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.

AS.060.635 - Billie Holiday's Baltimore

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
Instructor: Jackson, Lawrence P
Term: Spring 2019
Meetings: M 1:00PM - 4:00PM
Status: Open
Level: Graduate
Departments: AS EnglishAS History

AS.060.893 - Individual Work

Credits: 0.00
Instructor: Thompson, Mark C
Term: Spring 2019
Meetings:
Status: Open
Level: Graduate
Departments: AS English

AS.060.894 - Independent Reading

Credits: 0.00
Instructor: Thompson, Mark C
Term: Spring 2019
Meetings:
Status: Open
Level: Graduate
Departments: AS English

AS.060.800 - Independent Study

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
Instructor: Achinstein, Sharon
Term: Spring 2019
Meetings:
Status: Approval Required
Level: Graduate
Departments: AS English

AS.060.800 - Independent Study

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
Instructor: Thompson, Mark C
Term: Spring 2019
Meetings:
Status: Approval Required
Level: Graduate
Departments: AS English

AS.060.696 - Journal Club

Credits: 0.00
Instructor: Daniel, Andrew
Term: Spring 2019
Meetings:
Status: Open
Level: Graduate
Departments: AS English

AS.060.668 - The Slavery Debate in the Atlantic World

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
Instructor: Hickman, Jared W
Term: Spring 2019
Meetings: T 1:00PM - 4:00PM
Status: Open
Level: Graduate
Departments: AS English

AS.060.632 - Dream: Thought, Theory, Writing, Architecture

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
Instructor: Staff
Term: Spring 2019
Meetings: Th 1:00PM - 4:00PM
Status: Waitlist Only
Level: Graduate
Departments: AS English

AS.100.672 - Medieval Materialities: Objects, Ontologies, Texts and Contexts

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
Instructor: Lester, Anne, Spiegel, Gabrielle M
Term: Spring 2019
Meetings: W 3:00PM - 5:30PM
Status: Open
Level: Graduate
Departments: AS ClassicsAS EnglishAS History

AS.211.777 - The Critical Unconscious

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
Instructor: Egginton, William
Term: Spring 2019
Meetings: Th 1:00PM - 3:00PM
Status: Open
Level: Graduate
Departments: AS Comparative Thought and LiteratureAS EnglishAS German & Romance Languages & LiteraturesAS Philosophy

AS.100.725 - Sex and Slavery II

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

Credits: 0.00
Instructor: Johnson, Jessica Marie
Term: Spring 2019
Meetings: T 4:30PM - 6:50PM
Status: Approval Required
Level: Graduate
Departments: AS EnglishAS HistoryAS Study of Women, Gender, & Sexuality

AS.060.800 - Independent Study

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
Instructor: Cannon, Christopher
Term: Fall 2018
Meetings:
Status: Closed
Level: Graduate
Departments: AS English

AS.215.718 - Contemporaneity and Crisis

How should one study contemporary literature and culture? Is “the contemporary” a period in and of itself? Does it require a distinct conceptual approach? This graduate seminar will examine various approaches that have emerged since Michel Foucault called his genealogies a “history of the present.” We will pay special attention to contemporary literature and culture’s most distinguishing feature today: crisis. Considering theories of crisis and “the contemporary” together, the course will explore how living in a time of overlapping crises—economic, political, social, cultural, environmental, and others—affects the way we interpret the world.

Credits: 0.00
Instructor: Seguin, Becquer D
Term: Fall 2018
Meetings: T 1:00PM - 3:00PM
Status: Open
Level: Graduate
Departments: AS AnthropologyAS Comparative Thought and LiteratureAS EnglishAS German & Romance Languages & Literatures

AS.060.617 - Black Print Culture

Students interested in black print culture will engage in intensive archival research, both collaborative and individual, using the Sheridan Library’s Rare Book and Manuscript collections. Texts include poems, printed lectures, pamphlets, novels, periodicals, ephemera, correspondence, etc., alongside relevant critical and theoretical reading.

Credits: 0.00
Instructor: Nurhussein, Nadia
Term: Fall 2018
Meetings: Th 1:00PM - 4:00PM
Status: Open
Level: Graduate
Departments: AS Center for Africana StudiesAS EnglishAS Program in Museums and Society

AS.060.894 - Independent Reading

Credits: 0.00
Instructor:
Term: Fall 2018
Meetings:
Status: Open
Level: Graduate
Departments: AS English

AS.060.893 - Individual Work

Credits: 0.00
Instructor:
Term: Fall 2018
Meetings:
Status: Open
Level: Graduate
Departments: AS English

AS.060.604 - Philology

An examination of the many ways (both as old and then 'New', but also as the subject of a key 'return') that 'philology' has been claimed as the master category of literary study. The nuts and bolts of older philological procedures as well as the broadest theoretical claims for the term will be attended to.

Credits: 0.00
Instructor: Cannon, Christopher
Term: Fall 2018
Meetings: W 1:00PM - 4:00PM
Status: Waitlist Only
Level: Graduate
Departments: AS ClassicsAS English

AS.060.895 - Journal Club

Credits: 0.00
Instructor: Daniel, Andrew
Term: Fall 2018
Meetings:
Status: Open
Level: Graduate
Departments: AS English

AS.060.625 - Theory of the Novel

This course will look at the development of novel theory from the eighteenth century until the present. Authors will include Scott, Barbauld, Dallas, Lewes, Eliot, James, Shklovsky, Tomashevsky, Jakobson, Bakhtin, Lukács, Auerbach, Barthes, Jameson, Girard, Sedgwick, Moretti, Armstrong, Miller, Hale, Lynch, and Woloch. Novelists will likely include Madame de Lafayette, Austen, Goethe, and Wolfe.

Credits: 0.00
Instructor: Rosenthal, Jesse Karl
Term: Fall 2018
Meetings: M 1:00PM - 4:00PM
Status: Waitlist Only
Level: Graduate
Departments: AS English

AS.211.754 - Modernist Primitivism

This course will explore the aesthetics and politics of primitivism in European modernity, focusing on the visual arts and literature in German and Yiddish, but looking at the wider European context, including France and Russia. We will begin with the backgrounds of primitivism in Romanticism, looking especially at its ethnographic and colonial sources. We will then focus on the presence of anthropological and ethnographic discourses within various registers of modernist thought, literature, and visual culture, with special attention to visual and literary primitivism. Our central concerns will include: the attempt to create a modernist aesthetics grounded in ethnography; the primitivist critique of modernity; the place of primitivism in the historical avant-garde; the development of the notion of “culture” in modernity; and the aesthetics of modern ethnic and national identity.  Key thinkers, artists, and writers to be considered include Herder; Gauguin; Picasso; Wilhelm Worringer; Carl Einstein; Hannah Höch; and Emil Nolde.

Credits: 0.00
Instructor: Spinner, Samuel Jacob
Term: Fall 2018
Meetings: Th 12:00PM - 2:00PM
Status: Open
Level: Graduate
Departments: AS AnthropologyAS Comparative Thought and LiteratureAS EnglishAS German & Romance Languages & LiteraturesAS Jewish Studies Program

AS.215.747 - Borges in Theory

The course engages close readings of Borges critical essays and some of his fiction in order to establish the points of interpellation that Post-modern theory takes from or shares with Borges's meditation on the problem of writing.

Credits: 0.00
Instructor: Castro-Klaren, Sara
Term: Fall 2018
Meetings: M 1:00PM - 3:00PM
Status: Open
Level: Graduate
Departments: AS EnglishAS German & Romance Languages & Literatures

AS.060.616 - Milton

A seminar covering the career of John Milton, including all his major poetry and much of his prose. There will be attention to the history of printing, publication and concepts of reading and writing, as well as to current issues and topics within early modern studies that bear on Milton (e.g. materialism, secularization, 'surface' reading, political theology, quantitative vs hermeneutic methods, actor-network theory). As such, the course will also be an introduction to various methods in early modern studies.

Credits: 0.00
Instructor: Achinstein, Sharon
Term: Fall 2018
Meetings: T 1:00PM - 4:00PM
Status: Open
Level: Graduate
Departments: AS English

AS.300.639 - Literature and Philosophy of the Everyday

The ordinary, the common, the everyday: why does literary realism consider the experiences of the average individual to be worthy of serious contemplation? In this course, we will read closely a set of novels by Flaubert, Mann, Dickens, Eliot, Zola,Tolstoy, and Woolf from the period between 1850 and 1950 in which the development of realism reaches it climax. These novels transform the conventions for the representation of lives of lower and middle class subjects, revealing such lives as capable of prompting reflection upon deep and serious questions of human existence. Theoretical and philosophical texts on the everyday by Auerbach, Kierkegaard, Heidegger, Sartre, Beauvoir, Lefebvre, Certeau, and Wittgenstein will accompany our discussions.

Credits: 0.00
Instructor: Ong, Yi-Ping
Term: Fall 2018
Meetings: F 1:30PM - 4:00PM
Status: Open
Level: Graduate
Departments: AS EnglishAS Humanities Center