Graduate Literary Study
English 503, Autumn 2006
Go directly to:
Office: (973) 353-5279 x 516; 516 Hill Hall.
Hours: Monday and Wednesday, 10:30-11:30, and by
appointment (appointments are best).
Home: (609) 882-4642 (before 10:00 p.m.!).
E-mail: jlynch @
andromeda.rutgers.edu (the best way to reach me).
Listserv: gradintro @
andromeda.rutgers.edu (for the whole class)
- Written Assignments: There will be two papers, the
first of around 2,000 words (eight pages-ish), the second of
around 4,000 words (fifteen pages-ish).
- Reports: In addition to several in-class reports on
research exercises, each student will be responsible for
beginning discussion of one day's materials. That will typically
take the form of a brief (five-minute-ish) informal discussion of
the theoretical readings for the day and their use in
interpreting literature. (First, and Only, Commandment: Thou Shalt Not Bore.) The day's reporters will
also be responsible for steering discussion throughout the class
- Readings: Two books Mary Shelley's
Frankenstein (ed. Marilyn Butler) and Literary
Theory: An Anthology, 2nd ed. (ed. Julie Rivkin and
Michael Ryan) are available from New Jersey Books on
University Ave. (not the Rutgers Bookstore). Other
readings will be available on-line. Note that this isn't a class
about Frankenstein; it's really about different
approaches to literature. I'm just trying to ensure we all have
one text we can talk about in detail. A heads-up: the theoretical
readings will be positively overwhelming, not so much in volume
(it's rarely more than a hundred pages in a week) but in density.
Don't fret. Just work your way through as much as you reasonably
can. Two books might help: Terry Eagleton, Literary Theory:
An Introduction, and David Macey, The Penguin
Dictionary of Critical Theory.
Schedule of Class Meetings
- Monday, 11 Sept.
- Introduction. Class business
and an introduction to bibliography.
- Monday, 18 Sept.
- Textual Criticism. Readings:
W. W. Greg, "The
Rationale of Copy-Text"; Fredson Bowers, "Greg's
'Rationale of Copy-Text' Revisited"; G. Thomas Tanselle, "Textual
Instability and Editorial Idealism"; textual variants to
Frankenstein (Appendix B in Butler's edition); Anne
K. Mellor, "Revising Frankenstein." Reports: Textual
- Monday, 25 Sept.
- Historical and Biographical
Criticism. Readings: Anne K. Mellor, "My Hideous
Progeny"; John Clubbe, "The Tempest-Toss'd Summer of 1816: Mary
Shelley's Frankenstein"; Laura E. Crouch, "Davy's
A Discourse, Introductory to a Course of Lectures on
Chemistry: A Possible Scientific Source of
Frankenstein"; Jane Blumberg,
"Frankenstein and the 'Good Cause.'" Reports:
Library research exercises.
- Monday, 2 Oct.
- Formalism. Readings: Rivkin
and Ryan, "Formalisms"; Boris Eichenbaum, "The Formal Method";
Cleanth Brooks, "The Formalist Critics" and "The Language of
Paradox"; Peter Brooks, "'Godlike Science/Unhallowed Arts':
Language, Nature, and Monstrosity."
- Monday, 9 Oct.
- Rhetoric, Phenomenology, and Reader
Response. Readings: Rivkin and Ryan, "Language and
Action"; Edmund Husserl, "Ideas"; Edward Corbett, "Classical
Rhetoric"; J. L. Austin, "How to Do Things with Words"; Richard
Lanham, "Tacit Persuasion Patterns"; Stanley Fish, "Interpretive
Communities"; Beth Newman, "Narratives of Seduction and the
Seductions of Narrative: The Frame Structure of
- Monday, 16 Oct.
- Structuralism. Readings:
Rivkin and Ryan, "The Implied Order: Structuralism"; Jonathan
Culler, "The Linguistic Foundation"; Ferdinand de Saussure,
selection from Course in General Linguistics;
Vladimir Propp, selection from Morphology of the
Folk-Tale; Roman Jakobson, "Two Aspects of Language";
Andrew Griffin, "Fire and Ice in
- Monday, 23 Oct.
- Poststructuralism. Readings:
Rivkin and Ryan, "Introductory Deconstruction"; Jacques Derrida,
"Différance" and selection from Of
Grammatology; Jean-François Lyotard, selection from
The Postmodern Condition; Jean Baudrillard,
"Simulacra and Simulations"; Christian Bok, "The Monstrosity of
Representation: Frankenstein and Rousseau."
- Monday, 30 Oct.
- Marxism. Readings: Rivkin and
Ryan, "Starting with Zero"; G. W. F. Hegel,
"Dialectics"; Karl Marx, selections from Grundrisse,
The German Ideology, "Wage Labor and Capital," and
Capital; Louis Althusser, "Ideology and Ideological
State Apparatuses"; Elsie B. Michie, "Frankenstein
and Marx's Theories of Alienated Labor." First Paper Due.
- Monday, 6 Nov.
- Feminism. Readings: Rivkin and
Ryan, "Feminist Paradigms"; Luce Irigaray, "The Power of
Discourse and the Subordination of the Feminine" and "Women on
the Market"; Coppélia Kahn, "The Hand That Rocks the
Cradle"; Sandra M. Gilbert and Susan Gubar, selection from
The Madwoman in the Attic and "Horror's Twin: Mary
Shelley's Monstrous Eve"; Ellen Moers, "Female Gothic"; Barbara
Johnson, "My Monster/My Self."
- Monday, 13 Nov.
- Gender Studies and Queer
Theory. Readings: Readings: Rivkin and Ryan,
"Contingencies of Gender"; selection from Michel Foucault,
The History of Sexuality; Judith Butler,
"Performative Acts and Gender Constitution"; Eve Kosofsky
Sedgwick, "Epistemology of the Closet" and "Toward the Gothic:
Terrorism and Homosexual Panic."
- Monday, 20 Nov.
- Psychoanalytic Criticism.
Readings: Rivkin and Ryan, "Strangers to Ourselves:
Psychoanalysis"; selections from Freud; selections from Lacan;
Paul Sherwin, "Frankenstein: Creation as
Catastrophe"; Peter Brooks, "What is a Monster? (According to
- Monday, 27 Nov.
- New Historicism. Readings:
Rivkin and Ryan, "Writing the Past"; E. P. Thompson, "Witness
Against the Beast"; Michel Foucault, selection from
Discipline and Punish; Nancy Armstrong, "Some Call
It Fiction: On the Politics of Domesticity"; Stephen Greenblatt,
"Shakespeare and the Exorcists"; Jerrold E. Hogle,
"Frankenstein as Neo-Gothic: From the Ghost of the
Counterfeit to the Monster of Abjection"; Ellen Cronan Rose,
"Custody Battles: Reproducing Knowledge about
- Monday, 4 Dec.
- Ethnic Studies and
Postcolonialism. Readings: Rivkin and Ryan, "Situating
Race" and "English without Shadows: Literature on a World Scale";
Ian F. Haney López, "The Social Construction of Race";
Henry Louis Gates, "The Blackness of Blackness: A Critique on the
Sign and the Signifying Monkey"; Ania Loomba, "Situating Colonial
and Postcolonial Studies"; Ngugi wa Thiong'o, "Decolonising the
Mind"; Homi Bhabha, selection from Signs Taken for
Wonders; Zohreh T. Sullivan, "Race, Gender, and Imperial
Ideology in the Nineteenth Century."
- Monday, 11 Dec.
- Cultural Studies. Readings:
Rivkin and Ryan, "The Politics of Culture"; Walter Benjamin,
"Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction"; Max
Horkheimer and Theodor Adorno, "The Culture Industry as Mass
Deception"; Michel de Certeau, selection from The Practice
of Everyday Life; James Whale, Frankenstein
(1931 movie starring Boris Karloff); Harriet E. Margolis, "Lost
Baggage: or, The Hollywood Sidetrack"; David Leon Higdon,
"Frankenstein as Founding Myth in Gary Larson's
The Far Side." Second Paper