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.

The Slavery Debate in the Atlantic World
AS.060.668 (01)

This graduate seminar will trace the historical development of the slavery debate in the Atlantic world through examination of key texts from a host of genres and locations—Quaker religious tracts, political documents like the Haitian Declaration of Independence, Cuban antislavery novels, slave narratives, and “classics” of “American” literature like Melville’s Benito Cereno. Our historical investigations into the rhetorical field of anti- and proslavery will be framed by a theoretical interest in political theology. How might critical reflection on sovereignty, recent and not so recent—from Derrida back to Bodin (widely acknowledged as having provided one of the first philosophical defenses of antislavery)—help us recast the intellectual history of the slavery debate and Atlantic radicalism, more generally?

  • Credits: 0.00
  • Level: Graduate
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 1/8
  • PosTag(s): n/a

Independent Reading
AS.060.894 (01)

  • Credits: 0.00
  • Level: Graduate
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 10/10
  • PosTag(s): n/a

Dream: Thought, Theory, Writing, Architecture
AS.060.632 (01)

In this course we will examine works of literature which present themselves as psychological curiosities by using dreaming as a modality of displaced, unintentional, or even reluctant authorship. What is it to write in, of, or like a dream? We will focus on the forms - lyric, narrative, dramatic, Gothic, confessional - which evolve in course of dream elaboration, examining interdisciplinary as well as intergenre experimentations. Through the foci of race, class, and gender, the course will lead us to interrogations of who has the right to dream and who, conversely, is burdened with the nightmare of history. Themes to be considered include: dream-composition and the composition of dreams; the mediation of colonial commodities like opium or travelogues as what Nigel Leask calls "psychotropic technology"; artistic autonomy vs. discursive and cultural formations of dream mentation; the yoking of opposites, extremes, and moral binaries in the compacted economy of the dream. The syllabus will allow us to read literary and critical works in their historical context as well facilitating comparative investigations. Texts which may be discussed include: Thomas De Quincey's Confessions of An English Opium-Eater; Charles Dickens's "An Italian Dream"; Charles Kingsley's Alton Locke; Sigmund Freud's The Interpretation of Dreams (selections); Jean Ingelow's Mopsa the Fairy; W. E. B. Du Bois, The Quest of the Silver Fleece; Virginia Woolf's "A Haunted House"; Derek Walcott's Dream on Monkey Mountain; Salman Rushdie's Satanic Verses; Alexis Wright's Carpentaria.

  • Credits: 0.00
  • Level: Graduate
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 1/8
  • PosTag(s): n/a

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
  • Status: Closed
  • Seats Available: 5/5
  • PosTag(s): n/a

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
  • Status: Closed
  • Seats Available: 4/5
  • PosTag(s): n/a

Medieval Materialities: Objects, Ontologies, Texts and Contexts
AS.100.672 (01)

We will use the meanings and methodologies of “materiality” to examine the medieval world, by analyzing objects, texts, networks, patterns of circulation and appropriation, aesthetics and enshrinement, production and knowledge communities.

  • Credits: 0.00
  • Level: Graduate
  • Status: Waitlist Only
  • Seats Available: 0/13
  • PosTag(s): HIST-EUROPE

Individual Work
AS.060.893 (01)

  • Credits: 0.00
  • Level: Graduate
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 2/20
  • PosTag(s): n/a

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
  • Status: Closed
  • Seats Available: 5/5
  • PosTag(s): n/a

Sex and Slavery II
AS.100.725 (01)

Research and methods in the field of sexuality and slavery studies. Part 2: Caribbean & African Continent.

  • Credits: 0.00
  • Level: Graduate
  • Status: Closed
  • Seats Available: 0/5
  • PosTag(s): n/a

Journal Club
AS.060.696 (01)

  • Credits: 0.00
  • Level: Graduate
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 5/5
  • PosTag(s): n/a

Billie Holiday's Baltimore
AS.060.635 (01)

This course will use the tools of the historical archive, autobiography, memoir, biography, narrative, poetry, film and music to etch a social history of Billie Holiday (1915-1959) in Baltimore, between roughly 1900 and 1960. Holiday’s remarkable and unique art has earned her the title of the premier jazz singer of all-time. Her voice and experience was strongly connected to Baltimore City, its pattern of black migration, its musical culture, urban density, as well as its narcotics and violent crime. Although she was born in Philadelphia, she deliberately falsely claimed in her candid memoir, “I was finally able to prove I’d been born in Baltimore.” As revealing as her willed connection to a particular geography of nativity was her determined claiming of vernacular knowledge outside of the arts. Holiday also insisted, in 1956, “ask them if they think they know something about dope that Lady Day don’t know.” The Baltimore conjunction between her experience of prostitution, crime and violence and her stirring sound also begs the question of the city’s infamous participation as a major site of the global heroin trade. What was the artist’s relationship to her urban geography? How did it change over space and time? What dimension of shared fate did she have with the community of black domestic workers, laborers, artisans, and small business people from the first half of the twentieth century? In what manner did Baltimore’s racial segregation and racism define her life and art? How was her consciousness as a vocal opponent to segregation shaped by her grooming in the city?

  • Credits: 0.00
  • Level: Graduate
  • Status: Canceled
  • Seats Available: 8/8
  • PosTag(s): n/a

The Critical Unconscious
AS.211.777 (01)

Criticism in the 21st century has tended to relegate psychoanalysis to a dustbin of fads that proliferated at the end of the prior century but that today are of interest only to balkanized cliques of devotees. Bucking this trend, this seminar will examine the intellectual history and abiding influence of psychoanalysis’s key critical concept: the unconscious. Basing our discussions on in-depth readings from key thinkers in the analytic tradition such as Freud, Lacan, and Klein, as well as the post-analytic philosophical tradition, including Zizek, Butler, Laclau and Mouffe, Deleuze and Guattari, and Jameson, we will work to distill an understanding of the unconscious as essential to the practice of criticism tout court, and as inhering even in those discourses that have sought most stridently to distance themselves from it. Seminar discussions will take place in English; readings will be available in the original as well as in translation.

  • Credits: 0.00
  • Level: Graduate
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 4/20
  • PosTag(s): GRLL-ENGL

Course # (Section) Title Day/Times Instructor Room PosTag(s) Info
AS.060.668 (01)The Slavery Debate in the Atlantic WorldT 1:00PM - 4:00PMHickman, Jared WGilman 130D
AS.060.894 (01)Independent ReadingThompson, Mark C 
AS.060.632 (01)Dream: Thought, Theory, Writing, ArchitectureTh 1:00PM - 4:00PMMukherjee, AnkhiGilman 130D
AS.060.800 (02)Independent StudyAchinstein, Sharon 
AS.060.800 (01)Independent StudyThompson, Mark C 
AS.100.672 (01)Medieval Materialities: Objects, Ontologies, Texts and ContextsW 3:00PM - 5:30PMLester, Anne, Spiegel, Gabrielle MGilman 313HIST-EUROPE
AS.060.893 (01)Individual WorkThompson, Mark C 
AS.060.800 (03)Independent StudyDaniel, Andrew 
AS.100.725 (01)Sex and Slavery IIT 4:30PM - 6:50PMJohnson, Jessica MarieGilman 77
AS.060.696 (01)Journal ClubDaniel, Andrew 
AS.060.635 (01)Billie Holiday's BaltimoreM 1:00PM - 4:00PMJackson, Lawrence PGilman 130D
AS.211.777 (01)The Critical UnconsciousTh 1:00PM - 3:00PMEgginton, WilliamGilman 479GRLL-ENGL

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.

Teaching Practicum
AS.060.801 (01)

  • Credits: 0.00
  • Level:
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 5/5
  • PosTag(s): n/a

Course # (Section) Title Day/Times Instructor Room PosTag(s) Info
AS.060.801 (01)Teaching PracticumStaff 

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.

Journal Club
AS.060.895 (01)

  • Credits: 0.00
  • Level: Graduate
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 5/5
  • PosTag(s): n/a

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
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 5/8
  • PosTag(s): n/a

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
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 5/8
  • PosTag(s): n/a

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
  • Status: Approval Required
  • Seats Available: 5/5
  • PosTag(s): n/a

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
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 7/8
  • PosTag(s): n/a

Independent Reading
AS.060.894 (01)

  • Credits: 0.00
  • Level: Graduate
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 10/10
  • PosTag(s): n/a

Individual Work
AS.060.893 (01)

  • Credits: 0.00
  • Level: Graduate
  • Status: Waitlist Only
  • Seats Available: 0/5
  • PosTag(s): n/a

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
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 7/8
  • PosTag(s): n/a

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
  • Status: Canceled
  • Seats Available: 12/12
  • PosTag(s): GRLL-ENGL, GRLL-GERM

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
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 6/8
  • PosTag(s): n/a

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
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 10/15
  • PosTag(s): n/a

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