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Karol Cooper

Associate Professor
Director of English Literary Studies


310 Marano Campus Center

Office hours

Fall 2017
Tuesday & Thursday
12:45 - 2:00
and by appointment:

Karol Cooper

In my teaching and research, I trace the historical precedents for issues of current concern as they are portrayed in British drama, satire, and romantic prose from the 1600s and 1700s, and in literatures of recent times. In my research, I examine the history of soul rhetoric in early modern British literature, the tactics of anti-romantic women writers, the commercialization of intimacy, discourses of personal identity, the history of blackness and whiteness in the West, the deconstruction of representation in twentieth- and twenty-first-century avant-garde drama, and critical theories of language, politics, culture, gender, violence, and race. I am presently working on an essay, “Dice and the Commercial End of the ‘Pleasing Delusion’ of War-Like Love in Aphra Behn’s The Luckey Chance,” for an edited collection, The Games of War in British and American Literature, 1588-1783.

Since 2010, I have served as faculty sponsor for Alpha Sigma Eta, the Oswego chapter of the international English honor society Sigma Tau Delta. Our latest project, “Employment and Literary Critique,” gives members practice in using their unique gifts with language to find a place for themselves, and their voices, in the world of work. Members will go beyond the notion of the job search to undertake writing- and community-based tasks that will help them fashion a critical, ethical approach to the workplace and its language, and create a vision for how their own work in language could be valued there.


“’The man is either mad, or I am in a dream’:  Masculine Prerogative as Mental Disease in the Late Novels of Eliza Haywood,” in Symptoms of Disorder: Reading Madness in British Literature 1744-1845, edited by Ilaria Natali and Annalisa Volpone, Cambria Press, 2016.

 “Raping Justice in John Webster’s The White Devil,” in Woman on Trial: The Construction of Gender in Plays about Women Accused of Crime, edited by Amelia Howe Kritzer and Miriam López-Rodríguez, Teneo Press, 2015.

 “The Modernization of the Medieval Staging of Soul in Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus.” Early Modern Literary Studies, Special Issue 23: Christopher Marlowe: Identities, Traditions, Afterlives, vol. 17, no. 2, 2014.

“’Too high for souls like mine to hide’:  Feminine Retreat and Exposure in Aphra Behn’s The Feign’d Curtizans.” Restoration and Eighteenth Century Theatre Research, vol. 23, no. 1, 2008, pp. 34-45.


Ph.D., English, University of Washington

B.A., English and Journalism, Indiana University

Classes taught

Fall 2017 Schedule

ENG 102/54F TR 2:20-3:40 306 Marano CC
ENG 204/820 TR 11:10-12:30 231 Marano CC
ENG 265/810 TR 9:35-10:55 231 Marano CC

ENG 102-Practice in college level writing, includes preparation of a research paper.

ENG 204-Topic:  Race, Gender and the Deconstruction of Mythmaking

Literary Texts: poems by Sor Juana (1689-92), My Bondage and My Freedom by Frederick Douglass (1855), Liberty Deferred by Abram Hill and John Silvera (1938), Killers of the Dream by Lillian Smith (1949), Groundwork of the Metaphysic of Morals by Young Jean Lee (2009).

Coursework: several short essays, 1 longer theoretical paper with a personal narrative, several in-class theory-and-argument-building projects, 1 final research paper.

This is a very challenging course where students will learn and practice a style of reading, speaking and writing that is intensely analytical, creatively interpretive and argumentatively disciplined. ENG 204 is required for English majors and minors, Creative Writing majors, and English concentration majors in Education. Students who are not already in writing-intensive majors or minors who are planning to use ENG 204 to fulfill a General Education or elective requirement could benefit a great deal from the course, if they actively embrace the plentiful opportunities for developing a deeply thoughtful engagement with the reading assignments. 

ENG 265-If you enjoy exploring the history of gender issues in literature, you will likely be interested in this course. We will read works from different genres, including poetry, drama, a conduct manual and the novel, written in Britain from the late 1600s to the mid 1700s. Towards the end of the course, we will focus mostly on the genre of the satirical novel, which was a popular way for British writers, particularly women writers, to critique gender roles, romance, prostitution, marriage and sexual violence.

Critical readings will discuss the predominant themes of social rank, wealth, violence, virtue, truth and the sexual double standard that permitted a man to have sex outside of marriage, while casting the woman out of society if she was caught doing the same thing. How did the debate about women’s and men’s roles contribute to the development of different literary genres, particularly the development of the modern novel?  To answer that question, we will approach the literary texts from a formal perspective, looking for moments when writers use literary self-reflexivity to call into question the genre’s own formal traditions and moral function. Coursework: 1 short paper, blog postings of critical analysis of literary artifacts, several handwritten short interpretative analyses of passages from literary texts, several handwritten summaries of critical texts, 1 presentation, 1 final research project.