Graduate Courses

To see a complete list of courses offered and their descriptions, visit the online course catalog.

For current course schedule information and registration, visit SIS.

Column one has the course number and section. Other columns show the course title, days offered, instructor's name, room number, if the course is cross-referenced with another program, and a option to view additional course information in a pop-up window.

Counterfactual Literature
AS.060.637 (01)

This course will focus on the formal, affective, ethical, and conceptual issues associated with forking-path texts—poems, fictions and films that openly offer alternative paths to the experience of individuals.

  • Credits: 0.00
  • Level: Graduate
  • Days/Times: T 9:00AM - 12:00PM
  • Instructor: Miller, Andrew
  • Room: Gilman 130D
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 5/8

Independent Study
AS.060.800 (03)

This course is a semester-long independent research course for graduate students. Students will have one-on-one assignments and check-in's with designated faculty throughout the semester.

  • Credits: 0.00
  • Level: Graduate
  • Days/Times:
  • Instructor: Nealon, Christopher
  • Room:  
  • Status: Closed
  • Seats Available: 4/5

Whitman and the Whitmanian
AS.060.638 (01)

This course will take the occasion of the bicentennial of the birth of Walt Whitman as an occasion to think about the legacies of his poetry in American literary history, especially in contemporary poetry. We will read key texts of Whitman’s then move to more recent writing, paying attention to the key scholarship on Whitman from the last few decades, as well as to recent scholarship on poetry that is in dialog with the questions of democracy, capitalism, on the one hand, and form and address, on the other, that have shaped our reading of Whitman and of poetry in the Whitmanian mode.

  • Credits: 0.00
  • Level: Graduate
  • Days/Times: M 1:00PM - 4:00PM
  • Instructor: Nealon, Christopher
  • Room: Gilman 130D
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 2/8

Close Reading, Exhaustive Reading, and the Novel
AS.060.641 (01)

How much can you say about a novel? How much of a novel can a critic interpret? The large scale of the novel form seems to resist the interpretive techniques of literary criticism, which look closely at a small number of textual examples. But what if we tried to read every word of a novel, and see it in all its forms: genre, structure, history, politics, biography, and so on? This seminar will look closely at a small number of Victorian novels (probably Dickens' *David Copperfield* and Eliot's *Daniel Deronda*, subject to change). We will approach these novels through a variety of theroetical lenses. There will be a special emphasis placed on the relations between form, history, and politics. This seminar will also offer students a chance to apply theories of literature and the novel often considered in abstract.

  • Credits: 0.00
  • Level: Graduate
  • Days/Times: W 1:00PM - 4:00PM
  • Instructor: Rosenthal, Jesse Karl
  • Room: Gilman 130D
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 3/8

Literature and Human Rights: 1500-1720
AS.060.628 (01)

Today human rights and capabilities are two intertwined concepts. In the early modern period, these were much debated and literature was a key site for the development of these imperfect, variable and contested discourses. Reading literary works from the European tradition, in particular in Europeans' engagement with dissident groups both within and outside Europe, we will explore themes of embodiment, power, risk, vulnerability and the languages and practices of equivalence and domination in the variable discourses of humanitarianism, natural law, and rights in authors including Shakespeare, Grotius, Montaigne, Hobbes, Milton, Behn, Locke, Swift, Montagu and Defoe.

  • Credits: 0.00
  • Level: Graduate
  • Days/Times: T 1:00PM - 4:00PM
  • Instructor: Achinstein, Sharon
  • Room: Gilman 130D
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 5/8

Individual Work
AS.060.893 (01)

  • Credits: 0.00
  • Level: Graduate
  • Days/Times:
  • Instructor:
  • Room:  
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 9/30

Independent Reading
AS.060.894 (01)

  • Credits: 0.00
  • Level: Graduate
  • Days/Times:
  • Instructor:
  • Room:  
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 8/10

Independent Study
AS.060.800 (01)

This course is a semester-long independent research course for graduate students. Students will have one-on-one assignments and check-in's with designated faculty throughout the semester.

  • Credits: 0.00
  • Level: Graduate
  • Days/Times:
  • Instructor: Cannon, Christopher
  • Room:  
  • Status: Closed
  • Seats Available: 5/5

Journal Club
AS.060.895 (01)

  • Credits: 0.00
  • Level: Graduate
  • Days/Times:
  • Instructor: Daniel, Andrew
  • Room:  
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 5/5

On the Difficulty of Saying I
AS.213.639 (01)

This course takes as its point of departure the position that language carries within it the traces of something that exceeds the cognitive grasp of the subject and to this extent undoes any claim to knowledge the subject might make. This position has been central to twentieth and twenty-first century thought from psychoanalysis and poststructuralism to media theory and new materialism. This course will not take issue with this position. It will examine instead how this position evolved from the Idealism of Fichte to the eerily inhuman, if not mechanical, talking figures in texts by Novalis (“Monolog”), Poe (“Maelzel’s Chess Player”), Hoffmann (“Die Automate”), Büchner (Leonce und Lena), and Kafka (“Ein Bericht für eine Akademie”). We will explore the literature of the personal and impersonal in romantic and modernist texts in order to ask what moves and motivates works in which the first-person narrator would seem to be nothing more than a fiction—a staged phenomenon or a mechanical device.

  • Credits: 0.00
  • Level: Graduate
  • Days/Times: F 4:00PM - 6:00PM
  • Instructor: Tobias, Rochelle
  • Room: Gilman 479
  • Status: Canceled
  • Seats Available: 12/12

The American Renaissance: History of a Field
AS.060.639 (01)

This seminar will provide an intensive introduction to antebellum nineteenth-century U.S. literature by way of tracking a critical formulation foundational to the field of American studies as whole: "the American Renaissance." Coined by F.O. Matthiessen in 1941, "the American Renaissance" initially referred to a canon of five white male writers (Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Herman Melville, Henry David Thoreau, and Walt Whitman) alleged to have produced work of distinction in two interrelated senses--the first specifically "American" literature deserving of academic study. We will follow the fortunes of this critical formulation, tracing how some of the authors in Matthiessen's canon have subsequently been reinterpreted and repositioned as well as how "the American Renaissance" canon has been expanded and its very conceptualization contested. Primary authors whose work may be examined include William Apess, William Wells Brown, Lydia Maria Child, Frederick Douglass, Emerson, Margaret Fuller, Hawthorne, Harriet Jacobs, Melville, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and the anonymous author of Xicotencatl. Secondary works may include: Matthiessen, The American Renaissance (1941); Reynolds, Beneath the American Renaissance (1988); Michaels and Pease, The American Renaissance Reconsidered (1989); Crews, "Whose American Renaissance?" (1988); Colacurcio, "The American-Renaissance Renaissance" (1991); Avallone, "What American Renaissance?" (1997); Grossman, Reconstituting the American Renaissance (2003); Brickhouse, Transamerican Literary Relations (2004); Fluck, Romance with America (2009); Hager and Marrs, "Against 1865" (2013).

  • Credits: 0.00
  • Level: Graduate
  • Days/Times: Th 1:00PM - 4:00PM
  • Instructor: Hickman, Jared W
  • Room: Gilman 130D
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 3/8

Independent Study
AS.060.800 (02)

This course is a semester-long independent research course for graduate students. Students will have one-on-one assignments and check-in's with designated faculty throughout the semester.

  • Credits: 0.00
  • Level: Graduate
  • Days/Times:
  • Instructor: Mao, Douglas
  • Room:  
  • Status: Closed
  • Seats Available: 4/5

Imagination in Philosophy and Literary Theory
AS.213.687 (01)

Imagination in Philosophy and Literary Theory is devoted to studying theories of imagination in the history of philosophy and literary theory, from the ancient Greeks to the present day. We will study philosophical conceptions of the role of imagination in memory, cognition, perception, and creativity, and assess traditional philosophical oppositions between imagination and reason, the imaginary and the real. Readings may include selections from Aristotle, Kant, Coleridge, Nietzsche, Husserl, Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty, Sartre, Dufrenne, Stevens, Iser, Ricoeur, Ryle, Wittgenstein, and Nussbaum.

  • Credits: 0.00
  • Level: Graduate
  • Days/Times: T 3:00PM - 5:00PM
  • Instructor: Gosetti, Jennifer Anna
  • Room: Gilman 479
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 4/15

Course # (Section) Title Day/Times Instructor Room Info
AS.060.637 (01)Counterfactual LiteratureT 9:00AM - 12:00PMMiller, AndrewGilman 130D
AS.060.800 (03)Independent StudyNealon, Christopher 
AS.060.638 (01)Whitman and the WhitmanianM 1:00PM - 4:00PMNealon, ChristopherGilman 130D
AS.060.641 (01)Close Reading, Exhaustive Reading, and the NovelW 1:00PM - 4:00PMRosenthal, Jesse KarlGilman 130D
AS.060.628 (01)Literature and Human Rights: 1500-1720T 1:00PM - 4:00PMAchinstein, SharonGilman 130D
AS.060.893 (01)Individual Work 
AS.060.894 (01)Independent Reading 
AS.060.800 (01)Independent StudyCannon, Christopher 
AS.060.895 (01)Journal ClubDaniel, Andrew 
AS.213.639 (01)On the Difficulty of Saying IF 4:00PM - 6:00PMTobias, RochelleGilman 479
AS.060.639 (01)The American Renaissance: History of a FieldTh 1:00PM - 4:00PMHickman, Jared WGilman 130D
AS.060.800 (02)Independent StudyMao, Douglas 
AS.213.687 (01)Imagination in Philosophy and Literary TheoryT 3:00PM - 5:00PMGosetti, Jennifer AnnaGilman 479

Column one has the course number and section. Other columns show the course title, days offered, instructor's name, room number, if the course is cross-referenced with another program, and a option to view additional course information in a pop-up window.

Independent Study
AS.060.800 (02)

This course is a semester-long independent research course for graduate students. Students will have one-on-one assignments and check-in's with designated faculty throughout the semester.

  • Credits: 0.00
  • Level: Graduate
  • Days/Times:
  • Instructor: Achinstein, Sharon
  • Room:  
  • Status: Approval Required
  • Seats Available: 5/5

Individual Work
AS.060.893 (01)

  • Credits: 0.00
  • Level: Graduate
  • Days/Times:
  • Instructor: Thompson, Mark C
  • Room:  
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 11/20

Journal Club
AS.060.696 (01)

  • Credits: 0.00
  • Level: Graduate
  • Days/Times:
  • Instructor: Daniel, Andrew
  • Room:  
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 4/5

The History of the Book
AS.060.629 (01)

The course will account for the major transformations in the media used for writing from the scroll to the web as well as the rich account of this history and its theorizations.

  • Credits: 0.00
  • Level: Graduate
  • Days/Times: W 12:00PM - 3:00PM
  • Instructor: Cannon, Christopher
  • Room: Gilman 108
  • Status: Waitlist Only
  • Seats Available: 0/10

Independent Reading
AS.060.894 (01)

  • Credits: 0.00
  • Level: Graduate
  • Days/Times:
  • Instructor: Thompson, Mark C
  • Room:  
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 10/10

Fiction and Doubt After 1888
AS.060.607 (01)

Examines the interrelation between fiction and doubt since the late nineteenth century. Authors may include Ward, Conrad, Joyce, Eliot, Stevens, Woolf, Baldwin, Flannery O’Connor, Ishmael Reed, Sefi Atta, R. O. Kwon.

  • Credits: 0.00
  • Level: Graduate
  • Days/Times: T 1:00PM - 4:00PM
  • Instructor: Mao, Douglas
  • Room: Gilman 130D
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 1/8

Independent Study
AS.060.800 (01)

This course is a semester-long independent research course for graduate students. Students will have one-on-one assignments and check-in's with designated faculty throughout the semester.

  • Credits: 0.00
  • Level: Graduate
  • Days/Times:
  • Instructor: Thompson, Mark C
  • Room:  
  • Status: Approval Required
  • Seats Available: 5/5

Independent Study
AS.060.800 (03)

This course is a semester-long independent research course for graduate students. Students will have one-on-one assignments and check-in's with designated faculty throughout the semester.

  • Credits: 0.00
  • Level: Graduate
  • Days/Times:
  • Instructor: Daniel, Andrew
  • Room:  
  • Status: Approval Required
  • Seats Available: 4/5

What is a Person? Humans, Corporations, Robots, Trees.
AS.300.618 (01)

Knowing who or what counts as a person seems straightforward, until we consider the many kinds of creatures, objects, and artificial beings that have been granted—or demanded or denied—that status. This course investigates recent debates about being a person in literature and law. Questions examined will include: Should trees have standing? Can corporations have religious beliefs? Could a robot sign a contract? Although our explorations will be focused on these questions, the genre of materials examined will be wide-ranging (including legal essays, philosophy, contemporary novels, and film). Texts will include novels by William Gibson and Lydia Millet, essays by John Dewey and Daniel Dennett, and films such as Ex Machinaand Her.

  • Credits: 0.00
  • Level: Graduate
  • Days/Times: T 1:30PM - 4:00PM
  • Instructor: Siraganian, Lisa Michele
  • Room: Gilman 208
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 9/10

On the Difficulty of Saying I
AS.213.639 (01)

This course takes as its point of departure the position that language carries within it the traces of something that exceeds the cognitive grasp of the subject and to this extent undoes any claim to knowledge the subject might make. This position has been central to twentieth and twenty-first century thought from psychoanalysis and poststructuralism to media theory and new materialism. This course will not take issue with this position. It will examine instead how this position evolved from the Idealism of Fichte to the eerily inhuman, if not mechanical, talking figures in texts by Novalis (“Monolog”), Poe (“Maelzel’s Chess Player”), Hoffmann (“Die Automate”), Büchner (Leonce und Lena), and Kafka (“Ein Bericht für eine Akademie”). We will explore the literature of the personal and impersonal in romantic and modernist texts in order to ask what moves and motivates works in which the first-person narrator would seem to be nothing more than a fiction—a staged phenomenon or a mechanical device.

  • Credits: 0.00
  • Level: Graduate
  • Days/Times: F 3:00PM - 5:30PM
  • Instructor: Tobias, Rochelle
  • Room: Gilman 443
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 3/15

Sentimental Reasons
AS.060.619 (01)

Recent work in cognitive approaches to literature have led critics to return to the sentimental novel of the eighteenth-century as a “laboratory,” in Daniel Goss’s words, for the investigation of human emotion. There is no easy “fit” between these literary narratives and the narratives of cognitive science, nor between them and the regnant moral philosophy of the age (built upon the mechanism of human sympathy or upon “nervous” association). There is rather a discomfort that reveals social inequities as well as alternative possibilities for both thinking and feeling. The sentimental mode took hold in the circuits of the Atlantic world. This course will study several sentimental narratives that traveled promiscuously through those circuits: Bernardin de St. Pierre’s Paul and Virginia, Sterne’s Sentimental Journey, Mackenzie’s Man of Feeling; Equiano’s Interesting Narrative; Williams’ Peru; and Brown’s The Power of Sympathy. Alongside these works we will read studies by critics working the seams between affect and cognition, philosophy and literature, rhetoric and science. The course will provide a broad history of the sentimental mode, stretching to reflections on the links between the sentimental and the melodramatic. It will simultaneously attend to the experience of reading for sentiment, to forms of feeling and what those feelings know.

  • Credits: 0.00
  • Level: Graduate
  • Days/Times: M 1:00PM - 4:00PM
  • Instructor: Favret, Mary
  • Room: Gilman 130D
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 1/8

Course # (Section) Title Day/Times Instructor Room Info
AS.060.800 (02)Independent StudyAchinstein, Sharon 
AS.060.893 (01)Individual WorkThompson, Mark C 
AS.060.696 (01)Journal ClubDaniel, Andrew 
AS.060.629 (01)The History of the BookW 12:00PM - 3:00PMCannon, ChristopherGilman 108
AS.060.894 (01)Independent ReadingThompson, Mark C 
AS.060.607 (01)Fiction and Doubt After 1888T 1:00PM - 4:00PMMao, DouglasGilman 130D
AS.060.800 (01)Independent StudyThompson, Mark C 
AS.060.800 (03)Independent StudyDaniel, Andrew 
AS.300.618 (01)What is a Person? Humans, Corporations, Robots, Trees.T 1:30PM - 4:00PMSiraganian, Lisa MicheleGilman 208
AS.213.639 (01)On the Difficulty of Saying IF 3:00PM - 5:30PMTobias, RochelleGilman 443
AS.060.619 (01)Sentimental ReasonsM 1:00PM - 4:00PMFavret, MaryGilman 130D