Texas Tech University

Seminars Fall 2015

  • Room numbers are for the ENG/PHIL building unless otherwise noted
  • Campus Map - the English/Philosophy building is #46, located in D1

ENGL 5306: Studies in Seventeenth-Century British Literature (ONST)

See You in Hell: Milton in the Modern Age

Day/Time
Monday 2:00-4:50

Instructor
Dr. Ryan Hackenbracht

CRN
35498

Description

In May 2013, Cody Wilson, creator of a fully operational, 3-D printed gun called “The Liberator,” defended his right to upload the design plans by citing John Milton (1608-74): “Milton's Areopagitica is essentially the spiritual analog that I'm holding out for people […] you must be free to reckon with whatever ideas that you can.” Milton's treatise championed “the liberty of unlicenc'd printing” and freedom of speech. As Wilson saw it, like Milton, he was battling censorship and ensuring the preservation of ideas. Two days and 100,000 downloads later, Wilson proudly proclaimed, “[now] they can never eradicate the gun from the Earth.” Wilson's comments suggest Milton's continued relevance to American popular culture and that Areopagitica, Paradise Lost, and other works inform discussions ranging from the ethics of technology to censoring the internet. This course explores how authors and directors use Miltonic ideas to navigate issues of science, gender, and religion. We will ask such questions as, how does Margaret Atwood reinvent the Miltonic narrative of Creation in her sci-fi series, the MaddAddam trilogy? What are we to make of one literary critic's complaint that Samson's smashing of the Philistine temple in Samson Agonistes is a terrorist act resembling 9/11?

Texts

Readings include: Milton's Paradise Lost, Areopagitica, Samson Agonistes; Atwood's Oryx and Crake (2003); Clare's City of Bones (2007); Pullman's The Golden Compass (1995); and film viewings of Aronofsky's Noah (2014) and Scott's Prometheus (2012) and Blade Runner (1982).

Requirements Fulfilled

Early British, Poetry Genre, Medieval and Renaissance Studies Certificate (MRSC)

ENGL 5315: Studies in British Fiction (ONLN)

Women's Novels

Day/Time
Thursday 6:00-8:50

Instructor
Dr. Jennifer Shelton

CRN
35490

Description

This course in British fiction will explore the development of the novel from the 18th through the 21st centuries by examining novels by women writers. Writing was the first profession in which a middle-class woman could (semi)respectably earn a living, though for a long time, women writers were confined to marriage-plot novels. We will romp through the centuries, using women's writing about writing as theoretical background to help us understand the choices various writers made.

This class will be offered online, so your physical presence on campus is not required. However, we will have weekly discussion meetings via Skype. To take this course you will need a computer with a reliable internet connection, a headset (the headset that came with your phone is okay), eraider login credentials for access to Blackboard, and a Skype account (free), in addition to required books. Course work will include presentations and writing, to culminate in a seminar paper or project tailored to students' professional needs.

Texts

I am a modernist by training and inclination, so we will start with Virginia Woolf's A Room of One's Own, using that text about women's writing as a theoretical touchstone throughout the course. We'll also read novels such as Frances Burney's Evelina, Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre, Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway, and Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, plus some others yet to be decided.

Requirements Fulfilled

Later British, Fiction Genre, LSJE

ENGL 5325: American Fiction or replacement (ONST)

Day/Time
Wednesday 2:00-4:50

Instructor
Dr. Daniel Hutchins or
Dr. Marjean Purinton

CRN
35491

Description

ENGL 5338: Syntax (ONST)

Day/Time
Friday 2:00-4:50

Instructor
Dr. Min Joo Kim

CRN
18687

Description

Surveys syntactic analysis and generative syntactic theory.

ENGL 5340.001: Research Methods in English (HYBR)

Day/Time
Monday 2:00-4:50

Instructor
Dr. Julie Couch

CRN
14987

Description

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. Students will investigate the uses of archival, bibliographic, and web-based sources in graduate-level scholarship. Literary criticism and textual scholarship are two routes professional readers take in presenting, interpreting, and teaching works of literature.

In this course, we will posit textual scholarship—a discipline that encompasses bibliography, editing, and reception—as foundational to literary research. We will briefly explore its theories and practices: combining theoretical discussion of textual matters—such as the nature of texts, authorship, readership, and translation—with practical skills in research and bibliography.

Requirements Fulfilled

Foundation course

ENGL 5342.D02/002: Critical Methods (HYBR)

Day/Time
Wednesday 6:00-8:50

Instructor
Dr. Yuan Shu

CRN
33345

Description

This course investigates critical theories that have informed and reshaped English studies in the past few decades. We begin by raising a rhetorical question, “Who killed Shakespeare?” and examining the status quo of English studies in the context of the declining humanities and the changing environment for higher education in the twenty-first century. We then explore diachronically formalism, structuralism, deconstruction, post-structuralism, post-colonial and critical race theories, Marxism, and feminism. The focus of our course will be on globalization and transnational studies, ecocriticism and environmental studies, and new media theories, paying special attention to what critics call “the transnational turn” and “the eco-critical turn” in current English and literary studies. We conclude by reflecting upon another rhetorical question, “What happens after post-history and post-theory?”

Requirements Fulfilled

Foundation course

ENGL 5342.001: Critical Methods (ONST)

Day/Time
Monday 9:00-11:50

Instructor
Dr. Jennifer Shelton

CRN
14996

Description

This course will address major theoretical movements of the late 20th and early 21st century 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, focusing on post-structuralists. Students should not expect to emerge from this class with a publishable seminar paper. Instead, the class, strongly 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.

Requirements Fulfilled

Foundation course

ENGL 5348: Studies in History of the Book (ONST)

Print, Manuscript, and Authority in the Long Eighteenth Century

Day/Time
Thursday 9:30-12:20

Instructor
Dr. Marta Kvande

CRN
35493

Description

Concentrated study of specific problems in the history of the book and material culture.

What happens when two technologies of communication and textual production meet? More specifically, how does a society think about texts produced by different technologies? Such questions are especially pertinent for the late seventeenth through the eighteenth centuries because both manuscript and print technologies had, by then, existed long enough to develop their own cultures — sets of practices, behaviors, and ways of thinking about texts. In this course, we'll study how the authority of texts — in both the manuscript medium and the print medium — was constructed and considered during the long eighteenth century. How did readers and authors understand the ways material form shaped a text's authority? Why might an author choose manuscript circulation over print? When could a printed text garner literary authority? Readings will include literary texts of the period, eighteenth-century texts addressing various elements/aspects of authority in both mediums, and secondary readings on the role of print and manuscript; expect to use ECCO and EEBO for many assigned readings. Coursework will include a short paper, a presentation, and a seminar paper.

This course is part of Texas Tech's Graduate Certificate in Book History and Digital Humanities; for more information about the certificate program, see the certificate website:

ENGL 5351: Studies in Film and Literature (ONST)

American Cinema, Multiculturalism, and Mainstreams

Day/Time
Tuesday 6:00-8:50

Instructor
Dr. Scott Baugh

CRN
15008

Description

Marketing firms, borrowing from Guy Garcia's provocative 2004 book, have recently ascribed to a “new mainstream” that merges traditional mainstream and multicultural markets—with a “creative class” of consumers necessary for this process. So what consequences, tensions, ambivalence, even contradictions, arise as texts traverse “multicultural” and “mainstream” descriptions, especially carrying the ideas to cultural studies broadly? What may we, as scholars (as well as critical readers and consumers), make of such categorizations? Probably transferrable across literature, arts, and more, contemporary American cinema privileges and enacts multiculturalism in particular thematic, formal, and (ironically?) conventional ways worth considering closely. In this seminar, we will begin with a concise introduction to film/media studies and multiple literacies and a survey of canon issues and models of critical multiculturalism; with a sharp learning curve, we will turn to investigations of the aesthetics of American cinema representing and expressing multiculturalism and clarify discursive relationships and methodologies most applicable to our group's interests; by course conclusion, we will register individual research projects.

With special attention to the dynamics of “mainstream”/commercial fictive-narrative feature films and independent/“alternative” art projects, the course affords a relatively diverse range of ideas involved in the formulation of American multiculturalism in cinema—typically organized into race and ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, class and socio-political status, regional or national identity, religious affiliation, etc., categories which we as a group will use but also interrogate and likely challenge. Group activities and discussions may travel somewhat broadly, where we will not only practice analytical reading skills but also explore and identify significant aspects of our American culture; formal assignments will aim toward honing and developing around individual research and teaching interests.

Readings may include

  • Primary texts/movies
    Birth of a Nation and Intolerance (Griffith); The Searchers (Ford); El Norte, Mi Familia/My Family, and Selena (Nava); Windtalkers, Face/off, and Mission: Impossible II (Woo); Rush Hour (Ratner); Anaconda (Llosa); Manhattan (Allen); El Mariachi & Once upon a Time in Mexico (Rodriguez); Willie Varela's video art; Patty Talahongva's digital project; Primer & Upstream Color (Carruth); Sami Pilco's video art; Coco Fusco & Guillermo Gomez-Peña video art; Flat is Beautiful (Benning); Sleep Dealer (Rivera); Old Gringo (Puenzo); Middle of Nowhere and Selma (DuVernay); New York, New York and Age of Innocence (Scorsese); Hurt Locker (Bigelow); Born in East L.A. (Marin); Boyz-N-the-Hood and Shaft (Singleton); Shaft (Parks); Do the Right Thing and Malcolm X (Lee); Powwow Highway (Wacks); Mi Vida Loca/My Crazy Life (Anders); Swordfish (Sena); Training Day (Fuqua); Fools Rush In (Tennant); Glory (Zwick); Mississippi Masala (Nair); El Mariachi and Desperado (Rodriguez); The Godfather trilogy (Coppola); Lost in Translation (Coppola); Blade Runner (Scott); Interstellar (Nolan); Philadelphia (Demme); Amores Perros, 21 Grams, and Birdman (González-Iñárritu ); Y Tú Mamá También, Children of Men, and Gravity (Cuarón); and more.
  • Textbook/primer
    Margo Kasdan, Christine Saxton, and Susan Tavernetti's The Critical Eye (3/e, Kendall-Hunt, 2002 or newer).
  • Secondary sources
    On electronic reserve.

Course requirements

Assigned readings and screenings; one short (approx. 5 pp.) critical essay; class presentation of the short essay; a (“greenlight”) term project; and, one article-length research essay.

Requirements fulfilled

Film genre, Later American, LSJE

ENGL 5370.001: Studies in Creative Writing (ONST)

Creative Writing Workshop - Poetry Writing

Day/Time

Instructor
Dr. Curtis Bauer

CRN

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

Description

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.

ENGL 5370.002: Studies in Creative Writing (ONST)

Fiction workshop

Day/Time
Wednesday 2:00-4:50

Instructor
Dr. Katie Cortese

CRN
15198

Description

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, students will write at least two stories that share 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.

Requirements

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 2014, edited by Jennifer Eagan.

Texts (tentative)

A very tentative reading list includes Lost in the City by Edward P. Jones, Normal People Don't Live Like This by Dylan Landis, Knockemstiff by Donald Ray Pollock, and Love Medicine by Louise Erdrich, along with On Writing Fiction: Rethinking Conventional Wisdom About the Craft by David Jauss, and assigned craft articles by writers such as Charles Baxter, Francine Prose, Jane Smiley, and others.

ENGL 5380.001: Advanced Problems in Literary Studies (ONST)

Many Tongues: Translating Middle English Literature

Day/Time
Wednesday 9:00-11:50

Instructor
Dr. Julie Nelson Couch (ONST)

CRN
33027

Description

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

Early British, Poetry genre, high proficiency language requirement, Medieval & Renaissance Studies (MSRC) graduate certificate.

ENGL 5380.003: Advanced Problems in Literary Studies (ONST)

Translation Theory and Workshop—Creative Writing: Prose

Day/Time
Tuesday 6:00-8:50

Instructor
Dr. Curtis Bauer

CRN
27709

Description

This course is cross-listed with CLT 5355, Studies in Comparative Literature. 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 of The Divine Comedy are 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 really heard Dante. 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

Comp Lit; CLGT concentration course.

ENGL 5390.001: Writing for Publication (ONST)

Literature/Linguistics Emphasis

Day/Time
Friday 9:00-11:50

Instructor
Dr. Kanika Batra

CRN
15389

Description

This research and writing intensive course focuses on publication strategies and avenues for graduate students in literature and linguistics. We will begin with an overview of leading print and on-line journals in various genres and periods, move on to a survey of literary and cultural studies scholarship (Michel Foucault, Edward Said, Partick Brantlinger, and Lauren Berlant, among others), and engage with the mechanics of transforming a seminar paper into a publishable article. Peer reviews will be a strong component of the course. All students will be required to demonstrate thorough knowledge of current scholarship in their areas.

Course requirements include:

  • An annotated bibliography of 7-10 recent books/articles in your area of interest
  • A 1500 word book review of a work published in the last 3 years
  • A conference paper abstract
  • A 5,000-7,000 word article with a clear idea of the journal in which you intend to place the article

ENGL 5390.003: Writing for Publication (ONST)

Creative Writing Emphasis

Day/Time
Friday 9:00-11:50

Instructor
Dr. Poch

CRN
24319

Description

The course is geared towards graduate students in creative writing in the third semester of the program, to prepare manuscripts for submission to professional journals, agents, and/or publishers in their genre. Writers will therefore enter the course with a body of work in progress in a particular genre. (In creative nonfiction and fiction, this might be two prose pieces. In poetry, this might be six to ten poems. The criteria will depend upon the particular writer and the status of MA or PhD).

As a secondary emphasis, the course will help writers to develop a working knowledge of the symbiotic relationship between writing and publishing in order to enable writers to find their individual voices and develop the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in the contemporary, ever-changing literary landscape. To succeed in the course, students must commit themselves to the individual refinement of existing creative work-in-progress and secondarily to developing skills at writing craft essays, book reviews, interviews, as well as query letters for magazine articles, and where appropriate, queries to agents and book publishers (though the latter primarily applies to PhD students.) Visiting writers will share their expertise with the class, as available. Students will therefore:

  1. Revise and edit a significant body of creative work for submission. This will be determined by the student and his/her faculty mentor (for the MA, the portfolio chair; for the PhD, the director or member of the committee).
  2. Find and assess apt journals in their particular genre for publishing their own work.
  3. Analyze craft essays, book reviews, and interviews in journals to discover what strategies work best for submitting to a specific journal.
  4. Practice effective peer review of other writers' work.
  5. Prepare creative work for submission; prepare a craft essay as well as a book review OR interview for submission.
  6. In some cases, prepare a query letter to a chapbook or book publisher, which will require the writer to cast a synopsis of the project. In addition, PhD students will begin to conceptualize a book-length project. This will involve researching publishers, competitive or complimentary titles, and preparing a synopsis.