Texas Tech University

Fall 2013 Seminars

All courses are section 001 unless otherwise noted.

Note to students outside the English Department: We welcome students from outside the discipline of English, but we require that all external students contact the Director of Graduate Studies for Literature, Creative Writing, and Linguistics for permission to enroll (it will usually be granted unless there are prerequisites or restrictions on certain courses). Contact english.gradadvisor@ttu.edu (Dr. Brian McFadden) with your R number in order to register. Contact tc@ttu.edu (Dr. Joyce Carter) for information on courses in Technical Communication and Rhetoric.

ENGL 5313: Twentieth-Century British Literature
W. B. Yeats, Sylvia Plath, Eavan Boland

Dr. William Wenthe
T 9:30 AM -12:20 PM
CRN 14956

When Sylvia Plath took her own life in February of 1963, it was in a house that had once, too, been the residence of W. B. Yeats. A circumstantial quirk—but a coincidence that prompts a more substantive thinking: in what ways do the lives and work of these poets inform each other? To what degree was Yeats, who said the poet “writes always of his personal life,” the first confessional poet? How might Yeats's attempt to amplify that personal life into a mythical resonance, through the use of masks or “phantasmagoria,” be an influence upon the masks and voices of Sylvia Plath's poems? And how, in turn, does the dual legacy of these poets influence Eavan Boland who, she writes, “had been born in a country where and at a time when the word woman and the word poet inhabited two separate kingdoms of experience and expression”? To Boland in the late 1960s—Irish, an emerging poet, a young mother of two—Yeats and Plath were sources of both inspiration and caution. Yeats figures hugely in the very separation she describes; yet it was Yeats's poetry that showed her “the Irish political poem as it should be.” And as opposed to Plath, who at age eighteen begins her journal with this quote from Yeats: “We only begin to live when we conceive life as tragedy,” Boland (who was eighteen when Plath died) conceived her poetic life as one dedicated “not to emulate but to honor” that tragic conjunction of Plath's greatest poems and her imminent death. We'll study how these three poets use the individualized voice of lyric to speak of, for, and sometimes as, a larger group that has suffered under a dominant order; or, as Boland says of Yeats, to have “proposed a private world in a political poem.” These poems, ranging from late-Victorian aestheticism through high modernism, confessionalism, and the postmodern and contemporary, will afford ample opportunity for discussions of literary history and theory, as well as the usual complement of written and oral essays, presentations, and exams.

Requirements fulfilled: Later British requirement; poetry genre.

ENGL 5323: Nineteenth-Century American Literature
Gender and Class in the Novel, 1870-1900

Dr. John Samson
T 2:00 PM – 4:50 PM
CRN 14963

We will begin with two theoretical texts from 1899, Charlotte Perkins Gilman's Women and Economics and Thorstein Veblen's The Theory of the Leisure Class, that will establish many of the issues we will discuss throughout the semester. We will cover a range of novels from the last thirty years of the century, all dealing with various aspects of gender and class, the two dominant concerns in American culture of the period. Students will present two 10-minute reports on primary and/or secondary contexts and write two shorter (5pp.) interpretive essays and one longer (10pp.) research paper. The novels: Elizabeth Stuart Phelps, The Silent Partner; Louisa May Alcott, A Modern Mephistopheles; Henry Adams, Democracy; Helen Hunt Jackson, Ramona; Henry James, The Bostonians; William Dean Howells, A Hazard of New Fortunes; Stephen Crane, Maggie, A Girl of the Streets; Mark Twain, Pudd'nhead Wilson; Harold Frederic, The Damnation of Theron Ware; Sarah Orne Jewett, The Country of the Pointed Firs; and Theodore Dreiser, Sister Carrie.

Requirements fulfilled: Early American requirement; fiction genre.

ENGL 5324: Studies in Twentieth-Century American Literature
James Baldwin's Twentieth Century

Dr. Michael Borshuk
M 2:00 PM – 5:00 PM
CRN 14966

When the celebrated African American writer James Baldwin passed away at age 63 in 1987, he left behind a career that bridged four decades of seismic social change in American life: from the mass dissent of the early Civil Rights Era to the volatile, post-integration negotiations of the Reagan years. Through this tumultuous epoch, Baldwin consistently offered a shrewd, honest observation of American mores and contradictions (in his non-fiction), and an ongoing aesthetic meditation on the anxieties and potential crises rumbling about beneath the surface of American mythology and ideals (in his fiction and dramatic work).

This course will take a fairly comprehensive look at Baldwin's career, beginning with the early essays and fiction that made him a best-selling author and literary celebrity, as well as one of the voices about race and sexuality that “mainstream” American most trusted in the turbulent middle decades of the twentieth century. From there, we will progress chronologically, looking in detail at Baldwin's efforts over the ensuing decades in fiction, drama, and non-fiction.

Students will be expected to make an in-class seminar presentation, keep an ongoing online reading journal/blog, and compose an article-style research paper.

Tentative Text List:

Go Tell It On the Mountain (1953)

Notes of a Native Son (1955)*

Giovanni's Room (1956)

Nobody Knows My Name: More Notes of a Native Son(1962)*

Another Country (1962)

The Fire Next Time (1963)*

Blues for Mister Charlie (1964)

Going to Meet the Man (1965)

Tell Me How Long the Train's Been Gone (1968)

Just Above My Head (1979)

The Evidence of Things Not Seen (1985)


*Note: We will focus at length on these individual essay collections, but I will probably order the Collected Essays published by the Library of America so that we can have more coverage beyond these books.

Requirements fulfilled: Later American requirement; TBA genre.

ENGL 5338: Syntax

Dr. Min-Joo Kim
TTh 11:00 AM – 12:20 PM
CRN 18687

Syntax is a sub-discipline of linguistics that deals with sentence structure—that is, how grammatical sentences are formed and structured. This course aims to introduce the fundamental principles of theoretical syntax, and prepare students to conduct more advanced research in theoretical syntax and/or to apply the knowledge to other more applied disciplines such as language acquisition, language disorders, mass communication, machine translation, and artificial intelligence.

Students will learn analytical methods used in syntactic research such as how to analyze syntactic data drawn from various languages, how to formulate plausible hypotheses based on them, and how to compare and evaluate different theories and/or hypotheses. Topics will include but will not be limited to phrase structure rules, binding, and constraints on movement.

There will be a textbook and some minimal reading assignments. But the course will proceed based largely on lectures and discussions about the weekly assignments. In addition to doing the weekly assignments, students will write a final term-paper on a topic related to the course by applying the acquired knowledge of theoretical syntax. They will also make an in-class oral presentation on their research papers.

Requirements fulfilled: Linguistics area requirement; tools course requirement.

ENGL 5340-001: Research Methods

Dr. Ann Hawkins
T 6:00 PM – 8:50 PM
CRN 14987

ENGL 5340-002: Research Methods

Dr. Jennifer Snead
T 6:00 PM – 8:50 PM

This course prepares students to undertake intensive literary research on the graduate level. Students will gain a thorough grounding in using library resources and in applying bibliographic theory. They will create enumerative and annotative bibliographies and write a textual history and/or research guide for their topic. Students will consider the technological aspect of books by analyzing their physical characteristics (binding, cover, printing, font, impression, etc) as well as their nature as socially constructed material objects. Students should expect to complete a variety of practical skills-building exercises in analytical and descriptive bibliography and in textual editing (including a project in TEI-coding for electronic editions). Note: This course covers traditional literary research methods, not strategies more associated with field research such as interviews and surveys. This is not a course in literary analysis or literary criticism, but in the historical, cultural and technological contexts of books, contexts which are essential to any understanding of a literary work.

Requirements fulfilled: Foundation course requirement.

ENGL 5342: Critical Methods

Dr. Jen Shelton
M 9:00 AM – 11:50 AM
CRN 18812

This course will address major theoretical movements of the late 20thand early 21stcentury in order to give students tools to use in reading and writing literary criticism.The course will contextualize theory in terms of questions readers and writers frequently debate (such as intention, rhetoric, and so on) and will feature hands-on work with major theorists, including post-structuralists.Students should not expect to emerge from this class with a publishable seminar paper.Instead, the class, h2ly pragmatic in nature, will feature a series of short assignments intended to help you both understand theory as promulgated by others and do theory of your own.Assignments will be four short essays, two or three brief in-class presentations, and a teaching presentation in which you will work with other students.

Requirements fulfilled: Foundation course requirement.

ENGL 5351: Studies in Film
Planes, Trains, and Automobiles: Space, Time, and Technology in the Cinema

Dr. Allison Whitney
M 6:00 PM – 8:50 PM
CRN 15008

Course description:This course will examine the relationship between transportation and communication 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 the 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 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 discern 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 (Sorry Wrong Number), documentary (Night Mail), historical re-enactments (United 93), instructional films (Highway Safety Films) and Hollywood blockbusters (Star Wars, Die Hard 2).

Requirements fulfilled: Drama/film genre; FMS concentration course; Book History concentration course.

ENGL 5352: Studies in Fiction
Globalization and Reinvention of Asia and Asian America

Dr. Yuan Shu
F 9:30 AM – 12:20 PM
CRN 15010


This course investigates Asian American literature in the process of globalization from the Cold War to what Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri call “Empire.” How have Asian American authors come to terms with the colonial and imperial legacy in Asia? Why did the anti-colonial movement in Asia evolve to be confrontations between the totalitarian regime and the free world, between dictatorship and democracy? What were the connections between the Asian American movement starting in the late1960s and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948? How has “the war on terror” impacted Asian American identities and communities?

We begin by reading Cecilia Manguerra Brainard's Magdalena and Monique Truong's The Book of Salt and examining Asian American reflections upon the impact of Western colonial legacies in Southeast Asia. We then explore Maxine Hong Kingston's China Man and Jessica Hagedorn's The Dogeaters in terms of Asian emigration patterns and formation of labor and consumer markets in Asia from the 1850s to the 1970s. With a focus on Ha Jin's War Trash, Mohsin Hamid's The Reluctant Fundamentalist, and Khaled Hosseini's The Kite Runner, we discuss the ideological, religious, cultural, and historical issues underlying the military conflicts from the Korean War in the early 1950s to the current war on terror. We conclude by reconsidering the post-ethnic and post-national moments in Chang-Rae Lee's Native Speaker, Jhumpa Lahiri, The Namesake, and Karen Yamashita's Tropic of Orange.

Cecilia Manguerra Brainard, Magdalena, Ha Jin, War Trash; Jessica Hagedorn, The Dogeaters; Mohsin Hamid, The Reluctant Fundamentalist; Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner; Maxine Hong Kingston, China Man; Jhumpa Lahiri, The Namesake; Chang-Rae Lee, Native Speaker; Monique Truong, The Book of Salt; Karen Yamashita's Tropic of Orange.


Students are expected to write five short response papers (2-3 pages) to the required literary and critical texts, lead class discussion on one of the primary literary texts, present at a mini conference, and finish the research paper in the final exam week.

Requirements fulfilled: Later American literature; fiction genre.

ENGL 5355: Studies in Comparative Literature Comparative Literature Methodology

Dr. Ann Daghistany Ransdell
W 2:00 PM – 4:50 PM
CRN 15021

This semester we will study diverse approaches taken by contemporary Comparative Literature scholars by reading theory alongside literary works. In addition, several guest lectures by separate specialists, faculty in our TTU English Department division of Comparative Literature, will enhance our learning. The course will cover Cultural Studies, Religion, Myth Criticism, Postcolonial Studies, Globalization and translation. Our literary texts will begin with traditional methods, close textual analysis of style and structure, to study Flaubert's masterpiece, Madame Bovary. Then we turn to literature and religion in Hesse's Journey to the East. We will engage essays in the text Comparative Literature in the Age of Multiculturalism as we use the historical approach to Allende's Daughter of Fortune, set in Gold Rush California. Mythological Criticism will supplement the historical in Pasternak's Doctor Zhivago, on the Russian Revolution. David Carroll's critical work on Camus: Colonialism, Terrorism, Justice will guide our understanding of Camus' The Plague and “The Guest,” while journalist Lorraine Adams' Harbor will advance our knowledge of responses to the revolution in Algeria and an immigrant's true experience in America. We will continue our use of the Globalization/Cultural Studies approaches outlined in our text Comparative Literature in an Age of Globalization. Karen Yamashita's Through the Arc of the Rain Forest will be followed by Peter Hoeg's exploration of educational theory in the Danish reform schools of Borderliners misclassified as mentally retarded. The course will end with a concentrated focus on the causes and impact of terrorism in John Updike's The Terrorist as well as Moshe Hamid's The Reluctant Fundamentalist. The course texts include all the works above that we will read together. The following critical works will be used in lecture supplements: Ato Quayson's Aesthetic Nervousness: Disability and the Crisis of Representation, Anthony Yu's Comparative Journeys: Essays on Literature and Religion East and West, as well as articles by Arif Dirlik, Richard Kahn, Pepi Leistyna, and others. Requirements include two short fiction/film comparisons, several response papers, a long paper chosen by the student from selected works, an oral presentation of that paper, and a take home final.

Requirements fulfilled: CLGT area course; Fiction genre.

ENGL 5370-001: Creative Writing Workshop Poetry Writing

Dr. Curtis Bauer
T 2:00 PM – 4:50 PM
CRN 15196

This workshop will examine issues of craft and vision through the practice of poetry. We will consider technical and historical aspects of poetry writing, as well as discuss and formulate our own “poetics.” The group will work to form a responsive, critical audience for one another's work. Though our primary text will be student writing, we will also practice close readings of individual poems by contemporary poets, as well as contemporary essays on craft, theory, legacy, and the creative process. From this we will consider the fine points of writing poetry (e.g., line break, meter, scansion, stanzaic form, image, tension, and metaphor), and the larger issues of writing as it relates to politics, publishing, influence, voice, personal and social responsibility, and ethics.Students will write a new poem each week, and at semester's end turn in a final portfolio of poems with a formal introduction that outlines their poetics.

Requirements fulfilled: Creative Writing concentration course. Enrollment in ENGL 5370 requires permission of the instructor and submission of a writing sample for all students not in the Creative Writing concentration.

ENGL 5370-002: Creative Writing Workshop Nonfiction Writing

Dr. Jacqueline Kolosov
W 2:00 PM – 4:50 PM
CRN 15198

As human beings we write to understand. How to give that understanding urgent form in creative nonfiction is at the heart of this writing and reading intensive workshop, one that will incorporate techniques from fiction (among them character, plotting, detail, setting, dialogue and aspects of narrative time) and lyric poetry. Our approach to creative nonfiction will foreground “truth” while recognizing and even experimenting with the imaginative, at times duplicitous dimensions of memory and the ways in which memory can play a part in narrative structure. Although writers may work on a book-length manuscript or on a series of essays in this workshop, we will take as our starting point the origin of the word essay which derives from the French infinite essayer, “to try” or “to attempt”. At the most fundamental level, then, we will foreground the remarkably malleable essay in our approach to creative nonfiction as a place of discovery and clarification of what we believe, what we need to understand, or make sense of. The workshop is fundamentally about our obsessions and how to give them larger, collective resonance and vitality. Central to this quest is finding a container/vessel/structure that enables the writer to push that central thread or energy all the way through, so that the reader is compelled to keep reading.

In terms of reading, we will certainly include a book-length work of nonfiction, most likely Joan Didion's The Year of Magical Thinking or her more recent Blue Nights, as well as a book-length essay collection (Patricia Vigderman's Possibilities: Essays Against Despair perhaps). Yet we will approach the book-length work through the building block of the essay and its focus on discovery and pulling a central thread (question, obsession, subject, experience) through the narrative. In terms of the essay-length readings, we will engage classic essays by modern and contemporary writers like Graham Greene, John Berger, Nancy Mairs, and Meredith Hall, as well as more experimental or hybrid work that is h2ly inflected by the lyric as practiced by writers ranging from Virginia Woolf to Anne Carson and Alexander Theroux. While foregrounding structure, character, and voice, we will compulsively reinvestigate the following questions: What emotional/energetic as well as formal questions is the work grappling with? What are the stakes, and how can they be clarified? The written requirements of the workshop are not set in stone, though participants should plan to workshop and ultimately revise some 60+ pages over the course of the semester. As part of the course, we will discuss the ways in which one might develop a larger project out of what one produces in the workshop. And of course we'll address publication.

Requirements fulfilled: Creative Writing concentration course. Enrollment in ENGL 5370 requires permission of the instructor and submission of a writing sample for all students not in the Creative Writing concentration.

ENGL 5380-001: Special Topics in Literary Studies Ecocriticism

Dr. Sara Spurgeon
Th 9:30 AM - 12:20 PM
CRN 15354

Contact instructor for description: sara.spurgeon@ttu.edu

Requirements fulfilled: LSJE concentration course.

ENGL 5380-002: Special Topics in Literary Studies Translation Theory and Workshop

Dr. Curtis Bauer
M 6:00 PM – 8:50 PM
CRN 15357

This course is cross-listed with CLT 5355, Studies in Comparative Literature (CRN 30343). CLT students should register under that course; ENGL students should register under ENGL 5380.

This course is extremely important for us—poets, fiction writers, 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 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. Thus new translations ofThe Divine Comedyare ever being published. We have read Dante as John Ciardi, as Robert Pinsky, as Anthony Esolen. But you might say that only Dante's translators (and his medieval readers) have ever reallyheardDante. For to translate Dante, you must hear with Dante's ear. 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.

It is recommended but not required that students bring some knowledge of a second language to the course. The final project for this course will be the translation of a selection of prose from a foreign language. Assignments will include several short papers, the translation of a contemporary literary text and a final essay. Students will be encouraged to publish their translations at the end of this course.

Requirements fulfilled: CLGT concentration course.

ENGL 5380-003: Special Topics in Literary Studies Many Tongues: Translating Middle English Literature

Dr. Julie Nelson Couch
W 9:00 AM – 11:50 AM
CRN 27709

This course will introduce students to the grammar, syntax, vocabulary, phonology, and prosody of Middle English. The term Middle English encompasses an array of regional dialects that coexisted in England after the Norman Conquest in 1066 and before the standardization of English in 1430. Students will gain proficiency in distinguishing between and reading the different regional dialects that comprise Middle English. As a result, students will be able to comprehend and read aloud Middle English prose and poetry, from a twelfth-century debate poem between an owl and a nightingale to late fourteenth-century romance poetry. This course will prepare students to study a major Middle English corpus (Chaucer, the Pearl Poet, or Romance and saints lives) in the Medieval British Literature course (English 5303) to be offered in the spring. This course will be of interest to literature students as well as to linguistics and creative writing students interested in the theory and praxis of translation. Class time will be spent hearing, translating, and pronouncing the language. Students' work with Middle English will culminate in a translation/transcription project and in a dramatic reading of a bawdy tale by Chaucer. Course requirements also include a mid-term and a final exam.

Requirements fulfilled: Early British period; poetry genre; PhD high proficiency requirement.

ENGL 5390-001: Writing for Publication

Dr. Scott Baugh
M 9:00 AM – 11:50 AM
CRN 15389

Note: Writing for Publication in the Fall 2013 semester is aimed at students in the discipline of English and is taught by literature faculty. Students in other disciplines will probably not find this semester's course helpful; it is recommended that they wait until Spring 2014 or Summer 2014, when the course will be taught by our technical communication faculty and will be more amenable to students outside the English Department.

The self-evident goal of this seminar is to provide structure and support for writer-scholars to prepare their writing for publication. Practical activities—writing workshops, conference-style presentations, guideline and procedural overviews, etc.—aim at this primary goal of preparing an article-length manuscript for submission. Further, a range of writing exercises, time-management tools, and resources will aid writer-scholars to maintain writing-for-publication habits and scholarly development.

A greater aim of this seminar, however, focuses on examining the current role of publishing in our discipline and a range of styles of scholarship available to graduate students in the humanities. With these contexts in mind, each seminar participant will customize a research agenda, contemplate the role of publishing in her or his own course of professional development, and strive toward refining and projecting a professional profile.

The Chicago Manual of Style(15th ed.), Publication Manual of the APA (5th ed.), and The MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing (3rd ed.) will function as both invaluable references for matters of style and convention as well as essential guides for scholarly activity. Orders for the MLA Style Manual and Guide will be made through the campus bookstores, although copies of all three of these references are available online. A course reader, which is available as an electronic reserve, will cover a range of supplementary topics, most likely including Ernest Boyer and Lee Shulman on scholarship of teaching; James Hoge and Robert Patten on scholarly reviews; MLA reports and Profession articles on evaluation of scholarship within the academy; current reports on new media and rights; etc.

Assignments will include a publishable article (12+ pages); a conference-style presentation (12 minutes); a publishable book review or review essay (2-5 pages); a survey-of-scholarship report (7+ pages); and a series of resources reports (open format) that will guide your article revision. In addition to traditional seminar activities and discussions, some required participation will take advantage of our department Moodle.

Requirements fulfilled: MA and PhD writing requirement.

ENGL 5390-002: Writing for Publication

Dr. Marta Kvande
W 6:00 PM – 8:50 PM
CRN 15391

Note: Writing for Publication in the Fall 2013 semester is aimed at students in the discipline of English and is taught by literature faculty. Students in other disciplines will probably not find this semester's course helpful; it is recommended that they wait until Spring 2014 or Summer 2014, when the course will be taught by our technical communication faculty and will be more amenable to students outside the English Department.

This is a pragmatic course focusing on the process of preparing an essay for submission to a peer-reviewed journal and on professional activity more broadly. Students must begin the course with a previously-prepared article-length critical paper (5,000 to 7,000 words), usually one from a previous graduate course. Revising this essay for publication (including peer workshops and other revision practices) will be one of the major projects of the course. In addition, students will also learn and practice other aspects of the scholarly process, such as preparing and presenting conference-length papers, determining appropriate venues for their work (both conferences and journals), composing cover letters, applying for grants, writing book proposals, and writing book reviews, among other scholarly genres and conventions. As they learn more about the process of professionalization, students will also develop research agendas to help encourage their professional success.

Requirements fulfilled: MA and PhD writing requirement.