Department of English

University of Toronto

2000 Series Course Descriptions

Early Modern Psyches: Shakespeare and Psychoanalysis
E. Harvey 

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ENG2288HS Cancelled
Renaissance Keywords
M. Rubright 

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Milton, Globalism, and the Post-national 
P. Stevens 

Course Description:
The early 21st-century is distinguished by the degree to which the nation-state which emerged so powerfully in the early modern period has come to be perceived as undesirable, obsolete, or anachronistic. “Modernity,” says the economist Paul Collier, increasingly “strings identity between one pillar of individualism and one of globalism: many young people see themselves as both fiercely individual outsiders in their surrounding society, and as citizens of the world.” For many educated elites and young people, the imagined community is not, then, the nation but the “world,” a discursive polity imagined not through print so much as electronic media, television and the internet. This course seeks to reappraise the work of Milton and other 17th-century architects of the nation-state in the light of this dramatic new context: in particular, it seeks to understand the degree to which a new universal or global community is already taking shape in contemporary religious and political thought as it is somewhat ironically preoccupied with the nation. The focus of the course is Milton but other writers to be studied include Virgil, St Paul, Shakespeare, Raleigh, and Harrington.

Course Reading List: (subject to revision)
Texts: Required: Milton, John Milton: The Major Works (Oxford); Virgil, Aeneid (Penguin); St Paul, Epistles (AV Bible); Shakespeare, Merchant of Venice (Oxford); Raleigh, History of the World (Oxford); Harrington, Oceana (Cambridge); Course Reader
 Recommended: Paul Collier, Exodus: Immigration and Multiculturalism in the 21st Century (Penguin); Alain Badiou, St Paul: The Foundation of Universalism (Stanford); Stevens & Loewenstein, Early Modern Nationalism and Milton’s England (Toronto).

Course Method of Evaluation and Requirements:
Class participation, 10%; seminar presentation, 35%; research essay (5,000 words), 55%.

Term: S-Term (Spring or Second Term:  January - April 2018)
Date/Time: Tuesdays, 3:00 pm - 6:00 pm, 3 hours
Location: Room JHB 718 (Note room change) (Jackman Humanities Building, 170 St. George Street)

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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 for the linguistic invention of early modern writers, we consider variation and language change in Early Modern English, the arts of language promoted by Renaissance humanist education, and the dynamics of social dialogue. The course draws upon an interdisciplinary collection of readings to test out theories and tools, with attention to history of the language and historical sociolinguistics, rhetoric, discourse analysis and pragmatics, and new digital approaches to text analysis and the “distant reading” of large digital archives. We ask what research questions are productive to ask about the relation of language and literature. While the course models language analysis on Shakespeare’s works, it also encourages graduate student researchers to develop the kind of 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, Merry Wives of Windsor (especially 4.1), Macbeth, Lear, Othello, Sonnets. Or read any Shakespeare play you might want to focus your seminar work on and consider what stands out and interests you in the language: the Shakespeare texts we focus on in class will be your own choice. For a classic text on "social discourse," you can read M. M. Bakhtin, from The Dialogic Imagination (1981), pp. 250-300. 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: < > 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 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: F-Term (Fall or First Term:  September - December 2017)
Date/Time: Tuesdays, 3:00 pm - 6:00 pm, 3 hours
Location: Room JHB 616 (Jackman Humanities Building, 170 St. George Street)

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Paradise Lost
M. Nyquist 

Course Description:

In this seminar, we will have a rare opportunity to work closely with a single, literary text. Although numerous issues will come up spontaneously in the course of discussion, we will focus on tensions that arise from two different approaches to Paradise Lost: studies that situate it in the historical moment of its production (involving interrelations with contemporary texts and events as well as its precursors) and those that emphasize the history of its reception. When we analyze specific conceptual, generic, verbal, and formal features of Paradise Lost, we will want to reflect upon these two different approaches, as well as tensions between them, by critically examining the sources of any assumptions, knowledge and reading practices, whether our own or those of editors or commentators we come across in research.

Course Reading List:
Texts: The Oxford Milton; John Milton, Milton: Political Writings, ed. Martin Dzelzainis
Texts have been ordered through The Bob Miller Book Room, 180 Bloor Street West, Lower Concourse, Toronto. Telephone: (416) 922-3557

Course Method of Evaluation and Requirements:
Participation (25%), Facilitations (25%) Two facilitations or co-facilitations, Textual Analysis (20%), Essay Proposal (5%), Final Essay (25%) .

Term: F-Term (Fall or First Term:  September - December 2017)
Date/Time: Wednesdays*, 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm, 3 hours (*NB: DAY CHANGE)
Location: Room JHB 614 (Jackman Humanities Building, 170 St. George Street)

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