Spring 2017 Courses
Campus Map - the English/Philosophy building is #46, located in D1
ENGL 2305: Introduction to Poetry
ENGL 2305: Introduction to Poetry (Honors)
Dr. John Poch
This course is a TTU Honors level course which will explore mostly Modern and Contemporary American (some British) poetry. We will consider various movements from the beginnings of Modernism to present day.
ENGL 2305: Introduction to Poetry (Distance) - Readings in Contemporary Poetic Form
The poet Marianne Moore famously wrote, "I, too, dislike it..." with "it" being poetry. And though a cliché, "We dislike what we cannot understand" seems to convey the sentiment of many students engaging with poetry for the first time. But what if poetry adhered to a set of rules and wasn't so hard to pin down? What if poetry was more "manageable"? Robert Frost likened free verse poetry to playing tennis without the net, suggesting that there is a certain challenge (and perhaps respect) in writing within a prescribed poetic form. And yet, what poetic form does a poem like e.e. cummings "l(a" adhere to? What about Carolyn Forché's "The Colonial"? If a poem doesn't fit within a prescribed form, does it cease to be poetry? In this class we will begin to dislike poetry less and begin to not only understand poetry, poetic forms, and poetic language but also begin to appreciate poetry in its richness and range, encompassing everything from realizing "so much depends upon a red wheelbarrow" to imagining the hands of Eric Gardner "put[ting] gently into the earth some plants..." This course will focus on contemporary poems with a sprinkling of Western canonical writers but is designed with the intention of exposing students to a wide range of poets across many cultural perspectives, because, as Moore's poem continues, "Reading it, however, with a perfect contempt for it, one discovers in it after all, a place for the genuine." We will read, discuss, challenge, think critically, respond and, of course, write in both an asynchronous (self-paced) and synchronous (live/real time) online weekly environment. Assignments may include analysis papers, weekly participation and short analysis responses, class discussion lead, quizzes, etc. This course is reading, thinking, and writing intensive. This course also fulfills Texas Tech's Core Curriculum Humanities requirement.
ENGL 2306: Introduction to Drama
Dr. Marliss Desens
ENGL 2307: Introduction to Fiction
ENGL 2307: Introduction to Fiction (Distance) - Readings in Contemporary Magical Realism and Domestic Fabulism
Magical realism is synonymous with much of Latin American literature, with Gabriel Garcia Marquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude representative as a seminal text. Marquez is also known to have read the first line of Franz Kafka's "The Metamorphosis"-"As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams he found himself transformed in his bed into a gigantic insect."-before falling out of bed and uttering, "You can do that?!" Of course, we don't know the veracity of this anecdote-if he fell out of bed or uttered that sentence first-but writers have not only been doing that but, more recently, in North America, writers like Kelly Link, Karen Russell, and Aimee Bender have been writing what is being defined as "domestic fabulism" and stretching the definition and potential of contemporary literary fiction. And what do we mean by "magical" and "domestic," "realism" and "fabulism"? What might be considered "magical" in one culture might be the everyday in another. In this class, we will read many examples of contemporary literary fiction to not only become more familiar with this kind of writing in a global sense but also to arrive at a better understanding of both literary modes through its craft, myriad definitions, and worldviews afforded us through such diverse writing. That is, do we accept the current definitions of magical realism and domestic fabulism? Do we want to challenge and amend them? We will read, discuss, challenge, think critically, respond, and, of course, write in both asynchronous (self-paced) and synchronous (live/real time) online weekly environment. Assignments may include analysis papers, weekly participation and short analysis responses, reading quizzes, class discussion lead, etc. This course is reading, thinking, and writing intensive. This course also fulfills Texas Tech University's Core Curriculum Humanities requirement.
ENGL 2307: Introduction to Fiction
Dr. Alison Rukavina
The purpose of this course is to provide students with an introduction to the literary interpretation and analysis of fiction: to determine what details in a text are significant, to find and develop topics from the text, and to write analytical essays.
This section of English 2307 will be exploring themes of "the monstrous and mysterious" in Frankenstein, Jekyll and Hyde, The Hound of the Baskerville, and other texts this spring.
ENGL 2307.012: Introduction to Fiction - Graphic Novels
To say that comic book characters have entered mainstream culture would be an understatement. Adaptations and merchandising for Marvel and Detective Comics (DC) has created billion-dollar revenue streams for these corporations (owned by Disney and Warner Brothers, respectively), while independent publishers are receiving television and film deals. While adaptations informs a section of this course, comic books—whether digital or analog—constitute an important component in these companies' culture-building business.
In this course, we will study several genres within graphic novels: superhero, revisionist superhero, fiction, young adult, and Western. The course may include the following:
- selected theoretical essays on comic book composition and reception
- Mark Millar and Steve McNiven, Civil War (Marvel, 2006-7)
- Anthony and Joe Russo, Captain America: Civil War (Marvel, 2016)
- Mark Millar, Dave Johnson, and Kilian Plunkett, Superman: Red Son (DC Comics, 2003)
- Will Eisner, A Contract with God and Other Tenement Stories (Baronet Book, 1978)
- Gene Luen Yan, American Born Chinese (First Second Books, 2006)
- Faith Erin Hicks, Friends with Boys (First Second Books, 2012)
- Kelly Sue DeConnick and Emma Ríos, Pretty Deadly (Image, 2014)
- student-chosen monthly comic book
Assessment models will include intensive classroom participation, online journal entries, student-run discussion, short analytical essays, and a term paper. This course fulfills Texas Tech University's Core Curriculum Humanities requirement.
ENGL 2308: Introduction to Nonfiction
Dr. Sara Spurgeon
In this class, we will develop your critical thinking, reading, and writing skills through close examination and analysis of a variety of nonfiction texts, including book length memoir, long form journalism, op-ed opinion pieces, personal essay, full-length scholarly essays, and a non-fiction film. The class will involve a significant amount of classroom participation, including participating in class discussions, offering advice and feedback to classmates, and giving two class presentations. This course fulfills the Humanities requirement for Texas Tech's Core Curriculum, as well as the sophomore literature requirement. Students who graduate from Texas Tech University should be able to think critically, and demonstrate an understanding of the possibility of multiple interpretations, cultural contexts, and values. In light of this requirement, our class will be organized around the issue of race in contemporary American culture, and will use as a primary text the book which won the National Book Award for Nonfiction in 2015, Ta-Nehisi Coates' memoir Between the World and Me.
Introduction to Creative Writing (Distance)
As a society, we tend to view writers through two primary lenses-either they are crazy, depressed, hermit-like introverts or witty, boisterous, life-of-the-party extroverts. For every Ernest Hemingway or F. Scott Fitzgerald there is an Emily Dickinson or a Thomas Pynchon.
So what does it mean, then, "to write" or to be a "creative writer?" This online course explores those questions on an introductory level. We will wrestle with poems and stories from a variety of authors and covering a variety of themes. We will engage their techniques and their forms; we will "try on" some of their habits and even begin (or continue) our own writing journey by writing our own original poems and stories.
Assignments will include reading journal; participating in class discussions; generating three original poems and two original short stories; responding to the creative work of peers; making a revision plan; and, to cap off the semester, turning in a final portfolio. While there are no pre-requisites for this class, an attitude of critical and creative exploration is required for success. As well, this intensive reading course and writing course fulfills the Humanities requirement for Texas Tech University's Core Curriculum.
ENGL 2371: Language in a Multicultural America
Dr. Aaron Braver
Language does more than just convey facts-it carries a great deal of social information, too. This course examines the relationship between language and social interaction in the United States. We will look at how variables like group membership, racial, gender, and sexual identity, power asymmetries, and other social dynamics impact the way people speak and also the way people interpret what they hear. We will also look at the ways in which language affects politics/policy and vice versa.
In addition to course readings and lecture, we will be doing hands-on data collection, learning the methods involved in gathering sociolinguistic data, forming and testing hypostheses, and analyzing evidence from a variety of sources.
Specific topics we will cover include the "Observer's Paradox," regional identity (especially Texan identity), official languages, sex and gender, and languages in politics.
ENGL 2388: Introduction to Film Studies
ENGL 2388: Introduction to Film Studies
Dr. Ben Rogerson
This course is intended to introduce students to the techniques, the vocabulary, and ultimately the "rhetoric" of cinema. Although the course is designed to carefully explore the formal components of filmmaking, most of which students intuitively understand, the ultimate purpose of the class is to inquire into the effects that these formal components produce. Why would a given director use a wide-angle lens in a particular scene, and what does such a lens, or a long-take, or an abrupt cut accomplish? These and other similar questions determine the first half of the course, whereas the second half of the class will move into considerations of the significance and specificity of different modes of cinema-narrative, documentary, and avant-garde. What distinguishes the cinema, apart from all other arts, and what makes this "Seventh Art" at once so conceptually rich and so potentially deceptive?
Selected films for outside viewing may include the following (many of which are available for free online):
- A Trip to the Moon (Méliès, 1902)
- Entr'acte (Clair, 1294)
- The General (Keaton, 1926)
- Un Chien Andalou (Buñel and Dali, 1929)
- Stella Dallas (Vidor, 1934)
- Meshes of the Afternoon (Deren and Hammid, 1943)
- Singin' in the Rain (Kelly and Donen, 1952)
- Night and Fog (Resnais, 1956)
- Cléo from 5 to 7 (Varda, 1962)
- (nostalgia) (Frampton, 1971)
- Do the Right Thing (Lee, 1989)
- Jerry Maguire (Crowe, 1996)
- Stories We Tell (Polley, 2012)
- Whiplash (Chazelle, 2014)
ENGL 2391: Introduction to Literary Studies
Dr. Kurt Caswell
ENGL 2391: Introduction to Literary Studies
Dr. Ben Rogerson
This class will serve to introduce students to the practice of literary study. We will develop the skills for close reading and interpretation, for sustained academic arguments about literature, and for obtaining a familiarity with different literary approaches and critical vocabularies. To develop such skills, we will consider a variety of texts in different genres-prose, poetry, and drama-and spend considerable time discussing and, furthermore, writing about texts.
In order to focus our investigations into literary studies, this course will concentrate on the idea of maturation and adulthood. In turn, our assigned texts will depict the historical development and mutability of ideas about adulthood in the United States as the nation undergoes political, cultural, social, and technological upheavals.
Selected texts may include the following:
- Harriet Jacobs, selections from Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl (1861)
- Henry James, The Turn of the Screw (1898)
- William Faulkner, The Sound and the Fury (1929)
- Flannery O'Connor, "A Good Man is Hard to Find" (1953)
- James Baldwin, "Sonny's Blues" (1957)
- John Berryman, selections from 77 Dream Songs (1964)
- Sylvia Plath, selections from Ariel (1965)
- August Wilson, Fences (1983)
- Sandra Cisneros, The House on Mango Street (1984)
- Jhumpa Lahiri, selections from Interpreter of Maladies (1999)
- Jennifer Egan, selections from A Visit from the Goon Squad (2010)
ENGL 2391: Introduction to Literary Studies
Dr. John Samson
This course will give students an introduction to the major genres and concerns of literary studies. They will read, discuss, and write about gender and ethnicity in fiction (Jhumpa Lahiri, The Interpreter of Maladies; Toni Morrison, Jazz), the modern and postmodern worlds in drama (William Shakespeare, Hamlet; Tom Stoppard, Rosencratz and Guildenstern Are Dead), and romanticism and realism in poetry (poems of John Keats and Robert Frost).
ENGL 2391: Introduction to Literary Studies - "Family Values"
Dr. Elissa Zellinger
This class will teach students how to think critically and write analytically about literature across a range of genres. To achieve this goal, we will focus on the topic of families in literature from the nineteenth, twentieth, and twenty-first centuries. We will consider a variety of texts in different genres, such as prose, poetry, the graphic novel, and drama. In order to focus our foray into literary studies, we will examine ethical issues or "family values" through our selected readings. These texts will offer us insight into how families shape human behavior and the values that guide our actions, as well as inform our own experience of the modern family.
ENGL 3302: Middle English Literature - Magic & Miracle, Heroes & Saints
Dr. Julie Couch
This course offers a survey of the literature of medieval England, from circa 1066 to 1400 AD, from King Arthur to Chaucer, from battle to love, from saints to lovers. In this course we will read literary works analytically, paying particular attention to the overlap between the features of history, romance, and saint's life. We will explore the cultural contexts of early writings, including their original placements in handwritten manuscripts.
ENGL 3304: Medieval and Renaissance Drama
Dr. Marliss Desens
Shakespeare did not write his plays in a vacuum but was a participant in a thriving
dramatic environment influenced by traditions from the Medieval Drama that preceded
it. In this course, we will begin by looking at The Second Shepherd's Play, from the
Towneley cycle of medieval mystery plays, before looking at Everyman, a late medieval
morality play. From there, we will explore the plays of Shakespeare's contemporaries,
from Robert Greene and Christopher Marlowe to John Webster and Thomas Middleton, as
we read a variety of comedies and tragedies and explore the culture of the Renaissance
- English Renaissance Drama. Ed. David Bevington, et. al. Norton, 2002.
- Everyman and Medieval Miracle Plays. Ed. A. C. Cawley
- English Renaissance Drama. Peter Womack. Blackwell, 2006.
- The Elements of Style. 4th ed. William Strunk, Jr. and E. B. White. Allyn & Bacon, 2000
- What Every Student Should Know about Avoiding Plagiarism, by Linda Stern. Pearson-Longman
ENGL 3308: 19th Century British Literature - Victorian Transformations
Dr. Alison Rukavina
ENGL 3308 introduces students to British literature of the Victorian age that engaged with the profound social, political, and technical transformations that marked the period. The Industrial Revolution led to rapid economic and social changes, including demands for labor reform, Darwin's theory of evolution challenged religious faith, and developments in medicine and psychology introduced new ways of understanding mental illness. Revolutions in social and political thought also led to the "Woman Question" and debates about a woman's place in society. Advances in technology and communication radically altered the book trade and how and what Victorians read, while the rapid growth of the British Empire spread Victorian values globally and introduced foreign cultures and concepts at home. In this course, students will survey a variety of Victorian works including Jane Eyre, Jekyll and Hyde, Importance of Being Earnest, and penny dreadfuls (cheap serialized fiction/Victorian comics). As part of the class, students will visit and use nineteenth-century texts in the TTU Special Collections Library and watch a demonstration of the nineteenth-century printing press in the Letterpress Studio.
Assignments will include two essays, presentation, and other work.
ENGL 3309: Modern and Contemporary British Literature
Dr. Jen Shelton
ENGL 3324: Nineteenth-Century American Literature - Prose of the American Renaissance
Dr. John Samson
This course will focus on the variety of prose writings during the American Renaissance (1830-1860). We will read and discuss autobiographies, short stories, and novels that reflect the aesthetic achievements and cultural diversity of six major authors of this great period in American Literature. Texts: short stories by Nathaniel Hawthorne and Edgar Allan Poe; the autobiographical writings Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave by Frederick Douglass and Walden by Henry David Thoreau; and the novels Redburn by Herman Melville and Ruth Hall by Fanny Fern. These works engage themes such as the American past, the gothic, slavery, transcendentalism, romanticism v. realism, and women's roles and rights.
ENGL 3325: Modern and Contemporary American Literature - American Lit from 1900 to 1945
Dr. Michael Borshuk
This course will introduce students to a range of poetry, fiction, and drama by American writers between 1900 and 1945, to chart the early onset and development of American literary modernism. Among the topics to which we will be attentive are frustration over traditional modes of representation and radical experimentation in literary style; assertive reconceptualizations of racial, gender, and sexual identity during the period; the influence of technology, urban space, and mass culture on artistic expression; and an ongoing aggressive attempt at American cultural self-definition in relation to the world at large.
- Paul Lauter, ed., The Heath Anthology of American Literature, Volume D: 1910-1945
- Gertrude Stein, Tender Buttons (1914)
- F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby (1925)
- Dashiell Hammett, The Maltese Falcon (1930)
- Robert Scully, A Scarlet Pansy (1932)
ENGL 3337: Modern and Contemporary World Literature - Global Cities: Bombay, London, New York
Dr. Kanika Batra
This course will introduce you to the ways in which cities have been imagined in literature. Focusing on Bombay, London, and New York, three of the most important and widely written about cities in Asia, Europe, and North America, the readings encourage you to think about the histories, cultures and ethnicities comprising these 'global' cities. We will be reading works by various contemporary authors, in English as well as in translation, to develop a conceptual vocabulary and understand key ideas used in the representation of cities. These include analyses of the urban landscape in The Global Cities Reader and an account of globalization by Malcolm Waters. This will be supplemented by fiction by Caribbean, British, and American authors such as Teju Cole, Edwidge Danticat, Ian McEwan, and Zadie Smith. We will also look at non-fictional representations of cities such as Suketu Mehta's account of Bombay in Maximum City.
Some of the questions we will be attempting to answer through our readings are: How does the city emerge as 'character' in literature? What explains the popularity of certain literary forms used to describe cities and its inhabitants over others? Is it necessary for an author to be an inhabitant of a city to successfully represent it in writing or is an outsider status more likely to yield an objective account? How do cities contribute to the global landscape of the late twentieth and early twenty first centuries? In addressing these questions, the course uses the city as a lens to examine the multicultural ethos of the world we inhabit; the course fulfills the multicultural requirement.
ENGL 3351: Creative Writing - Nonfiction
Dr. Katie Cortese
In this course, students will write and critique short personal essays, as well as analyze canonical and contemporary examples of the form by such authors as Roxanne Gay, Robin Hemley, Annie Dillard, James Baldwin, David Sedaris, and more. Students will write several short exercises and a longer essay to be critiqued in a large-group format. Class discussions will focus on the craft of writing essays as seen in published examples and highlighted in assigned craft talks. Elements discussed will include but not be limited to aspects of ethos/character, dialogue, style, setting, shape and organization, endings, and other topics as they arise. As students learn to read, write and critique short essays, they will also broaden their experience of what it means to be human. The assigned textbooks will be the second edition of Tell It Slant: Creating, Refining, and Publishing Creative Nonfiction by Brenda Miller and Suzanne Paola, and The Touchstone Anthology of Contemporary Creative Nonfiction edited by Lex Williford and Michael Martone. Fulfills multicultural requirement.
ENGL 3351: Creative Writing - Fiction
Professor Magaret Brandl
ENGL 3351: Creative Writing - Poetry
Dr. William Wenthe
If you want a class that is small, a class dedicated to careful discussion of poems, both by published, established, even "famous" poets as well as new poems that you yourself will be writing, then consider this class. We will study how poems are made, both in terms of general techniques and strategies that poets use, and also in terms of how each poem becomes its own, unique, invention.
To succeed in this class, it is not necessary to have previously studied poetry. It is necessary that you want to study poetry seriously: successful poetry writing means successful reading of other poets, a steady practice of writing poems, a willingness to revise poems. In this way, the class models the threefold practice of professional writers. You will be required to complete a series of poetry exercises and shot (one-page) informal essays that I call "response papers," to write original poems, and discuss poems-including your own-in class. Each student will create a final portfolio, which will include seven original poems, and a 4-5 page statement describing what you learned during the semester, and how.
The course requires imagination, openness to new things, and creativity; as well as self-motivation, self-discipline, and persistence. This class satisfies TTU's Multicultural requirement.
ENGL 3360: Issues in Composition
Professor Jeannie Bennett
In the 21st century, US citizens navigate a multitude of public contexts, both on- and off- line, and are tasked with engaging with diverse perspectives that challenge us to respond to conflicts persuasively and productively. This section of Issues in Composition will focus on honing argumentation and reasoning skills through writing and responding to writing. There will be a special emphasis on perspective-taking, where we will practice "writing through" different perspectives on the same issue or topic. Students will be invited to explore their own perspectives in writing, then challenged to take others' perspectives. We will explore perspective-taking in various contexts and diverse platforms such as online spaces (particularly comments sections of news sites, public Facebook profiles, YouTube videos, etc.) and through traditional formats such as literature, essay and memoir. This multi-perspectival approach will prepare students to engage in meaningful debate and navigate conflict within the public sphere. This is a writing intensive course.
ENGL 3365: Professional Report Writing
Professor Amy Hanson
ENGL 3365: Professional Report Writing
Dr. Kendall Gerdes
ENGL 3371: Linguistic Science
Dr. Aaron Braver
Language touches every aspect of our lives. From reading the morning paper to decrypting secret codes, the subconscious knowledge of language is uniquely human. In this course we'll ask what it means to have a command of language-do animals have it? Infants? By examining the structures of the world's languages, we will discover why linguists believe in a "universal grammar" in spite of the world's rich linguistic diversity. No prior knowledge of languages or linguistics is required for this course.
ENGL 3371: Introduction to Linguistics (Distance)
Dr. Mary Jane Hurst
This online offering of English 3371 will provide an introduction to the fascinating subject
of linguistics, which is the study of language. Our primary objective will be to learn
what language is and how language systems work. No prior knowledge of linguistics
will be needed for success in this class, as we will begin the semester with essential
definitions and background information. Next, we will compare and contrast human language
with animal communication systems. Most of the semester will then be devoted to exploring
the primary components of human language – sounds, word forms, and syntactic structures
– but we'll also take a look at other linguistic issues such as how languages change
and how language is used to construct social identity. Along the way, we'll talk about
biological factors in language, theories of meaning, ethical concerns, endangered
linguistic issues in the courts and in the news. Students will also have opportunities for independent explorations into additional linguistic topics of their own choosing.
The two required books for the class are:
- Clark, Virginia, Paul Eschholz, Alfred Rosa, and Beth Lee Simon. Language: Introductory Readings. 7th Edition. New York, NY: Bedford/St. Martin's, 2008. ISBN 9780312450182.
- O'Grady, William, John Archibald, Mark Aronoff, and Janie Rees-Miller. Contemporary Linguistics: An Introduction. 6th Edition. New York, NY: Bedford/St. Martin's, 2010. ISBN 9780312555283.
ENGL 3373: Modern English Syntax
Dr. Min-Joo Kim
This course offers an overview of the grammar of present-day English but it doesn't
just teach you about which grammatical rules to follow; rather, it teaches you why
English grammar works the way it does. Furthermore, in this course, students will
uncover how Syntax works together with Morphology and Semantics in generating well-formed
sentences, and how languages change over time, and what that tells about the underlying principles of human language in general. This course also gives an introduction to dialectal variation within English, how English differs from other languages, and what kinds of grammatical errors non-native speakers tend to make and why.
Therefore, it will be suitable for anyone planning to become an English/ESL teacher and/or interested in linguistics/language studies in general. Finally, taking this course will help enhance one's critical thinking, logical reasoning, and data-driven analytical skills as well.
ENGL 3381: Literature of the Fantastic
Dr. Curtis Bauer
The purpose of this course is to increase your understanding of the historical, psychological,
literary, and intellectual approaches to representative works of fantasy literature.
We will do this through the reading of literary works of fiction by writers from South
America, including, though not limited to, Jorge Luis Borges, Isabel Allende,
Silvina Ocampo, César Aira, Juan José Saer, and Alejandra Pizarnik. Therefore, we will not only consider how fantasy literature has developed over the past century, but we will also take into consideration what it means to read texts in translation. Although our core readings will be works of short fiction, we will also read essays on
translation theory and practice in order to build our conceptual and theoretical vocabulary to enhance our discussion of the stories we read and study.
Students will learn to identify methodologies of and analytical arguments about historical, literary, philosophical, and/or aesthetic research and recognize their applicability to everyday life; evaluate events, ideas, linguistic nuance and artistic expressions, in terms of multiple cultural contexts and value systems; and demonstrate ways in
which the humanities are fundamental to the health and survival of any society. Since the examinations and out of-class essays are designed to test this understanding, student grades will reflect how well they demonstrate their knowledge of the subject in well-edited, well-detailed, well-organized compositions.
ENGL 3386: Literature and Science (Distance)
Dr. Alison Rukavina
"The old order changeth, yielding place to new." —Alfred, Lord Tennyson "Idylls of
This course explores how literature engaged with the advances in science and technology that transformed society in the nineteenth century. Authors in novels like Frankenstein, Dracula, and Jekyll and Hyde wrestled with the ideas of whether scientific progress was a good thing or even potentially dangerous. In "Stanzas from the Grand
Chartreuse," Matthew Arnold writes of being caught "between two worlds, one dead,/ The other powerless to be born,/ With nowhere yet to rest my head." If one response dominated among authors of the nineteenth century it was anxiety and worry at how inventions like steam technology, photography, and electricity, as well as developments in biology, psychology, and sociology, were remaking the world at such a rapid pace that they felt displaced and disoriented. Students in the course will learn about how nineteenth-century authors turned to the genres of science fiction, horror, and mystery as venues for exploring the possible consequences and effects of these tumultuous changes on society. Assignments will include participation and discussion, 4 short reading response papers, presentation, and research essay.
Bram Stoker's Dracula, Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, Robert Louis Stevenson's The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes Stories, Edgar Allan Poe's "Murder in the Rue Morgue," dime novels, and other period readings.
ENGL 3387: Multicultural Literatures of America (Distance; Writing Intensive)
Dr. Cordelia Barrera
Prerequisites: 3 hours of 2000-level English courses. 3387 Fulfills the TTU multicultural
requirement and focuses on works of literature by Americans of different US cultures.
Multicultural literature promotes the maintenance of cultural and ethnic diversity
in the US. Because multiculturalism is related to ideology and identity politics,
discuss race, class, ethnicity, and gender alongside the fundamental skills required for understanding basic literary concepts. Throughout the class, we will focus on coming of age novels, or Bildungsromans by Native American, African American, and Latina/o authors to better understand our own experiences and culture, through the lives and cultures of people quite different from ourselves. We will discuss prose, poetry and essays as well as theoretical lenses such as Structuralism, Cultural Studies, Postcolonialism, and Ecocriticism to comprehend the symbolic and metaphoric potential of human language. Readings include 20th and 21st-century authors such as
Octavia Butler, Gloria Anzaldúa, Sherman Alexie, Leslie Marmon Silko, Ann Petry, and Maxine Hong-Kingston.
Attendance is required. Midterm, Final, 5-6 research and writing projects.
ENGL 3388: Film Genres
Dr. Scott Baugh
As an organizing principle for the course this term, we will develop and interrogate
research questions around the story structure and style of fictive-narrative movies
as well as their generational identity –especially 'Boomers,' 'Gen-X,' and 'Millenials'--
created by prevalent styles and structures. English 3388 introduces students to the
genres in cinema, and this section will focus on fictive-narrative films. More specifically, students will be able to apply foundational concepts [cinematography, mise-en-scene, editing, sound, narrative structure] and critical strategies [ideology and style comparisons] to actively "read," analyze, discuss, and write about a representative sample of fictive-narrative movies. Mainstream commercial films typically—conventionally—make use of a particular story structure, and the basis of Hollywood has been the peculiar blending of realistic and formalistic aspects into what has been called "Classic style." We will start to consider trends across periods of film history, and ultimately we will attempt to interpret how those trends might operate and how their movies mean something to us as viewers.
ENGL 3395: Native Literature of the Americas
Dr. Daniel de Paula Valentim Hutchins
In this course, we'll read Native American literature from a variety of different
locations in the Americas, starting with earliest indigenous accounts of first contact
with Europeans and ending with contemporary literature by Native American authors.
Along the way, we'll also continually ask important questions about the practical
philosophical difficulties of placing so many disparate groups of people, with disparate worldviews and belief systems, under the rubric of "Native American." In order to supplement our study of Native American literature, we'll explore issues surrounding history, religion, politics, orality, literacy, and epistemology (i.e. what counts as knowledge and who gets to decide).
Possible authors / texts include:
- The Popol Vuh
- Felipe Guaman Poma de Ayala, The First New Chronicle and Good Government
- Broken Spears: An Aztec Account of the Conquest of Mexico
- Bartolomé de las Casas, A Short Account of the Destruction of the Indies
- The Florentine Codex
- William Apess, "Son of the Forest"
- Jane Johnston Schoolcraft, The Sound the Stars Make Rushing Through the Sky
- Elias Boudinot, The Age of Revelation
- Gloria Anzaldúa, Borderlands/La Frontera
ENGL 4301: Studies in Selected Authors - The Works of J.R.R. Tolkien
Dr. Brian McFadden
With the recent release of the film adaptations of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, there has been a renewed interest in the life and work of J.R.R. Tolkien. Tolkien was a noted medieval scholar and philologist, but he was also a World War I veteran and a modern author writing The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings between the '30's and the '50's, and his Silmarillion was left unfinished at his death in 1973; in addition, he wrote several other works on Arthurian, Finnish, and Norse themes, a translation of Beowulf, and much other background material that was revised and eventually released as A History of Middle-Earth. Although his work reflects a number of postwar themes – distrust of technology, the senselessness of war, the loss of heroes, the passing of a perceived golden age – it also reflects a great deal of his personal and professional study of classical and medieval language, myth, religion, and literature, and it appeals to readers and scholars of both medieval and modern literature. This course will examine Tolkien's major fantasy works – The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion – in addition to many of his medieval sources: Beowulf, the Exeter Book riddles, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Pearl, Sir Orfeo, The Mabinogion, the Prose and Poetic Eddas, the Volsunga Saga, and the Kalevala. The course will also examine some of Tolkien's scholarly works, such as "Beowulf: The Monsters and the Critics" and "On Fairy-Stories" to illuminate the use of the marvelous or the monstrous in medieval literature, as well as Tolkien's own works. Topics of discussion: What/how did Tolkien share with or depart from the World War I generation of authors? How did Tolkien's scholarship provide an impetus for his creative fiction? What did Tolkien feel that language was invented for narrative, and why did he feel he had to invent languages in which to tell his stories? What is "sub-creation"? Why does the children's-story tone of The Hobbit shift to the serious epic quality of The Lord of the Rings? What does the genre of fantasy fiction allow an author to do that realistic fiction does not, and why is fantasy not always treated as a serious literary genre? How does Tolkien's literature fare in its film adaptations? How did Tolkien's Catholicism shape his depiction of a world that is for the most part without explicit religious practice or belief? Has Tolkien been able to bridge the gap between medieval and modern literature?
ENGL 4313: Studies in Fiction - Readings in Comparative Literature and Culture: Empire and Dystopias; Cyborgs and Subalterns: The Intersections of Science Fiction and Postcolonial Studies
Dr. Roger McNamara
While colonialism has been central to Postcolonial Studies, it is also a recurring theme in science fiction. However, Postcolonial scholars have only recently examined how science fiction's imaginative rendition of colonialism—from its depiction of dystopias to its exploration of the posthuman—can enrich the basic frameworks of Postcolonialism itself. Using this approach, ENGL 4317 examines how science fiction novels, short stories, and graphic novels deal with the following Postcolonial topics: metropole and colony relations, subalternity, diaspora, and technology vs. indigenous knowledge. Potential texts are Alan Moore's Watchmen (UK/US), Octavia Butler's Dawn (US), Amitav Ghosh's The Calcutta Chromosome (India), China Mieville's Embassy Town (UK), Lauren Beukes' Zoo City (South Africa), Hayao Miyazaki's Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind (Japan), and Mothership: Tales from Afrofuturisim and Beyond. We will supplement the literature with films such as District 9, Children of Men, and Blade Runner.
ENGL 4315: Studies in Film: Literature - Film Adaptation
Dr. Wyatt Phillips
This course will explore critical approaches to adaptation, and specifically adaptation from literature to film. In addition to issues of fidelity and media specificity in adaptations, we will also consider the role that culture, nation, audience, the industries, technologies, genre conventions, and the author/auteur play. We will look at source texts that originate in a wide variety of literary forms, including novels, short stories, stage plays, serial fiction, pulp fiction, and sequential art (comics and graphic novels). The cinema we will consider will include films from America and Western Europe but also possibly Japan, India, Russia, and South America. I expect to program, as I have the last several semesters, three or four of the films in conjunction with the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema's Continuing Education series and TTU's International Film Series. Films I am currently considering include Emma, Hound of the Baskervilles, The Postman Always Rings Twice, Diarios de motocicleta, Rashomon, Watchmen, and Hamlet. Your final paper will be on an adaptation of your own choosing.
ENGL 4321: Studies in Topics - The Black Atlantic: New World Slavery, Historical Memory, and Cultural Politics
Dr. Daniel Hutchins
Nearly twenty years have passed since the publication of Paul Gilroy's The Black Atlantic: Modernity and Double-Consciousness. In this enormously influential book, Gilroy re-read Afro-Atlantic intellectuals
and cultural movements as essential to the creation of modern cultural and intellectual
life. Subsequent years have seen a variety of scholars take up Gilroy's arguments
about the United States and Great Britain and push them to West Africa, Brazil, the
Caribbean, and beyond to uncover the processes through which black internationalist
perspectives were developed and debated across the twentieth century.
In this course, we'll pay due deference to Gilroy's legacy by looking at the ways that the black experience throughout the Americas has been transformed through contemporary political struggles and collective acts of memory, including 20th and 21st century attempts to reimagine and reinterpret the historical legacy of chattel slavery and its aftermath. But we'll also spend a lot of time examining the two centuries before the historical purview of Gilroy's work (the 18th and 19th centuries) and we'll move beyond Gilroy's Anglophone scope. We'll read slave narratives and autobiographies written by former slaves as well as novels about slavery and slave rebellion. We will also delve into how blacks were represented in the popular consciousness of a variety of different American public spheres by using the scholarly work of Lisa Ze Winters, Eric Lott, Douglas Jones, Jr., Jasmine Nichole Cobb, Kyla Wazana Tompkins, Philip Kaisary, and Marlene Daut, to name a few. Along the way, we'll consider the ways in which the forced migration of Africans to the Americas forged new forms of subjectivity, community, and culture.
ENGL 4342: Studies in Literary Theory - Ecocritical and Social Justice Theory
Dr. Sara Spurgeon
This class will introduce students to the major themes, ideas, and approaches in ecocritical and social justice theory and criticism, examining historical development of basic ideas and approaches through close reading of scholarly and popular culture texts. The course seeks to enable students to read, synthesize, and critique across the spectrum of ecocritical and social justice theorizing.
ENGL 4351: Advanced Creative Writing - Poetry
Dr. John Poch
This course is a capstone course for the creative writing specialization. It will focus on advanced poetry and more traditional forms and writing publishable work for top literary venues. Students should have taken 3351 Poetry before taking this course. For permission to register, please email Dr. Poch 3 poems in 1 MS Word file (firstname.lastname@example.org).
ENGL 4360: Studies in Composition
Dr. Lindsay Clark
ENGL 4371: Language and Community - Learning While Serving
Dr. Min-Joo Kim
What is your attitude toward people with an "accent"? Why is it "wrong" to speak with an accent? What does it mean to speak "Standard" English? How is language a vehicle for empowerment for marginalized groups? How do ideologies about race play out in language? In this course, we will theorize about such controversial issues and topics, as we learn about multiculturalism and language in the Southwest U.S. and perform an internship in the local community. This course offers a great way to experience linguistic and cultural diversity in our local community, to improve on one's communicative and team-work skills while contributing to building a more just and equitable society.