Maureen Curtin

Associate Professor


Contact

314 Marano Campus Center
315.312.2611
maureen.curtin@oswego.edu

Office hours

FALL 2019
Tuesday 12:30-1:15
Thursday 12:30-1:30 & 3:45-5:15
or by appointment

Email for Appointment-Specify Request in Subject Heading

Classes taught

SPRING 2020 COURSES

ENG 304/820 TR 2:20-3:40 306 Marano CC
ENG 365/800 T 5:00-7:45 208 Marano CC
ENG 470/800 TR 11:10-12:30 242 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 365 JUNIOR SEMINAR: AUTHOR, Gwendolyn Brooks: A Poetic Mirro and Portal: We will study the poetry and non-fiction of the pre-eminent author, Gwendolyn Brooks, whose early writing earned her a Pulitzer Prize (1950), the first for an African-American writer in the U.S., and whose later writing earned her the position of Poet Laureate of the United States (1985). We will study the formal technique that earned her accolades over many decades while also examining the way her poetry responded to different aesthetic and political developments in the span of her 70-year career. In particular, we will trace a range of influences on her work: Black literary magazines of the Harlem Renaissance, Modernism, the Federal Writers’ Project, the civil rights movement, and the Black Arts movement. We will, conversely, investigate the extent of her influence on other writers, aesthetic traditions, and political movements in the twentieth century. 

We will read part or all of the following: A Street in Bronzeville, Annie Allen, Maud Martha, Bean Eaters, Report from Part One: An Autobiography, Black Love, In Montgomery, and Other Poems. We will also read selections from two biographies on Brooks. Students should expect to participate routinely in the seminar; to collaborate in teams for discussion; to conduct independent research; and to compose meaningful essays by firm deadlines.

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.

FALL 2019 COURSES

ENG 102/760
TR 2:20-3:40 322 Marano CC
ENG 304/810 TR 11:10-12:30 323 Marano CC

ENG 375/800

T 5:00-7:45 323 Marano CC

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

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 375 THEORIES OF DIVERSE SEXUALITY-