Texas Tech University

Summer 2016 Seminars

Summer distance courses run over the Long Summer term (one ten-week term, rather than two five-week terms). We welcome graduate students from departments other than English, but they must contact Dr. Kanika Batra at english.gradadvisor@ttu.edu for permission to enroll (which will usually be granted unless there is a prerequisite or faculty permissions issue).

English 5324 D001: Language and Identity in Twentieth Century American Literature

Dr. Mary Jane Hurst
Summer 2016 Online
CRN 35508

This offering of English 5324 will focus on how American identities have been constructed through language and literature.  That means we'll take up questions such as these: How have American writers presented or created fictional American characters through their language?  What American sensibilities emerge through linguistic choices in fiction, non-fiction, and poetry?  How does language shape the twentieth century American experience in literature and in life? What makes twentieth century American literature distinctive?  What does it mean to be an American? 

 Over the semester we'll read, think, discuss, listen, and write our way through these and other key questions about twentieth century literature.  Although students will select some texts for their independent work, we are likely to read together classics by writers such as F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, or William Faulkner as well as more recent work by writers such as Chang-Rae Lee, Alice Walker, Rudolfo Anaya, or Louise Erdrich.

 Interested students from all programs within the English Department – and interested students from all other departments – are welcome in this course.

 Students in English 5324 will be expected to:

  • complete listening, reading, and writing assignments each week;
  • apply course concepts in a substantive paper investigating language in a work of fiction, poetry, drama, film, or nonfiction prose;
  • access materials online through the library and through Blackboard; and
  • participate in interactive discussions and presentations.

Because this is an online class, students will need reliable Internet access, and students' computers must be configured to use the university's official online learning platform, Blackboard. (Guides can be found at www.Blackboard.ttu.edu, and individualized, personal assistance is also available through IT Help Central.) Students will also need Skype, a free program that can be downloaded from the Internet, and a headset with microphone in order to use Skype effectively during group conversations.

This course will be offered in the long summer term, which is the ten-week period spanning both Summer I and Summer II.