Graduate Course Offerings
Winter 2024 Graduate Courses
ENGL 7203: Creative Writing: Geographies of Home/lessness
Dr. Michelle Porter
Wednesdays at 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Image: Bojan Fürst
ENGL 7203: Creative Writing: Geographies of Home/lessness is a workshop-based class for writers interested in exploring multiple dimensions of home/lessness. This course focuses on creative nonfiction as a “home” genre but students will be given the option of working across and/or within multiple genres, including poetry and/or fiction. Students will read and discuss a number of texts, including theories and creative work that shows us home/lessness in unexpected ways. Students will learn approaches to drafting their pieces and responding to each other’s work, including the concept of Métis visiting as an approach to reading and responding to each other’s work.
ENGL 7301: Cultures of Energy (Energizing Irish Studies)
Dr. Danine Farquharson
Tuesdays at 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Image: Gáis Energy Theatre, Wikicommons
Together we’ll integrate the latest in Energy Humanities theory/scholarship with Irish cultural texts. Why Irish texts? Because Ireland is not among the places Energy Humanities scholars turn their attention; eco-environmental thinkers have focussed on Ireland for over 150 years, but not the energy-focussed ones. Let’s find out why and then think together about how we can ‘read’ Irish cultural texts with and through energy. Opening texts for theory/methodological background are Szeman’s On Petrocultres (West Virginia) and Boyer’s No More Fossils (Minnesota). No experience with Irish literature required!
ENGL 7333: Culture Jamming: The Art of Ideological Disruption
Dr. Bradley Clissold
Thursdays at 12:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.
This graduate course explores the critical history of political and social activism through adversarial media practices, and offers participants opportunities to perform creative acts of linguistic, textual, and media resistance on select types of found hegemonic cultural communication (from magazine advertisements, film posters, and tourist postcards to public health brochures, product instruction manuals, and newspaper articles). In particular, we will study the media activism and disruptive ideological tactics of artists like Barbara Kruger, Negativland, Adbusters, Billboard Liberation Front, Guerrilla Girls, Banksy, Genesis P-Orridge, Marcel Duchamp and other twentieth-century Surrealists, as well as fictional figures in literature and film, who effectively repurpose found media and culture jam accepted codes of cultural representation. We will also investigate the origins of the term “culture jamming” and its various audio/visual/textual détournement practices, examine the theoretical works of important thinkers on the subject, and research the coopting of such subversive media tactics by contemporary corporate capitalism.
For more information, please contact Dr. Bradley D. Clissold (firstname.lastname@example.org).
ENGL 7359: Arthurian Romance: Malory and his Predecessors
Dr. Bill Schipper
Mondays at 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Image: Plaque (Ivory) from a Casket with Jousting Scenes, ca. 1320–40. Made in possibly Paris, France. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917 (17.190.256)
Arthurian romances have proven to be enduringly popular. Although stories about King Arthur they may have originated in the Welsh speaking part of Britain, they took on a life of their own after Geoffrey of Monmouth completed his Historia regum Britanniae, who placed Arthur “at the apogee of his two-thousand-year arc of British history” (as W. R. J. Barron notes in the introduction to Arthur of the English ).
This course will look at some representatives of the literary tradition of Arthurian romance, beginning with Geoffrey’s pseudo-history, and concluding with Sir Thomar Malory’s Morte Darthur. William Caxton’s publication of this text in 1485 became a text which was the only way post-medieval writers were able to access the stories about Arthur until Walter Oakeshott (re)discovered an earlier manuscript copy in Winchester College, and Eugène Vinaver completed his The Works of Sir Thomas Malory in 1948.
Arthurian literature took many forms in a number of languages: Anglo-Norman (Wace), Middle English historical writing (the Brut), an outpouring of French romances in the thirteenth century (Chrétien de Troyes, long cycles of romances in prose, many of which survive in elaborately illustrated and richly illuminated manuscripts), Middle English poetry (the stanzaic Morte Arture, Sir Gawain and the Grene Knight, the Alliterative Morte Arture), in addition to a large host of other poetry both good and bad. And post-medieval retellings abound, from Spenser’s Faerie Queene, to Dryden’s libretto for Purcell’s opera King Arthur, Tennyson’s Idylls of the King, and numerous others.
Since Malory’s long prose telling of the tales forms a culmination of more than 350 years of imaginitive writings about Arthur, the Round Table, and its collection of knights, it makes sense to select a few of these stories that were also known to Malory (in English or in French), and which he is known to have incorporated or refashioned in the Morte Arthur.