Graduate Course Offerings Spring 2020
Click here to expand for filtering instructions
Use the buttons below to filter this page and easily explore the courses available to you at the English Department. Filter options work best in Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome browsers.
Example Use: I want to see all Distance Literature courses offered on Wednesdays. Click Distance, Literature, and Wednesday. All options showing are courses offered in those categories.
Filter by focus:
Filter by day(s):
ENGL 5303: Studies in Medieval British Literature; Camelot and Gomorrah: Playing the Poems of the Pearl Poet
Dr. Julie Nelson Couch
Tuesday 2:00 - 4:50 p.m.
This course introduces students to all four poems of the fourteenth-century manuscript, London, BL, MS Cotton Nero A.x, the manuscript that contains the only extant copy of the famous romance, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. While the other poems in the manuscript are more overtly religious in nature— a dream vision of heaven, a retelling of Jonah and the whale, and a retelling of Sodom and Gomorrah—all four share complex poetic alliterative structure and are thought to be written by the same poet. We will read all four poems in the original Middle English. We will analyze the poems in regard to form and content and place them in their social context at the end of the fourteenth century, considering cultural and ideological concerns which underlie these narratives. We will apply game theory and consider gaming structures in the four poems as part of our study of the manuscript's cultural and theoretical contexts. We will consider how the manuscript context shapes the reception of these poems and the ways in which the Pearl poet engages with his reader on the manuscript page, by examining the digital facsimile of Cotton Nero A.x.
Prerequisite: English 5302, Translating Middle English, Fall 2019.
Assignments: research project, oral presentation, conference-length paper, annotated bibliography
Primary Text: Andrew, Malcolm and Ronald Waldron, eds. The Poems of the Pearl Manuscript: Pearl, Cleanness, Patience, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. 5th ed. Liverpool University Press, 2008. ISBN: 9780859897914.
Requirements Fulfilled: Foreign Language/Methods (Option 3), British Literature; Period: Early; Genre: Poetry; Book History/Digital Humanities Certificate, Medieval and Renaissance Studies Certificate
ENGL 5306: Milton in Popular Culture
Dr. Ryan Hackenbracht
Wednesday 6:00 - 8:50 p.m.
Onsite CRN: 57468
Distance CRN: 57469
This course examines the role of John Milton's epic poem, Paradise Lost, in shaping popular culture, from the Sci-Fi film noir Blade Runner to the dystopic fiction of Margaret Atwood and the rap lyrics of Eminem. Much of what we think we know about angels and God comes not from the Bible but from Milton, whose creative rewriting of Genesis and the fall of Satan and his angels has for centuries inspired authors to rethink the nature of humanity, God, and right and wrong. Our discussions will cover such topics as: Milton and proto-feminism; the conflict between religion and science; the epic tradition, then and now; gender and women's roles in society; political theory and sovereignty; and the place of the supernatural in secular and pre-secular society. Readings will include:
Milton, Paradise Lost and Paradise Regain'd
viewing of Ridley Scott's Blade Runner
viewing of Darren Aronofsky's Noah
Margaret Atwood, Oryx and Crake
William Blake, Milton: A Poem and The Marriage of Heaven and Hell
Mary Shelley, Frankenstein
Isaac Asimov, Prelude to Foundation
C. S. Lewis, The Magician's Nephew and Perelandra
Philip Pullman, The Golden Compass
Requirements Fulfilled: British Literature; Period: Early; Genre: Poetry; Medieval and Renaissance Studies Certificate
ENGL 5313: Studies in Twentieth-Century British Literature: Fulcrums of Modernism: James Joyce and Virginia Woolf
Dr. Jen Shelton
Wednesday 2:00 - 4:50 p.m.
This course will examine two central figures of modernism, James Joyce and Virginia Woolf. These writers make an interesting side-by-side study because they are almost exactly contemporaneous: Woolf was born three days before Joyce, and died just over a month after him. Both figures have been used by critics and theorists of modernism to describe the qualities of modernist writing in ways both benign and prescriptive. We will definitely read important works including Ulysses, Mrs. Dalloway, and To the Lighthouse, but we will also branch out into experimental writing including The Waves and Finnegans Wake, as well as contemplating Woolf's role in theorizing modernism as it was coming into being and the role of critics including Ezra Pound in the temporarily successful erasure of Woolf from the canon of modernist writers. Plan on informal writing each week, discussion leadership in class, and a seminar paper to wrap things up.Requirements Fulfilled: British Literature; Period: Late; Genre: Fiction
ENGL 5324: Studies in Twentieth-Century American Literature; In Desolation: The American Southwest
Dr. Cordelia Barrera
Tuesday 6:00 - 8:50 p.m.
Onsite CRN: 49658
Distance CRN: 57991
The American Southwest is a border territory where cultures meet, mix, and blur—a fact best exemplified by the term “frontier,” which means “border” in Spanish. The region brings to mind open spaces, American exceptionalism, and historical clashes between cowboys and Indians. A frontier spirit thrives here; but the landscape is a palimpsest that holds histories and stories of earlier worlds and ways of living. There is ambiguity in the desert landscapes of the southwest. As we deconstruct this historical ambivalence, we will discuss contemporary American ideologies found in “western” stories and mythologies alongside multiethnic Borderlands texts to understand how frontier and Borderlands texts are inextricably mixed. We will explore issues of gender, race, class, and sexuality to better understand ideas of national identity that shape the Anglo, Latinx, and American Indian cultures of the region. In our efforts to capture the essence of landscape, region, and place we'll discuss novels, essays and short stories by Mary Austin, Gloria Anzaldúa, Cormac McCarthy, Larry McMurtry, Luis Alberto Urrea, Rudolfo Anaya, and Leslie Marmon Silko, among others.
Requirements Fulfilled: American Literature; Period: Later; Genre: Fiction, Literature, Social Justice, and Environment (LSJE)
ENGL 5327: Studies in Multicultural American Literature: Transpacific American Literature
Dr. Yuan Shu
Thursdays 2:00pm – 4:50pm
Following the paradigm shift in American studies from the transatlantic to the transpacific, this course investigates how transpacific movements have informed and reshaped American literary imagination from the mid-nineteenth century to the late twentieth century. Beginning with Herman Melville's Moby-Dick and Jack London's Tales of the Pacific, we examine how the American waling experience and the changing constructions of the South Pacific serve as an extension of the American westward movement and expansion of Anglo-American capitalism into the Pacific, which encompasses Pacific Islands, Oceania, and the Asia Pacific. We then scrutinize Maxine Hong Kingston's China Men and Jessica Hagedorn's Dogeaters as an alternative way of approaching American experiences, from the Asia Pacific to North America and from the west coast to the east coast, which foregrounds the process of American nation-building and empire-building. Meanwhile, we also focus on how the Cold War unfolds in the transpacific spaces, with special attention to David Henry Hwang's M. Butterfly, Chang-Rae Lee's A Gesture Life, Tim O'Brien's Going after Cacciato, and Viet Nguyen's The Sympathizer. We conclude by exploring two speculative fictions on our planetary and technological futures with transpacific twists—Karen Yamashita's Through the Arch of the Rain Forest and Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash. In addition to the fictional works named above, secondary critical texts will include: David Harvey, Spaces of Global Capitalism and Janet Hoskins and Viet Thanh Nguyen, Transpacific Studies: Framing an Emerging Field.
Requirement Fulfilled: American Literature; Period: Late; Genre: Fiction
ENGL 5334: History of the English Language: Who Owns English? Authority in a Worldwide Language
Dr. Brian McFadden
Thursdays 6:00pm - 8:50pm
We will be examining the history and development of the English language from its origins in Anglo-Saxon/Early Medieval 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 Dropbox.
Requirements Fulfilled: Foreign Language/Methods (Option 2 or 3), Linguistics Specialization; Medieval and Renaissance Studies Certificate
ENGL 5338: Syntax
Dr. Min-Joo Kim
Tuesdays/Thursdays 12:30 – 1:50 p.m.
Onsite CRN: 60696
Distance CRN: 61350
Syntax is a sub-discipline of linguistics that is concerned with sentence structure. This course aims to introduce fundamental principles of theoretical syntax and prepare students to take more advanced courses in syntax or apply the acquired knowledge to conduct research in other areas of linguistics or related disciplines such as applied linguistics, philosophy, and literary studies. Students will learn about how to analyze morpho-syntactic data drawn from various languages, how to formulate plausible hypotheses based on linguistic data, and how to compare and evaluate different theories and/or hypotheses. No prior linguistics training will be necessary to take this course, however, and classes will be organized around lectures and discussions on select topics, which will include but will not be limited to syntactic categories, phrase structure, X-bar syntax, Case, and wh-movement.
Requirement Fulfilled: Linguistics Specialization, Graduate Certificate in Linguistics, Foreign Language/Methods (Option 2)
ENGL 5351: Film & Literature: ‘A Sense of Dread as Everyday Life Continues': Mediating Trauma in Global Film and Media
Dr. Fareed Ben-Youssef
Tuesday 9:30 - 12:20 a.m.
In a personal interview, Japanese filmmaker Ryûsuke Hamaguchi described the profound effect of creating documentaries about the 3/11 Earthquake in Japan. Speaking with survivors of the disaster inspired him to strive to capture “a sense of dread as everyday life continues” in both his documentary and later fiction films. The filmmaker's testimony inspires this course's key question: how can artists capture the shockwaves of trauma? This course brings together myriad histories, films and media from across the world as we seek an answer. Our attentions will move between allegorical representations of the Ground Zeroes of 9/11 and Hiroshima, and beyond to visions of the Holocaust and to war mediated through a distancing drone sight. Our theoretical lenses will be similarly expansive, shifting from Sigmund Freud to Cathy Caruth. The course acts as a thorough introduction to trauma studies as well as its intersections with global film and media studies. Coursework will sometimes be complemented with conversations with the week's featured artists. Students will write article-length research papers wherein they will pair close readings with archival research to explore art marked by the sense of dread inspired by personal and cultural trauma.
Requirements Fulfilled: Film & Media Studies; Period: Late; Genre: Film
ENGL 5355 Studies in Comparative Literature; Thinking with the Globe: Comparative Literature, Globalization, and the Global South
Dr. Nesrine Chahine
Monday 6:00 - 8:50 p.m.
Distance CRN: 50202
This course interrogates the shifting definitions of Comparative Literature in the North American academy in order to arrive at a comparative methodology that allows us to grasp structures of global inequality, the stakes of South-South globalisms, and the impact of deregulated environmental devastation on a global scale. We will investigate these key issues through various comparative paradigms including, but not limited to, major and minor transnationalisms, theories of the anthropocene and postcolonial Eco-criticisms, and inequality in relation to systems of law as well as capital. Possible readings include texts by Joseph Slaughter, Gayatri Spivak, Benita Parry, Neil Lazarus, David Harvey, and Shu-mei Shih. The course will culminate in a research paper that will be presented in the Comparative Literature Symposium.
Requirements Fulfilled: CLGT; Literature, Social Justice, and Environment (LSJE); Period: Later; Genre: Non-fiction; Methods Course for Comparative Literature Specialization
ENGL 5370: Creative Writing Workshop: Poetry
Dr. Bill Wenthe
Wednesday 9:00 - 11:50 a.m.
Mainly a writing workshop, this seminar will also incorporate reading and thinking about issues in contemporary poetry (which, to my mind, includes all poetry ever written). To this end, we will be reading poems and essays on poetry in addition to your own poems. I should mention that students, too, are encouraged to bring their own interests and concerns to the materials we read, and to approach me before the semester begins, or during the semester, with your interests or questions. Whether discussing your own or other poems, we will range from the smallest inner workings of syllables and phrases, to the question of the place of the human in the universe, in the belief that the two concerns are connected. We will pit fun against mortality, on the field of the page. The course requires diligence, in the root sense of the word,* which will lead to the completion of a final portfolio of poems revised and “finished” to the best of your ability, and an eight-to-ten-page introductory prose statement.
Enrollment is open to anyone in the department. Those in the creative writing program do not need to submit material beforehand; those in other areas who are interested in taking the class should submit a group of poems to Dr. William Wenthe (email@example.com), along with your contact information, for permission to enroll.
*Diligent: “in origin present participle of dīligĕre to value or esteem highly, love, choose, affect, take delight in (doing)”
Requirement fulfilled: Poetry Workshop
ENGL 5370: Creative Writing Nonfiction Workshop: The Lyric Book-Length Essay
Dr. Leslie Jill Patterson
Onsite CRN: 32540
Distance CRN: 57931
In prose, the lyric form is most frequently used for "the meditation"—whether a contemplation of one's personal life, a researched subject, or both. Writers embrace the form when they wish to cover a topic from as many angles as possible or, as Pam Houston says, "throw as many balls into the air as he or she can manage to juggle." During the course of writing, the "topic" expands, explodes even. Texts that incorporate a lyric structure dive down many rabbit holes; they are texts of discovery. In this course, students will study and write lyric book-length essays. We will begin the class with a quick examination of lyric short-form essays—segmented flash, lyric memoir, researched but elliptical essays. Then we will spend the remainder of the semester reading lyric book-length essays; we'll learn how to research them, how to write one, and how to find which publishers are hunting them (there are a lot!). By the end of the semester, students will have an 80- to 100-page workshopped draft of a lyric novella-length essay.
Shapes of Native Nonfiction: Collected Essays by Contemporary Writers (eds. Elissa Washuta and Theresa Warburton);Meander, Spiral, Explode: Design and Pattern in Narrative (Jane Alison).
Still Life with Oysters and Lemon: On Objects and Intimacy (Mark Doty); throughsmoke (Jehanne Dubrow); Excavating Memory (Elizabeth Mosier); High Heel (Summer Brennan); Grace (Daphne A. Brooks); 300 Arguments (Sarah Manguso); When Death Takes Something from You Give It Back (Naja Marie Aidt); Bluets (Maggie Nelson); Beauty Is Convulsive: The Passion of Frida Kahlo (Carole Maso); The Voyager Record (Anthony Michael Morena).
Requirement fulfilled: Non-fiction Workshop
Engl 5380: Advanced Problems in Literary Studies: Translation Theory and Practice—Prose
Dr. Curtis Bauer
Monday 9:00-11:50 a.m.
Onsite CRN: 54916
Distance CRN: 56195
This course is extremely important for us—poets, fiction writers, dramaturges, linguists, literary critics, technical writers…all—in the grand scheme of an education in the arts. We must not only be aware of basic grammatical, syntactical and phonological nuances, but also a writer's craft, literary tradition and contemporary literary contexts. This course will be a combination seminar/workshop in which we will read and discuss translation theory and then put it to practice by translating literary texts—written in prose—from a foreign language into English. Literature in its original language is not a static, fixed entity whereby the translator need only extract its core and carry it over into the new language. Nor is the work as it enters the new language arriving at a fixed destination. It is more like a moving target, constantly subject to change in whichever stage of transformation it may currently occupy. Translations deaden over time, because they are marked by the literary conventions of their translators. To translate is to fully read; it is “a kind of reading, the assumption or transformation of one personal idiom into another,” writes Mark Strand. The act of translation, as you will hear from its various practitioners in essays and articles, intensifies our comprehension. Translation is good for writers (notorious skimmers) because we must parse, research, say out loud. We make conscious, clear decisions about words and idioms and sounds and rhythms. Further, we discover that the process is not about us, our egos, or what we want to say. We kneel at the altar of the other, not the altar of the self. Here's the idea: that by discovering the other, we find ourselves. And we become better writers through the writing of others.
Requirements Fulfilled: Comparative Literature; Genre: Fiction and Non-Fiction; Foreign
Language/Methods (Option 2)
Engl 5380: Advanced Problems in Literary Studies: Celebrity Poets and the Poetics of Celebrity in the 19th-Century U.S.
Dr. Elissa Zellinger
Monday 2:00-4:50 p.m.
Poetry was ubiquitous in the nineteenth-century U.S. and, as a result, poets reached heights of fame that seem impossible today. This class will examine the interrelationship and reciprocity between celebrity and poetry. If poetry was believed to be the record of personal emotions, how then did poets navigate mass media networks that presumed to transform private thoughts into public records? And how did poets perform privacy to their advantage? In order to answer these questions and more, this class will examine publishing practices, discourses of professionalism, legal precedents (such as copyright and coverture), private letters, and media such as photography, print, and sound recording. 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; Book History/Digital Humanities Certificate
ENGL 5380: Feminist Thought and Theories (Cross-Listed with Women's & Gender Studies 5310)
Dr. Marjean D. Purinton
Friday 9:00- 11:50 AM
In this seminar, we will use cross-disciplinary approaches to explore a 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 from both historically derived and contemporary feminist theorists, recognizing and interrogating the assumptions underpinning these writings. We will discuss fundamental question these theories raise about the origins of sex and gender differences, the nature and origins of feminism. We will explore the formations and intersectionalities of race, class, sexuality, ability, age, nationality as categories of oppression and empowerment.
Our learning activities will include in-class role-playing scenarios and group work, periodic short essays that engage with feminist theory, a book report and presentation based on a monograph of feminist thought, and ample provocative discussion informed by feminist pedagogy. 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. Textbooks will include:
Kolmar, Wendy and Frances Bartkowski, ed. Feminist Theory: A Reader. 4th edition. Boston: McGraw Hill, 2012.
Nicholson, Linda, ed. The Second Wave: A Reader in Feminist Thought. 2nd ed. New York: Routledge, 1997.
Tong, Rosemarie Putnam. Feminist Thought: A More Comprehensive Introduction. 5th ed. Boulder, CO: Westview, 2017.
Requirements Fulfilled: Genre: Non-Fiction; Women's Studies Certificate
ENGL 5390: Writing for Publication (Creative Writing Edition)
Dr. Katie Cortese
Wednesdays, 6:00 – 8:50PM
Onsite CRN: 61179
Distance CRN: 61180
This course will facilitate the generation, revision, polishing, and submission of new and previously drafted multi-genre creative works to journals, presses, and contests for potential publication. Students will develop and critique new material early in the semester, but are also expected to bring a body of previously drafted and
revised work into the class to hone and submit. While the number of individual items will vary by student and genre, the material should comprise anywhere from a minimum of fifteen pages (i.e., poetry or flash prose chapbook) to a maximum of seventy-five pages (novella, long essay, long poem, or a chapbook of essays or stories). In addition, students will engage in a range of other writing projects intended to support their professional development, potentially completing: a) an interview with the writer of their choice, b) a book review, and c) a residency, grant, or fellowship application, among other such endeavors. Several times throughout the semester, Skype interviews will be held with agents, editors, publishers, and other such literary professionals. The required text, The Business of Being a Writer by Jane Friedman, will be supplemented by timely articles on such subjects as working with editors, targeting publishers, querying agents, writing synopses, submitting to contests, creating an author website, maintaining a social media presence, writing craft articles, and other aspects of building a writing career.
Requirements Fulfilled: Professional Development Course; Creative Writing Workshop
ENGL 5390: Writing for Publication(Literature and Linguistics Edition)
Dr. Scott L. Baugh
Thursdays, 6:00-8:50 PM
Distance CRN: 50212
This course, part-workshop and part-seminar, primarily aims to provide our graduate students structure and support for publishing scholarship in English studies. Practical activities—writing exercises, resource inventories and reports, procedural overviews, conference-style presentations—aim at this primary goal of preparing a manuscript for submission to a target journal. A greater aim of this seminar, moreover, concerns how an early-career scholar establishes a professional profile (identity, research/teaching/service agendas, & promotion) and effectively hones a publication agenda.
Requirement Fulfilled: Professional Development Course
English 5392: Teaching College Literature
Dr. Roger McNamara
Tuesdays, 6:00-8:50 PM
Onsite CRN: 32586
Distance CRN: 57478
Teaching can be the most wonderful and exhilarating experience, but it can also be devastating when students do not respond. It can make your day, or it can destroy it. While all teachers are exposed to both ends of the spectrum, we can minimize negative experiences if we are prepared, not only in the material that we are teaching, but in how we imagine our classes—from thinking about the objectives and skills that we'd like impart, through the pacing of the course and different teaching (pedagogical) methods that we use, to those non-verbal and interpersonal skills such as thinking about classroom space and developing one's presence.
This course will help prepare you to be effective teachers through four broad areas: a) theoretical: an overview of the history of literary studies so that you can more consciously position yourselves as teachers in relation to it; b) practical: exploring the different teaching (pedagogical) methodologies such as lecturing and class discussions; c) use of technology: becoming familiar with PowerPoint, Excel, and Blackboard, as well as using Skype or Zoom to teach; and d) hands-on experience: creating syllabi, developing lesson plans, grading papers, and visiting your professors' classrooms.
Requirement Fulfilled: Pedagogy Course