English 232 - Spring, 2017

Problems in English Literature

Class Information

Instructor: Ferguson, Margaret
CRN: 91280
Time: R 12:10-3:00
Location: 120 Voorhies
Breadth: Earlier British
Focus: Genre, Theory


    English 242: Category Questions: Studies in the History of Sexuality,
    Gender, and Genre in Early Modern England

    Breadth: Earlier British
    Focus: Genre, Theory

    This seminar explores cultural debates about category distinctions as they
    pertain both to various genres of literary production and to representations
    of gender and sexuality in texts from the sixteenth and seventeenth
    centuries. We will pay particular attention to germinal essays on genre by
    Jacques Derrida and Frederic Jameson; and to recent work by Wai Chee Dimock
    (on the work of genre and electronic archives), by François Jullien (on
    categories and comparisons) and by others who attempt to reconceive the
    venerable and multilingual notion of "genre" for 21st century projects in
    scholarship and pedagogy. Our primary readings will focus on prose and
    poetic discourses (often mixed, as in Shakespearean drama) about dyads
    and their discontents: these include male / female; Catholic / Protestant;
    Jew / non-Jew (we will read a play which, atypically, pits "pure" Jews against
    "half"-Jews in a racialized dichotomy); licit / illicit modes of
    same sex friendship; comedy / tragedy; translation / original; print /
    manuscript, human-non-human. Texts by Aristotle, Spenser, Shakespeare, Elizabeth Cary, Ovid, the Geneva and King James translations of the Bible, Donne, Milton, Cavendish, and Aphra Behn.

    Secondary and some primary texts will be available on our SmartSite or can be read in print or online editions if you prefer.


    Requirements: one group presentation of discussion questions; a conference
    or article length essay preceded by a topic description (written with
    attention to the modern academic genres of the proposal and the abstract);
    and a bibliography. Paper projects exploring preliminary exam readings and/or possible
    dissertation projects are welcome.


    The Norton Critical edition of As You Like It,, William Shakespeare, ed. L. Marcus
    The Changeling , Middleton and Rowley, ed. M. Neill
    The Tragedie of Mariam with the Lady Falkland Her Life, Elizabeth Cary, ed. Weller and Ferguson
    Paradise Lost, ed. D. Kastan, 3rd ed., John Milton
    The Faerie Queene Books 3 and 4, Edmund Spenser, ed. D. Stephens