Autumn 2014

Autumn 2014 Courses


Comparative Literature

19th Century French Poetry in Translation (CMLT 36012)

A study of modern French lyric poetry at the graduate level: Baudelaire, Mallarmé, Verlaine, Rimbaud, Apollinaire. Texts will be read in English with reference to the French originals. Close reading, references to poetry in English, and focus on problems in translation. Students with French should read the poems I the original. Class discussion to be conducted in English; critical essays to be written in English.

Instructor: Rosanna Warren. Day and Time: Wednesday, 1:30 to 4:20 PM



Introduction to Poetry (ENGL 10400)

This course involves intensive readings in both contemporary and traditional poetry. Early on, the course emphasizes various aspects of poetic craft and technique, setting, and terminology, as well as provides extensive experience in verbal analysis. Later, emphasis is on contextual issues: referentially, philosophical and ideological assumptions, as well as historical considerations.

Instructor: Lisa Ruddick. Days and Time: Tuesday and Thursday, 10:30 to 11:50 AM


English Renaissance Lit & the Poetics of Place (ENGL 20134)

This course explores major lyric poets of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries by focusing on their treatments of diverse places and locales, including city, court, and country (the traditional topographical and ideological divisions of English society), homes, churches, colleges, prisons, and imaginary and fantastical landscapes.  Poets might include Wyatt, Spenser, Sidney, Shakespeare, Donne, Jonson, Herbert, Herrick, Lovelace, Milton, Marvell, Philips, and Cowley. Genres might include sonnet, epithalamion, satire, pastoral, georgic, epistle, epigram, country-house poem, and ode.

Instructor: Joshua Scodel. Day and Time: by arrangement with the instructor.


Thomas Hardy: The Novels and Poetry (ENGL 21922)

This course will provide students with in depth knowledge of the life and work of Thomas Hardy, from the early fiction of the 1870s to the experimental poetry of the late 1920s. In addition to reading extensively in Hardy’s oeuvre, we will also consider the ways in which his often iconoclastic work absorbed and responded to various currents in philosophical, sociopolitical and literary discourse over the half-century during which he was active. These will include Schopenhaurian pessimism, Nietzschean nihilism, and Freudian psychoanalysis; British Imperialism (esp. the Boer War), fin-de-siècle feminism, Victorian censorship, and the continued transition from an agricultural to an urban industrial economy; the social and literary ramifications of Darwinian theory; and the relation of Hardy’s late work to innovations in modernist poetics.

Instructor: Zachary Samalin. Days and Time: Tuesday and Thursday, 12:00 to 1:20 PM



Poetics (MAPH 34800)

This intensive seminar focuses on recurrent tensions in poetics: for instance, voice and text, object and event, semantics and prosody, invention and representation. The historical span will reach from Plato to Prynne, and discussion will advance between constellations of poems and theoretical texts.

Instructor: John Wilkinson. Days and Time: Tuesday and Thursday, 10:30 to 11:50 AM


Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations

Arabic Sufi Poetry (ARAB 40300)

The course will focus on the love poetry of three 7th/13th century Sufi poets: Ibn al-'Arabi, Ibn al-Farid, and Abulhasan al-Shushtari.

Instructor: Michael Sells. Day and Time: Tuesday, 1:30 to 4:20 PM


Persian Poetry: Shahnameh of Ferdowsi (20320)

Abu al-Qâsem Ferdowsi of Tus (940 – 1019?) completed his verse rendition of the tragic history of the Iranian nation just over a millennium ago, in early March of 1010.  
Conventionally classed as an “epic,” the Shahnameh’s various episodes include a variety of disparate genres and themes: creation narrative, mythology, heroic saga, folk tale, romance, royal chronicle.  Through a close reading in Persian of several prominent episodes, and discussion this course aims to create a deep understanding of the language, the characters and the themes of the Shahnameh, analyzing the poem as an example of both national epic and world literature, reading with an eye toward literary structure; genre; Indo-Iranian mythology; political theory; ideals of masculinity, femininity and heroism; the interaction of text, oral tradition, illustration, scholarship, and translation in the shaping and transmission of the literary tradition; and, of course, the meaning(s) of the work.   The aims of this course will be to gain familiarity with the style and language of Ferdowsi, to understand his rhetoric and esthetics, to understand the martial values animating the culture of the military and the zur-xâne, and to understand how individual episodes contribute to the broader overall meaning of the text.  Alongside the selected episodes in Persian, we will read the entire Shahnameh in English translation and discuss some of the wider scholarly issues surrounding Ferdowsi’s text and the Shahnameh sources, transmission, illustration, and popular and scholarly reception.  Class discussions will be in English

Instructor: Franklin Lewis. Days and Times: Monday, 3:00 to 5:50 PM


Romance Languages and Literatures

Poesia Novohispana con practica ecdotica (SPAN 22314)

The study of poetry written in New Spain, working with manuscripts as well as with "editiones principes."

Instructor: Martha Tenorio. Days and Time: Tuesday and Thursday, 3:00 to 5:50 PM


Creative Writing

Beginning Poetry Writing (CRWR 10300/30300)
This course addresses a range of techniques for writing poetry, making use of various compelling models drawn primarily from international modernisms on which to base our own writing. (Our textbook is Poems for the Millennium, edited by Rothenberg & Joris.) In this sense, the course will constitute an apprenticeship to modern poetry. We will consider the breadth of approaches currently available to poets, as well as the value of reading as a means of developing an understanding of how to write poetry. Each week students will bring poems for discussion, developing a portfolio of revised work by the quarter’s end. Additionally, students will keep detailed notebooks, as well as developing critical skills for understanding poetry in the form of two short essays.
Instructor: Peter O'Leary. Day and Time: Tuesday, 1:30 to 4:20 PM
Honors Beginning Poetry Writing (CRWR 10350/30350)
This course will explore different methods of crafting poetry, and the aesthetic and philosophical consequences of these approaches, and inquire into the balance between self-expression and the demands of communicative art. As a class, we will immerse ourselves in the fundamentals of poetry—sensory language, imagery, turn, epiphany, line breaks, musicality, form, structure, voice, and diction—and approach poetry from the perspective of practicing poets. Students will read voraciously in order to inform their own work and workshop their poems to learn the process of self-critique. Readings for the course will largely be drawn from 20th C. American poetry, including poetry by James Wright, Lorine Niedecker, Allen Ginsberg, Lucille Clifton, Russell Edson, Ai, and many others, giving students a sense of the particular socio-cultural context of being a poet in America today. This Honors Beginning course is open to all students but will give priority to those who are interested in declaring a Creative Writing Minor or a creative Honors Thesis. Unlike the normal Beginning courses, this class is not open bid and requires submission material and the consent of the instructor.
Instructor: Ariana Nash. Day and Time: Monday, 1:30 to 4:20 PM

Intermediate Poetry Workshop : Poetry's Pathways(CRWR 13000/33000)

One way to think of a poem is as a series of linguistic routes, or pathways, from sound to sound, word to word, line to line, image to image. Of course, these routes don’t always move in a linear fashion: they often loop, overlap, interweave, crisscross, and create enchanting entanglements. Many disciplines, such as neuroscience and geography, practice “hodology,” or the study of pathways, to assess and understand similarly interconnected pathways. In comparative fashion, this poetry workshop will borrow hodological approaches to develop the practice of poetry writing. We focus on poems’ potential pathways in an effort to expand formal, thematic, and craft choices. While this class will emphasize workshop discussions of your poems and your experiments with craft, we’ll read widely, including work by Frank O’Hara, A. R. Ammons, T. S. Eliot, Alice Notley, Emily Dickinson, James Wright, Charles Baudelaire, Gilles Deleuze, and Harryette Mullen. Students will be expected to submit poems weekly and to write two short essays on craft. 

Instructor: Nate Hoks. Day and Time: Thursday, 10:30 to 1:20 PM

Advanced Poetry Workshop: Writing the Poetic Everyday (CRWR 23100/43100)
This course takes inspiration from the poetry of Hannah Weiner, whose work Patrick Durgin calls “avant-garde journalism.” Weiner published a series of journals documenting her daily life and the words she saw as a result of her schizophrenia; the technology of the typewriter enabled her to document the different “voices” on the page. Following Weiner’s lead, we will explore various material modes of documenting the everyday – writing on index cards, by transcription, by typewriter, etc. We will look at other daily works by Ammons, Oppen, Mayer, etc. to expand our ideas of what writing the “everyday” looks like. Students will be expected to write and read as a daily practice, as well as to participate in exercises and critique during class.
Instructor: Stephanie Anderson. Day and Time: Wednesday, 1:30 to 4:20 PM
Verse Forms in Theater and Spoken Word Tradition (CRWR 27006/47006)
A writing workshop for poets and playwrights for the study and development of character-driven verse. Traditional verse for the stage (blank and rhymed, Elizabethan through 1900‘s) will be explored, as well as modern attempts (Eliot, Caryl Curchill, David Ives, etc.) Where does the often thin line lie between a sonnet and a soliloquy? Students will be challenged to channel their poetic voice not through the personal, confessional “I”, but through the mask, through character – as Shakespeare did with his sonnets, Blake with his Songs, and Dickenson, often, with her small ballads.
Instructor: Mickle Maher. Day and Time: Thursdays from 1:30 to 4:20pm