Graduate Seminars


Fall 2019


Graduate Proseminar: Approaches to Literary Research

English 200 / Prof. Cohen
Wednesdays, 3:00pm – 5:50pm

The Graduate Proseminar is an introduction to the profession of literary studies. The course will cover a wide array of topics related to issues in the profession and professionalization, including (but not limited to): the structures and histories of the discipline; writing and publishing for scholarly and general audiences; scholarly organizations and conference presentations; building a CV and a resume; developing professional skills; understanding the academic job market; humanities careers; and critical and methodological approaches to literary studies.

Theory and Method on the Internet

Computers and Literary Research
English 203 / Prof. Snelson
Thursdays, 3:00pm – 5:50pm

Research on and about the internet is characterized by information overload—too many genres, platforms, approaches, fields, and disciplines—put simply, too much information (TMI). This seminar explores emerging trends in scholarship on the internet with a focus on theoretical and methodological approaches to network culture. We will study recent works from a diverse array of fields including media theory, code and platform studies, poetry and poetics, social studies, critical race studies, visual culture, game studies, art and art history, gender and sexuality studies, architecture and design, cinema studies, digital humanities, and communication studies, among others. In each instance, we’ll chart how and why literary approaches to the internet might interface with these fields. The course will be built on works published within the recent past and as they surface throughout the quarter. A speculative set of writers might include Aria Dean, Erika Balsom, Hannah Black, Hito Steyerl, James Hodge, Lisa Gitelman, Lisa Nakamura, Patrick Jagoda, Paul Stephens, Rita Raley, Shaka McGlotten, Silvio Lorusso, Simone Browne, Stephanie Boluk and Patrick LeMieux, Tara McPherson, Tiziana Terranova, and Tung-Hui Hu. These new works will be paired with optional readings in foundational texts for further research. The final set of readings will be determined in collaboration with seminar participants. Course requirements include: an oral presentation, weekly response posts, and a final research paper/project exploring new methods in digital scholarship.

Paleography of Vernacular Manuscripts from the British Isles, c. 800 to 1500

Paleography of Latin and Vernacular Manuscripts
English M215 / Prof. Fisher
Tuesdays, 12:00pm – 1:50pm

Every manuscript is unique. There is no “history of the book” wholly separate from the history of individual books. This class will train students in how to read, look at, and generally make sense of manuscripts produced in Britain from the earliest writings to the beginning of print culture in England. As part of this conversation, we will necessarily consider the role of technology in re-mediating our encounters with manuscripts. The seminar will meet twice per week. One meeting each week will be held in UCLA’s Special Collections, working hands-on with UCLA’s remarkable and teaching-focused collection of medieval manuscripts, leaves, and fragments.

Though this seminar will primarily be focused on medieval books, our conversations about book history need not be so limited. Students working on early modern and 17th/18th century book history and material culture have taken the class and written final seminar papers commensurate with their interests.

Early Modern Empire and the Cultures of Encounter

Renaissance Literature (CMRS LAMAR Seminar)
English 246 / Prof. Fuchs
Mondays, 12:00pm – 2:50pm

This interdisciplinary LAMAR seminar will consider theoretical, methodological, and disciplinary questions. We will read together a corpus of historiographic and literary texts (Columbus, More, Ercilla, Garcilaso de la Vega, Poma, Behn) and also host visits from specialists at UCLA and beyond in a range of related disciplines (History/History of Science/History of Art/ Classics). How have various fields negotiatied the specificities of the European encounter with the New Word vs. larger questions of indigeneity and sovereignty around the globe? How has recent work on empire in a global context impacted the various fields? How do scholars in these fields move between the specificities of the local and the broader theorization of culture in imperial contexts? All readings will be available in English.

Revolutionary Traditions

American Literature to 1900
English 254 / Prof. Hyde
Tuesdays, 3:00pm – 5:50pm

The American Revolution, the French Revolution, the Haitian Revolution—the late eighteenth century witnessed a proliferation of revolutionary traditions that had a profound impact on nineteenth-century U.S. literature, culture, and politics. This seminar introduces students to key works of nineteenth-century U.S. fiction and culture, paying special attention to the period’s obsession with the transformative possibilities that revolutions represented for political reform and artistic experimentation alike. The course will examine the cultural traditions of U.S. revolution through fictional and historical accounts of the American Revolution, enslaved resistance, women’s rights, transcendentalism, and American Romanticism. We will read works of fiction, political philosophy, as well as secondary criticism. Authors likely will include Burke, Paine, Jefferson, Walker, Apess, Hawthorne, Stanton, Douglass, Thoreau, Stowe, Melville, and Brown. Students will write short weekly posts and a final conference-length paper.

Fictive Kinships in Latinx Film and Literature

Studies in Chicana/Chicano Literature
English M261 / Prof. Torres
Mondays, 3:00pm – 5:50pm

This seminar will examine the imaginative construction of family and kinship in Latinx film and literature. We will look at how different forms of fiction, poetry and film propose and analyze ways of living together through broad metaphors of kinship, with a particular focus on imagined familial relations outside of marriage or consanguinity- such as gang fraternities, religious affiliations, political organizations, compadrazgos, and queer/chosen families. We will ask how it is that the family looms so large in the task of imagining relations, and in composing and breaking the ties that bind. Is family to be escaped, or embraced? In seeking to answer these questions, we will draw on a range of psychoanalytic, sociological, queer and economic theory in the study of a range of literature and film. Course Requirements: Either one long research paper, or there will be an opportunity for those wishing to develop their own short fiction to submit one creative fiction response as well as one short research paper.

Additional Courses

Prospectus Writing Workshop

Directed Individual Study – 4 units
English 596 Section 25 / Prof. Hornby
Thursdays, 3:00pm – 5:50pm

This writing workshop is designed to address the central problem of writing a prospectus: how do you begin when you don’t know where you are going. It is also meant to facilitate the transition between the stages of graduate study, from Part I to Part II qualifying exams, from the prospectus to first dissertation chapter. At the start of the course, we will consider the genre of the prospectus itself to get a better understanding of its form and function and to demystify the process of beginning to write one. Relying on a critical community of peer scholars, in the workshop you will draft a series of preparatory versions of your dissertation project, culminating in a completed prospectus by the end. The workshop is open to graduate students who are working on the prospectus and to those who are beginning to write the first chapter of a dissertation. The syllabus can be expanded to support various stages of dissertation writing, depending on the needs of the group. Please note that the seminar may not be used to fulfill the 14-course requirement for the PhD in English.  S/U grading only.

Winter 2020


Language and Literature

English 242 / Prof. Thomas


Renaissance Literature

English 246 / Prof. Gallagher


Restoration and 18th Century Literature

English 250 / Prof. Kareem


Studies in Novel

English 258 / Prof. Grossman and Prof. Hilary Schor (USC)


Studies in Novel

English 258 / Prof. North


Literary Theory

English M270 / Prof. Makdisi


Interdisciplinary American Studies

English M299 / Prof. McMillan


Spring 2020


Developments and Issues in Modern Critical Thought

English 201C / Prof. Bristow


Environmental Literature

Course Number TBD / Prof. Carruth


Renaissance Literature

English 246 / Prof. Shuger


Contemporary American Literature

English 255 / Prof. Huehls


Studies in Poetry

English 257 / Prof. Nersessian and Prof. D’Aguiar


Studies in Afro-American Literature (Tentative)

English M262 / Prof. Streeter


Literary Theory

English M270 / Prof. Heise