Fall 2017 Courses - Graduate

 

Course

Day

Start 

End 

Professor

201

M

4:00

6:45

Revathi Krishnaswamy

202

R

7:00

9:45

Alan Soldofsky

216

W

4:00

6:45

Nancy Stork

241

M

4:00

6:45

Selena Anderson

242

T

7:00

9:45

Cathleen Miller

253

T

7:00

9:45

John Engell

259

R

4:00

9:45

Cindy Baer

297

M

7:00

9:45

Revathi Krishnaswamy

 

English 201: Materials and Methods of Literary Research                             (Professor Krishnaswamy) M 4-6:45 PM

This course is designed to introduce graduate students to the basic elements of research in the field. We will hone close reading/textual analytical skills and review basic research techniques including how to use databases, bibliographies, writing, revising, formatting, footnoting etc. But our main objective will be to learn about various theoretical approaches/methods used in the field and practice applying them to specific literary texts and cultural artifacts. As such, we will delve deep into the complex field of Critical Theory, which cuts across other disciplines like philosophy, psychology, sociology, economics, political science, history, and biology. Focusing on theories/methodologies employed by literary scholars and critics of the 20th century, we will try to understand major intellectual schools such as New Criticism, Structuralism, Deconstruction, New Historicism, Marxism, Feminism, Postcolonialism etc., and engage with fundamental questions about language, literature, reading, and writing. While the course will challenge you to engage with a great deal of complex material, it will give you a deeper understanding of the field and equip you with the tools you will need as a professional.

 

English 202: Materials and Methods of Literary Research                             (Professor Soldofsky) R 7-9:45 PM

This seminar focuses on understanding prosody and poetic form, and the evolution of poetic form from the Elizabethan age to Modernism and experimental Postmodernism, and in global poetry beyond the Anglo-American tradition. Students in the seminar will write conference-length critical papers, prosody exercises, and a few new original poems, applying their knowledge of prosody and the poetic line. The poet Donald Revell has written “Like prayer, prosody is both a form and an energy, a compulsion to compel the world in Words. And like prayer, it retains its original necessity in living breath: one by one by one.” Forms of poetry are containers for the poem’s prosodic music. The poet Robert Hass claims that humans are wired to respond to poetry because we experience it as we experience music, not through rules but through poetry’s mutable sonic forms “because we humans are pattern-discerning and symbol-making creatures at the core of our being. You hear a tune, that is, a sequence of notes, but not just a sequence of notes; at some point it seems complete—then it’s a tune. And there was a certain sensation that went with it.” We will closely read poems by poets from before the twentieth century and from the twentieth century and after, to discern and decode the prosody used to create the music and the forms associated with these poets’ signature styles. It is through this means we individual poets’ individual styles become transparent to readers.

 

English 216:  Medieval English Literature                                                      (Professor Stork) W 4:00-6:45 PM

This graduate seminar will cover medieval texts useful for taking the first part of the Comprehensive Exams for the M.A. in English Literature. We will look closely at the language of these texts (using facing page translations or glossed Middle English texts) as well as the history of the time period. Texts will very likely include:  Beowulf, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, and selections from Chaucer and Malory.

 

English 241: Fiction Writing Workshop (Professor Anderson) M 4:00-6:45PM

The graduate workshop is a place for students to engage in an advanced study and practice of reading, writing, and critiquing fiction. Over the course of the semester students will focus on craft elements such as plot and story structure, characterization, point of view, voice, and of course, revision to generate new work and further develop their own writing styles. Along with review and discussion of published fiction and craft essays, students will also give a presentation on a story of their choice. They should also be prepared to focus considerable energy in thoughtfully responding to peers’ writing as well as revising their own work.

 

English 242: Non-Fiction Writing Workshop                                                  (Professor Cathleen Miller) T 7:00-9:45 PM

Creating a Book-length Project in Non ction or Fiction
So you want to write a book? Many people dream of it...but few succeed. Creating your first book-length project can be a daunting prospect. Come to this class with an idea for a memoir, novel, or biography and I will walk you through the steps necessary for completing a manuscript. We’ll work through the phases of summary, outlining, and drafting chapters, which we’ll workshop in class. In addition, we’ll examine notions like choosing a model book, nding universal appeal, creating dramatic tension, and weaving themes throughout the text. Projects may be non-fiction or fiction.

 

English 253 Period Studies in American Literature                                        (Professor Engell) T 4:00-6:45 PM

Late 19th-century and Early 20th-century American Novels
We'll read six American novels, grouped into three pairs, investigating the cultural and formal similarities and differences of the novels both within each pair and among the three pairs. First pair: Mark Twain Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and Charles Chesnutt The Marrow of Tradition; Second pair: Henry James Portrait of a Lady and Edith Wharton The Age of Innocence; Third pair (tentative): Willa Cather either My Antonia or One of Ours and Ernest Hemingway either The Sun Also Rises or A Farewell to Arms. Each student will give three oral presentations, each presentation accompanied by both a detailed handout and a short essay on a subject related to the oral presentation. And each student will write a lengthy seminar essay, subject TBD with input from Professor Engell.

 

English 259 Studies in Composition Studies                                                                 (Professor Baer) R 4:00-6:45 PM 

What is writing? Why and how have we studied it? How do we learn it? Seminar members will collaborate in teams to design an English 1A course for SJSU’s First Year Writing program, including a design philosophy, textbook choice, sample readings, writing assignment, and lesson plans. The team’s course design will grow out of seminar reading, research, and discussion, which will survey the theory and practice of rhetoric and writing studies. Along the way, each member will produce one visual and one oral presentation to help the seminar explore the intersection theory and practice. English 259 is a prerequisite or co-requisite for Teaching Associates and is highly recommended for any student, M.A. or M.F.A., who contemplates teaching writing as part of a career.

 

English 297: Comprehensive Exam Preparation                                             (Professor Krishnaswamy) M 7:00-9:45 PM

This two-unit class will help you with exam preparation through the taking of sample exams, discussion of test-taking techniques, and the sharing of your collective research into key terms, periods, and movements in literature.