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Department of English
Draft description of the graduate courses for Spring 2016-2017

ENGL 304L: British Literature Post -1800: Romantic Islam
Professor Joshua Gonsalves
(more details will be posted soon)           

ENGL 309A : World Literature: Arab modernisms
Professor Sonja Mejcher-Atassi
This course is taking the global or transnational turn in the humanities as its starting point, the course questions traditional notions of modernity as a Western achievement, calling to question notions of center and periphery, and introduces students to non-Western narratives and expressions of modernism. It focuses on Arab modernisms. It converges with another graduate course on Latin American modernisms given by Dr. Robert Myers, allowing for comparative study; the courses come together in a number of workshops throughout and a mini graduate student conference at the end of the semester.
Part I sets out to critically shed light on notions of modernism/global modernisms and world literature. What is world literature and what are arguments for and against it?
Part II focuses on Arab modernisms, highlighting literary examples across literary genre from Egypt, Palestine, Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon by writers.
Texts will be read in English translation but students proficient in Arabic are highly encouraged to read both the English translations and the original versions. Questions of translation will be addressed throughout the course, as translation played an important role in the formation of global modernisms and is a key issue at stake in world literature. 

ENGL 309B: World Literature: Latin American Modernisms     
Professor Robert Myers
This course will be taught in conjunction with "Arab Modernisms". Although students are not expected to take both courses, the dialogue between the courses should be beneficial. This course will look at Latin America's relationship with the Arab world in terms of cultural production--i.e. literature, films, visual arts--with a special focus on the 19th and 20th centuries. Although the course will examine the similarities between the two regions by looking at post-colonial theory and theories of world literature, as well as studying the impact of the large 19th-century migration from the Arab world to Latin America, its principal approach will be a study of cultural continuity through al-Andalus. Texts to be read include excerpts from Don Quixote, The Lost Steps, Chronicle of a Death Foretold and The Posthumous Memoir of Bras Cubas. We will also read stories by Borges and Lispector, poetry by Neruda and others, and view paintings by Frida Kahlo and Diego Riviera and films such as Kiss of the Spider Woman and The Last Supper.

ENGL 312A: ST.Gender/Sex;Theory.Vs.Activism   
Professor Jennifer Marie Nish
In this class, we will explore the relationship, and history of tension, between academic theory and activist work in feminist and queer politics. We will take as a starting point the notion that specific political struggles have been foundational to the emergence of feminist, gender, and sexuality studies. We will explore the ways that feminist and queer theories have articulated their connections to these political struggles, along with the difficulties that come with connecting academic theory and activist practice. We will consider various approaches to relating academic and activist work to one another, while also discussing critiques of various academic and activist practices. In short, we will consider how the political and material concerns of activists and marginalized groups inform academic work on gender and sexuality, and vice versa.

ENGL 327: Sociolinguistics
Professor Michael Vermy
Language is the main medium through which human beings communicate with each other.  By putting language to use, we accomplish things and we achieve social and intellectual satisfaction.  Forms of language used reflect social identity, mirror the situation in which communication happens, and influence social structures.  Thus, sociolinguistics is, in the broadest sense, the study of the role of language in human society. We will approach this with the assumption that language variation is not random, but structured and emblematic, and that all language change is preceded by a period of variation, short or very long.  The relationships between language and society form the object of study in this course.  The purpose of this course is to investigate how language is used in social interactions due to a myriad of factors such as language ideologies, multilingualism, social class and gender, among others.

ENGL 341: Phonology
Professor Niamh Kelly
This is a graduate level course examining phonological theory and an introduction to using phonological analysis. There will be a short introduction to phonetics and phonology, leading to the rest of the course which will be based on journal articles examining a variety of theories and approaches to the study of sound systems across languages. Students will be expected to contribute to class discussions on the articles and to present assigned readings in class. There will be problem sets where students will apply the approaches to phonological analysis on real languages.   


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