ENGL 413 - Senior Research and Writing
Prerequisites: Six credits in English at the 300 level, senior major standing, and instructor consent. Enrollment limited to six. A collaborative group research and writing project for senior majors, conducted in supervising faculty members' areas of expertise, with directed independent study culminating in a substantial final project. Possible topics include ecocriticism, literature and psychology, material conditions of authorship, and documentary poetics.
Winter 2020, ENGL 413A: Senior Research and Writing: Spatializing the Text (3). Text takes up space, as a physical object or a virtual entity. Crucially, text creates and interrogates psychic, bodily, and social spaces: rooms, households, neighborhoods, cities, and nations. Space is key to the construction of subjectivity, for without it, the embodied subject cannot exist. As Liz Bondi and Joyce Davidson suggest, "to be is to be somewhere." And beyond the human, nonhuman nature and the cosmos are equally important in textual figurations of space. This seminar investigates the entanglements of textuality and spatiality, from utopia to dystopia, desire to discipline, and containment to liberation. We look at selections from Henri Lefebvre's The Production of Space, Gaston Bachelard's The Poetics of Space, Michel Foucault's "Heterotopia", Christian Jacob's The Sovereign Map, Yi-Fu Tuan's Space and Place, Doreen Massey's For Space, and Gloria Anzaldúa's Borderlands. Students compile a portfolio of reading responses in the first half of the seminar as preparation for their individual guided research project. (HL) Kao.
Winter 2020, ENGL 413B: Senior Research and Writing: Documentary Poetics (3). How do 20th- and 21st-century poets bear witness to social change? Students in this capstone read works by Muriel Rukeyser, Carolyn Forché, Kevin Young, and others, considering the uses of poetry and the politics of documentation. What sources do documentary poets draw on, and how do they handle the ethics of representation and citation? In response to the readings, students write critically and creatively, eventually pursuing research-based poetry projects on topics of their choosing. (HL) Wheeler.
Fall 2019, ENGL 413-01: Senior Research and Writing: For the Record: Sound Studies and Interpreting Literature (3). Despite rich examinations of poetry, oral traditions, drama, and film, Literary Studies still tends to construe its central object of concern—the text—as a static artifact (the book, the poem, the publication, the words on the page). Yet, creative imaginings of sound's resonant capacities are often central to a text's potential meanings. This capstone centers scholarship in the interdisciplinary field of "sound studies" as its foundation for reading literature through its more aural dimensions. During the first weeks of term, we pair excerpts from works such as Jacques Attali's Noise and R. Murray Schafer's The Soundscape with more recent approaches to the study of sound in relation to racialization, technology, class, and gender. In addition, we read shorter texts to practice these newly-tuned interpretation skills. Students apply this foundation to their literary field of interest and produce a capstone project. To aid in this, time is devoted to the writing process, peer-review, and other skills needed to produce a larger project. (HL) Millan.
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