Teaching

David Mulrooney taught several Junior Tutorial courses and supervised the writing of a number of Independent Study projects and Senior Theses in the Harvard English Department. He also served as a Teaching Fellow for the following courses at Harvard:

Course Number Course Title Course Head
English 10a Major British Writers I Nicholas Watson
English 13 The English Bible Robert Kiely
English 17x 19th Century American Novel John Stauffer
English 165b Genealogies of the Global Imagination Homi K. Bhabha
English 166x The Postcolonial Classic Homi K. Bhabha
African and African American Studies 121 Please, Wake Up! — Race, Gender, Class, and Ethnicity in the Early Films of Spike Lee Biodun Jeyifo
Literature and Arts A-78 The Vikings and the Nordic Heroic Tradition Stephen A. Mitchell
Literature and Arts C-20 The Hero of Irish Myth and Saga Tomás Ó Cathasaigh

 

COURSE DESCRIPTIONS

English 10a. Major British Writers I
An introduction to the study of British literature from the Middle Ages through the 18th century. Emphasis on lyric and narrative poetry; plays, novels, and essays are also read.

English 13. The English Bible
English 13 serves as an introduction to the Hebrew Bible and New Testament with special attention to narrative modes, figures of the human and divine, ethical problems, and sacred mysteries.

English 17x. 19th Century American Novel
English 17x studies the emergence of the novel in America as both a popular and literary genre from Crèvecoeur through Cather. Readings include Cooper, The Last of the Mohicans; Melville, Moby-Dick; Stowe, Uncle Tom’s Cabin; Douglass, Heroic Slave; Alcott, Little Women; James, Portrait of a Lady; Twain, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn; Chesnutt, The Marrow of Tradition; Wharton, The House of Mirth; Cather, My Ántonia; and shorter pieces by Hawthorne, Poe, Irving, and Crèvecoeur.

English 165b. Conrad, Naipaul, Toni Morrison, J. M. Coetzee: Genealogies of the Global Imagination
English 165b discusses how the novels of Conrad, Naipaul, Morrisson, and Coetzee have a particular relevance to contemporary discourses on global culture. For these writers, the experience of Empire was a much an ethical and aesthetic project as it was an economic or political venture. The course focuses on their reflections on the problematic project of joining diverse cultures and distant territories in a global network and on the role of figurative language and fictional forms in imagining community and communication on a global scale.

English 166x. The Postcolonial Classic
This lecture course explores the idea of a classic work in the postcolonial, global era. It surveys literary, cultural, and political works that illustrate the relationship between aesthetic values and questions of cultural citizenship. Works read may include Gandhi, Fanon, Sartre, Mandela, Rudyard Kipling, Joseph Conrad, James Baldwin, Toni Morrison, Nadine Gordimer, Salman Rushdie, V.S. Naipaul, John Coetzee.

African and African American Studies 121. Please, Wake Up! — Race, Gender, Class, and Ethnicity in the Early Films of Spike Lee
African and African American Studies 121 explores how the intersection of race, gender, class and ethnicity in the early cinema of Spike Lee works to give his social vision and artistic temper the qualities now commonly associated with his cinematic style. Race seems to be the central pivot of social identity in Lee’s films, but this course explores his remarkable attentiveness to other indices of identity and subjectivity. The course pays special attention to the tension between Lee’s passionate oppositional politics and his intensely personal, experimental, and playful approach to film and its expressive idioms, techniques, and styles. Films studied include “She’s Gotta Have It,” “School Daze,” “Do the Right Thing,” “Mo Better Blues,” and “Jungle Fever.”

Literature and Arts A-78. The Vikings and the Nordic Heroic Tradition
Literature and Arts A-78 examines the heroic legacy resulting from the historical events in norther Europe AD 800 to AD 1100, concentrating on the medieval Icelandic sagas. The course focuses on how these texts present their heroes as warriors, kings, poets, outlaws and adventurers—as well as, to quote one 19th-century scholar, “farmers at fisticuffs.” The course considers several specific heroic traditions, such as the “Bear’s Son Tale” and the “Dragon Slayer,” over time, and reviews how the viking image is received and shaped in later periods (e.g., the poetry of 19th-century Denmark, the art of Victorian England, the scholarship and pseudo-scholarship of our contemporary world). The elusive question of the North American colony of “Vinland” as a meaningful component of this legacy is examined in both its scientific and imaginative contexts.

Literature and Arts C-20. The Hero of Irish Myth and Saga
Literature and Arts C-20 studies the ways in which the hero is represented in early Irish sources, especially in the saga-literature. The selected texts reflect the ideology and concerns of a society that had been converted to Christianity, but continued to draw on its Indo-European and Celtic heritage. The course studies in depth the biographies of the Ulster hero, Cú Chulainn, of his divine father, Lug, and of certain king-heroes. The wisdom literature, and archaeological and historical evidence are taken into account.