Graduate Courses 2017-2018

Fall 2017 | Spring 2018

Fall 2017

EN 523-001: A History of the English Language

Catherine Davies
CRN: 47644 (X-l: EN 423-001, CRN-47504)
TR 11:00am–12:15pm

An introduction to the external history of the English language along with the study of the accompanying internal changes in structure. This course traces the evolution of the English language from its Indo-European roots to its contemporary forms as a basis for understanding English grammar, pronunciation, and spelling. It serves as a linguistically-informed background for studying literature in English. The course examines the development of English from two perspectives: its external history (the sociohistorical, cultural, and political forces that have helped shape the language) and its internal history (the phonological, grammatical, and lexical changes that have taken place within the language as a system). 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 (in its contemporary variations) and where it might be going.

EN 524-001: English Structure and Usage

Dilin Liu
CRN: 43202 (X-l: EN 424-001, CRN-43897)
TR 12:30–1:45pm

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.

EN 532-001: Approaches to Teaching Composition

Karen Gardiner
CRN: 49974
T 2–4:30pm

An introduction to the basic pedagogical approaches to teaching expository writing in secondary and higher education—along with examinations of epistemology, ideology, and traditional conventions underlying such approaches—as well as to innovative pedagogical approaches using technology. Topics will include: writing pedagogies, student learning outcomes, writing as a process, strategies for constructing syllabi and writing assignments, working with students and their writing (including feedback, conferencing, grading), teaching grammar and style, and teaching academic integrity and source-based writing skills. The primary focus will be on teaching first-year writing courses, but teaching advanced writing courses will also be considered.

Among other requirements will be short response papers, online discussions or blog posts, oral presentations, classroom observations, and a final research project.

Possible Assigned texts: Rose: Lives on the Boundary; Johnson, Teaching Composition: Background Readings; Lindemann: A Rhetoric for Writing Teachers; Williams: Style; and Weaver: Teaching Grammar in Context.

EN 533: Practicum in Teaching College English 101

Various instructors
TR 12:30–1:30pm

To help develop effective pedagogy for teaching composition and to address practical concerns of teaching college courses. Required of all graduate assistants teaching EN 101 for the first time. Training in reaching EN 101 course goals and writing outcomes. Please note: EN 533 begins with a required one-week orientation session immediately prior to the start of the fall semester. Orientation attendance is mandatory for retaining a graduate assistantship.

  • 533-001 / CRN: 42517 – Buck
  • 533-002 / CRN: 45298 – Kidd
  • 533-003 / CRN: 45299 – Champagne
  • 533-004 / CRN: 47654 – Robinson

EN 537-001: Introduction to Graduate Studies

Michelle Dowd
CRN: 44387
R 9:30am–12:00pm

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.

EN 539-001: Literature Pedagogy

Albert Pionke
CRN: 47506 (X-l: EN 609-3)
T 12:30–1:30pm

This course is an introduction to the theories and practices of pedagogy as they impact teaching, learning, and relations in the composition classroom.

EN 601-001: Novel Workshop

Wendy Rawlings
CRN: 42228
M 2–4:30pm

This is the second half of the two-semester novel writing workshop. Only students who took Part 1 of the course may register.

EN 601-002: Graduate Fiction Workshop

Kellie Wells
M 2–4:30pm

Enrollment limited to students with approved portfolios (approval secured upon admission to the MFA program). Focus will be discussion of original student writing; other reading and writing may be assigned.

EN 603-001: Poetry Workshop

Robin Behn
W 2–4:30pm

In this workshop focusing on the work of the participants, we will pay special attention to the creative process and to the varied literary passions of the participants. Traditional workshop of poems will include the opportunity to write long poems and/or series of poems if you wish. We’ll also generate brief exercises for one another and find some times and spaces to write as a group.

EN 605-320: Special Topics: Non Fiction Workshop

Hali Felt
CRN: 49977
MW 5–6:15pm

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: Peak TV

John Estes
CRN: 42229
R 2–4:30pm

With the debut of The Sopranos in 1999, the television landscape changed forever, sparking a renaissance in serialized television drama that over 15 years later is still hitting its stride. From The Wire to The Americans, from Mad Men to Breaking Bad, from Sherlock to Orange Is the New Black, prestige dramas have set a high bar—both in terms of writing quality and cinematic production values—that has hundreds of original programs chasing after similar critical acclaim and viewer devotion. In this class you will play the show runner, responsible for conceiving, writing, and planning a new series. We will study the form and business of writing drama for television, and examine in depth the structure and arc of how an entire season is constructed across a number of episodes. You will end this course with the Story Bible of an entire new show in hand as well as a polished screenplay for the pilot episode. This course will require the purchase and use of Final Draft, film industry standard software used for screenwriting and production.

EN 608-002: The Place of Place

Michael Martone
CRN: 42233
M 10:00am–12:30pm

Gertrude Stein famously said, “There is no there there.” There might not be no here here yet. But here goes. In this Forms class we will consider the nature of there-ness as well as here-ness through our reading and writing about “place.” Also, we will do some walking, some visiting, some strolling, some seeing, some field work getting out of the classroom and taking in our surroundings. To that end the class requires a portable camp chair or stool so we can set up on our adventures. Required reading? Still not figured out but maybe… In poetry and prose (both fiction and nonfiction):

John R, Stillgoe, Elizabeth Bishop, J. B. Jackson, James Baldwin, Rebecca Solnit, Annie Dillard, Ralph Ellison, Edmond White, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, James Agee, Henry David Thoreau

Colson Whitehead, Gaston Bachelard, Frank O’Hara, William Carlos Williams, Thornton Wilder, Terry Tempest Williams, Joy Williams, Louise Erdrich, Richard Hugo, Wendell Berry

And perhaps Pattern Language, Atlas Obscura, and Postcard Century.There will be weekly writing prompts, the keeping of a commonplace book, and a term project.

EN 608-003: Forms of Writing: Classics for Contemporaries

Joel Brouwer
CRN: 44584
T 2–4:30pm

Of Bodies Changed to other forms I tell: Classics for Contemporaries

In this class we’ll read about the rage of Achilles, the Sirens’ song, the Trojan horse, Orpheus’s descent into the underworld to retrieve Eurydice, and scores of other stories that have shaped Western culture over the last 2,500 years (give or take). We will also make additional contributions to that culture by completing a variety of imaginative writing projects inspired by our reading. Texts: Iliad, Odyssey, Aeneid, and Metamorphoses, along with some supplementary / contextual / critical material. Open to MFA students in any major genre; writing assignments will be genre-neutral.

EN 608-320: The Sonnet Sequence

Lamar Wilson
CRN: 48644
T 5–7:30pm

Is the sonnet sequence dead? Heavens no! After spending time with Shakespeare, Petrarch, and Spenser, we’ll see what writers of the last century—among them, Rilke, cummings, Brooks, Lowell, Heaney, Berryman, and Dove—and those publishing today have done with this classic form. Among recent works we’ll study are Marilyn Nelson’s _A Wreath for Emmett Till_ (2005) and sequences in Natasha Trethewey’s _Native Guard_ (2007) and Samiya Bashir’s forthcoming _Field Studies_ (2017). Essayist-scholar Anne Fadiman once posited: “A sonnet might look dinky, but it was somehow big enough to accommodate love, war, death, and O.J. Simpson. You could fit the whole world in there if you shoved hard enough.” Not only are these linked little songs not too hard to master, they just may be the music we need in times like these, with so many uncertainties and myriad subtleties to mine.

EN 609-001: CW Pedagogy

John Estes
CRN: 47180
M 12:30-1:30pm

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: Playing in the Dark: Unleashing Childlike Curiosity

Lamar Wilson
CRN: 49978
T 11-11:50am

Sometimes we forget how much fun making up stories used to be when we were kids. What might we “see” writing in the dark? What will we discover on a scavenger hunt at campus landmarks and inside _The Stuffed Owl: The Anthology of Bad Verse_ and other dusty gems Gorgas Library has awaiting us? Our hour each week will be filled with just that: letting our inner child be our muse.

EN 609-003: Literature Pedagogy

Albert Pionke
CRN: 47506 (X-l: EN 539-001)
T 12:30–1:30pm

This course is an introduction to the theories and practices of pedagogy as they impact teaching, learning, and relations in the composition classroom.

EN 609-320 Style Studio: The Sentence

Robin Behn
CRN: 46872
W 5–6:30pm

In this one-hour class, we will consider a variety of stylistic approaches to the sentence. Each meeting will consist of a consideration of daring, or at least various, uses of syntax, the line or paragraph vis a vis the sentence, the order of words and the rhythms of sentences, the ways sentences accumulate–or don’t, the purpose of the sentence, its interactions with punctuation, etc. We will sample a very wide variety of writers and write together during class.

EN 609-321: Arts Entrepreneurship

John Estes
EN 609-321 CRN: 47509
M 6–6:30pm

For those who want to practice how to bring writing and literacy to others, how to kick-off art start-ups and small businesses, how to take an inspired idea and make it a reality, this course will help you learn how to do that. The translation of passion to action must pass through strategy, relationship-building, and paperwork; you must design, market, and execute your plan. In this course you will work independently or in small teams to create the structures, written materials, and connections necessary to create something new in the world, gaining experience in arts administration, leadership, community-building, and the personal commitment necessary to carve out a space for and succeed in achieving something you feel to be vital and necessary.

EN 612-001: Classroom Interactions & Discourse Analysis

Dorothy Worden
EN 612-001 CRN: 49979
M 2–4:30pm

This course focuses on researching and understanding communication patterns in educational contexts with a particular emphasis on second and foreign language classrooms. Through readings, discussion, and analysis of authentic classroom data, students will gain a greater understanding of how students and teachers interact and use language as a means of communication, thinking, and learning. Specific topics covered will include: how teachers use language to represent content; patterns of teacher-student interaction; the dynamics of student-to-student communication; community, rapport, and politeness in classroom interactions; and the role of classroom discourse in reproducing or challenging power imbalances. Throughout the course, students will learn to practice classroom discourse analysis both as a research paradigm in its own right and also as a reflective tool that they can use to develop their own current and future teaching practices.

EN 620-001: Second Language Development

Dilin Liu
EN 620-001 CRN: 47510
TR 2–3:15pm

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 637-001: Workshop in Academic Writing

James McNaughton
EN 637-001 CRN: 48645
T 2–4:30pm

This writing workshop is normally taken in the doctoral student’s final year of coursework. To pass the course, students must revise a paper and submit it for publication.

EN 638-001: History of Rhetoric

Amy Dayton
EN 638-001 CRN: 49980
M 2–4:30pm

This class will cover the history of rhetoric from the classical to the modern age, with special emphasis on the first half of our text, The Rhetorical Tradition, covering the classical through the Renaissance eras. Despite the name of this text, it may be more productive to think of rhetoric as a set of traditions rather than a unified subject with an established canon. We will consider rhetorical history and theory as sites of conflict, where established and classical texts are juxtaposed with counter-narratives and alternative traditions. We will consider why rhetoric has been, during certain historical moments, held up as the ideal course of study for educated people, and at other times, viewed as an a-theoretical set of tricks used to deceive and manipulate. We will also consider methodologies for historical research, and applications for teaching composition.

EN 643-001: Modernism’s Maturity: The Poets of the 1930s

Heather White
EN 643-001 CRN:49981
M 2–4:30pm

The creator of the new composition in the arts is an outlaw until he is a classic. -Gertrude Stein, 1926

In this course, we will read closely a range of books by American poets in the 1930’s. Tracing the truncations (Hart Crane), flourishings (Ezra Pound, Marianne Moore, and Wallace Stevens), transitions (Robert Frost), and new beginnings (George Oppen) that took place in the1930s will show why it remains one of the most complex and fruitful decades for American poetry of the 20th century. In seeking to understand how Modernism’s former outlaws became, in that decade, the classics they remain, we will pay close attention to not only the work these poets made, but the material circumstances that surrounded their publication, and the critical prose that shaped their reputations.

EN 647-001: “a much-loved city drowned”: Reading Katrina/Losing NOLA

Andy Crank
EN 647-001 CRN: 49982
R 2–4:30pm

This course examines the cultural and literary discourses surrounding Hurricane Katrina as both an ecological/economic disaster and as a rhetoric for un/re/de-imagining the South in the early decades of the 21st century. We’re going to be looking at race, region, class, waste, global warming, issues of whiteness, media, political discourses, cultural references, and a fair number of films and texts including: SALVAGE THE BONES, LONG DIVISION, STRANGE FRUIT (graphic novel), BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD, WHEN THE LEVEES BROKE, JAZZ FUNERAL, ZEITOUN, BEYOND KATRINA, AD: NEW ORLEANS AFTER THE DELUGE, TREME, FORMATION (Beyonce), and probably a whole lot more. We’ll also look at how southern ecological disasters of the past–for example, the Mississippi flood of 1927–helped frame the narrative of Katrina in 2005.

EN 652-001: Writing Program Administration

Luke Niiler
EN 652-001 CRN: 48648
T 9:30am–12:oopm

In this course we’ll take a broad view of writing program administration, and consider the field’s theory, lore, history, and practice. We’ll also address the role of leadership theory and leadership skills in WPA work. (Leadership is not a commonly considered topic in WPA courses, to be sure, but it is one that could stand some scrutiny).

Questions central to the course include, but are not limited to, the following: What is the primary role or function of a WPA? In what ways can WPA work be distinguished from other forms of academic administration and/or leadership? What issues and problems do those in WPA positions face, and how and why do they respond as they do? What is the role of research and assessment within a writing program? How might a writing program be organized, and how and why might that writing program seek to create connections with other units on campus?

You’ll be responsible for several short reflection papers, which will culminate in a longer researched paper. You’ll present a version of that paper at the end of the semester. Please note that travel to other WPA sites (area colleges/universities) will be required.

EN 668-001: Milton and Heavenly Harmony

David Ainsworth
EN 668-001 CRN:45303
R 2–4:30pm

This course will feature an intensive examination of John Milton’s poetry and selected prose works. We will approach the texts primarily, though not exclusively, from a musical angle, and with a focus on theology as well as language and form. (No musical experience is required to take the class.)

EN 683-001: Austen Seminar

Deborah Weiss
EN 683-001 CRN: 48650
M 2–4:30pm

This course will cover all six of Austen’s published works, as well as the unpublished Lady Susan. In so doing, we will have a triple agenda: To read all of Austen’s works closely, thoroughly, and well; to trace the development of her ideas and methods over time; and to understand the varied and extensive critical frameworks through which she has been understood. Students will have short weekly writing assignments, a 10-12 page seminar paper, and a presentation to be given at an informal “Jane Austen Symposium” at the end of the semester. Open to PhD, Masters and MFA students.

EN 685-001: Seminar in Victorian Literature

Albert Pionke
EN 685-001 CRN: 49983
W 10:00am–12:30pm

Although the proverbial jewel in England’s imperial crown, the supplier of three of England’s favored imports—cotton, tea, and opium—and the destination for a majority of England’s overseas troops and social servants, India remained largely unknown in any factual sense to most of England’s Victorian public. Imaginatively, rhetorically, and literarily, however, India had a potent place in England, one made all the more prominent, prolific, confusing (and, occasionally, disturbingly prescient) by the mid-century rebellion of a significant portion of the northern subcontinent. This seminar will devote itself to a portion of the vast amount of written material concerned with representing India to English readers throughout the Victorian period. Among the texts under our collective purview will be novels by Philip Meadows Taylor, Wilkie Collins, and Rudyard Kipling; nonfiction prose and oratory related to the so-called “Indian Mutiny” of 1857-58; poetry by Alfred Tennyson, Christina Rossetti, and the Dutt family; and more.

EN 690-001: Modern British Prose

Emily Wittman
EN 690-001 CRN: 49984
M 9:15–11:45am

In this course we will read fiction and autobiographical work by a range of British Modernists. We will read, among others, works by Virginia Woolf, Jean Rhys, Joseph Conrad, and D. H. Lawrence. We may read two works by the same author in order to understand the evolution of style over time.

EN 693-001 Postcolonial Literature and the Environment

Cajitan Iheka
EN 693-001 CRN: 48651
R 2–4:30pm

The course is particularly interested in the areas of the Global South where histories of colonialism, conquest, and globalization have fundamentally altered the local environments. Our explorations will be particularly concerned with the representations of non-Western ecologies in literary narratives. Some of the environmental questions that these texts examine include pollution caused by extractive industries such as in the Niger Delta. Others are the questions of the nonhumans in these spaces, and the environmental change brought about by development. Through close readings informed by specific contexts of emanation, we will examine texts by Zakes Mda, Bessie Head, Amitav Ghosh, Jamaica Kincaid, among others. In addition to an interest in these environmental problems, the course will be concerned with the narrative strategies employed by these authors to illuminate their thematic concerns. We will begin by engaging with the question of postcolonial literature and its parameters, and return to these throughout the semester as we read the primary texts. The selection of secondary materials is meant to illuminate the theoretical contours of environmental literary criticism and theory, especially, from a postcolonial and/or global perspective. Based on geographical considerations, the course work is divided into three units. In the first, we will consider African ecologies in their complexity from colonial through post-colonial times. In the unit on the Caribbean, we will explore the transformations of the landscape from slavery, through colonialism, and the contemporary era. Turning to Asian spaces in the third unit, we will explore changes brought about by globalization and the effects on both humans and nonhumans. In no way is this meant to be an exhaustive treatment of these regions but a working rubric to contextualize and organize the currents of spaces and themes we will engage with.

Return to Top

Spring 2018

EN 500-001: Special Topics: Fictions of American Identity

CRN: 13063 (x-l with EN 422 & AMS 465/565)
TR 2–3:15pm

This course explores nineteenth- and twentieth-century American literature and culture. Novels and short stories by Edgar Allan Poe, Henry James, James Weldon Johnson, Zora Neale Hurston, Vladimir Nabokov, Toni Morrison, Gish Jen, and other writers are studied in the context of debates over slavery, national identity, women’s roles, immigration and assimilation, social mobility, sexual mores, consumer culture, and race relations. Paper assignments emphasize close reading techniques and process-oriented writing. Assigned literary critical readings include papers written by students in this class and subsequently published in The Explicator, a journal of text-based critical essays.

EN 500-002: Feminist Theory & the Affective Turn: The Politics of Disgust, the Politics of Shame

Jennifer Purvis
CRN: 13272 (x-l with WS 530)
W 2–4:30pm

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 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 studies, fat studies, and queer of color critique.

EN 512-001: Computers and Writing

Amber Buck
CRN: 20018
T 3:30– 6pm

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.

EN 523-001: History of the English Language

Catherine Davies
CRN: 17312 (x-l with EN 423)
TR 11–12:15pm

This course traces the evolution of the English language from its Indo-European roots to its contemporary forms as a basis for understanding English grammar, pronunciation, and spelling. It serves as a linguistically informed background for studying literature in English. The course examines the development of English from two perspectives: its external history (the sociohistorical, cultural, and political forces that have helped shape the language) and its internal history (the phonological, grammatical, and lexical changes that have taken place within the language as a system). 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 (in its contemporary variations) and where it might be going.

EN 525-001: Dialectology

Catherine Davies
CRN: 14504 (x-l with EN 425)
TR 2–3:15pm

In this course, we will study the experience of the English language in America, with particular emphasis on its development and dialects. We’ll explore differences in accent, vocabulary, grammar, and patterns of language use among people from across the United States. We’ll look at how dialect differences developed, reflect on how language is a part of our identity, and consider the consequences of linguistic stereotyping, both positive and negative.

EN 534: Practicum in Teaching College English

Various instructors
TR 12:30-1:30pm

This is offered Spring semester ONLY and required of all graduate assistants teaching EN 102 for the first time. Training includes reaching EN 102 course goals and writing outcomes. Further instructions in teaching argumentation and advanced research techniques.

  • 534-001 CRN 12753 —Kidd — 534-101 CRN
  • 534—002 CRN# 14763 —Buck– 534-102 CRN#
  • 534—003 CRN# 15621 —Loper— 534-103 CRN#
  • 534—004 CRN# 17313 —Champagne— 534-104 CRN#

EN 601-001: Fiction Workshop

Kellie Wells
CRN 14574
M 2–4:30pm

This class is intended for students enrolled in the MFA Program in Creative Writing and will concentrate on the writing and reading of fiction. The engine of the course will primarily be the fiction of the writers in the workshop.

EN 601-002: Graduate Fiction Workshop

Michael Martone
CRN: 18717
M 10am–12:30pm

The workshop will be conducted as a hypoxic workshop.

EN 603-320: Graduate Poetry Workshop

Lamar Wilson
CRN: 10930
T 5:00–7:30pm

For nearly three decades, scholars have taken up Judith Butler’s cues to chart “gender trouble” in literature and pop culture. Creative writers, however, have been writing into and out of the strictures of “male” and “female” embodiment since antiquity. We’ll look back at a few pieces from Sappho, Shakespeare, Eliot, Hayden, & others before diving into very recent collections as models. Possible authors include Kaveh Akbar, Aziza Barnes, Steph Burt, CA Conrad, Terrance Hayes, Robin Coste Lewis, Airea D. Matthews, Layli Long Soldier, Danez Smith, Carmen Gimenez Smith, and Rachel Zucker. We’ll celebrate others’ gendered triumphs as we craft & workshop our own new poems, pondering how our speakers perform (& resist) this multivalent marker of identity.

EN 608-001: Where the Wild Things Are: Writing Biodiversity

Heidi Staples
CRN: 17315
R 9:30am–12:15pm

In this course, we will investigate the question of how writers draw on an appreciation of biodiversity and an interest in conservation to write imaginative works. Genre explorations will be wide-ranging, including personal essay, short fiction, tankas, the Chinese rivers-and-mountains tradition, and the walk poem. Excursions will include a hike at Hurricane Creek and presentation by Creekkeeper John Wathen, and a hike followed by an outdoor reading at Ruffner Mountain, one of the largest privately held conservation areas in the United States. Texts may include The Poetic Species: A Conversation with Edward O. Wilson and Robert Hass; For A Little While, Rick Bass; Abundance, Annie Dillard; Mountain Home: The Wilderness; Poetry of Ancient China, translated by David Hinton; Tanka Diary, Harryette Mullen; Wet Land, Lucas De Lima; and essays from Practice of the Wild, Gary Snyder.

EN 608-002: Forms of Creative Writing: Comedy

Wendy Rawlings
CRN: 17316
T 2–4:30pm

“There is a thin line between the comic and the horrible,” claims Milan Kundera. Why should this be the case? This will be a hands-on course investigating forms and strategies of comedy. We’ll read in several genres and watch some comedic performances, and we’ll also discuss contexts for comedy such as race, class, sexual orientation, nationality and gender, attempting to ask why this particular form allows writers and performers to explore difficult material. Possible texts include Aravind Adiga, WHITE TIGER; Paul Beatty, THE SELLOUT; Fran Ross, OREO, and other good stuff. Writing assignments may range from a short monologue to a longer comic work of prose, poetry, or nonfiction. Poets and prose writers welcome. Everyone will tell a joke or two.

EN 608-002: Forms: Special Topics

Joel Brouwer
CRN: 12971
R 2–4:30pm

REITERATION. We’ll engage a number of imaginative texts that somehow reflect earlier texts, and write some such ourselves. Along the way, we’ll discuss the ways in which these reiterations—the ones you’ll read and the ones you’ll write—might be considered “original,” the ways in which they’re not “original,” and what it means to be “original” anyhow. We’ll talk about influence, pastiche, revision, parody, remakes, adaptation, sampling, archetypes, and other related topics, techniques, anxieties, and pleasures that come into play when a text –consciously or unconsciously—reiterates an earlier text. Student writing will react to texts from the reading list in a variety of parasitic modes, including collage, homage, and frottage. Possible authors: Jean Rhys, Jack Spicer, Noah Eli Gordon, Grandmaster Flash, Anthony Mann, John Ford, Roland Barthes, John Barth, Vladimir Nabokov, Muriel Rukeyser, Oscar Wilde, 5 Guy de Maupassant, Louise Gluck, Anne Carson, Ivan Turgenev, Italo Calvino, DJ Spooky, Jonathan Lethem, Richard Prince, Sherry Levine, Amy Heckerling, Lucie Brock-Broido, Kathleen Ossip, Homer. This is a genre-agnostic zone; MFA candidates of any specialty are welcome.

EN 608-320: All in the (Queer) Family

Hali Felt
CRN: 10910
M 5–7:30pm

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 608-321: Special Topics: Teaching Creative Writing

John Estes
CRN: 20021
W 4:30–6:00pm (CWC) & F 12–12:50pm

Teaching Creative Writing Meeting times are both Wednesday 4:30–6:00 pm and Friday 12:00–12:50 pm. This course is the pedagogical component of the Creative Writing Club (CWC), a Tuscaloosa-wide afterschool program for high school students. We draw motivated high school writers from a dozen schools in Tuscaloosa and invite them to Morgan Hall on Wednesdays after school to work with us. The CWC will begin its thirteenth season this spring. We have had grant support from the Tuscaloosa Arts Council and the Alabama State Council on the Arts. We will meet twice each week—once with just the graduate students to organize the club, discuss pedagogy, and design lessons; and once with the high school kids to conduct.

EN 609-001: Writers at Work: Form. Theory. Practice

John Estes
CRN: 18718
M 12:30–1:20pm

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: Playing in the Dark—Unleashing Childlike Curiosity

Lamar Wilson
CRN: 16800
T 11–11:50pm

Sometimes we forget how much fun making up stories used to be when we were kids. What might we “see” writing in the dark? What will we discover on a scavenger hunt at campus landmarks and inside the Stuffed Owl: The Anthology of Bad Verse and other dusty gems Gorgas Library has awaiting us? Our hour each week will be filled with just that: letting our inner child be our muse.

EN 610-001: Methods for TESOL

Dilin Liu
T 2–4:30pm

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: Topics in Applied Linguistics

Dilin Liu
CRN: 14764
M 2–4:30pm

Vocabulary and grammar are arguably the two most important parts in language learning. Using contemporary linguistic theories and approaches, such as cognitive/corpus linguistics and construction/pattern grammar, this course explores effective and creative ways of teaching vocabulary and grammar. Via readings and discussions, the class will gain a sound understanding of the new theories and will use them to critically examine lexico-grammatical descriptions and teaching practices in existing language textbooks and reference materials. In addition, students will, individually and collectively (in groups), develop lexico-grammatical teaching activities, exercises, assessment instruments, and lesson plans and share them in class.

EN 617-001: Teaching ESL Academic Language Skills

Dorothy Worden
CRN: 14520
W 2–4:30pm

This course is a theoretical and pedagogical introduction to teaching send language writing and other academic language skills with a particular emphasis on the American university context. We will overview the theories and disciplines that have significantly informed second language writing research 7 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 635-001: Seminar in Literary Criticism

James McNaughton
CRN: 20022
T 9:30am–12:00pm

In this course we survey some of the main theoretical debates that renewed the practice of literary criticism over the last century. Our readings begin at the end of the 18th century, when criticism helped to reformulate conceptions of subjectivity within the public sphere. Then we move quickly to the 20th century when critics again explore how forms of subjectivity are socially produced and how social life is symbolically processed. These questions compel literary studies to contend with deeply influential modern thought in a variety of pertinent disciplines: linguistics and political theory, philosophy and psychology, for example. The diversity of such theoretical writing calls for an open-minded approach to inquiry. This flexibility is especially needed since such writing contests commonsense notions about the unity of the subject, language’s ability to represent, and what we habitually take as natural or real. More, because this writing raises questions that may be answered in popular literature or other cultural media, the course should lead us to query (and explore ways to defend) the exceptional value of literary form. The professor expects a seminar paper and short weekly responses.

EN 640-001: Special Topics: Seminar in American Literature

Nikil Bilwakesh
CRN: 16150
W 2:00–4:30pm

“Serious White Women” This course looks at a selection of American women’s prose from roughly the 1930s to the 70s, in which a lack of narrative precedent forces new formulations of humor, racial identification, and religious experience in a post-prohibition age of modern feminism. Writers will include Alice James, Gertrude Stein, Djuna Barnes, Solita Solano, Janet Flanner, Margaret Anderson, Jane Bowles, Carson McCullers, Patricia Highsmith, Dorothy Hughes, Chris Kraus, and Kathy Acker. We will be approaching the texts with some critical readings on American modernism, religious writing, narrative theory, alcoholism and addiction in literature, and humor. Informed participation, an annotated bibliography, a short presentation, and a 20-page critical essay are required.

EN 643-001: Seminar in American Literature: 1900-present

Trudier Harris
CRN: 20023
M 9–11:30am

“Known and Unknown Shadows: Transracial Thematics in American Literature”, will pair twentieth and twenty-first century African American and European American writers in an exploration of literary influence as well as in explorations of how authors treat similar topics across the racial divide. In terms of influence, one of the pairs we will consider is William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying and Suzan-Lori Parks’ Getting Mothers’ Body. Parks’ 2003 novel parrots shamelessly the multi-voiced approach that Faulkner uses; it also echoes thematic concerns in terms of journeying and questing, and especially in the focus on a dead body. Both feature teenaged young women, and both showcase the consequences of engaging in illicit sex. In terms of treatment of comparable themes, Tennessee Williams’s family dramas offer comparisons to those of August Wilson and Lorraine Hansberry, and Sam Shepard’s True West readily invites engagement with Suzan-Lori Parks’ Top Dog/Underdog. In portraying characters across racial lines, both Michael Chabot and Zora Neale Hurston venture into controversial territory. These writers, among others, will provide material for exploring creativity across racial lines—where ideas intersect, where they diverge, and the racial politics of all those divergences/convergences. Other authors who might be paired in the course include Dorothy Allison and Randall Kenan, with Alice Childress and Kathryn Stockett, and Yusef Komunyakaa and Tim O’Brien. The course will be run primarily by discussion, with regular oral/visual reports from seminar participants. The expectation is that, by the end of the course, each student will produce a paper that could be considered for publication.

EN 648-001: (Some) Black Lives Matter: African American Culture & the Literary Origins of Respectability Politics

Cassie Smith
CRN: 20024
W 9:45am–12:15pm

In this seminar, we re-examine the origins of African American literature by locating its earliest iterations within a politics of respectability. First theorized in the early 1990s by Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham, respectability politics is a form of assimilation defined by the self-policing that occurs when members of an oppressed group seek to model (and condemn those in the group who do not model) the cultural and social mores of a dominant group to promote social and economic equality. Since the election of this country’s first black president in 2008, respectability politics has assumed a newfound significance. Political analysts and cultural critics alike attribute former President Barak Obama’s popularity among black voters to this idea of respectability, and it has been central in how those within the Black community (and outside) have discussed the shooting deaths of unarmed African Americans like Trayvon Martin (2012) and Michael Brown (2014). For the Black community, respectability politics is a double-edge sword promising upward mobility and justifying the oppressive violence done to black bodies. In this course, then, we will examine representations of respectability 9 throughout the course of African American literature beginning with the first texts written by and about black Africans in the 17th century and ending with texts from the 21st century. We will discuss the consequences of writing and reading black bodies through a lens of respectability, thinking through questions such as: How has respectability politics shaped the cultural output of black Americans, particularly in terms of the literature. How has it determined or over determined the role of authorship? How might respectability politics have shaped considerations of genre, rhetoric, and audience and vice versa? Course readings will include the fiction of Aphra Behn, Frances Harper, James Baldwin, Tayari Jones, and Sister Souljah, the slave narratives of Harriet Jacobs and Frederick Douglass, the political speeches of 19th century abolitionist Maria Stewart, and newspaper clippings from the earliest black newspapers and current periodicals, such as the New York Times.

EN 666-001: Seminar in Renaissance Literature II

Tricia McElroy
CRN: 20025
R 2–4:30pm

This seminar will investigate the idea “people” in sixteenth – and early seventeenth – century England and Scotland. What literary and cultural forms do we associate with the “people”? On what grounds? How distinct is the line between “high” and “low” culture? And, importantly, how did ordinary people exert their religious and political opinions? We will begin by considering the methodological problems associated with identifying popular attitudes and culture. Secondary readings will be drawn from a number of critics and historians who investigate matters such as popular literary forms, political rebellion, and the relationship between print and popular reading, between oral and literate culture. As students of English, we will concern ourselves primarily with the possibilities and limitations of deploying literature in the historical project of locating popular culture. If historians often search primary documents in vain for voices of ordinary people, what might literature be able to tell us? Or is literature mediated to an even greater degree by author, genre, form, and tradition? These questions, and others, will occupy us. Students will read a variety of authors, some familiar—Shakespeare, Herrick—others less so. And the course will range across the genres and forms of the period: poetry, drama, and prose, broadly speaking, but also broadside ballads, chronicle histories, moral treatises, and satirical distillation of English history into Renaissance drama.

EN 669-001: The Strode Seminar Theatrical Economies in Early Modern England

Michelle Dowd
CRN: 20026
T 2–4:30pm

In this seminar, we will consider the Elizabethan and Jacobean Theater—one of the central cultural and artistic institutions of the early modern period—as part of a vibrant economic network. We will investigate the theater itself as a business in its own right, and we will also examine how drama from the 10 period represents both production and consumption. Specific topics to be discussed will include business practices related to theater and performance (including the early modern repertory system, apprenticeship, audience composition and expectation, and the commercial goals of theatrical companies) and dramatic representations of such issues as debt, inheritance, consumerism, material cultural, and labor. As part of the seminar, we will also welcome at least two guest speakers to class- Roslyn Knutson in January and Natasha Kora in April- to share their research and expertise. Readings will include a range of secondary criticism and historical scholarship; likely plays to be discussed include The Shoemaker’s Holiday, The Knight of Burning Pestle, The Alchemist, and The Merchant of Venice.

Return to Top