Undergraduate Program

Undergraduate Courses Summer – Fall 2020

Summer 2020

Interim

EN 311-001                 SPECIAL TOPICS IN LIT                MTWRF 9:00 – 12:00           Hodo

 Are You Afraid of the Dark?: Horror in Print and on the Screen

Each year thousands of movie goers flock to theaters to catch the latest horror flick. In 2017, horror films racked up more than $1.1 billion dollars at the box office (Pesce). Each year the shelves of book sellers see a flood of new zombie, vampire, etc. books and Stephen King, alone, has sold over 350 million copies of his books. But the question is why? Why is the horror genre so popular? Why do we like to be afraid? Are these stories merely meant to terrify us or is there something deeper to be gleaned from them? In this course we will read and view works of the horror greats to see what sort of cultural commentary can be pulled from these texts. Texts will include: Stoker’s Dracula, R.L. Stein’s The Babysitter, March’s The Bad Seed, and short stories from the likes of Poe, Lovecraft, Matheson, Du Maurier, and Chambers. Possible film/tv show viewings include: Halloween, Scream, The Twilight Zone, and The Walking Dead.

 

EN 344-001                 MAJOR AUTHORS 1660-1900        MTWRF 9:00 – 12:00           Novak

Oscar Wilde

In our culture, Oscar Wilde has come to stand for so many (sometimes contradictory) things: An icon of homosexuality and of gay martyrdom; of Irish identity; of modernity; of the aesthete; or even of literature itself. Wilde’s life and his position as a cultural icon so often dominates our understanding of his texts that it is sometimes hard to remember him as a writer. This class will offer a survey of Wilde’s writing (plays, poems, fiction, and non-fiction essays) as well as critical, biographical, and theoretical work on Wilde, in order to ask how Wilde himself defines the terms by which he is most often understood—identity and desire, body and text, performance and essence. We will also look at other writers of the 1880s and 90s to contextualize Wilde within a larger British fin-de-siècle culture. Rather than looking for “the real Oscar Wilde” (the title of a book by one of Wilde’s first biographers) we will be exploring what is at stake in our culture’s myths and interpretations of Oscar Wilde.  Our aim is to analyze the implications of the models and theories presented in these texts, not to impose our own notions of what (for example) identity, desire, and gender should be.  In other words, the late nineteenth century is interesting not because it reminds us of our own world, but precisely because it often offers an alternative vision.

 

Full Summer Term

EN 400-360                 SENIOR SEMINAR                               S 9:00-5:00                  Jolly

This course, The Novels of Fitzgerald, Faulkner, and Hemingway, places emphasis on the major works of these novelists written between the World Wars.

Term I

EN 303-050                 POETRY WRITING                        MTWRF 2:00-3:45              Bingham

Study of basic principles of writing poetry. Reading and assigned writing experiments in a broad range of poetic forms.

 

EN 309-050                 ADV EXPOSITORY WRITING          MTWRF 2:00-3:45          Popova

Study and practice in methods of exposition, explanation and explication, logic and persuasion, definition and analogy, analysis and evaluation. Enrollment is limited to 15. Writing proficiency within this discipline is required for a passing grade in this course.

EN 319-050                 TECHNICAL WRITING                  MTWRF 2:00-3:45           McGee

This class will focus on principles and practices of technical writing, including audience analysis, organization and planning, information design and style, usability testing, and collaborative writing. Writing proficiency is required for a passing grade in this course. These concepts highlight the relationship between content (having something to say) and expression (saying something a certain way). ENG 319 emphasizes three themes: (1) understanding implications of technical writing, (2) recognizing contextualized writing and technology practices, and (3) developing strategies to improve our writing skills.   Objectives and Goals This course will focus on the following Objectives: (1) Theories of Technical Writing and Communication: Being able to comprehend and use definitions, methods, theories, and trends within TW genre/discourse; (2) Bias Language: Developing language efficiently and effectively to address rhetorical and linguistic modes of communication across various texts; (3) Writing Skill: Identifying, analyzing, and critical engagement of texts including editing, drafting, point of view, and design.

EN 319-051                 TECHNICAL WRITING                  MTWRF 10:00-11:45           Dayton

Focuses on principles and practices of technical writing, including audience analysis, organization and planning, information design and style, usability testing, and collaborative writing. Special emphasis will be placed on composing instructions, various kinds of reporting such as investigative and feasibility studies, document design for technical presentations, proposals and collaborative composition.

EN 329-050                 DIRECTED STUDIES                      TBA                                        TBA

Prerequisite: Enrollment only by previous arrangement with a specific instructor and with the permission of the director of undergraduate English studies.

EN 429-050                 DIRECTED READINGS                              TBA                            TBA

Prerequisite: Enrollment only by previous arrangement with a specific instructor and with the permission of the director of undergraduate English studies.

Term II

EN 301-100                 FICTION WRITING                         MTWRF 2:00-3:45          Albano

Close study of the basic principles for composing creative prose. Reading and assigned writing experiments in a broad range of prose strategies. Required of all creative writing minors.

EN 319-100                 TECHNICAL WRITING                  MTWRF 10:00-11:45             Buck

Focuses on principles and practices of technical writing, including audience analysis, organization and planning, information design and style, usability testing, and collaborative writing. Special emphasis will be placed on composing instructions, various kinds of reporting such as investigative and feasibility studies, document design for technical presentations, proposals and collaborative composition.

EN 329-100                 DIRECTED STUDIES                                  TBA                            TBA

Prerequisite: Enrollment only by previous arrangement with a specific instructor and with the permission of the director of undergraduate English studies.

EN 408-100                 ADV CREATIVE WRITING                MTWRF 11:00-12:45         Pirkle

This poetry-writing course will be a deep dive into the poetic forms that are most closely linked with obsession because of the required repetition: specifically, pantoum, villanelle, ghazal, and sestina, which are often forms that are lumped together and quickly glossed over in EN 303. In EN 408 “Obsessive Forms,” the students and professor will slow down and really study how those forms serve obsessive subject matter, as well as how the forms differ from each other. Students will read numerous examples of each form, and discuss how they work, then students will write their own pantoums, villanelles, ghazals, and sestinas, and workshop them.

EN 429-100                 DIRECTED READINGS                  TBA                                        TBA

Prerequisite: Enrollment only by previous arrangement with a specific instructor and with the permission of the director of undergraduate English studies.

Study Abroad

EN 311-800              SPECIAL TOPICS IN LIT            Study Abroad—New Zealand      Parker

Topics vary from semester to semester and may include courses offered by other departments

EN 311-801              SPECIAL TOPICS IN LIT            Study Abroad—Italy       Sasser

Topics vary from semester to semester and may include courses offered by other departments

EN 311-802              SPECIAL TOPICS IN LIT            Study Abroad—Oxford                 Smith

Topics vary from semester to semester and may include courses offered by other departments

EN 333-800                         SHAKESPEARE                  Study Abroad—Italy                   Sasser

Introduction to Shakespeare’s plays. Various aspects of Elizabethan life and customs; philosophy and politics; history and psychology are also examined as they relate to the drama.

EN 429-800                   DIRECTED READINGS          Study Abroad—New Zealand       Parker

Designed for advanced English majors, a special topics course that focuses on issues involving comparative literatures and/or cultural studies.

 

Fall 2020

300-Level English Courses

Literature, Pre-1700

EN 330-001                   CHAUCER AND MEDIEVAL LIT            TR 12:30-1:45             Cook

In this course we will read Chaucer’s two greatest poems, Troilus and Criseyde and The Canterbury Tales. In the first half of the semester, we will study love, medieval style, reading selections from Andreas Capellanus’s The Art of Love, Marie de France’s Lais, Guillaume de Lorris’s The Romance of the Rose, and finally, the Troilus. Some scholars claim that Western love as we know it was invented in late medieval Europe. Therefore, while our primary focus will be upon “courtly love,” we will also entertain the possibility that elements of fin’ amors survive in our own present-day dating and mating rituals. In the second half of the semester, we will read The Canterbury Tales. There is no better text to ground your study of English literature, for here, Chaucer consistently foregrounds the question, “What does it mean to tell stories?” In the remainder of the semester we will ponder what the competing storytellers reveal—intentionally or unintentionally—about themselves in the tales they tell, and how these stories reinforce or defy the status quo.

 

EN 333-002                             SHAKESPEARE                   MW 3:00-4:15                   Dowd

This course offers an introduction to the study of Shakespeare’s plays. We will read plays from a range of dramatic genres and engage with them both critically and creatively. Particular attention will be paid to the structure and the language of the plays, and to the ways in which these texts engage with the theatrical, historical, and social tensions of Elizabethan England, as well as with those of our contemporary world.

 

Literature, 1700-1900

EN 340-001                 AMERICAN LITERATURE TO 1900       MWF 11:00-11:50             Blount

Early American Poetry

A study of the role and function of the poet in the Colonial, Revolutionary, and Early National eras. Figures include Bradstreet, Wigglesworth, Taylor, Cooke, Wheatley, Barlow, Freneau, Bryant, Longfellow, Sigourney, Whitman, Dickinson. Midterm and final exams will test knowledge of key texts, concepts, titles, and terms. Out-of-class assignments will include two short critical papers.

 

EN 343-001                             BRITISH FICTION TO 1900             MW 3:00-4:15         Pionke

This course will concentrate on the English novel from its picaresque beginnings in the 1740s through its rise to market dominance by the end of the nineteenth century. Rather than attempting a comprehensive survey of major authors and subgenres over this roughly century-and-a-half of English literary history, we shall read our way through a succession of less conventional fictional rebellions against those forms of the English novel dominant during the eighteenth century, the Romantic period, the Victorian period, and the fin-de siècle. These “anti-novels” bring to surface both the social anxieties that gave rise to the novel in the first place and the aesthetic techniques of characterization, narration, structure, and signification being created by novelists to resolve them. Often pushing the boundaries of respectability, these works also self-consciously feature characters much like themselves—illegitimate children, threatening usurpers, foolish dreamers, dangerous criminals, and decadent aesthetes—which should make for entertaining reading.

 

EN 349-001                  VICTORIAN LITERATURE                TR 9:30-10:45            Novak

Gender equality, racial justice, income inequality, religion, or the crisis in the humanities. These could be today’s top stories in your Newsfeed. But the discussion about these issues began back in the Victorian period, and in many ways we are still arguing about these questions on the very terms and values set by Victorian writers. In essays, novels, and poetry Victorian writers debated the position of women in the public sphere (“the Woman Question”), economic inequality and alienated labor (“The Condition of England Question”), English treatment of colonized subjects, evolution, religious skepticism, and the function of literature. Let me stress how important it is to bracket our own notions of how these domains are defined in “our” own culture and for “us.” By taking seriously and literally the way these texts construct these issues, we will often not only see the ways in which these texts challenge our assumptions, but also how they interrogate the very notion of the assumed objectivity, universality, and obviousness of truths that are appropriate for all communities and individuals. Our aim is to analyze the implications of the models and theories presented in these texts, not to impose our own notions of what (for example) identity, desire, and gender should be. In other words, the nineteenth and twentieth centuries are interesting not because they remind us of our own world, but precisely because they often offer an alternative vision.

 

Literature, Post-1900

EN 350-001 / AAST 350-001      TOPICS IN AFRICAN-AMERICAN LIT    MW 3:00-4:15        Manora

“bein alive & bein a woman & bein colored”: 20th and 21st Century African American Women’s Fiction, Creative Nonfiction, Film

This course is a multi-genre study of works by African American women writers in the 20th and 21st centuries. In exploring these works, we will often use elements and issues related to narrative, character, and identity as our points of departure for close textual readings and literary analysis, while approaching the literature from formalist, historicist, feminist and psychoanalytic perspectives. As we move through the century, from Modernism and the Harlem Renaissance through the Black Arts Movement to the Contemporary and Postmodern periods, we will also consider these works within the context of critical discourses in social, cultural, and literary history. Authors may include Zora Neale Hurston, Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, and Claudia Rankine. Films may include Daughters of the Dust, The Secret Life of Bees, Beasts of the Southern Wild. Requirements: Critical Responses, Short Paper, Long Paper.

 

EN 364-001                                    MODERN DRAMA                            TR 11:00-12:15              Crank

Staging Queer Grief

In this section of Modern Drama, we’ll be examining the last eighty years of drama and investigating the staging (and consuming) of queer grief. We’ll necessarily be interested in articulations of trauma, shame, and secrecy as well as how these notions contest some of the very foundations of dramatic performance, such as spectatorship, audience, ritual, and non-naturalism. We’ll be most interested in how different modalities of grief–personal, historical, cultural, familial–narrate fantasies of what it means to be “queer” in vastly different national/regional/global contexts. I’m thinking of these texts right now, but many of them could change over the summer: The Children’s Hour, Lillian Hellman; Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Tennessee Williams; Bent, Martin Sherman; A Perfect Ganesh, Terrance McNally; The Normal Heart, Larry Kramer; Last Summer at Bluefish Cove, Jane Chambers; Angels in America, Tony Kushner; The Laramie Project, Moisés Kaufman and the Tectonic Theater Project; The Young Man From Atlanta, Horton Foote; Three Tall Women, Edward Albee; Cloud 9, Caryl Churchill; Sons of the Prophet, Stephen Karam; The Gulf, Audrey Cefaly.

 

EN 366-001            TWENTIETH-CENTURY POETRY                  TR 11:00-12:15                     White

In this course we will read a selection of the most important American and British poets of the twentieth century. The purpose of this course is twofold: first, students will become familiar with poets and poems that have been particularly influential in contemporary poetry. This familiarity will be tested by exams that the class will help to structure. Second, and more importantly, the course will focus on ways to help students understand and articulate their thoughts about complex poetry. To this end, students will write two papers.

 

Creative Writing

EN 301-001 through 003                      FICTION TOUR                                                  STAFF

Close study of the basic principles for composing creative prose. Reading and assigned writing experiments in a broad range of prose strategies. Required of all creative writing minors.

Prerequisite: EN 200 (This prerequisite is never waived).

 

EN 301-004                                         FICTION TOUR                    TR 2:00 – 3:15            Burke

In this course, we will focus on mastering the short story as a form. Class time will be divided between studying exemplars of story writing (potential authors for discussion include Lorrie Moore, Joy Williams, Carmen Maria Machado, Kelly Link) and workshopping student writing. We will develop a critical vocabulary to discuss our own writing and others’; experiment with form, structure, and plot; and do a whole bunch of writing!

Prerequisite: EN 200 (This prerequisite is never waived).

 

EN 303-001 through 004                       POETRY TOUR                                                STAFF

Close study of basic principles for composing poetry. Reading and assigned writing experiments in a broad range of poetic styles. Required of all creative writing minors.

Prerequisite: EN 200 (This prerequisite is never waived).

 

EN 305-001 through 002        CREATIVE NONFICTION TOUR  TR 11:00-12:15   STAFF

Close study of basic principles for composing poetry. Reading and assigned writing experiments in a broad range of poetic styles. Required of all creative writing minors.

Prerequisite: EN 200 (This prerequisite is never waived).

 

EN 307-001         SPECIAL TOPICS APPLIED CREATIVE WRITING      MW 3:00 – 4:15      Hussey

Science Narratives

In this course, we will investigate narratives driven by science, explore scientific resources, and incorporate practices of science writers/journalists. We’ll look at different approaches in fiction and nonfiction. We’ll explore narratives of medicine, technology, environment, biology, and the human/nonhuman. We’ll look at how science shapes creative nonfiction and fiction. And we’ll turn to the speculative and explore the magical to further examine the ways science inspires creative writing. Throughout the course, we’ll also discuss ethics in writing about science and consider cultural and historical lenses.

 

EN 307-002     SPECIAL TOPICS APPLIED CREATIVE WRITING      MW 4:30 – 5:45       Davenport

Study of various practical applications for creative-writing-related skills and techniques, including arts programming, teaching, and literary publishing.

 

EN 307-003        SPECIAL TOPICS APPLIED CREATIVE WRITING        TR 12:30 – 1:45    Sattavara

Literary Journalism

Are you interested in current events, but want to get closer to the action? Do you have a story you’d like to tell like Cheryl Strayed’s Wild or Henry David Thoreau’s Walden? Do you have an interest in environmental activism or the 2020 elections? In this course, we will read and write Literary Journalism. We’ll start with start personal, with the self, by writing memoir and personal columns, then move outward to the world conducting research and interviews to write feature stories and enterprise multi-story pieces. We’ll experiment within and beyond familiar forms of writing by designing a front page of a newspaper, magazine, or creating your own website to share your work with the world.

 

EN 307-004           SPECIAL TOPICS APPLIED CREATIVE WRITING         TR 2:00 – 3:15        Albano

Literary Editing and Publishing

This course will examine the origins, evolution, and the present-day landscape of literary journals and small presses, with a special emphasis on print culture, and learning the fundamentals of the editing process, from the acquisition and revision of work through its proofreading and publishing. As part of this process, we will discuss and implement strategies for publishing our own work covering the entire submission process, from identifying suitable journals to writing professional cover letters. As a culminating project we will produce an online edition of the fifth issue of Call Me [Brackets]—the literary journal started in Fall 2018. This will involve selecting a new theme and aesthetic, and introduce, in addition to the aforementioned skills, the basics of layout and web design, while considering essential post-publishing efforts such as distribution and marketing.

Linguistics

EN 320-001              INTRODUCTION TO LINGUISTICS                     TR 9:30-10:45             Popova

Introduction to the study of language, including subjects such as language acquisition, variation, and origins. The system of sounds, syntax, and meaning are illustrated in English and other languages.

 

EN 321-001            LINGUISTIC APPROACHES TO GRAMMAR     TR 12:30-1:45           Popova

A study of English grammar integrating principles from linguistic theory with structural approaches to grammar. The course includes a focus on the expectations of grammatical usage in different contexts and an understanding of how to apply this knowledge in a pedagogical setting. This course is a prerequisite for EN 423, EN 424, EN 425, EN 466.

 

Methodology

EN 300-001            INTRODUCTION TO ENGLISH STUDIES                TR 2:00-3:15          Cardon

You’ve perhaps read The Great Gatsby, but how would you teach it? Why, do you think, is it so important that nearly every high school requires its students to read it? What do we do with famous works of literature? Why does literature even matter in the Real World? EN 300 is designed primarily for English majors, but also for anyone interested in literary analysis. This class aims to Provide an introduction to methods employed in our discipline for in-depth literary study; Enrich skills in critical reading, writing, and analysis; Introduce a range of critical and theoretical approaches to primary texts; Help students to identify which of these approaches fits their style, their interests, and the nuances of a particular literary work; Enhance students’ ability to close read texts in the form of papers and other assignments; Teach the vocabulary, techniques, and research methods associated with literary analysis. To become more adept at reading and interpreting literary texts, students will begin the course by revisiting a canonical work of literature (F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby) and learning about different methods for approaching, analyzing, and writing. From there, students will learn to apply these critical methods to other genres, including poetry, drama, and other texts and media.

Rhetoric and Composition

EN 309-001                 ADVANCED EXPOSITORY WRITING           TR  12:30-1:45             Presnall

Self Culture

This advanced writing workshop offers expository writing experience beyond EN 101 and 102. Shared readings and discussion will focus on contemporary analyses of self and media, including Jenny Odell’s recent treatment of the attention economy and Jia Tolentino’s inquiry into self-delusion. Students will extend reflections on their own experiences with research into cultural phenomena of interest to them and write exploratory, descriptive, informative, and analytical essays.

 

EN 313-001                         WRITING ACROSS MEDIA            MWF 2:00 – 2:50            Coryell

How often do you stop to think about the medium in which you are communicating? How does a specific medium change the way you write? What does it mean to “read” an image? How does our use of technology shape the way we communicate? What theories inform our relationships with media? In this class, we will explore the intersections between various media: print, film, images, sound, social media, etc. We will develop an approach for understanding and composing multimedia products while attempting to identify (and challenge) the implicit conventions of media. Along the way, we will consider the ways writing (as an object and as a practice) is shaped by these multimedia interactions from both theoretical and practical perspectives. By integrating practical activities with broader theoretical issues, we will work on developing effective strategies for designing multimedia presentations, and through this class, you will create image, audio, remix, and interactive projects.

 

EN 319-001 through 006                    TECHNICAL WRITING                              STAFF

This class will focus on principles and practices of technical writing, including audience analysis, organization and planning, information design and style, usability testing, and collaborative writing. Writing proficiency is required for a passing grade in this course. These concepts highlight the relationship between content (having something to say) and expression (saying something a certain way). ENG 319 emphasizes three themes: (1) understanding implications of technical writing, (2) recognizing contextualized writing and technology practices, and (3) developing strategies to improve our writing skills. Writing proficiency within this discipline is required for a passing grade in this course. This course’s written assignments require coherent, logical, and carefully edited prose. These assignments will require students to demonstrate higher-level critical thinking skills, such as analysis and synthesis.

Prerequisites: EN 101 and EN 102 (or equivalent) and junior standing.

 

Special Topics in Writing or Literature

 EN 310-001                  SPECIAL TOPICS IN WRITING                TR 11:00-12:15         Buck

Writing for Public Audiences

This course will emphasize writing for the public and will include an emphasis on analyzing and writing persuasive arguments that address topics of current public interest. We will study how writers construct arguments, persuade audiences, and deliver content to engage with various publics. We will write argumentative essays as well as different digital genres, which may include blogs, infographics, social media posts, and other online content.

 

EN 311-001                  SPECIAL TOPICS IN LITERATURE         MWF 12:00-12:50             Johnson

Hard-Boiled and Over Sleazy: Investigating Detective and Noir Fiction

Through the study of the ways in which various authors write about criminality, this course aims to facilitate discussions of social and cultural values, aesthetics, ethics, and develop a fundamental understanding of the evolution of the genre through key periods of development, such as the Golden Age of Detective Fiction, the Hard-Boiled novel, as well as contemporary and global reinventions. We will therefore discuss the commission of the crime, the pursuit of the criminal, and, most importantly, what can be gleaned about the social, economic, political, cultural, and personal values and anxieties of the time and place of the story’s composition. In short, throughout the semester, we will ask: What is so compelling about crime? What can crime, written as entertainment, tell us about the cultural and social values that produces it and consumes it? How do those values change over time and space? The course will draw from fiction, film, and television.

Directed Courses

EN 329-001 through 002                    DIRECTED STUDIES                                  STAFF

Prerequisite: Enrollment only by previous arrangement with a specific instructor and with the permission of the director of undergraduate English studies.

 

400-Level English Courses

Advanced Studies in Literature

EN 411-001 ADV STUDIES COMPARATIVE/MULTICULTURAL LIT   TR 9:30-10:45 Wittman

World Literature

In this course, we will read six critically acclaimed novels from around the world and investigate how literature arrives on the global stage. This course is run as a literary prize-granting committee loosely based on the Nobel Prize committee. Every student is a committee member. In this course, it is the students themselves who come up with their own evaluative criteria. Throughout the semester we will then debate—in class and anonymously—the merits of the six novels using these criteria. On the first day of class, students discuss what foreign language books they have read; on the last day, they debate and decide which of the novels should win the prize. This year we have the unique opportunity to spend classroom time with one of the award-winning writers. Writers might include Chimmamanda Ngozi Adichie, Han Kang, Sally Rooney, Ornela Vorpsi, Marcella Serrano, and J. M. Coetzee, among others.

 

EN 422-001      ADV STUDIES IN AMERICAN LITERATURE      TR 2:00-3:15            White

This class will read intensively in Emily Dickinson, Marianne Moore, and James Merrill to consider two questions: what is the relationship of the poet’s imagination to the outside world? How have American poets imagined the relationship between the sensual and the spiritual world? The three poets we will read, while entirely different from one another in many ways, are linked by their life-long preoccupation with these questions, and the rich, idiosyncratic myths they invented to answer them: Dickinson finds God, Immortality, and Eternity in her own mind; Moore attends to science and philosophy as she observes the world, and Merrill learns about the universe from a dishy spirit talking through a home-made ouija board.

 

EN 422-002      ADV STUDIES IN AMERICAN LITERATURE      TR 3:30-4:45           Trout

American Fiction of the 1920s

Over the next few years, a number of landmark novels and short-story collections, produced during an especially rich decade in American literary history, will turn one-hundred years old.  Inspired by these various centennials, this course offers a sampling of major works from the 1920s, works that students will find surprisingly relevant to the 2020s.  The so-called Jazz Age involved more than flappers and speakeasies; not unlike our own age, this was a period of reactionary politics fueled by fear of immigrants, widespread racial injustice and violence (2021 will mark the one-hundredth anniversary of the Greenwood Massacre in Tulsa, where white mobs murdered approximately 300 African Americans), government corruption, isolationism, and (contrary to the myth of the “Roaring Twenties”) widening economic disparity. The novels that we will study register all of these all-too-familiar cultural developments while often displaying dazzling innovations in literary form and technique.  The course will focus, in particular, on the relationship between modernism and modernity in the 1920s, the importance of region and place in fiction from this era, literary interrogation of the color line, and the cultural processing of the memory of World War I.  Texts for the course will include Willa Cather’s The Professor’s House, John Dos Passos’s Manhattan Transfer, William Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, Ernest Hemingway’s In Our Time, Nella Larsen’s Passing, and Sinclair Lewis’s Main Street.  Students will be expected to complete two examinations, a short paper, and a substantial term paper.  A splendid time is guaranteed for all.

 

EN 433-002     ADV STUDIES IN BRITISH LITERATURE           TR 12:30-1:45             Novak

‘Nested Nation’: Representations of Jewishness in Nineteenth-Century British Literature

While they constituted only a small percentage of British society, Anglo-Jews were featured widely in nineteenth-century literature, theatre, and visual culture. Literary representations and cultural myths about Jews span centuries, but nineteenth-century Britain was particularly interested in thinking through the role Jews would play in the cultural and political life of the nation. By 1858 Jews would finally be able to sit in Parliament, and Benjamin Disraeli (born to Jewish parents but baptized by his father at the age of 13) even became Prime Minister. But, Jews would continue to inhabit a liminal space in British society. They were neither seen as the cultural insiders, nor entirely as cultural outsiders like the colonial others spread across the globe as England’s empire expanded. Part of the justification for British expansion rested on an increasing acceptance of scientific racism and its hierarchy of racial superiority. Were the Jews folded into this colonial model of race and belonging, or did they inhabit a different racial imaginary? What role did writers imagine for the Jews in a century that saw the gradual enfranchisement and inclusion of a wider range of classes and religions into the national community? Would they be seen as a perpetual alien within or as part of a ‘nested nation’ in which Judaism was at the heart of British, Christian culture? We will be reading a wide range of texts, from Victorian prose, poetry, and fiction to twentieth and twenty-first century literary criticism and theory. Authors will/may include Maria Edgeworth, Walter Scott, Charles Dickens, George Eliot, Anthony Trollope, Israel Zangwill, George du Maurier, and Amy Levy. Major Assignments will include short research projects, a midterm exam, and a final 15 page research project.

 

EN 444-001 / WS 410-001   ADV STUDIES LIT CRITICISM & THEORY         TR 2:00-3:15          Purvis

“Anger, Excess, and Feminist Revolt”

A recent upsurge in feminist writing has foregrounded an association with—even an affinity for—righteous anger. This shift includes a renewed interest in figures such as Andrea Dworkin, whose work has been newly collected in the anthology, Last Days at Hot Slit: The Radical Feminism of Andrea Dworkin. In its introduction, Johanna Fateman connects the writing and politics of Dworkin to the riot grrrl music scene, of which she herself was a part. Though feminists have been angry across the generations, few have been as outspoken and unabashed in their expression of anger as Dworkin, riot grrrl artists, and other more marginalized figures—until now. This analysis examines the gendered and raced dimensions of “excess,” outspoken refusals of shame in the realms of body and affect, and the movement of anger from margin to center in recent feminist scholarship and activism, including the evolving phenomenon of SlutWalk and the embrace of figures, such as the witch, the fat body, and the angry feminist. Beginning with the work of Audre Lorde and several other iconic feminist figures/treatments of anger and excess, along with classic and contemporary writings in queer theory, disability studies, fat studies/body liberation, and queer of color critique, this course examines the turn to anger within feminist theory, activism, and mainstream feminist writing. It expands the limits and logics of beauty, size, and gendered comportment. Through transgression and defiance of norms of respectability and gendered spaces, the course links excess (in affect and action) to subversion and revolt, and it illuminates the political potential of animating abjection. Through this study of key feminist texts, students will develop advanced undergraduate research skills and gain a substantial foundation for further study, including graduate work in this area.

Prerequisites: Women’s Studies: WS 200: “Introduction to Women’s Studies” or equivalent; English: 18 hours of English study, 6 at 200-level, 6 at 300-level.

 

EN 477-001                 ADV STUDIES IN LITERARY GENRES             TR 11:00-11:50          Cardon

Dystopias

In times of political and social turbulence, we dream of ideal worlds or utopias. “Utopia,” etymologically, means “no place,” in itself a statement about the feasibility of a perfect world. In contrast, authors have long been dreaming up dystopias, worlds in which people suffer because of governments, economies, religions, technologies, and environmental catastrophes gone haywire. Many students are familiar with classic dystopias like Brave New World and young adult dystopias like Hunger Games. These novels offer a glimpse of collective anxieties about the future––about a time when people become too desensitized, too autocratic, or too dependent on technology. In this class, we will begin with a couple of the classic dystopias but quickly move into less familiar dystopian territory: Harlem Renaissance satire, Afrofuturism, and Cyberpunk, to name a few. Select authors include George Orwell, George Schuyler, Octavia Butler, and Naomi Alderman, among others.

 

EN 488-001             ADV STUDIES IN AFRICAN AMERICAN LIT               TR 3:30-4:45          Manora

From Metaphysical Dilemmas to Black Girl Magic: 20th and 21st Century African American Women’s Fiction & Film

This seminar turns upon the examination of 20th/21st century African American women’s metaphysical fiction and film, including postmodern, philosophical, and speculative fiction, as well as works of magical realism. We will spend the majority of our time examining literary and filmic works “made” by and/or centering on African American women and girls, as well as the social, cultural, and critical discourses that inform those works. Using literary and cultural studies approaches, we will consider the manner in which writers/filmmakers and selected works of literature and film treat black female subjectivity, both as personal experience and as relational/communal construct, the ways in which they expressly or implicitly critique Western models of subjectivity, and, of course, the ways they engage issues related to race, class, gender, and sexuality, as well as the critical intersections of the same, with an attentiveness to the ways they curate and/or challenge various representations and images of African American women and girls held in the cultural imagination. Authors may include Octavia Butler, Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, and Rivers Solomon. Films may include Eve’s Bayou, The Secret Life of Bees, Beasts of the Southern Wild. Requirements: Critical Responses, Short Paper, Long Paper.

 

Advanced Studies in Writing

EN 455-001                             ADV STUDIES IN WRITING          MW 3:00-4:15             McGee

Black Writing: Advanced Composition & The Genre of Essay

The genre of essay writing has a long history, almost as long as the history of the story and the storyteller itself. In fact, the essay developed as a way to tell and record those stories. Said another way, the aim of the essay is to fully document human experience, thought, and observation. It is a way of making sense of the world by writing out one’s critical interpretations of social, cultural, and historical relationships. Essays are, often, short texts that put forth specific arguments explaining, unpacking, or demonstrating relationships between multiple events, ideas, and/or experiences. Therefore, this course is designed for advanced English majors, particularly those with interests in Black writing, rhetoric, and thought. With this in mind, our course looks outside of “normative” genealogies; rather, this course looks to the Black rhetorical tradition to frame discussions of the essay and essay writing. Particularly looking at Black writers post-1950s, this course deliberately bridges disciplines, topics, and media to explore the rhetorical effect of essay writing and the sociocultural impact of Black writers. This is a reading- and writing-intensive course, meaning we will be reading short selected prose (ranging from 2 to 32 pages per work assigned) for almost each class and will have five short writing assignments. As a “W” course, this class is required to maintain and execute writing proficiency within this discipline for a passing grade. This course’s written assignments require coherent, logical, and carefully edited prose. These assignments will require students to demonstrate higher-level critical thinking skills, such as analysis and synthesis. Also, Student writing will be graded and commented upon and become part of the assigned grade. A student who does not write with the skill normally required of an upper division student in the discipline will not be given a passing grade, no matter how well the student performs other course requirements.

 

EN 455-002                             ADV STUDIES IN WRITING              TR 11:00-12:15          Presnall

The Essay

The focus of this course is Michel de Montaigne and the Essay. We will discuss the life of Montaigne, his method, the reception of his Essays since first published in 1580, and his influence on major writers, including Shakespeare. We will also practice his method of writing from life to understand our own minds and how to live well. Students will follow their interests in researching Montaigne’s influence on later writers and finish with an essay after his experimental form.

 

EN 455-003                             ADV STUDIES IN WRITING             TR 12:30-1:45           Tekobbe

Writing For and About Games

In this course, students will investigate video games and tabletop games for their procedural rhetorics and mechanics, literacy and learning practices, narrative writing and world-building, and cultural studies. Students will evaluate the social and cultural aspects of gaming, as well as the technical aspects to express how these act on various audiences. Students will design game narratives and report on gaming topics of their own interests.

 

EN 455-004                             ADV STUDIES IN WRITING          M 10:00-12:30       McGee

This course is designed to provide a broad overview and to introduce students to rhetoric and composition as a field. Rather than focusing on common threads of writing studies (e.g. the writing process, fallacies, or the rhetorical triangle), this course is aimed at exploring techniques, genres, and documents used in the discipline’s commonplaces. These issues of theory, methodology, and practice include (but are not limited to) basic approaches to teaching writing, an overview of rhetoric and its relationship to writing instruction, and discussion of professional issues and questions in English Studies (such as the role of the humanities, the purpose of the English major, and the rise of digital humanities). This course is specifically concerned with students establishing a scholarly ethos as someone knowledgeable of how this field moves and shifts with respect to disciplinary relationships, disciplinary politics, and/or personal responsibilities.

 

Creative Writing

EN 408-001                 ADVANCED CREATIVE WRITING          MW 3:00-4:15          Coryell

Novel Workshop (Two-Semester Sequence)

This is part one of a two semester course designed with the goal of completing a draft of a novel. In this class we will deconstruct the novel-writing process, and move from brainstorming ideas all the way to workshopping books-in-progress. No matter the genre you’re looking to write, you’ll find this course an invaluable aid to developing a new or existing project. We will read and discuss a couple of novels in order to help inspire the writing process, and discuss the many challenges of writing longform narrative and strategies for overcoming them. Workshops will occur throughout the semester and novel sections will be turned in regularly. The goal of this course is not to write a perfect, complete text, but rather to learn how to forgive yourself for bad sentences and to do a lot of writing. By the end of the first semester, the goal is to have a partial novel draft completed with a full draft completed by the end of the second semester. We will also talk briefly about the novel publication process.

Prerequisites: EN 200 and EN 301 and EN 303

 

EN 408-002                 ADVANCED CREATIVE WRITING    MWF 2:00-2:50     S McWaters

Advanced Fiction Workshop

This is an advanced fiction writing workshop. Students will refine their writing skills as related to the literary short story and will develop critical thinking skills in relation to the form and craft of literary fiction writing. We will look at the important elements of crafting fiction and, more specifically, we will look at the relationship place has to the plot, pacing, and character of storytelling. Students will write 3 stories and 1 piece of flash fiction.

Prerequisites: EN 200 and EN 301 and EN 303

 

EN 408-003                 ADVANCED CREATIVE WRITING          TR 9:30-10:45       Weiland

Advanced Poetry Workshop

In this course, we will study a variety of poetic forms, both traditional and contemporary. We will discuss imagery, tone, rhythm, and so forth. We will also participate in several workshops of students’ own poetry. At the end of the semester, students will produce a portfolio of their poems, revised to their own liking, as well as a reflection on the revision process and their revision choices. Also during the course of the semester, we will explore topic-generating ideas and experiment with new strategies for beginning a poem.

Prerequisites: EN 200 and EN 301 and EN 303.

 

EN 408-004                 ADVANCED CREATIVE WRITING          TR 11:00-12:15         Champagne

Memoir Writing

In 400 C.E.., when St. Augustine wrote his Confessions, the first Western autobiography ever written, he’d already lived a life that earned him something to say. Today many memoirs are written by writers in their twenties, and sometimes take a more passive than active form: rather than announce this is what I’ve done, many of them whisper this is what has been done to me. The question this class will focus on is what place these passive and active confessionals have in the world of contemporary creative nonfiction. Emphasis will be placed on close reading both canonical and current memoirs, culling the rhetorical moves writers make to create the strongest memoir writing, whether the narrators are active or passive, no matter what the form.

Prerequisites: EN 200 and EN 301 and EN 303

 

EN 408-005                 ADVANCED CREATIVE WRITING          TR 11:00-12:15      Pirkle

Obsessive Forms (Poetry)

This poetry-writing course will be a deep dive into the poetic forms that are most closely linked with obsession because of the required repetition: specifically, pantoum, villanelle, ghazal, and sestina, which are often forms that are lumped together and quickly glossed over in EN 303. In EN 408 “Obsessive Forms,” the students and professor will slow down and really study how those forms serve obsessive subject matter, as well as how the forms differ from each other. Students will read numerous examples of each form, and discuss how they work, then students will write their own pantoums, villanelles, ghazals, and sestinas, and workshop them. The semester will culminate with each student devising and executing their own “obsessive form” – a nonce form that they create for their own poetry that incorporates what they’ve learned about repetition and form.

Prerequisites: EN 200 and EN 301 and EN 303

 

EN 408-006                 ADVANCED CREATIVE WRITING          TR 12:30-1:45       Whalen

“Flash Fiction”

This course will run as a workshop, with a focus on the history and practice of very short form fiction writing. We’ll cover everything from flash, micro, nano, and one-sentence stories. Texts will include Micro Fiction, Flash Fiction, and Flash Fiction International, with a wide-range of supplemental handouts and PDFs (made available on Blackboard). Sample authors will range from Baudelaire and Hemingway to Lydia Davis and Julia Alvarez. We’ll also take a look at some contemporary flash nonfiction and prose poetry (such as work by Nick Flynn and Claudia Rankine), to provide context for our study of short form fiction. Students will submit their own original writing throughout the semester, as well as offer written and oral feedback to their peers’ work—and we’ll play some creative writing “games” to generate prompts for our writing.

Prerequisites: EN 200 and EN 301 and EN 303

 

EN 408-007                 ADVANCED CREATIVE WRITING          TR 2:00-3:15       Whalen

“Flash Fiction”

This course will run as a workshop, with a focus on the history and practice of very short form fiction writing. We’ll cover everything from flash, micro, nano, and one-sentence stories. Texts will include Micro Fiction, Flash Fiction, and Flash Fiction International, with a wide-range of supplemental handouts and PDFs (made available on Blackboard). Sample authors will range from Baudelaire and Hemingway to Lydia Davis and Julia Alvarez. We’ll also take a look at some contemporary flash nonfiction and prose poetry (such as work by Nick Flynn and Claudia Rankine), to provide context for our study of short form fiction. Students will submit their own original writing throughout the semester, as well as offer written and oral feedback to their peers’ work—and we’ll play some creative writing “games” to generate prompts for our writing.

Prerequisites: EN 200 and EN 301 and EN 303

 

EN 408-008                 ADVANCED CREATIVE WRITING          TR 3:30-4:45      Guthrie

The Art of Voice in Poetry

This workshop will emphasize poetic voice—that mysterious, atmospheric element which hooks us and pulls us deeper into a poem, “binding the speaker and the reader into a conversation compelling enough to be called a relationship,” as Tony Hoagland puts it in his posthumous craft guide, THE ART OF VOICE: POETIC PRINCIPLES AND PRACTICE. Using that guide along with instructive models from a variety of voice-driven poets, we’ll learn how to create a living, breathing presence in our poems. Topics will include discursiveness, vernacular, speech register, tone-shifting, material imagination, and the use of secondary voices. Required collections might include an older book, like Frank O’Hara’s LUNCH POEMS, and two newer books, like Adrian Blevins’ APPALACHIANS RUN AMOK and Morgan Parker’s MAGICAL NEGRO.

Prerequisites: EN 200 and EN 301 and EN 303

 

EN 408-009           ADVANCED CREATIVE WRITING       MW 3:00-4:15             E Parker

Literary Journalism (Creative Nonfiction)

During the emergence of “The New Journalism” in the ‘60s and ‘70s, with writers such as Tom Wolfe, Hunter S. Thompson, Truman Capote, Joan Didion, and Gay Talese, straight nonfiction reportage began adopting the techniques of fiction––dialogue, scene-setting, intimate personal details, the use of interior monologue, metaphorical depth, etc.––and abandoned the sterile objective perspective of “newsworthy subjects” in favor of turning the lens toward less traditional subjects, even the journalists themselves, and a new genre of immersion writing evolved. We will study and mimic the evolution of this trend from the 1960s and earlier, following it to the contemporary explosion of immersion projects in magazines, books, podcasts, and documentaries. As writers, we will immerse ourselves in our own communities and lives to find subjects and produce essays, audio pieces, and/or short documentaries. We will be what Gay Talese calls “nonfiction writer[s] pursuing the literature of reality.”

Prerequisites: EN 200 and EN 301 and EN 303

 

EN 408-010                 ADVANCED CREATIVE WRITING          MW 4:30-5:45             Wyatt

Blogging, Pitching, Essays, Queries & Online Presence

As technology and economics transform publishing, online writing has been one way that writers have disrupted, subverted, and revolutionized the industry, cultivating a whole new market of readers. As popular blogger Sufia Tippu writes, “Blogging is hard because of the grind required to stay interesting and relevant.” But it’s not just blogs—writers are also sharing poetry, fiction, and deeply moving essays through their own personal sites as well as online journals and magazines. For this course, we will read books that were born of blogs as well as the blogs that spawned them, such as those by Allie Brosh and Jenny Lawson. Students will develop their own personal style and focus by building their own blogs, but will also explore pieces of literature of many genres that are published online. Students will write pieces and begin the process of submitting to online journals and magazines. We will explore the idea of brevity in writing fiction, poetry, and non-fiction using Twitter, as well as discuss ways to build an author platform online, which might (for starters) include a personal website and an active social media presence.

Prerequisites: EN 200 and EN 301 and EN 303

 

EN 408-011                 ADVANCED CREATIVE WRITING          TR 12:30-1:45             Estes

Peak TV (Screenwriting)

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 The Wire to The Americans, from Mad Men to Breaking Bad, from Sherlock to Killing Eve, 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 showrunner, 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 and outline of an entire new show in hand as well as a polished pilot episode.

Prerequisites: EN 200 and EN 301 and EN 303

 

Linguistics

Directed Courses

EN 429-001 / 002                               DIRECTED READINGS                              STAFF

Prerequisite: Enrollment only by previous arrangement with a specific instructor and with the permission of the director of undergraduate English studies.

 

EN 430-001 / 002 / 003                      ENGLISH INTERNSHIP                              STAFF

An on- or off-campus training position in which students use the skills they have gained as English majors and enhance their employment opportunities after graduation. Interns work approximately 10 hours a week, holding responsible positions with, among others, Alabama Heritage, Alabama Alumni Magazine, and the Tuscaloosa Public Defender’s Office. Apply to the director of undergraduate studies in the Department of English. Please see the departmental website for the application form and further details.

 

EN 499                                                HONORS THESIS                                         STAFF

The Honors Thesis in English course is an individualized, directed readings class that culminates in a 30-50 pp. thesis. It is the final required course for the Honors in English program. Each student enrolled will work individually with a faculty mentor.

Prerequisite: EN 399.