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Indiana University Bloomington

Graduate Courses


Current Courses (Fall 2014)

G601 Medieval Languages (Pre-1800)
Rob Fulk
TOPIC: Intro to Old English

16547 4:00p-5:15p TR

The course this semester will be an introduction to Old English. It is designed to provide all the language background necessary for the professional study of Old English texts, including the essentials of Old English phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, and dialect variation. But it also demands some attention to the history and prehistory of the language, particularly its phonology. And so the normal business of the course will be the day-to-day translation of texts in class, supplemented by lectures on the structure and history of the language. We will be reading texts in prose and verse and studying such aspects of Anglo-Saxon culture as runic inscriptions, the making of manuscripts, survivals of pagan and folkloristic belief, and the history of the period, especially the devastating Viking invasions. But this is primarily a language course, so most of our time will be devoted to studying the structure of the Old English language. There will be two examinations, along with some shorter assignments, and a final project that will involve a paper of no more than ten pages. The textbooks will be R. D. Fulk, An Introductory Grammar of Old English (not yet published; it will appear before August from the Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies) and John C. Pope, Eight Old English Poems.

L504 Practicum on Research Techniques
Justin Hodgson
TOPIC: Digital Dissertations & Multimedia Scholarship

19654 5:45p - 8:30p R

As media-rich writing platforms and practices have become more user friendly, digital dissertations have increased in popularity. Not only are digital dissertations a way for graduate students to start distinguishing themselves from their peersoften showcasing their ability to do both print and digital scholarshipbut multimedia writing platforms allow for new modes and means of representation of critical inquiry practices. Not only are digital dissertations and multimedia scholarship readily available avenues for traversing new ideas, making new arguments, or revisiting old issues in new waysall of which seem central to the graduate student directivebut they also allow for a kind of scholarly exploration that can only be made with the affordances of digital expression.

To this end, this course will investigate digital scholarship as it relates to pre- and post-graduation academic and publishing practices. It will examine digital dissertations and multimedia scholarship (book- and article-length equivalents) as vital parts of the current and future landscape of scholarly activity, and attempt to situate students in relation to an assortment of multimedia writing practices that might appeal to a variety of scholarly areas.

The course will include select readings to provide contexts and vocabulary for approaching digital scholarship, examine a few digital dissertations to act as targeted examples, and engage with outside speakers (ranging from digital dissertation authors to digital publishers) to add depth and perspective to course conversations.

Further, in order to critically explore digital scholarship, students need to engage in actual practices of digital making. As such, the primary focus of this class will be to help students produce one born-digital artifact for scholarly publication. We will explore a variety of digital scholarship practicesfrom video/documentary making activities to working with media-rich authoring platforms like Scalar to writing augmented reality print texts using LAYARin order to provide students with digital writing options that resonate with their own projects and interests.

L512 Practicum on Theoretical Bases for Advanced Research in Literary & Cultural Studies
Ellen MacKay
TOPIC: Introduction to the Digital Arts and Humanities (a prerequisite for the Graduate Minor)

17699 9:00a - 10:45a TR

By integrating the unique strengths of IU as a vanguard of artistic and scholarly production, this course is designed to offer graduate students a hands-on experience of digital making, along with a substantive critical apparatus that will link the building and/or use of digital matter to its aesthetic effects, conceptual implications and academic stakes.

Team-taught by faculty across the College and University, the course is a hybrid practicum, lab, studio and seminar, and thereby provides an immersion experience not only in a range digital practices, but also in the dominant pedagogical environments of the disciplines traversed by the digital arts and humanities. The course is devised to bring into focus the overlaps and discontinuities in digital scholarly and artistic activity, broadly construed, and to advance a more holistic view of the digital turn, preparing students for the thriving academic and alt-ac jobscape in the digital arts and humanities.

Students will be expected to complete lab- and studio-based digital projects, read and respond to assigned scholarship, and reflect on the links they see between them. The course will culminate in group project proposals which students will assess in light of established evaluative protocols as well as the best practices established by the class.

Enrollment by permission of instructor.

Co-Offered with FINA T483 & T583 and ILS Z657
Lead Faculty: M. Dolinsky, N. Jacquard, E. MacKay, J. Walsh

L740 Research in Aesthetics, Genre, & Form (Pre-1800)
Patricia Ingham
TOPIC: Medieval Creatures

34547 1:00p-4:00p M

Cultural engagements with the medieval animal date back at least 20 years to Joyce Salisbury's The Beast Within. This readings course will track the engagements between animal studies and medieval literature developing in the intervening time. Medieval philosophical traditions sought to establish human difference in metaphysical terms (see The Great Chain of Being), but such metaphysics are regularly undone in literature, in art, in manuscript illumination, or in other medieval arts of living such as bestiaries or heraldry.

Beginning with an overview of some theories important to Critical Animal Studies (some work by Cary Wolfe, but likely including excerpts of Derrida's The Animal that Therefore I am, Agamben's The Open; or Donna Haraways Companion Species Manifesto along with other work from the first generation of animal studies), we will turn our attention to important criticism by medievalists that has emerged in the last few years. (Susan Cranes Animal Encounters, or Karl Steels How to Make a Human focus on Middle English traditions; but important work on continental texts has been done by Peggy McCracken, Emma Campbell, and most recently, Sarah Kay.) We are therefore now well placed to consider the state of the question in medieval scholarship, and to examine some texts, visuals, contexts, or representational modes pertinent to it. Many medieval texts emphasize animal vulnerability; yet animals also debate, or emerge cross cut with other kinds of gynsgadgets, artifacts, or lively machines. Susan Crane reads the horse of brass from Chaucers Squires Tale as more than a mechanism. But what does it mean that it IS one? How do medieval texts render animal sentience, and what difference does this make to our understanding of creatureliness, then or now? And whats up with all these bird stories?

We will attend to a variety of examples of the medieval animal, and in diverse contexts. Text to be read may include: the Middle English Bestiary; some of the Lais of Marie de France (in translation); Chaucers Nuns Priest Tale; Squires Tale; Manciples Tale; and the Parliament of Fowls, (this latter probably alongside Machauts Dit de LAlerion (in translation) and the Owl and the Nightingale; we may also consider Pwyll, Prince of Dyfed (from the Mabinogi), fables such as the ME Vox & Reynard, or a few shorter Middle English Arthurian texts. Interested students are invited to suggest texts for consideration. Text written in languages other that Middle English will be read in translation, although students familiar with the original languages are welcome to read any of these in the original.

L626/H699 Readings in Restoration & 18th C Literature & Culture (Pre-1800)
TOPIC: Introduction to the Eighteenth Century

33245/30624 3:30p-5:30p M

From the Age of Johnson to the era of the transatlantic slave trade, from the Age of Reason to the cult of sensibility: the eighteenth century has been many different things to many different scholars. Since the founding of the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies in 1967 (and of the International Society, more than a decade later), the long eighteenth century (1688-1815) has also been institutionalized as one of the most established sites of self-proclaimed inter- and multi-disciplinary conversation within the academy. This course aims to introduce students to some of those discussions. Our focus will be on key eighteenth-century texts and recent interpretative debates but we will also be attentive to the history of the field itself. How, we will ask, have our chronologies and geographies of the eighteenth century shifted over the past fifty years, and why? All required readings will be in English but students with relevant expertise are encouraged to write on non-English materials.

Requirements and Assessment: We will meet in weekly seminars and regular, engaged participation is expected. More than one absence may result in a failing grade for the course (regardless of grades on written work). Final grades will be determined by participation (20%), two short assignments (15% each), and a final paper (50%).

This course meets with HIST H699. Lead Instructors: Rebecca Spang and Richard Nash

L627 Readings in 19th C British Literature & Culture, 1790-1900 (Post-1800)
Monique Morgan
TOPIC: Victorian Literature and Science

19663 11:15a-12:30p TR

Darwins theory of evolution provided a powerful explanation for the complexity, diversity, and perfectibility of living organisms, but the explanation involved random change, violent struggle, possible reversion, and humanitys shared descent with other animal species. Physics united the seemingly disparate phenomena of light, electricity, and magnetism, but discovered that the sun will exhaust its energy and that the universe will become ever more disordered. The impact of these discoveries on the public imagination was profound and widespread. In this course, we will explore a variety of literary responses in poetry, realist fiction, and science fiction to Victorian developments in evolutionary biology and energy physics. We will be concerned not only with science as a prominent thematic preoccupation, but also with the influence of science on the structure and rhetoric of literature. Our primary texts will likely include George Eliots Middlemarch, Thomas Hardys Jude the Obscure, Samuel Butlers Erewhon, Edwin Abbotts Flatland, Robert Louis Stevensons The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and H. G. Wellss The Time Machine and The Island of Doctor Moreau, as well as poetry by Alfred, Lord Tennyson, Robert Browning, George Meredith, Algernon Charles Swinburne, Augusta Webster, May Kendall, Constance Naden, and James Clerk Maxwell. To help ground our discussion of scientific contexts, we will read excerpts on evolution and degeneration by Darwin, Lamarck, Huxley, Lankester, and Nordau; excerpts on electromagnetism and entropy by Faraday, Maxwell, and Kelvin; and a variety of literary criticism on Victorian literature and science. Course requirements will include two short response papers, a 15-page term paper, a proposal and bibliography for the term paper, and regular participation in class discussions.

L628 Readings in Narrative Literature to 1800 (Pre-1800)
Joan Linton
TOPIC: Into the "Fabulous Dark Cloister": World-Making with the Early Modern Romance

30562 1:00p-2:15p TR

Tiffany Jo Werth cribs the phrase fabulous dark cloister from Ben Jonson for her study of a group of early modern texts to which scholars later attach the name of romance. Although associated in Protestant England with the hidden recesses of monastic vice, the early modern romance was a literary phenomenon that proliferated across the boundaries of time (antique, nostalgic, futuristic, time travel), space (utopia, dystopia, heterotopia, fairyland, colony, underworld), religion (Catholic, Protestant, pagan), nation (translations, appropriations, reformations), and epistemology (magical, scientific). Whether reinscribing or transgressing the norms of gender, class, race, and species, the early modern romances infiltrated literary forms such as the lyric, pastoral, dramatic, and epic. At once condemned and in popular demand, these self-conscious texts provided the vehicle by which professional writers courted a broad audience, including an emerging female audience, through their imaginative world-making. They also exemplified the early modern perception ofand anxiety aboutreading as powerfully and physiologically transformative of readers.

What is it about the romance that invites such embodied, immersive, and even creative reader participation (keeping in mind that writers are also readers)? In this reading course, we will sample a number of early modern romances and some precedents, as well as critical and theoretical perspectives on this literary phenomenon. Individual romances may be read in tandem with source texts, con-texts, and translations the better to understand the dynamic processes in which they participate across cultures and media. Our goal is both to venture with the writers into ways of early modern world-making, and to gain a contextualized understanding of the romances resources of invention and formal strategies, their critical interventions into culture and society, and their ways of becoming other. Participants will be responsible for a report and a team forum, a short exploratory essay, and a conference length research paper.

Below is a tentative list of primary texts to be read in part or whole (this list will likely be revised and shortened): Heliodoruss Aethopica; Ovids Metamorphoses; Aphra Behns Oroonoko; Maragret Cavendishs The Blazing World; Francesco Colonnas of Hypnerotomachia (1499), trans. by Jack Dallington as Poliphilos Strife of Love in a Dream (1592); Thomas Deloneys Jack of Newbury; Robert Greenes Pandosto; Thomas Lodges A Margarite of America or Robin the Devil; John Lylys Euphues; Thomas Nashes, The Unfortunate Traveller; Sidneys Arcadia; Thomas Mores Utopia; William Shakespeares The Winters Tale and Pericles; Edmund Spensers The Faerie Queene, books 3 and 5; Margaret Tylers translation of The Mirrour of Princely Deeds and Knighthood; and Mary Wroths Urania, book 1, and the anon. Life and Death of Mrs. Mary Frith.

Brief critical and theoretical readings may include Bakhtin on chronotopes, Currie on the unexpected; Deleuze and Guattari on rhizome; Jameson on magical narratives; Todorov on the fantastic; Frye. Fuchs, Parker, and Werth respectively on the mythos, transformations, poetics, and hybridity of romance; and critics on authorship, readership, and the print and theater cultures of early modern romances.

L632 Readings in 19th C American Literature & Culture (Post-1800)
Paul Gutjahr

30567 11:15a-12:30p MW

This course will look at well-known (and some little-known) nineteenth-century pieces of literature and attempt to situate them in their historical moments. The reading, by necessity, will be heavy. We will do extensive primary source work in a number of genres including drama, poetry, fiction, and non-fiction writing. At the same time, we will study these primary sources in conjunction with literary critical material to familiarize ourselves with the current and past debates rooted in many of these primary works. Our goal will be to familiarize ourselves with some of the grand themes and movements found in nineteenth-century American literature. Aside from helping to lead class discussions, students will be expected to complete a few shorter writing assignments, as well as a longer paper due at the end of the semester.

Authors which might be studied include: Mason Locke Weems, James Fenimore Cooper, Timothy Shay Arthur, George Lippard, Frederick Douglass, Edgar Allan Poe, Herman Melville, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Henry Longfellow, Henry David Thoreau, Walt Whitman, Elizabeth Stuart Phelps, Mark Twain, and Kate Chopin.

Students can also do themselves a favor by giving themselves a bit of breathing space during the semester by reading Moby-Dick and Uncle Toms Cabin before the semester begins.

L657 Readings in Literature & Critical Theory (Post-1800)
Purnima Bose

17528 1:00p-2:15p MW

The central preoccupation of Karl Marxs writings, and those of his colleague Friedrich Engels, was to elaborate the ways in which the complex history of capitalism produces the necessary preconditions for the emergence of socialism. In addition to developing a methodology for analyzing historical and social relations, i.e., historical materialism, Marx sought to understand the stultifying effects of capitalism on human subjectivity. His powerful theorization of capitalist modes-of-production, the creation of value, and capitalisms insatiable appetite for growth also crucially considered the psychic investments we make in commodities and the money form, as well as the different types of alienation that inhere in capitalist social relations.

Unlike their analyses of capitalism, Marxs and Engels writings on imperialism were not systematic and were concentrated in articles that they published in the New York Daily Tribune from 1852-1963. Covering topics such as Ireland, the 1853 East India Company Charter Act, the Eastern Question in relation to the Crimean War, the 1856 Anglo Persian War, the 1857 Indian Mutiny, and the 1857-1858 Spanish invasion of Morocco, these articles were informed by a European universalism that made frequent references to Oriental despotism and posited the destruction of Asiatic modes-of-production as an important aspect of the realization of human emancipation.

Notwithstanding Marxs and Engels simplistic analysis of imperialism--perhaps because of its humanism--Marxism has proven inspirational and seminal in national liberation struggles in the Third World. The utopian aspirations of Marxism have their productive iterations in writings by intellectuals and practitioners involved in the anti-colonial struggle, who have taken up questions such as the efficacy of violence, the function of culture in creating nationalist consciousness, the identity of the revolutionary agent, the role of the peasantry, the relationship between communist parties and bourgeois independence movements, and the challenge of responding to the simultaneous presence of different modes-of-production in the colonies, among other issues.

In this course, I hope to make students conversant with Marxist concepts and their importance for generating debates and practices in anti-colonial struggles. My approach to Marxism is threefold: as an ethical commitment, as a body of theoretical tools, and as an historical practice in national liberation struggles. To this end, we will spend the first third of the course studying Marxs writings before turning to engagements with Marx, mainly emanating from contexts outside of Europe. While I have not yet finalized the reading list, it will likely include Robert C. Tuckers The Marx-Engels Reader and Anthony Brewers Marxist Theories of Imperialism: A Critical Survey. Other readings will be drawn, most probably, from the work of Aijaz Ahmad, Eqbal Ahmad, Samir Amin, Dipesh Chakrabarty, James Connolly, Frantz Fanon, Ranajit Guha, David Harvey, Mahmood Mamdani, Jos Carlos Maritegui, Gayle Rubin, Joe Slovo, and Gayatri Spivak among others.

Students should expect to participate actively in classroom discussion, contribute one weekly 500 word entry to an electronic journal, and write a conference-length paper of 10-12 double-spaced pages.

L746 Research in Textual & Media Studies (Post-1800)
Mary Favret
TOPIC: Understanding Reading

30572 9:05a-12:05p W

What is reading? The question is not meant metaphorically. We take for granted, Mark Taylor writes, our capacities to invent and interpret, and devote ourselves to exercising those capacities and publishing the results. Yet, he continues, It is the capacities themselves that need explaining. Reading is not giving a reading . . . Giving readings is important and could be done better if we understood reading. . . . The most amazing phenomenon our profession confronts, and the one for which we have the least explanation, is that a reader can make sense of a text, and that there are certain regularities across the individual senses made of a given text (Taylor 19). This seminar aims to bring us close to understanding the most amazing phenomenon our profession confronts, drawing on recent work in cognitive psychology, history of the book, disability studies, and theories of media new and old. We will consider debates about modes of reading as different as paleography, Braille, and scansion, and reckon with the possibility of non-human reading. I hope to invite in faculty from Cognitive Science and Informatics, Disabilities Studies, Classics and Library Science to explain what they mean when they talk about reading. But the final goal of the seminar is to help us identify the importance of literary studies in that conversation. To what extent does the literary object teach us about reading?

L752 Research in Gender & Sexuality (Post-1800)
Scott Herring
TOPIC: Sexuality and the Post-World War II Novel

13620 12:45p-3:45p T

This seminar surveys the major genres and historical contexts that inform the post-World War II LGBTQ novel in America. Over the course of several months we will explore a variety of literatures such as lesbian pulp fiction, the slumming/urban travel narrative, the transgender historical novel, Down Low middlebrow romance fiction, the metronormative gay novel, and several fictive negotiations of Black and white lesbian feminism and separatism. As we do so we will see how historical events such as the Lavender Scare, the Stonewall riots, the rise of Gay Liberation Fronts, the HIV/AIDS epidemic, and the cultural dominance of homonormativity impacted aesthetic formulae over six and a half decades of queer writing. We will pair each selected novel with two critical readings that further introduce you to established and developing modes of queer critique such as queer of color theory, studies of queer transnationalism, and critical rural/regional studies (to name but three subfields). The seminars primary research requirement is a 25-30 article-length essay. To facilitate our discussion, please have The Cambridge Companion to Gay and Lesbian Writing read in full for our first day of class.

Novels include:

  • James Baldwin, Giovannis Room
  • Ann Bannon, Odd Girl Out
  • Ann Bannon, I Am a Woman
  • Rita Mae Brown, Rubyfruit Jungle
  • Samuel R. Delany, Dark Reflections
  • Leslie Feinberg, Stone Butch Blues
  • E. Lynn Harris, Invisible Life
  • Andrew Holleran, Dancer from the Dance
  • R. Zamora Linmark, Rolling the Rs
  • Toni Morrison, Sula
  • John Rechy, City of Night

Queer social theorists, literary critics, and cultural historians will include, among others, Roderick A. Ferguson, Sharon Holland, Antonio Viego, Martin Meeker, Michael Bronski, Stephanie Foote, Susan Stryker, Marlon Ross, Martin F. Manalansan IV, Christopher Nealon, Siobhan B. Somerville, Bonnie Zimmerman, Tim Dean, Linda Garber, Barbara Smith, Martin Joseph Ponce, and C. Riley Snorton.

L764 Research in Literature & Critical Theory (Post-1800)
Michel Chaouli and Joshua Kates

33909 4:00p-6:30p W

Interpretation is arguably the core pursuit of the humanities, yet it remains a curiously spongy conception, one that can be squeezed or expanded almost at will. What is more, it seems to be under perennial attack; alternatives continue to be put forward. Drawing on the overlapping perspectives on theory of Associate Professors Michel Chaouli (German, and Director of the Center for Theoretical Inquiry in the Humanities here at IUB) and Joshua Kates (English), the seminar will attempt to establish a genealogy of the idea of interpretation, contrasting it with close neighbors and predecessors such as philology and exegesis. We will survey some of its most consequential articulations and study conceptions that have been advanced as rivals, such as presence, disclosure, orientation, (psycho)analysis, discourse analysis, and distant reading. Our main goal is pragmatic: to use the study of the idea of interpretation and that of its critiques to sharpen our sense of our own work. Ideally, a better understanding of what we do allows us to get better at doing what we do. The seminar is conceived as an occasion for individual and collective research. Developing and sharing insights will stand at the center of our work. Writers that will occupy us may (depending on the interests of participants) include Kant, Schleiermacher, Dilthey, Freud, Heidegger, Wittgenstein, Gadamer, Foucault, Derrida, Davidson, Sontag, Kittler, Moretti, and Gumbrecht.

Joint-offered with German G825
Lead Instructors: Joshua Kates and Michel Chaouli

L764 Research in Literature & Critical Theory (Post-1800)
Shane Vogel
TOPIC: After Affect: Performance Studies, Race, and the Senses

20354 12:45p-3:45p R

The forming of the five senses is a labor of the entire history of the world down to the present. Karl Marx

This seminar is an introduction to the interdisciplinary field of performance studies, with an emphasis on performances of race and racialization. We will focus our exploration of this field by considering theories of the sensory and the sensuous. For the past two decades, affect theory has served as a kind of shorthand that loosely groups together a range of complimentary and competing approaches for thinking about bodily intensities, feelings, and emotions. While this attention to affect has been generative of important new knowledge, it has often foreclosed other ways of conceptualizing the body. What does it mean to return to the senses after affect studies? This seminar will depart from the concept of affect and turn toward the sensory apprehension of the world. By considering other modes of bodily sensationthe haptic and tactile, the olfactory, the gustatory, the visual, the sonic, and otherswe will considers how recent work in performance studies develops new understandings of sensory experience such as proprioception, synaesthesia, anaesthesia, intersensoriality, and sense-memory. The senses, too, have a long and ignoble role in the history of racial subjugation in the West, and we will consider how the sensorial is mobilized in the production of racial difference and how some populations and performances have contested that history. Some questions we will ask include: What is the relationship between the senses and performativity? How might sense and performance help expand a study of literature and literary history? What might a sensate politics look like, and how might it pose an alternative to the politics of recognition or recovery? How does performance provide possibilities for sensory improvisation and invention? How can attention to the sensuous contribute not only to our reading practices but also our writing practices?

Readings will be primarily theoretical and critical; familiarity with performance studies is not required or expected. Readings may include work by Aristotle, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Michel Serres, Susan Stewart, Jean-Luc Nancy, Frantz Fanon, Erazim Kohk, Roland Barthes, Steven Feld, Charles Altieri, Hortense Spillers, Jos Esteban Muoz, Alexandra Vazquez, Joshua Takano Chamber-Letson, Jonathan Flatley, Fred Moten, Andr Lepecki, and Tavia Nyongo. Students will be expected to complete a number of short writing assignments and a longer seminar paper, as well as participate actively in class discussion.

L769 Research in Literature & Science (Post-1800)
Rae Greiner
TOPIC: Victorian Theories of Mind

30582 9:05a-12:05p M

Though largely drawn from England and from the Victorian era, materials for this course range from the middle to later eighteenth century into the early twentieth and may include some U.S. and/or French sources. Major developments in and theories of the mental, brain, and psychological sciences will organize our readings. Topics may include the Cartesian mind/body split; mechanism vs. will; associationism; sentimentalist moral philosophy; hysteria and other disorders; evolutionary theories of mental and emotional development. Nonfictional readings to likely include works by Descartes, Hume, Hartley, Spencer, Bain, Lewes, Darwin, W. James, and Freud. Literary texts to include works by Scott, C. Bront, Arnold, Tennyson, Collins, and Hardy. Requirements include weekly writing, mandatory attendance and class participation (this means talking in every class period), and a final research paper to be written in stages and workshopped in class.

W501 Teaching of Composition in College
Dana Anderson

11232 1:00p-2:15p W
12978 1:00p-2:15p R

This course has two main purposes: 1) to provide Associate Instructors teaching W131 for the first time with various strategies for connecting reading and writing, preparing assignments, and evaluating student writing; 2) to engage new instructors in reflective practice through readings, speakers, and discussion of a variety of approaches and materials.

Requirements include regular attendance of proseminar and consultant meetings; observations of other W131 teachers, and a portfolio of teaching materials and a reflective essay.

Texts: A collection of materials will be made available.

This proseminar, required of all AI's teaching W131 at IU for the first time, is offered for three credits on a Satisfactory/Non-satisfactory basis; the three credits for the course may be applied for the doctoral degree, but not for the M. A. or towards the core 46 course hours required for the Ph.D.

W554 Teaching Creative Writing
Romayne Rubinas Dorsey

8270 2:30p-4:30p R


W554 is a practicum course in teaching creative writing at the undergraduate level. Through reading and experience we will explore the creative process as well as the assumptions and practices uniqueand not so uniqueto creative writing classes. We will consider invention, revision, and assessment; craft and content; various approaches to workshop; the role of reading in a writing life; authority; and writer-teacher / student-writer dynamics. We will reflect on the changing concerns of the maturing writer, exploring how teaching and writing lives coexist at the graduate level and beyond as well as explore current takes on the writer in the academy. Work for the course includes several brief response papers to course texts; a written review and presentation of a writing text of your choosing; developing several annotated lesson plans and writing exercises for W103 sections; making observation visits to two creative writing classes; and developing a syllabus and supporting materials for a 200-level undergraduate creative writing course.

W611 Writing Fiction 1
Elizabeth Eslami

13945 2:30p-5:30p T


This is a fiction writing workshop for students enrolled in the graduate creative writing program.

W613 Writing Poetry 1
Ross Gay

12919 2:30p-5:30p T


W613 is a workshop in the writing of poetry for students in the MFA Creative Writing Program.

In this class we will be working on individual poems, but we will also be examining what it means to cultivate a persistent sense of inquiry and, hopefully, discovery. So come to the workshop with that in mind: working on poems, yes; but the making of poems as practice in cultivating wonder, yes yes.

W615 Writing Creative Nonfiction
Michael Adams

30598 1:00p-2:15p TR

Members of this workshop will be evaluated on 30-40 pages of finished writing and the critiques they write of work by colleagues. They will also present published creative nonfiction to the workshop at various points in the term this is a way of ensuring that my own experience and perspective dont unduly narrow our conversation. And together well compile what I call a Sample Book, each of us contributing paragraphs from creative nonfiction weve read or are reading that highlight certain problems or triumphs of conception or style. (Theres an additional, interesting layer to the Sample Book, but I dont have space to describe it here.) Of course, everyone in the course will participate fully at each meeting.

Memoir is only one species of this inchoate body of writing creative nonfiction and this course aims to explore creative nonfiction in its many of its varieties, though its members may choose to work primarily in only one. Early in the term, as members of the workshop prepare work to share, we will read examples of various genres of creative nonfiction, including selections from Joseph Mitchells Up in the Old Hotel, David Foster Wallaces Everything and More: A Compact History of 8, Jonathan Franzens The Kraus Project, reflective essays by Muriel Spark, and memoirs of food and eating by M. F. K. Fisher. Among other things, well consider the conception of each work both the lived as and the aesthetic impetus. We will also spend some time on varieties of creative nonfiction supported by new media, especially those that mix media. We will be particularly attentive to audiences of creative nonfiction, audiences arguably as diverse as the types of creative nonfiction they read. And we will consider especially, having experimented a bit with various modes, how they can be brought into contact in innovative ways. This is a long description of what will take up just less than a third of the term. Naturally, the bulk of the course will operate as a workshop, though matters raised early in the term will undoubtedly persist in our term-long conversation.

Anyone interested in the course is welcome to contact me ( about his or her own interests in creative nonfiction; Im eager to shape the course partly according to the interests of its members.

NB: Unlike graduate workshops in fiction or poetry, which are restricted to students in the M.F.A. program, this workshop is open to all graduate students.

W680 Theory & Craft of Writing
Samrat Upadhyay
TOPIC: Writing the Novel

30605 9:30a-10:45a TR


In this course we will explore the form of the novel, mostly by writing it but also by reading--in part or whole-novels of varied styles, as well as Jane Smileys 13 Ways of Looking at the Novel as a guide to the form. Each student will workshop an entire novel, albeit a short one (about 75-100 pages) in deference to the semesters time limitation. You may also be asked to do a presentation on a novel that has inspired you and might serve as your model.

As the novel is a challenging form, this course presupposes a basic mastery of the fundamental aspects of fiction, so we will not be spending time on how to construct scenes, or how to write an effective setting. I will assume that youre already a skilled writer, at least in the form of the short story, and that youre taking this course because youre interested in and excited by the novels possibilities.

I will be uploading various novel chapters/section on OnCourse by a number of writers, and well also read selected novels from this list:

  • Cormac McCarthy, The Road
  • Kazuo Ishiguro, The Remains of the Day
  • Zora Neal Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God
  • Margaret Atwood, The Handmaids Tale
  • Ernest Hemingway, The Old Man and the Sea
  • Mohsin Hamid, The Reluctant Fundamentalist
  • Sarah Hall, Daughters of the North
  • F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby
  • Fuminori Nakamura, The Thief
  • Walter Mosley, Walking the Dog