Texas Tech University

Undergraduate Course Archive

Fall 2005 | 4000 Level

English 4300

Individual Studies in English


Course number normally used for individual/independent studies arranged between an English professor and a student. Students must have already completed a course with the instructor. The instructor is not obligated to agree to supervise the independent study. The student will normally have a topic in mind and will approach the instructor for feasibility. A form, which may be picked up in EN 211C, must be filled out and approved by the Chair of the English Department. The form is then delivered to 211C and the advisor enrolls the student. The teacher submits the grade to the Chair for posting.

English 4301
Section 001

Studies in Selected Authors
Vladimir Nabokov and the Art of Fiction

John Samson

We will focus our discussions on Vladimir Nabokov's art of fiction, which he described as giving "a sense of being connected with other states of being where art (curiosity, tenderness, kindness, ecstasy) is the norm." There we will find jokes, word games, wildly inventive narrative devices, and the most beautiful prose of the twentieth century.

English 4311
Section 001

Studies in Poetry
Medieval Romance: The Making of a Genre

Julie Nelson Couch

This course reintroduces students to a genre they may believe they know—romance. In the course, we begin with early medieval verse romances and the role they played in constructing aristocratic self-conceptions. We then trace the romance through its English manifestations with its less elite concerns about family and institutional religion. Students will then turn to romance verse in later centuries to see how the poems still entertain a relation to the generic traits of medieval romance.

Discussion topics will include: the relation between rhyme, meter, and thematic content; the romance construction of nobility and nationalism; the relation between history and romance, romance and realism. The generic features of romance, including the appeal of myth, the quest into the unknown, the acquisition of identity through adventure, the female as Other and as object, the interconnectedness of characters, the importance of material and social gain to the happy ending continued to shape verse narrative long after the Middle Ages. To make the connection between the medieval genre and modern narrative, I will draw students' attention to contemporary poetry collections, such as Wendy Mnookin's Guenever Speaks.

English 4313
Section 001

Studies in Fiction
The City in African-American Fiction

Michael Borshuk

This course will examine representations of the city in African American fiction from the Harlem Renaissance to the present. We will consider how African American writers construct the city in both real and imaginary ways: through a documentary impulse that strives for an “authentic” record of black urban lived experience, and a more speculative approach that represents the city as a site of collective memory, anxiety, and desire. While we will be attentive to black literary representations of urban space in general, our reading list will allow us to contemplate how African American writers represent specific American cities: New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Los Angeles.

English 4314
Section 001

Studies in Nonfiction
Geographies of American Literary History

Cristobal Silva

Our investigation into European colonial encounters with American geographies will draw from a broad cultural and historical cross-section. Our aim is to think through the political, theological, literary, and scientific formulae that helped to shape conceptions of space on the American continent, and to think about how the spatial experiences of colonial wilderness impacted upon early American identities. As a case in point, we will consider the inherent tensions of a process that gave legible shape to “nature” while itself claiming to mirror “natural” phenomena. At each moment of our investigation, we will test the limits of terms such as America, space, geography, nature, and exploration so that we may arrive at a better understanding of the relation between exploration narrative and cultural imaginings. We will supplement our primary readings of novels, essays, and journals with secondary sources, as we build our critical vocabularies, and situate our conversations within contemporary theoretical debates. Short writings, in-class presentations, and a term-paper.

English 4315
Section 001

Studies in Film
Films of the 70s

Michael Schoenecke

For the Fall 2005 term, we will focus on films of the seventies as well as the relationship between social history and our youngest art form. As we discuss these films, we will keep in mind what Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., in his lecture “Film and History: An Equivocal Relationship” posited: “Movies must have something to tell us not only about the surfaces but about the inner mysteries of American life. They must cast light on the way people seek meaning in daily existence, how they understand themselves, and their society and their destiny.” As Peter Lev accurately points out, we will notice that seventies films, as with any decade, often present conflicting visions of America. Students will be expected to complete three short papers, a final examination and a journal.

English 4321
Section 001

Studies in Literary Topics
A Clash of Civilizations?


Many have seen current tensions between the Arab world and the West as manifestation of Samuel Huntington's Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order. This course will use Huntington's thesis as a starting point; it will then turn to various arguments from both the political right and left that either engage Huntington's views or more broadly address America's role in the world in the context of the War on Terrorism. Underpinning our approach to all of these arguments will be an examination of each author's polemical purpose. What are the political implications of seeing the War on Terrorism as driven primarily by cultural conflict? What are the political implications of seeing it as driven primarily by economics? How do these positions imagine American empire and the deployment of its military and economic might?

Having explored and problematized several portrayals of the conflict between the Arab world and the West, we will also examine The 9/11 Commission Report, paying particular attention to the extent to which this official document employs Huntingtonian terms and comparing its discussion of Middle Eastern terrorism to its treatment of domestic terrorism.

English 4360
Section 001

Advanced Exposition

Rich Rice

Developing skills in rhetorical reading, writing, and thinking is a valuable pursuit in every discipline. In fact, rhetoric is at the center of what it means to be a member of any subculture or community, to be a citizen, and to be a conscientious consumer of media. Advanced Exposition is a course designed for advanced undergraduate students, especially pre-service teachers, who want to practice reading, writing, and thinking through expository writing with clarity and grace. Of special interest, students learn new media technologies and strategies for successful collaborative writing while composing personally meaningful documents.

English 4367
Section 001

Developing Instructional Materials

Kirk St. Amant

No description available.

English 4369
Section 001

Interaction Design

Craig Baehr

No description available.

English 4374
Section 001

Senior Seminar

Doug Crowell

No description available.

English 4374
Section 002

Senior Seminar

Wendell Aycock

English 4374, the Senior Seminar, should ideally involve several different goals for students at Texas Tech. First, it is a course that should put to the test the skills that students have been learning during the previous years. As English majors, seniors should have learned to read carefully and write effectively. One of the purposes of this course is therefore to refine and sharpen those skills. Creative thought about what one reads is important, and students will be asked to learn or relearn some of the critical skills currently being used in contemporary literary theories. Students will look at samples of famous and not-so-famous works of literature to see how they are being read nowadays. A related goal will be to spend some time reflecting about the nature of language and the art of writing. As English majors, seniors should have had an exceptional opportunity to learn to write. This course will also offer students a chance (before graduation) to learn about the reference materials available to them, materials that they may use time and again in future years. Another goal of this course involves looking forward to options available to seniors after graduation. Special guests to this class will be former English majors who are now engaged in particular jobs or pursuing other degrees.

English 4378

Internship in Technical Communication


Internship arranged with director of technical communication. Contact Dr. Thomas Barker - Thomas.Barker@ttu.edu, EN 363E, (806) 742-2500