English M.A. Spring 2018 Courses

Critical Theories: Marxist and American Literature
Barbara Foley
26:350:508:01     Monday 5:30-8:10

We shall examine key texts by Marx and Engels setting forth fundamental theoretical concepts: historical materialism; ideology; base and superstructure; dialectics; exploitation and alienation.  We shall study the extension of these concepts by such later theorists and critics as  Georg Lukacs, Bertolt Brecht, Antonio Gramsci, Mao Zedong, Raymond Williams, Fredric Jameson, and David Harvey.  We shall also investigate the relevance of Marxist theory to gender and sexuality studies (via works of Alexandra Kollontai, Teresa Ebert, Martha Gimenez, Kevin Floyd, and Rosemary Hennessy) and to race theory (via works by Barbara Fields, Lerone Bennett, Angela Davis, Marcial Gonzalez, and Theodore Allen).

 A range of short literary works will be studied throughout the course to illustrate and/or test out various Marxist approaches to an understanding of literary history, literary form, and cultural production.  These texts will be drawn from American literature; authors studied will include  Langston Hughes, Ann Petry, T.S. Eliot, Tillie Olsen, Mike Gold, William Faulkner, Helena Maria Viramontes, and Richard Wright. The course will thus offer Marxist perspectives on key texts of US modernism, proletarianism, and postmodernism.

Of particular interest will be the relationship between politics and form.  What kinds of formal options are available to writers wishing to go against the grain of dominant ideologies?  What kinds of ideological pressures/constraints are inherent in various familiar genres? What is (or is not) the relationship between radical politics and formal experimentation? Open to non-matriculated students. For queries, send email to Professor Foley at bfoley@rutgers.edu.

Topics in Literature: Inhumanities
Professors Bartkowski and Mundy
Monday 5:30-8:10

Debates about who gets to be a “person” have been both rich and vexed in recent decades. Differences of race, gender, sexuality, nationality, class, and even species have been defined and contested through the arts. In this course, we will explore the ways that certain sounds, images, and narratives have been classified as “inhuman” in American culture. From jazz in the concert hall to Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein, from the strains of the humpback whale to Planet of the Apes, this course draws on recent writings in the fields of critical race studies, animal studies gender studies, sound studies, and music studies to examine the past century of inhumanity.  Open to non-matriculated students. For queries, send email to Professor Bartkowski at franb@rutgers.edu


Topics in Literature: Caribbean Literature
Professor Belinda Edmondson
Wednesday 5:30-8:10

This course introduces graduate students to some of the canonical writers, critics, texts of Caribbean literature from the early twentieth century to the present. Reading  from the literature of the Hispanophone, Francophone, and Anglophone Caribbean, we shall explore texts and criticism in the context of the formative literary genres of the region. Course material will include novels, poetry, film and critical essays. Topics for discussion will include race and coloniality; immigrant diasporas; Caribbean vernacular traditions; depictions of Caribbean nationalism and its gender/sexual politics. Open to non-matriculated students. For queries, send email to Professor Edmondson at edmondsn@rutgers.edu


Introduction to Publishing & Editing
Professor Akhil Sharma
Wednesday 5:30-8:10

The writer's life is difficult. Preparation can, however, allay fear and allow one to spot opportunities.  The goal of this course is to prepare one for the various opportunities that are available once one graduates from Rutgers. This course will focus on a number of things. First, you will learn how to edit from a writer's perspective and from an editor's. We will use various textbooks for this and work in pairs. This is always useful but is especially so since it makes one's work more likely to be purchased. Second, you will learn the rudiments of proof reading and copy editing. If you seek jobs in publishing, you will be asked to take tests in these. Third, you will also learn how to pitch story ideas or ideas for book projects.

You will also be involved in semester long projects in which you will seek out information on job opportunities in various fields as well as grants and fellowships. You will share your findings with the class at the end of the semester and in this way, everyone will benefit from each other's work


Renaissance Epic
Professor David Baker
Thursday 5:30-8:10

This course will explore Renaissance epic as a genre of creative imitation and numerous cross-cultural exchanges. Readings will include selections from Virgil, Dante, Ariosto, Tasso, Spenser, and Milton.  For queries, send email to Professor Baker at dwbaker@rutgers.edu


Independent Study                                          
26:350:522      By arrangement with Professor

Master’s Thesis                                                    
26:350:697      By arrangement with Professor


Matriculation Continued



The Rutgers New Brunswick English Doctoral Program offers seminars that are open to English R-N Master's degree students if the professor agrees to a request.  The inquirer should explain his/her background for the course and status in our Program. Forward the positive response and request for a Special Permission number to Cheryl Robinson in the doctoral program office <carobin@rci.rutgers.edu>.  (Although Dr. Larson's permission is not required, it's best to inform her of your intentions.)  Check their schedule online (School 16).