Graduate Courses | Department of English

Graduate Courses

Graduate Courses in Literature and Rhetoric/Composition

For the complete listing of graduate courses offered in the English Department, please see The Graduate Bulletin.

For course times and places, please see the University online schedule.

Spring 2022 Graduate Course Descriptions


ENG 642 Atlantic Crossings: Donne, Herbert, Dickinson, Bishop (Topics in Pre-1800 Literature)

Dr. Christopher Hodgkins

Monday 6:30-9:20pm

Fulfills the Pre-1800 Requirement

Approved AMP Course


In this seminar we will trace the complex transatlantic lines of influence running from John

Donne and George Herbert through two of America’s finest lyricists, Emily Dickinson and

Elizabeth Bishop; take a deep dive into a world-class Renaissance archive here at UNCG; and

make you present at the creation of a definitive scholarly edition for Oxford University Press.

Though the substantial majority of readings will be from the early modern Donne and

Herbert—including some of their earliest printed books—we will intersperse many poems by

Dickinson and Bishop. Our approach will be literary-historical, as we consider Donne, Herbert,

their poems and prose in their times and places; archival, as we dig deep in the Jackson Library’s

famed Herbert collection—which houses every edition of his poetry since 1633, and first editions

of all other Herbert works; and closely textual, as the instructor, co-editor of George Herbert:

Complete Works for OUP, brings you into the process of developing an Oxford Texts edition.

We’ll also think trans-historically, combining and interrogating historical and formal approaches,

and inquire into how such factors as nation, religion, gender, and sexuality inflect the lyric mode.

Readings will include Donne’s Songs and Sonnets, his Elegies and Satires, his Divine

Meditations (Penguin edition) and excerpts from his Devotions Upon Emergent Occasions

(online); Herbert’s The Temple (the instructor’s UVaP/Rotunda digital

edition— ) and excerpts from The Country

Parson (OUP edition drafts); selections from Final Harvest: The Poems of Emily Dickinson; and

selections from Bishop’s Complete Poems.

Requirements: Seminar members will present two brief written responses and one 15-minute oral

report (with handout) during the semester, one critical-interpretive seminar paper of 15-20 pages

for workshop discussion during the last weeks of the seminar, and one response to another’s

workshopped paper. Some seminar meetings in the Jackson Library’s Hodges Reading Room.

Fulfils the Pre-1800 Requirement


ENG 664: Topics in Post-1800 British Literature: Thatcherism and its Afterlives

Dr. Ben Clarke

Thursday 3:30-6:20

Fulfills the Post-1800 Requirement

Approved AMP Course


As Chantal Mouffe argues, Margaret Thatcher did not just change the priorities of government but engaged in a far-reaching “hegemonic struggle” that transformed “common sense.” The impact of her ideas and policies is still visible in both the material fabric of Britain and the public understanding of the function and scope of politics. In this course, students will explore the foundations of Thatcherism, including the theories and narratives it drew upon, its transformation of established economic, political, and cultural forms, and its long-term implications. Beginning with Hanif Kureishi’s The Buddha of Suburbia and ending with Sarah Moss’ Ghost Wall, the course uses the analysis of Thatcherism, its foundations and its legacies, to consider broader questions about the ways in which literature not only represents but intervenes in complex historical struggles. Students will read texts written in a variety of forms and genres. The course will be assessed by two short essays and a term paper.


ENG 706: Theories of Embodiment

Dr. Risa Applegarth

Wednesday 3:30-6:20

Fulfills a Rhetoric Requirement

Fulfills a WGSS Requirement


How does theory emerge from lived experience? How do concepts of normativity, agency, and capacity take form in relation to bodily ideals, and how are such concepts transformed in conjunction with experiences of illness, frailty, and incapacity? This course focuses on feminist, antiracist, queer and disabled writers and intellectuals who develop their theories out of their embodied experience, and who include elements of narrative and self-representation in their theoretical writings. Readings will include authors such as bell hooks, Patricia Williams, Eli Clare, M. Remi Yergeau, Audre Lorde, Sunaura Taylor, and Karma Chávez.



ENG 713: Race-thinking in the 17th Century

Dr. Jennifer Park

Thursday 6:30-9:20

Fulfills a Pre-1800 Requirement

Fulfills a WGSS Requirement


How do we approach the study of premodern race? How were early ideas about race constructed, developed, and exploited in seventeenth-century England, the time of Shakespeare, Milton, and the so-called scientific revolution? In this course, we will engage with cutting-edge scholarship on the history and afterlives of early modern race, dwelling with premodern and contemporary critical race thinkers as we explore the racial formations, gaps, and erasures of English literature and/inthe seventeenth-century archive. This course is intended to guide students to consider our methodological approaches/practices in the study of premodern race and how we apply those practices to the content and materials that we examine.



Eng. 730: Topics in American Literature: “American Romanticism and Its Discontents”

Dr. Maria Sanchez

Tuesday 6:30-9:20

Fulfills a Post-1800 Requirement

Fulfills a WGSS Requirement


The romantic era in the United States, which flourished in the four decades leading up to the

Civil War, not only encompassed an explosion of creative and cultural endeavors, but also

constant critique of the paths the young nation was taking – and not taking. These years were

marked by demographic growth, territorial expansion, war with other nations, armed conflict

with populations within shifting U.S. borders, technological innovation, slavery, abolition, the

birth of temperance and labor organizing, immigration from Ireland and parts of Asia, and the

continued denial of the franchise to all women, among other things – as well as the appearance

of poetic and fictional works still considered significant today, and the arrival of the novel as a

dominant marketplace form. Oh, and there was also Transcendentalism.

This course will study both big names and lesser known figures, so as to articulate historically,

culturally, and theoretically informed responses to the following: what were romanticism and

Transcendentalism in the U.S.? How did they function as engagements with and critiques of the

social and material worlds of the pre-Civil War U.S.? How did they shape our understanding of

what U.S. literature is and should be? Figures to be covered include Douglass, Stowe, Emerson,

Sigourney, Harper, Crafts/Bond, Thoreau, Fuller, Hawthorne, Melville, Arthur, Poe, and Ruiz de

Burton. Assignments will include short response papers and a semester-long research project.


ENGLISH 740-01: STUDIES IN CONTEMPORARY AND POSTMODERN AMERICAN LITERATURE: The Recent American Novel and the Object of Fiction (3 CR.).

Dr. Christian Moraru

Tuesday 3:30-6:30

Fulfills a Post-1800 Requirement

Fulfills a Theory Requirement


This is a graduate seminar that focuses on the American novel of what some critics have called the (“new”) contemporary period. According to them, “contemporary” designates the decades after the Cold War or even, closer to us, the post-September 11, 2001 interval. Understood as a period, then, contemporaneity is postmillennial. Moving beyond periodization, our class will deal with a distinguishing feature of this body of work, namely, with its profound interest in our material environments, more specifically, in the world of objects as defined by Object-Oriented Ontology. Novelists discussed will include Ben Lerner, Mohsin Hamid, Richard Powers, Michael Chabon, Emily St. John Mandel, Colson Whitehead, Jonathan Safran Foer, and Xhenet Aliu. We will also read theory by Graham Harman and other “speculative realists.” This course has a strong professional development component, with emphasis on advanced research, graduate writing, and publication. Individual presentations; midterm (5-6-p.) and final (20-p.) papers.