Graduate Course Offerings 2019
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ENGL 5302: Middle English Language
Translating Middle English Literature
Dr. Julie Nelson Couch
Tuesdays 2:00pm - 4:50pm
This course introduces students to the grammar, syntax, vocabulary, phonology, and prosody of Middle English. This course also introduces students to Middle English manuscript studies. The term Middle English encompasses an array of regional dialects that coexisted in England roughly between the Norman Conquest in 1066 and the standardization of English in 1430. Class time will be spent translating and pronouncing Middle English, transcribing from manuscript facsimiles, and discussing related issues in translation, manuscript context, and literary interpretation. By the end of the course, students will be able to comprehend and read aloud Middle English poetry that ranges widely in dialect, form, and genre. This course will be of interest to literature students as well as to linguistics and creative writing students interested in form, prosody, book history, and the theory and praxis of translation.
Requirements Fulfilled: Philology Sequence, British Literature; Period: Early, ; Genre: Poetry; Book History/Digital Humanities Certificate, Medieval and Renaissance Studies Certificate
ENGL 5303: Studies in Medieval British Literature: Beowulf
Dr. Brian McFadden
W 2:00 - 4:50 p.m.
Onsite CRN: 49653
Note that ENGL 5301 (Old English Language) is a prerequisite for ENGL 5303.
This course will be an in-depth translation and analysis of Beowulf, the first major epic poem in the English language. Topics to be discussed: Anglo-Saxon conceptions of monstrosity and Otherness; Germanic social structure as depicted in the poem versus the realities of Anglo-Saxon society; the role of women in the poem and women in Anglo-Saxon society; the tension and accommodation between Christian and Germanic elements in the poem; the paleography and codicology of the text and the application of digital technology, especially the online Electronic Beowulf project at the University of Kentucky, to the study of the poem and the Beowulf manuscript (London, British Library, Cotton Vitellius A.xv). Requirements: oral presentation; one 20- to 25-page seminar paper; weekly translation and reading in Old English. Texts to be announced but will probably include Mitchell and Robinson's edition of Beowulf, Klaeber's Beowulf, The Beowulf Reader (ed. Bjork and Niles) and A Critical Companion to Beowulf (Orchard).
Requirement Fulfilled: British Literature, Early Period, Genre (Poetry), High Proficiency Language Requirement, Medieval and Renaissance Studies Certificate
ENGL 5305: Studies in Shakespeare
Staging the Social
Dr. Matthew Hunter
Wednesdays 6:00pm - 8:50pm
This course will study the intersections between Shakespeare's plays and the London of his early modern moment. Not only was the city expanding at a famously rapid rate, but hierarchies of class and status were in flux, and new professions and social types were emerging. Public spaces like Paul's Churchyard and the Royal Exchange facilitated novel interactions among these types. So too did city's many theaters, where audiences of all social classes converged to watch plays about the brave new world in which they found themselves. Emphasizing the “public” in public theater, this seminar considers how early modern drama facilitates, depicts, and invites audiences to practice for themselves some of the many social relations that were coming to define public urban life.
The aspirations of our meetings will be literary, historical, and theoretical. First, readings will provide students with advanced knowledge of Shakespeare's plays—both the canonical (Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet) and the neglected (Love's Labours Lost)—and those of his contemporaries (Ben Jonson, John Marston, Thomas Heywood, and others). Along the way, non-dramatic readings like poems, satires, prose pamphlets, and printed commonplace books will deepen our understanding of the period, illuminating practices of performance, the flourishing print marketplace, emergent forms of cultural distinction, anxieties of urban living, and the rise of new social networks. Finally, as a course designed to inquire into the meaning of “the social”—what it means for Shakespeare's moment, what it means for ours—we will draw upon some key thinkers in critical social theory, from Emile Durkheim and Norbert Elias (The Civilizing Process) to Erving Goffman, Pierre Bourdieu, and Niklas Luhmann. The question of what it means to be social, we will see, is a question that drama is uniquely suited to answer.
Requirements Fulfilled: British Literature; Period: Early, ; Genre: Drama; Medieval and Renaissance Studies Certificate
ENGL 5306: Studies in 17th Century British Literature: Sovereignty and Subversion in Milton's England
Dr. Ryan Hackenbracht
M 6:00 - 8:50 p.m.
In the aftermath of a violent civil war between king and parliament, seventeenth-century English writers were convinced that poetry might help heal their broken nation. Questioning the relationship between poetics and politics, their works inquire, What does poetry do, in a political sense? Do its myriad forms—lyric, epic, elegy, panegyric, and others—possess distinct political utilities, which cannot be found in philosophy, religion, or history? How can poetry be used to subvert social norms, or to disrupt dominant cultural narratives of progress and triumph? How does poetry offer fictional alternatives to the present reality, often prompting readers to envision a world better than the one they inhabit? Over the course of the semester, we will explore the diverse strategies adopted by Milton, Marvell, Herrick, Lovelace, and other writers, who used poetry to resist unjust governments, or to reimagine the nature of sovereign power. In this regard, poetry was a ubiquitous medium through which political ideas were generated and disseminated. But it was also a bridge to the ancient past, as English writers envisioned themselves reenacting the end of the Roman republic in the days of Virgil, or the rise of the Christianity under Saint Paul, in their own day and age. Modernity, the poems of Milton and others teach us, is a matter of perspective. And throughout history, whenever tyrants and demagogues spring up, there are time-tried strategies of subversion—found only in poetry, and safeguarded in the complexities of genre—that spring up along with them, waiting to be put to use on behalf of a free people. Assignments will include a conference-style presentation, an annotated bibliography, and a 20-page research paper on a topic of your choosing.
Requirement Fulfilled: British Literature, Early Period, Genre (Poetry), Medieval and Renaissance Studies Certificate (MRSC)
ENGL 5313: Studies in Twentieth Century British Literature
Hardy and Others
Dr. Bill Wenthe
By the 1920s W. B. Yeats and T. S. Eliot were the major figures in British Poetry; one might say "dominant" figures, in the sense that to younger poets, they and their Modernist modes represented a kind of defining presence in contemporary poetry, a presence not lessened by their recognition in the academy. Partly in reaction to Yeats and Eliot, some poets turned to a different, older model—Thomas Hardy, who, while self-proclaimed modernism was establishing itself in London in the 'teens and 'twenties, continued to write poems in the late-Romantic mode he inherited in the 1860's, and modulated with his singularly ironic sensibility. This course will look at Hardy, some poets influenced by Hardy, and others outside of the High Modernist mode. Among our heroes and heroines are Charlotte Mew, W. H. Auden, Stevie Smith, Philip Larkin, Eavan Boland, Thom Gunn. Requirements will be, in addition to careful reading and discussion, one short paper, one longer research paper, a class presentation.
Requirements Fulfilled: British literature after 1700; and Genre: Poetry.
ENGL 5315: Studies in British Fiction: Modern British Fiction (Summer)
Dr. Jen Shelton
T 6:00pm - 8:50pm
This course will examine a range of British fiction from the 1910s and 1920s with the aim of considering technical and subject-matter experiments of the Modernist era. The texts have been chosen to explore how modernism grew from its initial explorations of consciousness into the mode we think of as High Modernism. These texts are also ones that are frequently taught in college courses and that are appropriate as well for advanced high school students, such as those in AP classes, so among our topics will be pedagogy, as modernist texts can be challenging for students to read and instructors to teach. We will read texts by Virginia Woolf, E.M. Forster, Mary Borden, Sylvia Townsend Warner, and James Joyce, perhaps including part of Ulysses — just enough to make clear what High Modernism really means.
Requirements Fulfilled: British Literature, Genre: Fiction, Period: Later
ENGL 5317: Studies in Post-Colonial Literature: The Empire Codes Back
Dr. Kanika Batra
T 6:00 - 8:50 p.m.
Onsite CRN: 57471
Distance CRN: 57472
Postcolonial writers have consistently written back to Empire and power. One strategy employed is to re-code the canon in ways that indicate the racial, gendered, and class assumptions of works such as William Shakespeare's The Tempest, Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe, Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre, and Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness. This course will examine a few such instances to analyze how postcolonial authors re-code genre and emplotment, subvert normative gender codes, disrupt monochromatic racial coding, and are placed within digital codes and tags of revisionary literary histories.
Our focus will be on a selection of texts which may include the following: Edward Said's Culture and Imperialism; Aimé Césaire's rewriting of Shakespeare in Une Tempête; a revision of Bronte in Jean Rhys's Wide Sargasso Sea and Dorothea Smartt's Reader, I Married Him and Other Queer Goings on; a scathing critique of Conrad in Chinua Achebe's An Image of Africa and Sevn Lindquist's Exterminate All the Brutes; Patience Agbabi's remixing of Chaucer in Telling Tales and the Global Chaucers blog, an "online archive and community for post -1945, non-Anglophone Chauceriana;" and Damon Galgut's imaginative take on E.M. Forster's life and works in Arctic Summer. Our attempt to construct a revisionary literary history will be aided by influential DH projects such as Postcolonial Digital Humanities, Women Writers Online, and Orlando: Women's Writing in the British Isles from the Beginnings to the Present.
Requirements Fulfilled: Comparative Literature, Non-Fiction, Methods
ENGL 5317: Post-Secularism
Religion Strikes Back
Dr. Roger McNamara
Tuesdays: 6:00pm - 8:50pm
Onsite CRN: 37200
Distance CRN: 37203
This course explores the resonating power of religion across the globe. Many intellectuals believe that we live in a "secular age," where individual rights and liberal democracies have displaced the role that religion played in determining individual conduct and communal morality. However, despite this belief in human "progress," religion still seems to play a significant role in our lives. In many countries across the globe, especially in Asia and Africa, religion resonates deeply with people, as it remains a powerful means through which they understand themselves and their communities. In the "West," too, religion is still a strong force—even as it has adapted to a polity based on individual rights and democratic principles. Religion's ability to survive and adapt in diverse parts of the globe in the mid-to-late 20th century has created a condition that is loosely described as "post-secularism."
This course is concerned with examining the contours of the debate over post-secularism. To facilitate this conversation we will read fiction, short stories, and plays by writers such as Salman Rushdie (Pakistan, UK), Marilynne Robinson (United States), Michael Ondaatje (Canada/Sri Lanka), Rohinton Mistry (Canada/India), Zakes Mda (South Africa), and Amitav Ghosh (India) among others. While these writers explore the role of religion—its power and its limitations—we will supplement our discussion of these texts with the writings by philosophers and literary critics on secularism and post-secularism, including Talal Asad, Partha Chatterjee, Aamir Mufti, Martha Nussbaum, Vincent Pecora, David Scott, and Charles Taylor.
Requirements Fulfilled: Comparative Literature; Period: Late
ENGL 5323: Nineteenth-Century American Literature
Making and Un-Making the Poetic Canon
Dr. Elissa Zellinger
Onsite CRN: 14963
When students think about nineteenth-century poetry (if they think about it at all), they might remember Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, maybe Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. In this class, we will examine canonical figures, the literary history that has made them canonical figures, and, just as important, the figures who were left out of the so-called "American Renaissance." Nineteenth-century American poetry has experienced a resurgence of critical interest over the last twenty years, and we will attend to the varied, recent approaches to this body of work. In our exploration, we will find that canon formation's inclusionary and exclusionary practices reveal longstanding social, political, and even economic forces that got their start in the nineteenth-century and continue to exert their influence today. But we will also study the ways that poetry functioned as a dynamic force that responded to institutional powers, historical crises, and social injustice. This course will provide a solid overview of nineteenth-century poems and authors, combined with current critical discussions/debates. Each week will focus on a single poet. Requirements for the class include in-class presentations, weekly Blackboard posts, a research proposal, and a final written assignment. The syllabus is designed to introduce students to a broad range of authors, texts, and critical methodologies.
Requirement Fulfilled: American Literature; Period: Early; Genre: Poetry
ENGL 5324: Studies in 20th Century American Literature: The Western in Literature and Film
Dr. Sara Spurgeon
W 6:00 - 9:00 p.m.
Onsite CRN: 49658
Distance CRN: 57991
This class will examine works of fiction and film that have helped to establish and to challenge what is often called "the only original American genre," the Western—a genre that seems to have its roots in the nineteenth century, comes of age in the twentieth, and continues branching into unexpected forms in the twenty-first. Some of the texts we will encounter will be canonical classics, and some will undermine, subvert, or expand our ideas about what Westerns are, what they mean, and why we can't stop making them. We will explore these texts from a number of different angles: What did the myth of the frontier look like in the past and what shape is it assuming in American literature and film today? How has it been used to justify or deconstruct American ideas about gender, race, class, sexuality, national identity, and borders? How does the work of non-Anglos writing and filming from "the other side" of the frontier reinterpret that myth? We will be doing close readings of novels, films, and theory.
Requirements Fulfilled: American Literature, Later Period, Genre (Fiction), Literature, Social Justice, and Environmental Studies (LSJE)
ENGL 5327: Studies in Multicultural American Literature
The BorderLands of Visionary Fiction
Dr. Cordelia Barrera
Thursdays 6:00pm – 8:50pm
Onsite CRN: 34395
Distance CRN: 41068
Recent years have seen an impressive outpouring of speculative fiction by women and people of color that falls under the neologism, "visionary fiction." In this course we will study genres that often overlap—science fiction, apocalyptic/post-apocalyptic, and utopian/dystopian forms—from a Borderlands perspective. To conceive a Borderlands position broadly means that we approach spaces, places, and even bodies in terms of peripheries and edges rather than centers. Visionary fiction is radical, highly imaginative, and often calls for a paradigm shift in consciousness; its aims are egalitarian and aimed at social and environmental justice. Some questions that will focus our discussion include: how and why have speculative forms so radically transformed in recent decades? How do people of color engage speculative forms to re-imagine genocidal campaigns and modern, colonialist enterprises? How do the articulations of feminist theory, third space theory, and environmental philosophy bring into conversation the territorial, ideological, and metaphorical intersections between the U.S. and other countries with the goal of illuminating how individual subjectivities negotiate local, national, and global borders (transfronteras) of experience? Some of the authors we'll read include Gloria Anzaldúa, Octavia E. Butler, Ursula K. LeGuin, and Nnedi Okorafor.
Requirement Fulfilled: American Literature; Literature, Social Justice and Environmental Studies (LSJE); Period: Late, Genre: Fiction
ENGL 5334: History of the English Language: Who Owns English? Authority in a Worldwide Language (Summer)
Dr. Brian McFadden
W 6:00pm - 8:50pm
We will be examining the history and development of the English language from its origins in Anglo-Saxon England through the high Middle Ages and the Early Modern period to Modern English and issues and controversies of the present day; this entails studying the internal history, external history, and the development of its morphology, phonology, semantics, and syntax, in addition to an examination of orality and literacy and the effects of developing methods of textual production on the language. We will also be reading short pieces written at different times through English history (e.g. Ælfric of Eynsham, Alfred the Great, Chaucer, Milton, Sidney, Johnson, Swift, Jefferson, Orwell) to gain a historical perspective on how authors perceived the language in which they were writing and how they claim authority to define and use the English language for their social and political ends. The earlier parts of the course will be highly technical and mechanical; as the course progresses, there will be more opportunity for discussion and development of current topics of interest to the student. The requirements will be a dialect project examining how different people read the same passage, a seminar paper on a topic of interest to the study of English as a language, a prospectus at midterm in order to give me an idea of what you wish to discuss in the essay, and an oral presentation on one of the texts to be discussed in class.
Primary texts: Gramley, The History of English: An Introduction; Knowles, A Cultural History of the English Language; Orwell, 1984; Gilliver, Marshall, and Weiner, The Ring of Words: Tolkien and the Oxford English Dictionary; McCrum, Globish; George Bernard Shaw, Pygmalion; Wilton, Word Myths; plus additional reading assignments via Blackboard.
Requirements Fulfilled: Philological Sequence, Medieval and Renaissance Studies Certificate, Linguistics Certificate, Genre: Nonfiction
ENGL 5337: Studies in Linguistics: Compositional Semantics
Dr. Min-Joo Kim
T/R 12:30 – 1:50 p.m.
Onsite CRN: 71840
Distance CRN: 57991
The English sentence "Every man loves a woman" is two-ways ambiguous but its passive counterpart "A woman is loved by every man" is not, and this has something to do with how sentential meaning is derived based on the underlying syntactic structure.
In this course, we examine how the meaning of a sentence is computed in a compositional manner (a technical term due to Frege (1892)) because of the way it is structured and because of the lexical semantic contributions made by the words that comprise it. In addition, we will be looking at how context and world knowledge play a role in semantic computation (i.e., the relation between semantics and pragmatics).
Requirement Fulfilled: Linguistics Certificate
ENGL 5339: Phonology
Dr. Aaron Braver
Tuesday/Thursday 12:30pm – 1:50pm
Onsite CRN: 38953
Distance CRN: 41209
No prior linguistics knowledge required!
Why is "blik" a possible word of English, but not "bnik"? Why can we have [tl] in the middle of a word (e.g., "butler"), but not at the start or the end? (And how come some languages, like the modern Aztec language Nahuatl, are perfectly content with [tl]-final words?)
This course provides an overview of the field of phonology—how languages organize, represent, and manipulate their sounds. We will begin by discussing the sounds of the world's languages and their articulatory,acoustic, and distributional properties. We will examine why some sounds are allowed in certain parts of a word but not others, and how sounds change based on their surroundings.
Both linguists and non-linguists are encouraged to join this course. Knowledge of sound patterns has important applications across disciplines, including literature, creative writing and poetry, and technical communication. If you have ever wondered how the sounds of language work—or how to manipulate them for various effects—this course will be of interest to you.
Requirements fulfilled: Linguistics; Language (Methods)
ENGL 5340: Research Methods
Dr. Ryan Hackenbracht
Mondays 6:00pm - 8:50pm
Onsite CRN: 14987
Distance CRN: 35475
9:00am - 11:50am
Onsite CRN: 14992
This seminar introduces you to the variety of methods used by literary critics and
creative writers in their research. This seminar will focus on the professional payoff—i.e.,
how the methods you acquire in graduate school will impact your scholarship/creative
writing for years to come. In the modern job market of the 21st century, it isn't
sufficient to be a good researcher—rather, we at Texas Tech would have you develop
an intimate knowledge of the ins and outs of the profession, so your skill as a scholar/writer
is accompanied by an understanding of why such scholarship/writing matters, and for
which venues and audiences. So, our profession-based approach to research methods
will include learning about processes, including how to publish, how to present at
conferences, how to network, how to assemble your committee, and how to navigate grad
school with an eye toward job markets. Our learning objectives include:-an awareness
of the electronic and material resources available for your use
-an awareness of the processes by which scholars in your field conduct research
-a clear understanding of the publication process, with the aim of submitting your work for publication
-an ability to construct a thorough and detailed annotated bibliography
-an ability to construct conference abstracts and panel proposals
-an ability to give a 20-min. conference-length presentation to an audience of peers
-a final research project (scholarly or creative, depending on your area) of 20 pages
Requirements fulfilled: Foundation course
ENGL 5341: Histories and Theories of the Book
Dr. Alison Rukavina
Wednesdays 2:00pm - 4:50 PM
Onsite CRN: 40758
This course begins with an overview of material text production across history and cultures, examining early writing and publishing technologies. We'll move through the transition from scribal to print cultures and the hand press period, through the nineteenth-century industrialization of print, and end with digital texts. Students will learn about the relationships between texts and their material embodiments, from stone to screen, papyrus to paper, codex to Kindle. Throughout the course we will also consider books (or scrolls, or a stylus, or a ball-point pen, or a printing press, etc.) as technologies, and study them within the context of current theories of technology and society. As part of the course, students will pay particular attention to nineteenth-century British reading and publishing practices in relation to specific texts like Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey and Mary Elizabeth Braddon's Lady Audley's Secret. Students will also learn about the history of book illustration and cover art—with an emphasis on the nineteenth century—and will have the opportunity to work with archival materials and rare books in Special Collections. A primary principle of this course will also be learning by doing in a hands-on way. Students will work in the English department Letterpress studio and write with quill and ink as they learn about the stages of textual production.
Requirements fulfilled: Core requirement for the Book History and Digital Humanities Certificate; British Literature; Period: Late
ENGL 5342: Critical Methods
Dr. Jen Shelton
Tuesdays 6:00pm - 8:50 PM
Onsite CRN: 14996
Distance CRN: 40755
This course, which partially fulfills the Methods requirement for graduate students in English, aim to provide a pragmatic introduction to critical theory in order to prepare students to read and write literary criticism and to teach students at all levels. Students will spend part of the semester wrestling with the post-structuralist literary theories to which contemporary theories react. The semester will conclude with a practical investigation of critical race theory with emphasis on deploying such theory in writing and teaching. Students can expect the class to be hands-on: I will expect students to be leaders in investigating theory, and some of our activities will be geared toward using theory with students in middle school, high school, and college.
Requirement fulfilled: Foundation course
ENGL 5342: Critical Methods
Cultural Studies, Literary Theories, Readings
Dr. Scott Baugh
Thursdays 6:00pm - 8:50pm
Online CRN: 33345
Critical Methods is a graduate seminar designed to survey a range of approaches to reading texts critically. Bring in theory, some naively assume, and you lose the magic of reading; however, it is always already there, and we may gain from being fully aware of our own discursive approaches to reading texts, our critical methods, and articulating them as such, methodologies. We will explore recognized 'schools' of criticism predominant over the last four decades or so, but we will place emphasis on significant patterns within and among these schools. As a result, we will be able to return to our scholarship in a more serious, more conscious, and more professional way. We will begin, as did Terry Eagleton, with the question, what is literature? We will move, as did Roland Barthes, from work to text. Like Judith Butler, we will inscribe bodies that matter. Mirroring Slavoj Zizek, we may look awry and, following Bakhtin, avoid utter inadequacies. Rather than bound ourselves into a single anthology, an online reserve of readings will include some tried pieces for a course such as this—by Paul de Man, Stanley Fish, Julia Kristeva, Walter Benjamin, Jonathan Culler, Michel Foucault, Laura Mulvey, Manthia Diawara, among others—as well some less-tested ones like Joanna Russ' How to Suppress Women's Writing, Jesús Salvador Treviño's "Thirty Years of Struggle," video-articles from Wired magazine, and others as they fit.
As a group, we will cross the range of critical methods, but individually participants will be encouraged to devise particularly relevant projects that facilitate larger research agendas and professional interests. Moreover, as you discover 'schools' most useful to your own research, then you will have the opportunity to read backward and through earlier influences on that school, potentially exploring pools of information across a number of disciplines including philosophy, history and historiography, sociology, psychology, physics, among others.
Formal requirements: assigned readings & several in-class 'teaching demo' presentations; one short (5-7 pp.) research essay; one class research presentation; and one article-length (15+ pp.) essay. A course-long 'journal' will track lessons over the term and be the basis of a final exam. It's also likely we will take advantage of some activities in Blackboard.
Requirement fulfilled: Foundation course
ENGL 5343: Studies in Literary Criticism
Narrative Theory and Fabulation
Dr. Bruce Clarke
Wednesdays 6:00pm - 8:50pm
Distance CRN: 35546
Modern narrative theory has codifed the rules by which law-abiding narrative fictions typically operate. Then certain celebrated fabulists come along to fashion striking narratives by breaking those narrative laws "artistically," as Picasso dictates, and "effectively," as the Dalai Lama suggests. To fully appreciate the power of fabulation in narrative works, one should also know the forms to which they are not conforming. In this comparative section of ENGL 5343. Studies in Literary Criticism: Narrative Theory and Fabulation, we will learn the rules of narrative from the German scholar Manfred Jahn's online text Narratology: A Guide to the Theory of Narrative and the Dutch scholar Mieke Bal's classic Narratology: Introduction to the Theory of Narrative, 4th ed. We will study the global power and appeal of narrative fabulation in a selection of Argentine, Colombian, Polish, Russian, and American works: Jorge Luis Borges's short fiction and essays in Labyrinths; Gabriel Garcia Marquez's classic work of magical realism One Hundred Years of Solitude; Stanislav Lem's novel Solaris and its cinematic adaptation by the Russian director Andrei Tarkovsky; French director Michel Gondry's mind-bending movie Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind; and Richard Powers' communion with the trees in The Overstory.
Requirement Fulfilled: Foundation Course; Comparative Literature; Period: Late; Genre: Fiction
ENGL 5351: Film and Literature
American Cinema and American Culture of the 1960s and 1970s: From Idealism to Disillusionment
Dr. Wyatt Phillips
Mondays 2:00pm - 4:50pm
Onsite CRN: 15008
As we may recognize today, politically turbulent times often produce a dynamic range of art. This course will look at the transformation in American culture of the 1960s and 1970s through the lens of its cinema. As the glow of new Civil Rights laws and hope for broader equalities gave way under the pressures of the Vietnam War, a string of political assassinations, and Watergate, a distinct cinematic mode of disillusionment became recognizable on screen. At the same time, the economic realities of Hollywood and American filmmaking changed substantially during this period, providing, for a time, openings for new perspectives and new voices to be seen and heard. This potent mix of political unrest and industrial transformation produced a dynamic range of films, from left-wing explorations to right-wing alternatives, from challenging works for niche markets to distracting spectacles for the masses. This course will explore this fraught period through its cinematic history. Readings will include cultural theory as well as cultural, political, and media histories of the era. Viewings will span the two decades and look at films from a range of perspectives and creators such as (perhaps) In the Heat of the Night, The Graduate, Night of the Living Dead, Easy Rider, Symbiopsychotaxiplasm: Take One, Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore, Magnum Force, Wanda, Nashville, Star Wars, Killer of Sheep, and Apocalypse Now.
Requirements Fulfilled: Film & Media Studies; American Literature; Period: Late; Genre: Film
ENGL 5351: Planes, Trains, and Telephones: Space, Time and Technology in the Cinema
Dr. Allison Whitney
M 9:00 - 11:50 a.m.
Onsite CRN: 32443
This course will examine the relationship between transportation and communications technologies and the cinema, considering both their representation in films and their influence on film style, narrative and spectatorship. We will focus on four major technological systems that revolutionized modern conceptions of space, time, speed, the senses, private and public spheres, and social relations: trains, automobiles, airplanes, and the telephone. We will consider how cinema, with its own powers of spatial and temporal manipulation, adapted to these technologies while also adopting their novel and uniquely modern characteristics into its own visual and auditory language. By examining the historical and conceptual connections among these technologies, we will not only highlight the role of the human-machine relationship in film spectatorship, but also observe how cinema's intimate relationship with machines allows it to act as a form of cultural memory, offering us the opportunity to imagine the cultural significance of a technology at a given historical moment. We will address films from a broad spectrum of historical periods and genres, including early cinema (The Great Train Robbery, The Lonely Villa, Suspense), film noir (Detour, Sorry Wrong Number),documentary (Night Mail), experimental film (Decasia), and Hollywood blockbusters (Star Wars, Top Gun), among others. Readings may include Harold Innis' The Bias of Communication, Lynne Kirby's Parallel Tracks: The Railroad and Silent Cinema, Leo Marx's The Machine in the Garden, David E. Nye's American Technological Sublime, Paul Virilio's War and Cinema: The Logistics of Perceptionand Michel Chion's The Voice in Cinema.
Requirements Fulfilled: Film and Media Studies, Genre (Film)
ENGL 5353: Studies in Poetry
Dr. John Poch
F 9:00 - 11:20 a.m.
Onsite CRN: 57473
In this course, we will read poems (and some prose pieces) that are deeply based in the Judeo-Christian belief in a living, omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent (though perhaps seemingly absent), loving, just, and personal God. You need not share these orthodox beliefs, but for the purposes of this class you do need to ultimately come to an understanding of them and their complexities. Because you will write two papers about contemporary poems of belief, we will begin looking at more recent poems addressing belief, and then later in the semester dig down through these to look at the foundations on which they stand by looking at passages from the most widely-read book in the world, The Bible. We will only read selections, but these selections will cover a great deal of ground. Our class will explore not only Christianity, but Judaism, Paganism/Polytheism, and Agnosticism/Atheism. As well, we are comparing a multiplicity of cultures, languages, as well as considering national and cultural boundaries, all while we are considering these works in the light of multiple historical frameworks. Take, for example, Countee Cullen's African-American experience/identity mapped onto his Christian conversion and all the complexities inherent in his poem "Heritage." In this class, you will acquire an extensive knowledge of the formal/functional qualities of traditional and free verse-forms and the English language. A few of the contemporary poets we will consider: Dante, Donne, Herbert, Milton, Dickinson, Yeats, Cullen, Larkin, Wilbur, Plath, Walcott, Nelson, Spaar, Gluck, Stallings, Wiman.
ENGL 5355 Studies in Comparative Literature: Theories, Methods, and Issues
Dr. Yuan Shu
R 9:30 - 12:20 p.m.
Onsite CRN: 53179
This course investigates comparative literature not only as a discipline but also as methods and critical theory. We begin by examining the history and the changing definitions of comparative literature in relation to area studies and American studies in US higher education. Then we focus on the paradigm shift from the European and American models to the multicultural and postcolonial ones during the past three decades. Specifically, we explore the debate on comparative literature as world literature, the connection between comparative literature and globalization studies, and the new critical role that translation theory has played in informing and reshaping the discipline. We conclude by rethinking comparative studies in relation to new modes of reading that vary from "surface reading" to "distant reading" and also by reimagining our humanity and post-humanity against the background of the rise of the rest and the post-American world.
David Damrosch, World Literature in Theory
Karen Tei Yamashita, Through the Arc of the Rain Forest
Mohsin Hamid, The Reluctant Fundamentalist
David Harvey, Space of Global Capitalism
Paul Jay, Global Matters: The Transnational Turn in Literary Studies
Franco Moretti, Graphs, Maps, and Tree
Requirements Fulfilled: CLGT, Later Period, Genre (Fiction), Comparative Literature Methods
ENGL 5355 Studies in Comparative Literature: Small Acts/Big Scenes: Postcoloniality, Performance, and Globalization (Summer)
Dr. Kanika Batra
R 6:00 - 8:50 p.m.
The Kenyan playwright and novelist Ngugi wa Thiong'o has suggested that drama arising from formerly colonized nations is engaged in a struggle for control over the performance space with the postcolonial state. Starting from this idea, our focus in this course will be on drama emerging from formerly colonized nations in Africa, the Caribbean, and Latin America. During the struggle for independence from colonial rule and after it -- in the postcolonial era, so to speak – African, Caribbean, and Latin American dramatists developed innovative forms of performance that included indigenous as well as Western modes of performance. In many of these nations there exist strong performance traditions related to rituals, festivals, and other religious ceremonies. While some playwrights and performance artists prefer to use these forms to express contemporary political conditions in their nations, others rely on a more syncretic approach that combines indigenous with Western forms.
Taking a broad conception of postcoloniality, performance, and globalization as involving cultural and political acts, this course will focus on a selection of drama that consciously engages with national and international concerns. To this end we will begin the course by reading an introductory account of post-colonial literatures and theory. We will then move on to an examination of plays such as The Hungry Earth, Pantomime, Once Upon Four Robbers, and others. These readings will be supplemented with writings by Western and non-Western theatre practitioners. The broad set of concerns addressed in the course are: the continuing legacies of colonialism and neocolonialism; according recognition to local cultures; analyzing capital-driven global inequities that impact on nation-states and performance artists. This course will thus enable you to perceive the intersection of drama criticism with postcolonialism and globalization as theoretical and political modes of analysis.
Postcolonial Plays: An Anthology, edited by Helen Gilbert
The Empire Writes Back: Theory and Practice in Post-colonial Literatures, 2nd edition, by Bill Ashcroft, Gareth Griffiths, and Helen Tiffin.
Requirements Fulfilled: Comparative Literature, Genre: Drama, Period: Later
ENGL 5370: Creative Writing Workshop — Fiction (Linked Story Collections)
Dr. Katie Cortese
M 6-8:50 p.m.
Onsite CRN: 32540
Distance CRN: 57931
This course will primarily center on reading and critiquing students' short stories with a special focus on the possibilities, requirements, challenges, and benefits involved in crafting a linked collection. With that in mind, at least two of the three assigned stories will include some thread of connection, either subtle or strong (potential links include setting, subject, characters, events, timeline, inventory, stylistic markers, etc.). The secondary focus of the course involves the close reading, practical analysis, and discussion of published stories and essays on craft by established, contemporary writers.
The reading list includes Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado, Once the Shore by Paul Yoon, When Mystical Creatures Attack! by Kathleen Founds, and Annie John by Jamaica Kincaid, along with On Writing Fiction: Rethinking Conventional Wisdom About the Craft by David Jauss, and assigned craft articles by writers such as Matthew Salesses, C.J. Hribal, Amy Tan, Loiuse Erdrich, and others. Assignments will include three workshop stories, the review of a recent short story collection (linked or otherwise), and a final portfolio including two revisions and a statement of aesthetics regarding linked collections and the students' own work. Additionally, students will be responsible for reading, analyzing, and leading a discussion on the story of their choice from Best American Short Stories 2018, edited by Roxane Gay.
Requirements Fulfilled: Creative Writing Workshop
ENGL 5370: Poetry
Dr. Jacqueline Kolosov
T 2:00 - 4:50 p.m.
Onsite CRN: 57933
If I feel physically as if the top of my head were being taken off, I know that is poetry —Emily Dickinson
Poetry heals the wounds inflicted by reason —Novalis, German Romantic
Real tenderness can't be confused. It's quiet and can't be heard —Anna Akhmatova
These 3 quotes, placed in conversation, speak to what I hope will be at the heart of this workshop, this weekly 3 hours committed to poetry. If there are 2 types of poets (and there are not, but let's stick to these extremes for now), then there are the Prosperos of the intellect, and there are the Ariels who sing and sing and sing. Dickinson is more of a Prospero, or is she? What music abides in her echoing rooms, her distant constellations. And how visceral her definition of what poetry is. Novalis introduces the question: how far has "reason" gotten us? Are we rational beings? Consider the evidence. Akhmatova wrote during the Stalinist purges, and she was a beacon of hope for her people and her legacy now has a wide reach. We say that poetry speaks increasingly to violence and injustice. Is this true when we have the work of Robert Hayden, Gwendolyn Brooks, John Keats, Paul Celan, and going further back, Catallus, Virgil and Sappho. Contemporary poets continue to mine these writers working in "dead languages." (Take Ann Carson as only 1, or Carl Phillips...) But yes, poetry today has become a vital form of activism; and poetry is alive beyond the academy in this country, as it has been, always, in countries or among people who have been silenced and subjected to terror.
So what are we going to do in this workshop? Read voraciously, contemporary poets, yes, but also the poets who have come before us, in English or in translation (or in a language in which you want to work). Ideally, each of you will dive deeply into a predecessor and learn from him/her and bring that journey back to us in workshop, discussion, and what this journey means for your poetry and our own. So too, we will zoom in/or skype with poets whose work we read and maybe their work takes the tops of our heads off, but regardless, they have a lot to teach/share/talk about. Inevitably, then, we will read poets on craft. Likely candidates include Carl Phillips, Nabila Lovelace, Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib, Stanley Plumly, Natasha Trethewey (wish list), and Paul Guest. Everyone should plan to workshop at least 10 times. Everyone should write with risk and a fearless need for discovery; let's call it a quest in which everything is at stake (or at least something that matters so much it pulses behind your eyes, keeps you up at night, or shadows you in broad daylight). Otherwise, let's be honest: why write poetry? As for written requirements, there will be a final portfolio of some 12 pages of poetry with revisions behind them (and you may find yourself with a poem like Gluck's "October" which we will read, or with a series of sonnets or...) Yes, there will be a written statement, call it an aesthetic statement but it will marry art to the disappearance of species or what has become of "statesmanship" (you get the idea)—in some 6 pages if you like to make big loops around your subject, or 3-4 if your mantra is concision. Each poet will introduce the workshop to that predecessor he/she is mining and ideally come up with an exercise or a way into a poem/a new way of seeing. Most of all, the workshop must be a place of real communication and mutual respect and a hunger for poetry that will become contagious in howsoever small or grand a way....To be concise, then, there is structure, but within that space (call it a sonnet or an elegy or an ode), there is a great deal of freedom to roam individually and as a collective.
ENGL 5370: Creative Wrting Workshop: Poetry
Dr. Curtis Bauer
Monday 6:00pm – 8:50pm
Onsite CRN: 15196
This class will give its attention to poetry and the making and crafting of poetry in a place conducive for experimentation...a laboratory, a collaborative, a workshop in the sense of the place where things are made, refined, recycled, borrowed, maybe even thrown away, but done so together. This class will help us train our muscles, which is to say: we're going to play with metaphors and music and images and abstractions. We're going to look, listen, touch, taste, smell: we're going to study our surroundings, internal and external. BUT, we won't be workshopping in the “traditional” sense: no “correcting” or “fixing” each other's poems! When we gather we will be thinking about poems, primarily poems that could seem impossible to write, including the poems that might seem impossible for us to write, which are the ones we need to write. We'll read several essays (explicitly or tangentially) about poetry, poetics, connections, fractures, as well as read and contemplate (mimic? challenge?) several long poems—among them poems by Pegeen Kelly, Girmay, Nelson, Clariond, Francis, Howell, Chang, Long Soldier, and others—in order to engage in what baffles us, seems impossible or inaccessible, but what ultimately fills us with wonder.
Requirement fulfilled: Poetry Workshop
ENGL 5370: Creative Writing Workshop: Fiction
Dr. Marcus Burke
Wednesdays 9:00am - 11:50am
Onsite CRN: 33026
The act of writing is a deeply personal urge and there is no singular prevailing way to create fiction. In this writing intensive graduate fiction workshop, students will be encouraged to experiment and explore their fictional urges and passions on the page. This course will center on the reading and critiquing of student work. We will also study various craft elements from the essays and interviews, and excerpts of writing from literary greats and contemporary fiction writers such as, Lan Samantha Chang, Victor Lavelle, Eudora Welty, Marlon James, Toni Morrison, Ralph Ellison, John Gardner, Roxane Gay, James Wood, Robert Boswell, Chinelo Okparanta, Jamaica Kinkaid, Allen Gurganus, Tayari Jones, James McBride, and James Alan Mcpherson.
Requirement fulfilled: Fiction Workshop
Engl 5380: Feminist Thought and Theories
Cross-Listed with Women's & Gender Studies 5310
Dr. Marjean D. Purinton: Professor of English
Affiliate Faculty, Women's & Gender Studies
M 2:00-4:50 p.m.
Onsite CRN: 32565
This seminar constitutes a culminating framework course for Women's and Gender Studies minors, certificate students, and interested graduate students than can help to inform and structure their analytical work from feminist perspectives.
Using cross-disciplinary approaches, we will explore the broad range of theories that make up a body of scholarship termed "feminist theory" or "feminist thought." We will read excerpts from long works and essays from both historically derived and contemporary feminist theorists, recognizing and interrogating the assumptions underpinning these writings. We will discuss fundamental questions these theories and methodologies raise about the origins of sex and gender differences, the nature and origins of patriarchy and feminism. We will explore the formations of gender, race, class, sexuality, ability, age, and nationality as categories or bases of oppression and empowerment.
Our learning environment will be interactive, intensive, and fun. We will examine and apply feminist critiques and innovations in methodologies in diverse fields of study, selecting from among them those that best inform our scholarly work. We will view videos that feature feminists. Other activities will include provocative discussions, role-playing scenarios, group work, presentations, and response papers. We will enrich our study by attending events associated with the annual Conference on the Advancement of Women, sponsored by the Women's & Gender Studies Program.
Graduate students will write and present a report of a long feminist theoretical work. Undergraduates will conduct a feminist scholar interview and write a report based on that interview. We will conclude the course with a critical, research-based project emanating from pre-existing work that we will, in the course of the semester, expand, inform, and enrich with feminist theories, thought, and methodologies.
You will find in this seminar a safe space in which to test new ideas and feminist thinking. In addition to a better understanding of feminist theories and methodologies, you should emerge from this course with a writing sample for your dossier (undergraduates) or work in progress applicable to your scholarship (graduate students).
Because my scholarship and pedagogy are informed by feminism, you will encounter in this course a learning environment of de-centered authority, one that invites you to participate in your own learning/discover process.
Textbooks we will use for the seminar include the following:
Kolmar, Wendy, and Frances Bartkowski, ed. Feminist Theory: A Reader. 4th ed. Boston:
McGraw Hill, 2012.
Nicholson, Linda, ed. The Second Wave: A Reader in Feminist Thought. 2nd ed. New York:
Tong, Rosemarie Putnam. Feminist Thought: A More Comprehensive Introduction. 5th ed.
Boulder, CO: Westview, 2017.
Requirements Fulfilled: Women's Studies Certificate
ENGL 5380: Advanced Problems in Literary Studies: Black Detroit: History, Theory Culture
Dr. Michael Borshuk
R 2:00 - 4:50 p.m.
Onsite CRN: 54916
This course will consider black cultural production in Detroit across time and in conversation with two key contexts: 1. the material history of African Americans in the city, and 2. broad scholarly arguments about the racialization of urban space. We will be attentive to ways that the specific history of blackness in Detroit has, for many Americans, come to stand as a metonymy for "common sense" ideas about race and the America city. In contrast, then, we will consider how black voices from Detroit have registered an ongoing counterstatement to those those ideas' white supremacist underpinnings. Our narrative will begin with Detroit's place in the history of American slavery, before moving to a more focused attention on the story of black Detroiters since the city's 1967 urban uprising. Ultimately, we will consider many different aesthetic forms and expressive modes in our broad survey of black Detroit, including poetry by Robert Hayden, Kofi Natambu, and Dudley Randall, memoir by Toi Derricotte, drama by Dominque Morisseau; soul and jazz music recorded by artists on labels like Motown, Tribe, and Strata, hip-hop and techno music by innovators like J Dilla, Juan Atkins, and Derrick May; and visual art, especially Tyree Guyton's ongoing public installation The Heidelberg Project, on the city's east side.
Students will be expected to write one short paper, contribute to an ongoing class blog, prepare a research prospectus, and compose an article-length research paper by semester's end. As well, we will collaborate as a class on some kind of outreach project that enables us to extend our academic activity beyond the borders of our classroom and into the community at large.
Tentative Reading List:
Herb Boyd, Black Detroit: A People's History of Self-Determination
Toi Derricotte, The Black Notebooks
Robert Hayden, Collected Poems
Charlie LeDuff, Detroit: An American Autopsy
Tiya Miles, The Dawn of Detroit: A Chronicle of Slavery and Freedom in the City of the Straits
Dominque Morisseau, The Detroit Project: Three Plays
Kofi Natambu, Intervals
Dudley Randall, Roses and Revolutions: The Selected Writings of Dudley Randall
Suzanne E. Smith, Dancing in the Street: Motown and the Cultural Politics of Detroit
Selected readings from scholars like Jerry Herron, Kenneth T. Jackson, James Howard Kuntsler, Thomas Sugrue, Heather Ann Thompson, and others
Requirements Fulfilled: American Literature, Later Period, Genre (Poetry, Drama), Literature, Social Justice, and Environmental Studies (LSJE)
ENGL 5390: Writing for Publication
Creative Writers Edition
Dr. Jackie Kolosov
Mondays 9:00am - 11:50am
Onsite CRN: 15389
In this writing, revision, discussion, and research-driven course, the focus will be each writer's growth within a community of writers at different as well as shared stages. Priorities include aesthetics/craft and situating oneself in the contemporary literary landscape, which has opened up dramatically given the ever-expanding possibilities online, from literary journals to databases to blogs on craft to a myriad of other resources and platforms. First and foremost then, well before the start of the course (ideally no later than late July), each writer will submit, to me, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, 3 urgent or must-have goals for his/her professional growth over the semester.
We will definitely focus on shepherding a selection of each writer's work to the publication stage. That may be journal publication or potentially even book publication. Therefore, each writer will research a group of literary journals and/or publishers early on in the semester. He/She will prepare a statement that speaks to his/her own craft and aesthetic concerns within the contemporary literary landscape and identify writers including forerunners, or movements with which he/she is even loosely aligned. If the writer is ready to prepare a book-length manuscript for publication—even if that is 1-2 years down the road (and one cannot think too far ahead!)—we will assess how to get there. Along these lines, we will speak to writers and editors, among them Matthew Lansburgh whose linked story collection, Outside Is The Ocean, won the Iowa Short Fiction Prize. Matthew's book was 10+ years in the making. Likely other writers will include Kirsten Sundberg Lunstrum, winner of the Flannery O'Connor Award, the generous and deeply-learned Carl Phillips, and perhaps Tech's own Kurt Caswell who has published several books of nonfiction. We will also talk to writers at earlier stages, potentially a few who have graduated from our program. We will talk to at least 2 journal editor including Jenny Barber at Salamander, a literary agent; and 2 publishers, including 1 from a literary press and 1 from a NY house. This may include an individual in marketing or community outreach. In conversation with these writers and publishers, we will build a diverse but integrated portrait of professional development as a writer. Each writer will also prepare 2 non-creative pieces (as if anything is NOT creative) for publication.
I will provide a range of possibilities from craft essays to book reviews. In conjunction with this, each writer will do a search on his/her proposed focus. We may also address applying for residencies, MFA or PhD programs (briefly), and ways in which a creative writer can bring his/her talents to areas outside of academia, from work involving at-risk populations in a hospital, prison, x setting—to nonprofits like festivals, conferences, and writer's houses such as the Writer's Studio in Philadelphia. This is a wide-ranging palette of the ethos of the course. You will bring your own goals to further refine our focus. It will be a dynamic, intense but invaluable class to enhance craft and build a toolbox for publication and professional development as a writer.
English 5392: Teaching College English
Dr. Marjean Purinton
T 6:00 - 8:50 p.m.
Onsite CRN: 57479
Distance CRN: 50212
This course, designed primarily for doctoral students who wish to teach literature courses, examines theories, challenges, problems, and pedagogies of teaching literary students at the collegiate level. Its focus is both theoretical and practical. Although this course credentials PhD students to teach 2000-level courses in the English Department at Texas Tech University, it enriches the pedagogical capabilities for all classroom instructors of literature.
We will examine approaches to teaching diverse literary genres and periods and at various undergraduate levels from core curriculum requirements (usually sophomore-level) to English majors and minors. We will explore effective pedagogical practices appropriate for various undergraduate classes. We will consider the conceptualization and content of different kinds of literature classes. We will evaluate learning outcomes activities and methods of assessments. And we will analyze the purpose for teaching literature at the university in the twenty-first century, how teaching literature contributes to the university's overall teaching mission, and the ways we can communicate the value of teaching literature at the undergraduate level to non-academic publics.
In addition to reflection essays addressing these theoretical matters, we will create practical documents useful to delivering a literature class: course descriptions, learning outcomes activities and assessments, class syllabi. We will observe colleagues who are teaching literature classes and reflect on their praxis. We will enrich our discoveries of best practices by attending pedagogical events sponsored by the Teaching, Learning, and Professional Development Center (TLPDC). We will present mock mini-lessons to our classmates. We will construct a teaching philosophy. We will discuss the kinds of teaching questions you can anticipate at a job interview.
Because my own pedagogy is informed by feminist theory and active-learning strategies, you will encounter in this course a learning environment f de-centered authority, one that invites you to participate in your own learning process and professional development.
The following texts are required for the course:
Bain, Ken. What the Best College Teachers Do. Cambridge, MA: Harvard UP, 2004.
Blau, Sheridan. The Literature Workshop. Portsmouth, HN: Heinemann, 2008.
Bruns, Cristina Vischer. Why Literature: The Value of Literary Reading and What it Means
Means for Teaching. Bloomsbury Academic, 2011.
Scholes. Robert. The Crafty Reader. New Haven: Yale UP, 2001.
Showalter, Elaine. Teaching Literature. Malden, MA: Blackwell, 2003.
Requirements Fulfilled: Pedagogy
Making the Novel in the 18th Century (online)
Dr. Marta Kvande
Thursdays 6-8:50 PM
Many of us talk about "the novel" as if the term were both self-evident and immutably fixed. But eighteenth-century writers had no such misconceptions; in fact, early novelists often strenuously denied that their works were novels. After all, novels were trash—potentially dangerous, salacious trash, fit only for fools and whores and certainly not worthy of any literary consideration. It was not until late in the century that the term "novel" arrived at some critical acceptance. Modern critics, too, have struggled to define the novel, and especially the eighteenth-century novel, just as they have struggled to explain its apparent "rise." This course will study the British novel in the eighteenth century, focusing particularly on how novels defined and presented themselves—both textually and materially—and how the idea of the "novel" gradually coalesced into something we now understand as a coherent genre. In other words, how (and why) did novels sell themselves? And how (and why) did the idea of the novel eventually get sold?
Requirements fulfilled: British Literature; Later Period; Genre (Fiction); Book History/Digital Humanities Certificate