English 601—Seminar in Scholarly Methods and
Dr. Michael Bryson
Sierra Tower 832
The Text of Paradise Lost: A Study in Editorial
Procedure. University of Toronto Press, 1985. ISBN: 0802056342
James L. Harner,
Literary Research Guide: An Annotated Listing of Reference Sources in
English Literary Studies. Modern Language Association of America; 5th
edition, 2008. ISBN: 0873528085
William Proctor Williams, An Introduction
to Bibliographical and Textual Studies.
Modern Language Association of America; 3rd edition (September, 1999). ISBN:
A group presentation (with written description of process, copied for each
member of the class)
2) A simple text location assignment
3-4) Two individual presentations (with an outline of major points and
a written description of process, copied for each member of the class)
5) Working bibliography and research plan/question in area of interest.
Week 1 (1/26)—Introductions, purposes of the course.
Week 2 (2/2)—Bibliographical and Textual Studies, types and
importance. Williams, Chaps. 1-5. Formation of research groups. Assignment (individual--no presentation): find
the most recent issue of PMLA (Publications of the Modern Language
Association of America); once located, find, photocopy, and read the
essay "Breaking the Book Known as Q." That will form part of our
discussion for next week.
Week 3 (2/9)—Discussion of PMLA article.
Week 4 (2/16)—Presentation
(group 1): find a copy of the 1667 Paradise Lost (print
and online), as well as a copy of the 1674 edition (not a
modern edition based thereon, but an actual copy of the 1674). Bring
in a copies of the title pages and the first page or two of Book 1 for
each as part of a presentation on the differences between 1667 and
1674 editions. Describe your process for locating this material.
Presentation (group 2): find copies of as many modern (post-1900)
editions of Paradise Lost and/or Milton as you can, preparing a
presentation on the textual apparatus each edition provides as well as
comparisons between the respective editions' approaches to
footnotes/endnotes (glosses to obscure allusions,
interpretive/editorial notes, etc.), and such issues as spelling
(modernization?) and punctuation.
Week 5 (2/23)—Moyles, Chaps. 1-6. Discussion of the role(s) of an
editor (Bentley, Hughes, Shawcross, Orgel, Flannagan, Teskey, Leonard, etc.).
Discussion of scholarly resources in 17th-century English literature,
and differences between scholarship and criticism (plus a discussion
of their mutual dependence).
Week 6 (3/1)—Presentations (groups 3, 4, and 5):
Research the textual/editorial history of one of the following works:
Hamlet, Doctor Faustus, King Lear.
Week 7 (3/8)—Presentation (individual): Find, read, and
prepare a summary of a document from the 17th century which deals with
the idea of atheism (a controversial term even then--perhaps
especially then). Describe your process
for locating this material.
Week 8 (3/15)—Presentations, continued.
Week 9 (3/22)—Journal articles. Sample articles on Milton from
Milton Quarterly, Milton Studies, PMLA, ELH,
SEL, etc. Assignment (individual): find, read, and
prepare a summary and critique of an article—questions to include:
what is the argument/position, what is the main body of evidence
offered (historical analysis, lit theory of some kind, etc.), and what
is the relation of this work to its larger field (who does it cite,
and with whom is it agreeing/disagreeing)?
Week 10 (3/29)—Articles,
Week 11 Spring Break
Week 12 (4/12)—No class.
Assignment (individual): find, read, and prepare a summary and critique of a
book (essentially, your own book review)—questions to include: what is the argument/position, what is the
main body of evidence offered (historical analysis, lit theory of some
kind, etc.), and what is the relation of this work to its larger field
(whose work does it cite, with whom is it agreeing/disagreeing, and
what is the place of this work in the larger conversations/arguments
about the author/work/field/period)? (A sampling of books in the
field—old and new include such authors as Saurat, Lewis, Waldock.
Empson, Fish, Danielson, Lieb, Wittreich, Schwartz, Loewenstein,
Rumrich, Herman, etc.)
Week 13 (4/19)—Presentations on Books.
Week 14 (4/26)—Presentations on Books, continued.
Week 15 (5/3)—Books, continued.
Week 16 (5/10)—No class. Research in Area of Interest. Work on Final
- Do some research on CSUN/UCLA/USC profs in your area of interest, at
least one from each institution—identify their specialties,
publications, etc. When you find publications, try to locate copies
and look at the bibliographies and indexes. Who are these authors
citing? Whose work are they reading? You can learn much by tracing
the paths of previous researchers/writers. Now, branch out beyond
the local—look for scholars in your area of interest at
universities around the country (some of the usual suspects might
include Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Stanford, U. Chicago,
Northwestern, UC Berkeley, etc.). After the US comes the world: what
are UK scholars in your area of interest publishing? If you
speak/read another European language (or a non-European language),
check publications in those languages as well...
- This should lead to the formation of
a working bibliography for your area of interest. Questions to ask
along the way include: who are the major academic authors in this
field, what are the dominant theoretical positions/arguments, what
are the major questions being asked in recent work about significant
authors/works in the period, what are the major journals that focus
on (or at least provide occasional-to-significant coverage of) the
period/field, what are the best research tools/sources for
- The goal is the formation of a research question
within your area of interest. The question and working
bibliography are due
5 PM on Friday,
May 20th, and must be submitted via email attachment.