Graduate Courses 2020-2021

Department of English

Fall 2021

Graduate Course Offerings

 

Online version and updates can be found:

https://english.ua.edu/graduate-courses-2020-2021/

 

Rev. 03/25/21

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EN 500 – 001

X-listed with WS 525

Purvis

W – 2:00 – 4:30 pm

 

Feminist Theory And . . .

 

This course examines four key moments or themes in feminist theory: Meat, Bodies, Pleasures, and The Future.  Each theme generates new resources and methodologies, new modes of gendered subjectivity, new discourses, and new lines of inquiry that promote structural transformation and gender justice.  For example, the early work by Carol Adams and others analyzes the sexual politics of meat and develops a feminist critical discourse, which is then taken up in the study of issues of meat and materiality, including objectification, women as meat, those considered “mere flesh,” an ethics of fleshy bodies, and various forms of monstrosity tied to flesh, blood, and the abject.  New work connects meat to transnational circuits of power/ideology and the histories and legacies of colonialism, ableism, and sexism. We investigate queer and transgender issues and politics in the shift from Meat to Bodies and Power.  We examine the mind/body split and explore the connections between Foucault and Feminism and the possibilities that emerge from philosophies of corporeality in feminist theory.  Next, we shift our attention to pleasure in Foucault and the work of feminist theorists, such as Ladelle McWhorter and others, who investigate the workings of discourse and the machinations of heteronormativity, the power of the erotic asserted by Audre Lorde, and sexualities beyond a pleasure/danger binary, including radical theories by Black feminists and queer of color theorists.  Finally, we examine feminist responses to the problems of reproductive futurism articulated by Lee Edelman and other queer theorists, and locate transformative resources in alternative temporalities, including so-called “women’s time,” trans temporalities, affective futurity, and the intrinsically utopian elements of feminist theory itself.  What are the feminist possibilities that lie beyond closed categories of Meat, Bodies, Pleasures, and The Future?  Students will emerge with a solid background in feminist theory, a more complex understanding of the categories of sex, gender, and race (various issues of embodied existence), and an array of interdisciplinary feminist resources and strategies.  (Prerequisites: None)

 

 

 

 

 

 

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EN 512 – 001

Buck

R – 2:00 – 4:30 pm

 

Computers and Writing

 

A survey of how computers can be used to help students improve their writing and to help teachers improve their writing instruction. This course provides an overview of computers and writing as a disciplinary field within rhetoric and composition, including historical trajectory and major and recent trends. This course will ask students to consider both the theoretical and pedagogical implications of digital writing technologies. Students will compose both print and digital projects in this course.

 

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EN 524 – 001

Popova

TR – 12:30 – 1:45 pm

 

Structure of English

 

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, lexico-grammar, 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.

 

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EN 532 – 001

Dayton

W – 2:00 – 4:30 pm

 

Approaches to Teaching Composition

 

This course is designed to introduce students to rhetoric and composition as a field of study.  We will look broadly at theory, methodology, and practice, focusing on topics including (but not limited to): approaches to teaching writing, an overview of rhetoric and its relationship to writing instruction, and discussion of professional issues in English Studies (such as the role of the humanities, the purpose of the English major, and the rise of digital humanities).

 

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EN 533 – 001

Kidd

TR – 12:30 – 1:30 pm

 

Practicum in Teaching College English 101

 

Fall semester only. Required of all graduate assistants teaching EN 101 for the first time. Teachers must have 18 graduate hours in English. Training in reaching EN 101 student learning outcomes. Further instruction in issues related to the professional development of composition teachers. Course is designed to mentor and support GTA teachers. Please note: EN 533 begins with required orientation workshops and an intensive multi-day orientation session immediately prior to the start of the fall semester. Orientation attendance is mandatory for retaining a graduate assistantship.

 

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EN 533 – 002

Loper

TR – 12:30 – 1:30 pm

 

Practicum in Teaching College English 101

 

Fall semester only. Required of all graduate assistants teaching EN 101 for the first time. Teachers must have 18 graduate hours in English. Training in reaching EN 101 student learning outcomes. Further instruction in issues related to the professional development of composition teachers. Course is designed to mentor and support GTA teachers. Please note: EN 533 begins with required orientation workshops and an intensive multi-day orientation session immediately prior to the start of the fall semester. Orientation attendance is mandatory for retaining a graduate assistantship.

 

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EN 533 – 003

Oliu

TR – 12:30 – 1:30 pm

 

Practicum in Teaching College English 101

 

Fall semester only. Required of all graduate assistants teaching EN 101 for the first time. Teachers must have 18 graduate hours in English. Training in reaching EN 101 student learning outcomes. Further instruction in issues related to the professional development of composition teachers. Course is designed to mentor and support GTA teachers. Please note: EN 533 begins with required orientation workshops and an intensive multi-day orientation session immediately prior to the start of the fall semester. Orientation attendance is mandatory for retaining a graduate assistantship.

 

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EN 535 – 001

Tedeschi

W – 2:00 – 4:30 pm

 

Literary Criticism

 

The course traces the concepts, perspectives, and practices of current literary criticism back to their main sources in intellectual history. The object of the course is to examine the fundamental premises and tendentious assumptions of contemporary literary critical practice by reading its various strains in relation to each other and to the critical tradition. Readings will concentrate on trunks rather than roots or branches: that is, we will read works in which lines of thought come together in new syntheses that in turn define the points of departure for later criticism. We will study current approaches to identity (including intersectionality, disability studies, queer theory, critical race theory, and feminist theory), ecocriticism, historicism, and formalism; we will consider their relation to important twentieth-century theoretical movements (including structuralism, post-structuralism, various Marxisms, cultural studies, old and new formalisms); and we will reread critics who have had an outsized and influence on critical thought throughout history (Plato, Kant, Marx).

 

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EN 537 – 001

Crank

M – 10:00 am – 12:30 pm

 

Introduction to Graduate Studies

 

This course is designed to introduce first-year/incoming graduate students in multiple fields of study (broadly connected to the discipline of English) to the field of literary studies by focusing on different genres of academic writing (book review/conference abstract/annotated bibliographies/research paper) as well as other modalities and techniques appropriate to the profession (email solicitations/archival work/book and grant proposals). We will investigate several theoretical paradigms useful for analysis as well as work on our critical reading skills–all with the goal of providing practical help that should serve students well as they continue their coursework in the department.

 

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EN 601 – 001

Wells

M – 2:00 – 4:30 pm

 

Fiction Workshop

 

This class is intended for students enrolled in the MFA Program in Creative Writing and will concentrate on the writing, reading, and workshopping of fiction.

 

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EN 603 – 001

Estes

T – 10:00 am – 12:30 pm

 

Poetry Workshop

 

The focus of this course will be the discussion of original student writing; additional readings in contemporary poetry and poetics may be assigned.

 

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EN 608 – 001

Behn

R – 2:00 – 4:30 pm

 

Forms of Poetry

 

This is a chance to get up close and personal with the substance and deployment of language in poetry. We’ll write in some traditional forms drawn from English and other languages including contemporary iterations and mutations of those forms. We’ll also spend plenty of time on free verse and prose poems. We’ll develop our ears and eyes, becoming more fluent with meter, rhyme, sentence structures, figures of speech, phonemes, sound patterns, repetition, uses of punctuation and other symbols, uses of the “page,” large and small rhetorical patterns, and what Jack Gilbert called “the form of the invisible.” We’ll find new ways to make the mind move in and through language. The course is about poetry, but, prose writers, know that you are most welcome even if you’ve never written a poem before. These techniques and ways of thinking can be useful in prose as well as poetry. We’ll do weekly exercises with the aim of taking some techniques out for a spin, of adding some tools to our toolboxes, without any pressure to produce a polished piece. This course is not a workshop. We’ll share work in a spirit of noticing, appreciating, and cheering on everyone’s processes, first tries, experiments, attempts. Come fall in love with language all over again.

 

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EN 608 – 002

Maples

W – 2:00 – 4:30 pm

 

Three-Dimensional Poetry

 

3-D poetry is the intersection of visual art and poetic language. It provides an immediate image which seeks to influence the reader’s encounter with the poem. This course will survey the work of writers and visual artists who employ varied forms of visual poetics. Utilizing campus art galleries, we will also engage visual art with ekphrasis. We are all writers, primarily, but we will venture—however tentatively—into making visual art. By the end of the course, students will create one original piece of visual art to accompany their own writing. These pieces may be drawings, paintings, photography, sculpture, film (or even experimental typography.)

 

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EN 608 – 003

Nkweti

T – 2:00 – 4:30 pm

 

Speculative Fiction

 

This course will explore a diverse array of speculative fiction forms – from Afrofuturism and steamfunk, to “sword & sorcery” and steampunk. Expect a variety of “out of this world” fiction, essay, film, and other media selections tackling “real world” issues surrounding gender and sexuality, ethics and technology, race and ethnicity, and more. Class sessions shall include a rigorous schedule of readings, in-class exercises, writing assignments, and thoughtful discussion.

 

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EN 608 – 005

Rawlings

W – 10:00 am – 12:30 pm

 

Book/Life

Each student will choose one book to live with for the semester. This may be a novel, book of poems, book of short stories, book of essays, book of creative nonfiction, or play. Choose wisely. Everyone will read everyone else’s book of choice and we will engage our book-lives as readers and writers in a variety of ways, including keeping commonplace books. We will write toward, through, against, around, over, under, and around these literary companions.

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EN 609 – 001

Behn

R – 5:00 – 5:50 pm

 

Form Theory Practice

 

This is the required pedagogy course for those teaching EN 200 for the first time.

 

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EN 609 – 002

Behn

M – 12:00 – 12:50 pm

 

Form Theory Practice

 

This is the required pedagogy course for those teaching a 300-level creative writing course for the first time.

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EN 609 – 003

Estes

T – 4:30 – 5:20 pm

 

Form Theory Practice

 

Professional Development for Non-Academic Professions. While there exists no answer to the question “What can you with an MFA?” that will satisfy its asker, there do exist many satisfying lives full of meaningful work that are available to those who happen to have earned one. In this course we will explore the nature of meaningful work (and satisfying lives) while developing the strategic, rhetorical, and practical tools necessary to search for and secure any one of the infinite number of fulfilling things to do for money that are not teaching in a university teaching.

 

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EN 609 – 004

Maples

R – 10:00 – 10:50 am

 

The Art of the Poetry Reading

 

It matters how we read our work aloud. A poem is a piece of art that becomes alive with breath. Readings are about sharing, but the audience most connects to a poem when they witness the writer’s connection to it. “When we see a good poetry reading, we are witnessing a writer becoming open enough to get in touch with what they’ve written, [with] the same openness they’ve implicitly asked of the audience”—Jamal May.  This course will examine the finer points of what makes a poetry reading rewarding for both the audience and writer.

 

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EN 612 – 001

Selvi

W – 2:00 – 4:30 pm

 

Topics: Global Englishes for Language Teaching 

 

This course aims to promote the development of a critical stance in revisiting and revamping theoretical approaches and pedagogical practices related to the English language and English language teaching. More specifically, it explores major paradigms (e.g., World Englishes, English as an International Language, and English as a Lingua Franca) and trends (e.g., translanguaging and the multilingual turn) in addressing linguistic, social, political, and educational impacts of the spread of English for English users, teachers and learners in a superdiverse world.

 

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EN 613 – 001

Selvi

M – 2:00 – 4:30 pm

 

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.

 

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EN 620 – 001

Worden

TR – 2:00 – 3:15 pm

 

English Linguistics

 

EN 620 is a graduate-level introductory linguistics course with relevance for students in the Applied Linguistics/TESOL, literature, composition and rhetoric, and MFA programs. The class explores the core elements of linguistics (phonetics and phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, and pragmatics) as well as subfields such as language variation, language change, and discourse analysis. Students will learn to apply the tools and techniques of language analysis through hands-on activities and projects.

 

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EN 639 – 001

McGee

M – 2:00 – 4:30 pm

 

Topics in Rhetoric & Composition – African American Language

 

This course examines the history and the uses of African American Language (AAL) as it is situated at the intersection of linguistics, rhetoric(s), and education. Through advanced critical thinking skills, writing methods, and intertextual understandings of linguistic ideologies, this course aims to develop a specialized and functional language for communicating the nuances of AAL practices. Given the material of this course, ENG 639 especially welcomes CRES and TESOL students.

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EN 640 – 001

Smith

W – 10:00 am – 12:30 pm

 

Race, Intimacy, and Cultural Contact in the Shaping of Early America

 

This seminar offers an introduction to the study of early American literature. Because the majority of that literature was produced as a consequence of cross-cultural interactions among Native Americans, black Africans, and Europeans, we will examine the extent to which the texts affirm or challenge certain myths of contact regarding the ways in which cultures met, fought, loved, and in other ways negotiated to forge early American landscapes. Specifically, we will read the literature for moments of intimacy and sentimental expression. We will ask ourselves how and why love mattered in the early Americas. And how did bonds of affection – and disaffection – fuel cultural production of the time. The texts and geographical scope of this seminar mirror the current push in early American studies to think about the literature of the early Americas as product of a wider trans-Atlantic circulation of bodies, social ideas, and economies. Students will be introduced to theoretical frameworks and a range of texts, traditionally labeled as either early American, early Caribbean or Renaissance literature. We will muddle those canonical boundaries by reading the works of Anne Bradstreet, Harriet Jacobs, Aphra Behn, James Fenimore Cooper, William Shakespeare, and Frederick Douglass, among others.

 

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EN 643 – 001

Wittman

TR – 8:00 – 9:15 am

 

Seminar Twentieth-Century Literature

 

Pedagogical Style

 

In this class we look at recent self-writing by authors likely including Claudia Rankine (Just Us), Jenn Shapland (My Autobiography of Carson McCullers), Kate Zambreno (Heroines), Rachel Cusk (Aftermath), Roxane Gay (Hunger), Sarah Manguso (Ongoingness), and Maggie Nelson (The Argonauts). We will carefully situate these vital works within the history of self-writing and look at the way in which these writers renew and redirect the autobiographical trajectories characteristic of earlier self-writing by switching their orientation to face the future and by celebrating adult life as growing season, a time of Bildung. We will discuss how the self-writers in question trace future-oriented paths through the past, reject triumphalism, and complicate both identity and individualism, just as they refine and redefine autobiographical genres. We will explore these self-writers as chroniclers of Generation X’s adult life in particular and map the writers’ unique relationship to new forms of knowledge and knowledge gathering in an Information Age that they are both of and set apart from. Crucially we will theorize the writers’ status as (for the most part) graduates of MFA programs and professors of creative writing at the university level. We will discuss their ongoing relationship to the workshop, either as participant or facilitator. Our overriding task will be to understand the way in which these works share what we can call a “pedagogical style,” one characterized by clarity, exposition, and classical rhetoric, all of which offer a warrant for reading them in pedagogical terms in concert with traditional scholarly approaches. In the interest of further understanding pedagogical style, we will look carefully at the way in which these writers deftly make use of the tools and gains of scholarship. We will ponder the future of self-writing and ponder if we might be looking at the scholarship of the future.

 

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EN 663 – 001

Tavares

T – 2:00 – 4:30 pm

 

Seminar in Renaissance Literature

 

Renaissance Hauntologies

 

In the autumn of 1599, Thomas Platter recalled attending two plays while touring in England. His description bears all the hallmarks of any introduction to early modern theatre: the wherry across the Thames, the thatch of an outdoor playhouse, the early afternoon curtain time, cross-dressing, a substantial cast, and a jig. In the possible allusion to William Shakespeare’s play, “the tragedy of the first Emperor Julius Caesar,” oft-forgot is the second entertainment, also taken in after lunch “on another occasion” in the “suburb of Bishopsgate, if I remember.” That he offers two examples is purposeful rather than haphazard recollection, providing a summation of what it was usually like to see theatre in that particular country: “thus daily at two in the afternoon, London has two, sometimes three plays running in different places, competing with each other, and those which play best obtain most spectators . . .  How much time then they may merrily spend daily at the play everyone knows who has ever seen them play or act.”

Theatre operates for Platter as a memory machine, organizing a personal history of watching where playgoing experiences make meaning by comparison to one another. This effect, created by repeated use of, for example, a prop to gather the moss of new or nuanced meaning with each iteration, Marvin Carlson calls ghosting: the recycling of fundamental semiotic building blocks of theatre to provide “opportunities for an audience to bring memories of previous uses to new productions.” If “haunting [is] an essential part of the theatre’s meaning to and reception by” playgoers, than the early modern theatre industry was well-suited to metastasize such opportunities—its principal featuring been the repeated use of the same personnel, costumes, props, and spaces around a rotating set of plays.

In this seminar, we will consider the potential affordances of ghosting in early modern theatre. Readings will include a range of late sixteenth-century English plays surviving from the Lord Strange’s and Admiral’s troupes, including Friar Bacon and Friar BungayThe Jew of Malta, The Spanish Tragedy, The Battle of Alcazar, Titus Andronicus, Doctor Faustus, 1 and 2 Tamburlaine, among others. Our approach will be capacious, encompassing newly developing lines of inquiry such as playhouse archaeology, race-making and racialized prosthetics, lost plays studies, enskillment, and performance-based research.

 

Literature students working on dramatic oeuvre of other periods and cultural traditions are welcome, as well as MFA students interested in dramatic adaptation.

 

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EN 685 – 001

Pionke

T – 9:30 am – 12:00 pm

 

Seminar in Victorian Literature

 

Tentatively entitled “Suffering for Suffrage,” this seminar will follow the first four-and-a-half decades of struggle to achieve women’s suffrage in Britain.  Long barred by custom from voting in parliamentary elections, women were not legislatively locked out of participation in British elections until the First Reform Bill of 1832, which, ironically, expanded the electorate to include “ten-pound franchisers” even as it exclusively defined those made eligible on the basis of income as “male persons.”  Removing this gendered adjective took the next 86 years, during which numerous incremental advances and setbacks for women were represented, debated, and otherwise recorded in contemporary poetry, nonfiction prose, novels, and oratory.  Our survey of works by writers such as Mary Wollstonecraft, L. E. L., Caroline Norton, Charlotte Bronte, Margaret Fuller, Barbara Bodichon, George Eliot,  Augusta Webster, and others will be punctuated by student presentations on important historical milestones.  Our final reading, of contemporary social historian Jane Robinson’s Bluestockings, will culminate in a live exchange with Robinson, who has generously agreed to join the class virtually from her home just outside of Oxford.

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EN 690 – 001

Deutsch

R – 9:30 am – 12:00 pm

 

Modern British Literature

 

Hedonism and Hell: Satire in the British 20th Century

 

In this course we will focus on British satires from the twentieth century.  We will examine how satirists use various forms of humor to critique and to subvert conventions pertaining to religion, race, war, politics, the British class system, the education system, the government, and morality.  To get to the heart of these satires, we will also look into elements of British history and culture, with an emphasis on the interwar period and the rise of extreme politics in Europe.  We’ll consider the conflation of extreme poverty and extreme affluence as well as the uniquely morally fraught in-between spaces, from urban underbellies filled with spies to upscale boulevards filled with the best luxuries that money can buy to middle class homes.  This course will pay special attention to drama, but we’ll consider novels and poetry along the way to round out our materials.  We’ll consider works by W. H. Auden, Christopher Isherwood, Zadie Smith, Hanif Kureishi, Evelyn Waugh, and others.

 

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EN 693 – 001

McNaughton

M – 2:00 – 4:30 pm

 

Seminar in Postcolonial Literature and Theory

 

Postcolonialism and Irish Modernity

 

The Irish have been both objects and subjects of British colonialism, violently settled (again) in the 16th and 17th centuries, their language, laws, and customs replaced, but also active participants within the British empire (Gibbons). In this course, we examine how writers and scholars contend with Irish postcoloniality from this “anomalous state” (Lloyd). Our core literary texts draw from writers of the revolutionary period and its unfinished aftermath: W.B. Yeats, Lady Gregory, James Joyce, Elizabeth Bowen, Samuel Beckett, and others. We also examine political texts from the same period, Roger Casement’s report on colonial atrocities in Congo (1904) and his Black Diaries (1903-1916), as well as James Connolly’s writings. To frame the course, however, we begin with three classic imperialist discourses and a way to read Anglo-Irish connections in political modernity: Edmund Spenser in his influential A View of the Present State of Ireland (1598) argues that Irish barbarity justifies disciplining the populace through famine to avoid English infection from the “secret scourge” that infected earlier English colonists who assimilated; Edmund Burke’s (1790) conservative polemic against the French revolution carries rich implications from and for his native Ireland; and in the 19th century, we consider Anglo-Irish hybridity in Bram Stoker’s work (1886-1887), as well as racialized views of the Irish from Matthew Arnold to political cartoons (1845-1890). Framing the course this way helps understand the explosive literary and political revolution in the 20th century, as well as decode the suppression of feminist, socialist, and artistic freedoms in the formation of the Irish Free State. Theoretical and secondary texts could include Pierre Bourdieu, Margot Backus, Ciarán Brady, Nicholas Canny, Joe Cleary, Luke Gibbons, Seán Kennedy, Declan Kiberd, Heather Laird, David Lloyd, Emer Nolan, Edward Said, Joseph Valente, Robert Young, and others. Evaluation for the course will include a seminar paper and an in-depth presentation.

 

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