Following are the courses being offered in upcoming semesters. Please check the online class schedule listing for the most accurate scheduling information.


Summer 2019 Courses

200-Level Courses

EH 213-OQ: Ideas in Literature: Literature of the American Frontier

Instructor: G. Temple

“Frontiers” – boundaries separating familiar, settled spaces from the wilderness or the unknown – have played a significant role in American history. The Western frontier, for example, was typically portrayed as the dividing line between the outer limits of American civilization and the savage wilderness that still needed to be conquered. Frontiers can also be thought of as border zones, where different cultures, languages, and belief systems interact, sometimes violently, but also in ways that produce new “hybridized” identities, traditions, and dialects. And of course frontiers can be metaphorical – as when a scientist or an engineer explores a new “frontier” of knowledge, or when an athlete crosses over into a new realm of skill and achievement.

In this class, we will study literature, film, and other cultural materials that explore how these various notions of the frontier have influenced such issues as race, class, gender, and national identity in America. Among the authors we will read are James Fenimore Cooper, Black Elk, Willa Cather, and Cormac McCarthy. Assignments will include several short response papers and a final exam.

EH 213-OR: Ideas in Literature: Literature of the American Frontier

Instructor: G. Temple

“Frontiers” – boundaries separating familiar, settled spaces from the wilderness or the unknown – have played a significant role in American history. The Western frontier, for example, was typically portrayed as the dividing line between the outer limits of American civilization and the savage wilderness that still needed to be conquered. Frontiers can also be thought of as border zones, where different cultures, languages, and belief systems interact, sometimes violently, but also in ways that produce new “hybridized” identities, traditions, and dialects. And of course frontiers can be metaphorical – as when a scientist or an engineer explores a new “frontier” of knowledge, or when an athlete crosses over into a new realm of skill and achievement.

In this class, we will study literature, film, and other cultural materials that explore how these various notions of the frontier have influenced such issues as race, class, gender, and national identity in America. Among the authors we will read are James Fenimore Cooper, Black Elk, Willa Cather, and Cormac McCarthy. Assignments will include several short response papers and a final exam.

EH 213-OV: Ideas in Literature: Family Matters

Instructor: Quinlan

Our theme here will be “Family Matters.” You’ve probably heard Russian novelist Leo Tolstoy’s famous opening sentence: “All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” In a selection of plays, poems, and short stories, ending with the fraught conditions of the Lomans in Death of a Salesman, this course will focus on family relationships in their multiple dimensions across generations, genders, nationalities, and will even include the influence of the dead on the living. We’ll also look at psychological interpretations of these texts as they are available in the UAB Sterne Library databases.

400/500-Level Courses

EH 427/527-OV: Special Topic: Feminist Speculative Fiction and Theory

Instructor: Jessee

Why do women writers often use the Speculative Fiction/Sci-Fi genre as a means of grappling with radical ideas concerning gender, sexuality, and race? Why is it that a genre concerned with the possibilities—both exciting and terrifying—of the future, science, and technology lends itself to these radical ideas? Why do so many women authors employ frightening cyborgs, grotesque monsters, and deadly disease as they work with themes of the body, identity, and desire? In this class, we will read representative feminist speculative fiction as well as corresponding critical theories about gender, sexuality, and technology.

This class will satisfy the major requirement for a critical theory class in the literature concentration.

The course will require two short essays and two take-home exams along with regular participation in the form of informal writing and class discussion.

Tentative list of required texts:

  • Begum Rokeya Sultana’s Dream (1905)
  • Charlotte Perkins Gilman Herland (1915)
  • Ursula K. LeGuin The Left Hand of Darkness (1969)
  • Joanna Russ The Female Man (1975)
  • Margaret Atwood The Handmaid’s Tale (1985)
  • Octavia Butler Fledgling (2005)

Our critical theory essays and excerpts will be made available on Canvas.

EH 468/568-P0: Harlem Renaissance

Instructor: Quinlan

The Harlem Renaissance was a major movement in all of the arts—music, literature, theatre, painting—in the first half of the 20th century. In literature, it included the work of Alain Locke, James Weldon Johnson, Claude McKay, W. E. B. Du Bois, Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, Countee Cullen, Jean Toomer, Nella Larsen, and numerous others. In its era, the movement’s innovations were appealing and controversial, exciting and disruptive, for both black and white cultures. Here we look at the African American experience as it was represented by the aforementioned writers, the racial hopes and hostilities of the time, and the Renaissance’s mixed reception in more traditional black communities.


600/700-Level Courses

EH 617-QL: Graduate Creative Nonfiction Workshop

Instructor: Madden

The focus of this online workshop in Graduate Nonfiction is to strengthen students’ understanding of the “fourth genre” of creative nonfiction as its own unique form of storytelling and literature. Our objective will be to grasp the tools of our craft and put them into practice in the writing of our own creative nonfiction through memoir, lyric essay, and literary journalism. We’ll discuss different voices in creative nonfiction in The Truth of the Matter by Dinty W. Moore and Tell It Slant by Brenda Miller and Suzanne Paola. From David Foster Wallace to Joan Didion to Ta-Nehisi Coates to John Jeremiah Sullivan to JoAnn Beard to David Sedaris to David Rakoff to Annie Dillard to Roxane Gay to Jeane Guerrero to Tara Westover, we will be reading a range of essays. Weekly online workshops of student-written work will be a major part of the process as well the focus on the necessary revisions to shape stories with an eye toward eventual submission and publication.

Richard Rodriguez says, "I sit here in silence writing this small volume of words, and it seems to me the most public thing I have ever done." With the words of Rodriguez in mind, this online seminar is about on finding voice in our own personal narratives and writing out of our comfort zones and creating a sustaining writing life.


Fall 2019 Courses

200-Level Courses

EH 205-2F: Intro to Creative Writing

Instructor: Braziel

We will write what Jerome Stern calls “shapes” from the prompts in his book Making Shapely Fiction. These shapes will form the backbone of longer stories. We will also write poems from the prompts in Steve Kowit’s book, In the Palm of Your Hand. Kowit’s prompts are about finding sources of inspiration and distilling language.

EH 213-1F: Ideas in Literature: Comedy

Instructor: Hutchings

This course is an introduction to the vast variety of forms of comedy, from Ancient Greece (Lysistrata) to the present (Terry Pratchett).

EH 213-2B: Ideas in Literature: LGBTQ Literature

Instructor: Butcher

Though often portrayed as a single, unified group, the LGBTQ community is filled with diverse—and sometimes competing—voices. We will examine poetry, fiction, drama, creative nonfiction, graphic literature, and film as we explore questions of identity in writings by lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer authors. We will spend some time looking at the evolution of LGBTQ literature but focus most of our attention on contemporary works. Possible authors include Dorothy Allison, Jon Redfern Barrett, Alison Bechdel, Imogen Binnie, Jennifer Finney Boylan, Jericho Brown, Rita Mae Brown, Jennifer Espinosa, Saeed Jones, June Jordan, Randall Mann, Stephen S. Mills, Hasan Namir, Mary Oliver, Pat Parker, Minnie Bruce Pratt, Del Shores, Richard Siken, Danez Smith, Christopher Soto, A.K. Summers, Julie Marie Wade, Walt Whitman, L. Lamar Wilson, and Jeanette Winterson.

Whether you are gay, straight, ally, or simply curious, this course is designed as an introduction to LGBTQ literature. Students need bring only a willingness to read carefully, discuss openly, and think carefully about the topics and texts at hand. As with other 200-level courses, assignments may include tests, essays, quizzes, and journals. Please note that some of the texts will contain controversial themes and adult content.

EH 213-2C: Ideas in Literature: Literature of Loss - The Elegy and Stories of Grief and Mourning

Instructor: Ellis

This course will examine the ways literature helps people express grief and do the work of mourning, both personally and culturally. We will study elegiac poetry, short stories, plays, essays, and a novel, considering how gender and diverse cultural identities affect and inform the grieving process.

EH 213-2D: Ideas in Literature: Sweet Home Alabama?

Instructor: Major

Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Sweet Home Alabama” was written in response to two songs by Neil Young—“Southern Man” and “Alabama”—that deal with themes of racism and slavery in the American South. The song’s lyrics, which call Neil Young out by name in a rebuke of his Yankee criticisms in some places and are problematically vague in other places, are controversial—heralded by some as admirable, defiant pride and criticized by others as a strutting defense of old Confederate values. In many ways, the tensions and complexities embodied within this song reflect conversations that are still very much alive today about pride, identity, and the ways in which Alabama’s troubling past continues to manifest itself in the present.

This class will begin by placing a question mark after the Southern rock anthem’s title: “Sweet Home Alabama?” What is this place and its people about? What are the different narratives that contribute to Alabama’s mythology? What does it mean to call Alabama home? What, if anything, is sweet about that experience? We’ll attempt to answer these questions by examining the contemporary literature of the place. Our approach will be kaleidoscopic: we’ll read a wide range of texts from a diverse group of authors who are from (or who spent significant time in) various places in Alabama and whose writing was deeply influenced by and directly responds to that experience. We’ll read this material critically and in the context of the cultural ethos from which it comes, and we’ll discuss and write about texts both individually and in relation to each other. As we do this, we’ll consider significant themes of contemporary Alabama writing and explore how this complicates, deepens, or explodes our understandings of place and identity—and why that matters in both historical and current political and social contexts.

This course is appropriate for anyone interested in Alabama, contemporary Southern literature, Alabama history, the Civil Rights Movement, social justice, or theories of place and identity.

EH 213-2E: Ideas in Literature: Wicked Witches and Charming Princes

Instructor: Dwivedi

Once upon a time we have all heard, read, or watched fairy tales; this course is attempting to revisit those tales in order to understand the traditions of folklore from which they emerged and how they evolved from Brothers Grimm through Disney into the most modern forms (Helen Oyeyemi’s 2014 novel Boy, Snow, Bird). Through the transformative perspective of “the witch” in these tales, we will seek to explore what such rewritings of traditional narratives tell us about the socio-cultural contexts in which they are produced.

Readings will include a range of fairy tales, two novels, and two films; supplemental essays from the works of Jack Zipes and Maria Tatar will help shape our understanding of the literary and cultural traditions of fairy tales. With the exception of the two novels, all materials will be made available in a reading packet. In terms of major assignments, there will be two short essays, a midterm, and a final exam.

EH 213-2QLA and EH 213-QLB: Ideas in Literature: Our Voices Now: Contemporary Women Writers

Instructor: Slaughter

Remember those heavy literature anthologies from high school full of canonical works written by, mostly, dead white dudes? Well, that is what this class is NOT. This introductory literature course will look at the daring, funny, dark, sexy, weird, beautiful, challenging literature being composed by women writers alive and working today. While we will occasionally cast our lens backward to understand the origin of the women poets, novelists, essayists, and short story writers we will encounter, it’s likely that most of the writers we will read have websites, as well as Instagram and Twitter.

As we read, we will study secondary and background materials which will supply the specialized vocabulary we will use in our informal (online discussion) and formal (reading responses, essays, etc.) written discussion of the works we encounter. Upon completing the course, students will understand the conventions of literary genres and will have developed their analytical skills through close reading, critical thinking, and scholarly writing about literary texts. What do “our voices” sound like now? Let’s find out together.

EH213-1A: Ideas in Literature: Literature of Speaking Out

Instructor: Cates

This course will examine the intersection of the political, social, and cultural as we explore movements and programs that generated a broad collection of literary works and responses. Our study will include a variety of unemployed writers kept afloat by the WPA Federal Writers Project, writers energized by the experimental climate of the Southern Renaissance, and the countercultural “gonzo” journalists, among others. Issues surrounding gender, race, class, and ethnicity will invite us to pose questions about “speaking out,” social action, and the democratization of literature.

Readings will include a range of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction from a variety of authors; supplemental readings will include scholarly and popular works that explore the role of these movements in American literature.

300-Level Courses

EH 301-1E: Reading, Writing, and Research for Literature

Instructor: G. Temple

EH 301 is designed to provide students with the necessary background to conduct sophisticated research and to write with excellence in upper-level English (and other humanities-oriented) courses. Students will learn about the history of English as a discipline, MLA documentation, library research strategies, and specific techniques for writing literary criticism. The course will also provide an introduction to literary “theory,” which we will study in conjunction with various short stories, poems, and cultural artifacts. Course requirements include two papers and a final exam.

EH 301-2B: Reading, Writing, and Research for Literature

Instructor: Dunbar

In this course you’ll learn the essential elements of literary scholarship, including research methods, interpretive strategies, critical theory, and the conventions of literary essays. The course aims to broaden your understanding of English as an academic discipline and to give you tools that you’ll be able to apply to your future coursework in English.

Texts:

  • John Henrik Clarke, Black American Short Stories
  • Toni Morrison, Beloved

EH 303-2C: Advanced Composition

Instructor: McComiskey

EH 303: Advanced Composition teaches students the art of academic argumentation with an additional emphasis on writing style. Paper assignments focus on general themes such as understanding education, negotiating contact zones, and composing history. However, specific topics within those themes are not assigned and are determined entirely by students. Work on style includes strategies for enhancing clarity, developing grace, maintaining coherence, and considering ethics.

EH 309-9I: Beginning Fiction Writing Workshop

Instructor: Braziel

We will focus on different aspects of character and plot by writing journey stories and linked vignettes. We will also discuss stories from the Scribner Anthology of Contemporary Fiction.

EH 315-1E: Intro to Professional Writing

Instructor: Bacha

In this course, students will explore professional writing as a discipline and learn how to compose professional documents. Successful professional writing begins with effective composing processes, including invention, revision, audience analysis, research, document design, usability testing, and editing. The professional documents that students produce in this class will vary from teacher to teacher but may include instructions, proposals, memos, resumes, slide presentations, blogs, brochures, newsletters, hypertext documents, and web pages.

EH 340-1F: Developing Digital Documents

Instructor: Bacha

This course is designed to help students develop the ability to write and design documents using computer aided publishing technologies. In this course, students are given the opportunity to improve their critical thinking skills as they relate to planning, writing, and revising the content and design of dynamic documents. Students will also explore a number of industry standard content management and publication tools used by working professional and technical communicators. No prior experience with any type of technology is required for this course.

EH 376-2C: Shakespeare: An Introduction

Instructor: Bach

Reading six of Shakespeare’s plays together, the class will think about how the plays can be staged and interpreted. We will watch different versions of scenes and compare them to the texts. Through reading and listening to Shakespeare’s language closely, students will gain comfort with Shakespeare’s rhythms and his syntax. Discussions will focus particularly on how Shakespeare gives characters individual voices and how interpretations of Shakespeare’s characters have changed over time.

Plays to be read may include Henry V, As You Like It, Measure for Measure, and King Lear.

Three short paper assignments will include options such as writing about how one might direct a scene.

400/500-Level Courses

EH 401/501-2E: Tutoring Writing

Instructor: Wells

In English 401/501: Tutoring Writing, students will study the complex processes of learning and teaching writing. Students will also learn practical strategies for teaching writing one-on-one. The course will balance reading and discussion with hands-on experience and observation in the University Writing Center. Course readings will include scholarly articles about writing pedagogy, practical tutoring guides, and real tutors’ published reflections on their work. Course projects will include observation write-ups, tutoring reflections and philosophies, and an academic paper appropriate for presentation at a tutoring conference.

Undergraduate students must take this course to qualify for employment in the University Writing Center; however, due to a limited number of available positions, taking EH 401 does not guarantee employment in the UWC.

EH 407/507-2D: Creative Nonfiction Writing Workshop

Instructor: Madden

This is an advanced course in the writing of creative nonfiction. Our objective will be to further grasp the techniques and the issues of our craft and put them into practice in the writing of our own creative nonfiction through memoir, essay, and literary journalism. We’ll spend a certain amount of class time in every workshop writing as well as discussing different voices in creative nonfiction. From Bill Bryson to Joan Didion to John Jeremiah Sullivan to to Joseph Mitchell to Jesmyn Ward, we will be reading a range of both memoir and essay. Weekly workshop discussions of student-written work will be a major part of the workshop as well the necessary revisions to shape stories.

Author Jamie Zvirzdin, writes about the craft of creative nonfiction in this way: “To be sincere is to be powerful and creative nonfiction allows me to do that, to be sincere. I don’t want to be content with what I know. I don’t believe in ghosts, the afterlife, and I don’t believe in the muse. I believe in hard work.” With Zirzdin’s words in mind, this seminar will focus on finding voice in personal narratives and discovering place as character and how a strong sense of setting breathes both life and voice into creative nonfiction. This seminar will be a combination of lecture, discussion, writing prompts, and further online links and discussions. We will also be visiting the Birmingham Library archives to seek stories for literary journalism pieces.

EH 424/524-2D: Special Topics: Childhood in African American Literature

Instructor: Dunbar

In 1959, American developmental psychiatrist, Erik H. Erikson called attention to a blind spot in historical scholarship on childhood. "Students of history," Erikson states, "continue to ignore the simple fact that all individuals are born by mothers; that everybody was once a child; that people and peoples begin in their nurseries; and that society consists of individuals in the process of developing from children into parents." This was anything but a "simple fact" for historians of African American history, for the lines of childhood and adulthood were blurred so dramatically that it became difficult to define even the variable of childhood.

Novelists such as Ralph Ellison argued that chronology, an ally to historians is the enemy to creative writers who seek to manipulate or destroy linear understandings of time. In this course we will study the manners in which African American authors fill gaps where historians left off to flesh out the lives and experiences of black children from the Antebellum era to the Black Arts Movement. We will read the works of such canonical authors as Olaudah Equiano, Harriet Jacobs, Jean Toomer, Toni Morrison, and Ernest Gaines and analyze their uses of the special though difficult freedom they have to write about lives that are outside the reach of scholarly treatment, but no less important.

EH 426/526-1B: Pre-1800 Special Topics: Sex and Gender in the Early Republic

Instructor: G. Temple

In this course we will study how norms associated with masculinity, femininity, and sexuality were created, reinforced, and challenged in late eighteenth and early nineteenth-century America. We will read conventional “literary” materials (novels, poems, plays, etc.), but we will also look at other “nonliterary” cultural artifacts such as conduct books, letters, medical writings, and personal journals. Among the authors we will read are Susannah Rowson, Benjamin Franklin, Charles Brockden Brown, Royall Tyler, and James Fenimore Cooper.

Course requirements will include two formal essays and an archival project in which you will find and report on an artifact (literary text, advertisement, sermon, etc.) that has some bearing on the themes of the class.

EH 427/527-1C: Special Topics: 21st-Century American Literature

Instructor: Bellis

This class will focus on American writing of the last 20 years. If this amounts to a distinct literary period, we’re still very much in the middle of it—too close for categories and labels. We’ll consider fiction, poetry, drama, a graphic novel, and even some nonfiction—all of which test or respond to traditional ideas or forms. Variety will be the course’s (dis)organizing principle.

Over the course of the term, I’ll ask you to complete three papers totaling 20-25 pages and make an in-class presentation.

Texts may include:

  • Alison Bechdel, Fun Home
  • Junot Diaz, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
  • Joan Didion, The Year of Magical Thinking
  • Tracy Letts, August Osage County
  • Cormac McCarthy, No Country for Old Men
  • Suzan-Lori Parks, Top Dog/Underdog
  • Natasha Trethewey, Native Guard
  • Plus non-fiction by David Foster Wallace and a selection of contemporary poetry

EH 474/574-2E: English Renaissance Drama

Instructor: Bach

Did anyone but William Shakespeare write plays in the English Renaissance?

The answer is a resounding YES.

The London stage abounded with fabulous plays by many playwrights including John Webster, Elizabeth Cary, Thomas Dekker, Thomas Middleton, Thomas Heywood, and Francis Beaumont. These writers produced plays that we now call revenge tragedies, domestic tragedies, city comedies, and tragi-comedies. These plays are funny, tragic, and fascinating.

The plays we will read ask who will be the masters of Renaissance England. They show social boundaries being crossed and challenged, and putative masters anxiously asserting their power. In these plays, a grocer’s wife interrupts a play about merchants and tries to stage a tale in which a grocer’s assistant kills a lion; a Duke attempts to police his sister’s sexual desires and ends up howling like a wolf; a pregnant wife pretends to long to eat a pig so that her Puritan mother will let her visit a fair; and a man who can’t stand noise is married to a screeching boy. With these and other wonderful plays we will read pamphlets and other documents from the Renaissance that speak to how people step out of the places they are assigned to by society and how they are controlled and evade control.

Course requirements include regular attendance and participation in discussions, a midterm, and a research project, including a final paper. Among other texts we may read:

  • Edward II by Christopher Marlowe
  • The Duchess of Malfi by John Webster
  • The Tragedy of Mariam by Elizabeth Cary
  • The Knight of the Burning Pestle by Francis Beaumont
  • Epicoene by Ben Jonson

EH 483/583-7M: British Romanticism

Instructor: Grimes

The chief aim of this course is to help students become conversant with the canonical works and the canonical writers of the Romantic period, especially Blake, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Byron, Shelley, and Keats. These writers—the poets are frequently called the "Big Six"— dominated the discussion of Romanticism through much of the 20th century; a knowledge of their work is essential to students of the period. At the same time, however, recent criticism has raised a number of compelling reasons to question both the legitimacy and the effects of the dominance of the writers traditionally labeled as the "major" or canonical romantics.

There are a number of approaches to this emerging critique of canonical Romanticism, and I have included several works such as Charlotte Smith's Beachy Head, Byron's Don Juan, Thomas Love Peacock’s Nightmare Abbey, William Hone's Political House that Jack Built, and Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice (themselves canonical texts, though romantic misfits) in order to introduce this critique. As a result, students should emerge from the class with a comprehensive grasp on the traditional definitions of romanticism as well as a heightened critical sense of the significance—and the limitations—of these traditional definitions.

EH 489/589-1D: James Joyce

Instructor: Hutchings

James Joyce’s “Araby,” A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, and Ulysses. James Joyce is the most important author of the 20th century, and Ulysses is his most important book. Reading Joyce will utterly transform your understanding of literature, like nothing else!!

EH 496-2B: English Capstone Seminar

Instructor: McComiskey

EH 496: English Capstone Seminar encourages English majors to examine the subject of English as it relates to their own professional goals. Students will reflect upon the historical development of English as an academic discipline and then use this historical knowledge to evaluate English today and assess their own unique paths through the discipline. Finally, students will prepare a portfolio that translates their academic experience in English into practical documents that may be used in applying to graduate schools and various jobs, including a resume, job application letter, curriculum vitae, and graduate school application letter.

600/700-Level Courses

EH 602-9H: Modern Rhetorical Theory

Instructor: McComiskey

EH 602: Modern Rhetorical Theory examines the ways in which people use language to accomplish purposes. It is the study of language in use. Some of the questions we will explore include:

  • How does language come to mean what it does?
  • Do words carry inherent meanings that transfer from a speaker to a listener?
  • Does the context in which words are used influence our understanding of their meaning?
  • What is the relationship between philosophy and rhetoric?
  • Is language inherently metaphorical since it always refers to things other than itself?
  • Are informal means of argumentation more effective than formal logic?
  • Are there cultural influences on the way in which we communicate?

EH 602 begins with readings from John Locke and Giambattista Vico that exemplify humanism in the Enlightenment period. Alexander Bain, Adams Sherman Hill, and Herbert Spencer represent the dawning of rhetoric and composition studies in the nineteenth century. Twentieth century rhetoric begins with philosophical approaches by Mikhail Bakhtin and I. A. Richards. Themes related to rhetoric and knowledge are explored by Chaim Perelman and Richard Weaver. The relationships between rhetoric and culture are explored by Hélène Cixous and Gloria Anzaldúa.

EH 605-5T: Intro to Graduate Studies in English

Instructor: Grimes

The principal aim of this course is implicit in the title: the course offers an introduction to the graduate level study of English. As such, we will focus on the administrative structure of the UAB graduate program, we will consider some of the basic skills and theoretical knowledge required for graduate-level research and writing, and—because graduate students can be assumed to have a professional interest in the discipline—we will examine the professional prospects for persons holding advanced degrees in English.

EH 690-7M: Major Writers: Edith Wharton’s New York

Instructor: Jessee

The year 2020 marks the centennial anniversary of the publication of Edith Wharton’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, The Age of Innocence. Set in the “Old New York” of Wharton’s own youth, the novel is considered a masterpiece of its genre—a novel of manners. In addition to acting as the setting for this most well-known of Wharton’s novels, New York plays a significant role in much of Wharton’s life and art, and this course will focus on New York as a geographic and thematic element in Wharton’s biography, stories, and novels. We will consider the role of New York City and the Hudson River Valley in Wharton’s works, Wharton’s own history with the region, and Wharton’s relationship to place and space more generally.

Students will be asked to write a proposal for acceptance into a conference as well as a conference paper in the course. If students wish to apply, these proposals will be considered for acceptance for the “Edith Wharton’s New York” conference, a quadrennial conference sponsored by the Edith Wharton Society and co-directed by Margaret Toth and me. The conference will take place in New York in June of 2020.

In addition to the conference proposal and essay, students will be asked to write reading journal entries, conduct presentations, and to contribute to a course annotated bibliography.

Tentative list of required reading:

  • The House of Mirth (1905)
  • The Custom of the Country (1913)
  • The Age of Innocence (1920)
  • Old New York (novella) (1924)
  • Hudson River Bracketed (1929)
  • Selections from “The New York Stories”