Graduate Course Offerings Fall 2020
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ENGL 5067 Methods of Teaching College CompositionDr. Michael J. Faris
Mondays & Wednesdays, 12:00 - 1:50 PM
This course is designed as a practicum for GPTI teaching first-year writing at Texas Tech University. This course introduces teachers to methods and practices of teaching writing and provide scaffolding for their first few semesters teaching ENGL 1301 and 1302. We will use class time to discuss teaching activities, to introduce teachers to theories of learning, writing, and rhetoric, to solve problems related to teaching and learning, and to introduce you to the profession of teaching writing at the college level.
ENGL 5301 Old English LanguageDr. Brian McFadden
Tuesdays 9:30 AM to 12:20 PM
This course will introduce students to the grammar, syntax, vocabulary, phonology, and morphology of Old English and examine its relationship to the language we speak today. Our primary focus will be to develop a reading knowledge of Old English for the study of basic Old English prose and poetic texts, as well as preparing students to begin reading Beowulf in the Spring 2021 semester (note that for any student contemplating taking Beowulf in Spring 2021, this course is a prerequisite). Course requirements: daily translations; midterm exam, periodic quizzes, and one final translation/transcription project. Texts: Moore, Knott, and Hulbert, The Elements of Old English; Mitchell and Robinson, A Guide to Old English, 8th ed.; Clark Hall, A Concise Anglo-Saxon Dictionary; supplemental materials delivered via Dropbox.
Requirements fulfilled: Philology Sequence; British Literature; Period: Early; Medieval and Renaissance Studies Certificate
ENGL 5306 Studies in Seventeenth-Century British Literature: Milton & C.S. LewisDr. Ryan Hackenbracht
Wednesdays, 6:00-8:50 PM
CRNs: 35489 (Onsite) or 41969 (Distance)
This course explores the relationship between John Milton's epics and the works of C. S. Lewis. Though now remembered for his fictional and apologetic works, C. S. Lewis was the leading Milton critic of his time, and his enormously influential A Preface to Paradise Lost (1942) is still taught and argued over today. But if Lewis shaped Milton studies, did Milton also shape Lewis? How do Miltonic themes like rewriting scripture, Satanic heroism, freedom of the will, and theodicy (the attempt to “justify the ways of God to man”) figure in Lewis's writings? When Paradise Lost surfaces in the Narnia books, The Screwtape Letters, or Mere Christianity, what conclusions might we reach about why Lewis is using Milton and to what effect? Over the course of the semester, we'll probe these points of contact and investigate Milton's legacy in one of the most important intellectuals of the twentieth century.
Assignments will include an annotated bibliography, conference-style presentation, and a final paper/portfolio (on a subject within your own area of specialization). Readings will include:
- John Milton: Sonnets, Elegies, Lycidas, Paradise Lost, Paradise Regain'd, and Samson Agonistes
- C.S. Lewis: Narnia series, Sci-Fi series, Screwtape Letters, Mere Christianity, The Great Divorce, The Problem of Pain, A Grief Observed, and Surprised by Joy
Requirements Fulfilled: British Literature; Period: Early; Genre: Poetry
ENGL 5309 Studies in Nineteenth-Century British Literature: Romanticism and Criminal JusticeDr. Marjean D. Purinton
Thursdays 9:30– 12:20
There were good reasons for people living during the Romantic period (1780-1830) to wonder about the harms humankind could inflict in its members. Corrupt leadership in the face of political unrest and regime changes dominated national and international concerns. Legal slavery was integral to Britain's economy. Marriage itself was seen by many women as “legalized prostitution.” Increased consumption increased activities in speculation, gambling, forgery. A crime-breeding environment was enriched by industrialization, and urbanization taxed an infrastructure incapable of growing cities of diverse peoples living and working in unclean, crowded, insecure spaces.
There are also good reasons why we should be attentive to the changes effected in criminal justice during this period because they are the conceptual foundations upon which our own systems of justice rest. Because this significant paradigm shift in criminal justice occurred, it is not surprising for us to see spectacular violence and crime, public punishments, legal proceedings, and courtroom scenes represented in popular culture.
We will explore the cultural forces shaping and reflecting the period's reforms in criminal justice, including crime detection and prevention, female criminality, and punishments. We will read poetry engaged with criminal justice. Dramas such as Colman's Blue-Beard, P.B. Shelley's The Cenci, Baillie's Orra, and Coleridge's Remorse stage manifest latent content about the period's criminality. We will read Wollstonecraft's Maria; or, The Wrongs of Woman, Godwin's Things as They Are; or, The Adventures of Caleb Williams, Mary Shelley's Falkner, and Earle's Obi; or The History of Three Fingered Jack as representative novels' contributions to the period's criminal reform movement.
Our activities will include a series of short primary-source essays, a criminal justice discovery activity focused on extra-literary materials, a brief pedagogical presentation, a final critical essay, and ample discussion. My pedagogy and scholarship are informed by feminist theory, and so come to the seminar expecting de-centralized authority and interactive learning.
ENGL 5313 Studies in Twentieth-Century British Literature: High and LowDr. Jen Shelton
CRNs: 40757 (Onsite) or 33022 (Distance)
This course will examine texts of the 1920s, moving between texts of “High Modernism” (experimental “art” texts) and texts for a popular audience. The 1920s saw Joyce and Woolf publishing masterworks including Ulysses and Mrs. Dalloway, but it was also the Golden Age of detective fiction and saw an explosion of World War I memoirs aimed at a popular audience. We will sample these fictional texts in order to understand the forces that made modernism, those that generated a split in fiction between texts rightfully placed among the most aesthetically challenging of British texts and those aimed at a low-brow audience looking for something to read on the train home from the City. Students should expect the usual graduate-study requirements, such as a seminar paper, a formal presentation, very frequent informal writing, and a normal-for-graduate-school reading load.
ENGL 5323 The Twilight of the Poets: Late-Nineteenth-Century American PoetryDr. Elissa Zellinger
CRNs: Onsite:14963 or Distance: 37201
In 1885, literary critic and poet E. C. Stedman declared the era a “twilight” in American poetry. While his intention was to explain that older, elite, and idealized understandings of verse were waning, his assertion was received within the literary public sphere as a fact: poetry was in decline. From that point and well into the twentieth century, the critical consensus dismissed nineteenth-century poetry as genteel and out of touch. This class will examine American poetry from 1880-1910 in order to assess how such professional assessments contradicted other contemporary notions of poetry as progressive, successful, even healthy. Our investigation will not simply evaluate works based on their seemingly proto-modern qualities, but trace poetry's antebellum influences and impulses. In so doing, students will be introduced to a broad range of authors, texts, and critical methodologies. Requirements for the class include in-class presentations, weekly Blackboard posts, a research proposal, and a final written assignment.
Requirement fulfilled: American Literature, Period:Early; Genre: Poetry
ENGL 5325 Studies in American Fiction: The Gilded AgeDr. John Samson
Thursdays 2:00-4:50 pm
In 1873 Mark Twain and Charles Dudley Warner coined the term “The Gilded Age,” which would come to characterize American society in the last three decades of the nineteenth century and into the twentieth. The obsession with wealth and its ostentatious display gave rise to a literature that was highly critical of the resulting problems in social class, gender roles, and political corruption. We will begin with two theoretical works from the period, Charlotte Perkins Gilman's 1898 Women and Economics and Thorstein Veblen's 1899 The Theory of the Leisure Class, both of which critique the foundations of the ideology of the era. Then we will read and discuss some significant novelistic explorations of these issues. Texts will include Elizabeth Stuart Phelps's The Silent Partner, Henry Adams's Democracy, Mark Twain's A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, Edith Wharton's The House of Mirth, Jack London's The Iron Heel, and others.
Requirements fulfilled: American Literature, Period: Early;Genre: Fiction
ENGL 5327 Studies in Multicultural American Literatures: Indigenous FuturismDr. Sara Spurgeon
Wednesdays 6:00-8:50 p.m.
This course will explore creative and scholarly works in the emerging field of Indigenous Futurism. We will read novels, short stories, graphic stories/comics, and watch several films, as well as read a variety of critical and theoretical texts from this field. All our primary texts, both literary and filmic, are created by Native American, First Nations, tribal authors, artists, and/or filmmakers from somewhere in the Americas. Among the questions we will consider are: Why has speculative fiction (science fiction, fantasy, alternative history, futurism, etc.) traditionally been so closely associated with white, Western, male authors and narratives of invasion and conquest? What happens when authors or filmmakers from cultures that have already survived an alien invasion/apocalypse claim the forms of speculative fiction to tell their own stories? Why are we currently experiencing a groundswell of publications in speculative fiction by authors/filmmakers of color, including indigenous peoples?
Requirements fulfilled: American Literature, Period: Later, Genre: Fiction or Film, Literature, Social Justice, and Environment (LSJE)
ENGL 5340 Research MethodsDr. Wyatt Phillips
Tuesdays 6:00-8:50 p.m.
This seminar introduces graduate students to a range of methods and methodologies utilized in humanities-based studies, including the vast array of digital, material, and archival resources available to researchers. We will hear during the semester from other faculty about their own research practices, strategies, and projects. Students will develop a significant research project in their selected area of specialization that will include a book review, annotated bibliography, conference-length presentation, and article-length research paper.
Requirement fulfilled: Foundation course
ENGL 5340 Research MethodsDr. Cordelia Barrera
Wednesdays 9 – 11:50 am
Research Methods introduces English students pursuing an MA or PhD to the methods, processes, and procedures for graduate-level research in English and is geared towards concentrations in Literature, Creative Writing, and Linguistics. Students will investigate the uses of archival, bibliographic, and web-based sources necessary to graduate-level scholarship. In this seminar, we look to a variety of methods used by literary scholars, critics, and creative writers in their research with the goal of understanding how these methods impact, shape, and guide our own writing, scholarship, and creative output. In today's 21st century job market, it is imperative for students to not only be consumate researchers, but to understand the workings of the profession alongside venues, audiences, and why exemplary scholarship and writing matters. This class focuses on the profession of scholarly output and the professionalization of graduate students. Topics include how to publish a scholarly article, how to present at conferences, how to network, how to assemble one's committee, and how to navigate graduate school with an eye toward job markets. Each student will develop a research project that relates to his or her own particular area of interest with the goal of publishing in a scholarly venue.
Requirement fulfilled: Foundation course
ENGL5342 Critical MethodsDr. Matthew Hunter
Tuesdays 2:00-4:50 p.m.
This course will introduce students to some of the major movements in literary theory across the last century. How--if at all--can we theorize the relationship between text and context, between form and content? How does language make things happen? How do our protocols of reading condition us to treat certain texts as worthy of critical investigation and others as not? Throughout our discussions, special attention will be paid to questions of form, affect, aesthetics, performativity, social theory, and recent developments within queer theory.
Requirement fulfilled: Foundation course
ENGL 5342 Critical MethodsDr. Yuan Shu
Thursdays 6-8:50 pm
CRNs: 14996 (Onsite) or 40755 (Distance)
This course investigates critical theories that have informed and reshaped English studies since the 1960s. We begin by raising a rhetorical question, “Who killed Shakespeare?” and examining the status quo of English studies against the background of the declining humanities and the changing environment for higher education in the twenty-first century. As we explore diachronically theories of formalism, structuralism, deconstruction, Marxism, feminism, and post-colonial studies, we also focus on bio-political thoughts, transoceanic approaches, digital media concepts, new reading strategies, and ecocriticism and climate change issues, with special attention to various “theoretical turns” in current English, American, and Comparative studies. We conclude by reflecting upon another rhetorical question, “What happens after post-identity, post-theory, and post-history?”
Requirement fulfilled: Foundation course
ENGL 5343 Studies in Literary Criticism: Symbiosis and the Literature and Sciences of ForestsDr. Bruce Clarke
Tuesdays 6:00-8:50 p.m.
CRNs: 35492 (Onsite) or 35546 (Distance)
Something is afoot with the forest. Literary attention to the forest realm runs deep, and in recent years, there has been an outpouring of novels, studies, and documentaries devoted to trees. Forests entangle human communities with the biosphere. And no tree stands alone: forest ecosystems have been teaching us that health and longevity depend upon robust interrelations of different kinds of organisms, upon the salutary diversity of symbiotic relations. Forests are an ancient and indispensable component of the global environment.
Students will gain closer familiarity with contemporary ecology, but no prior scientific study will be assumed. Science content will come from assigned readings carefully selected for accessibility. Our objective will be to build student confidence in reading across disciplines. The base of operations for this course will be Richard Powers's outstanding novel The Overstory (2018). Here a series of characters deeply entwine with arboreal life and its preservation. We will unpack The Overstory alongside a selection of earlier narrative fictions focused on human interactions with trees and forests: Algernon Blackwood, The Man Whom the Trees Loved (1912); Ursula Le Guin, The Word for World is Forest (1972); and James Cameron's Avatar (2009). We will illuminate these works with some of the newer science of symbiosis in general and forest ecology in particular. Selections will include Lynn Margulis, Symbiotic Planet; Paul Stamets, Mycelium Running; David George Haskell, The Forest Unseen: A Year's Watch in Nature; Peter Wohlleben, The Hidden Life of Trees; and Robert MacFarlane, “The Understorey.”
Assignments: two class reports, one research project, a midterm essay and a final essay.
Requirements fulfilled: CLGT; Period: Late; Genre: Fiction
ENGL 5349 Religion and Material Texts: Controversies Surrounding Sacred Images and Books in 19th and 20th Century LiteratureDr. Roger McNamara
Mondays, 9:00-11:50 a.m.
This course explores how literature engages religion. How does literature question, endorse, and reinterpret religion in its various manifestations—from representing sacred texts, through embracing or resisting religious and nationalist identities, to critiquing the secular. Our focus will be on how fiction engages Hinduism (in South Asia) and Islam (in Europe).
In South Asia, we'll examine the influence of Bankimcandra Chatterji's Anandamath (one of the first novels written in India) on Indian nationalism and, more disturbingly, Hindu nationalism that has currently suppressed religious minorities. We'll also explore how Indian fiction—such as Rabindranath Tagore's Home and the World and Amitav Ghosh's The Shadow Lines—are deeply influenced by Anandamath but also critique it. In Western Europe, we'll begin by examining Salman Rushdie's The Satanic Verses and the controversy it stirred regarding its representation of Islam in a secular culture. We'll continue to explore this conflict between “secularism” and “Islam” (to put it crudely) by examining Orhan Pamuk's My Name is Red and discussing the Danish Cartoon and Charlie Hebdo controversies. Other texts may include Minaret by Leila Aboulela and Is Critique Secular: Blasphemy, Injury, and Free Speech (Asad, Brown, Butler, and Mahmood).
Requirements fulfilled: CLGT; Period: Late; Genre: Fiction
ENGL 5351.002 Film & Literature: Auterism | Branding | CinemasDr. Scott Baugh
Mondays 2:00 - 4:50 p.m.
This seminar will begin with an introduction to film & media critical studies: graduate students with no previous experience in cinema studies but a vigorous interest are fully welcome! With a steep learning curve, we will survey auteur theory and traditional conceptions of auteur cinemas and then draw some comparisons to the Classical Paradigm and mainstream-commercial style, independents and indywood, and contemporary global-national schools. The concluding module in our seminar will explore contemporary business models (cinema industry but also marketing more broadly) of ‘branding' in light of historical, artistic, and cultural issues. Looser extrapolations and re-applications certainly can be drawn to comparable arts, literary traditions, and wider conceptions of authorship through the seminar participants' individually selected research questions and projects.
Seminar readings likely include:
- the movies, probably in historical/creative combinations like: The Searchers, The Alamo, Salt of the Earth… Masculin féminin, À bout de souffle, Bande à part… Cléo from 5 to 7, Sans toit ni loi… THX 1138, Easy Rider, American Grafitti… Recuerdos de flores muertas, Despues del terremoto… Pulp Fiction, The Host …The Virgin Suicides, Lost in Translation … Y tu mamá también, Gravity, Roma … Amores perros, Rudo y cursi… The Tree of Life, The Revenant
- one textbook/primer: Margo Kasdan, Christine Saxton, and Susan Tavernetti's The Critical Eye (3/e, Kendall-Hunt, 2002 or newer), and,
- scholarly books & articles (on electronic reserve) by: François Truffaut, André Bazin, Andrew Sarris, Pauline Kael, Peter Wollen, Laura Mulvey, David Bordwell, Barry Keith Grant, B. Ruby Rich, E. Ann Kaplan, Yannis Tzioumakis, Roland Barthes, Dolores Tierney, Kaja Silverman, Tom Schatz, Ola Mobolade, Guy Garcia, and more.
Course requirements: participants will be encouraged to determine an author/auteur related to their own research agendas early in the term to serve as the basis of their projects; assigned readings, shared screenings, and discussions; one short (approx. 5-7 pp.) critical essay; class presentation of that short essay; one article-length research essay; and a creative multimedia/multi-discursive or practical professional-development project.
Requirements fulfilled: Film & Media Studies; Period: Late; Genre: Film
ENGL 5351.001 Teaching Film and Media StudiesDr. Allison Whitney
CRNs: 15008 (Onsite) or 41970 (Distance)
In this course, students will learn practical strategies for teaching film and other audio/visual media, while also becoming versed in the history of film instruction, and in the array of ethical, legal, and technical concerns facing educators in this field. While the course will be appropriate for students whose primary focus is film studies, it will also provide valuable expertise to students in other fields who wish to integrate the study of media texts and/or the use of media-based assignments into their curricula. Throughout the semester, students will design syllabi, lesson plans, assignments, and assessment strategies that are germane to their interests, and will also have the opportunity to visit classrooms. Topics will include teaching critical viewing and listening skills, assignment design, accessibility for students with disabilities, the ethics of representation in the classroom, multicultural course design, service learning and community engagement, undergraduate research, copyright law, and digital tools.
ENGL 5360 History and Theories of College CompositionDr. Jennifer Nish
Thursdays, 6:00 - 8:50 PM
CRNs: 39488 (Onsite) or 38489 (Online)
This course provides an introduction to composition and rhetoric as a field of study. Course readings will explore the history of composition studies and composition courses in U.S. universities, as well as contemporary theories that inform composition research and pedagogy. I encourage you to use the course discussion and projects to develop and situate your own theories, practices, and pedagogies. We will examine and reflect on many approaches to understanding composition, literacy, rhetoric, and writing, including perspectives that spark debate within the field. The course will provide you with a basis for understanding the field of composition and rhetoric and for situating your interests and practices in relation to composition scholarship.
ENGL 5361 Theories of Invention in WritingDr. Ken Baake
Mondays, 6:00 - 8:50 PM
CRNs: 38063 (Onsite) or 38064 (Online)
This is a class that looks at the history of rhetoric, how speakers and writers have developed arguments from Classical Greek and Roman times to the present. Aristotle defined rhetoric as the art of finding the best available means of persuasion. For the Greeks rhetoric was primarily oral, although it is obviously found in all forms of human communication—especially writing and visual media. In this course we will survey of rhetorical theory from the Sophists through Aristotle and fellow Greeks, Romans, Medieval theologians, Enlightenment scholars and others to 20th century thinkers. We will consider everything from Cicero's blistering attack on a fellow countryman accused of conspiracy in first century B.C.E. Rome to Dr. Martin Luther King's speech proclaiming his dream for civil rights in 20th century America. The class will cover all aspects of rhetoric, but focus mainly on invention, arrangement, and style. We will study how rhetoric functioned in these historic periods and how it functions today.
Students will post reading responses to Blackboard, engage in practice developing arguments using Classical techniques, and conduct a research project.
ENGL 5363 Research Methods in Technical Communication and CompositionDr. Rebecca Rickly
Wednesdays, 6:00 - 8:50 PM
English 5363, Research Methods in Technical Communication and Composition, will introduce you to a variety of research methods and methodologies used in Composition and Rhetoric and Technical Communication research. While this course does serve as an overview, we will concentrate primarily on work that has influenced our broad field of TC/Writing Studies for the past ten years. The work you do in this course will give you an orientation that will prove to be valuable as you select further research courses from which you will ground your dissertation research. In subsequent, more focused research courses, you'll build upon the overview knowledge base you'll get in 5363.
The course relies on the assumption that research is intimately related to context, theory, and practice, and that all research—quantitative, qualitative, or mixed—is an act of collecting, interpreting, and representing information best designed to answer (or address) research questions. Throughout the course, we will explore the implications of these assumptions, test their applicability to specific research methodologies, and look for common ways in which they shape the work of researchers using different research methods and approaches. Our central questions for this course will be "What constitutes a good, workable research question?" and "How do I select the best method(s) to answer that question?" As a participant in this class, you will read critically texts on conducting research, evaluate existing research, as well as conducting your own research on a limited basis, and this experience will enable you to address the central questions from an informed perspective.
ENGL 5370 Creative Writing Workshop: PoetryDr. John Poch
Wednesdays 2:00-4:50 PM
This course is a traditional graduate poetry workshop. Traditional in T.S. Eliot's sense, graduate in the sense that what is expected of you is more informed intellectual thinking based on having read hundreds of major and minor poets through the ages, poetry in the sense that a poem is at the same time a work of art and a complex language construct, both intentional and accidental, workshop meaning a room where we work together and alone to build our poems. I expect students in this course to give a great deal of time outside of class to the writing of poems and to the assigned readings. Students must be able to receive and process criticism as well as praise, and to do constructive work with both. Students must be able to conceive of an aesthetic and critical perspective toward poetry and the individual poem.
In this class, in addition to writing poems each week, we will be reading contemporary and modern poetry and criticism. Classes will be discussion-oriented. Recitation of a poem is a requirement. A final portfolio of poems with a statement of aesthetics is due at semester's end.
Requirement fulfilled: Creative Writing Workshop
ENGL 5370 Creative Writing Workshop: Fiction - Literary/GenresDr. Katie Cortese
Mondays, 6:00-8:50 PM
CRN:15196 (Onsite) or 40760 (Online)
In graduate creative writing programs, prose writers are often expected to produce
“literary fiction,” a category of literature that has many definitions—some debatable
and controversial—but which can generally be described as fiction that privileges
character (and often language) over plot. And yet, writers often start reading and
writing because they fell in love with titles pulled from the bookstore's genre shelves—The Narnia Chronicles, A Wrinkle in Time, Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, The Martian
Chronicles, comic books, and other texts, some of which have since been grudgingly admitted to
the literary canon while others are referred to as “cross-genre,” “crossover,” “slipstream,”
“hybrid,” or a variety of other terms that indicate the work deliberately blends and
challenges a variety of literary modes. This class will examine the boundaries between
literary and genre fiction in both the assigned readings and in the original works
students will generate as they'll incorporate elements of any genre they choose into
at least two out of three stories to be workshopped. A touchstone throughout the course
will be interrogating the conventions associated with a variety of genres under the
umbrella of fiction, and revising each in concert with the experiments and discoveries
we make along the way.
Required Texts: Narrative Design by Madison Smartt Bell, Dawn by Octavia Butler, Nimona by Noelle Stevenson, True Grit by Charles Portis, The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro, and PDFs as assigned.
Requirement fulfilled: Creative Writing Workshop
ENGL 5371 Foundations of Technical CommunicationDr. Steve Holmes
Thursdays, 6:00-8:50 PM
CRNs:15203 (Onsite) or 32543 (Online)
ENGL 5371 Foundations of Technical CommunicationDr. Lisa Phillips
Tuesdays, 6:00 - 8:50 PM
To begin to understand something, one might juxtapose a thing with what it is not. Technical Communication is not journalistic writing, expressive writing, or creative literature. It does not use symbolism or vague literary references. It is not used to entertain, unless the author gaffes. Avoid that ethos.Technical Communication is intended to inform, instruct, and persuade an audience with a specific goal in mind. It involves creativity. It is often collaborative and requires inter/transdisciplinary acumen. It may appear to be objective, but is created through the cultural, socio-historical subjectivity of its makers. It is drenched in systems of power. It is a vehicle for domination and resistance. It affects lives and livelihoods.
Technical Communication has messy origins. It is located at intersections of science and technology studies, writing and literacy studies, rhetoric and argumentation, and design and new media theory. As such, Technical Communication can be broadly conceived, practiced, and theorized. Some might describe technical communication as the development of instructional documents; others might describe it as the research of contexts for non-academic writing. Still others would describe it as the discipline for scholars whose interests focus on discourse as it occurs within science and/or technology. To be sure, technical communication histories, theories, and practices have wide-ranging legal, political, medical, environmental, ethical, and social implications.
In this class, we will investigate the various origins and theories of technical communication with one primary aim: to support you to develop a sense of how your thinking and future scholarship fit into the field. Perhaps it fits squarely in Science and Technology Studies. Perhaps your work is at the periphery of mainstream Tech Comm. Perhaps you want to be a document designer. Perhaps you want to discover novel ways to teach future engineers, scientists, and software developers. All of these are fine choices—and this class is meant to foster a generative environment to test ideas and to sketch out possibilities for your scholarly and professional future. As a foundational class, this course provides necessary background knowledge for your future as a graduate student in the TTU TCR program. But as with all classes, this course, as I approach it, will provide one particular (if incomplete) narrative about technical communication—we'll poke holes in this narrative, question it, revise it, and determine where we think the field might (need to) go next.
The trouble with technical communication, we'll find, is that it is both a practice and a field of study; it requires deep theoretical understanding of discourse, technology, and human interaction but it also requires frequent doings and makings. To understand and engage with the "foundations" of this field will require you to seek an approach that privileges praxis – rather than relegating yourself to just the doer or just the scholar. Because this is a foundational class, a large part of the course introduces you to what it is we expect of graduate level scholars. It makes very little difference what your end goal is—rather, in this class, we begin a journey of scholarly acumen, which doesn't merely prepare you to be a scholar; rather, the class will prepare you to approach the world through a scholarly lens, with a scholarly disposition. This means that you constantly seek/engage /witness new knowledge-making and that we humble ourselves to new knowledge; it means that you hold yourself to the ethical code of a scholar, and read, write, and research, daily.
Potential Texts: Longo's Spurious Coin | Da Vinci's notebooks. Ed. Irma A. Richter | Scott, Longo, and Wills' Critical Power Tools: Technical Communication and Cultural Studies | Savage and Kynell-Hunt's Power and Legitimacy in Technical Communication
ENGL 5376 Online PublishingDr. Craig Baehr
Thursdays, 6:00-8:50 PM
ENGL 5377 Theoretical Approach to Technical Communication: Research Methods, Case StudiesDr. Michael Faris
Mondays, 6:00-8:50 PM
ENGL 5381 Global Technical CommunicationDr. Beau Pihlaja
Wednesdays, 6:00 - 8:50 PM
CRNs: 39494 (Onsite) or 39495 (Online)
The world is a big place. However, people from vastly different worlds are increasingly brought together through the reach of multinational corporations, migration, and travel for leisure. More and more communities and markets stretch across borders: national/political borders, linguistic borders, and cultural borders. Engineers, technical communicators, and professionals are asked to adapt, to compose texts that reach and work across those borders. In this class we will explore and challenge our definitions for "culture" and what it means to be "culturally competent" as a technical communicator in a globalized society. We will learn about the ways writing and writing technologies shape and are shaped by the cultures in which they are used. This class will challenge you to think both theoretically and practically about how we might write texts for particular users in particular contexts globally as well as train technical communicators to become invested in cross-cultural competence and mindfulness. Finally, as scholars and researchers of global technical communication we will especially consider what it means to engage our expanding world in just and ethical ways.
ENGL 5388 Usability ResearchDr. Jason Tham
Tuesdays 6:00 - 8:50 PM
CRNs: 37088 (Onsite) or 35503 (Online)
Technical communication and usability have an intertwined relationship, as Janish Redish (2010) puts it. Modern technical communicators find themselves working in collaboration with design and development teams to produce user-centered interfaces. As user advocates, technical communicators need theoretical and practical knowledge in user experience (UX) and usability research to achieve design goals.
This course introduces students to foundational principles and theories of usability and UX research, and prepares them to perform basic usability testing of user-facing documents. Students read and discuss recent literature on UX, human/user-centered design, usability testing methods and methodologies, design principles, and related topics. Students will learn to conduct usability testing in the course as well as through the TTU UX Research Lab. Upon completion of this course, students should feel confident about:
- Engaging current issues in UX and user-centered design approaches
- Developing research questions and methodologies that address usability problems
- Constructing rigorous and validating UX and usability test plans
- Practicing a variety of approaches to researching user experiences and goals
- Analyzing user and usability data in appropriate ways
ENGL 5391 Grants and Proposals for NonprofitsDr. Angela Eaton
Tuesdays, 6:00-8:50 PM
CRNs:38968(Onsite) or 36382(Online)
ENGL 5393 Grants and Proposals for the Academy and IndustryDr. Rich Rice
Wednesdays, 6:00-8:50 PM
CRNs:41348(Onsite) or 40543(Online)