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Summer 2021 Course Offerings

LIT 230 The Classical Tradition
Dr. Glenn Steinberg
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday 2:00-4:45pm
June 14-July 15, 2021

Until World War I, Virgil’s Aeneid was probably the most cited text after the Bible in western European and American culture, but after the two world wars in the 20th century, Virgil’s reputation took a nose-dive.  It’s interesting to think about both why Virgil held such sway over European culture for so long and why his reputation so quickly declined in the 20th century.  In the course, we use Virgil as the central, pivotal figure and look at how earlier texts led up to Virgil, as well as how later texts were influenced by him.  Along the way, we talk a lot about war, law, individuality, moral values, and heroism.  Among texts that we are likely to read (in whole or in part) are Homer’s Odyssey, Aeschylus’s Oresteia, Virgil’s Aeneid, Ovid’s Metamorphoses, The Song of Roland, Dante’s Inferno, and Camões’s Lusiads.

LIT 310-01: Literature for Younger Readers
Dr. Emily Meixner
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday 9:00am-12:45pm
May 24- June 11, 2021
This class meets in the Remote Learning Format

An introduction to Young Adult literature.  In this class you will become familiar with works by a diverse set of widely-read YA authors, read across genres (fiction, historical fiction, science fiction, fantasy, non-fiction and graphic novels), and discuss and analyze young adult texts using various theoretical perspectives.  Additionally, the course will introduce you to the growing body of critical research being written about literature for young adults.  

LIT 316-01/WGS 376-01 Global Women Writers
Professor Laura Neuman
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday 5:00-7:45pm 
June 14-July 15, 2021
This class meets in the Remote Learning Format

This course will explore various literatures from around the world, encouraging students to examine the politics of gender, culture, and nation as well as the intersections of those systems of power.  In exploring everything from arranged marriages to women in war, Global Women Writers will provide students – especially those students who have spent much of their lives within the borders of the U.S. – with one of the most challenging and rewarding courses of their college career.  Common themes include feminist politics, post- and neo-colonialisms, reproductive rights, translation, globalization, and activism.

LIT 374-01 American Literature to 1800
Dr. Michele Tarter
May 24- June 11, 2021
This class meets in the online learning format. Virtual Meetings Monday May 24;  Tuesday, June 1; Thursday, June 10

There was so much happening in early America, and yet so very few people know about it. In the last few decades, scholars have unearthed tomes of manuscripts dating back to colonial times, and what they’ve found is both fascinating and disturbing. Join us as we look at life and culture in the colonies. We’ll begin with cross-cultural encounters, particularly when the Native American Indians welcomed European explorers and Puritan settlers to what is controversially called “The New World.” We’ll then turn to all forms of dissent literature evolving from this multicultural time period: Indian captivity narratives; witchcraft trial records; slave narratives; Quakers’ travel logs; women’s manuscript diaries and commonplace books; and female seduction novels at the heart of Revolutionary America. This body of material forms the foundation of any study on American culture, thought, and identity formation.

As a online learning course, we will utilize many of the newly digitized manuscripts and primary resources from research libraries around the world.

LIT 499-01 Seminar in Research and Theory: Narrative Theory

Dr. Felicia Jean Steele
June 14-August 8, 2021
*Please note this course meets for an extended semester*

This section will examine novels and post-novels that exemplify, complicate, or challenge two of Mikhail Bakhtin’s central contributions to narrative theory: heteroglossia and the chronotope. In addition to seminal texts in narrative theory, we will read novels (and texts that resist that label) that often manipulate dialects, narrative voices, perspectives, genres, or media. Our readings may include: Henry Roth, Call it Sleep; Margaret Atwood, Alias Grace; David Mitchell, Cloud Atlas; Alan Moore, Watchmen; Toni Morrison, Home; and Jennifer Egan, A Visit from the Goon Squad.

ENGL 554-01 Seminar in Prose Fiction

Dr. Jo Carney
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday 5:00-7:30pm
June 14-July 15, 2021

Talking Back to the Canon: Literary Adaptations and Appropriations

The scholarly discourse on adaption, appropriation, and intertextuality is dynamic, extensive, and productively contentious. Adaptation theory has emerged as a robust field of critical study in its own right, though still peripheral to more entrenched forms of literary criticism. Popular culture lags even further in absorbing some of the most fundamental tenets of current adaptation discourse even as actual adaptations across media appear at a prodigious rate.

While adaptation theory has predominantly involved the transposition from literary texts to film, we will examine literary adaptations that talk back to prior literary, and often foundational, texts. Works may include Toni Morrison’s Desdemona, Mark Haddon’s The Porpoise, Maria Dahvana Headley’s The Mere Wife, Madeline Miller’s Circe, and Sarah Waters’ Affinity.

ENGL 670-02 Studies in Literature: Literature and Science 

Dr. Mindi McMann
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday 5:00-7:30pm
July 19-August 19, 2021

This graduate seminar explores the intersections of science and literature, focusing specifically on how we tell stories about science, human (and other) bodies, our environment, and biotechnology. Some questions we will consider are: What can fiction tell us about how we understand science and technology? How does science affect our understandings of subjectivity and what constitutes a person? What role does the body play in our understandings of science, and how do these new understandings impact how we tell stories about those bodies and their role in our society? What may separate distinctly human experiences from the experiences of others deemed less than human often by both literary and scientific discourses? What are the ethics of science, as viewed through a literary lens?