Maureen Curtin

Associate Professor


314 Marano Campus Center

Office hours

Tuesday 12:30-1:30
Thursday 10:00 - 10:30 & 12:30 - 2:00
or by appointment

Email for Appointment-Specify Request in Subject Heading

Classes taught


ENG 304/820
TR 11:10-12:30 306 Marano CC
ENG 365/800 TR 2:20-3:40 306 Marano CC

ENG 470/800

TR 5:00-7:45 323 Marano CC

ENG 304 LITERARY CRITICISM-We will examine literary “theory” that spans from the Enlightenment to the contemporary period, and we will consider debates about the role of the poet or writer in history. Our initial discussions will focus on modern Irish-American fiction, and the first essay will provide an opportunity to develop literary analysis guided by whatever questions most resonate with you. Though we will move on to examine literary theory primarily, we will reflect on various theoretical approaches by re-visiting modern Irish-American fiction throughout the semester.

 Teams of students will work together to facilitate class discussion of theoretical texts: identifying, contextualizing, and paraphrasing the central thesis of each project; exploring the premises and implications of each new essay; juxtaposing new inquiries with more familiar with ones; and demonstrating how the theoretical text illuminates literature. This kind of engagement will constitute the basis of the second essay. In the final essay project, students will choose a literary text from an extensive list, develop their own theoretically informed analysis and argument, and integrate relevant critical scholarship. This project will be undertaken in stages, including a proposal, an exam, a draft, a conference, and a revision.

 Throughout, students will receive feedback as well opportunities to reflect on that feedback in writing. By semester’s end, students will advance compelling literary analysis in their own voices while demonstrating growth as critical writers.

ENG 204 or its equivalent is a pre-requisite for the course.


ENG 470 FEMINIST THEORY-This course is designed to explore the dominant mode of feminism in the U.S. during the 20th century—liberal feminism—while also exploring alternate modes that interrogate its fundamental assumptions about “equality,” “individuality,” and “laws/rights.” Some critics have responded to the liberal feminist emphasis on rationality by focusing on the body, discourse, and the unconscious. To a large extent, these critiques have resulted in remarkably de-politicized forms of feminism. We will examine feminist theory that responds to liberal feminism by insisting on analyzing the condition of people in an historical system of social relations. In the course of this investigation, we will consider the extent to which liberal feminism is complicit in promoting racism, heteronormativity, capitalism, violence, and environmental destruction.

 By the end of the semester, students will be able to offer a coherent account of the central principles of liberal feminism as well as a compelling account of its limitations. Students will use an alternate feminist approach to spell out those limitations and, at the same time, demonstrate how that alternate approach would illuminate a specific contemporary struggle/problem in the world. Students will work together in teams to share their insights with their classmates. Students will also have opportunities to reflect on how feminism, in one form or another, has shaped their lives.