Graduate Course Offerings

LIT 6934.001Imagining Race in 19th Century American Literature
Professor Stacy Lettman Wednesday/Friday, 2:00pm–3:20pm

Our current political climate—amidst the police violence visited upon Black bodies, the demands for social justice by protesters supporting the Black Lives Matter Movement, and the safeguarding of many confederate monuments—prompts us to revisit the foundational narratives and ideologies about race and the “human” that are embedded within the United States’ national consciousness. By looking at a wide range of literature from the 1700s to the 1900s, we will ask questions that interrogate the “human” as it is defined in the American literary and national imagination—and the contestations to such positioning. We will start with Thomas Jefferson, the first American to articulate a racial ideology in relation to human biology. His foundational ideas, influenced by the Enlightenment, reveal the social of construction of race that lie at the core of the American national consciousness. Needless to say, Jefferson’s ideas have had an enduring impact on how American writers think about the intersections of race with the human, freedom, and slavery. We will read texts from Olaudah Equiano, Phyllis Wheatley, Frederick Douglass, Edgar Allan Poe, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Herman Melville, Mark Twain, Ralph Ellison, and Toni Morrison. We will interrogate their contributions to America’s literary and intellectual culture, particularly their engagement with the concept of race vis-à-vis the human. We will also read scholarly interventions from W. E. B. DuBois, Sylvia Wynter, Saidiya Hartman, Achille Mbembe, Nell Irvin Painter, among others.

Historical Period: 1700–1900


LIT 6934.006Professional Writing: Pedagogy and Practice
Professor Julia Mason Tuesday, 4:00pm–6:50pm

Designed as equal parts seminar, workshop, and practicum, Professional Writing: Pedagogy and Practice is an introduction to the theoretical, practical, and pedagogical foundations of professional writing as a disciplinary field. Reading and writing assignments will invite students to participate in conversations shaping the field—debates that influence the contemporary practice of professional writing and inform various pedagogical approaches to teaching professional writing in classroom and community settings.

Students will have opportunities to apply their understandings to the development of materials for their professional portfolios, including professional writing samples, assignments, syllabi, and other instructional materials.

This course is recommended for graduate students interested in professional writing careers and teaching professional and technical writing at the university level. It is also strongly recommended for GTAs hoping to teach in the Community Professional Writing Workshops program (tentative launch in Spring/Summer 2021).

Concentration: Rhetoric and Composition


ENC 5018.001Literary Criticism 1
Professor John Leeds Tuesday, 7:10pm–10:00pm

This course surveys literary-critical theory from Plato through the 18th century. Together we will study the origins of literary criticism in Greek and Roman rhetoric and philosophy, the impact of biblical and vernacular culture on these classical literary models, and the emergence of literary criticism as a self-sufficient intellectual pursuit in the modern world. Central questions to be discussed are as follows: 1) Is the ability to write poetry an acquired skill or an externally-bestowed gift? 2) Does literature imitate reality, or does it create an alternate reality? 3) Do writers have a responsibility for the moral betterment of their audiences, or not? 4) When and within what limits is literature to be read allegorically? Authors considered will include Plato, Aristotle, Longinus, Augustine, Averroes, Dante, Sidney, Pope, and Johnson.


LIT 6934.002Research Methods for Literary Study
Professor Julieann Ulin Distance Learning

Practically, you will be able to use this course to gain research skills through a series of modules designed to introduce you to the tools and methodologies of literary research, the specific resources available at FAU, author societies, key publications and journals in your chosen field, calls for papers, grants applications, and the profession more generally. In addition to these assignments, you will write and submit a critical book review of a recently published text and either complete a substantial annotated bibliography in your chosen area of critical inquiry that will serve as a building block for future coursework papers and / or your MA thesis or exam or research, write, and record a 20 minute conference paper in response to a current call for papers.


LIT 6934.004Shakespeare and His Contemporaries
Professor Emily Stockard Thursday, 4:00pm–6:50pm

In order to rescue Shakespeare’s plays from the isolation in which they are so often studied, we will read selected major works alongside relevant plays by his contemporaries, including Christopher Marlowe, Thomas Kyd, and Thomas Middleton. I have organized the class into three units: Revenge Tragedy, Comic Patterns, and the Morality Play Tradition. Our discussion will often focus on how these conventional dramatic forms take on issues such as class, gender, and materialism. We will see how playwrights informed and responded to each other’s work and so gain a sharpened sense of Shakespeare’s place with regards to these central topics.

Historical Period: pre–1700


LIT 6934.005Theorizing the Fantastic
Professor Timothy Miller Wednesday, 7:10pm–10:00pm

Science fiction studies boasts a long tradition of engaging with and contributing to contemporary literary theory. Fantasy studies, by contrast, has seen comparative neglect within the same range of theoretical approaches, despite the potentially broader remit of the fantastic itself. This course will introduce you to some of the major works of fantasy theory from the second half of the 20th century and the early 21st, as we interrogate this history of neglect and begin to pursue our own theorizations of the fantastic. Is fantasy really “under-theorized”? Do certain bodies of critical theory work with fantasy particularly well, or especially reward expansion of their own traditional scope to include more fantastic texts? What can fantasy studies learn from theory, and theory learn from fantasy studies? Fantasy novelists to be considered include Ursula K. Le Guin, J.R.R. Tolkien, Octavia Butler, China Miéville, and Nnedi Okorafor.

Historical Period: 1900–present
Concentrations: Science Fiction/Fantasy


LIT 6934.003Critical Ethnic Studies: Race, Gender, Culture
Professor Ashvin R. Kini Wednesday, 4:00pm–6:50pm

This course will introduce students to key concepts, methodologies and political debates in the interdisciplinary field of critical ethnic studies. We will begin by considering the origins of ethnic studies in the student-led protest movements for political and curricular change at San Francisco State University and elsewhere in the late 1960s. Drawing on both foundational and recent feminist and queer scholarship in Black studies, Asian American studies, Native and Indigenous studies and Latinx studies, we will take an intersectional and relational approach to the study of race as a mode of difference and power. To this end, we will consider how scholars, artists and activists have conceptualized the intersections of multiple systems of domination, as well as imagined and forged new forms of political identity, community, and culture in their struggles for more just futures. Possible course materials include scholarship by Saidiya Hartman, José Esteban Muñoz, Lisa Lowe, Roderick Ferguson, Joanne Barker, Tiffany Lethabo King, Deborah Miranda, Kimberlé Crenshaw, Kareem Khubchandani, Curtis Marez and Angela Davis; fiction by Tommy Orange, Julie Otsuka, Jennine Capó Crucet and Toni Morrison; and films by Barry Jenkins and Rea Tajiri.

Historical Period: 1900–present