Graduate students from other departments and exceptionally well-prepared undergraduates are welcome in English graduate courses (except for English 200) insofar as limitations of class size allow. Graduate courses are usually limited to 15 students; courses numbered 250 are usually limited to 10.
When demand for a graduate course exceeds the maximum enrollment limit, the instructor will determine priorities for enrollment and inform students of his/her decisions at the second class meeting. Tele-BEARS enrollment does not guarantee a place in a graduate course that turns out to be oversubscribed on the first day of class; in fact, a few students could be required to drop the course, starting with people who are not English Department graduate students -- though, fortunately, this situation does not arise very often.
Please refer to page 2 of the English Department's Graduate Handbook for the "Group" descriptions referred to at the end of each graduate course offering.
Burke, Edmund: Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful (Oxford World's Classics); Coleridge, S. T.: Samuel Taylor Coleridge: The Major Works (Oxford World Classics); Darwin, Erasmus: The Temple of Nature; Hume, David: A Treatise of Human Nature (Oxford Philosophical Texts); Shelley, Mary: Frankenstein (Norton Critical Editions); Smith, Adam: The Theory of Moral Sentiments (Glasgow Edition of the Works and Correspondence); Smith, Charlotte: The Poems of Charlotte Smith (ed. Curran); Williams, Raymond: Keywords: A Vocabulary of Culture and Society; Wordsworth and Coleridge (ed Gamer and Porter): Lyrical Ballads, 1798 and 1800 (Broadview Edition)
A Course Reader (probably two volumes). Many of our texts are uncollected or appear in collections of which they are too small a part for me to ask you to purchase them.
William Wordsworth’s 1800 declaration that poetry “is the history or science of feelings” cuts many ways, as such genitive constructions often do. His phrase alludes both to the contemporary human and life sciences that made the feelings their object of study and to the peculiar “science” or epistemology that the feelings may possess. It also promises a historical account of sensation and emotion, and it points to the feelings as a site of historical experience. This course will take up each of these angles by studying the variously oppositional and appositional relations between literature (primarily but not exclusively poetry) and several sciences during the later eighteenth century and Romantic periods in Britain, as pressures from global expansion, the revolution in France, and other aspects of modernity conspired to release feelings in excess of individual agency, personal identity, and available modes of cognition. Weekly topics will include, among other concerns: sympathy and the vagrancy of the passions, association psychology and materialism, empiricist aesthetic theory, chemistry and revolution, literature as experiment, geology and memory, physician-poets and poetic physicians.
We will read – selected, combined, and juxtaposed – texts by the following writers: Anna Barbauld, Charles Bell, Edmund Burke, S.T. Coleridge, William Cullen, Erasmus Darwin, David Hartley, David Hume, James Hutton, John Keats, Joseph Priestley, Adam Smith, Percy and Mary Shelley, Charlotte Smith, and William Wordsworth. Within the constraints of time, we will also take the measure of developments in the study of literature and science, as well as in the history of emotions, including work by Michel Foucault, Bruno Latour, Alan Bewell, Maureen McLane, Noel Jackson, and others.
Boethius: The Theological Tractates; The Consolation of Phlosophy. With an English translation by H. F. Stewart, E. K. Rand, and S. J. Tester;
Recommended: Clark Hall, J. R. : A Concise Anglo-Saxon Dictionary
PDF of Sedgefield's edition available at:
Other materials will be available on b-Space and through the library's electronic resources.
This course has a double aim: to explore the reception of Boethius’s De consolatione Philosophiae in Anglo-Saxon England and to do so by engaging one of the remarkable achievements of Anglo-Saxon translation, the Old English version of Boethius’s great work. One of the interests of the course will be the active ways in which the Old English translation modifies and rewrites Boethius’s text, incorporating Anglo-Saxon ways of knowing into the sixth-century text. And it will also attend to how the text has been ‘made,’ from the two surviving medieval manuscripts, to Junius’s proto-edition, and the succession of printed editions since. In thinking about the commentary tradition, we will explore what glosses may tell us about the reception of the text. Our work with the manuscripts, glosses, and early printed texts will also attend to the visual dimensions of meaning. Students should read the Consolation of Philosophy as a preliminary to the class. Pre-requisite: completion of Introduction to Old English OR Medieval Latin OR permission of the instructor.
Requirements: daily engagement with the text, one or two class presentations, a short experimental paper (aimed at trying out the idea for the final paper), a final paper of 15-20 pages. Topics will be chosen in consultation with the professor.
Butler, Octavia: Kindred; Jones, Gayl: Corregidora; Morrison, Toni: Beloved; Walker, Alice: The Third Life of Grange Copeland
This course will be jointly taught by Abdul JanMohamed (English) and Stefania Pandolfo (Anthropology), and it is cross-listed with Anthropology 250X section 6.
This seminar is a two-voice reflection on violence, death, subjugation, and the problem of emancipation and cultural regeneration. It is conceived as a dialogue between two archives––two historical, philosophical and experiential sites where we see these questions as urgently formulated. On one side the history of slavery and the racialization of violence in the US, with the transmission of a “death-bound” subjectivity and the burning question of how to think the possibility of regeneration in the midst of the reproduction of death; on the other the experiences and vocabularies of subjectivity, trauma, oppression, death, violence and regeneration in Islam and in the contemporary Middle East. In our bi-focal intervention we will draw on readings from Marxian, psychoanalytic, phenomenological, anthropological, and political-theological theoretical approaches, critical theories of melancholy and memory, as well as from anthropological accounts of life, death, destruction and the afterlife emerging from Arab and Islamic tradition, attempting to find a ground for the re-thinking of the relationship of catastrophic loss, subjectivity, transmission, and the regeneration of culture.
1. We will focus on the effects of racialized violence, and in particular the threat of death (periodically buttressed by actual lynchings) on the formation of black subjectivity. In the aftermath of JanMohamed’s Death-Bound-Subject, we will be concentrating on the effects of such threats on the processes of biological and cultural reproduction. How does death-bound-subjectivity reproduce its own formation from one generation to the next, how does it permeate the formation of young children from the beginning of their lives, and what can the parents do to resist such reproduction? How does hegemony ensure the reproduction of received relations of violence and death, and what kind of resistance is efficacious against hegemony’s attempt to reproduce itself? Such questions will be taken up via close examination of four black feminist novels that explore the topic in fascinating ways.
2. We will pursue these questions through select literary and ethnographic works addressing the problem of traumatic transmission, violence, and melancholy in colonial and decolonial Maghreb. Against this background we will examine documents from the recent revolutionary events in the Maghreb and Middle East, with particular reference to the adjoining place of the risk of death and cultural regeneration--acts situated at the ambiguous and morally troubled border of struggle, suicide and testimony, and that are received and mourned in their communities and across the region as gestures opening onto a space of the gift, in the collective struggle for the reclaiming of life. Finally, through the examination of religious sources in the Islamic ethical and eschatological tradition of thinking and practicing on death (al-Ghazali), as well as modernist theological engagements with the problem of subjugation, falsification of a tradition, and witnessing/martyrdom, we will outline the elements of a reflection on destruction, death, imagination and regeneration in counterpoint.
Primary readings will include: Toni Morrison’s Beloved, Alice Walker’s Third Life of Grange Copeland, Gayl Jones’ Corregidor, and Octavia Butler’s Kindred and her short story, “Bloodchild,” Kateb Yacine’s Nedjma, J. Lacan The Ethics of Psychoanalysis (selected chapters), A. Feldman, Formations of Violence,Abu Hamid al-Ghazali, The Remembrance of Death and the Afterlife, Ali Shariati, “Jihad and Shahadat”. We will also use an archive of documents about the current uprisings in the Middle East, and selections from A. JanMohamed’s The Death-Bound-Subject and S. Pandolfo’s Knot of the Soul.
Additional readings will include selections from: N. Abraham and M. Torok, Jessica Benjamin, Walter Block, Judith Butler, Patricia Hill Collins, V. Crapanzano, V. Das, J. Derrida, Frantz Fanon, Lisa Guenther, W.G.F Hegel, M. Heidegger, A. Kojeve, J. Lacan, John Locke, A. Mbembe, Jennifer Morgan, David Marriot, Darieck Scott, Dorothy Roberts, Hortense Spiller, and others.
Austen, Jane: Persuasion; Bronte, Charlotte: Shirley; Collins, Wilkie: The Moonstone; Dickens, Charles: Bleak House; Edgeworth, Maria: Castle Rackrent and Ennui; Eliot, George: Daniel Deronda; Gaskell, Elizabeth: North and South; Hardy, Thomas: The Mayor of Casterbridge; Hogg, James: Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner ; Scott, Walter: Old Mortality
Reading and discussion of a selection of major nineteenth-century British novels. We will bring large questions to bear on one another, concerning: the worlds and communities the novel aims to represent and to address (region or province; nation; empire; the world; “the condition of England”); different scales of history (personal and family histories; local, national and world histories; natural history / the history of the race or species); developing technologies and sites of narration (first-person memoir, chronicle, confession; third-person modes of free indirect style and omniscient narration; narration from below or outside, by servants, criminals, women, ethnic and religious outsiders); the sub-genres of the novel (regional, domestic, historical, industrial, sensation fiction, etc.) and the novel’s incorporation of, and self-positioning in relation to, other genres, styles and formats (romance, history, allegory, drama, lyric, periodicals). We will attend to social and material histories of book production and reading, as well as to representative criticism.
Works will include: Edgeworth, Maria: Castle Rackrent and Ennui; Scott, Walter: Old Mortality; Austen, Jane: Persuasion; Hogg, James: The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner; Bronte, Charlotte: Shirley; Gaskell, Elizabeth: North and South; Collins, Wilkie: The Moonstone; Dickens, Charles: Bleak House; Eliot, George: Daniel Deronda; Hardy, Thomas: The Mayor of Casterbridge
Benson, Larry D. : The Riverside Chaucer; Chaucer, Geoffrey: Troilus and Criseyde
This course studies all Chaucer's majors works before the Canterbury Tales. About the first third of the semester will use the earlier works--the Book of the Duchess and the Parliament of Fowls especially--to introduce Middle English "philology," in the old, broad sense of that word: the texture and logic of the language and its textual settings, the literary possibilities available within those, and the forms of convention and innovation, and the tools for studying all these things. It will also, inevitably, spend some time thinking about literary history. The remaining weeks will give detailed study to the Troilus and Criseyde, Chaucer's greatest and most important work, and to the stages by which he developed the idea for the Canterbury Tales.
All the material for this course is available online at the National Library of Scotland's Auchinleck Manuscript website (http://auchinleck.nls.uk/). Students are advised to familiarize themselves with the website before the course begins.
This course will consider a wide range of Middle English writing through examination of a single manuscript book surviving to us from the early fourteenth-century: Edinburgh, National Library of Scotland, Advocates' MS 19.2.1, now known as 'The Auchinleck Manuscript', first brought to public attention in 1804 when Sir Walter Scott published an edition of one of its texts. The manuscript, produced by a number of scribes working in tandem and by design, is central to our construction of a Middle English literary corpus, containing as it does the earliest surviving versions of many Middle English texts and, in many cases, the only surviving versions. Growing out of the multilingual book-world of the previous century (in which Latin, Anglo-Norman French and English share space on the page and throughout the book, implying readers comfortable with code-switching and reading across multiple native vernaculars), the Auchinleck Manuscript is especially remarkable in its monolingualism (it is virtually English-only), a monolingualism reiterated in the disciplinary divides of our national language departments. Where did this book come from? for whom was it produced? what does it aim to accomplish or project? The course will provide introductory access to Middle English literature while wrestling with the larger theoretical and cultural issues implicated by the Auchinleck Manuscript's peculiar features. Medievalists are, of course, welcome, but a particular invitation is extended to those working in Romantic and post-Romantic medievalisms, in post-colonialism and emerging nationalisms, in the history of the language or the relation of language to ethnicity, and to those interested in the dialogue of text and image--since the Auchinleck Manuscript deviates from its predecessors, too, in supplying images (some of them now excised or erased--a trace of Protestant iconoclasm?) to accompany the works it anthologizes. The course will, I hope, become a forum for mutually enlivening and enlightening discussion across our various fields of interest and expertise.
A graduate creative nonfiction writing workshop open to students from any department. Drawing on narrative strategies found in memoir, the diary, travel writing, and fiction, students will have work-shopped three 10-20 page literary nonfiction pieces. Each will take as point of departure the words and emotions like or love. What’s liked or loved (or not) may include people, places, things. Each week, students will also turn in one-page critiques of the two or three student pieces being work-shopped as well as a 3-page journal entry on prompts assigned (these entries may be used as part of the longer pieces). Probable semester total of written pages, including critiques: 70-80. Class attendance: mandatory.
To be considered for admission to this class, please submit 5-10 photocopied pages of your creative nonfiction, along with an application form, to Thomas Farber's mailbox in 322 Wheeler, BY 4:00 P.M., TUESDAY, OCTOBER 25, AT THE LATEST.
Be sure to read the paragraph concerning creative writing courses on page 1 of this Announcement of Classes for further information regarding enrollment in such courses!
Adorno, T., et. al.: Aesthetics and Politics: The Key Texts of the Classic Debate Within German Marxism; Eagleton T. and Milne D., eds.: Marxist Literary Theory: A Reader; Jameson, F.: Marxism and Form: Twentieth-century Dialectical Theories of Literature; Sartre, J-P.: Search for a Method
In the early 1990s, literary theorist Fredric Jameson responded to critics who were at once proclaiming the emergence of a rejuvenated capitalist "new world order" and asserting the death of Marxism. "It does not seem to make much sense," he wrote, "to talk about the bankruptcy of Marxism, when Marxism is very precisely the science and the study of just that capitalism whose global triumph is affirmed in talk of Marxism's demise." What we can infer from Jameson's comments is the idea that historically Marxism has been useful not only for the critique of social systems, but for the study of literature and culture, as well. Two decades later—and with the political, economic and environmental contradictions of the "new world order" now in plain sight—critics might benefit once again from reassessing the appropriateness of Marxism for the study of literature and culture. This course will provide the opportunity for such a reassessment by focusing on the ways that Marxist social thought in the past century has contributed to theories of literature and culture. We will attempt to understand and theorize the relation between the material conditions of social life and aesthetic forms. The goal of the course is to provide a broad introduction to the range of Marxist analysis and critique in contemporary literary and cultural studies. In the first part of the course, we will read several classic works of Marxist cultural theory to ground our study historically. In the second part of the course, driven partly by student concerns and interests, we will analyze the compatibility of Marxist literary theory with feminism, critical race studies, and postcolonial studies.
Brown, Bill, ed.: Things; Jonson, Ben: Alchemist and Other Plays; Latour, Bruno: We Have Never Been Modern; Marx, Karl: Capital, Volume I; Middleton, Thomas, et al.: The Roaring Girl; Nashe, Thomas: The Unfortunate Traveller and Other Works; Shakespeare, William: Othello; Shakespeare, William: The Taming of the Shrew; Spenser, Edmund: The Faerie Queene
The balance of the readings will be posted as .pdf to the class bSpace site.
In the middle of the nineteenth century, the intellectual historian Jacob Burckhardt argued that the Renaissance marked the beginning of modern culture—an emergence which he defined as the disruption of medieval systems that had discouraged the differentiation of individuals from the social world by a new, dialectical relationship between the self-contained "subject" and a world perceived as a collection of "objects." This seminar will look directly at the long orthodoxy of subject-object relations as the modern-ness of early modernity, as well as at recent criticism of "material culture" that seeks to complicate or supplant that orthodoxy with different accounts of how the individual, the social, and the material impinged upon one another in the period. We'll be looking at a range of Tudor and Stuart texts that pay particular attention to things and stuffs, and seeing what extra-objective categories might emerge from them for expressing the material in discourse: "ekphrasis," for example, or "fetish." The biggest question I have in mind is what this engagement of materiality has to do with the theory of history—why should the narrative of modernity depend on the progress of the object from a material category into an epistemological axiom, objectivity? How might counterpoising "thing" to "object," and "Renaissance" to "early modern," help us to attend to historical problems of progress, periodization, and periodicity?
Armah, A: The Beautyful Ones Are Not Yet Born; Chaudhuri, A: Freedom Song; Chowdhury, S: Patna Roughcut; Cole, T: Open City; Danticat, E: The Dew Breaker; Dasgupta, R: Solo; Djebar, A: Women of Algiers in Their Apartments; Ekwensi, C: People of the City; Mpe, P: Welcome to Our Hillbrow; Munif, A: Cities of Salt; Tyrewala, A: No God in Sight
One of the defining preoccupations of literary realism is the precise, penetrating depiction of everyday life. This course will consider how this ambition is pursued in the context of postcolonial writing. Our primary reading will be a series of fictional texts by African, Caribbean, Middle Eastern, and South Asian writers, with an emphasis upon very recent work. These will be supplemented by extensive readings in criticism, cultural and social theory, and reportage. We will examine the emergence of the everyday as a distinct conceptual category, highlighting its mobilization in prominent twentieth-century critiques of modernity. We will consider its status as an aesthetic object, identifying formal strategies for the representation of everyday life. Throughout we will consider the specific stakes of the everyday for postcolonial writers and in postcolonial societies. In the process, the everyday will offer us a crucial analytical vantage point for tracing the vicissitudes of postcolonial modernity itself.
The announced booklist for the course is tentative and subject to change. The bSpace reader for the course will feature work by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Susan Buck-Morss, Partha Chatterjee, Teju Cole, E. Valentine Daniel, Veena Das, Guy Debord, Mahasweta Devi, Frantz Fanon, Amitav Ghosh, Stuart Hall, Peter Hitchcock, Ranjana Khanna, Arun Kolatkar, Henri Lefebvre, Achille Mbembe, Gyanendra Pandey, Ato Quayson, and others.
Through seminars, discussions, and reading assignments, students are introduced to the language/writing/literacy needs of diverse college-age writers such as the developing, bi-dialectal, and non-native English-speaking (NNS) writer. The course will provide a theoretical and practical framework for tutoring and composition instruction.
The seminar will focus on various tutoring methodologies and the theories which underlie them. Students will become familiar with relevant terminology, approaches, and strategies in the fields of composition teaching and learning. New tutors will learn how to respond constructively to student writing, as well as develop and hone effective tutoring skills. By guiding others towards clarity and precision in prose, tutors will sharpen their own writing abilities. New tutors will tutor fellow Cal students in writing and/or literature courses. Tutoring occurs in the Cesar E. Chavez Student Center under the supervision of experienced writing program staff.
In order to enroll for the seminar, students must have at least sophomore standing and have completed their Reading and Composition R1A and R1B requirements.
Some requirements include: participating in a weekly training seminar and occasional workshops; reading assigned articles, videotaping a tutoring session, and becoming familiar with the resources available at the Student Learning Center; tutoring 4-6 hours per week; keeping a tutoring journal and writing a final paper; meeting periodically with both the tutor supervisor(s) and tutees' instructors.
This course meets the field study requirements for the Education minor, but it cannot be used toward fulfillment of the requirements for the English major. It must be taken P/NP.
Pick up an application for a pre-enrollment interview at the Student Learning Center, Atrium, Cesar Chavez Student Center (Lower Sproul Plaza), beginning October 10. No one will be admitted after the first week of spring classes.
This course may not be counted as one of the twelve courses required to complete the English major.