Graduate Courses at Lincoln Center

For the 2016-2017 academic year, Fordham English is offering a selection of graduate courses at our Lincoln Center campus (113 W 60th Street). This is a pilot program designed to make our graduate courses more accessible to students from the Inter-University Doctoral Consortium (IUDC). Doctoral students from the following schools are eligible to enroll in these courses: Columbia University, CUNY Graduate Center, New York University, The New School, Princeton University, Rutgers University, and Stony Brook University. Students from IUDC institutions who wish to enroll in one of these graduate courses should contact John Bugg, Director of Graduate Studies (


Spring 2017 Course Offerings:

Time: Friday, 11:30-2:00
Instructor: Lenny Cassuto
Description: The course focuses upon depictions of slavery in American fiction during the years before the Civil War.  We will read a selection of novels by blacks and whites, men and women, all concerned with the intensifying debates over “the peculiar institution.”  We will focus on the turbulent and troubled decade of the 1850s; our exploration of this time of increasing sectional tension through fiction will spotlight the birth of the African American novel and its dialogic engagement with the burgeoning literature of race in the United States. Authors include Melville, Stowe, Douglass, William Wells Brown, and Martin Delany, among others.

ENGL 6105: NEWS AND PLAYS, 1620-1779
Time: Friday, 2:30-5:00
Instructor: Stuart Sherman
Description: These days, the ubiquitous nexus of news and entertainment can elicit reactions ranging from an exasperated scowl to a surrendering shrug. But the phenomenon has a long history. When newspapers first appeared, in the early 1700s, the theater reacted with alarm, terrified that this upstart medium would deprive it of its status as sole oracle. Gradually, though, the two media discovered nearly limitless possibilities for synergy, collusive and competitive: ads, reviews, celebrity profiles, stage satires of news stories and the news business, and much more. We’ll track these transactions in newspapers spanning two centuries, and in plays by Ben Jonson, Thomas Middleton, Susannah Centlivre, John Gay, Henry Fielding, David Garrick, and Richard Brinsley Sheridan. For better and for worse, infotainment begins here.

Fall 2016 Course Offerings:

Time: Friday, 11:30-2:00
Professor: Heather Dubrow
Description: We will evaluate both the history of close reading and the renewed interest—and renewed antagonism—revisionist versions of it are sparking today. What was, is, and will be “close reading” in literary studies? In engaging with the early history of this methodology (I.A. Richards, the New Critics, British analogues, etc.), we will consider how the climate in the academy and the country at large encouraged these approaches and how they interacted with and reacted against alternative methodologies. We will then explore and evaluate the many attempts to develop a type of close reading appropriate to our own critical moment—and the reactions against them by critics like Moretti; we will, for example, discuss the relationship of those attempts to the digital humanities and the implications of close reading for debates about the workings of lyric. The authors on whom we will focus are Shakespeare (mainly the nondramatic poems, though we will also discuss at least one play), Donne, and Spenser. Students will, however, have the option of writing their final paper on another poet from the early modern period—or from a different period. Other requirements will include a couple of shorter written exercises and participation in a course mini-conference. As this description suggests, the course is tailored to the needs of both advanced students in early modern literature and those in other fields or at earlier stages of their careers who are seeking an overview of the texts of that era and of critical methodologies and developments. Like all my graduate courses, this seminar will also discuss the challenges of professionalizing, such as transforming a seminar paper into an article and presenting a conference paper as effectively as possible.

Time: Friday, 2:30-5:00
Instructor: James Kim
Description: This seminar will stage a dialog between the field of race and ethnic studies on the one hand and that of affect theory on the other. In what ways does the affective turn call for a rethinking of the major themes of race and ethnic studies?  In what ways does recent work in race and ethnic studies challenge or complicate the growing hegemony of affect theory in the humanities?  How might these two bodies of scholarship deepen and enrich each other’s insights?  And how might we link them to other major issues currently occupying literary and cultural studies (e.g. neoliberal hegemony, temporality, and the limits of the human)? Our discussion of these theoretical matters will be grounded in readings of major works of twentieth-century and contemporary Asian American literature and culture. Possible authors include John Okada, Carlos Bulosan, Maxine Hong Kingston, Marilyn Chin, Li-Young Lee, Jessica Hagedorn, Chang-rae Lee, Susan Choi, Kiran Desai, Young Jean Lee, and others.