Undergraduate Courses Spring 2021

300-Level English Courses

Literature, Pre-1700

EN 333-001                            SHAKESPEARE                    MWF 2:00-2:50             Tavares

Shakespeare & Performance

This course offers an introduction to the study of the plays and poems of William Shakespeare and his contemporaries. Engaging a range of dramatic genres, particular attention will be paid to the conjunctions of print and performance practices. Learn to deploy scansion to deconstruct Renaissance verse and other closed-form poetry; identify and meaningfully explicate early modern manuscripts; and engage theatrical, historical, and social tensions of early (modern) England.

EN 334-001                17TH CENTURY LITERATURE       MWF 12:00-12:50         Tavares

Aphra Behn: The Podcast

Author, spy, political propagandist, Aphra Behn (1640–1689) was the first English woman to earn her living entirely by her pen. Set against the tumultuous backdrop of the English Civil Wars and the ever-expanding slave trade of the Americas, Behn’s work engages with frankness and complexity a range of topics, from gender identity to political power. This course offers a survey of her works, including translations of romances and scientific texts, timely plays, erotic poetry, and an anti-slavery novella. Through these explorations students will design, compose, and produce a podcast series providing the public with a primer to one of the most influential writers in English you’ve never heard of.

EN 335-001                            MILTON                    MWF 11:00-11:50                  Ainsworth

Milton and the Holy Spirit

What is the Holy Spirit? According to Milton, it lacks a well-defined personality, but nevertheless acts to generate a sense of community and inspiration for human beings. Unlike Zoom, though, the Holy Spirit may also facilitate a connection with God. This semester, we will explore John Milton’s attempts to understand the Holy Spirit through his poetry and prose, and in the process, his attempts to understand the connection between humanity and the divine, as well as what binds human beings together. In the process, we will challenge our own ideas about how we understand each other and about what binds us together,and think about what differentiates us as individuals from us as members of groups. We will read Milton’s greatest works, including Paradise Lost, Paradise Regained, and Samson Agonistes.

Literature, 1700-1900

EN 344-001                MAJOR AUTHORS 1660-1900        MWF 10:00-10:50     Bilwakesh

The Literary World of Thomas Wentworth Higginson

This course forms its axis around the life and work of Thomas Wentworth Higginson (1823 – 1911). A minister, transcendentalist, women’s rights activist, and colonel of the 1st South Carolina Regiment comprised of former slaves, he may best be known as a literary figure for work that was not his own: his transcription of “Negro spirituals” by the soldiers he fought with in the Civil War, and the poetry of Emily Dickinson, which she sent to him unsolicited. Our study of his work and context will be central to the question of the course: what is the relationship between radical action and literary style in American writing? Our readings by Higginson will include his Army Life in a Black Regiment, and selections from Outlaws and Travellers; Women and the Alphabet; and Outdoor Papers. Emily Dickinson’s response to his “Letter to a young contributor” began a correspondence, friendship, and exchange that we will trace critically through readings of both authors. We will also read works by W.E.B. DuBois, Margaret Fuller, Susie King Taylor, Henry Thoreau, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Karl Marx, Upton Sinclair, and Susan Howe.

EN 347-001          ENGLISH LIT DURING ENLIGHTENMENT      TR 2:00-3:15    Weiss

Many of the ideas that structure modern society had their origin in the Enlightenment, an intellectual movement that lasted through much of the eighteenth century. Our own ideas about democracy, education, human psychology, secularism, science, economics, and gender, for example, all had their beginnings in the Enlightenment. As a consequence of the intellectual ferment, the eighteenth century was a period of profound change in Great Britain, as new developments in philosophical thought seeped into intellectual culture and prompted fundamental shifts in how people understood themselves and the social world. In order to access these shifts, the course is divided into four thematic parts: Science and Philosophy; Nationalism, Global Expansion and the Slave Trade; Faith, Feeling, and the Imagination; and Women and Society. Working with novels, poems, short stories, plays, and essays, students will examine the ways in which the intellectual and ideological transformations of the Enlightenment were explored and explained through literature.

EN 349-001                  VICTORIAN LITERATURE               MW 3:00-4:15       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

Wouldn’t Take Nothing for My Journey Now: Magical, Metaphysical, and Material Journeys and Quests in African American Women’s Literature and Film

“Not all those who wander are lost.” Traditionally, the archetypal Hero’s Journey or Quest has been reserved, in “real life,” for men, and for the male protagonists in literary texts. More than a mere literary motif, the Hero’s Journey is a Grand Narrative that takes a central character from uninitiated and unwilling Everyman to Hero through socially/culturally scripted narrative and experiential spaces through a process of becoming wherein physical mobility mirrors, indeed, sources psychic development. By contrast, the process of becoming for female protagonists, reflecting the social and cultural conventions and constraints placed upon women, has been more often than not confined to psychic, relational, and communal spaces. Historically, beginning with their quests for freedom and continuing through the Great Migrations and beyond, African American women have, of necessity and/or by agentic design, defied (or been denied) these gendered imperatives, undertaking in life and literature, The Journey. This class will focus on literary and filmic depictions of the Quest in African American Women’s texts. Using gender, race, and subjectivity as our points of departure, we’ll explore the ways in which African American female protagonists have undertaken their journeys, both literal and figurative, often emerging as the heroes of their own quest narratives. Literary Texts may include Nella Larsen’s Quicksand, Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God, Toni Morrison’s Sula, Octavia Butler’s Kindred, and Gloria Naylor’s Mama Day. Filmic Texts may include Daughters of the Dust, Beasts of the Southern Wild, A Wrinkle in Time and The Princess and the Frog. Requirements include active and engaged participation, critical responses, a short paper, and a final paper.

EN 365-001                  MODERN AMERICAN FICTION              MW 4:30-5:45            Crank

Black Speculative Fiction

Black Panther. Get Out. Lovecraft Country. Each one of these recent cultural texts draws on the power of blackness to imagine alternate possibilities for ways of visualizing and responding to systemic racism, tacit (white) vigilantism, economic disenfranchisement, and defacto segregationist practices that exist at the very center of American ontology. But these contemporary films and television shows are a part of a much broader history of black speculative voices. In this section of Modern American Fiction, we will plot the trajectory of black speculative fiction from roughly the beginning of the 20th century to the present using BLACK PANTHER, GET OUT, and LOVECRAFT COUNTRY as separate tiered units that will serve as heuristics to unify myriad works crossing over multiple genres, forms, audiences, and historical moments. We’ll also be interested in answering questions like: What cultural work does speculative fiction do? In imagining altered worlds, how do black authors reflect/refract our own world? How do genres like science fiction, horror, and superhero comics speak to/make invisible racial wounds and institutional racism? Texts might include Charles Chesnutt, The Conjure Woman, William Melvin Kelley, A Different Drummer, Samuel R. Delany, Babel-17, Octavia Butler, Wild Seed, Randall Kenan, Let the Dead Bury Their Dead, Colson Whitehead, The Intuitionist, Roxane Gay and Ta-Nehisi Coates, Black Panther: World of Wakanda, Toni Morrison, Beloved, as well as Sheree R. Thomas’s anthology Dark Matter. **SPECIAL NOTE: students in this class need to have the ability to watch the HBO series Lovecraft Country, the Universal film Get Out, and the Marvel/Disney film Black Panther.

EN 399-001                HONORS SEMINAR IN ENGLISH             MW 3:00-4:15            Pionke

Designed to prepare departmental honors students for the advanced research and writing required for their future honors theses, this course will explore roughly 150 years of detective fiction written in four countries (US, Britain, Argentina, and Italy). Like good detectives ourselves, we will concern ourselves with questions of epistemology—how do we know what we know—even as we explore clues of intertextuality and come up against the limits of the rational. Works by Edgar Allan Poe, Arthur Conan Doyle, Jorge Luis Borges, and Umberto Eco will come under the multiple magnifying glasses of our own readerly acumen, the authors’ critical writings, and other more recent scholarship and theory. Put in the terms of our final novel, we shall strive to make sense of “horrible gobbets of cerebral matter,” hopefully without feeling as if we have been hit over the head with an armillary sphere.

Pre-Requisites: EN 215 and EN 216 (or EN 219 or EN 220). Registration preference will be given to students enrolled in the English departmental honors program.

Creative Writing

EN 301-001                            FICTION WRITING              MW 3:00-4:15            Galarrita

This is a class about reading and writing fiction. We will delve into a wide range of traditions—literary, contemporary, flash fiction, speculative fiction, science-fiction and fantasy (SFF), young adult (all genres), and others. While our primary focus will rest on the short story, part of this class may have an independent study portion on the novel. Portions of each class will center on the students’ own fiction, which we’ll read aloud and mull over―alongside the work we’re studying by well-known, professional writers. Within our conversations about written stories, we’ll address the process of writing: coming up with a rough draft, structure, character, dialogue, and plot. Towards the end of this course, students may also share a final work or do a short biography/presentation on an author and short excerpt of their work. Authors we may read include James Baldwin, Natalie Lima, Ottessa Moshfegh, Natalia Theodoridou, Brandon Taylor, Paul Beatty, Edwidge Danticat, Bryan Washington, Mia Alvar, and others.

Prerequisite: 6 hours of 200-level EN courses

EN 301-002                            FICTION WRITING              MW 4:30-5:45            TBA

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

Prerequisite: 6 hours of 200-level EN courses

EN 301-003                            FICTION WRITING              TR 11:00-12:15          McSpadden

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

Prerequisite: 6 hours of 200-level EN courses

EN 301-004                            FICTION WRITING              TR 2:00-3:15              Whalen

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

Prerequisite: 6 hours of 200-level EN courses

EN 301-005                            FICTION WRITING              TR 11:00-12:15          TBA

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

Prerequisite: 6 hours of 200-level EN courses

EN 301-006                            FICTION WRITING              TR 9:30-10:45        Alpert-Abrams

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

Prerequisite: 6 hours of 200-level EN courses

EN 303-001                            POETRY WRITING              MW 3:00 – 4:15         TBA

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

Prerequisite: 6 hours of 200-level EN courses

EN 303-002                            POETRY WRITING              MW 4:30 – 5:45         TBA

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

Prerequisite: 6 hours of 200-level EN courses

EN 303-003                            POETRY WRITING              TR 9:30 – 10:45          TBA

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

Prerequisite: 6 hours of 200-level EN courses

EN 303-004                            POETRY WRITING              TR 11:00–12:15          TBA

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

Prerequisite: 6 hours of 200-level EN courses

EN 303-005                            POETRY WRITING              TR 12:30–1:45            A McWaters

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

Prerequisite: 6 hours of 200-level EN courses

EN 303-006                            POETRY WRITING              TR 2:00–3:15              TBA

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

Prerequisite: 6 hours of 200-level EN courses

EN 305-001                CREATIVE NONFICTION WRITING        TR 9:30–10:45             J Park

Study of the basic principles of writing creative nonfiction. Reading and assigned writing experiments in a broad range of forms of the genre.

Prerequisite: 6 hours of 200-level EN courses

EN 305-002                CREATIVE NONFICTION WRITING        MW 3:00-4:15          Legerski

In this class we will explore the only writing genre that is defined by what it is not: nonfiction. Creative Nonfiction. What is nonfiction? Some say only true stories. Others say stories only “inspired by” truth, or borrow truth, but looks and imitates fiction. Some will say nonfiction is only reserved for police or scientific reports, say, or straight, raw-action-of-the-day news reports, and that subjectivity must be vacuumed out of the prose. Others will stammer and claim no writing is objective because no human is objective, and will pull in memoirs and personal journal entries as true forms of creative nonfiction. Really though, it’s all of those things. Here, in this introduction to the genre and throughout the semester we are going to explore all the genre has to offer. Think of this as an appetizer to nonfiction. With an editorial style of workshop, I’ll be offering examples and tons of exercises to generate hopefully four, rocking creative writing projects that will make you proud. We will also talk about all the byproducts of being a working creator/writer with editing, pitching, writing methods, rhetorical hijinks, etc. I hope together we can ski and surf through the forms with the letter, memoir/autobiography, journalism, essays, analysis/commentary, and travel. Buckle up, it’s going to be fun.

Prerequisite: 6 hours of 200-level EN courses

EN 307-001  SPECIAL TOPICS APPLIED CREATIVE WRITING  TR 2:00 – 3:15     Barnidge

The Entrepreneurial Writer

This course offers encouragement and concrete guidance to students who want to build public-facing careers as fiction or nonfiction writers. By the end of this course, you will know how to: write query letters to magazines and literary agents, submit your work to literary journals, navigate various book-publishing pathways, build a safe and effective social media platform, and maintain your own author website, among other skills.



Alright, alright, alright. Ever think, “I have no experience with screenwriting, but I’d be a lot cooler if I did?” Or maybe you’re already The Big Lebowski of Final Draft, CeltX, and WriterDuet, but you want to spend some time honing your craft and finish a script or two. Either way, you’re welcome in this class. We’ll start by exploring screenwriting softwares and learning the form’s rules. Then, once we’ve got them down, we’ll break them. Repeatedly. In new and interesting ways. We’ll study what constitutes story and try to figure out how and why our favorite films work. We’ll watch movies, lots of movies, and tv shows, so many tv shows! Tv shows forever 100 years, Morty! And then we’ll sit down all disgruntled at our typewriters like Jack Nicholson in As Good As It Gets and we’ll write. We might have readings of each other’s work, and we might even bust out the digital cameras and film some stuff. TBD. The texts will mostly be movies but may also include Robert McKee’s book Story.


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 11:00-12:15          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.


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. By the end of the semester, students will Ø Employ methods employed in our discipline for in-depth literary study; Ø Enrich their skills in critical reading, writing, and analysis; Ø Apply a range of critical and theoretical approaches to primary texts; Ø Practice the vocabulary, techniques, and research methods associated with literary analysis Ø Close read texts in the form of papers and other assignments; Ø Identify which critical approaches fit their interests and the nuances of a particular text; and Ø Recognize how canonical literature has historically marginalized certain voices while privileging others, and work to interpret readings with a more nuanced, multifaceted perspective. 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     MWF  9:00-9:50       Bedsole

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 is required for a passing grade in this course. A student who does not write with the skill normally required of an upper-division student will not earn a passing grade, no matter how well the student performs in other areas of the course.

EN 313-001                   WRITING ACROSS MEDIA         TR 2:00 – 3:15              Eubanks

Advanced writing course exploring composition with images, sound, video, and other media while considering theoretical perspectives on rhetorical concepts such as authorship, audience, process, revision, and design.

EN 317-001       WRITING CENTER PRACTICUM           TR 2:00 – 3:15            Pucker

This course will introduce you to the principles and practices of Writing Center work. The course is structured as a practicum, in which you will do some reading and reflecting on composition theory, and some hands-on work in the Center, including observations and consultations. This course is required for students who wish to work in the Writing Center. Registration is by permission only; interested students can go to http://www.writingcenter.ua.edu for information on how to apply.

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. A student who does not write with the skill normally required of an upper-division student will not earn a passing grade, no matter how well the student performs in other areas of the 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.

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 9:30 – 10:45            Presnall

Mindful Writing

In this class, we will approach communication as an ecology within which human and non-human actors affect each other. If I speak to a rock and don’t get a response, does that mean it doesn’t affect me, direct my movement? Does it invoke me? Does my cat? If my cat leaves a dead mouse on the step and I interpret it as a gift, have I missed a chance at communication? Rather than starting from a known purpose and thesis and advancing an argument, this class begins by questioning what we know and uses extrahuman relations to promote new thoughts and modes of expression. We will integrate the contemplative practice of meditation with journal writing to promote creativity, controlled attention, and meta-cognitive awareness. Texts include literary essays by Annie Dillard, Lia Purpura, and Virginia Woolf, as well as Sharon Salzberg’s Real Change: Mindfulness to Heal Ourselves and the World.

EN 311-001                   SPECIAL TOPICS IN LITERATURE       TR 11:00 – 12:15    Bingham

Contemporary Japanese Fiction

This course surveys contemporary Japanese fiction (1970-present). We’ll read not only internationally-renowned authors like Haruki Murakami, Kenzaburo Oe, and Banana Yoshimoto, but also novels and stories by newly translated, rising stars. Social and literary comparative questions will often begin in genre. How do Japanese authors use the speculative power of science fiction differently from their foreign peers? Does Japanese horror present unique anxieties, and what might these tell us about Japanese society? How can Japanese crime fiction show us how law and order (and their enforcers) manifest in the Japanese psyche? Outside of these classic genres, readings will interrogate the experience of youth in contemporary Japan, the lives of women, environmental decay, marriage, and more. By the completion of this course, students will be familiar with the most prominent living Japanese authors, and will understand how these authors have responded to the world around them over the last fifty years.

EN 311-002/AAST 395-005/WS 310-005                   SPECIAL TOPICS IN LITERATURE       TR 12:30 – 1:45    Stewart

Queer Liberation in the US

In this interdisciplinary seminar we will discuss the histories, philosophies, and art of gay, lesbian, and transgender liberation movements in the United States from the post-World War II era through the present day. Our discussions will arise from a wide variety of histories and memoirs, archived activist ephemera, guest speakers, stories and poems, and films created by the activists in these movements. No prior knowledge of LGBTQ history is required to take the course. Readings will include work by Harry Hay, Hugh Ryan, Lilian Faderman, Susan Stryker, Audre Lorde, and Sadiya Hartman, plus the archives of groups like the Mattachine Society, the Radical Faeries, the Lesbian Avengers, the Salsa Soul Sisters, and ACT-UP. For final projects, students will explore and respond to one of those archives.

EN 311-003/AAST 395-006/WS 310-006                   SPECIAL TOPICS IN LITERATURE       TR 3:30 – 4:45    Gilmore

Black Academic Novels

This class explores representations of higher education in novels written by Black authors from the late 19th century to the present day. Like the authors we read in this class, we will approach the college and/or the university as a site of possibility and problems. Over the course of the semester we will explore a range of historical and contemporary depictions of the relationships between universities and individual and collective questions of self-understanding, social advancement, and political struggle. Questions we may ask of and with the novels we read: What role does higher education play in the creation of racial categories and communities? Are colleges and universities unique institutions or do they reflect dynamics of power found elsewhere in society? What are the purposes of intellectual labor, historical research, and philosophical theorizing? How do the answers to these questions reflect and inform critical conversations about gender and sexual identity, labor and class, and national and diasporic community?

Directed Courses

EN 329-001 through 004                    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 400/EN 500                                 SENIOR SEMINAR               S 9:00-5:00                 Jolly

The Bible as Literature

This course is a systematic general introduction to the literary forms of the Bible.  Emphasis will be placed on recent and respected impartial literary, linguistic, anthropological, sociological, and theological scholarship.

NOTE:  Before coming to the first class, students should have read Genesis.

Class meetings will be 9am – 5pm on Jan 23, Feb 13, March 6, April 3 & April 24, 2021.

EN 411-001    ADV COMPARATIVE/MULTICULTURAL LIT   MWF 11:00-11:50      Bilwakesh

Literature of South Asia

This survey of the literature of South Asia begins with variants of major Sanskrit epics Mahabharata and Ramayana, and critical discussion of translation and re-tellings. We survey the linguistic diversity of the region, with readings translated from and informed by Bengali, Malayalam Urdu, Tamil, Portuguese, Hindi, and Greek. We study the long history of English in India, issues of nomenclature (India, Indian, Pakistan, Indian Literature), the development of a particularly Indian English, questions and constructions of race, color, and class, and the role of colonialism in the development and criticism of this body of literature. Authors include AK Ramanujan, Rudyard Kipling, Luis de Camoes, Bapsi Sidhwa, Mirabai, Kabir, Chandidas, Agha Shahid Ali, Salman Rushdie, Arundhati Roy, and Perumal Murugan.


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 Rabih Alameddine, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Ornela Vorpsi, Han Kang, and J. M. Coetzee, among others.

EN 422-001      ADV STUDIES IN AMERICAN LITERATURE      MW 4:30-5:45     Manora

American Modernisms

The term American Modernism traditionally refers to a period of both literary innovation and profound ideological disruption. As the American scene underwent a sea change during the decades from 1914 to 1945, Anglo American and African-American/Harlem Renaissance writers captured American Modernism’s dialectic of contradictions, its “apocalyptic sense of crisis and belief in a new beginning.” Through literary analyses and work with recent criticism, we will consider the relationships between order, disorder, place, and identity – notions and constructions of race, class, gender, and “self” – that concerned these writers, while also exploring the historical, social, cultural, and ideological discourses that informed their works. Requirements include active and engaged participation, critical responses, one 4-5 page paper, and a final paper.

EN 422-002      ADV STUDIES IN AMERICAN LITERATURE   TR 12:30-1:45       Cardon

Early 20th-Century American Literature: Consumption & Consumerism

In the opening passage of Abraham Cahan’s The Rise of David Levinsky (1917), the protagonist laments, “My present station, power, the amount of worldly happiness at my command, and the rest of it, seem to be devoid of significance” (3). Despite rising from humble beginnings to achieve immense career success and wealth, David finds himself restless and unhappy: not because he cannot have something he wants, but because he does not know what else to want. According to historian William Leach, the late 19th century was a defining one in America’s shifting ideology, when the very concept of the American Dream changed. This dream, loosely defined by the Declaration of Independence as “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” ceased to represent the ideals of family, work, utilitarianism, and faith, and morphed into a more individualist, materialistic ideal. The hallmarks of this new dream, according to Leach, are “acquisition and consumption as the means of achieving happiness, the cult of the new; the democratization of desire; and monetary value as the predominant measure of all value in society.” The novels we discuss in this class, spanning from 1900 to 1931 (set from about the 1870s to the 1930s), represent this shift of American life into one of mass consumption. Consumerism on the one hand undergirds our ideal of equal opportunity. At the same time, consumerism infects American citizens with the belief that true happiness lies in material success and the freedom to buy. The authors, who encompass the Realist, Naturalist, Modernist, and Harlem Renaissance periods/movements, explore concepts of happiness as they intersect with the development of a consumerist mentality.

EN 422-003      ADV STUDIES IN AMERICAN LITERATURE   TR 3:30-4:45       Deutsch

Bad Romance/Good Gay Love: LGBTQ Literature and the Subject of American History

From deep abiding love affairs to passing promiscuities, diverse varieties of queer love have long been part of the American literary scene. While religious, social, medical, and legal institutions across the U.S. for years decried any such romance as inherently “bad,” this course will examine novels, poetry, plays, and actual historical subcultures that presented gay, lesbian, and trans loves in a more exuberant, rich, and complicatedly celebratory light, sometimes extravagantly and sometimes only cautiously so. Taking into account the complexity of the U.S., we’ll examine works from a variety of regions, religions, races, and cultures, though we’ll largely take into account the literature and the history of the 20th and 21st centuries. Participants in this seminar must be willing to consider critically points of view with which they might not necessarily agree and settings that they might occasionally find offensive regardless of their own socio-political situation, but which nonetheless engage with vital strands in American literature and history. Together, we will examine the art, culture, and contexts of works such as Djuna Barnes’ Nightwood, Jim Grimsley’s Dream Boy, Leslie Feinberg’s Stone Butch Blues, Rabih Alameddine’s Koolaids, as well as numerous other works.

EN 433-001                ADV STUDIES IN BRITISH LIT          MW 3:00-4:15       Ainsworth

The World of Terry Pratchett

“…beneath any jollity [in Pratchett], there is a foundation of fury. Terry Pratchett is not one to go gentle into any night, good or otherwise. He will rage, as he leaves, against so many things: stupidity, injustice, human foolishness and shortsightedness, not just the dying of the light, although that’s here, too. And, hand in hand with the anger, like an angel and a demon walking hand in hand into the sunset, there is love: for human beings, in all our fallibility; for treasured objects; for stories; and ultimately and in all things, love for human dignity.” Neil Gaiman, 2014 This seminar will be a trip into the world of British satirist Terry Pratchett, whose Discworld series began as a parody of fantasy literature and transformed into some of the best satire ever written. We will also get to know Pratchett as a person, to understand his works in the context that Gaiman places them in, as driven by love for humanity and anger at human foolishness. In the process, we’ll read and discuss some of the best satire ever written. Readings will include Gaiman and Pratchett’s Good Omens, and a number of Pratchett novels including Feet of Clay, Hogfather, Raising Steam, Small Gods, Thief of Time, Thud!, Witches Abroad, and Weird Sisters.

EN 433-002                ADV STUDIES IN BRITISH LIT          MW 3:00-4:15       McNaughton

20th and 21st Century Irish and British Poetry

This seminar in Irish and British poetry has three principle sections: modernist poetry, mid-century reactions to modernism, and contemporary Irish poetry. The course is guided by the idea that a little formalism takes you away from history, but that a lot brings you back to it. So we will perform detailed close readings, keeping in mind how formal developments in poetry mark political conflict, social critique, and historical change. We begin with major writers, principally among them Thomas Hardy, W.B. Yeats, T.S. Eliot, Philip Larkin, Stevie Smith, and Seamus Heaney. Then we turn to contemporary Irish poets. Students will work individually on a complete collection of recently-published poetry, select poems for the class to read, and write a publishable book review. Previously, students have been drawn to collections by Paula Meehan, Rita Ann Higgins, Tom French, Paul Muldoon, Michael Longley, Kerry Hardie, Harry Clifton, Leontia Flynn, Dermot Healy, Sinead Morrissey, and others. Besides reviews, the professor expects a number of essays, an exam, and a presentation.

EN 433-003                ADV STUDIES IN BRITISH LIT          TR 2:00-3:15                     Cook

The Romance, Now and Then

This course focuses on the origins and development of the romance genre. We will begin with medieval romances and then turn to novels of the eighteenth, nineteenth, and twentieth century. The aim of the course is to offer a historical perspective on this form of popular fiction. Medieval course readings will include Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and selections from Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales (in modern English translation). Novels will include Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey, Sir Walter Scott’s Ivanhoe, and Charles Chesnutt’s The House Behind the Cedars.

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

Essential Readings in Women’s Studies

This course features texts and themes considered “essential” to the field of Women’s and Gender Studies, as well as central to feminist scholarship and praxis across disciplines. Course readings include “classic” texts from iconic authors, such as Simone de Beauvoir, Audre Lorde, bell hooks, and more, as well as an assortment of literary and personal writings interspersed with key literary and critical theory texts. Through these visionary texts by established, influential figures and more recent emerging contributors, students will become familiar with the texts and debates central to the field of Women’s and Gender Studies and discover how feminist writers, past and present, have contributed to our understanding of vital issues and, further, how they inspire radical change.

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

Advanced Studies in Writing

EN 455-001                            ADV STUDIES IN WRITING          TR 8:00-9:15       Presnall

Montaigne and 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 455-002                            ADV STUDIES IN WRITING          TR 12:30-1:45        Tekobbe

To Go Boldly (or not): Writing the Future

This seminar focuses on exploring science and technology issues of the moment and of the near future. Can artificial intelligence address the issue of misinformation on the internet? Will robots replace entire fields of employment in coming years? Can there be a cashless economy? What about bitcoin and peer-to-peer economies? Can we build ourselves better bodies and longer lifespans with emergent science? Does living in a surveillance society bring an end to privacy? What about climate change? Should we colonize Mars? How do we address the ethics of all that science and technology make possible? In this course, will ask and try to answer these questions and more, through readings and examples in popular culture. We will create opinion pieces, responses, reviews, and more as we explore what it means to imagine, make, and write the future.

EN 455-003                            ADV STUDIES IN WRITING          TR 11:00-12:15        Presnall

Montaigne and 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.

Creative Writing

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

The Novel (two semester course)

This is part two of a two semester course designed with the goal of completing a draft of a novel. In this class we will workshop portions of the novels-in-progress, talk about the revision, as well as discussion the novel publication process for novels. We will read and discuss a couple of novels in order to help inspire the novel writing process and discuss the many challenges of writing a longform narrative, particularly in the later stages of the process. Workshops will occur throughout the semester and novel sections will be turned in regularly. As this is the second semester of the course, the end goal will be to complete or come close to completing a draft of a novel. Students who did not take the first semester of the course are welcome to take the second semester though it’s recommended that they enter the class with a partially completed novel draft. Priority will be given to students who have taken the first semester of the course.

Prerequisites: EN 200 and EN 301 and EN 303

EN 408-002                ADVANCED CREATIVE WRITING          TR 9:30-10:45    Rawlings

Writing Funny in Dark Times

Comedians often have the most trenchant and true things to say about difficult subjects. From Jonathan Swift’s “A Modest Proposal,” suggesting that the Irish sell their children as food, to Key and Peele’s sketch comedy that points up racism and stereotyping, comedy has long illuminated and critiqued social problems. In this class, we’ll experiment with comedic forms such as the monologue, sketch, list poem, satirical essay, and maybe even a Tik Tok video. And in these tough times, we’ll look at how comedians write about personal trauma and collective catastrophe. Possible readings include excerpts from Paul Beatty, The Sellout; Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah, Friday Black; Nafissa Thompson-Spires, Heads of the Colored People, and poems by Paul Guest and Patricia Lockwood. We will also watch examples from standup comedians to inspire us.

Prerequisites: EN 200 and EN 301 and EN 303

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

Fantasy Writing (fiction)

If you like to hang out in, explore, and create fantastical realms of gold (as Keats called Homer’s mythical landscape) this course is for you, whether you enjoy the old-school lands of Faerie that fueled the imagination of JRR Tolkien and C.S. Lewis, the magic-infused worlds of JK Rowling, Robin McKinley, or Diana Wynne Jones, or whether you prefer the unsettling vision of writers like Neil Gaiman and China Mieville. Students will explore ways that speculative elements enter a text, methods of world building, and elements of social, political, and environmental consciousness that find their ways into fantasy writing. We will work primarily on the short story form. The final project will guide students through researching a suitable journal and preparing a submission to that publication.

Prerequisites: EN 200 and EN 301 and EN 303

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

Graphic Novel

This course explores a variety of narrative themes and topics through a juxtaposition of the graphic novel and prose-specific literature. This class shall review an eclectic array of comparative readings to discern what devices and conventions make these narrative forms distinct; or conversely, artistic kissing cousins.

Prerequisites: EN 200 and EN 301 and EN 303

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

The Essay (creative nonfiction)

Can an essay be a grocery list, a receipt, a marriage (or death) certificate? The answer is, of course, that nearly anything can be an essay, and in this course we’ll experiment with forms that marry style with content in a meaningful (and fun!) way. Students will focus on one or two stories they want to tell, and practice different methods of finding frames for their work. The course will culminate in a course reading and public display of writing.

Prerequisites: EN 200 and EN 301 and EN 303

EN 408-006                ADVANCED CREATIVE WRITING          W 2:00-4:30           Wells

Advanced Fiction Workshop

This class is devoted to the reading, analysis, and above all the writing of short fiction. You will produce original fiction of your own invention and design, and, building on the workshopping skills you’ve developed in previous creative writing courses, you’ll read the work of your peers and provide oral and written feedback. This course will help equip you with the skills necessary to examine stories with rigorous generosity. The published stories we’ll discuss will be in a variety of modes, from realism to fabulism and points in between, but it is the fiction you write that will make up the course’s primary text.

Prerequisites: EN 200 and EN 301 and EN 303

EN 408-007                ADVANCED CREATIVE WRITING          TR 12:30-1:45       Pirkle

The Poetic Voice (poetry)

In this class, students will examine how voice is established not only in a single poem but over the course of a collection or group of poems. Writing assignments will focus on how to create and sustain a unique, yet recognizable, poetic voice. At the end of the semester, students will submit a final “mini” chapbook of original work that consists of a unified, distinct voice.

Prerequisites: EN 200 and EN 301 and EN 303

EN 408-008                ADVANCED CREATIVE WRITING          TR 2:00-3:15              Estes

Writing the Expanded Field: A Pandemic Response (no genre)

Among the ways in which history will judge those of living in 2020, a likely fault they’ll find in us is a lack of imagination. Our resistance to change is conditioned, of course, a survival mechanism in many situations, but the laws of adaptation prove themselves, every day, immutable. Our dogged efforts to “return to normal” at all costs has not only cost unnecessary lives, but has kept us from discovering in unexpected and adverse situations opportunities to reform our vision and practice in response to individual and collective altered landscapes. We can be forgiven, however, as the necessary skillset for this is not in the standard curriculum: ease with uncertainty, courage and resilience, compassion, alertness, an openness to (and readiness for) the unimaginable. In this course, we will accept the invitation reality is offering us to reconsider it all, to accept upheaval, to address and redress with seriousness and play the experimental possibilities of our situation. We will be futurists and historicists, critics and artists, symbolists and literalists, dilettantes and philistines, ascetics and hedonists, rhapsodes and researchers, watchers, gamers, bakers, lovers, magicians: mixologists of the matrix. And as for writing, in so far as everything is writing and everything remains to be written, anything can happen.

Prerequisites: EN 200 and EN 301 and EN 303

EN 408-009                ADVANCED CREATIVE WRITING          TR 3:30-4:45         Minicucci

Lessons in the Echo: An Introduction to Poetic Forms (poetry)

This is an advanced-level poetry writing course focusing on a practical and historical introduction to metrical forms in poetry from a global perspective. From Dactylic Hexameter to Ghazals, Sonnets to the Duplex poems of 2020 Pulitzer-Prize winner Jericho Brown, we’ll take a semester-long hands-on approach to prosody, and analyze (in addition to practicing) what’s possible in a formal poem.

Prerequisites: EN 200 and EN 301 and EN 303

EN 408-010                ADVANCED CREATIVE WRITING          TR 3:30-4:45       Albano

Literary Journals

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 a print edition of the sixth issue of Call Me [Brackets]—the literary journal started by the fall 2018 class. This will involve selecting a new theme and aesthetic, and introduce, in addition to the aforementioned skills, the basics of layout, design, and binding while considering essential post-publishing efforts such as distribution and marketing.

Prerequisites: EN 200 and EN 301 and EN 303

EN 408-011                ADVANCED CREATIVE WRITING       WF 11:00-12:15         Staples

The Making of A Manuscript

Author Michael Ondaatje describes writing books as “a case of inching ahead on each page and discovering what’s beyond in the darkness, beyond where you’re writing.” This course will support such courageous forays. Students will work both independently under the instructor’s supervision and in a collaborative peer workshop to produce an artist statement and extended literary work or collection in the genre(s) of their choice. In addition to common readings and individualized reading lists, we will explore literary culture and ideas, artist biography, and other works aimed at preparing students for the writing life.

Prerequisites: EN 200 and EN 301 and EN 303

EN 408-012/JCM 442-001     ADVANCED CREATIVE WRITING   T 2:00-4:30       Bragg

Long-form Articles

This course is designed to help students understand writing and editing of long-form articles for publication in print and online depth magazines. Students will learn advanced narrative non-fiction writing techniques and how to gather information for longer feature stories. Writing proficiency is required for a passing grade in this course. A student who does not write with the skill normally required of an upper-division student will not earn a passing grade, no matter how well the student performs in other areas of the course.

Prerequisites: EN 200 and EN 301 and EN 303


EN 466-001                ADV STUDIES IN LINGUSTIC       TR 2:00-3:15              Presnall

Designed for English majors, a special topics course that focuses on issues in linguistics. A frequent topic is language and culture. This course may be repeated for a maximum of 9 hours. Writing proficiency is required for a passing grade in this course. A student who does not write with the skill normally required of an upper-division student will not earn a passing grade, no matter how well the student performs in other areas of the course.

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.