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Elizabeth Cullingford, Chair CAL 226, Mailcode B5000, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-4991

Allen MacDuffie

Assistant Professor Ph.D., 2007, Harvard University

Allen MacDuffie

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Biography

Allen MacDuffie is an assistant professor in the English Department. He received his Ph.D. from Harvard in 2007. His first book, Victorian Literature, Energy, and the Ecological Imagination, is forthcoming from Cambridge University Press. His work appears or will appear in PMLA, Representations, and ELH. He is currently at work on two book projects, one on Lamarckian evolutionary tropes in nineteenth-century British literature, the other on the eco-politics of contemporary serial fiction. In 2013 he received the UT System Regents' Outstanding Teaching Award.

Interests

Victorian literature, literature and science studies, environmental literature and criticism, British and American modernism, poetry and poetics, Russian literature.

E 384K • Approaches To Disciplnry Inqus

36035 • Fall 2014
Meets T 600pm-900pm CAL 200
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Approaches To Disciplinary Inquiries

Course objectives.  This required, one-semester course will:

  • Allow students to gain a fuller sense of the complexity and variety of research methods available to literary scholars
  • Better position students to embark on Masters Report and dissertation research
  • Introduce students to the Harry Ransom Center and other collections-based resources
  • Offer a shared, “cohort” experience for all second-year graduate students
  • Help students further orient themselves to both the department and the profession.

Method of Instruction.  This course will be organized into 3-5 modules, each of which will center on a specific mode of research or criticism. Modules will be organized around major methodological issues, which may include:

  • Archives (e.g., book history; bibliography and textual studies; digital humanities)
  • Cultures (e.g., multiculturalism; cultural studies; observational methods)
  • Histories and historicisms
  • Professions (e.g., history of the profession; humanities in the 21st century)
  • Readings (e.g., close reading; deconstruction; translation; reception)
  • Theories (e.g., the life and “death” of theory)

Texts.  Required texts may include:

  • Wayne Booth, et al, The Craft of Research Third Edition (Chicago, 2008) ISBN: 9780226065663
  • Harryette Mullen, Sleeping with the Dictionary (California, 2002) ISBN: 9780520231436

NB: Although the course is scheduled for a three-hour block, we will meet for only two hours each week. This will allow students to visit on-campus archives, conduct research, attend talks, &c.

E 679HA • Honors Tutorial Course

35990 • Fall 2013
Meets MW 300pm-430pm CAL 221
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Instructor:  MacDuffie, E            Areas:  IV / U

Unique #:  35990            Flags:  n/a

Semester:  Fall 2013            Restrictions:  English Honors

Cross-lists:  n/a            Computer Instruction:  No

Prerequisites: Enrollment in or completion of at least one Honors section of an English course, admission to the English Honors Program, and consent of the honors adviser.

Description: According to the Honors Thesis Manual, a thesis is “a sustained examination of a central idea or question, developed in a professional and mature manner under the guidance of a faculty supervisor and a second reader.” That sounds easy enough, but how does one get there from here? This course offers something of a roadmap. Over the course of the term we will examine literary criticism from the “inside out” and hone skills essential to a successful honors thesis.

Along the way, we will address a number of questions, both practical—How do I use the MLA Bibliography? What’s the difference between a footnote and an endnote?—and theoretical—What does it mean to make an argument about literature? Who has authority in an act of interpretation? This course will: first and foremost prepare students to write an honors thesis; interrogate methods of literary and cultural interpretation; consider what it means to make literary arguments and conduct literary research; help students to improve their research, critical thinking, reading, and writing skills.

Texts: Wayne Booth, et al, The Craft of Research (Third Edition) (University Of Chicago Press, 2008). #978-0226065663; Marjorie Garber, A Manifesto for Literary Studies (University of Washington Press, 2003). #978-0295983448; Gerald Graff, Cathy Birkenstein, They Say/I Say: The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing (Norton, 2005). # 978-0393924091.

Requirements & Grading: (assignment logistics, rationales, and approaches will be discussed at length during class)

Final Thesis Prospectus (4-6 pp.) & Annotated Bibliography (20-25+ items)            40%

Writing Sample (15-20 pp. section or sections of your actual thesis)            30%

In-Class Performance (quality & consistency of discussion; preparation; engagement;

informal writing; writing-process & bibliography tasks; peer feedback; Symposium)            30%

On-time Attendance (note: every absence beginning with #4 will reduce grade; NC at #9)            Required

On-time Completion of Reading, Writing-Process, Research, & Peer Feedback Assignments            Required

Plus/minus grades will be assigned for the final grade of the course. The university does not recognize the grade of A+. Evaluation percentages approximate & subject to minor change.

E 392M • Sci Imaginary Vict Fict/Poetry

35865 • Spring 2013
Meets W 600pm-900pm PAR 310
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The Scientific Imaginary in Victorian Science and Poetry

This course will closely examine a number of scientific discourses from the nineteenth century, including geology, biology, and psychology, and discuss how those discourses were employed, revised, subverted, resisted, or elaborated in major works of poetry and fiction. One of our guiding interests will be about how science and literature can be put into a productive scholarly conversation, and to that end we will investigate a range of approaches and critical methodologies, and discuss recent trends in the field.  Of particular interest will be discussing the implications Victorian scientific discourse has for our understanding of literary form.

Readings may include:

Alfred Lord Tennyson, In Memoriam

Charlotte Brontё, Jane Eyre

Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone

George Eliot, The Mill on the Floss

Algernon Charles Swinburne, poems

Gerard Manley Hopkins, poems

Thomas Hardy, The Return of the Native

 

Selections from:

George Combe, The Constitution of Man 

Robert Chambers, The Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation

Charles Lyell, Principles of Geology

Charles Darwin, On the Origin of Species, The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals

Alexander Bain, Mind and Body

Herbert Spencer, Principles of Psychology

E 603A • Comp And Reading In World Lit

34535 • Fall 2012
Meets TTH 930am-1100am CRD 007B
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This course is an introduction to some of the most significant works of Western literature, with a particular emphasis on “fictions of formation.” Beginning with important classical and Renaissance precursor texts, we will focus on the nineteenth-century bildungsroman, or coming-of-age story, in its classic form. Our reading of these works will be informed by recent critical scholarship, and by essays on the historical and cultural background of the period. We will pay close attention to the question of gender, and the ways in which the process of identity formation is represented differently in texts about female protagonists by female authors.

In the second semester, we will extend our investigation by focusing on twentieth- century and twenty-first century texts from a range of national and cultural traditions.  If the first semester focuses on “fictions of formation” then the second semester emphasizes “fictions of deformation” – stories in which the process of achieving a stable identity and finding one’s place in the world is blocked, thwarted, or shown to be an illusory goal.

Texts/Readings:

Authors during the fall semester TBA but may include: William Shakespeare, Charles Dickens, Charlotte Brontё and George Eliot.   

Authors during the spring semester TBA but may include: James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, James Baldwin, Jean Rhys, and Junot Diaz.

Assignments:

Class participation will count as 20% of the final grade. Students are expected to participate actively in class discussions, which includes not just speaking but attentive listening to your peers. There will be three essay assignments representing 70% of the final grade: Essay 1: 20% Essay 2: 20% Essay 3: 30 % In addition each student will give one in-class presentation representing 10% of the final grade

About the Professor:

I received my Ph.D. in 2007 from Harvard University, where I wrote a dissertation on thermodynamics and the Victorian literary imagination.  Portions of that work have appeared in the journals Representations and English Literary History.  Currently I am finishing a book manuscript entitled The City and the Sun: Energy, Thermodynamics, and the Victorian Ecological Imagination, which expands upon my dissertation research.  

My areas of interest include the nineteenth- and twentieth- century novel, Victorian poetry, narrative theory, and science and literature studies.  

E 350R • Post-Darwin Novel

35355 • Spring 2012
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm CAL 221
(also listed as LAH 350 )
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Prerequisites: Nine semester hours of coursework in English or rhetoric and writing.

The evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins has called Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection, “perhaps the most powerful idea ever to occur to a human mind.” This course investigates the impact that idea had upon the cultural life of Victorian Britain through a close reading of several post-Darwinian narratives. After reading his seminal 1859 work On the Origin of Species and its “sequel” The Descent of Man, we will discuss how Darwin’s theory helped shape both the preoccupations and the narrative practices of a number of major Victorian novelists. Our readings will run the gamut from works that grapple explicitly with Darwinian subject matter to those that bear a less obvious, but no less significant, imprint. We will consider how “Darwin’s dangerous idea” affected the understanding of a great many subjects, including the relationship between human beings and animals, the organization of the natural world, the age of the universe, and of course, the viability of religious-based conceptions of creation. We will attend to the ways in which such questions appear in the thematic armature of literary works, and we will consider the impact they had on formal concerns, such as plot and narrative structure.

Texts (subject to change)

Charles Darwin: The Origin of Species and/or The Descent of Man; T.H. Huxley: Evolution and Ethics; George Eliot: Middlemarch; Lewis Carroll: Alice In Wonderland; Through the Looking Glass; Thomas Hardy: Tess of the d’Urbervilles; H.G. Wells: The Time Machine; Joseph Conrad: Lord Jim; Gillian Beer: Darwin’s Plots; George Levine: Darwin and the Novelists.

Requirements

Essays: 85%; Class participation: 15%.

E 392M • Victorn Evolutionary Narratvs

35690 • Spring 2012
Meets T 600pm-900pm CAL 323
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Victorian Evolutionary Narratives

This course examines the relationship between evolutionary biology and Victorian narrative.  We will read deeply in Darwin, including his seminal works On The Origin of Species and The Descent of Man.  Firmly grounded in the scientific discussions of the period, we will then consider how evolutionary thought left its mark on the aesthetic, structural, and thematic concerns of a number of key Victorian novelists, including Eliot, Hardy, Wells, and Conrad.  A good part of our conversation will be methodological – that is, how it is one goes about making a compelling case for the connection between literature and science, how we might stop ourselves from seeing Darwin everywhere once we start looking, and whether there is a way to draw distinctions between reading and "reading-into."   As a way of opening up such questions, we will take a look at how other critics have constructed their arguments and made, or not made, the case for the presence of evolutionary thought in fictional texts.  We will pay special attention to the two canonical critical books on Darwin and nineteenth-century literature—Gillian Beer’s Darwin’s Plots and George Levine’s Darwin and the Novelists—but we will consider a number of other critical voices as well.  Lastly, we will review some of the most recent critical work on Darwin’s place in Victorian studies to get a sense of the future directions for this topic.

E 349S • Joseph Conrad

35325 • Fall 2011
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm GAR 0.120
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Prerequisites: Nine semester hours of coursework in English or rhetoric and writing.

Description: This course focuses on the fiction of one of the masters of English prose, Joseph Conrad. We will read several of the major novels of Conrad’s career, including (but not limited to) Lord Jim, Heart of Darkness, and The Secret Agent, as well as selections from his memoir A Personal Record. Our reading will be informed by a number of historical works that will help put his novels in context. We will read selections from Adam Hochschild’s history of the Belgian Congo, King Leopold’s Ghost, in order to better understand the background of Heart of Darkness. We will also read about turn-of-the-century anarchism and terrorism to help illuminate The Secret Agent. In addition to discussing the ways in which Conrad’s texts comment upon important social and cultural issues of his time, we will also consider them from a formal point of view, as key works in the history of the novel. 

Texts: Conrad: Heart of Darkness, Lord Jim, The Secret Agent, others; Adam Hochschild: King Leopold’s Ghost.

Requirements & Grading: Class participation and in-class writing assignments: 20%; Paper 1 (5-6 pages): 20%; Paper 2 (6-8 pages): 25%; Paper 3 (8-10 pages): 35%.

E 375L • Victorian Literature

35465 • Fall 2011
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm PAR 103
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Prerequisites: Nine semester hours of coursework in English or rhetoric and writing.

Description: Victorian Fiction--

In this course we will study a number of major works of prose fiction from the Victorian period, focusing on the interest in representing “other” worlds and experiences, and the ways in which both the subject matter and the codes of conventional realism were challenged.  Authors include Emily Brontë, George Eliot, Lewis Carroll, Robert Louis Stevenson, Henry James, and Joseph Conrad.

 Requirements & Grading: Class participation and in-class writing assignments, 20%; 4-5-page essay, 20%;  6-7-page essay, 25%; 8-9-page essay, 35%.

E 328 • English Novel In 19th Cen-W

34755 • Spring 2010
Meets MWF 1000-1100 WAG 308
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E: 328 The English Novel in the Nineteenth Century


E328       Professor Allen MacDuffie

Spring 2010     allenmacduffie@mail.utexas.edu

Wag 308     office: Parlin 229
        office hours: W 1-3 and by appointment

Readings from the “Golden Age” of children’s literature. Three lecture hours a week for one semester. The subject of each class meeting may be determined from the assigned reading for the day (see following), supplemented by critical texts of the instructor’s choosing.  The instructor retains the right to vary this syllabus. 

Requirements:

Students are required to be in class, on time, and fully prepared to participate actively in discussion. You are permitted three unexcused absences; each subsequent absence will result in your course grade being lowered by one letter; two latenesses count as an absence. Students with disabilities may request appropriate academic accommodations from the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement, Services for Students with Disabilities.

Grades:

Class participation (20%)
Essay #1  4-5 pages  (20%)  due Wednesday, February 24
Essay #2  7-8 pages (25%) due Friday, April 9
Essay #3 8-10 pages  (35%) due Friday, May 7

Plus/minus grades will be used. 

Required Texts:

Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass
Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows
Rudyard Kipling, The Jungle Books
George MacDonald, The Princess and the Goblin and Phantastes
Robert Louis Stevenson, Treasure Island
Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden
J.M. Barrie, Peter and Wendy

All other readings will either be distributed in class or made available online.

For more information, please download the full syllabus.

E 375L • Victorian Literature-W

35005 • Spring 2010
Meets MWF 1200-100pm PAR 105
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 Victorian Literature

E375: 35005

 

 

Professor Allen MacDuffie

 

 

Spring 2010

 

 

allenmacduffie@mail.utexas.edu                

 

 

Parlin 105

 

 

office: Parlin 229

 

 

 

 

 

 

office hours: W 1-3 and by appointment

Selected readings from the Victorian period.  Three lecture hours a week for one semester. The subject of each class meeting may be determined from the assigned reading for the day (see following), supplemented by critical texts of the instructor’s choosing.  The instructor retains the right to vary this syllabus.

Requirements:

Students are required to be in class, on time, and fully prepared to participate actively in discussion. You are permitted three unexcused absences; each subsequent absence will result in your course grade being lowered by one letter; two latenesses count as an absence. Students with disabilities may request appropriate academic accommodations from the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement, Services for Students with Disabilities.

Grades:

Class participation (20%)
Essay #1  4-5 pages  (20%)  due Wednesday, February 24
Essay #2  7-8 pages (25%) due Friday, April 2
Essay #3 8-10 pages  (35%) due Friday, May 7
 
Plus/minus grades will be used. 

Required Texts:

Emily Brontë, Wuthering Heights
Henry James, The Turn of the Screw
Henry James, Washington Square
Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass
Thomas Hardy, Tess of the d’Urbervilles
Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness

All other readings will either be distributed in class or made available online.

For more information, please download the full syllabus.

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