Project & Senior Seminars

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Fall 2020 Seminars

ENGLIT 1900: Project Seminar: Emily Dickinson

Piotr Gwiazda, T 6-8:30

An intensive study of Emily Dickinson’s work offers many rewards, among them an exposure to different ways of reading and writing about poetry. In this seminar we will examine some of the critical discourse surrounding this fascinating writer, including biographical perspectives, explorations of historical and cultural context, and approaches that focus on form, language, and genre. Students will conduct their own research projects on any aspect of Dickinson’s work.


ENGLIT 1900: Project Seminar: The Archive

Jules Gill-Peterson, MW 4:30-5:45

What counts as an archive? And how do we use archives to understand, or reimagine, the past, present, and future? This project seminar will explore different approaches to thinking about, researching in, writing about, and creating archives in the twenty-first century. We will pay special attention to the potential of archives as sources of knowledge in the lives of queer, trans, and racialized people. Students will become familiar with a range of approaches to archives from historians, black studies, queer and trans studies, multimedia and digital platforms, and literature and poetry. Students will conduct a research project in which they either undertake research in an archive, or create an archive of their own.


ENGLIT 1910: Senior Seminar: The Fairy Tradition and Fairy Tales

Hannah Johnson, TH 2:30-3:45

Fairies go by many names: the Folk, the Good People, the Other Crowd, Sidhe, fey. Beautiful, ethereal, and morally ambiguous, fairies are a staple of western folklore and legend. Once associated with the realm of the dead and lost magic, fairies are now creatures of children’s literature and fantasy. The fairy tradition encompasses vital cultural questions about the work of imagination, magic, and vision in our understanding of ourselves and the world around us. Either elusive or non-existent, depending on perspective, fairy lore evokes issues related to: the reliability of witness and of the senses; privileged and discounted perception; the interplay of the imagination and knowledge; and the role of cultural authority. Students will consider the significance of these themes through aspects of fairy folklore, book history, portrayals of childhood, reception studies, and an end-of-term creative project.