Department of English

University of Toronto

2000 Series Course Descriptions

ENG2016HF
The Queer Renaissance: Queer Studies, Early Modern Texts
U. Chakravarty

Course Description:
In this course, we shall read a number of early modern texts alongside recent work on sexuality and queer theory to ask: What are the affordances and implications of the ‘queer’ for early modern literature? How are our understandings of sexuality and queerness historically constructed and contested? And how do we (re-)conceive of the role of acts or identities in articulating different modes of embodiment? We will read works by Shakespeare, Lyly, Marlowe, Donne and other early modern poets and playwrights in conversation with work in queer theory by Bersani, Butler, Edelman, Foucault, Halberstam, Halperin, Holland, Muñoz and Puar, and recent scholarship at the intersection of early modern and queer studies by Dinshaw, Masten, Sanchez and Traub, among others. We shall also explore queer approaches to race, transnationalism and empire; religion and theology; temporality, historicity and historiography; form and philology; politics, class and capitalism; and family and kinship to ask how early modern literary texts both respond to and re-imagine these critical intersections. Finally, we shall ask: how might the field of early modern studies not only respond to but also inform work in queer studies?

Course Reading List:
Primary texts may include: Lyly, Gallatea; Marlowe, Edward II; Shakespeare, Twelfth Night; Middleton and Dekker, The Roaring Girl; selected poems by Donne; selections from Milton, Paradise Lost. Theoretical and critical readings may include work by Leo Bersani, Judith Butler, Carolyn Dinshaw, Lee Edelman, Michel Foucault, Jack Halberstam, Sharon Patricia Holland, Jeffrey Masten, José Esteban Muñoz, Jasbir Puar, Melissa Sanchez and Valerie Traub. (Subject to change.)

Course Method of Evaluation and Course Requirements:
Active and engaged participation: 15%; Online discussion posts: 15%; in-class presentation: 10%; prospectus and annotated bibliography for final paper: 20% Final paper: 40%.

Term: F-TERM (September 2020 to December 2020)
Date/Time: 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm, Wednesdays
Location: ONLINE DELIVERY
(SYNCHRONOUS), via teleconferencing.  Link to be sent to students directly by the instructor.

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ENG2018HF
A Royal Society of Their Own: Early Modern Lit/Sci/Phil
L. Blake

Course Description:
This course is partly about the role that early modern literature and culture plays in the disciplines of the history and philosophy of science as a modern field, and partly about the occlusion of women writers from the narratives we tell about the intersections of early modern literature, science, and philosophy in the seventeenth century. It serves, then, as a rough introduction to the history and philosophy of science, but the majority of our primary texts will be those written by women. What difference does it make to the history of science and natural philosophy to focus on writings by women, both philosophical and literary? How might shifting our implicit (and complicit) archive of early science change the stories we tell about the “Scientific Revolution” in the seventeenth century?

Course Reading List:
Though the majority of our primary texts will be early modern, we will also read deeply in the canonical works of the history and philosophy of science, and of contemporary theories of science studies.  Bruno Latour, We Have Never Been Modern; N. Katherine Hayles (on literature and science as an interdiscipline); Deborah Harkness, The Jewel House of Art and Nature; literary and other works by a variety of authors, including Lucy Hutchinson, Margaret Cavendish, Anne Conway, Jane Sharp, Hester Pulter, anonymous recipe book compilers, and others (with particularly deep dives into Hutchinson and Cavendish)

Course Method of Evaluation and Course Requirements:
Class participation 20%; class presentation 15%; final paper proposal 5%; annotated bibliography and outline 10%; final paper 50%.

Term: F-TERM (September 2020 to December 2020) 
Date/Time: 9:00 am to 12:00 pm, Tuesdays
Location:
 ONLINE DELIVERY (SYNCHRONOUS), via teleconferencing.  Link to be sent to students directly by the instructor.

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ENG2050HS
John Donne’s Poetic Inhabitations
E. Harvey

Course Description:
John Donne’s well-known hydroptic thirst for knowledge prompted him to range widely through philosophical, scientific, medical, and poetic materials. He coupled his eclectic exploration of the world with acts of radical imagination in his poetry, allowing him to understand other ways of being and even to inhabit or impersonate them poetically. This course will focus on three of John Donne's works, The Anniversaries, Metempsychosis, and Devotions Upon Emergent Occasions in order to investigate Donne’s “poetics of science,” his way of grappling with the changing epistemologies of the seventeenth century. We’ll juxtapose Donne’s texts with influential classical and early modern counterparts (Lucretius, Ovid, Augustine, Montaigne), as well as situating them in the context of more recent theory and criticism. We’ll read Donne’s texts closely, attending to poetic and rhetorical elements and considering how Donne represents the experience of the body (sensation, erotic desire, affect, pain) and states of consciousness (sleep, death, the experience of plants and animals). We will pay particular attention to intertextual relationships (his use of other writers, his inhabitation of such other voices or styles as Sappho, Petrarch, Ovid) and to the philosophical and poetic representations of the mind and the soul

Course Reading List:
John Donne, Metempsychosis; The Anniversaries; Devotions Upon Emergent Occasions

Course Method of Evaluation and Course Requirements:
Participation 15%; oral presentation 25%; prospectus 20%; final essay 40%.

Term: S-TERM (January 2021 to April 2021)
Date/Time: 10:00 am to 12:00 pm, Thursdays
Location: ONLINE DELIVERY
(SYNCHRONOUS), via teleconferencing.  Link to be sent to students directly by the instructor.

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ENG2472HS
Milton
J. Rogers

Course Description:
A study of the poetry and prose of John Milton (1608-74), with a look at some examples of his decisive influence on the literary, political, and religious writing of succeeding centuries. The course will examine the poet’s three major works, Paradise Lost, Paradise Regained, and Samson Agonistes, attending as well to the central schools of Milton criticism of the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries. Topics to be explored will include Milton’s shocking innovations in poetic form, political philosophy, and religious belief, as well as his controversial treatment of such subjects as the relation of the sexes, the right to divorce, and the ongoing permissibility of polygamy. In addition to the major works of Milton, noted above, the course will also feature an examination of Milton’s indelible mark on the English Romantic poet William Blake, as well as the prophetic American founders of Mormonism (Joseph Smith and Brigham Young) and Seventh-Day Adventism (Ellen Gould White).

Course Reading List:
William Blake, Milton; William Ellery Channing, Remarks on the Character and Writings of John Milton; William Empson, Milton's God; Samuel Johnson, The Life of Milton; John Milton, Paradise Lost, Paradise Regained, and Samson Agonistes; Joseph Smith, The Book of Moses and Doctrine and Covenants; Ellen Gould White, The Great Controversy between Christ and Satan

Course Method of Evaluation and Course Requirements:
50% Final Essay (20 pages); 20% Midterm Essay (7 pages); 20% Class Participation; 10% One oral presentation.

Term: S-TERM (January 2021 to April 2021)
Date/Time: 9:00 am to 11:00 am, Wednesdays
Location: ONLINE DELIVERY
(SYNCHRONOUS), via teleconferencing.  Link to be sent to students directly by the instructor.

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ENG2533HS
Shakespeare's Language
L. Magnusson 

Course Description:
If the Muses themselves spoke English, they would speak with "Shakespeare's fine-filed phrase," Francis Meres commented in 1598, suggesting that Shakespeare's linguistic art tapped the emerging potential of the English language and extended its resources. Aiming at methodological advances in close reading attentive to the linguistic texture of cultural and literary texts, this course focuses on Shakespeare's still-resonant language. As shaping contexts, we consider the arts of language promoted by Renaissance humanist education, the dynamics of everyday social dialogue, and variation and language change in Early Modern English. The course draws upon an interdisciplinary collection of readings to test out theories and tools, with attention to rhetoric, discourse analysis and pragmatics, historical sociolinguistics, history of English, and the emerging digital approaches to text analysis and to the "distant reading" of large digital archives. We ask in what ways “the life of Shakespeare’s plays is in the language.” We also ask how new methods of language analysis can extend the reach of other current literary approaches, concerned, for example, with race, environment, gender, or cultural history. While the course models language analysis on Shakespeare's works, it also encourages graduate student researchers to develop advanced reading strategies which they can adapt to the cultural and literary texts of their chosen fields.

Course Readings:
If reading ahead, in The Norton Shakespeare, 3rd Edition, gen. ed. Stephen Greenblatt (or similar text), choose among Shakespeare's Love's Labour's Lost, Richard III, Merry Wives of Windsor (especially 4.1), Othello, King Lear, The Tempest, Sonnets. Or read any Shakespeare play you might want to focus your seminar research on and consider what stands out and interests you in the language: the Shakespeare texts we focus on in class will be shaped by your choices. For classic texts on "social discourse," you can read M. M. Bakhtin, from The Dialogic Imagination (1981), pp. 250-300 and Pierre Bourdieu, “Economics of Linguistic Exchanges,” Social Sciences Information, 16 (1977): 645-68. Thinking of language change, try Sylvia Adamson, "Questions of Identity in Renaissance Drama: New Historicism Meets Old Philology," Shakespeare Quarterly 61.1 (Spring 2010): 56-77 [online UTL]. For a basic introduction to early modern schooling in rhetoric, start with Peter Mack, Ch. 1, "Rhetoric in the Grammar School," Elizabethan Rhetoric: Theory and Practice, pp. 11-47 (UTL online). Or, to get an initial sense of digital text analysis, check out Voyant Tools: < http://voyant-tools.org/ > and use your knowledge and imagination to see what you can discover about some specific feature of Shakespeare's language.
A collection of methodological readings will supplement the Shakespeare text.

Course Method of Evaluation and Course Requirements:
In-class seminar 25%; course paper (colloquium and written version) 45%; frequent short "issue" sheets 20%; class participation 10%.

The course will be conducted primarily as a seminar. To explore the material as fully as possible, to practice professional skills, and to engage with everyone's ideas, seminar members will spark in-class discussion by posting advance discussion-board responses to selected class readings. Each member will undertake a "try-out seminar" to experiment with new or unfamiliar tools for close analysis and present a short conference-style paper (written version 12-15 pages) in our final colloquium.

Term: S-Term (January 2021 to April 2021)
Date/Time: 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm, Mondays
Location: DUAL DELIVERY
(SYNCHRONOUS), JHB 616 (Jackman Humanities Building, 170 St. George Street)

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