Graduate Course Offerings

LIT 6105.001 Contemporary Futurisms
Professor Taryne Jade Taylor Tuesday & Thursday, 4:45pm–7:55pm

This course will focus on a variety of contemporary futurisms in literature, film, and music such as Afrofuturisms, African Futurisms, Indigenous Futurisms, Latinx Futurisms, Asian Futurisms, and Gulf/Middle Eastern Futurisms. Each of these futurisms is an identifiable subgenre, movement, mode, and aesthetic within the field of science fiction and fantasy studies. Futurist creators use science fictional thinking to build just, inclusive futures; to critique and bear witness to the injustices of the past and present; and perhaps, most importantly, to offer us all hope. These futurist texts showcase the way that people of color, in the face of the apocalypse, engage in science fictional thinking to build a better tomorrow, to heal and rebuild, to look towards a more collaborative, collective way of being in the world. We’ll focus our studies on recent literature, film, and music that is reshaping the genres of science fiction and fantasy. 

*Concentration: Science Fiction & Fantasy
*Historical Period: 1900–present


FALL 2024

Graduate Course Offerings

AML 6938.001 19th Century Black Literatures
Professor Regis Fox Thursday, 4:00pm–6:00pm

This course examines prospects of freedom-making and of world-building in black intellectual and cultural production in the nineteenth century.  To do so, we’ll read black writers across genre, including vernacular traditions, antebellum and postbellum slave narrative, short and long fiction, pamphlets and manifestos, rhetoric and public performance.  Unpacking the works of thinkers and orators as varied as David Walker, Solomon Northrup, Frances Harper, and Ida B. Wells, we’ll analyze epistemological and intersectional literary preoccupations with black being and belonging, as well as with intimacy and violence.  As our collective analyses will demonstrate, authors from W.E.B. Du Bois, to Henry Highland Garnet, to Sojourner Truth extend critical insight into matters of race, gender, and power, while complicating the relation between liberation and (mainstream) abolitionist organizing, and between identity and faith, in ways of striking relevance to our twenty-first century present.  

*Historical Period: 1700-1900


ENC 6700.002 Studies in Composition Methodology & Theory
Professor Sipai Klein Friday, 4:00pm–6:50pm

Klein|ENC 6700.002|Studies in Composition Methodology & Theory|Fall 2024|F 4:00pm–6:50pm

Studies in Composition Methodology & Theory will focus on the intersections of theory and practice, specifically pedagogical practices, within the field. As writers, scholars, and teachers of composition, we will examine major pedagogical theories of composition and will analyze the ways in which the elements of a rhetorical situation—writer, audience, context, and text/language—are treated according to each. We will consider the ways in which competing theories of composition inform pedagogical practices. This is a required course for all incoming GTAs and recommended for all MA students pursuing a Rhetoric and Composition focus. Textbook is provided at no cost.

*Concentration: Rhetoric & Composition


ENL 6455.003 Medieval Gender and Sexuality
Professor Carla María Thomas Wednesday, 4:00pm–6:50pm

Stereotypes abound regarding the Middle Ages, gender, and sexuality, some of which can be proven true, such as the religious, philosophical, legal, and therefore cultural oppression of women. However, the idea that the Middle Ages were simply prudish is an anachronistic misrepresentation that modernity applied to the medieval past to puff itself up. In this course, we will read texts that belie a much more complex relationship to sexuality as well as gender identity, beginning first with some interesting early medieval penitential entries on fornication, suggesting that rules were made because of all the imaginative promiscuity (heterosexual and otherwise), and then moving to a transhistorical look at riddles filled with sexual innuendo, poetry focused on women’s issues, texts that center transgender folx and a sexually promiscuous woman, love letters from nuns, and some modern creative adaptations of and engagements with medieval texts. Our readings will come from several of the languages in and around medieval Britain, but we will read most of the literature in translation. However, be prepared to read some Middle English and, with tremendous help from me, some Old English (translations also provided)! 

*Historical Period: pre–1700
*Certificate: Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (WGSS)


LIT 6932.001 Africanfuturism
Professor Ian MacDonald Tuesday, 7:10pm–10:00pm

This course begins in, but branches off of Afrofuturism to focus on the increasing output of speculative literatures being written in or centering Africa. Tracing sf along routes delineated by colonialism and Empire, this course attends to the problematics and potential opened up by sf written in and about postcolonial contexts and specifically the cultural matrices intersecting the African continent in the late 20th and 21st centuries. Authors include Nnedi Okorafor, Ngugi wa Thiong’o, Deji Bryce Olukotun, Tade Thompson, Mashigo Mohale, Namwali Serpell, and Sofia Samatar.

*Concentration: Science Fiction & Fantasy
*Historical Period:1900–present


LIT 6318.001 Modern Irish Gothic
Professor Julieann Ulin Wednesday, 7:10pm–10:00pm

Writing of conversations he had with the people of Donegal, Ireland in 1936, Ernie O’Malley observed the presence of the dead: “[The people] came back to the subject; spirits, good and bad, left at cockcrow. The dead walked around, there was an acceptance of their presence, no horror and little dread, the wall was thin between their living and their dead.” More popularly, this lack of dread may be seen in a comic song like “Finnegan’s Wake,” where a drop of spilled whisky revives the corpse of the not-quite-dead Tim Finnegan, and in many of the celebratory customs surrounding the Irish wake. This course will investigate the persistence of this permeable boundary in modern and contemporary Irish literature. The range of figures that trouble such divisions include the vampire in Le Fanu’s Carmilla, the banshees and changelings of Yeats and Gregory’s folklore collections, the drowned ghost in Synge’s Riders to the Sea, the spectre of Michael Fury in James Joyce’s “The Dead,” the chatty corpses of Máirtín Ó Cadhain’s The Dirty Dust, the ghosts of the “Troubles”-era in Seamus Deane’s Reading in the Dark, and the “bog bodies” preserved in Seamus Heaney’s poems. We will consider these haunted texts in their own right as well as how they may register an aesthetic response to colonialism, a “lost” language, violence, and gender and sexual politics that enforced invisibility. In addition to its theoretical focus on the intersection between the Irish gothic and the postcolonial, we will focus on how history may be repressed by external or internal forces and, by contrast, how it might be obsessively remembered, reworked, and resurrected for various ends. Finally, we will examine these texts in light of more recent work by scholars uncovering pasts that have been buried, such as the radical labor and sexual revolutions sublimated by nationalism (Susan Harris), Ireland’s Magdalene Laundries (James Smith), and the Tuam babies case (Catherine Corless). Students should expect to deliver a formal conference-length presentation and write a 15-20 page seminar paper.

*Historical Period: 1900-present