Texas Tech University

Course Descriptions

Spring 2019

ENGL 5306: Studies In 17th Century British Literature

Dr. Ryan Hackenbracht
M 6:00-8:50 PM
CRN: 57468/57469 D

The Sacred State: Imagining Biblical Sovereignties in Milton's England Amid the recent immigration controversy in the United States, Attorney General Jeff Sessions quoted a passage from the Bible: “Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established” (Romans 13:1). Justifying the separation of children from their parents, Sessions used Paul's epistle to reinforce a notion of the government's sovereignty. A flurry of responses followed, from Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who confirmed that it is indeed “very biblical to enforce the law,” to talk show host Stephen Colbert, who pointed out that had Sessions read further, he would have encountered a verse that instructed, “love your neighbor as yourself” (13:9). Shocking though this sudden intrusion of religion into politics may be, in fact, the seventeenth-century writers who founded our modern society often used Paul's writings to imagine the limits of sovereign power—essentially, what a government can or cannot do. In this seminar, we will explore the origins of such Pauline political thinking in the works of John Milton, Thomas Hobbes, and their contemporaries. In the pre-secular world of Renaissance England, religion and politics went hand in hand, and the Bible was mined for its teachings on civil obedience and disobedience, godly rule versus tyranny, and the rights of citizens within the sacred state.

Over the semester, our readings will be divided between primary texts like Paradise Lost, Leviathan, and the Digger manifestos; theoretical texts by Giorgio Agamben, Slavoj Žižek, Wendy Brown, Alain Badiou, and other philosophers; biblical texts (i.e., Paul's epistles); and recent articles by scholars of seventeenth-century literature. Assignments will include: a 20-page research paper; an annotated bibliography; and a 15-min. conference-style presentation.

Requirements fulfilled: British Literature Course

ENGL 5373: Studies in Linguistics: Compositional Semantics

Dr. Min-Joo Kim
TR 12:30-1:50 PM
CRN: 57475/57476 D

The English sentence “Every man loves a woman” is ambiguous but its passive counterpart “A woman is loved by every man” is not. And this has something to do with how sentential meaning is derived based on the underlying syntactic structure. In this course, we examine how sentential meaning is computed in a compositional manner because of the way the words and phrases comprising a sentence combine with each other, by using Gottlob Frege's (1892) theory as the point of departure. In addition, we will be looking at how context and world knowledge plays a role in linguistic meaning, i.e., the relation between semantics and pragmatics.

ENGL 5390: Writing For Publication

Dr. Alison Rukavina
W 6:00-8:50 PM
CRN: 57479/50212 D

English 5390 aims to provide graduate students in literature and linguistics with the knowledge necessary to able to write, revise, and submit their writing to scholarly journals and alternative academic venues for publication. Students will learn how to locate and assess journals, maintain their own writing style, write a book review, present a conference presentation, and prepare a scholarly article for submission to a peer-reviewed journal.

ENGL 5392: Teaching College Literature

Dr. Marjean Purinton
R 6:00-8:50 PM
CRN: 32586/57478 D

This course examines theories, challenges, problems, and pedagogies of teaching literary students at the collegiate level. Its focus is both theoretical and practical. Although this course credentials PhD students to teach 2000-level courses in the English Department at Texas Tech University, it enriches the pedagogical capabilities for all classroom instructors of literature. In addition to reflection essays addressing theoretical matters, we will create practical documents useful to delivering a literature class: course descriptions, learning outcomes activities and assessments, class syllabi. We will observe colleagues who are teaching literature classes and reflect on their praxis. We will present mock mini-lessons to our classmates. We will construct a teaching philosophy. In short, this class will serve the practical and reflective needs of classroom teachers.

Requirements fulfilled: Professional Development