Course List Fall 2010

Course Descriptions

698B P-Intro. To Teaching Writing D. Fleming

698D P-Alternative Classroom Pract P. Woods

698F P-Professional Development D. Fleming

698G P-Comp. Theories & Pedagogies D. Fleming

698I P-Teaching Basic Writing D. Vinyard

698J P-Teaching Mentoring P. Woods

698L P-Teaching Creative Writing S. Murray & L. Ostein

698R Applied Literary Arts L. Olstein

698T Sentences: From Working to Playing P. Woods

699 Master’s Thesis Staff

740—Restoration and 18th Century Literature Joseph Bartolomeo
Mondays, 5-7:30
We will consider several concerns of and debates within and about the period, including the nature and limits of “Augustan” satire, the shift from satire to sensibility, the rise of aesthetics, nature in and the nature of poetry, revolution and reaction. Readings will include
representative works by Dryden, Swift, Pope, and Johnson; plays by Behn, Wycherly, Steele, and Sheridan; poetry from female satirists to “pre-Romantics” to Blake; prose selections from Burke, Equiano, and Wollstonecraft. (Texts will be ordered from Amherst Books.)

Joseph Bartolomeo is the author of A New Species of Criticism: Eighteenth-Century Discourse on the Novel (1994) and Matched Pairs: Gender and Intertextual Dialogue in Eighteenth-Century Fiction (2002), and editor of the Broadview edition of Susanna Rowson’s
Reuben and Rachel (2009).

753—American Romanticism Nick Bromell
Thursdays, 5-7:30
This course will introduce graduate students to several of the major American writers of the nineteenth century as well as to some of the traditions of criticism through which they have been read and understood. In the first week of the semester, each student will somewhat arbitrarily choose one author to focus on, to read more deeply in, and to write a final paper about. Students pursuing literary study (M.A./Ph.D.) will read in a scholarly tradition of criticism and locate their thinking about their author in relation to what several other critics have already written. Students pursuing the M.F.A. will explore a less formal tradition of criticism that has been assembled by other writers (e.g., Twain, Hemingway, Ellison) and that includes poetry and fiction; these students will write an essay that seeks, if only implicitly, to interpret a nineteenth-century author as one of their own “ancestors” (Ellison’s term). I have not yet decided (in mid-March) whom we will read, but the list is very likely to include Sedgwick, Emerson, Douglass, Whitman, Dickinson, and Melville.

Nick Bromell is the author of two books and numerous essays and articles, the most recent of which are "The Liberal Imagination of Frederick Douglass" (The American Scholar) and "Reading Democratically" (American Literature).

780/1-Imaginative Writing: Poetry Dara Wier
Mondays, 6-8:30
Satisfies either the MFA Modern OR Contemporary Poetry requirement.
Our main events will be your work-in-progress. We’ll occasionally read and talk about essays and poems from supplementary texts TBA available from Amherst Books. We’ll question traditional workshop methods and adventure into alternatives speculatively. Enrollment limited to 10. Permission of instructor required of anyone not enrolled in the MFA Program for Poets & Writers.
Dara Wier is the author of Remnants of Hannah, Reverse Rapture (2006 Poetry Center Book Award), Hat on a Pond (finalist for a Phi Beta Kappa Award), Voyages in English, Our Master Plan, Blue for the Plough, The Book of Knowledg, All You Have in Common, The 8-Step Grapevine, and Blood, Hook & Eye. Recent work has appeared in the Best American Poetry and the Pushcart Prize Anthology. Her awards include fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the Massachusetts Cultural Council. She is also a recipient of the Jerome J. Shestack Prize from the American Poetry Review. In Spring 2005 she was the Rubin Distinguished Chairholder in Poetry at Hollins University. New work is in American Poetry Review, the Canary, Painted Bride Quarterly, Volt and elsewhere. In preparation: a collection of short stories and a book of essays about literary arts and Selected
Poems. With Guy Pettit & Emily Pettit she edits and publishes for Factory Hollow Press. She co-directs the Juniper Initiative for Literary Arts & Action and is on the permanent poetry faculty of the Juniper Summer Writing Institute.

780/2-Imaginative Writing: Poetry James Tate
Tuesdays, 1-3:30
Workshop in the writing of poetry. Each week, a close reading analysis of poems submitted by the class and occasional poems brought in from outside. Attention to the way in which a poem works and how it comes together through its choice of images, rhythms and subject matter. Assignments in an anthology of contemporary poetry and supplementary reading. Enrollment limited to 10. Permission of instructor required of students not enrolled through the MFA Program in English.

James Tate is the author of The Ghost Soldiers, Return to the City of White Donkeys, Memoir of he Hawk, Shroud of the Gnome, Worshipful Company of Fletchers, which won the National Book Award; Selected Poems, which won the Pulitzer Prize and the Willliam Carlos Williams Award; Distance from Loved Ones, Reckoner, Constant Defender, Riven Doggeries, Viper Jazz, Absences, Hints to Pilgrims, The Oblivion Ha-Ha, and The Lost Pilot, selected for the Yale Series of Younger Poets. He has published two books of prose, Dreams of a Robot Dancing Bee and The Route as Briefed. His awards include a National Institute of Arts and Letters Award, the Wallace Stevens Award, and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. He is currently a Chancellor of The Academy of American Poets and has been recently elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

780/3—Imaginative Writing: Poetry Peter Gizzi
Mondays, 1:25-3:55
The workshop is a very demanding class. It consists of each student workshopping several batches of poems, providing in-depth written comments, handing in revisions, reading several books of poetry, writing at least five responses from the reading list, experimenting in a variety of poetic forms, and required attendance. Permission of instructor required of students not enrolled through the MFA Program in Creative Writing. All course books available at Amherst Books Peter Gizzi is the author of The Outernationale (Wesleyan, 2007), Some Values of Landscape and Weather (Wesleyan, 2003), Artificial Heart (Burning Deck, 1998), and a reprint of his first book, Periplum and other poems 1987-1992 (Salt Publishing UK, 2004). He has also published several limited-edition chapbooks, folios, and artist books. His honors include the Lavan Younger Poet Award from the Academy of American Poets and fellowships in poetry from The Fund for Poetry, The Rex Foundation, Howard Foundation, The Foundation for Contemporary Arts, and The John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. He currently serves as the poetry editor for The Nation.

781/1-Imaginative Writing: Fiction Jedediah Berry
Mondays, 6-8:30
Writers enrolled in this course should expect a workshop geared for exploration and inquiry. Critique of submitted work will be conducted in an open manner that favors thoughtful discourse and emphasizes authorial intent. Meanwhile, questions of craft will serve as a means for investigating the diverse approaches to fiction-making, and experimentation in a variety of forms and genres is welcome. A pair of assigned texts, serving as way stations on our route, will be visited and revisited throughout the semester.

Jedediah Berry’s first novel, The Manual of Detection (Penguin, 2009), was awarded the William L. Crawford Award, and his stories have appeared in journals and anthologies including Conjunctions, Chicago Review, Best New American Voices, and Best American Fantasy. He works as an editor at Small Beer Press.

781/2-Imaginative Writing: Fiction Chris Bachelder
Wednesdays, 1:25-3:55
This is primarily a course on craft, though I hope that the fiction tendered to
workshop will reveal the considerable limitations of a course on craft. Writers
will be urged to submit work that is surprising and alive, that moves bravely
toward the unknown. Readers will be urged to "submit to whatever spell, weak or
strong, is being cast" (Updike). Workshop will not be a jurors' room or a shark
tank or a mechanic's garage. I'm interested in workshop as observation deck.

Chris Bachelder is the author of the novels U.S.!, Bear v. Shark, and Lessons in Virtual Tour Photography (an e-book). His stories and essays have appeared in Harper’s, McSweeney’s, The Believer, The Oxford American, New Stories from the South, and elsewhere

781/3-Imaginative Writing: Fiction Sabina Murray
Wednesdays, 4:40-7:10
This class presumes that you have a work of fiction, either a novel or collection of short stories, of at least 85pp at the time of registration. Participants will have an entire class devoted to their work and discussion will focus on how the work comes together as a whole. This class is
particularly helpful for those who have novels in progress and those who are trying to get some kind of cohesion on a thesis project.

Sabina Murray is the author of the novels A Carnivore’s Inquiry, Slow Burn, and Forgery . Her short story collection The Caprices received the 2002 PEN/Faulkner award. Her stories are anthologized in The Norton Anthology of Short Fiction and Charlie Chan is Dead II. She received the Fred R. Brown Award in 2008 and has held fellowships from the Guggenheim foundation, Radcliffe Institute of Harvard University, and Massachusetts Cultural Council. Recent work has appeared in The Yale Review, Southwest Review, Hartford Courant, and Insider’s Guide to Books, edited by Mark Strand.

791D—Major Texts American Culture TreaAndrea Russworm
Thursdays, 1-3:30
In this class we will begin by reading the presidential addresses delivered at the annual American Studies Association meeting from the past decade. As we read, we will pay close attention to the ways in which American studies has taken to distinguishing itself as a field in recent years, particularly as the critical conversations about identity politics, transnationalism, diasporic studies, postcolonial subjectivities, and new media studies have continued to change and challenge the intersectionalities between American studies and other fields. Weekly, we will read relatively recent works from the field, such as Anne Cheng’s The Melancholy of Race, Michael Denning’s Culture in the Age of Three Worlds, Lauren Berlant’s The Female Compliant, and Judith Halberstam’s In a Queer Time and Place. Our aim will be to establish many models for doing compelling work in American studies as well as establish an updated vision on where the field is today.

TreaAndrea M. Russworm is writing an American studies book manuscript about blackness, popular culture, and psychoanalytic thought during the civil rights era. Her teaching interests, both primary and secondary, include post-1950s African American literature and culture, film and television studies, American studies, psychoanalysis, digital media (including video game theory and culture) and representations of race and community in the “avatar age.”

791E—Theorizing the Discipline Deborah Carlin
Tuesdays, 10-12:30
This course will introduce and examine primary readings in the history of twentieth-century theories of literature and of textuality, beginning with Russian Formalism and encompassing structuralism, Marxism, psychoanalysis, narratology, phenomenology, post-structuralism and deconstruction, feminism, reader response, New Historicism, cultural studies, critical race theory, queer theory, and post-colonial and transnational studies. Yet because this course is designed specifically for graduate students at the beginning of their careers within the discipline of literature and the humanities, we will initiate the semester by examining what is at stake—both intellectually and professionally—in committing one’s life to the literary through our reading and analysis of Marjorie Garber’s A Manifesto for Literary Studies (2003), Rita Felski’s The Uses of Literature (2008), and selected essays from Michael Bérubé’s The Employment of English: Theory, Jobs, and the Future of Literary Studies (1998) and Rhetorical Occasions: Essays on Humans and the Humanities (2006). One of our most important goals in this course will be to expand awareness about the range, variety, and specificity of interpretive choices that both consciously and unconsciously shape and direct the structure of our own research. To this end, I plan to invite some faculty members to our seminar to discuss how theory informs their work and to identify what they see as the new questions and directions that are currently impacting their particular area of specialization.
The academic work required in this course will be process-oriented and practical. In place of a long paper, you will be asked to keep a semester-long reading journal in which you foreground and puzzle through ideas that you find compelling, revolutionary, exciting, and challenging. You will also pair up with another student and present a frame for that day’s discussion on one area of theory in which you have a compelling interest through an outline of key points and questions that will be distributed to the class. Your final project in the course will be to identify and read around in at least three of the premier journals in your field, and to choose one essay you particularly admire, analyze its theoretical and interpretive assumptions, and discuss how and why it works as an essay in a fifteen-minute oral presentation to the class.
Our primary text for the course will be Julie Rivkin’s and Michael Ryan’s Literary Theory: An Anthology (Blackwell, 2nd edition), augmented by additional essays that I will xerox and distribute to the class. You will also be required to purchase the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (seventh edition), the essential text for standards of documentation that you must learn in order to be taken seriously as a professional in literary studies. All texts for the course will be placed on reserve in the W.E.B. DuBois Library and will be available for purchase at Food for Thought Books in Amherst (106 N. Pleasant Street/413.253.5432).
Deborah Carlin is Professor and Associate Chair of English at UMass, where she has taught since 1987. She is the author of Cather, Canon, and the Politics of Reading (1992), and the editor of Queer Cultures (2003) and the Broadview Press edition of Sarah Orne Jewett’s The Country of the Pointed Firs and the Dunnet Landing Tales (2009). She has expertise in the areas of both narrative and queer theory, and her current book project examines narrative returns and intertextual dialogues in the fictions of Jim Grimsley, Doris Lessing, Margaret Atwood, J.M. Coetzee, and Walter Mosley, all of which operate beyond and in excess of how we understand the nature of the sequel in narrative.

796: Independent Study By arrangement
For students wishing to do special work not covered by courses listed in the curriculum. Each student when registering should submit a brief description of the semester’s work agreed on by the student and the instructor. This must be signed by both the instructor and the student. No instructor should do more than one such course. Form for registering for this course are available in Bartlett 452. The Director of Graduate Studies must approve each proposal.

796A: Independent Study By arrangement
For students who are taking more than one independent study course per semester.

796B: Independent Study By arrangement


891DB-Urban Jungle: Poverty and Philanthropy in the Victorian City
(Nineteenth-century British literature). Suzanne Daly
Wednesdays, 5:00-7:30 From the beginning of the Victorian period, novelists as well as journalists, politicians, clerics and social critics evinced a marked concern with what they saw as an accelerating rate of poverty, dispossession, and criminality in England, trends they variously linked to industrialization, urbanization, the decline of religious belief, and the ascendancy of laissez-faire capitalism. In his 1829 essay “Signs of the Times,” Thomas Carlyle asserted that far from being an age of progress, “the time is sick and out of joint.” Following Carlyle, Victorians sought to assess and remedy economic inequity through the apparently opposed methods of charity, which critics on both ends of the political spectrum decried as fostering dependency rather than change, and the radical reimagining of the labor/capital relationship. Many of the novels we will read are more or less didactic in tone, and each takes up some aspect of urban poverty; our task will be to articulate and historicize their aesthetic and ideological underpinnings as we think through the place of “the urban poor” and “the philanthropist” in the Victorian cultural imaginary.
Texts may include: Walter Besant, All Sorts and Conditions of Men; Mary Chomondeley, Red Pottage; Charles Dickens, Oliver Twist; Charles Kingsley, The Water-Babies; Eliza Lynn Linton, The Rebel of the Family; Arthur Morrison, A Child of the Jago; Frances Trollope, Michael Armstrong, Factory Boy; selections from Thomas Carlyle, Chartism, Collected Essays, and Past and Present; Friedrich Engels, The Condition of the Working Class in England in 1844; Sir Arthur Helps, The Claims of Labour; Karl Marx, Capital Vol. 1; John Stuart Mill, On Liberty; George Bernard Shaw, Fabian Essays in Socialism.

Suzanne Daly’s scholarly interests include Victorian studies, British Empire studies, and literary theory, including the history and theory of the novel.

891EF—Theatrical Space & Social Relations in Early Modern England Adam Zucker
Tuesdays, 6-8:30
English drama written in the years immediately following the establishment of the first permanent theaters in London catches history at a remarkable juncture. Between the years 1576 and 1642, England and its capital city underwent a series of ruptures and transitions that still shape the economic and social relations of the English-speaking world. The plays we?ll read together here all attempt to fix a world in flux into narrative and spatial forms, with results that vary from the disjointed to the sublime. Our job this semester will be to evaluate this dynamic in three particular imagined spaces: the space of the home, the space of the city, and the space of the exotic or foreign. These are not mutually exclusive sites, as we shall see. All the while, we will be reading plays for their own material spatiality: the way they were staged in their original theaters; the way they arrange bodies and objects; the way they create relations between actors and audiences. Our analysis of space ? its representation, its production, and its productive effects ? will thus shape our attempts to piece together new ways of looking at uneven power relations of gender and economic status, at regulation and disruption in early modern literature, and at the florid imagination of the playwrights in Tudor and Stuart England.

Adam Zucker teaches graduate and undergraduate courses on Shakespeare and other early modern English authors. His research interests include urban social history, the history of comic form, theories of gender and sexuality, and historical sociology more generally. He has published recent essays on gambling and drama in early modern London and Ben Jonson's relationship to urban space. His book, The Places of Wit in Early Modern English Comedy, is forthcoming from Cambridge University Press.

891FG—Latin Middle Ages Stephen Harris
Thursdays, 5-7:30
English authors participated for centuries in a global intellectual enterprise. Latin letters formed the basis and extent of that enterprise. We will read selections from major medieval Latin authors, including Augustine, Jerome, Ambrose, Isidore of Seville, the Venerable Bede, Prudentius, Arator, Alcuin, Columbanus, Aldhelm, and Avitus, among others. These authors represent the height of literary culture in Africa, the Middle East, Spain, Gaul, Ireland, France, and wider Germania. Our readings will comprise poetry, prose, Scripture, biblical commentary, and sermons, as well as historical and philosophical texts. Our aim is to achieve a wide knowledge of medieval Latin literature. Books include Ernst Robert Curtius, European Literature and the Latin Middle Ages; F. J. E. Raby, A History of Christian-Latin Poetry; and C. S. Lewis, The Allegory of Love. All the works are translated into English, so knowledge of Latin is not required, although appreciated. Books will be available at Amherst Books in downtown Amherst.

Stephen Harris is working on a commentary on the Latin poetry of the Venerable Bede.

891G—Form & Theory of Fiction: Time and the Novel Chris Bachelder
Thursdays, 5-7:00
Satisfies MFA Contemporary Fiction Requirement.
Time is so crucial in the novel, so inextricably linked to drama and meaning, that most novels, whatever else they might be about, are about time. For the working novelist, however, time represents not a thematic or metaphysical concern but a set of technical problems. This seminar will investigate those problems, various solutions to those problems, and the dramatic implications of those solutions. We’ll read a short novel each week, paying particular attention to scope, chronology, plot, structure, narrative distance, pacing, simultaneity, and transitions, as well as the relationship of time to other elements of fiction such as character, conflict, mood, setting, etc. All books will be available at Amherst Books.

891I—Writing & Emerging Technology Janine Solberg
Wednesdays, 5-7:30
In an age of texting, mashups, YouTube, and Facebook, what does it mean to “write”? To study and teach writing? Today, with computers serving as the primary composing tool for so many communicative practices—from writing memos to editing digital video and designing
web sites—writers seemingly face a wider array of choices than ever before. In the past decade, Writing Studies scholars have begun to pay increasing attention to the ways that digital technologies enable combinations of communication modes and media that had previously been
separate from one another or inaccessible to the average person.
In this seminar, we will read and discuss scholarship on writing and emerging digital technologies, with a particular focus on new media, multiliteracies, and multimodal composing. Readings will include works by writing studies scholars such as Diana George, Cynthia Selfe,
Anne Wysocki, and the New London Group. Part of our seminar time will be spent in a computer classroom, and course participants should expect to produce digital texts (e.g., a digital audio essay).

Janine Solberg is an Assistant Professor of English. She joined the UMass faculty in the Fall of 2007 and teaches in the Department's Professional Writing and Technical Communications Program . She holds a Ph.D. in English with a specialization in writing studies from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her research interests span the field of rhetoric and composition, though she is particularly interested in technical communication, digital media, gender, and histories of technology and literate activity. She is currently working on a book-length project that analyzes the intersections of gender, technology, and literacy in early twentieth century American career advice texts for women.

891JB-Postcolonial Bodies
Tuesdays, 1-3:30 Asha Nadkarni The colonial project was underwritten, in part, by the notion that colonized subjects were less human than their colonial masters. Scientific racism thus justified European imperialism, which deemed subject races biologically incapable of ruling themselves; in some cases the colonized were deemed uncivilized and primitive, while in others the problem was one of overcivilized degeneracy. In turn, postcolonial nationalisms invested in idealized national bodies, whether through associations of woman and nation (as in “Mother India”) or through notions of a reactive postcolonial masculinity. As witnessed in national and global regimes of eugenics and population control, moreover, postcolonial nationalisms and neo-imperial systems of global development alike turn people into populations to be managed and controlled. In this course we will survey theories of the body as a means of unpacking bodily relations between colonizer and colonized, national governments and their populations, and the global north and south. In doing so we will explore topics such as the colonial abject, “spectacular” bodies (veiled bodies, and bodies of sati), commodified bodies, and hybrid bodies. Authors may include Gayatri Spivak, Robert Young, Ann Laura Stoler, Michel Foucault, Judith Butler, Rajeswari Sunder Rajan, Mulk Raj Anand, Assia Djebar, Buchi Amecheta, Chris Abani and Amitav Ghosh.
Asha Nadkarni specializes in postcolonial literature and theory, American empire studies, literatures and cultures of the South Asian diaspora, and transnational feminist theory. She is currently working on a book project about feminism, nationalism, and development in the United States and India, tentatively titled Eugenic Feminism: Reproductive Citizenship and National Development in the United States and India. This book traces an often overlooked conversation between U.S. and Indian nationalist feminisms, suggesting that both launch their claims to feminist citizenship based on modernist constructions of the reproductive body as the origin of the nation. She has published in NOVEL: A Forum on Fiction, and American Quarterly.

891TT—Introduction to Rhetorical Theory David Fleming
Mondays, 5-7:30
The study of rhetoric is traditionally concerned with how messages are crafted by authors to achieve desired effects in audiences. The oldest rhetorical theories are mainly arts of public speech, but rhetoric has also been important as a school subject devoted to eloquence more generally, including arts of written composition. Today, “rhetoric” is probably best known in the wider culture as a term of political abuse; but, in the academy, it survives in a variety of approaches for looking at the suasory function of discourse. Whether revived or moribund, capacious or narrow, rhetoric is one of the best developed and most powerful verbal disciplines available to us. This course is a graduate-level introduction to that discipline. It will be divided into two parts: In the first, we’ll look at the development of ancient rhetorical theory and pedagogy in classical Greece, especially as that development can be traced in the works of Plato, Aristotle, their forerunners, and their successors. In the second part, we’ll test the usefulness of ancient rhetorical theory and pedagogy in contemporary life and examine modern and postmodern developments, especially as these have grappled with the new conditions of our lives and new ways of thinking about language, performance, character, community, and reason. My spring 2009 syllabus for this course is available online at There will be changes for fall 2010, but the overall approach will remain the same.

David Fleming is Associate Professor of English and Director of the Writing Program at UMass Amherst. He has published widely on histories and theories of rhetoric, pedagogies of writing, and civic education. His book City of Rhetoric: Revitalizing the Public Sphere in Metropolitan America was published by SUNY Press in 2008. Another book, On the Hinge of History: Freshman Composition and the Long Sixties, 1958-1974, is forthcoming from the University of Pittsburgh Press.

899——Doctoral Dissertation Staff
Doctoral students must have a minimum of 18 credits at the time of their graduation.

Last updated March 24, 2010

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