EN 500-001: Special Topics in Linguistics: Language and Culture
This course focuses on the relationship between language and culture as it is conceptualized and studied in the field of linguistics. Topics will include the historical division of language and culture in linguistics and the relationship between language, culture, and cognition. Special attention will be paid to the implications of culture for language and literacy teaching.
EN 500-002: “Transfeminisms”
CRN: 48342 (X-L: WS 525)
Part I in a Women’s Studies course sequence, this course establishes a baseline of knowledge of feminist theory in order to prepare students for the study of contemporary feminist theory in WS 530. Students may enroll in either course, or both. This course does not serve as a prerequisite to Part II in the sequence. “Transfeminisms” takes as its starting point the premise that feminist theory is always-already trans- and embarks on analyses of critical debates within feminist theory concerning sex, gender, subjectivities, epistemologies, power, bodies, politics, and the field of Women’s and Gender Studies. Much like the term, Queer, Trans- signifies plural locations and non-binary conceptions of bodies and identifications. Like Queer, it challenges the fixity of meaning and narratives of linear progression. The subject of this course, trans- and transfeminisms is not simply a trans-cognizant and trans-inclusive approach to feminist theory. This course examines key moments in the trans-ing of feminism and its constitutive categories and modes of analysis, including the category, woman, which can be traced back to Sojourner Truth’s “Ain’t I a Woman?” speech and other early feminist interventions that interrogate the category, “woman” and linked with contemporary transgender theorists, such as Susan Stryker, Jay Prosser, Jack Halberstam, and Gayle Salamon. Despite misguided attempts to separate feminism from transgender theory, or trans- from queer theory, this course explores the assertion that the most politically efficacious forms of feminism are always-already trans. This course investigates what we mean by Transfeminisms, examines not only Transgender Theory but the trans-ing of categories; it extends Trans- and Trans-feminist approaches to transnational, transcultural, transspecies, and transgenerational theories and politics, which generates new methodologies, new modes of gendered subjectivity, new discourses, and new lines of inquiry that promote structural transformation. (Prerequisites: None)
EN 523-001: History of the English Language
CRN: 44862 (X-L: EN 423-001, CRN 47504. Cap 10/15)
This course considers questions such as the following: Why does Southern English have to propose “y’all” for a plural “you”? And while we’re at it, what happened to “thou”? What’s the deal with the subjunctive? How did Scandinavian pronouns (they, their, them) creep into English? Why can’t we ask “Have you not heard?” without sounding weird? Since the momentous event in 1066 was called “the Norman Conquest,” why aren’t we speaking French instead of English? Who decided that we can’t say “Ain’t nothin’ like ‘em nowhere” in standardized English? What’s going on with, like, quotatives, “and he was like….!”? Why can’t everybody open their book? How is English being affected by globalization and the internet? The course is an introduction to the external history of the English language along with the study of the accompanying internal changes in structure. It begins by peering back through the mists of history by means of linguistic tools that allow us to reconstruct what the original language in our “family” was like. Then we will track changes in English through its close encounters with other languages (most notably the Celtic languages, Old Norse, and French), through attempts at standardization, through the effects of globalization, to its diverse contemporary forms. For English majors the course should provide a basis for understanding the evolution of English grammar, pronunciation, and spelling as a background for studying English literature. The course examines the development of English from two perspectives: its outer history (i.e., the sociohistorical, cultural, and political forces that have helped shape the language) and its inner history (the phonological, grammatical, and lexical changes that have taken place). In addition, it looks at some general principles of language change and relates them to specific developments in English. By the end of the course you should understand why the English language is the way it is and be able to predict how it may change.
EN 524-001: English Structure and Usage
CRN: 42053 (X-L: EN 424-001, CRN 43897. Cap 10/15)
This advanced grammar course examines the structure and usage of the English language, including morphology (word formation/structure), syntax (the patterns of sentences), and discourse (the context in which utterances are patterned and made meaningful). We will review both traditional and contemporary approaches to English grammar, such as cognitive grammar, construction grammar, lexicogrammar, pattern grammar, and systemic functional grammar. Through reading, research projects, and discussion, students will attain a solid understanding of the English language’s structure and usage. Writing proficiency within this discipline is required for a passing grade in this course.
EN 529: Directed Readings
529- 001 Alex Cook
529-002 Kellie Wells
EN 533: Practicum in Teaching College English 102
This is offered Spring semester ONLY and is required for all Graduate Assistants teaching EN 102 for the first time. Training is offered to reach EN 102 course goals and writing outcomes. Further instruction in teaching formal argumentation and advanced research techniques.
- 533 – 001 / CRN#: 41597 Luke Niiler 534 – 101 / CRN#
- 533 – 002 / CRN#: 43352 Jessica Kidd 534 –102 / CRN#
- 533 – 003 / CRN#: 43353 Brooke Champagne 534 – 103 / CRN#
- 533 – 004 / CRN#: 44869 Natalie Loper 534 – 104 / CRN#
Students must simultaneously register for Thursday session with same lecture instructor.
EN 537-001: Introduction to Graduate Studies
This course is a study of selected bibliographical resources and of some of the important methodological approaches employed in literary study, including an introduction to critical approaches, scholarly writing, and issues in the profession. Intended as an introductory course for new graduate students, EN 537 takes a broad focus in order to facilitate engagement with the material, theoretical, and practical aspects of literary studies. Along the way, we will consider topics related to the current state of the field and the profession.
EN 539-001: Approaches to Teaching Sophomore EN Survey
CRN: 44782 (X-L 609-003)
This course is required for all GTAs assigned to teach a 200-level EN survey for the first time. It may be taken concurrently with or in advance of teaching one’s first literature survey, and is typically taken by Ph.D. students in their second year of coursework and by MFA students in their third year of coursework (all, however, are welcome). We will divide our time among logistical topics like syllabus design, daily lesson plans, and appropriate writing prompts; while also devoting our collective energies to unraveling the daily mysteries of those concurrently teaching literature for the first time. Sympathetic identification, sage advice, and esprit de corps, hopefully with a minimum of sententiousness, awaits. A grade of “pass” is required for students to teach literature courses in the department of English.
- EN 598-001: 44377, All Literature/CRES/Strode, James McNaughton
- EN 598-002: 44378, All Creative Writing, Kellie Wells
- EN 598-003: 44379, All TESOL, Dilin Liu
- EN 598-004: 47650, Staff
- EN 599-001: 41505 All Literature/CRES/Strode, James McNaughton
- EN 599-002: 41506, All Creative Writing, Kellie Wells
- EN 599-003: 41507, All TESOL, Dilin Liu
- EN 599-004: 7988, Staff
EN 601-001: Graduate Fiction Workshop
This will be a Hypoxic Prose Workshop
EN 603-001: Graduate Poetry Workshop
This is a workshop course, and the majority of our time will be spent discussing the poems you write. However, on the theory that lively reading can aid and abet lively writing, we will also read and discuss poetry and criticism by others. This course is open to any MFA student.
EN 605-001: Nonfiction Workshop
In this workshop, your goal will be to understand how you make decisions while writing nonfiction. Where is your ego appearing on the page? How are you contorting your writing around a piece of missing research? And what’s truly the best approach to the story? You’ll learn to understand the positive and negative accommodations you’re making for yourself, develop the discipline it takes to keep writing through earthquakes (or even parties), and have a record to return to when memory fails. To get there, you’ll read published works, submit a substantial amount of nonfiction, reflect upon your process, and offer feedback to your peers.
EN 608-001: Varieties of Prose Narrative
In this course we will explore texts that trouble or expand our definition and understanding of generic conventions. Some of the questions we’ll ask include: What constitutes fiction? Nonfiction? Memoir? How do writers use or bend these expectations in order to explore questions of identity or challenge our reading practices? How does the structure of a narrative influence or shape our readings? Why have so many contemporary writers felt compelled to redefine, expand, or push the boundaries of genre? Possible texts include work by Andy Warhol, Claudia Rankine, Rebecca Solnit, David Shields, & others.
EN 608-002: Writers Writing Together
We will read, read about, and be inspired by the practices and fruits of writers working with other writers. Things we may explore include everything from writers gathering in the same space (Romantic poets’ ramblings, Algonquin Hotel, Monarch Espresso Bar), long-standing writers groups, writers at colonies (Yaddo, Ragdale), writing collectives (Dark Room Collective, Cave Canem, Muslim Writers Collective, Belladonna…), groups with games and prompts (Oulipo, Dada, CWC) to online spaces and apps for community and collaboration (NaNoWriMo, Reddit Writers Group). We’ll try out methods of collaborating with existing texts (erasure, intercutting, borrowing of elements, response, rejoinder, extension, beginnings, forms, etc.), and actively collaborate with living writers—ourselves and others farther afield—in lots of ways, both in-the-moment and stretched out over time (tankas, various “corpses,” interchanging chapters, poems, paragraphs/lines/words/elements, assigned writerly tasks, letters, research finds, etc.). We’ll read (and, when possible, Skype) current collaborating writers. Poets, fiction writers, non-fiction writers, comic creators: everyone is most welcome. Possible authors/texts include Maureen Seaton and Denise Duhamel, John Ashbery and James Schuyler, Terry Patchett and Neil Gaiman, Twain/Dudley, Dumas, Ntozake Shange and Ifa Bayeze, Groo the Wanderer, John Green and David Levithan, Marc Aronson And Marina Budhos, Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely, A Million Penguins, Joshua Beckman and Matthew Rohrer, and other texts suggested by the group.
EN 608-003: All in the (Queer) Family
Queer folks have long been creating their own family structures, so in this class we’ll read and watch recent texts in which authors create, imagine, and analyze their chosen families. We’ll imagine new definitions for old roles, and write our way toward understanding how we choose and how we let go. Possible texts include: The Essential Dykes to Watch Out for, The First Bad Man, The Argonauts, Trace Elements of Random Tea Parties, Jam on the Vine, Under the Udala Trees, Returning to Reims, and Transparent.
EN 608-004: Forms: Ecopoetics
In 2001, poet Jonathan Skinner launched the journal Ecopoetics, responding to our era of environmental crisis and signaling the arrival of what may come to be seen as the most significant poetic influence of our time. Ecopoetic writing and ecopoetic praxis provide a means for addressing ecological concerns at the radically local site of the shared lexicon and the metaphorical complex therein that situates the human in relation to the nonhuman. In this course, we will engage this contemporary emergenc[e/y]. We will read and write works that seek to reinvent the language, refusing resignation for a sense of possibility, for linguistic innovation and intervention, for new forms of consciousness. Assignments will include discussion facilitation, writing and sharing of creative pieces, field writings, and a final public reading. Readings may include Ecopoetics I, Jonathan Skinner; How2: Ecopoetics Feature; Ecopoetics Conference selections; Black Nature, Camille Dungy; Second Nature, Jack Collom; The Ecological Thought, Timothy Morton. A field trip to give a class reading in October as part of Dauphin Island Sealab’s first annual Artslab has been tentatively scheduled with the festival’s administrators and will be discussed.
EN 608-320: The Elegy
“It does many things. It distracts the poet, at least momentarily, from a state of exquisite grief,” Mary Jo Bang says of the elegy, one of the most ancient forms in the poetic tradition, which gave her fifth collection, written in the wake of her son’s death, its name. This form has evolved from mournful verses of Greco-Roman couplets that follow a strict pentameter and hexameter pattern to a more nebulous, all-encompassing term for the mode of writing that responds to the death of a person or a group. This semester, we will focus on the evolution of this form from the 20th-century modern era in the West, dating to Rainer Marie Rilke’s Duinos Elegies, to the present day. We will examine critically this form’s masculinist roots and the ways women, people of color, LGBTQ writers, and others have pushed the elegy’s boundaries of expressing lament for those lost, praise for the departed, and consolation for those left behind. We will discuss essays on the form by poets and critics alike, including those of Peter Sacks, Roland Barthes, Jacques Derrida, Fred Moten, and Carl Phillips. We will examine poets’ ways interrogating the divine, questioning belief itself, and finding something (or someone) to live for amid staggering loss as we write through our own personal valence on grief.
EN 609-001: Creative Writing Pedagogy
This is a course designed to support first-time teachers of EN 200, Introduction to Creative Writing, with a communal space to discuss strategies for effective teaching and creative writing pedagogy.
EN 609-002: “The Art of…”: A Multi-Generic Journey
We will read & discuss some key titles from the Graywolf Press series, including Carl Phillips’s “Daring,” Edwidge Danticat’s “Death,” James Longenbach’s ‘The Poetic Line,” Mark Doty’s “Description,” D’Erasmo’s “Intimacy,” Christopher Bram’s “History,” Ellen Bryant Voigt’s “Syntax,” Dean Young’s “Recklessness,” and Sven Birkert’s “Time in Memoir.”
EN 609-003: Writers at Work: Form, Theory, Practice
CRN: 45997 (X-L: 539-001)
This course is required for all GTAs assigned to teach a 200-level EN survey for the first time. It may be taken concurrently with or in advance of teaching one’s first literature survey, and is typically taken by Ph.D. students in their second year of coursework and by MFA students in their third year of coursework. We will divide our time among logistical topics like syllabus design, daily lesson plans, and appropriate writing prompts; while also devoting our collective energies to unraveling the daily mysteries of those concurrently teaching literature for the first time. Sympathetic identification, sage advice, and esprit de corps, hopefully with a minimum of sententiousness, awaits. A grade of “pass” is required for students to teach literature courses in the department of English.
EN 609-004: Forms: Special Topics
Creative Writing Pedagogy. This course supports first-time teachers of EN 301, 303, and 305 with a communal space to share classroom strategies, focused on genre-specific writing, the workshop and the mentoring of others.
EN 609-320: The Academic Job Market
This course is devoted to educating you about and preparing you for the academic job market. Letters of application, CVs, dossiers, writing samples, teaching philosophies, interviews, these are the things that will be discussed, practiced, and demystified (somewhat) by this course.
EN 612-001: Technologies for Second/Foreign Language Teaching and Learning
This graduate seminar explores theory and pedagogical application of various technologies for second/foreign language education. The course will survey research in computer-assisted language learning (CALL) and technology-enhanced language learning (TELL) with a particular focus on corpora and corpus-based tools, digital games, chat and computer-mediated communication (CMC), and social media.
EN 613-001: Second Language Development
This course explores issues and theories about second language development. It focuses on the study of learner language; language learning process; biological, psychological, and social factors affecting the process; and the role of formal instruction in second language development. Where relevant, first, third, and fourth language development issues will also be addressed.
EN 620-001: English Linguistics
An introductory linguistics course at the graduate level with relevance for students in the Applied Linguistics/TESOL, literature, composition and rhetoric, and MFA programs, EN 620 provides an overview of the discipline at the same time that it involves students in dealing with language data from fieldwork. In addition to a midterm and final exam, students engage in various activities including a class project that is a multi-faceted discourse analysis of spoken English data through the examination of a story recorded in conversation. Each student will also learn how to construct a website with basic information about a language chosen by the student. In addition to providing experience with the subfields of linguistics (phonology, semantics, syntax, pragmatics), the course includes an introduction to the thought of two key figures in modern linguistics, Ferdinand de Saussure and Noam Chomsky, whose ideas have had wide-ranging influence on intellectual trends in other disciplines.
EN 630-001: Directed Readings
Various instructors and times
EN 635-001: Seminar in Literary Criticism
What is postcolonialism? Is it even possible to define this term? How can we locate it temporally? In other words, when does it start and has it ended? What spatial areas are covered by the term? These are some of the overarching questions that will guide our readings and class selection in this course. We will explore the various definitions of the term and critiques of the idea of the postcolonial as a conceptual category. Our readings and discussions will also consider recent explorations in the field as it pertains to globalization and new critical approaches such as ecocriticism. Readings will include the works of Frantz Fanon, Aime Cesaire, Anthony Appiah, Anne McClintock, Benita Parry, Jennifer Wenzel, Edward Said, Homi Bhabha, and Gayatri Spivak.
EN 637-001: Workshop in Academic Writing
The purpose of this class is to shape a piece of each student’s critical writing into publishable form. To this end the class will be run as a workshop, with the students’ own writing as our primary material. On days when we focus on a single student’s essay, another class member will be assigned to present that essay to the class, by identifying its thesis, describing its situation in a larger critical field, and outlining its argument. At other times students will be asked to bring in pieces of their essays for more intense focus. At the end of the class each student will submit his or her essay to a refereed journal.
EN 639-001: Special Topics in Rhetoric and Composition
“Literacy and Democracy.” This course will examine the intersections of literacy, democracy, and social class, focusing on how literacy serves as a tool for fostering civic engagement, political activism, and at times, social control. Our texts will include studies of formal and informal educational settings (schools, colleges, adult education programs). We will look at public beliefs about literacy and examine the notion of “popular literacy,” considering everyday uses of language. Finally, we will consider pedagogical approaches that foster civic literacy. Our readings will include foundational studies of literacy as well as new and emerging research.
EN 639-002: Indigenous Rhetorics & Methodologies
This graduate seminar examines the rhetorics of indigenous groups of the Americas to determine where such rhetorics are culturally situated, what characterizes these practices, and how these practices work in concert with or in opposition to modern indigenous identities both in native contexts and in popular imagination. Beginning with a brief look at the fields of cultural rhetorics and whiteness, we will expand our reading, writing, and scholarly practices to understand and incorporate indigenous feminisms, survivance, ethics, and research methodologies. Among the authors we may read are: Damian Baca, Victor Villanueva, Lisa King, Malea Powell, Rebecca Tsosie, Kim Andreson, Qwo-Li Driskill, Joyce Rain Anderson, Angela Haas, Sundy Wantanabe, Robin Wall Kimmerer, Linda Tuhiwai Smith, Margaret Kovach, and Krista Ratcliffe. Course Objectives: 1) define and describe whiteness, cultural rhetorics, indigenous rhetorics, indigenous feminisms, indigenous survivance, and indigenous methodologies; 2) connect and situate indigenous rhetorics within larger body of rhetorical studies; 3) identify indigenous rhetorical practices and synthesize them in coursework; 4) identify indigenous research methods and synthesize them in coursework; 5) articulate opportunities for indigenous rhetorics in writing, speaking, and research pedagogies.
EN 640-001: Special Topics Seminar in American Literature: dirty souths
In a recent article in The New Yorker, George Packer concludes that the South’s contemporary political identity has been hijacked by a self-defeating, dogged isolation and stubborn nostalgia — reactionary perspectives that Packer finds indicative of the South’s place as “America’s colonial backwater.” Colonial readings aside, one could make the argument that visions of the South frequently reference tropes of dirt: the region is disposable, unnecessary; its people poor, illiterate “trash”; its customs and traditions worthless and backwards; its “toxic” food consisting of processed garbage; its cultural achievements middling and superfluous. This course will examine southern “dirt” as a framing device for reading (or asserting) an authentic South; we will examine literary and cultural texts (such as cookbooks, manifestos, and films) in order to understand various constructions of the disposable South in contemporary culture (The Queer South, the PostSouth, the Dirty South, the New South, etc.) We’ll also be interested in “disposable” southern identities and how they dialogue with issues of abjection, poverty, queerness, gender, segregation, race, and empire.
EN 653-001: Research Methodology
This course will introduce students to the basic methods for research in composition studies and related fields. It covers each aspect of the research process: identifying a research question, reviewing literature in the field, choosing a methodology, gathering and analyzing data, and writing up/presenting results. Topics covered include qualitative methods such as case studies, interviewing, ethnography and autoethnography, as well as teacher research (sometimes called action research) and programmatic research. It may also cover quantitative methods such sampling/surveys, prediction studies, true or quasi experiments, and meta-analysis. They course will also introduce students to the ethical and institutional dimensions of empirical research, including selecting and working with human subjects and working with IRBs (institutional review boards). It is required for all CRES PhD students and strongly recommended for CRES MA students.
EN 665-001: Seminar in Renaissance Literature I
If Shakespeare was the best, who were the rest? This course immerses students in the lively friendships and bitter rivalries among the network of dramatists who revolutionized the English stage in the age of Shakespeare. We will experience the roar of the greasepaint and the smell of the populous crowd of playwrights jockeying with Shakespeare for glory on the early modern stage. From famed rivalries with Christopher Marlowe and Ben Jonson, to competitive co-writers Middleton and Fletcher, to nextgeneration upstarts with bloodthirsty ideals like Webster and Ford, the semester will allow us to experience Shakespeare and his competition. The course will culminate in a conference presentation of concise research papers about our authors, and during the semester there will be weekly opportunities to get together and to read our plays or parts of our plays aloud to gain a first-hand sense of their performative qualities, challenges, and thrills. At the end of the course, students will have a conferencelength paper in hand to take on to other venues, and to prepare them for professional writing in the field, and throughout, support will be provided to guide everyone through the nuanced and exacting process of early modern research, particularly in terms of engaging with primary texts and historical sources. Welcome to La-La Land, circa 1631.
EN 666-001: Seminar in Renaissance Literature II: Piracy, Slavery, And Cannibalism: The Countercultures of Early Atlantic Literature
Perhaps no counterculture in world history stimulates the modern imagination more than does piracy. From the recent series Black Sails on the cable network Starz and the ever-popular Disney franchise Pirates of the Caribbean to modern-day pirates attacking vessels off the coast of Somalia, images of pirate culture abound. This course, then, asks you to draw relationships between our modern-day fascination with pirates and some of the original manifestations of piracy, focusing especially on piracy in the British Caribbean in the 16th through 18th centuries. In the course, students will interrogate questions such as the following: Who were the real pirates of the Caribbean and how did they differ from buccaneers and privateers? What place did they occupy in early British and American social circles? What made theirs a “counter” culture? Why, today, do we have such a fascination with this historical counterculture? Today, popular forms of piracy include downloading music and movies and hijacking planes and other structures. How, then, do space, place, and product determine the contours of piracy? In addition, we will establish parallels among piracy and cannibalism and slavery. We will explore the three categories of identity to determine points of intersection and think about how and why these three groups were popular villains and monsters in the narratives of an early Atlantic world. The course will be of particular interest for those students working in British Renaissance, early American, and early African American literary studies. Readings will include Sir Francis Drake’s sea narratives, Shakespeare’s The Tempest, Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe, the anonymous Female American, Equiano’s Interesting Narrative, Behn’s Oroonoko, and Stevenson’s Treasure Island.
EN 683-001: Seminar in Romantic Literature
The Shelleys and Regency Print Production At the beginning of the Regency in Britain, the technology and practices of printing still closely resembled the technologies and practices of the last few centuries, and the cultural logic of print as a mode of textual production and reproduction and as a medium of communication were long familiar. The social, cultural, and political conditions determining the application print, however, were changing radically in a period marked by rapid expansion of a popular reading market, reactionary restrictions on political publication, and intensifying commercialization of the literary field. The course examines the ways in which Percy and Mary Shelley negotiated in practice with these conditions of print production and represented them in their works. The readings center on writings from their time in Italy from 1818 to 1822, when both Percy and Mary were interested in the world of late medieval Italian literature and society, significantly, a world of manuscripts, superstition, and faltering republics. Primary readings will likely include Mary Shelley’s History of a Six Weeks’ Tour and Valperga and Percy Shelley’s Prometheus Unbound, The Cenci, Epipsychidion, Adonais, A Defence of Poetry, and The Triumph of Life. Critical and theoretical readings will likely feature selections from recent work on literature and print during the Romantic period, including the Multigraph Collective’s Interacting with Print (2017), and during the English Renaissance, including Johnson’s Made Flesh (2014), and from specialists in historical poetics, such as Richard Bradford and Donald Wesling.
EN 698-001: Non-Dissertation Research
EN 699-001: Dissertation Research