 49, E.L. Doctorow’s World’s Fair, Don DeLillo’s Underworld, Philip Roth’s The Plot Against America, Colson Whitehead’s Zone One and Rachel Kushner’s The Flamethrowers.WRITING AND COURSE WORK: This depends somewhat on the size of the class but will likely include two response papers (one on a reading and one on an ‘object’ of your choice), one presentation, a research prospectus and one final research paper. Research Track: Print and/or Material Culture StudiesThis course satisfies the requirement for 1900-presentThis course satisfies the requirement for literary and cultural theory.
Offered in Fall 2016. Meets Tuesdays, 3:30-6:30pm
This seminar will extend the pedagogical inquiry begun in ENGL688 and the work graduate students do as instructors in order to better understand and practice pedagogy across English studies. We will pay particular attention to the uses of writing and rhetoric in exploring how language and audience can ground teaching through all areas of literary and English studies. By studying both the discord and the commonalities of pedagogy in composition, literature, creative writing, multimodal, new media, and extending into issues of the digital humanities, we will encounter the ways in which English studies’ shared aims can prepare students to create a pedagogical philosophy they can use to teach in an English department. Some of our reading will be from Robert Scholes Textual Power, David Richter’s Falling Into Theory, Elaine Showalter’s Teaching Literature, Collin Gifford Brooke’s Lingua Fracta, and Engaging Audience edited by Weiser, Fehler and Gonzalez. Students will lead discussions, engage in group work, and write short response papers. For the final project, students will turn in a complete teaching portfolio.
This is an experimental course in Pedagogy, Rhetoric and Composition and New Media
Offered in Fall 2016. Meets Wednesdays, 12:20-3:20pm
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 2016. Meets MW, 8:40-9:55am
The decade of the 1850s was one of the most volatile and divisive periods of United States history, beginning with the Compromise of 1850 and concluding with John Brown’s attack on Harpers Ferry, with civil war all but inevitable at the decade’s end. This decade was also, interestingly, one of the most creative periods in American literary history. Many of the works associated with what we have come to call the “American Renaissance” were published during this period. African American writers and white women writers, often left out of this picture, were equally active: the decade saw the publication of fiction, drama, travel narratives, and histories by African American authors and incredibly popular work by white women writers. In this course, we will encounter writers both famous (Hawthorne) and infamous (you’ll see), known (Frederick Douglass) and, at the time, obscure (Harriet Wilson). We’ll read a mix of novels, poems, and autobiographical narratives, and we will read scholarship that will give us a chance to examine how the “American Renaissance” has been conceptualized and how that conceptualization has shaped both reading practices and scholarly assumptions about American literary history.
Research Track: Race and EthnicityThis course satisfies the requirement for 1700-1900
Offered in Fall 2016. Meets T/TH, 12:30-1:45pm
In 1971, the “Keep America Beautiful” campaign aired what would become one of the most iconic commercials of the twentieth century. The so-called “Crying Indian” advertisement featured a non-Native actor (“Iron Eyes” Cody) weeping to see the American landscape covered in litter. Cody was only the latest in a series of “white” public figures co-opting the indigenous body in environmental argument. This tradition goes back at least to the nineteenth century, when white environmental activists like Grey Owl posed as Native Americans in order to claim a closer relationship with Nature. In this course, we return to the nineteenth century to examine the relationship between European imperialism, colonial Others, and ecology. When and how were colonized peoples identified with natural systems? To what extent were arguments for imperial warfare presented as arguments for environmental management? Were African Americans, Scottish Highlanders, and Native Americans ever able to use ecological rhetoric to agitate for rights? To borrow from recent headlines about the water crisis in Flint, Michigan: to what extent has racism always been “environmental”?
Research Track: Transatlantic/Transnational; Race and Ethnicity
This course satisfies the requirement for 1700-1900
Offered in Fall 2016. Meets MF, 3:35-4:50pm
Graduate Courses 2015-2016
Graduate Courses 2014-2015
Graduate Courses 2013-2014
Graduate Courses 2012-2013
Graduate Courses 2011-2012
Graduate Courses 2010-2011
Graduate Courses 2009-2010
Graduate Courses 2008-2009
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