Texas Tech University

Graduate Course Offerings

Click here to expand for filtering instructions

  • Use the buttons below to filter this page and easily explore the courses available to you at the English Department. Filter options work best in Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome browsers.

    Example Use: I want to see all Distance Literature courses offered on Wednesdays. Click Distance, Literature, and Wednesday. All options showing are courses offered in those categories.

    If you have any questions, please contact the appropriate graduate advisor for your program (english.gradadvisor@ttu.edu or TC@ttu.edu).

    Courses from previous semesters are archived here.

    Campus Map - the English/Philosophy building is #46, located in D1



Filter by focus:
Filter by day(s):
ENGL 5303: Studies in Medieval British Literature: Beowulf

Dr. Brian McFadden
W 2:00 - 4:50 p.m.
Onsite CRN: 49653

Note that ENGL 5301 (Old English Language) is a prerequisite for ENGL 5303.

This course will be an in-depth translation and analysis of Beowulf, the first major epic poem in the English language. Topics to be discussed: Anglo-Saxon conceptions of monstrosity and Otherness; Germanic social structure as depicted in the poem versus the realities of Anglo-Saxon society; the role of women in the poem and women in Anglo-Saxon society; the tension and accommodation between Christian and Germanic elements in the poem; the paleography and codicology of the text and the application of digital technology, especially the online Electronic Beowulf project at the University of Kentucky, to the study of the poem and the Beowulf manuscript (London, British Library, Cotton Vitellius A.xv). Requirements: oral presentation; one 20- to 25-page seminar paper; weekly translation and reading in Old English. Texts to be announced but will probably include Mitchell and Robinson's edition of Beowulf, Klaeber's Beowulf, The Beowulf Reader (ed. Bjork and Niles) and A Critical Companion to Beowulf (Orchard).

Requirement Fulfilled: British Literature, Early Period, Genre (Poetry), High Proficiency Language Requirement, Medieval and Renaissance Studies Certificate

ENGL 5306: Studies in 17th Century British Literature: Sovereignty and Subversion in Milton's England

Dr. Ryan Hackenbracht
M 6:00 - 8:50 p.m.
CRN: 57468
(Hybrid)

In the aftermath of a violent civil war between king and parliament, seventeenth-century English writers were convinced that poetry might help heal their broken nation. Questioning the relationship between poetics and politics, their works inquire, What does poetry do, in a political sense? Do its myriad forms—lyric, epic, elegy, panegyric, and others—possess distinct political utilities, which cannot be found in philosophy, religion, or history? How can poetry be used to subvert social norms, or to disrupt dominant cultural narratives of progress and triumph? How does poetry offer fictional alternatives to the present reality, often prompting readers to envision a world better than the one they inhabit? Over the course of the semester, we will explore the diverse strategies adopted by Milton, Marvell, Herrick, Lovelace, and other writers, who used poetry to resist unjust governments, or to reimagine the nature of sovereign power. In this regard, poetry was a ubiquitous medium through which political ideas were generated and disseminated. But it was also a bridge to the ancient past, as English writers envisioned themselves reenacting the end of the Roman republic in the days of Virgil, or the rise of the Christianity under Saint Paul, in their own day and age. Modernity, the poems of Milton and others teach us, is a matter of perspective. And throughout history, whenever tyrants and demagogues spring up, there are time-tried strategies of subversion—found only in poetry, and safeguarded in the complexities of genre—that spring up along with them, waiting to be put to use on behalf of a free people. Assignments will include a conference-style presentation, an annotated bibliography, and a 20-page research paper on a topic of your choosing.

Requirement Fulfilled: British Literature, Early Period, Genre (Poetry), Medieval and Renaissance Studies Certificate (MRSC)

ENGL 5317: Studies in Post-Colonial Literature: The Empire Codes Back

Dr. Kanika Batra
T 6:00 - 8:50 p.m.
Onsite CRN: 57471
Distance CRN: 57472
(Hybrid)

Postcolonial writers have consistently written back to Empire and power. One strategy employed is to re-code the canon in ways that indicate the racial, gendered, and class assumptions of works such as William Shakespeare's The Tempest, Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe, Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre, and Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness. This course will examine a few such instances to analyze how postcolonial authors re-code genre and emplotment, subvert normative gender codes, disrupt monochromatic racial coding, and are placed within digital codes and tags of revisionary literary histories.

Our focus will be on a selection of texts which may include the following: Edward Said's Culture and Imperialism; Aimé Césaire's rewriting of Shakespeare in Une Tempête; a revision of Bronte in Jean Rhys's Wide Sargasso Sea and Dorothea Smartt's Reader, I Married Him and Other Queer Goings on; a scathing critique of Conrad in Chinua Achebe's An Image of Africa and Sevn Lindquist's Exterminate All the Brutes; Patience Agbabi's remixing of Chaucer in Telling Tales and the Global Chaucers blog, an "online archive and community for post -1945, non-Anglophone Chauceriana;" and Damon Galgut's imaginative take on E.M. Forster's life and works in Arctic Summer. Our attempt to construct a revisionary literary history will be aided by influential DH projects such as Postcolonial Digital Humanities, Women Writers Online, and Orlando: Women's Writing in the British Isles from the Beginnings to the Present.

Requirements Fulfilled: Comparative Literature, Non-Fiction, Methods

ENGL 5324: Studies in 20th Century American Literature: The Western in Literature and Film

Dr. Sara Spurgeon
W 6:00 - 9:00 p.m.
Onsite CRN: 49658
Distance CRN: 57991
(Hybrid)

This class will examine works of fiction and film that have helped to establish and to challenge what is often called "the only original American genre," the Western—a genre that seems to have its roots in the nineteenth century, comes of age in the twentieth, and continues branching into unexpected forms in the twenty-first. Some of the texts we will encounter will be canonical classics, and some will undermine, subvert, or expand our ideas about what Westerns are, what they mean, and why we can't stop making them. We will explore these texts from a number of different angles: What did the myth of the frontier look like in the past and what shape is it assuming in American literature and film today? How has it been used to justify or deconstruct American ideas about gender, race, class, sexuality, national identity, and borders? How does the work of non-Anglos writing and filming from "the other side" of the frontier reinterpret that myth? We will be doing close readings of novels, films, and theory.

Requirements Fulfilled: American Literature, Later Period, Genre (Fiction), Literature, Social Justice, and Environmental Studies (LSJE)

ENGL 5337: Studies in Linguistics: Compositional Semantics

Dr. Min-Joo Kim
T/R 12:30 – 1:50 p.m.
Onsite CRN: 71840
Distance CRN: 57991
(Hybrid)

The English sentence "Every man loves a woman" is two-ways 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 the meaning of a sentence is computed in a compositional manner (a technical term due to Frege (1892)) because of the way it is structured and because of the lexical semantic contributions made by the words that comprise it. In addition, we will be looking at how context and world knowledge play a role in semantic computation (i.e., the relation between semantics and pragmatics).

Requirement Fulfilled: Linguistics Certificate

ENGL 5351: Planes, Trains, and Telephones: Space, Time and Technology in the Cinema

Dr. Allison Whitney
M 9:00 - 11:50 a.m.
Onsite CRN: 32443

This course will examine the relationship between transportation and communications technologies and the cinema, considering both their representation in films and their influence on film style, narrative and spectatorship. We will focus on four major technological systems that revolutionized modern conceptions of space, time, speed, the senses, private and public spheres, and social relations: trains, automobiles, airplanes, and the telephone. We will consider how cinema, with its own powers of spatial and temporal manipulation, adapted to these technologies while also adopting their novel and uniquely modern characteristics into its own visual and auditory language. By examining the historical and conceptual connections among these technologies, we will not only highlight the role of the human-machine relationship in film spectatorship, but also observe how cinema's intimate relationship with machines allows it to act as a form of cultural memory, offering us the opportunity to imagine the cultural significance of a technology at a given historical moment. We will address films from a broad spectrum of historical periods and genres, including early cinema (The Great Train Robbery, The Lonely Villa, Suspense), film noir (Detour, Sorry Wrong Number),documentary (Night Mail), experimental film (Decasia), and Hollywood blockbusters (Star Wars, Top Gun), among others. Readings may include Harold Innis' The Bias of Communication, Lynne Kirby's Parallel Tracks: The Railroad and Silent Cinema, Leo Marx's The Machine in the Garden, David E. Nye's American Technological Sublime, Paul Virilio's War and Cinema: The Logistics of Perceptionand Michel Chion's The Voice in Cinema.

Requirements Fulfilled: Film and Media Studies, Genre (Film)

ENGL 5353: Studies in Poetry

Dr. John Poch
F 9:00 - 11:20 a.m.
Onsite CRN: 57473

In this course, we will read poems (and some prose pieces) that are deeply based in the Judeo-Christian belief in a living, omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent (though perhaps seemingly absent), loving, just, and personal God. You need not share these orthodox beliefs, but for the purposes of this class you do need to ultimately come to an understanding of them and their complexities. Because you will write two papers about contemporary poems of belief, we will begin looking at more recent poems addressing belief, and then later in the semester dig down through these to look at the foundations on which they stand by looking at passages from the most widely-read book in the world, The Bible. We will only read selections, but these selections will cover a great deal of ground. Our class will explore not only Christianity, but Judaism, Paganism/Polytheism, and Agnosticism/Atheism. As well, we are comparing a multiplicity of cultures, languages, as well as considering national and cultural boundaries, all while we are considering these works in the light of multiple historical frameworks. Take, for example, Countee Cullen's African-American experience/identity mapped onto his Christian conversion and all the complexities inherent in his poem "Heritage." In this class, you will acquire an extensive knowledge of the formal/functional qualities of traditional and free verse-forms and the English language. A few of the contemporary poets we will consider: Dante, Donne, Herbert, Milton, Dickinson, Yeats, Cullen, Larkin, Wilbur, Plath, Walcott, Nelson, Spaar, Gluck, Stallings, Wiman.

ENGL 5355 Studies in Comparative Literature: Theories, Methods, and Issues 

Dr. Yuan Shu
R 9:30 - 12:20 p.m.
Onsite CRN: 53179

This course investigates comparative literature not only as a discipline but also as methods 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 US higher education. Then we focus on the paradigm shift from the European and American models to the multicultural and postcolonial ones during the past three decades. 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 comparative studies in relation to new modes of reading that vary from "surface reading" to "distant reading" and also by reimagining our humanity and post-humanity against the background of the rise of the rest and the post-American world.

Texts: 

David Damrosch, World Literature in Theory

Karen Tei Yamashita, Through the Arc of the Rain Forest

Mohsin Hamid, The Reluctant Fundamentalist

David Harvey, Space of Global Capitalism

Paul Jay, Global Matters: The Transnational Turn in Literary Studies

Franco Moretti, Graphs, Maps, and Tree

Requirements Fulfilled: CLGT, Later Period, Genre (Fiction), Comparative Literature Methods 

ENGL 5370: Creative Writing Workshop — Fiction (Linked Story Collections)

Dr. Katie Cortese
M 6-8:50 p.m.
Onsite CRN: 32540
Distance CRN: 57931
(Hybrid)

This course will primarily center on reading and critiquing students' short stories with a special focus on the possibilities, requirements, challenges, and benefits involved in crafting a linked collection. With that in mind, at least two of the three assigned stories will include some thread of connection, either subtle or strong (potential links include setting, subject, characters, events, timeline, inventory, stylistic markers, etc.). The secondary focus of the course involves the close reading, practical analysis, and discussion of published stories and essays on craft by established, contemporary writers.

The reading list includes Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado, Once the Shore by Paul Yoon, When Mystical Creatures Attack! by Kathleen Founds, and Annie John by Jamaica Kincaid, along with On Writing Fiction: Rethinking Conventional Wisdom About the Craft by David Jauss, and assigned craft articles by writers such as Matthew Salesses, C.J. Hribal, Amy Tan, Loiuse Erdrich, and others. Assignments will include three workshop stories, the review of a recent short story collection (linked or otherwise), and a final portfolio including two revisions and a statement of aesthetics regarding linked collections and the students' own work. Additionally, students will be responsible for reading, analyzing, and leading a discussion on the story of their choice from Best American Short Stories 2018, edited by Roxane Gay.

Requirements Fulfilled: Creative Writing Workshop

ENGL 5370: Poetry

Dr. Jacqueline Kolosov
T 2:00 - 4:50 p.m.
Onsite CRN: 57933

If I feel physically as if the top of my head were being taken off, I know that is poetry —Emily Dickinson

Poetry heals the wounds inflicted by reason —Novalis, German Romantic

Real tenderness can't be confused. It's quiet and can't be heard —Anna Akhmatova

 

These 3 quotes, placed in conversation, speak to what I hope will be at the heart of this workshop, this weekly 3 hours committed to poetry. If there are 2 types of poets (and there are not, but let's stick to these extremes for now), then there are the Prosperos of the intellect, and there are the Ariels who sing and sing and sing. Dickinson is more of a Prospero, or is she? What music abides in her echoing rooms, her distant constellations. And how visceral her definition of what poetry is. Novalis introduces the question: how far has "reason" gotten us? Are we rational beings? Consider the evidence. Akhmatova wrote during the Stalinist purges, and she was a beacon of hope for her people and her legacy now has a wide reach. We say that poetry speaks increasingly to violence and injustice. Is this true when we have the work of Robert Hayden, Gwendolyn Brooks, John Keats, Paul Celan, and going further back, Catallus, Virgil and Sappho. Contemporary poets continue to mine these writers working in "dead languages." (Take Ann Carson as only 1, or Carl Phillips...) But yes, poetry today has become a vital form of activism; and poetry is alive beyond the academy in this country, as it has been, always, in countries or among people who have been silenced and subjected to terror.

So what are we going to do in this workshop? Read voraciously, contemporary poets, yes, but also the poets who have come before us, in English or in translation (or in a language in which you want to work). Ideally, each of you will dive deeply into a predecessor and learn from him/her and bring that journey back to us in workshop, discussion, and what this journey means for your poetry and our own. So too, we will zoom in/or skype with poets whose work we read and maybe their work takes the tops of our heads off, but regardless, they have a lot to teach/share/talk about. Inevitably, then, we will read poets on craft. Likely candidates include Carl Phillips, Nabila Lovelace, Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib, Stanley Plumly, Natasha Trethewey (wish list), and Paul Guest. Everyone should plan to workshop at least 10 times. Everyone should write with risk and a fearless need for discovery; let's call it a quest in which everything is at stake (or at least something that matters so much it pulses behind your eyes, keeps you up at night, or shadows you in broad daylight). Otherwise, let's be honest: why write poetry? As for written requirements, there will be a final portfolio of some 12 pages of poetry with revisions behind them (and you may find yourself with a poem like Gluck's "October" which we will read, or with a series of sonnets or...) Yes, there will be a written statement, call it an aesthetic statement but it will marry art to the disappearance of species or what has become of "statesmanship" (you get the idea)—in some 6 pages if you like to make big loops around your subject, or 3-4 if your mantra is concision. Each poet will introduce the workshop to that predecessor he/she is mining and ideally come up with an exercise or a way into a poem/a new way of seeing. Most of all, the workshop must be a place of real communication and mutual respect and a hunger for poetry that will become contagious in howsoever small or grand a way....To be concise, then, there is structure, but within that space (call it a sonnet or an elegy or an ode), there is a great deal of freedom to roam individually and as a collective.

ENGL 5370: Flash Nonfiction Workshop

Dr. D. Gilson
W 9:00 - 11:50 a.m.
Onsite CRN: 32541

This graduate workshop will focus on the sub-genre of the flash essay or micro memoir. Situated somewhere between prose poem and micro-narrative, flash essays provide us the path to lyrically explore a topic while taking both narrative and syntactical leaps. Or, as Bernard Cooper says, the flash essay teaches us "an alertness to detail, a quickening of the senses, and a focusing of the literary lens until one has magnified some small aspect of what it means to be human." During the course of the semester, we will approach our classroom like a writing lab, conducting in-class writing experiments and regular workshops of each other's work. By the end of the semester, we will each write eight flash essays — 1,000 words or less — to be revised in a final portfolio. The reading list for this course includes work by Beth Ann Fennelly, Maggie Nelson, Claudia Rankine, Dinty W. Moore, Khadijah Queen, and Mary Ruefle.

Requirements Fulfilled: Creative Writing Workshop

Engl 5380: Feminist Thought and Theories

Cross-Listed with Women's & Gender Studies 5310

Dr. Marjean D. Purinton: Professor of English
Affiliate Faculty, Women's & Gender Studies
M 2:00-4:50 p.m.
Onsite CRN: 32565

Course Description

This seminar constitutes a culminating framework course for Women's and Gender Studies minors, certificate students, and interested graduate students than can help to inform and structure their analytical work from feminist perspectives.

Using cross-disciplinary approaches, we will explore the broad range of theories that make up a body of scholarship termed "feminist theory" or "feminist thought." We will read excerpts from long works and essays from both historically derived and contemporary feminist theorists, recognizing and interrogating the assumptions underpinning these writings. We will discuss fundamental questions these theories and methodologies raise about the origins of sex and gender differences, the nature and origins of patriarchy and feminism. We will explore the formations of gender, race, class, sexuality, ability, age, and nationality as categories or bases of oppression and empowerment.

Our learning environment will be interactive, intensive, and fun. We will examine and apply feminist critiques and innovations in methodologies in diverse fields of study, selecting from among them those that best inform our scholarly work. We will view videos that feature feminists. Other activities will include provocative discussions, role-playing scenarios, group work, presentations, and response papers. We will enrich our study by attending events associated with the annual Conference on the Advancement of Women, sponsored by the Women's & Gender Studies Program.

Graduate students will write and present a report of a long feminist theoretical work. Undergraduates will conduct a feminist scholar interview and write a report based on that interview. We will conclude the course with a critical, research-based project emanating from pre-existing work that we will, in the course of the semester, expand, inform, and enrich with feminist theories, thought, and methodologies.

You will find in this seminar a safe space in which to test new ideas and feminist thinking. In addition to a better understanding of feminist theories and methodologies, you should emerge from this course with a writing sample for your dossier (undergraduates) or work in progress applicable to your scholarship (graduate students).

Because my scholarship and pedagogy are informed by feminism, you will encounter in this course a learning environment of de-centered authority, one that invites you to participate in your own learning/discover process.

Textbooks we will use for the seminar include the following:

Kolmar, Wendy, and Frances Bartkowski, ed. Feminist Theory: A Reader. 4th ed. Boston:

McGraw Hill, 2012.

Nicholson, Linda, ed. The Second Wave: A Reader in Feminist Thought. 2nd ed. New York:

Routledge, 1997.

Tong, Rosemarie Putnam. Feminist Thought: A More Comprehensive Introduction. 5th ed.

Boulder, CO: Westview, 2017.

Requirements Fulfilled: Women's Studies Certificate

ENGL 5380: Advanced Problems in Literary Studies: Black Detroit: History, Theory Culture

Dr. Michael Borshuk
R 2:00 - 4:50 p.m.
Onsite CRN: 54916

This course will consider black cultural production in Detroit across time and in conversation with two key contexts: 1. the material history of African Americans in the city, and 2. broad scholarly arguments about the racialization of urban space. We will be attentive to ways that the specific history of blackness in Detroit has, for many Americans, come to stand as a metonymy for "common sense" ideas about race and the America city. In contrast, then, we will consider how black voices from Detroit have registered an ongoing counterstatement to those those ideas' white supremacist underpinnings. Our narrative will begin with Detroit's place in the history of American slavery, before moving to a more focused attention on the story of black Detroiters since the city's 1967 urban uprising. Ultimately, we will consider many different aesthetic forms and expressive modes in our broad survey of black Detroit, including poetry by Robert Hayden, Kofi Natambu, and Dudley Randall, memoir by Toi Derricotte, drama by Dominque Morisseau; soul and jazz music recorded by artists on labels like Motown, Tribe, and Strata, hip-hop and techno music by innovators like J Dilla, Juan Atkins, and Derrick May; and visual art, especially Tyree Guyton's ongoing public installation The Heidelberg Project, on the city's east side.

Students will be expected to write one short paper, contribute to an ongoing class blog, prepare a research prospectus, and compose an article-length research paper by semester's end. As well, we will collaborate as a class on some kind of outreach project that enables us to extend our academic activity beyond the borders of our classroom and into the community at large.

Tentative Reading List:

Herb Boyd, Black Detroit: A People's History of Self-Determination

Toi Derricotte, The Black Notebooks

Robert Hayden, Collected Poems

Charlie LeDuff, Detroit: An American Autopsy

Tiya Miles, The Dawn of Detroit: A Chronicle of Slavery and Freedom in the City of the Straits

Dominque Morisseau, The Detroit Project: Three Plays

Kofi Natambu, Intervals

Dudley Randall, Roses and Revolutions: The Selected Writings of Dudley Randall

Suzanne E. Smith, Dancing in the Street: Motown and the Cultural Politics of Detroit

Selected readings from scholars like Jerry Herron, Kenneth T. Jackson, James Howard Kuntsler, Thomas Sugrue, Heather Ann Thompson, and others

Requirements Fulfilled: American Literature, Later Period, Genre (Poetry, Drama), Literature, Social Justice, and Environmental Studies (LSJE)

ENGL 5390: Writing for Publication: Literature Emphasis

Dr. Alison Rukavina
W 6:00 - 8:50 p.m.
Onsite CRN: 57479
Distance CRN: 50212
(Hybrid)

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.

Requirements Fulfilled: Professional Development

English 5392: Teaching College English 

Dr. Marjean Purinton
T 6:00 - 8:50 p.m.
Onsite CRN: 57479
Distance CRN: 50212
(Hybrid)

This course, designed primarily for doctoral students who wish to teach literature courses, 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.

We will examine approaches to teaching diverse literary genres and periods and at various undergraduate levels from core curriculum requirements (usually sophomore-level) to English majors and minors. We will explore effective pedagogical practices appropriate for various undergraduate classes. We will consider the conceptualization and content of different kinds of literature classes. We will evaluate learning outcomes activities and methods of assessments. And we will analyze the purpose for teaching literature at the university in the twenty-first century, how teaching literature contributes to the university's overall teaching mission, and the ways we can communicate the value of teaching literature at the undergraduate level to non-academic publics.

In addition to reflection essays addressing these 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 enrich our discoveries of best practices by attending pedagogical events sponsored by the Teaching, Learning, and Professional Development Center (TLPDC). We will present mock mini-lessons to our classmates. We will construct a teaching philosophy. We will discuss the kinds of teaching questions you can anticipate at a job interview.

Because my own pedagogy is informed by feminist theory and active-learning strategies, you will encounter in this course a learning environment f de-centered authority, one that invites you to participate in your own learning process and professional development.

The following texts are required for the course:

Bain, Ken. What the Best College Teachers Do. Cambridge, MA: Harvard UP, 2004.

Blau, Sheridan. The Literature Workshop. Portsmouth, HN: Heinemann, 2008.

Bruns, Cristina Vischer. Why Literature: The Value of Literary Reading and What it Means

Means for Teaching. Bloomsbury Academic, 2011.

Scholes. Robert. The Crafty Reader. New Haven: Yale UP, 2001.

Showalter, Elaine. Teaching Literature. Malden, MA: Blackwell, 2003.

Requirements Fulfilled: Pedagogy