Department of English

University of Toronto

2000-Level Course Descriptions

Early Modern Psyches: Shakespeare and Psychoanalysis
E. Harvey

Freud’s frequent, often pivotal references to Shakespeare signal both deep cultural influence and a complex intertwining of shared attention to the nature and structure of the human psyche. The dominance of historicist approaches to early modern studies over the past three decades has tended to marginalize psychoanalysis as a discourse; this seminar will explore the resources of psychoanalytic theory for understanding the early modern “emergence” of subjectivity. We will consider historicism’s skepticism about and exclusion of psychoanalysis, what was at stake in these debates, the role of historical phenomenology and cognitive approaches, and the current reemergence of psychoanalytic theory. Four Shakespearean texts (The Rape of Lucrece, The Winter’s Tale, Cymbeline, and The Tempest) will serve as case studies for our exploration of such topics as the operations of the mind, the imagination, boundaries between the human subject and their animal counterparts or between human subjects and the landscape, the passions, dream-work, consciousness, gender, and sexuality. Readings will include papers by Freud (on animism, dreams, the unconscious, the uncanny), Laplanche (fantasy and sexuality), and Kristeva (language, the semiotic, the abject), and recent scholarship by such critics as Lynn Enterline, Mary Thomas Crane, David Hillman, Bruce Smith, and Cynthia Marshall.

Reading List
Shakespeare, The Rape of Lucrece, The Winter's Tale, Cymbeline, The Tempest; Freud, Laplanche, Kristeva, Agamben (selected works) Essays: Lynn Enterline, David Hillman, Mary Thomas Crane, Bruce Smith, Cynthia Marshall

Course Requirements
Participation 10%, Oral Presentation 20%, Research Proposal 20%, Essay 50%

Term: F-Term (September - December 2014)
Date/Time: Wednesday, 1:00pm - 3:00pm, 2 hours
Location: Room JHB616 (Jackman Humanities Building, 170 St. George Street)

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Early Modern Nationalism and Milton's England
P. Stevens
[Methods Course: Studies in Historical Analysis]

The course comprises the study of a wide-ranging selection of early modern texts, literary and non-literary, with special emphasis on those of Milton in order to come to a better understanding of early modern nationalism. The course has three primary aims: (1) first, to identify and analyze the main features and cultural implications of early modern English nationalism; (2) second, to see how the skills developed in the practice of literary analysis may produce unique forms of historical knowledge; and (3) third, to develop those skills in reading complex texts and constructing both written and oral arguments.

Milton, The Oxford Authors: John Milton (Oxford)
Virgil, Aeneid (Penguin)
Geoffrey of Monmouth, History of the Kings of Britain (Penguin)
Shakespeare, Henry V (Oxford)
Machiavelli, The Prince (Penguin)
The Bible – any copy of the Authorized Version (1611)
Course Reader

Machiavelli, The Discourses (Penguin)
Loewenstein & Stevens, eds. Early Modern Nationalism and Milton’s England (Toronto)
McDowell & Smith, eds. Oxford Handbook of Milton (Oxford)

All the books are available from the Bob Miller Bookroom (180 Bloor St West) and the Course Reader will be available from the English department.

Class participation 10%
Seminar presentation 35%
Research essay (5,000 words) 55%

Term: S-Term (January - April 2015)
Date/Time: Wednesday, 1:00pm - 3:00pm, 2 hours
Location: Room JHB616 (Jackman Humanities Building, 170 St. George Street)

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Historicizing Shakespeare’s Language: Discourse Analysis and Early Modern Studies

L Magnusson

Powerful claims have been made for how Shakespeare extended the resources and tapped the potential of the English language, from Francis Meres’ 1598 comments including him among poets by whom “the English tongue is mightily enriched, and gorgeously invested in rare ornaments” to Frank Kermode’s renewed assertion in 2001 that “the life of the plays is in the language.” Nonetheless, when new historicism was dominant, scant attention was paid to verbal artistry. Criticism has recently taken up the challenge to bridge the gap between cultural history and close analysis, and this seminar explores important questions about what a newly historicized engagement with the complex language of Shakespeare’s plays and poetry should look like. For instance, should it attend primarily to the sociohistorical contexts of verbal exchanges, finding ways to substantiate Bakhtin’s claim that the “internal politics of style” is partly determined by the “external politics” of social relationships, class structures, or gender ideologies? Should it place a strong focus on dialogic interaction, on how social relationships and subjectivities are built up through language? Should it engage with the history of the English language itself, focusing on linguistic changes like the huge influx of new words in Shakespeare’s time or contemporary interest in grammatical categories like the “potential mood”? Should it use old tools or new tools: Elizabethan rhetoric? modern-day discourse analysis? corpus-based linguistics? computer-assisted text analysis? We will speculate about Shakespeare's fascination with the rhetoric and power dynamics of ordinary conversation, with the language training of humanist grammar-schools, and with everyday miscomprehension as a motor for language innovation. While the methodologies under consideration will be oriented to Shakespeare’s texts, many of them will have a wider applicability to the language of other literary and social texts. The course brings to its reconsideration of Shakespeare’s language an interdisciplinary gathering of readings, including Bakhtin on dialogism, Bourdieu on economics of linguistic exchanges, Brown and Levinson on politeness, as well as readings in rhetoric, the history of early modern English, discourse pragmatics, and digital humanities.

Course Requirements
The course will be conducted primarily as a seminar. To explore the material as fully as possible and to practice professional skills, seminar member will exchange email responses to selected class readings with other members, engage in a “try-out seminar” to experiment with new or unfamiliar tools for close analysis, and present a short colloquium paper (written version 12-15 pages).

If reading ahead, choose among Shakespeare’s Love’s Labour’s Lost, Merry Wives of Windsor, Othello, Sonnets (Norton); M. M. Bakhtin, from The Dialogic Imagination (1981), pp. 250-300, 324-58. A collection of methodological readings will supplement the Shakespeare text.

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%.

Term: F-Term (September - December 2014)
Date/Time: Tuesday, 3:00pm - 6:00pm, 3 hours
Location: ROOM CHANGE JHB 616 (Jackman Humanities Building, 170 St. George Street)

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Staging and the Meaning of Early Modern Drama
L Thomson

A study of the relationship between the playtext on the page and the play in performance on the early modern stage. Among the topics to be considered: the explicit and implicit stage directions; the original stage conventions and conditions; the relationship between the visual and aural. Discussion of these matters will include a consideration of costume, props, sound and other effects, blocking, character entrances and exits, the three stage levels, audience proximity, indoor and outdoor playhouses, boys playing women, the unlocalized stage. The plays to be studied represent the range of drama in this period and offer different kinds of questions and problems related to the focal issues.
Course requirements
15-minute seminar presentation (20%), annotated bibliography for the seminar (20%), informed and regular participation in class discussion and responses to seminar presentations (20%), 15-page research paper (40%).

Plays to be studied
The Spanish Tragedy (Kyd, 1587?), The Jew of Malta (Marlowe, 1589), Arden of Faversham (Anon., 1591), Measure for Measure (Shakespeare, 1604), Othello (Shakespeare, 1604?), Volpone (Jonson, 1606), The Knight of the Burning Pestle (Beaumont, 1607), The Maid’s Tragedy (Beaumont and Fletcher, 1609), The Winter’s Tale (Shakespeare, 1610), The Duchess of Malfi (Webster, 1614), The Changeling (Middleton and Rowley, 1622).

Texts:  All the non-Shakespeare plays are in English Renaissance Drama, edited by Bevington, et al, published by Norton. I have ordered this text from the U of T bookstore and strongly suggest that you buy and use this edition. For the Shakespeare plays, scholarly editions from Oxford, Cambridge, or Arden are all good and easily acquired (I have not ordered them). You are required to bring a copy of the relevant play to each class.

A bibliography of secondary materials will be posted on the course Blackboard site.

While there are no prerequisites, previous study of Shakespeare and/or his contemporaries is strongly recommended.

Note: Because we lose a class to the mid-term break on November 18th, there will be a makeup class on Friday, December 5th from 1 to 3 in the same classroom.

Term: F-Term (September - December 2014)
Date/Time: Tuesday, 1:00pm - 3:00pm, 2 hours
Location: Room JHB718 (Jackman Humanities Building, 170 St. George Street)

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What’s Metaphysical About Metaphysical Poetry?
L. Blake 

This course will investigate the relationship between literature and philosophy through a deep literary, philosophical, and historical exploration of the constantly changing category of “Metaphysical Poetry.” This category began as an insult, when John Dryden said of Donne, “He affects the metaphysics, not only in his satires, but in his amorous verses, where nature only should reign; and perplexes the minds of the fair sex with nice speculations of philosophy, when he should engage their hearts.” We will investigate the following questions: What definition of “metaphysics” is operative in Dryden’s claim? What about poetry as a mode of writing lends itself to “speculations of philosophy” (why not metaphysical prose)? What is at stake in defining the metaphysical canon? What is to be critically gained by grouping together such a various collection of seventeenth-century poets, and what important differences become erased? What is the relationship between the metaphysical and the baroque? What can a study of metaphysical poetry tell us about the relationship between poetics and philosophical analysis, and between poetry and philosophy?

Our readings will fall into three major categories: the history of the creation (and criticism) of the category of metaphysical poetry; metaphysical philosophy; and seventeenth century poetry.

Course Requirements
Participation -- 20%
Presentation -- 15%
Annotated bibliography / Final paper proposal -- 15%
Article-length paper -- 50%

Term: S-Term (January - April 2015)
Date/Time: Tuesday, 6:00pm - 9:00pm, 3 hours
Location: Room JHB718 (Jackman Humanities Building, 170 St. George Street)

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