Graduate Courses 2020-2021

Department of English

Spring 2021

Graduate Course Offerings


Online version and updates can be found:


Rev. 11/16/2020



EN 500 – 001

X-listed with WS 530                      


W – 2:30 – 4:30 pm                                                                                     

Special Topics: Women in Contemporary Society


“Feminist Theory and the Affective Turn: The Politics of Disgust, the Politics of Shame”


Open to graduate students from all disciplines with an interest in feminist theory, this interdisciplinary approach to feminist theory focuses on abjection and the affective turn in critical theory—in particular, the promising effects of interrogating the workings of disgust and shame.  Given the gendered dimensions of affect, as well as the associations of disgust and shame with marginalized groups, regions, nations, and bodies, this subject area is rich with critical insight and vital resources for theorizations and mobilizations associated with rethinking the politics of disgust and the politics of shame.  With particular attention to developments in contemporary feminist theory, this course engages in critical explorations and interventions concerning zones of intelligibility and the lack thereof, where disgust and shame circulate and proliferate meaning in relation to gender, race, and class, LGBTQI issues, borders, regions, nation, citizenship, agency, and embodiment.  Readings from Sara Ahmed, Sally Munt, Mel Chen, Imogen Tyler, Jennifer C. Nash, Darieck Scott, and others draw from and contribute to an array of related areas of inquiry, such as queer theory, disability studies, literary theory, media and film studies, fat studies, and queer of color critique.  (Prerequisites: none)


EN 500-002

X-listed with EN 466


TR – 2:00 – 3:15 pm

Special Topics in Applied Linguistics: Sociolinguistics


This course serves as an introduction to the field of sociolinguistics, the interdisciplinary study of language and society. The course explores linguistic variation in respect to various social, relational, geographic, and situational contexts as well as topics such as language and identity, language and technology, and language ideologies and attitudes.


EN 529-001        Directed Readings – LIT                James McNaughton


EN 529-002        Directed Readings – CW                Wendy Rawlings




EN 534

Kidd- 001

Oliu- 002

Loper- 003

TR – 12:30-1:30 pm

Practicum in Teaching College English 102


Spring semester only. Required of all graduate assistants teaching EN 102 for the first time. Teachers must have 18 graduate hours in English. Training in reaching EN 102 student learning outcomes. Further instruction in issues related to the professional development of composition teachers. Course is designed to mentor and support GTA teachers.


EN 541-001

X-listed with EN 609-002


W – 8:00 – 8:50 am

Strategies for the Profession


This one-hour course, geared towards later PhDs but open to all, will run every Spring. Together we engage collaboratively some of the professional tasks of graduate school. Divided into two areas, the course begins with specific practical advice: where to find funding and how to apply, how to choose and prepare for conferences, how to find professors to work with, and so on. The second area calls on you to choose your own adventure. You will prepare for the job market, producing the elements of an application (CV to cover letter to interview); you will prepare a major application for a research grant or fellowship (with many of the same formal tasks); or you will undertake a task of a similar professional kind. Each class member is on the hiring or funding committee.


EN 598-001        Non-Thesis Research – LIT                            James McNaughton

EN 598-002        Non-Thesis Research – CW                           Wendy Rawlings

EN 599-001        Thesis Research – LIT                     James McNaughton

EN 599-002        Thesis Research – CW                     Wendy Rawlings


EN 601 – 001


T – 2:00 – 4:30 pm

Graduate 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.


EN 603 – 001


F – 1:00 – 3:30 pm

Poetry Cult


Do you have an abnormal devotion to language that stirs the heart and imagination? Do you ritualistically choose and arrange language for its meaning, sound, and rhythm? Do you follow language’s sonsorous embodied aesthetic qualities, believe it’s the end of the word as we know it, support small local forms of consciousness growing phrases and raising live thoughts? If so, you are invited to a sanctified weekly gathering of the Poetry Cult.


Cultivation tools may include: Best American Poetry 2020 editors David Lehman, Paisley Rekdal; Nightengale, Paisley Rekdal, selections from Metamorphosis, Ovid; The Age of Phillis, Honoree Jeffers, and more.

EN 608-001


M – 2:00 – 4:30 pm

Fabulist Fiction


In her introduction to Halldór Laxness’s novel Under the Glacier, Susan Sontag says, “Narratives that deviate from [the] artificial norm” of realist fiction “and tell other kinds of stories, or appear not to tell much of a story at all…still, to this day, seem innovative or ultraliterary or bizarre,” provoking labels that consign them to “the outlying precincts of the novel’s main tradition,” and it is with some of these deviant, Martian fictions that this course will be concerned. Fabulist fiction is, fundamentally, fiction in which anything can happen, fiction unfettered by empirical reality, in which human animals sprout wings or apes deliver disquisitions on what it is to be human, fiction set in historical theme parks built according to verisimilitude tips acquired from ghosts, fiction of the supernatural, paranormal, romantic, surreal, metaphysical, the oneiric, unlikely, implausible, the uncanny, the marvelous, fiction in which magic, myth, and dream construct a cosmos at a tilt. Although we will be reading primarily prose, writers working in all genres are welcome.


EN 608 – 002


T – 10:00 – 12:30 pm

Forms Special Topics:

Hybrid Experimental Memoir


Flexible and energetic, the hybrid and experimental memoir offers versatility in approaches to constructing autobiography. Contemporary practitioners move freely between literary genres. They engage in structural and formal play to identify and articulate their experiences. From choose-your-own-adventure to pataphor, memoirists are employing a variety of tropes and devices. Moving beyond the bounds of memory, these writers may also appropriate materials for collage or fragmentation such as historical documents, receipts, song lyrics, diary entries, poems and visual images. In this course, we will read and study a variety of recent works that engage in these processes.

Throughout the semester, students will write their own micro-memoirs in response to readings and complete one hybrid creative project by the end of the course.


EN 608 – 005


R  – 2:00 – 4:30 pm

Documentary Poetics


We will explore a variety of poetics and practices in creative documentary writing. Many, but by no means all, of our examples will be poetry, and class members are always welcome to write in any genre(s) of their choosing. How, in the face of historical and contemporary narratives, micro or macro, can the writer respond, concerned not with the solitary individual but with community, culture, history, power? What will be our point of view? Our tone, our approach? Shall we be expository, observing, archival, interactive, reflexive? We’ll see examples of these modalities, and of strategies such as collage, narration, monologue, choral speaking, framing, found texts, sampling and extending documents, intercutting, arranging, re-arranging, fictionalizing, staging, transcribing…. How shall we interact with the texts of underrepresented voices? Multiple voices? To whom are we speaking, and how, and where shall we speak? Can we combine the epic with the lyric? How might we still record the mind-in-action as we respond to what—then, now—is? And how, through all this, might we, in the words of Philip Metres, “confront (our) epistemological limitedness and our position of privilege as text-workers”? Possible readings include Camille Dungy, Tyehimba Jess, Solmaz Sharif, Charles Reznikoff, Muriel Rukeyser, Claudia Rankine, Martha Collins, Layli Long Soldier, C.D.Wright, Mark Nowak, Craig Santos Perez, Robert Polito, Walt Whitman, Joseph Harrington, Deborah Paradez, M. NourbeSe Philip, Bhanu Kapil, Carolyn Forche, Philip Metres, Richard Wright, Langston Hughes, Pablo Neruda, Juliana Spahr, Gayatri Spivak.  We’ll consult with librarians and others experts in tracking down documents. There will be three substantial writing assignments during the semester, with a good amount of time to work on each.


EN 609 – 001


W – 12:00 – 12:50 pm


Required pedagogy course for those teaching a 300-level creative writing course for the first time.



EN 609 – 002

X-listed with EN 541 – 001


W – 8:00 – 8:50 am

Strategies for the Profession


This one-hour course, geared towards later PhDs but open to all, will run every Spring. Together we engage collaboratively some of the professional tasks of graduate school. Divided into two areas, the course begins with specific practical advice: where to find funding and how to apply, how to choose and prepare for conferences, how to find professors to work with, and so on. The second area calls on you to choose your own adventure. You will prepare for the job market, producing the elements of an application (CV to cover letter to interview); you will prepare a major application for a research grant or fellowship (with many of the same formal tasks); or you will undertake a task of a similar professional kind. Each class member is on the hiring or funding committee.


EN 609-003


W – 2:00 – 2:50 pm



In describing the process of writing The Book of Delights, Ross Gay said: “It didn’t take me long to learn that the discipline or practice of writing these essays occasioned a kind of delight radar. Or maybe it was more like the development of a delight muscle. Something that implies that the more you study delight, the more delight there is to study.” In this course, we will follow Gay’s example and exercise our delight muscles to generate new content in whatever genre we find delightful.


EN 609 – 320


R – 5:00 – 5:50 pm


Required pedagogy course for those teaching EN 200 for the first time.





EN 610 – 001


W – 5:00 – 7:30 pm


This course offers an overview of the theoretical bases and practical applications of approaches to Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). We will cover topics such as the linguistic, psychological, and social aspects of second language learning, learner motivation, integrated skills teaching, successful teaching principles and strategies, choosing materials, assessment, culture in the classroom, and technology as a classroom resource


EN 612 – 001



Special Topics in Applied Linguistics:





EN 617 – 001


M – 2:00 – 4:30 pm


This course is a theoretical and pedagogical introduction to the teaching of English academic language skills to adult learners of English with a particular focus on teaching writing in the American university context. We will examine the theories and disciplines that have significantly informed second language writing research and pedagogy. Additionally, we will examine some of the emerging issues in the field of second language writing including such topics as translingual practice, identity and politics second language writing, multilingual creativity, and the increasingly multilingual student population at US universities. We will build on this theoretical foundation to develop skills in a variety of pedagogical practices including needs analysis, course design, assignment design, lesson planning, writing assessment, responding to student writing, and error correction.


EN 637 – 001


M – 10:00 – 12:30 pm

Workshop in Academic Writing


This advanced writing workshop is normally taken in the doctoral student’s final year of coursework. To pass this course, the student will be required to revise a paper and submit it for publication. We will peer review each other’s work and, along the way, learn the practical details of scholarly publishing.


EN 643 – 001


W – 2:00 – 4:30 pm

Seminar 20th Century American Lit: Faulkner’s B-Sides

You all probably know William Faulkner. Mississippi author. Southern Renaissance superstar. Titan of modernism. Author of more than twenty novels. But have you heard of Soldier’s Pay? What about The Wild Palms? Anyone you know ever read The Reviers, the novel that won Faulkner the Pulitzer Prize in 1962? In this course, we are going to be reading all of Faulkner’s b-sides, novels hardly mentioned in literary criticism and barely taught—and not solely for comically idiosyncratic motives: I want us to explore what gets canonized and what gets left out of Faulkner’s oeuvre as an examination of the historical, literary, and cultural forces at play in crafting legacy. I want us to specifically consider Faulkner’s legacy in part because he is not only a white southern author, but the most preeminent one; his precarious subjects and novels deal with topics that, while still resonant, have undertaken a turbulent and precarious rollercoastering over the last year. And I have questions. Does Faulkner still matter? How and to whom? Why are we only invested in a small percentage of his work? What does it mean when we celebrate William Faulkner as a novelist when we only include a handful of novels in consideration of his contribution to literature? What is Pylon about? Along the way, we’ll be tackling the issue of Faulkner journals/editions/critics/biographers/historians/author societies and how they operate as gatekeepers and curators whose focus is not on preservation but on branding. And I’d like to finally connect all of this to the much-larger conversation on monuments/memorialization/southern history that’s taking place on a our very campus, for it seems to me, William Faulkner himself is a remarkable metonym for white southern exceptionalism that we still have yet to topple. Should be a party?

Novels arrrrrr like, Soldiers’ Pay (1926), Mosquitoes (1927), Flags in the Dust (1929/1973), Pylon (1935), The Unvanquished (1938), The Wild Palms (1939), Intruder in the Dust (1948), A Fable (1954), The Reivers (1962), and the Snopes trilogy: The Hamlet (1940), The Town (1957), and The Mansion (159).


EN 652 – 001


M – 10:00 – 12:30 pm


A survey of major theories in composition studies, exploring philosophical underpinnings and major issues in the field.


EN 653 – 001


T – 2:00 – 4:30 pm

Research Methodology


This course is designed to provide an overview of basic methodologies and methods used in Composition and Rhetoric studies. This course will focus on the study of empirical research methods as well as practice using methodological frameworks employed within the field, including archival, quantitative, and qualitative methods. This course will including hands-on projects and applications in different research methods.


EN 658 – 001


R – 2:00 – 4:30 pm

Contemporary Rhetorics: From Empire to the Chthulucene

Through examination of current texts and contexts, this graduate seminar follows the thread of failing empire from late-stage capitalism to emergent kin relations between “critters” and a damaged planet (Haraway). Ours is a moment, an inflection point, where resistance to continuing imperial and settler exploitation, e.g. racial, sexual, economic, and environmental, will not be ignored. Reading and discussing the work of scholars like, Jonathan Alexander, Susan Jarratt, Nancy Welch, Donna Haraway, Nina Maria Lozano, Coco Fusco, Dana Cloud, and Lisa Blankenship, we will take up the questions of this rhetorical moment: who is being heard, how they are making themselves heard, who are their audiences, and significantly, what is it about this moment? Together, through this exploration of case studies of the now, we will uncover emergent narratives of resistance, situate and arrange them within this moment, and imagine “the arts of living and dying well” in more empathetic futures (98). This course will be taught Zoom synchronous.


EN 664 – 001


W – 10:00 – 12:30 pm

Seminar Renaissance Lit II:

 “Constructing Race in the Renaissance Atlantic World”


This graduate course will appeal to students interested in Renaissance literature and also to those invested in early American and African American literature. We will view (English) Renaissance literature from a transatlantic perspective, examining in particular the development of racial discourses in the literature — resulting from English/New World encounters with black Africans and Native Americans. The course applies the underlining principle of Critical Race Theory – that the concept of race has had a profound effect on the social, legal, historical, and literary structures that comprise United States culture. To better understand how U.S. culture arrived at this point, students will journey back to sixteenth and seventeenth century England to examine the earliest manifestations of racial discourses in an ever expanding English American empire.

We will pursue this course while keeping in mind the warnings from race theorists and historians who caution against applying the term ‘race’ to earlier historical periods in which people were classified based on cultural distinctions, not biological ones. They point out that our contemporary understanding of ‘race’ as a scientific, biologically-based system of difference is an invention of late eighteenth and nineteenth century scientists. However, as Maria Elena Martinez rightly points out in her book Genealogical Fictions, in properly historicizing the term ‘race,’ we should be careful not to dismiss its presence and function in earlier periods. We will operate, then, on the assumption that racial discourses developed before the nineteenth century. Such discourses were, in fact, an integral part of early European imperial projects.

Focusing specifically on the English, as a case study of sorts, students will examine how the English wrote about ‘race,’ how they categorized people based on cultural and geographical differences and how they defined themselves based on those differences. We will emphasize the stakes and the problems racial classification created for each writer and English empire. Why did race matter, how did it matter, and what did these writers do when they encountered figures in the Americas whose actions defied racial classification? Readings include the work of William Shakespeare, Aphra Behn, Ben Johnson, and Richard Ligon, among others.


EN 667 – 001


M – 2:00 – 4:30 pm

Shakespeare in Performance Practicum


This course asks students to think about how scholars, directors, and actors interact with, transform, and reimagine early modern playtexts when they bring them to the stage or screen. Toward that end, we will work with Professor Steve Burch of the Theater department to develop our skill at reading a playtext as a performance script. Texts and performances to be discussed will likely include Shakespeare’s Othello, Keith Hamilton Cobb’s American Moor, and at least one additional modern adaptation of Othello. Other plays will be selected based on available video-on-demand or streaming options. We will also read several works of scholarship by early modern theater historians.


Open to all PhD, MA, and MFA students.


EN 674 – 001


TR – 11:00 – 12:15 pm

Seminar in Eighteenth-Century Literature

From Defiance to Despair:  Feminist Fiction of the 1790s

The publication of Mary Wollstonecraft’s A Vindication of the Rights of Woman in 1792 is a high point of Enlightenment feminism, but within a few years her defiance turned to despair. The optimism she and other philosophical radicals felt at the beginning of the French Revolution was crushed by the swift conservative response in Britain to the Revolution’s violence and its threat to stability and social hierarchies. Wollstonecraft and the writers of her circle began the 1790s believing that education could alleviate women’s condition, giving them rights and options that would lead to greater happiness. But they ended the decade with publications marked by pessimism. All the members of her circle at century’s end published painful stories in which strong-minded women struggled tragically against the debilitating physical and mental impact of patriarchal power. In these later works, Wollstonecraft and her associates used language we recognize today from disability studies, such as “defect,” “deficiency,” “impairment,” “injury,” “prejudice,” “illness,” and “madness.” Given that women in the Western tradition had, since Aristotle, been considered as “defective”—as deficient variants of the essential male form—why would feminists such as Wollstonecraft so readily use the language of defect and disability? In this class, we will use the tools of literary disability theory to explore these narratives of feminist despair, trying to understand why Wollstonecraft and the writers in her circle created heroines who suffered from injuries and illnesses, experienced impairments, sank into depression, and went mad. Such a close look at this short period of time will allow us to better understand an often neglected period of feminist literary history—a time in which the optimism of radicals turned to despair, and in which a pragmatic and conciliatory form of feminist writing emerged.

Students should expect the usual workload for a graduate class: Moderately heavy reading, daily participation, weekly response papers, some short presentations, and a 15-page seminar paper due during finals week.


EN 690 – 001


TR – 9:30 – 10:45 am

Modern British Literature


Modernism and Moods: In this course we will look at modernist literature from the American, British, and European traditions to understand the generative role of mourning and melancholia. Readings may include Sigmund Freud, Virginia Woolf, Jean Rhys, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Emil Cioran, D. H. Lawrence, Thomas Bernard, and Elfriede Jelinek. Coursework involves a presentation, an abstract, and a final research paper.


EN 698-001        Non-Dissertation Research         James McNaughton


EN 699-001        Dissertation Research                     James McNaughton