Texas Tech University

Spring 5000 Level

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

MRST 5301: Methods in Medieval and Renaissance Studies

Dr. Julie Nelson Couch
Tuesdays 6:00-8:50 PM (ONST)
CRN: 45757

Description
This course introduces students to the scholarship of medieval and renaissance studies. We will examine how different academic disciplines, ranging from art and music to history and literature, analyze and interpret the post-classical, pre-modern past. This goal will be achieved largely through talks given by faculty from across the university concerning their own medieval and renaissance-related research areas. Students will also be introduced to resources available at Texas Tech University for the study of the Middle Ages and the Early Modern Period. Students will engage directly in archival research, transcriptions, and printing projects that will give them first-hand experience with relevant research methods and areas of research.

Additional Assignments
Exam, Oral Presentation, Book Review, Research Paper.

Requirements fulfilled
British literature; Methods Requirement; Medieval and Renaissance Studies Certificate

ENGL 5303: Studies in Medieval Literature

Camelot and Gomorrah: The Poems of the Pearl Poet

Dr. Julie Nelson Couch
Mondays 2:00-4:50 PM (ONST)
CRN: 49653

Prerequisite: English 5380, Translating Middle English, Fall 2014.

Description

This course will introduce 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 of 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. In this course, 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, ideological concerns which underlie these narratives. We may consider how the poet uses rhetorical ideas of play and game to structure all four poems. We will also consider how the manuscript context shapes the reception of these remarkable poems. To that end, we will examine the digital facsimile of the London BL MS Cotton Nero A.x. in order to consider the ways in which the Pearl poet engages with his reader on the manuscript page.

Assignments

Research project, oral presentation, conference-length paper, annotated bibliography.

Primary Text

Andrew, Malcolm and Ronald Waldron, eds.

Requirements fulfilled

British literature; Poetry Genre; Medieval and Renaissance Studies Certificate

ENGL 5306 Death, Sex, and God: Renaissance Poetry from Shakespeare to Milton

Dr. Ryan Hackenbracht
Tuesdays 2:00-4:50 PM (ONST)
CRN: 32350

Description

This course surveys English Renaissance poetry c. 1600-1700 with a focus on major authors, literary forms, and historical events. Over the course of the semester, we will become familiar with the works of Shakespeare, Donne, Milton, and others as well as the historical events that informed their writings. Our discussions will cover seventeenth-century debates on gender and proto-feminism, colonialism and the New World, social justice and religious violence, the “new science” and Galileo's heliocentric universe, and the conflict with Roman Catholicism.

Our primary objective will be to explore the formal aspects of Renaissance poetry: how do these poets try to surpass their literary predecessors? How do themes like unrequited love, carpe diem (“seize the day”), and ars moriendi (“the art of dying”), evolve over time? We will learn about a wide range of poetic genres and modes, including epic, lyric, elegy, and pastoral. We will also consider, what relevance do these authors have for us today, in a world shaped by 9/11, same-sex marriage debates, and “green” environmental ethics?

The course also introduces you to major aspects of academic professionalism, including the article-writing process, delivering conference papers, and navigating the job market.

Texts

Shakespeare (sonnets and minor epics); Donne (select poems); Herbert, The Temple; Herrick, Hesperides; Marvell (select poems); Milton, Paradise Lost

Requirements fulfilled

British; Poetry Genre; Medieval and Renaissance Studies Certificate

English 5309: Studies in Nineteenth-Century British Literature

Essential Romanticism

Dr. Marjean D. Purinton
Wednesdays 2:00-4:50 PM (ONST)
CRN: 54254

Description

Even if you do not teach or write about British Romanticism, you need to be familiar with the major influential texts because they have significantly shaped modern and post-modern literary expression. This course is, therefore, a survey of “essential” Romantic period texts, thought, culture, and history. You will be amazed at the connections you see between Romanticism and contemporary work, both critical and creative.

The British Romantic era (1780-1830) was marked by disturbing and exciting changes. The American and French Revolutions altered the ways we have come to think about human rights and individualism. The Industrial Revolution destabilized class hierarchies and defined the modern work ethic, timed labor, and leisure time. Machines replaced human labor, and the market economy was initiated. We will find gender trouble everywhere as unlikely combinations of medicine and theatre, science and novels, the natural supernatural and poetry challenged Enlightenment thinking about what it meant to be a man or a woman. Women writers struggled but entered the public spheres. Education, its curricula, pedagogies, and access, was undergoing remarkable reform. Geography was reshaped by explorations, colonialism, and commercialism.

The very fabric of society was being ripped apart and rewoven with new threads. Late Georgian households reflected their obsessions with all things oriental, carnivalesque, and exotic at the same time their preoccupations with gaming, reading, and dining. Revolutions in literary expression accompanied iconoclastic thinking. The subject matter and the delivery of literature changed radically during this time, setting the stage for subsequent experiments and innovations in literary forms, content, and styles. It is, for example, the period of the Gothic and the beginnings of science fiction.

Come and read old favorites in a new context and read texts you may not have encountered before that are instrumental in breaking barriers for modern and post-modern work.

Texts may include

William Blake's Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience; Visions of the Daughters of Albion, and The Marriage of Heaven and Hell; William Wordsworth's Lyrical Ballads (from both the 1798 and 1800 editions) and Poems in Two Volumes (1807); Samuel Taylor Coleridge's “This Lime-Tree Bower My Prison”; “Rime of the Ancient Mariner” (both the 1798 and 1817 editions); “Kubla Khan”; “Christabel”; “Frost at Midnight”; “Dejection: An Ode”; “The Nightingale”; George Gordon, Lord Byron's Manfred and Don Juan; Joanna Baillie's De Monfort; Percy Bysshe Shelley's “Ozymandias”; “Sonnet: England in 1819”; “The Mask of Anarchy”; “Ode to the West Wind”; “To a Sky-Lark”; “A Defense of Poetry”;Felicia Hemans's Records of Women; Charlotte Smith's Beachy Head; John Keats's Odes and Sonnets; “The Eve of St. Agnes”; “La Belle Dame sans Merci”; “Lamia”; Hannah More's Village Politics and Cheap Repository Tracts; Mary Robinson's Lyrical Tales; Jane Austen's Lady Susan; The History of Mary Prince, A West Indian Slave, Related by Herself; Thomas DeQuincey's Confessions of an English Opium Eater.

Requirements

Our learning activities will enable you to pursue the thread of Romanticism that is of greatest interest to you. We will generate primary-source documented essays, one of which will be expanded and augmented with secondary materials for the final project. From these writing activities, you might have a nearly completed conference paper or even a potential publication. You will write a review of an extra-literary source relevant to your interests, and you will share an oral form of that review with the seminar. We will enjoy ample amounts of provocative discussion and fun.

Because my scholarship and my pedagogy are informed by feminist theory, you will encounter a learning environment with de-centralized authority and an invitation to participate in your own learning/discovery process.

Requirements fulfilled

British literature; Poetry Genre

ENGL 5320:Studies in Seventeenth- and Eighteenth-Century American Literature

Slavery, Capitalism and Performance in 5 Colonial Cities

Dr. Daniel Hutchins
Thursdays 2:00-4:50 PM (HYBR)
CRN: 54224 and CRN: 54350

Description

In this course we'll interrogate slavery, capitalism, and performance practices in five cities of the colonial Americas: New York, New Orleans, Mexico City, Port-au-Prince and Rio de Janeiro. Our archive will range from various “ceremonies of possession” conducted by Europeans in the earliest days of colonization to the creation of republican publics in the U.S., Haiti, and Brazil during the revolutionary period of the late eighteenth century and early nineteenth century. We'll examine how collective acts of resistance, especially to slavery, took on powerful dimensions when they succeeded in transforming group identity.

In addition to a rich archive of primary texts from Native American, European, Anglo-American, Creole, and Afro-Caribbean literary and performative traditions, this course will introduce students to the issues and methodologies of the emerging field of performance studies as a mode of analysis. Performance Studies is a great lens for discussing, practicing, and analyzing communication – both intra- and inter-personally. In the field of early American literary studies, more scholars are utilizing the practices of performance theory to understand how writers (and performers) of various stripes created and shaped the Americas.

Requirements fulfilled

American literature; Drama/Non-Fiction Genre; Literature, Social Justice, Environment

ENGL 5324: Studies in Twentieth-Century American Literature

US Latin@ Experience: Exiles and Immigrants

Dr. Cordelia Barrera
Wednesdays 6:00-8:50 PM (ONST)
CRN: 49658

Description

In this class, we will approach the study of immigration, migration and displacement as recurrent themes in US Latin@ Literature by focusing on social, political and cultural literature and history dating from 1848, and the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe. We will begin with the early 20thcentury feminist text, Caballero, and move through texts by Américo Paredes (With a Pistol in His Hand), Junot Díaz (Oscar Wao), and Luis Alberto Urrea (The Devil's Highway) to discuss various landscapes of “belonging” via postcolonial, ecocritical and feminist theories. As we move into the 21st century, we will broaden our study of Latin@ struggles of resistance and accommodation to include self-imposed exiles wrought by the War on Drugs on the US borderlands (Down the Rabbit Hole by Villalobos) and postmodern identities (Bellatín's Beauty Shop) to embrace contemporary Latin@ authors who continue to transform the face of American Literature with postmodern works.

Requirements fulfilled

American literature; Fiction Genre; Literature, Social Justice, Environment

ENGL 5327: Studies in Multicultural American Literature

Indigenous Futurism

Dr. Sara Spurgeon
Thursdays 9:30 AM-12:20 PM (ONST)
CRN: 51679

Description

This course will look at the burgeoning field of Indigenous Futurism, that is literature and film produced by Native American/First Nations people working in the genres of science fiction, fantasy, alternative history/slipstream, and speculative fiction and film. We will be looking especially at how sovereign native nations get imagined in such works, and the ways in which tribal authors and filmmakers work against mainstream assumptions about “primitive” natives vs. technologically advanced EuroAmericans.

A tentative list of authors/directors includes: Gerald Vizenor, Martin Cruz Smith, William Sanders, Nalo Hopkinson, Zainab Amadahy, Daniel Heath Justice, the anthologies Walking the Clouds: An Anthology of Indigenous Science Fiction and Moonshot: The Indigenous Comics Collection, as well as Toa Fraser's film The Dead Lands, Nanobah Becker's The Sixth World, and others.

Requirements fulfilled

American literature; Fiction Genre; Literature, Social Justice, Environment

ENGL 5351: Studies in Film and Literature

Political Art Manifestos & Latin American Cinema Dr. Scott Baugh

Tuesdays 9:30 AM-12:20 PM (ONST)
CRN: 32443

Description

This seminar will use the NLAC as a case study for political art manifestos. In this seminar, we will begin with a concise introduction to film/media studies, multiple literacies, and discursive-methodological strategies most applicable to our seminar topic and to our potential term research projects; with a sharp learning curve, we will survey notable manifesto and film examples from “New Latin American Cinema” film culture. By conjecturing what happened to the NLAC since the late 1980s—especially surrounding emerging technologies and media (including internet-based media, progressive information-communication technologies (ICTs), mobile telephony, and more), and given developmentalist economic theories, globalization, transnational cultural trends, and neoliberal policies—we will expand the topic to cover a range of relationships among the manifesto as a genre and political-activist expression, specifically considering “political arts.” Most group activities and in-class discussions will focus on the New Latin American Cinema example, where we will survey cinema history and aesthetic traditions, practice analytical reading skills, and also explore and identify significant aspects of our American culture; yet, formal assignments will aim toward honing and developing around individual research and teaching interests that correlate with these topics perhaps more broadly. Participants in this seminar are encouraged to use our examples of the NLAC to find research projects on manifestos, art, and political activism more generally that relate most directly with their own emerging research agendas and professional interests.

Readings may include

Primary texts/movies: The Hour of the Furnaces (1965-1968); Memories of Underdevelopment (1968); En el Balcón Vacío (1961); Barren Lives (1963); Black God and White Devil (1964); The Guns (1964); Reed: Mexico Insurgente (1970); The Courage of the People (1971); The Traitors (1973); The Official Story (1984); Solanas' Sur (1988); community-based videos 1987-present sponsored by Vídeo nas Aldeias/Video in the Villages (VNA); ChasquiNet community-based videos (1998-present).

Primary texts/manifestos: Solanas and Getino's “Towards a Third Cinema”; Fernando Birri's “Cinema and Underdevelopment” (1967); Julio García Espinosa's “For an Imperfect Cinema” (1970); Glauber Rocha's “The Aesthetics of Hunger” (1965) and “Down with Populism” (1965); El Grupo de Nuevo Cine's 1961 untitled manifesto; the Chilean collective Unidad Popular & Miguel Littin's “Filmmakers and the Popular Government” (1970); El Grupo Cine de la Base's “Nota” (1973); the collective Ukamau (Aymara for “the way it is”) & Jorge Sanjinés' “Problems of Form and Content in Revolutionary Cinema” (1979); Tomás Gutierrez Alea's “The Viewer's Dialectic” (1982); Sanjinés' “The Integral Sequence Shot” (1989); Los Superocheros group, including Sergio García's argument for a “Fourth Cinema” (1973) and the collaborative manifesto “8mm Versus 8 Million”(1972); Birri's “For a Filmmaker of Three Worlds in the Year 2000” (1986); CEFREC-CAIB's “La Otra Mirada Vídeo” (2000); Video nas Aldeias/Video in the Villages' Um Olhar Indígena / Through Indian Eyes (1987-2006); Chasquinet's “State of the Art” (2005).

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. Articles by Zuzana Pick, Patricia Aufderheide, Julianne Burton, Robert Stam, John King, Ana López, B. Ruby Rich, Michael Chanan.

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

American literature; Film and Media Studies; Literature, Social Justice, Environment

ENGL 5352: Studies in Fiction

Domestic Fabulism in Classic and Contemporary Fiction

Dr. Katie Cortese
Mondays 9:00 -11:50 AM (ONST)
CRN: 54222

Description

This course will center on reading and analyzing works of “domestic fabulism,” a new term for an old genre that contemporary fiction writer Amber Sparks calls “Kansas with a twist.” Beginning with classic works of surrealism, magical realism, and fabulism, we will eventually come to focus on the way contemporary authors both in the United States and internationally have come to interpret, practice, and remake the genre in the 20thand 21stcenturies. Under investigation will be the genre's conventions, techniques, effects, challenges, and the relationship of the works under study to a variety of readerships, cultures, political climates, social constraints, world events, and other subjects as they arise. The secondary focus of the course involves the application of assigned and presentation-related secondary sources to the works under discussion.

Requirements

Assignments will include five short responses (1-3 pgs) to the required texts, presenting and leading a discussion on one of the assigned works, reviewing a recently published work of domestic fabulism, and either writing a researched seminar paper of 10-15 pages concerning the tradition and evolution of the genre or writing a short work of domestic fabulism (10-15 pgs) accompanied by a brief critical introduction (3-5 pgs).

Texts

A very tentative reading list includes selected works by Nikolai Gogol and Jorge Luis Borges, as well as Franz Kafka's The Metamorphosis, Italo Calvino's The Baron in the Trees, Gabriel Garcia Marquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude, Isabelle Allende's The House of the Spirits, Salman Rushdie's Midnight's Children, Steven Millhauser's The Barnum Museum, Octavia Butler's Bloodchild, George Saunders' Pastoralia, Aimee Bender's The Girl in the Flammable Skirt, Helen Oyeyemi's The Icarus Girl, Karen Russell's St. Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves, Kevin Wilson's Tunneling to the Center of the Earth, and The Last Illusion by Porochista Khakpour. Works of criticism include Ordinary Enchantments: Magical Realism and the Remystification of Narrative by Wendy B. Faris, as well as assigned book reviews, articles, and student-generated presentation materials.

Requirements fulfilled

Fiction Genre; American literature

ENGL 5353: Studies in Poetry

Poetic Form and Theory: The Lyric

Dr. Bill Wenthe
Wednesdays 2:00-4:50 PM (ONST)
CRN: 32445

Description

This course will selectively survey the lyric in English, ranging from Old English to contemporary poetry. The aim is to develop a deeper understanding of how poems are made, and why they're made that way, both synchronically and diachronically. I intend this course to be of use to specialists in poetry, as well as non-specialists—since many of you will be called upon to teach poetry in your future jobs. Our inquiry will braid three strands of study: typological, historical, and theoretical. This means we will examine major types of meter and free verse; and we will examine the historical development of a particular verse form (such as the sonnet) and a particular theme (the elegy, the poetry of grief). We will also examine the largely negected yet provocative connection between contemporary theory and poetic form.

Expect to read, if not voluminously, then very closely in a wide range of work; expect to present oral reports; and to write a series of shorter written assignments and a longer research paper suitable for development as a conference paper or article.

Requirements fulfilled

Poetry Genre; British literature

ENGL5355: Studies in Comparative Literature

Theories, Methods, and Issues

Dr. Yuan Shu
Tuesdays 2:00-4:50 PM (ONST)
CRN: 53179

Description

This course investigates comparative literature not only as a discipline but also as methodology and critical theory. We begin by examining the history and the changing definitions of comparative literature in relation to area studies and American studies in the U.S. context on the one hand, and by focusing on the paradigm shifts from the European and American models to the multicultural and postcolonial ones during the past three decades on the other. Specifically, we explore the debate on comparative literature as world literature, the connection between comparative literature and globalization studies, and the new critical role that translation theory has played in informing and reshaping the discipline. We conclude by rethinking comparativism in relation to new modes of reading that vary from “surface reading” to “distant reading” and by reimagining our humanity and post-humanity against the background of the rise of the rest and the post-American world.

Requirements fulfilled

Comparative literature; Non-Fiction Genre; Methods Requirement

ENGL 5339: Phonology


Dr. Aaron Braver
Mondays and Wednesdays 6:00-7:20 PM (ONST)
CRN: 49661

Previous background in linguistics or phonology is not a prerequisite for enrollment in this course.

Description

Why is "blik" a possible word of English, but not "bnik"? Why can we have [tl] in the middle of a word (e.g., "butler"), but not at the start or the end? (And how come some languages, like the modern Aztec language Nahuatl, are perfectly content with [tl]-final words?)

This course provides an overview of the field of phonology—how languages organize, represent, and manipulate their sounds. We will begin by discussing the sounds of the world's languages and their articulatory, acoustic, and distributional properties. We will examine why some sounds are allowed in certain parts of a word but not others, and how sounds change based on their surroundings.

Both linguists and non-linguists are encouraged to join this course. Knowledge of sound patterns has important applications across disciplines, including literature, creative writing and poetry, and technical communication. If you have ever wondered how the sounds of language work—or how to manipulate them for various effects—this course will be of interest to you.

Requirements fulfilled

Linguistics; Language Requirement; Methods Requirement

ENGL 5334: History of the English Language

Who Owns English? Authority in a Worldwide Language

Dr. Brian McFadden
Wednesdays 6:00-8:50 PM (ONLN)
CRN: 49659

Description

We will be examining the history and development of the English language from its origins in Anglo-Saxon England through the high Middle Ages and the Early Modern period to Modern English and issues and controversies of the present day; this entails studying the internal history, external history, and the development of its morphology, phonology, semantics, and syntax, in addition to an examination of orality and literacy and the effects of developing methods of textual production on the language. We will also be reading short pieces written at different times through English history (e.g. Ælfric, 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.

Requirements

The requirements will be 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;plusadditional reading assignments via Dropbox.

Requirements fulfilled

British literature; Non-Fiction Genre; Language Requirement

ENGL 5370: Studies in Creative Writing

Nonfiction Workshop

Dr. Dennis Covington
Mondays 2:00-4:50 PM (ONST)
CRN 32542

Description

This course will center on a frank and supportive discussion of student work. Participants will be expected to produce three pieces of narrative nonfiction varying in length from 1500 to 5000 words, depending on the assignment, and to provide copies of the pieces for distribution to the other members of the workshop. There will also be minor in-class and out-of-class assignments.

Texts

Will be announced at a later date

Requirements fulfilled

Non-Fiction Genre; Creative Writing

ENGL 5370: Studies in Creative Writing

Poetry Workshop

Dr. William Wenthe
Fridays 2:00-4:50 PM (ONST)
CRN: 54310

Description

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). I will provide a reading list of poems and critical writings; and students, too, are encouraged to bring their own interests and concerns to the table—offering poems or articles, if you wish. 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 the two focuses are connected. We will pit fun against mortality, on the field of the page.

Requirements

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. Expect to submit a new poem or major revision every other week at least.

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 (william.wenthe@ttu.edu ), along with your contact information, for permission to enroll.

Requirements fulfilled

Poetry Genre; Creative Writing

ENGL 5370: Studies in Creative Writing

VoiceDriven and Urgent: Contemporary Young Adult Fiction Workshop

Dr. Jackie Kolosov-Wenthe
Thursdays 2:00-4:50 PM (ONST)
CRN 32540

Description

Young adult fiction is a thriving part of publishing and includes genres such as historical fiction, coming-of-age narratives, fantasy, paranormal, romance and literary fiction, as well as some combination or hybrid of the above. Although YA authors primarily aim their novels at teens, adults continue read these books for their voice-driven narratives and the issues with which they wrestle as well as the questions about what it means to be human and how to find a place in this volatile, ever-changing world. In this workshop, we will begin by reading short stories written for teens (primarily but not exclusively found in OneTeenStory), in the process defining and distinguishing this genre from the contemporary literary short story. After trying our hands at writing a short story for a YA readership, we will direct our primary energies at discussing and exploring the facets of a successful YA novel.

Requirements

There will be weekly craft discussions of and assignments centered on character development, point of view, dialogue, voice, beginnings, plotting, endings, and strategies for revision. Each discussion and assignment will be augmented by readings from a range of current YA novelists such as Nina LaCour, John Green, Libba Bray, Jennifer Donnelly, Margo Rabb, Stephen Chbosky, and Nova Ren Suma. Along with a short story, participants will write 6-8 chapters of a YA novel (some 60-80 pages) and an outline, and each writer's work-in-progress will be critiqued throughout the semester with the aim of finding the most powerful way to tell his/her story.

Requirements fulfilled

Fiction Genre; Creative Writing

ENGL 5380: Advanced Problems in Literary Studies

Religious and Secular Enchantment in Contemporary Literature

Dr. Roger McNamara
Tuesdays 6:00-8:50 PM (ONLN)
CRN 32566

Description

In The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism (published in 1905), Max Weber argued that the rise of secularism resulted in a “disenchanted” world. In other words, secularism—through the instrumental use of reason, a rational bureaucracy, and science—transformed a world dominated by religion and filled with mystery, awe, and magic into one that was objective. The world could now be understood on the basis of science and reason and molded to suit human purposes.

While some have celebrated living in a disenchanted world and others have lamented it, contemporary critics are exploring how enchantment can help resolve some of the major problems of our time. Two of these are the continued march of an impersonal and dehumanizing global capitalism and the upsurge of religious fundamentalism. While writers and intellectuals of a religious persuasion have been examining how enchantment can provide an alternative to both, non-religious critics have recently begun to argue that secularism and science can also be the basis for “re-enchanting” the world.

In this class, we will explore secular and religious enchantment in contemporary literature across the world. This includes works by Marilynne Robinson and Paul Elie (North America), Amitav Ghosh and Michael Ondaatje (Asia), and Zakes Mda and Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie (Africa). We will supplement these literary texts with theoretical material by intellectuals like Talal Asad, Jane Bennett, William Connolly, George Levine, Bruce Robbins, etc.

Requirements fulfilled

Comparative literature; Non-Fiction Genre

ENGL 5380: Advanced Problems in Literary Studies

“Soul/Post-Soul”: African American Literature, Popular Culture and Civil Rights, 1960-2000

Dr. Michael Borshuk
Wednesdays 9:00-11:50 AM (ONST)
CRN 32565

Description

Writing of connections between African American literature and grassroots civil rights activity in 1968, the black intellectual Hoyt Fuller announced: “The black revolt is as palpable in letters as it is in the streets.” Indeed, the 1960s and 70s are commonly remembered as a period in which African American progressive politics, literary expression, and popular culture complemented each other in an organic network of collective action and racial pride. However, as cultural critic and journalist Nelson George has argued, by the late 1970s, African American culture—at least in its various popular manifestations—had entered a “post-soul” period, in which the assertive Afrocentrism of the civil rights era had diminished or vanished from view. Expanding on George's claim, Mark Anthony Neal opens up the term “post-soul” to describe, in his own words, “the political, social and cultural experiences of the African-American community since the end of the civil rights and the Black Power movements” more broadly. As Neal writes, the “post-soul” period offers a “radical reimagining of the contemporary African-American experience, attempting to liberate contemporary interpretations of that experience from sensibilities that were formalized and institutionalized during earlier social paradigms.” Thus, for example, in the move from the “soul” era to the post-soul, essentialist notions of blackness give way to less stable (and often progressively ironized) visions of black identity.

This course will compare two generations of African American writers and artists to consider the soul/post-soul shift that George and Neal map. We will consider aesthetic differences between these two periods, with special attention to the relationship between African American art and politics in the final decades of the twentieth century. As well, we will consider the commodification of “soul” and blackness in popular culture between the 1960s and the present, attentive to how this commodification complicates the idealized vision of black cultural revolution described by figures like Hoyt Fuller. While this is primarily a course in African American literature and intellectual trends, we will also look in detail at various popular culture phenomena, including the blaxploitation film genre, the birth and rise of hip-hop culture, and changes in African American television programming between the 1970s and the 1980s.

Requirements fulfilled

American literature; Poetry Genre; Non-Fiction Genre; Literature, Social Justice, Environment

ENGL 5380: Pirates, Thieves, and Villains

Publishing and Book Piracy in the nineteenth century


Dr. Alison Rukavina
Mondays 6:00-8:50 PM (HYBR)
CRN: 54223 and CRN: 54349

Description

The fear of book piracy was pervasive in the nineteenth century as British and American publishers and authors regarded piracy—the reprinting of books without the consent of either the author or publisher—as a problem that threatened the industry. In the British and colonial press the pirates were typically described as American, while the American press identified the culprits as Canadian. The fear of book piracy spread as debate raged on both sides of the Atlantic regarding who was to blame and what were the solutions to illegal reprinting.

The course will begin with case studies of both American and British unauthorized reprinting, through which we will gain an overview of the scope of the illegal reprint trade and British, imperial, and American copyright law in the nineteenth century. We will also look at Charles Dickens' failed campaign in the 1840s and 1850s to stop the piracy of his works in the United States. Publishers devised various stratagems for countering the pirates, which we will also examine in the course, like pairing British authors with American co-authors, selective editing for specific markets, and producing cheap series for British and colonial readers. We will also look at how this scourge directly affected the shape and content of novels by authors like Charles Dickens and Mark Twain. For instance, Martin Chuzzlewit's anti-Americanism reflected Charles Dickens' anger with American reprinters and legislators who disagreed with his call for copyright reform. Finally, we will ponder some of the same questions and issues that the American, British, and colonial trades debated in the nineteenth century: was reprinting actually piracy, what constituted an original work of literature, at what point did a reader's rights triumph an author's or publisher's rights, and would an international copyright law stop unauthorized reprinting?

Requirements fulfilled

British literature; Non-Fiction Genre; Book History

ENGL 5392: Teaching College Literature


Dr. Marjean Purinton
Fridays 9:00- 11:50 AM (ONST)
CRN: 32586

Description

This course is for doctoral students who wish to teach college literature. We begin with an overview of theoretical issues (theories and problems of teaching college literature), but move quickly to actual praxis. Students in this course make teaching a conscious practice by reflecting, in discussion and writing, on what we do in the literature-based classroom. Students will construct lesson plans, make assignments, grade essays, and visit classrooms of other college literature instructors. Finally, students will practice-teach texts selected for sophomore classes at TTU, discuss the strengths of our pedagogical strategies, listen to commentary from our fellow teachers, and prepare syllabi for future classroom use. Ultimately, the course should prepare students to search for faculty positions as highly-trained teachers of English.

Requirements fulfilled

Pedagogy

Program links

Helpful links

Contact

Dr. Kanika Batra
Director / Advisor
Graduate Studies in Literature, Creative Writing and Linguistics
ENG/PHIL Rm. 206
806.834.8984

About the area

picture of campus

Lubbock is the "Hub City" of west Texas, eastern New Mexico and western Oklahoma--the center of commerce and culture for a giant swath of the sunny southwest.

  • 263 days of sun each year
  • Altitude: 3,000 feet
  • Average high temp: 80.1º F
  • Average low temp: 52.3º F
  • Population: 220,000