Like all members of the English Department, I regularly advise junior independent work and senior theses. I am best qualified to advise theses on topics in poetry and in Renaissance literature, and in my experience, theses work best where there is a good fit between the student’s and the advisor’s interests. I am in the process of compiling some general advice about independent work, as well as some resources for literary research and some general tips on close reading, writing in general, and writing English papers in particular.
On leave for the academic year 2019-20.
Voice (HUM , ENG): A seminar on the theory and practice of the human voice across media including literature and music, as well as film, podcasting, social media, and other digital technologies. How do transformations of the voice affect social, political, and aesthetic space?
Poetry and Belief (ENG 406): A seminar on the relation between the techne of poetry and the varieties of belief, structured around a series of exercises in imitation. This course was taught in Rahway with a joint undergraduate membership of Princeton students and inmates at East Jersey State Prison.
The Humanities Sequence (HUM 216-219): A team-taught, two-semester, double-credit course that examines Western history, philosophy, and literature from antiquity to the present. Our themes in 2017-18 were ethics, politics, beauty, truth, and—in a year when Princeton reckoned with its historical debts to slavery—legacies of bondage and freedom.
Shakespeare I (ENG 320): The plays of the first half of Shakespeare’s career, from the antic experiments of the early comedies to the fathomless mystery of Hamlet. We consider the playwright’s interest in the power of imagination, the art of rhetoric, storytelling (fictional and historical), literary genre (comedy, tragedy, chronicle), time, and love.
Shakespeare II (ENG 321): The plays of the second half of Shakespeare’s career, from Hamlet to The Tempest. The course tells two stories: the development of Shakespeare’s resources as poet and dramatist (roles sometimes complementary, sometimes antagonistic); and his exploration of the predicament of tragedy and its possible redemption in romance.
Spenser (ENG 322): A seminar on the work of the poet’s poet, Edmund Spenser. Emphasis will fall on his lurid, preacherly, confounding masterpiece The Faerie Queene, but we will also consider his early study of youth and ambition, The Shepheardes Calender; his sonnet sequence, the Amoretti; and his wedding song, “Epithalamion.”