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ENGL 70000 - Fall 2014 - Introduction to Doctoral Studies in English

Dr. Matthew K. Gold,

Office hours Wed 4:30-5:30 and by appointment (Room 4108.01)


What is English Studies? This course takes an open and exploratory approach to answering that question as it considers past, present, and future directions of work in and around the field. Partly a history of the field, partly an introduction to the work of English studies and life in the academy, partly a foray into library and archival research, and partly a consideration of new digital methods in literary studies, the course aims to offer a broad introduction to the doctoral student experience and to limn some of the paths that students might take in their careers. Students will be expected to participate fully in the course, which includes online discussions, bibliographic and archival research assignments, an in-class presentation, and a final paper relevant to one of the main areas of the course.


  • Marc Bousquet, How the University Works ^

  • Piya Chatterjee and Sunaina Maira, Eds, The Imperial University

  • Dan Cohen and Tom Scheinfeldt, eds., Hacking the Academy ^

  • Kathleen Fitzpatrick, Planned Obsolescence ^+

  • Paolo Friere, Pedagogy of the Oppressed ^+

  • Matthew K. Gold, ed., Debates in the Digital Humanities ^@

  • Gerald Graff, Professing Literature ^+

  • Eric Hayot, The Elements of Academic Style: Writing for the Humanities ^+

  • Charlotte Hess and Elinor Ostrom, eds, Understanding Knowledge as a Commons ^

  • Lewis Hyde, Common As Air ^

  • Matthew Jockers, Macroanalysis ^

  • Fred Moten, The University and the Undercommons

  • Bethany Nowviski, ed. Alt Academy @

  • Neil Postman and Charles Weingartner, Teaching as a Subversive Activity @

  • Ted Underwood, When Literary Periods Mattered ^+

    (^ on reserve; @ freely available online; + reading in full)

Assignments (see below for details)

  • Blog Posts
  • Annotated Bibliography
  • Archives Assignment
  • State of the Field Report
  • Final Paper


1 September

No class

8 September


15 September

No class

Disciplinary Histories

22 September

Gerald Graff, Professing English

29 September

Ted Underwood, When Literary Periods Mattered

Professing English

6 October


  • Paolo Friere, Pedagogy of the Oppressed
  • Neil Postman, Teaching as a Subversive Activity (Intro through Ch 6 - pp. xi-97)
  • Rita Felski, “After Suspicion” (PDF)
  • “Hacking Teaching” section of Hacking the Academy

13 October

No class

In the Archives 1

20 October

NYPL trip - meet at 4:10pm in front of the NYPL Schwartzman Building (5th between 42nd/43rd)

State of the field assignment due

Professing English (cont.)

27 October

Publishing and Presenting

3 November


Annotated bibliography assignment due (please post on web in Annotated Bibliography category)

Digital/Public Turns

10 November

Scholarly communication

  • Kathleen Fitzpatrick, Planned Obsolescence

17 November

DH and Textual Studies - Steve Jones class visit

24 November

Engaging the Digital Humanities: Issues and Debates

  • Matthew Jockers, Macroanalysis (Macroanalysis chapter - available in group files)

1 December

  • Discussion of Archives assignments

Archives assignment due

In the Archives 2

8 December

Book Traces - Andy Stauffer on books and libraries present and past

Digital/Public (Re)Turns

15 December

Knowledge as a Commons / Dissent in the Public Sphere (All PDFs available in group files)

  • Charlotte Hess and Elinor Ostrom, eds, Understanding Knowledge as a Commons
  • -- Nancy Kranich, "Countering Enclosure: Reclaiming the Knowledge Commons"
  • -- Peter Levine, "Collective Action, Civic Engagement, and The Knowledge Commons"
  • Stefano Harvey and Fred Moten, "The University and the Undercommons"
  • Piya Chatterjee and Sunaina Maira, Eds, The Imperial University
  • -- Laura Pulido, "Faculty Governance at the University of Southern California"
  • -- Steven Salaita, "Normatizing State Power: Uncritical Ethical Praxis and Zionism"
  • -- Nicholas De Genova, "Within and Against the Imperial University: Reflections on Crossing the Line"
  • Lewis Hyde, Common as Air
  • -- "What is a Commons?"
  • -- "The Enclosure of Culture"

Discussion of final papers

Final Paper Due


Assignment Descriptions:

Blogging Assignment (Due twice during the semester)

Over the course of the semester, write two posts on any topic related to our course readings and discussions on our public course blog. Should you wish to password-protect your post, please use the password gcenglishf14. Students should endeavor to respond to one another’s posts in the comments.

State of the Field Assignment (Due October 20)

In your chosen area of interest within (or adjacent to) the field of English Studies, identify the following:

  • 3-5 Journals
  • 3 Books published in the last two years
  • 3-5 annual conferences
  • 3 university press series
  • 3 speaker series
  • 3 scholarly blogs
  • 3-5 twitter accounts maintained by scholars in the field
  • 3-5 twitter accounts maintained by institutions related to the field

Compile these resources for submission and also post your assignment to our course blog in the State of the Field category

Annotated Bibliography Assignment (Due November 3)

Write an annotated bibliography containing at least 10 sources on a subject related to your scholarly interests. Your bibliography must include at least two sources written in a foreign language.

Resource: How to Prepare an Annotated Bibliography

Archives Assignment (Due December 1)

Visit an archive in NYC related to your scholarly interests. Write a two-page paper detailing your findings and reflecting upon your experience. Include photos if possible.

Final Paper (Due December 15)

Write a ten-page paper on a subject related to our course readings. Feel free to write on a topic of your choice or to respond to the following prompt:

Which two or three essays from our course readings would you argue should be read by everyone in English graduate studies or more broadly, in the profession? Which other one or two pieces, not represented in this course syllabus, are particularly important to your approaches, objectives, pedagogies, etc.? ^1

^1 This assignment has been adopted from Kandice Chuh’s previous ENGL 70000 syllabus