Dr. Gretchen Braun received her Ph.D. from the University of California at Davis in 2009. Her teaching is focused on Victorian and, more broadly, nineteenth-century British literature, and her scholarly interests include the Victorian novel, gender and sexuality, trauma studies, issues of labor and class, and nineteenth-century science. She has published in journals including ELH (English Literary History), Genre: Forms of Discourse and Culture, and Victorians: A Journal of Culture and Literature. In 2013 Dr. Braun was honored as Teacher of the Year by Furman's chapter of Sigma Tau Delta, the English honor society. In addition to serving the English major, she also teaches in Furman's interdisciplinary minors in Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and Medicine, Health and Culture, and in the Healthcare Today Engaged Living program.

Name Title Description


Texts and Meaning

An introduction to the study of the structures and methods by which texts create and convey meaning. Texts and approaches will be determined by individual instructors, but all emphasize reflective, critical reading, as well as text-centered discussions and written assignments.


Interpretive Strategies

Addressing issues and questions specific to literary and cultural analysis and in the process exploring various interpretive strategies through which ideas of the literary and of literary study are engaged. The content and perspective of this course will vary according to instructor. Students will read primary theoretical texts, and will write about how theories of literature might inform ways of reading prose, poetry, drama, and/or film. By the end of the term, students should have a sense of how over the years critical debate has shaped the many practices of reading literature.


Gothic Creatures

The Gothic genre is populated by unnatural creatures: phantoms, human-animal hybrids, and vampires that stalk the seemingly innocent. But such beings may also give voice to cultural guilt or anxiety. This course locates the Gothic creature in its historical and political context.


Altered States - Victorian Lit

taking a broad interpretation of the phrase altered states


Victorian Literature & Culture

Study of Victorian fiction, poetry, and prose with an emphasis on major social, cultural, and political concerns and debates in nineteenth-century Britain: industrialization and modernization, ideologies of class and gender, evolutionary theory and religious ambivalence, new developments in aesthetic theory and literary form. Authors studied include: Carlyle, Ruskin, Dickens, Eliot, Browning, Tennyson, Pater, Morris, and Wilde.


Victorian Novel

The Victorian novel viewed through the lens of both nineteenth-century and modern theories of the novel. Works by Charles Dickens, George Eliot, Charlotte Bronte, Thomas Hardy and others will be examined from the perspective of Victorian literary culture and the work of critics such as Mikhail Bakhtin, Georg Lukas, Walter Benjamin, Ian Watt, Fredric Jameson, and Franco Moretti.


Literary Feminisms

Women's literature in English as a distinct tradition, from the perspective of feminist literary theory and criticism. Structured as a historical and thematic survey of issues in the field; the writers and theorists studied will vary.


Senior Seminar in English

Course topic changes with each offering.


Psychic Disorder

Explores how and why certain emotional states and patterns of thought become labeled pathological or disruptive. It also considers what cultural values, both positive and negative, those psychic states have come to symbolize. By reading fiction in dialogue with both contemporary scientific accounts of mental function and its broader cultural context, and by connecting modern health debates to their historical origins, students examine the tension between freedom and restraint that characterizes debates about psychic disorder.


Work and Selfhood

How do we define our values, skills, and priorities through the work we choose to do, and how do our occupations define us in the eyes of others? This course will consider work as empowerment or exploitation, as a calling or an obligation, as a means to an end or an end in itself.


Issues in Women & Gender Stds

Focus on both classical and contemporary issues in Women's and Gender Studies. Survey of feminist theory and historical developments in the women's movement, it provides a foundation for the understanding of contemporary women's issues, including education, family, health, religion, economics and politics.

University of California - Davis
Stanford University
Boston University

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