Texas Tech University

Seminars Fall 2014

We welcome graduate students from departments other than English, but they must contact the English Department's Director of Graduate Studies at english.gradadvisor@ttu.edu for permission to enroll (which will usually be granted unless there is a prerequisite or faculty permissions issue).

ENGL 5301: Old English Language

Dr. Brian McFadden
MWF 1:00-1:50
CRN 33019

This course will introduce students to the grammar, syntax, vocabulary, phonology, and morphology of Old English and examine its relationship to the language we speak today. Our primary focus will be to develop a reading knowledge of Old English for the study of basic Old English prose and poetic texts, as well as preparing students to begin reading Beowulf in the Spring 2015 semester (this course is a prerequisite for Beowulf). Course requirements: daily translations; midterm exam, periodic quizzes, and one final translation/transcription project. Texts: Moore, Knott, and Hulbert, The Elements of Old English; Mitchell and Robinson, A Concise Anglo-Saxon Dictionary; possibly a coursepack of supplemental materials (delivered via Dropbox).

Requirements fulfilled: Early British; High Proficiency language requirement; Medieval and Renaissance Studies Certificate eligible course.

ENGL 5309: Studies in Nineteenth-Century British Literature
Iron Cages and Imperial Prudes: Rethinking Victorian Modernity

Dr. Mary Mullen
Friday 9:00 AM – 11:50 AM
CRN 33020

Victorians are the first moderns and the first prudes. We are drawn to the Victorian period because of its modernity—Victorians faced similar social problems and inhabited similar institutions as ourselves—but we also often actively distance ourselves from Victorian culture and the "image of the imperial prude" it implies (Michel Foucault). Victorians' drive to standardize, centralize, and rationalize certainly suggests what Max Weber famously calls the "iron cage of rationality," a metaphor for modernity that emphasizes its constraining effects. And yet, moderns mock Victorians for being too serious, too moral, too antiquated.

Challenging a narrow definition of modernity as a historical period or condition, this course will familiarize students with ongoing debates in Foucauldian, postcolonial, Marxist, and queer theory to consider modernity as an attitude, a relationship, an imperial category. Equally important will be Victorian representations of and responses to modernity in novels by Ella Hepworth Dixon, Olive Schreiner and Oscar Wilde; prose by John Stuart Mill and Henry Mayhew; and novellas by Joseph Sheridan LeFanu and George Moore.

Requirements fulfilled: Later British; Fiction genre requirement

ENGL 5324: Studies in Twentieth-Century American Literature
"One Ever Feels Her Fiveness": Women of the Harlem Renaissance

Dr. Michael Borshuk
Tuesday/Thursday 12:30-1:50
CRN 33021

In 1925, the African American intellectual Alain Locke boldly announced: "[T]he younger generation is vibrant with a new psychology; the new spirit is awake in the masses, and under the very eyes of the professional observers is transforming what has been a perennial problem into the progressive phases of contemporary Negro life." Locke's pronouncement advertised a palpable shift in African American sensibility following the First World War, and gave name to the emerging black generation: the New Negro, in the period later popularly known as the Harlem Renaissance. Yet, as the critic Martin Summers points out, Locke also described the African American literary tradition to younger writers in "language that evoked the idealized images of nineteenth–century manhood—the artist as a skilled laborer and as a lone individual on the frontier" (206). In doing so, as Summers argues, Locke "was in the process of constructing a predominantly 'male' tradition of arts and letters in which to foreground the work of the younger artists. As such, his interpretation of black modernism and its predecessors contrived a hierarchy based on gender" (206).

This course will examine the Harlem Renaissance with special attention to the various key women at the heart of the period's dramatic cultural shifts, in the interest of addressing the gendered hierarchy Summers identifies in the period. While historically, much attention has been paid to the Harlem Renaissance's male intellectual mentors like Locke, Du Bois, and James Weldon Johnson, or to its young male writers like Langston Hughes and Jean Toomer, there is rarely enough attention paid to the women who also contributed significantly to the dramatic changes Locke announced in the quotation above. Among literary works, then, we will consider fiction by Nella Larsen, Jessie Redmon Fauset, and Zora Neale Hurston; poetry by Gwendolyn Bennett, Georgia Douglas Johnson, and Helene Johnson; and drama by Angelina Weld Grimke. We will also consider the visual and performing artists of the period too, with attention to the sculptor Augusta Savage, the singer-dancer Josephine Baker, and classic blues singers like Ma Rainey and Bessie Smith.

Tentative Course Texts:
Jessie Redmon Fauset, Plum Bun
Jessie Redmon Fauset, Comedy, American Style
Nella Larsen, Quicksand
Nella Larsen, Passing
Zora Neale Hurston, Dust Tracks on a Road
Zora Neale Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God
Zora Heale Hurston, Jonah's Gourd Vine
Maureen Honey, ed., Shadowed Dreams: Women's Poetry of the Harlem Renaissance
Angela Davis, Blues Legacies and Black Feminism
Cheryl Wall, Women of the Harlem Renaissance
Carla Kaplan, Miss Anne in Harlem: The White Women of the Black Renaissance

Requirements fulfilled: Later American

ENGL 5327-D01: Studies in Multicultural Literature
Borderlands Literature: Bodies and Border Crossings

Dr. Cordelia Barrera
Tueday 6:00-8:50 PM
CRN 34395

DISTANCE COURSE – recommended for students in Online MA in English.

In this course, we will study the multidimensional and interdependent nature of US-Mexico Borderlands literature in terms of bodily subjectivities, postmodernity, spatial and geographical identities, and contemporary ecocritical theories that reflect a discourse of responses to global change. Some questions that will focus our discussions include: How do issues of subjectivity, gender, class, race, ethnicity, and sexuality influence a culture of the Borderlands? What kinds of narrations result from intercultural crossings between the United States and Mexico? How do spatial ontologies speak to the formation of subjectivity, identity, and sociality on the Borderlands? We will read a representative survey of fiction, critical essays, and drama and apply the theoretical articulations of border theory, postcolonial theory, and third space theories to bring into conversation various territorial and metaphorical intersections between the U.S. and Mexico with the goal of illuminating how individual subjectivities negotiate local, national, and global borders (transfronteras) of experience, theory, and history. Primary Texts: Borderlands by Gloria Anzaldúa, Streets of Laredo by Larry McMurtry, So Far From God by Ana Castillo, Caballero by Jovita González and Eve Raleigh, Under the Feet of Jesus by Maria Helena Viramontes, and The Crossing by Cormac McCarthy. Additional readings by Emma Pérez, Chela Sandoval, Devon Peña, Homi Bahbha, and Americo Paredes.  Films: Touch of Evil, Lone Star, Sleep Dealer, Maguilopolis. Assignments include: Leading formal discussions; conference-length paper; article-length paper; book review; oral presentation of conference-length paper.

Requirements fulfilled: Later American

ENGL 5335: Principles of Language

Dr. Aaron Braver
Tuesday/Thursday 11:00 AM – 12:20 PM
CRN 33023

How does language work? Do all languages share common properties? Why is "blick" a possible word of English, but not "bnick"?

This course provides an introduction to the study of language at the graduate level. We will learn about the principles that underlie all human language by analyzing data from a diverse set of languages from around the world. We will begin by examining the traditional areas of linguistic science: phonetics and phonology (the sounds of language), morphology (word composition), syntax (sentence composition), and semantics (meaning). We will then turn to more applied areas (e.g., language acquisition, variation, and typology). In this course we will approach language from a descriptive viewpoint—describing how people actually speak—rather than a prescriptive viewpoint—what is considered to be "good" or "proper" language.

This course is recommended for anyone interested in how (and why) language works—from both scientific and artistic perspectives. No prior knowledge of linguistics or foreign languages is expected or required.

Requirements fulfilled: Linguistics area requirement; Language/tools requirement

ENGL 5340-001: Research Methods

Dr. Ann Hawkins
Tuesday 6:00-8:50 PM
CRN 14987

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: Foundations course

ENGL 5340-002: Research Methods

Dr. Julie Nelson Couch
Wednesday 2:00-4:50 PM
CRN 14992

This course is an introduction to the methods, processes, and procedures for graduate-level (MA and PhD) research in English, for students pursuing MA and PhD degrees in English with concentrations primarily in Literature, Linguistics, and Creative Writing.
Literary criticism and textual scholarship are the two routes professional readers take in presenting, interpreting, and teaching works of literature. In this course, we will explore the theories and practices of textual scholarship, a discipline that encompasses bibliography, lexicography, collation, translation, annotation, and reception. Students will investigate the uses of archival, bibliographic, and web-based sources in graduate-level scholarship. Assignments may include research exercises, an enumerative and an annotated bibliography, two short essays, a descriptive bibliography, and a final essay on the cultural and/or literary reception of a text. Students will be encouraged to develop a research project that relates to their own particular areas of interest.

Requirements fulfilled: Foundations course

ENGL 5342-001: Critical Methods

Dr. Jennifer Shelton
Monday 9:00 AM – 11:50 AM
CRN 14996

This course will be a wholly pragmatic introduction to questions that have intrigued readers and writers of literary texts since at least the time of the Greeks. This study will provide students with practical tools for reading and writing critical essays, encountering literary texts, and teaching in the college classroom. Student work will include presentations, short essays, and a teaching exercise. Students should not expect to emerge from the class with a seminar paper suitable for eventual publication, although that has happened in the past. Instead, the emphasis will be on identifying and deploying theoretical models as we engage in our scholarly work.

Requirements fulfilled: Foundations course

ENGL 5342-D02: Critical Methods
Between the Text and the World: Critical Methods for the Present

Dr. Kanika Batra
Wednesday 6:00-8:50 AM
CRN 33345

DISTANCE COURSE – recommended for Online MA in English students

When Jacques Derrida famously announced, "There is nothing outside the text" in 1967, the statement was taken to indicate deconstructionists' immersion in textuality and lack of acknowledgment of material and social reality. However, continental and new world thinkers of this period, including Derrida, were already extending the idea of the text to include image, music, film, and social situations which necessitated critical readings and interpretations. Texts arise out of social, cultural, historical, geographic, and linguistic contexts. Beginning with the idea that we employ a multiplicity of techniques and modalities for analyzing texts, the world around us, as well as an interaction between the two, this course will introduce you to a few such approaches. Among the critical theories we will be discussing are: deconstruction, psychoanalysis, Marxism, feminism and gender studies, postcolonial studies, and globalization. We will begin with an introductory overview of literary theory such as those offered by Terry Eagleton or Jonathan Culler and then move on a representative selection of writings from each school of thought mentioned above.

This course does not encourage a toolkit model wherein one critical or theoretical method is mechanically applied to a text, but rather encourages you to think of the intersections between methods as a more productive and nuanced way of analysis. Requirements include weekly response papers, a book review requiring you to identify the critical/theoretical underpinnings of the book, and a 15- page final paper synthesizing ideas from two major schools of critical thought in relation to a contemporary event of national or international significance.

Requirements fulfilled: Foundations course

ENGL 5346: Foundations of Digital Humanities

Dr. Miles Kimball
Tuesday 6:00-8:50 PM
CRN 33524

Contact instructor for description: miles.kimball@ttu.edu

Requirements fulfilled: BH/DH course

ENGL 5352: Studies in Fiction
Nineteenth-century Transatlantic British and American Fiction

Dr. Ann Daghistany Ransdell
Monday 2:00 -4:50 PM
CRN 33024

In this course we will examine parallel themes, scenes and characters, as well as adaptations, between prominent nineteenth century authors on both sides of the Atlantic. We will read Jane Austen, Dickens, George Eliot and Emily Bronte, as well as Louisa May Alcott, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Frederick Douglas, Solomon Northrup, and Henry James. We will study the influences of these authors not only upon eachother but also upon cultural aspects of gender, class, race and religion. The social outcast figures of the orphan, the criminal, the thief, the demonic hero, and the prostitute will be studied as well as female employment in needlework, governess and companion. We will look at 19th century fictional genres; the social problem novel, the Romantic, Regional and Realistic novels, and the psychological novel. Students will learn the historical impact upon the transatlantic novel of Britain's Enclosure movement, women's education and employment issues, the Victorian True Woman, The Separation of the Spheres, slavery and the American Civil War, and the Gilded Age.

We will read Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, Jo Baker's Longbourne, Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin. Dickens' Oliver Twist, Frederick Douglass's My Bondage and My Freedom, Solomon Northrup's Twelve Years a Slave, George Eliot's Adam Bede, Louisa May Alcott's A Long, Fatal Love Chase, Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights, and Henry James' The American. We will also study the scholarly theories in Susan Manning and Andrew Taylor's Transatlantic Literary Studies: A Reader, and Robert Weisbuch's Atlantic Doublecross: American Literature and British Influence in the Age of Emerson

Course requirements include three short fiction/film papers, a fifteen-page paper on the student's subject of choice within an assigned topic, an oral presentation of that paper, and a typed final examination that will be distributed in advance. Frequent one page reading response papers on topics from the readings will also be included.

Requirements fulfilled: Comparative Literature; Early American; Later British

ENGL 5370-001: Creative Writing Workshop
Fiction Writing

Dr. Katie Cortese
Monday 6:00-8:50 PM
CRN 15196

This course will primarily center on reading and critiquing students' fiction with a special focus on the conventions, challenges, and benefits of crafting stories that conform to the requirements of three distinct lengths. With that in mind, students will write a selection of flash fiction pieces in the first third of the class, experiment with expanding at least one of them into a short story of 7-15 pages in the second third, and finally turn in a draft of a novella consisting of forty plus pages. 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.

A very tentative reading list includes Robert Shapard's New Sudden Fiction, The Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Writing Flash Fiction, the 2013 Best American Short Stories anthology edited by Elizabeth Strout, and a selection of TBA novellas along with essays taken from The Half-Known World: Essays on Writing Fiction by Robert Boswell and other craft articles by writers such as Charles Baxter, Francine Prose, Jane Smiley, and others. Assignments will include several flash fiction pieces, at least one mid-length workshop story, a short novella, a presentation on an assigned piece of fiction, and a final portfolio including revisions, three literary citizenship contributions, and a statement of aesthetics.

Requirements fulfilled: Creative Writing workshop

ENGL 5370-002: Creative Writing Workshop
Nonfiction Writing

Prof. Dennis Covington
Wednesday 6:00-8:50 PM
CRN 15198

This is a graduate workshop in the writing of creative nonfiction, a genre Ronald Weber calls "fact writing based on reporting that frequently employs techniques drawn from the art of fiction to create something of fiction's atmosphere or feeling and that, most important, moves toward the intentions of fiction while remaining fully factual."

The chief intention of fiction, according to Henry James, is to create "a direct impression of life," so that's what we'll be aiming for in this workshop in creative nonfiction, although I prefer the term "literary journalism" or, more simply put, "narrative non-fiction."

Students will be asked to write at least three article-length pieces of narrative nonfiction. Minimum word length will vary, according to assignment, from 1500 to 4000 words. The sole required texts will be The Art of Fact, edited by Kerrane and Yagoda, and one contemporary book in the genre, a book that is yet to be announced.

Requirements fulfilled: Creative Writing workshop

ENGL 5370-003: Creative Writing Workshop
Poetry Writing

Dr. John Poch
Tuesday 9:30-12:20
CRN 33026

In this class, in addition to writing poems each week, we will be reading contemporary and modern poetry (verse, criticism, and theory). Classes will be discussion-oriented. Recitation of a poem is a requirement. A final portfolio of 7 poems with a statement of aesthetics is due at semester's end. The aim in this class is to write poems publishable in the most respected venues, though we certainly realize that poems can take many years to complete and the goal of writing great poems is not merely publication. Priority for enrollment goes to creative writing students, but literature and linguistics students may apply to the course with a writing sample of 3 poems.

Requirements fulfilled: Creative Writing workshop

ENGL 5380-001: Advanced Topics in Literary Studies
Secularism and Post-Secularism in Contemporary World Literature

Dr. Roger McNamara
Tuesday 2:00-4:50 PM
CRN 33027

Until the Arab Spring most postcolonial critics were convinced that liberal democracy, secularism, and market economies that seemed to have been perfected in the "West," were inadequate and even undesirable for other parts of the world such as Asia and Africa. They pointed out that religion, ethnic identity, and indigenous social structures still resonated strongly with many peoples in these regions. Intellectuals in the "West" also began to recognize that religion remained popular in the United States after it had supposedly been outgrown. However, the Arab Spring—that disruptive populist movement against dictatorships in the Middle East and North Africa—has once again renewed the debate over whether secularism, market economies, and liberal democracies are ideals that all people should aspire towards. In other words, the debate revolves around whether the Arab Spring was a bubble that burst or an indicator that "we" are on the steady march of "progressive" and "liberal" history?

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 (India, Pakistan, UK) Toni Morrison (US), Michael Ondaatje (Canada/Sri Lanka), Rohinton Mistry (Canada/India), Zakes Mda (South Africa), Amitav Ghosh (India/US), 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; Fiction genre

ENGL 5380-002: Advanced Topics in Literary Studies
The Western in Film and Literature

Dr. Sara Spurgeon
Wednesday 9:00-11:50 AM
CRN 15357

We will examine works of fiction and film that have helped to establish and to challenge the genre of the Western. Some will be classics (both literary and filmic) and some will undermine, subvert, or expand our ideas about what Westerns are, what they mean, and what they do. 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 literature and film today? How has it been used to justify or deconstruct American ideas about conquest, colonization, and empire? How might it work to define contemporary 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: Literature, Social Justice, and Environment; Modern American; Film and Media Studies

ENGL 5380-003: Advanced Problems in Literary Studies
"We Tell Ourselves Stories in Order to Live": Memoir, Autobiography, the Essay, and Hybrid Forms of Life Writing

Dr. Jacqueline Kolosov-Wenthe
Thursday 2:00-4:50 PM
CRN 33025


ENGL 5390-001: Writing for Publication

Dr. Marjean Purinton
Monday 9:00-11:50 AM
CRN 15389

Note: in the Fall semester, ENGL 5390 is taught by literature faculty and is primarily focused on students studying in the discipline of English. Students from other departments may find that taking ENGL 5390 in Spring or Summer terms may be more advantageous to their degree work, as it is taught by our Technical Communication and Rhetoric faculty in a cross-disciplinary manner.

Sharing our research and scholarship with colleagues is a defining objective in our careers.

This seminar will help you to acquire the strategies, skills, practices, procedures for achieving this objective of academic presentations and publications. We will participate in a process intended to connect your graduate work with early career aspirations. We will seek to demystify and to make transparent the opportunities, venues, documents, processes, behaviors, and ethics of professional publication. We will examine current scholarly trends in your field of specialization and situate your work within those academic conversations.

Our immediate goal for the course is to have you well prepared for your future with working-in-progress documents for ready use as well as an informed scholarly plan for your early or probationary career phase. The document we will construct and/or revise include

• A working CV,
• Various cover letters,
• A book review,
• An abstract proposal,
• A conference paper,
• A critical essay of publishable or near publishable quality,
• A statement of research/scholarly or creative activity,
• A dissertation or book proposal, and
• A grant or fellowship proposal.

The seminar will include work-shopping and peer-reviewing activities.

My scholarship and pedagogy are informed by feminist theory, and so come to this seminar prepared to encounter de-centralized authority, an invitation to participate actively in your own discovery process, and a collaborative, supportive learning environment. Potential text: MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing, 3rd ed. (2008)

Requirements fulfilled: MA/PhD professional development requirement

ENGL 5390-002: Writing for Publication

Dr. Marta Kvande
Tuesday 6:00-8:50 PM
CRN 15391

Note: in the Fall semester, ENGL 5390 is taught by literature faculty and is primarily focused on students studying in the discipline of English. Students from other departments may find that taking ENGL 5390 in Spring or Summer terms may be more advantageous to their degree work, as it is taught by our Technical Communication and Rhetoric faculty in a cross-disciplinary manner.

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/PhD professional development requirement