Graduate English Association
Promoting a community of academic growth among English graduate students. This group supports individual and group creative and scholarly pursuits, both inside and outside the classroom.
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Graduate School Forms
Forms for international students, certification, registration and requests for travel and other activities.
The link here will open a pdf form to apply for a Graduate/Independent Study opportunity.
Graduation Information for graduate students
Find out details of applying to graduate, along with a checklist and dates and deadlines.
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Graduate Course Descriptions
Summer I 2014
Studies in Poetry
For fifty-plus years, John Ashbery has occupied positions in both the avant-garde and mainstream of American poetry— equally celebrated, imitated, and dismissed. On the one hand, Ashbery’s poetry is routinely described as difficult, opaque, and meaningless. On the other hand, it’s wildly popular and, dare I say, even populist. In 2007, he was even named the first poet laureate of MtvU. Over the course of the summer term, we will attempt to historicize and understand the trajectory of Ashbery’s poetry and poetics from Some Trees (1956) to A Wave (1984). We will give special attention to a few long poems, especially “The Skaters,” “Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror” and “A Wave.” (A recent digital edition of “The Skaters” MS will allow students to learn about the relationship between genetic criticism and literary interpretation.) Other topics of discussion will include: the use and value of “difficulty” in poetry; Ashbery’s radical formal experiments, including The Tennis Court Oath (collage), Three Poems (prose), and The Vermont Notebook (collaboration); the New York School of Poetry, especially Ashbery’s friendship with Frank O’Hara; queer poetics; Ashbery’s visual art and art criticism; and, finally, we’ll think about Ashbery’s relationship to what James English calls “the economy of prestige”— that is, what does it mean to be America’s most famous poet? Textbooks include: Ashbery, Collected Poems, 1956-1987; Ashbery, Other Traditions (Charles Eliot Norton Lectures); Ashbery, Selected Prose; Ashbery, Collected French Translations: Poetry.
Requirements: reading responses; a presentation; a final research paper. Also, time-permitting, we will stage an in-class performance of one of Ashbery’s avant-garde plays.