Texas Tech University

Graduate Course Offerings, Spring 2022

If you have any questions about the Literature, Creative Writing, or Linguistics courses, please contact the graduate advisor. For all Technical Communication courses, please contact the Director of Graduate Studies.

Courses from previous semesters are archived here.

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


Click an Option to Show Courses by Focus


ENGL 5067 Methods of Teaching College Composition: Master's

Dr. Michael Faris
Mondays, 12:00 - 1:20 PM (CRN: 57603)

This course is designed as a practicum for GPTI teaching first-year writing at Texas Tech University. This course will introduce teachers to methods and practices of teaching writing and provide scaffolding for their first three semesters teaching first-year writing. We will use class time to discuss teaching activities, to introduce you to theories of learning, writing, and rhetoric, to solve problems related to teaching and learning, and to help you build your teaching philosophy.

ENGL 5067 Methods of Teaching College Composition: PhD

Dr. Michael Faris
Wednesdays, 12:00 - 1:20 PM (CRN: 63583)

This course is designed as a practicum for GPTI teaching first-year writing at Texas Tech University. This course will introduce teachers to methods and practices of teaching writing and provide scaffolding for their first three semesters teaching first-year writing. We will use class time to discuss teaching activities, to introduce you to theories of learning, writing, and rhetoric, to solve problems related to teaching and learning, and to help you build your teaching philosophy.

ENGL 5303 Studies in Medieval British Literature: Holy Romance!

Dr. Julie Nelson Couch
Tuesdays, 6:00 - 8:50 PM (CRN: 49653; 63652D)

In Middle English literature, genres often overlapped so that a romance would feature saint-like heroes and a saint's life would include romance type adventures. In this course we will read Middle English romances that are set within a “holy,” contexts, including crusade, pilgrimage, and conversion. Romances are also set in a “holy” context by virtue of the texts that surround them in their manuscripts. For example, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is preceded by two homilies and a vision of heaven. Our reading will thus extend to the ostensibly religious texts, such as prayers, homilies, dream visions, and saints' lives, that are found in the same manuscripts as the romances. As we read these poems and attend to their manuscript contexts, we will investigate the particular aesthetic, spiritual, and ideological values sought by the readers of these texts; we will also consider how these narratives construct identity in various ways that reflect and produce rhetorics of cultural, racialized, geographical, and gendered categories.

Assignments: research project, oral presentation, conference-length paper, annotated bibliography

Prerequisite: English 5302, Translating Middle English, Fall 2021

Requirements Fulfilled: Foreign Language/Methods (Option 3), British Literature; Period: early; Genre: poetry; Book History/Digital Humanities Certificate, Medieval and Renaissance Studies Certificate

ENGL 5304 Studies in Renaissance British Literature: Getting to Know Early Modern Tragedy

Dr. Matthew Hunter
Wednesdays, 6:00 - 8:50 PM (CRN: 64968; 64969D)

This course introduces students to early modern English drama through a sustained consideration of the genre of tragedy. Scholars have long noted that tragedy enjoys a remarkable efflorescence during the early modern period, when the genre gets reborn, altered, and re-purposed to new ends. Not only does the early modern period oversee the revival of classical forms like Senecan revenge tragedy (The Spanish Tragedy), but it also gives rise to new generic forms like domestic tragedy (A Woman Killed with Kindness, Arden of Feversham) and historical tragedy (Richard II, Edward II). Acquainting students with the many iterations that the tragic genre takes in England's early modern period, this course will be organized around two questions, the one historical, the other formal. First, why does tragedy enjoy such treatment during England's early modern period? And second, what are the formal features that distinguish early modern tragedy from its classical forebears? How do character, plot, soliloquy, and language itself come to function in early modern tragedy? Does this genre offer anything like catharsis? In short, what sort of knowledge does early modern tragedy provide? To answer these questions, we will consult tragedies both Shakespearean and non-Shakespearean, alongside literary criticism and philosophy exploring the nature of tragedy, pain, language, and knowledge.

Requirements fulfilled: British Literature; Period: early; Genre: drama; Medieval Renaissance Studies Certificate

ENGL 5315 Studies in British Fiction / 5351 Studies in Film and Media: Serialized Fiction

Dr. Marta Kvande and Dr. Wyatt Phillips
Wednesdays, 2:00 - 4:50 PM
5315 CRN: 65311; 65307D
5351 CRN: 32443; 65050D

Many narrative traditions have deep roots in serial form, going back to oral culture. In the era of print, serialized fiction begins in early magazines during the eighteenth century and takes off in the nineteenth century. Novelists such as Charles Dickens, Elizabeth Gaskell, and Thomas Hardy published their novels in parts before issuing them in bound volumes; movie serials with weekly episodes ran regularly from the mid-1910s to the early 1920s; radio serials and then TV made serialized fiction commonplace in private homes during the 20th century, and streaming services have already successfully adopted the practice for 21st century technologies; finally, podcasts, comic books, and feature films—sequels and prequels as well as the expanded universes—continue to engage audiences in serialized storytelling.

This course will, accordingly, study the history and theory of serialized fiction, cutting across a wide range of periods, media, genres, and audiences. Final projects can focus on works of serialized fiction in one of the media forms addressed in the course or can consider serialization in other forms of art, performance, etc., utilizing the theory and methods studied.

Students will be expected to complete a 5-page midterm paper, a short project on the material history of a work of serial fiction, and a final research paper of 18-25 pages. Creative writers may create an original work for the final project, accompanied by a 10-12 page reflexive essay addressing the way/s in which their creative efforts engaged with ideas, theories, and methods presented and studied in the course.

Requirements fulfilled: American or British Literature; Period: later; Genre: fiction or film; FMS, BHDH

**Students should register for one class/section based on the requirement they want fulfilled (e.g. if you want a British class, sign up for 5314, etc.)**

ENGL 5324 Studies in Twentieth-Century American Literature: American Poetry—Traditional Forms and Functions

Dr. John Poch
Wednesdays, 6:00 - 8:50 PM (CRN: 49658; 57991D)

In W.S. Merwin's essay “On Open Form” he states, “The consideration of the evolution of forms, strict or open, belongs largely to history and to method. The visitation that is going to be a poem finds the form it needs in spite of both.” In this class we will study a variety of verse forms and formal techniques, especially traditional forms that emphasize regular accentual syllabic structures. This course invites you to appreciate history, method, and the forms as a result of and “in spite of” tradition. We will begin with meter and rhythm in verse, types of rhyme, examine blank verse, and discover the formal qualities and quantities of couplets, villanelles, sonnets, sestinas, nonce forms, prose poems, etc. A few of the poets we will consider: Stallings, Williamson, Lowell, Wilbur, Cullen, Frost, Schnackenberg, Alvarez, Hacker, Auden, Dickinson, Bishop, Walcott, Ashbery, Abushanab, Albergotti, Davis, Hayes. More than 90% of the poems we will discuss will be written by American poets, but we also will have to look elsewhere to see from whence we receive these forms. All are required to write a midterm essay and take a final exam. Creative writing students are encouraged to work within the given forms and submit a portfolio of six poems and a brief introductory essay on form (8-10 pages) rather than write the required final term paper. I will construct a course packet (pdf) for you.

Requirements fulfilled: American Literature; Period: later; Genre: poetry

English 5327 Studies in Multicultural American Literature: Transpacific American Literature

Dr. Yuan Shu
Tuesdays, 6:00 - 8:50 PM (CRN: 61846)

Following the paradigm shift in American studies from the transatlantic to the transpacific, this course investigates how transpacific movements have informed and reshaped American literary imagination from the mid-nineteenth century to the late twentieth century. Beginning with Herman Melville's Moby-Dick and Jack London's Tales of the Pacific, we examine how the Anglo-American experience in the Pacific and the changing constructions of the South Pacific served as an extension of the American westward movement and expansion of Anglo-American capitalism and settler colonialism into the Pacific, which encompasses Pacific Islands, Oceania, Hawai'i, and the Asia Pacific. We then scrutinize Maxine Hong Kingston's China Men and Jessica Hagedorn's Dogeaters as an alternative way of approaching American experiences, from the Asia Pacific to North America and from the west coast to the east coast, which foregrounds the process of American nation-building and empire-building. Meanwhile, we also focus on how the Cold War unfolds in the transpacific spaces, with special attention to David Henry Hwang's M. Butterfly, Chang-Rae Lee's A Gesture Life, Tim O'Brien's Going after Cacciato, and Viet Nguyen's The Sympathizer. We conclude by exploring two speculative fictions on our planetary and technological futures with ecocritical and transpacific twists—Karen Yamashita's Through the Arch of the Rain Forest and Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash.

Secondary Critical Texts include:

    • David Harvey, Spaces of Global Capitalism
    • Janet Hoskins and Viet Thanh Nguyen, Transpacific Studies: Framing an Emerging Field
    • Lisa Lowe, The Intimacies of Four Continents
    • A collection of essays on settler colonialism and Cold War orientalism.

Requirements fulfilled: American Literature, LSJE; Period: later; Genre: fiction

ENGL 5334 History of the English Language: Who Owns English? Authority in a Worldwide Language

Dr. Brian McFadden
Tuesdays, 2:00 - 4:50 PM (CRN: 56192; 60695)

We will be examining the history and development of the English language from its origins in Early Medieval England through the high Middle Ages and the Early Modern period to Modern English and issues and controversies of the present day; this entails studying the internal history, external history, and the development of its morphology, phonology, semantics, and syntax, in addition to an examination of orality and literacy and the effects of developing methods of textual production on the language. We will also be reading short pieces written at different times through English history (e.g. Ælfric of Eynsham, Alfred the Great, Chaucer, Milton, Sidney, Johnson, Swift, Jefferson, Orwell) to gain a historical perspective on how authors perceived the language in which they were writing and how they claim authority to define and use the English language for their social and political ends. The earlier parts of the course will be highly technical and mechanical; as the course progresses, there will be more opportunity for discussion and development of current topics of interest to the student. The requirements will be a dialect project examining how different people read the same passage, a seminar paper on a topic of interest to the study of English as a language, a prospectus at midterm in order to give me an idea of what you wish to discuss in the essay, and an oral presentation on one of the texts to be discussed in class. Primary texts: Gramley, The History of English: An Introduction; Knowles, A Cultural History of the English Language; Orwell, 1984; McCrum, Globish; George Bernard Shaw, Pygmalion; Wilton, Word Myths; plus additional reading assignments via OneDrive.

Requirements fulfilled: Foreign Language/Methods, Graduate Certificate in Linguistics, Medieval and Renaissance Studies Certificate

ENGL 5338 Syntax

Dr. Min-Joo Kim
Tuesdays & Thursdays, 12:30 - 1:50 PM (CRN: 60696; 61350)

Syntax is a sub-discipline of linguistics that is concerned with sentence structure, that is, how various types of phrases come together to generate grammatical and well-formed sentences. This course aims to introduce fundamental principles of theoretical syntax and prepare students to take more advanced courses in syntax and apply the acquired knowledge to conduct research in other related disciplines such as semantics/pragmatics, language acquisition/teaching, literary studies, philosophy of language, and cognition.

Students will learn about (a) how to analyze morpho-syntactic data drawn from various unrelated languages; (b) how to formulate plausible hypotheses based on linguistic data; and (c) how to compare and/or evaluate different theories or hypotheses. Classes will be organized around lectures and discussions on select topics, which will include but will not be limited to syntactic categories, phrase structure rules, X-bar syntax, Case, and wh-movement. This course can be taken by anyone interested in language and linguistics; that is, no prior knowledge of linguistics or syntax will be required.

Requirements fulfilled: Philology/Methods Sequence; Graduate Certificate in Linguistics

ENGL 5340 Research Methods in Literature & Languages: Joys & Challenges

Dr. Fareed Ben-Youssef
Thursdays, 6:00 - 8:50 PM (CRN: 62374)


This course explores the joys and the challenges of research. It is an introduction to the methods, processes, and procedures for graduate-level research in English, for students pursuing MA and PhD degrees in English with concentrations primarily in Literature, Linguistics, and Creative Writing. Students will investigate the uses of archival, bibliographic, and web-based sources in graduate-level scholarship.

Using a suite of research methods, we will ask: how do we arrive at and refine a research question? What are the different strategies for and the scholarly debates around the close reading of a text? How do we choose and complicate theoretical lenses? How do we cultivate a network of research collaborators? How do we select the right venue for our research? How do we build a research portfolio that clearly articulates both short-term and long-term goals? How do we tailor our research for different audiences in and outside academia? How do we perform research across media and across disciplines? How do we acquire funding for our research? What are alternative modes of research dissemination that can reach the public? What does it mean to be an ethical researcher? What are practices to queer and to decolonize research methods? Through short exercises and longer writing assignments, students will acquire the tools necessary to be effective, considerate, and nimble researchers able to work within and beyond the humanities.

The course will feature conversations with artists and scholars pursuing interdisciplinary research. It fulfills a foundation course requirement for master's and doctoral students in English.

Requirements Fulfilled: Foundation course

ENGL 5342 Critical Methods: Cultural Studies, Literary Theories, Readings

Dr. Scott Baugh
Mondays, 6:00 - 8:50 PM (CRN: 65053; 65054D)
Thursdays, 6:00 - 8:50 PM (CRN: 64965; 64966D)

“Critical Methods” is a graduate course designed to survey a range of approaches to reading texts critically. Bring in theory explicitly, some naively assume, and you lose the so-called magic of reading; however, theory is always already there, and we may gain from being fully aware of our discursive approaches to reading texts, our critical methods, and articulating them as such, as methodology statements. Our group will explore recognized ‘schools' of criticism predominant over the last four decades or so, but we will place emphasis on significant patterns within, across, and among these schools. Formal requirements: assigned readings & several in-class ‘teaching demo' presentations; one short (5-7 pp.) research essay; one class research presentation; and one article-length (15+ pp.) essay. A course-long ‘journal' will track lessons over the term and be the basis of a final exam. It's also likely we will take advantage of some activities in Blackboard.

Requirements fulfilled: Foundations course for master's students

ENGL 5343 Studies in Literary Criticism: The Literature and Science of Indigeneity and Animacy

Dr. Bruce Clarke
Mondays, 6:00 - 8:50 PM (CRN: 62380; 64074)

Contemporary Western science has been rediscovering natural truths preserved in the wisdom traditions of indigenous cultures. All living beings possess some manner of sentience and establish communication of some sort within their own communities, and most evolve ways to reciprocate (through mutualistic symbioses) with life forms other than their own. A sizable body of research has been examining the repertoire of channels and techniques natural processes take up to hold collectives of microbes, fungi, and plants together with animal bodies. On a parallel track, the linguistic concept of animacy has been retooled to name indigenous perceptions of states of sensation and cognition in non-animal kingdoms. In her essay “The Grammar of Animacy,” plant ecologist and enrolled member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation Robin Wall Kimmerer has noted that many indigenous languages preserve grammatical systems that distribute animacy much more widely than Western languages as a rule, and not just to living beings, but also to “inanimate” features of the natural environment. This seminar will explore a range of non-fictional, essayistic, and often autobiographical works that explore these issues. We will then bring our studies to an informed consideration of Richard Powers's acclaimed 2018 novel The Overstory, a narrative fiction that creatively voices these recent trends in the biology and community ecology of plant behavior while observing the redistribution of animacies to nonhuman actors.

Texts: Monica Gagliano et al, eds., The Language of Plants: Science, Philosophy, Literature; Robin Wall Kimmerer, Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants; Davi Kopenawa and Bruce Albert, The Falling Sky: Words of a Yanomami Shaman; Merlin Sheldrake, Entangled Life: How Fungi Make Our Worlds, Change Our Minds & Shape Our Futures; Suzanne Simard, Finding the Mother Tree: Discovering the Wisdom of the Forest; and Richard Powers, The Overstory: A Novel.

Requirements fulfilled: Comparative Literature, Globalization, and Translation (CLGT), LSJE; Period: later; Genre: non-fiction or fiction

ENGL 5355 Studies in Comparative Literature: Debates Over World Literature

Dr. Roger McNamara
Wednesdays, 9:00 - 11:50 AM (CRN: 53179)

What is Comparative Literature? What are the various methodologies to approach Comparative Literature? These are the two broad questions that frame this course. This course begins with a brief overview of the origins of Comparative Literature and traces its development to the contemporary moment. We'll examine some of the competing approaches from aesthetics, through politics, to ethics in situating the discipline. While we will examine some canonical texts such as Auerbach's Mimesis, the primary focus will be on the current conversation with a special emphasis on the debates over “World Literature”. Some of the critics we will read are Emily Apter, Eric Auerbach, Pascale Casanova, David Damrosch, and Aamir Mufti. I have still to decide on the fiction we'll be reading for this course, but it will probably include Amitav Ghosh, Michael Ondaatje, and Rainer Maria Rilke.

At the same time, the course will also have a practical component, requiring you to come up with your own theory of comparative literature, how you would approach teaching it in the classroom, and creating a syllabus that you could use in portfolio when you go on the job market.

Assignments: short paper (7-8 pages), final paper (12-15 pages), annotated syllabus, and two presentations.

Requirements fulfilled: Comparative Literature, Globalization, and Translation (CLGT); Period: later; Genre: fiction

ENGL 5364 History of Rhetoric: Survey of Classical Rhetoric & Contemporary Connections

Dr. Lisa L. Phillips
Tuesdays, 6:00 - 8:50 PM

Course Overview
This course will introduce you to contemporary rhetorical theory scholarship that will familiarize you with a range of intellectual traditions that extend beyond canonical Greco-Roman rhetorical traditions. I have designed this seminar to make an argument about the work of rhetoric and positionality of human and nonhuman concerns: an understanding of rhetorical theory is crucial to an understanding how persuasion works on and with different audiences. The goal is to demonstrate that rhetorical history in the course title can be herstories of rhetorics. I'll ask you to read scholarship in rhetorical theory that can help us articulate why such an easy equation of Aristotelian and Greco-Rroman rhetoric persists outside the field, even in this department. By the end of the semester, you'll be familiar with the wide range of concerns the field takes up, and you'll be in a better position to articulate the ways in which your own scholarly concerns might be taken up rhetorically. Our rhetorical inheritances encompass an ecosystem of knowledges where indigenous, intersectional feminist, Black, Latinx, Queer, and other rhetorical traditions co-exist in dialogical conversation.

Representative Texts

Most course readings will be available as pdfs in a shared One Drive folder or available through TTU library's “Document Delivery” feature. Listed below are representative of what will be featured within our course readings. Enrolled students will be invited to weigh-in on course readings to refine the scope.

    • Chávez, K. R. (2013). Queer migration politics: Activist rhetoric and coalitional possibilities. University of Illinois Press.
    • Cho, S., Crenshaw, K. W., & McCall, L. (2013). Toward a field of intersectionality studies:
    • Theory, applications, and praxis. Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, 38(4), 785–810.
    • Collins, P. H. (2019). Intersectionality as critical social theory. Duke University Press.
    • Coole, D., & Frost, S. (Eds.). (2010). New materialisms: Ontology, agency, and politics. Duke University Press.
    • DeVoss, D., Haas, A., and Rhodes, J. (2019). Technofeminism: (re)generations and intersectional futures. Computers and Composition, 51.
    • Gilio-Whitaker, D. (2019). As long as grass grows: The Indigenous fight for environmental justice, from colonization to Standing Rock. Beacon Press.
    • Haas, A. M. (2012). Race, rhetoric, and technology: A case study of decolonial technical communication theory, methodology, and pedagogy. Journal of Business and Technical Communication, 26(3), 277–310.
    • Hesford, W., Licona, A. C., & Teston, C. (Eds.). (2018). Precarious rhetorics. The Ohio State University Press.
    • Itchuaqiyaq, C. U. [Forthcoming]. When the sound is frozen: Extracting climate data from Inuit narratives,” In Technical Communication for Environmental Action, S. D. Williams, ed. 
    • Jackson, S. J., Bailey, M., & Welles, B. F. (2020). #HashtagActivism: Race and gender in America's network counterpublics. MIT Press.
    • Kimmerer, Robin W. Braiding Sweetgrass. Milkweed, 2013.
    • Mohanty, C. (2003). Feminism without borders: Decolonizing theory, practicing solidarity. Duke University Press.
    • Rickert, T. (2013). Ambient rhetoric: The attunements of rhetorical being. University of Pittsburgh Press.
    • Royster, J. J., Kirsch, G. E., & Bizzell, P. (2012). Feminist rhetorical practices: New horizons for rhetoric, composition, and literacy studies. Southern Illinois University Press.
    • Smith, L. (2012). Decolonizing methodologies: Research and Indigenous peoples. Zed Books.
    • Walters, Margaret. (2005). Feminism: A very short introduction. Oxford University Press.
    • Wang, B. (2013). Comparative rhetoric, Postcolonial studies, and transnational feminisms: A geopolitical approach. Rhetoric Society Quarterly, 43(3), 226–242. https://doi.org/10.1080/02773945.2013.792692
    • Wang, Z. (2020). Activist rhetoric in transnational cyber-public spaces: Toward a comparative materialist approach. Rhetoric Society Quarterly, 50(4), 240–253. https://doi.org/10.1080/02773945.2020.1748218

ENGL 5366 Teaching Technical and Professional Writing

Dr. Kellie Gray
Mondays, 6:00 - 8:50 PM
CRN: 50774 (001); 54729 (D01 Online)

English 5366 is a course that will prepare you to teach technical and professional writing as an introductory (survey) course for students across the disciplines. It will introduce you to the theoretical and pedagogical knowledge you will need to teach technical and professional writing successfully. English 5366 will also ask you to consider critical issues related to teaching technical communication. From this foundation, it will progress to more practical concerns ranging from what to teach in a technical writing introductory class, how to teach this information in both face-to-face and online settings, and why to teach it.

In addition to technical writing pedagogy, you'll write a variety of technical documents as you prepare a lesson, review textbook components, develop assignments, observe master teachers at work, and report your findings and experiences. You'll conclude the semester by producing a teaching portfolio that showcases your preparation for teaching technical communication. The portfolio will include a syllabus and weekly schedule for an introductory course, a lesson plan with instructional materials, a teaching philosophy, and an instructional video appropriate for online teaching.

ENGL 5368 Studies in Written Argumentation

Dr. Steve Holmes
Wednesdays, 6:00 - 8:50 PM
CRN: 64924 (001); 64925 (D01 Online)


Argumentation theory is typically taught in Communications departments as part of training in speech and debate or “classical rhetorical analysis.” This course will cover the barest handful of the seminal figures (Toulmin, Olbrechts-Tyteca) in argumentation theory since some familiarity remains useful for our graduate students. You will also have an opportunity to complete a short traditional argumentation analysis on a public argument of your choice. However, our early readings will demonstrate that much in argumentation theory—even recent commendable efforts to remedy it—pines away for a fraught and unwise return to logical forms of argumentation. By comparison, a great deal of 20th century rhetorical theory has been prompting us to ask much more relevant questions, such as “What if logic and reason was never enough to persuade?” and “If public audiences don't respond to logical or factual arguments all the time, then what sorts of alternative rhetorical and written appeals should we study and compose instead?” (case in point: see the post-truth #fakenews present).

Therefore, this course will take as its premise that technical communication, rhetoric, and composition graduate students are better served studying “public rhetoric” and “public sphere theory” than argumentation theory proper. Public sphere theory is a cross-disciplinary body of work that explores a broader range of theories of public discourses that encompass emotional, embodied, posthuman, technologically-mediated, gendered, racialized, affective, and queer approaches to studying public and counterpublic discourses. Alongside the traditional study of arguments, public sphere theory importantly equips researchers to study the structural conditions and logics of inclusion and exclusion that give rise to various definitions of “rationality” and who or what counts as a public speaker at a given historical moment. We will begin with canonical work like Plato's Callicles arguing that the Mighty should rule over the Many (the demos) and Jurgen Habermas's normative approach to critical rationality. We will move on to read Habermas's critical interlocutors like Nancy Fraser, Catherine Squires, and Michael Warner, as well as the major rhetoric, composition, and technical scholars who have grappled with public sphere theory scholarship. Finally, students will have the opportunity to put public rhetoric theory into practice by composing arguments (via critical making scholarship) that have the potential to engage actually existing publics of their choosing (professional, personal, academic, non-academic). While not a technical communication course per se, students who are interested in social justice and ethics will find a great deal of productive overlap between public sphere theory and the former in this course, especially in recent work on tactical technical communication.

ENGL 5370 Creative Writing Workshop: Poetry

Dr. William Wenthe
Thursdays, 2:00 - 4:50 PM (CRN: 57933)

Mainly a writing workshop, this seminar will also incorporate reading and thinking about issues pertaining to the riverine dynamic of change and durability that is poetry. I will provide poems and critical writings for us to read; and students, too, are encouraged to bring their own interests and concerns to the table—offering poems or articles, if you wish. Whether discussing your own or other poems, we will range from the smallest inner workings of syllables and phrases, to the question of the place of the human in the universe, in the belief the two focuses are connected. We will pit fun against mortality, on the field of the page. The course requires diligence, in the root sense of the word ("value or esteem highly, love, choose, affect, take delight in doing”), which will lead to the completion of a final portfolio of poems revised and “finished” to the best of your ability, and an eight-to-ten-page introductory prose statement. Expect to submit a new poem or major revision every other week at least.

Enrollment is open to anyone in the department. Those in the creative writing program do not need to submit material beforehand; those in other areas who are interested in taking the class should submit a group of poems to Dr. William Wenthe (william.wenthe@ttu.edu), along with your contact information, for permission to enroll.

Requirements fulfilled: Genre: poetry; Creative Writing Workshop

ENGL 5370 Creative Writing Workshop: Book-Length Essays and Novellas

Dr. Jill Patterson
Mondays, 6:00 - 8:50 PM (CRN: 32540; 57931)

In prose, the lyric form is most frequently used for “the meditation”—whether a contemplation of one's personal life, a researched subject, or both. A writer embraces the form when they wish to cover a topic from as many angles as possible or, as Pam Houston says, when the writer wishes to “throw as many balls into the air as he or she can manage to juggle.” During the course of writing, the narrative's subject expands, explodes even. Prose texts that incorporate a lyric structure dive down many rabbit holes; they are texts of discovery. In this course, we will study and each student will ultimately write their own original lyric book-length essay or novella. In particular, we will be looking at nonfiction that incorporates speculation and fiction that explores fact—both genres, hybridized, giving us as many angles as possible.

We will begin the class with a quick examination of lyric short-form prose—segmented flash, lyric essays and stories. Then we will spend the remainder of the semester reading lyric book-length essays and novellas. We'll learn how to research them, how to write one, and how to find which publishers are hunting them (there are a lot!). By the end of the semester, students will have an 80- to 100-page workshopped book-length draft of a lyric essay or novella. Students can incorporate this text into their dissertation or simply see it as a second book completed during their time in our creative writing program.

Possible Nonfiction Texts: Levels of Life (Julian Barnes); Excavating Memory (Elizabeth Mosier); The Face: A Time Code (Ruth Ozeki); Ellis Island (Georges Perec); At the Lightning Field (Laura Raicovich); Borealis (Aisha Sabatini Sloan)

Requirements fulfilled: Genre: fiction or non-fiction; Creative Writing Workshop

ENGL 5371 Foundations of Technical Communication

Dr. Scott Weedon
Wednesdays, 6:00 - 8:50 PM
CRN: 64927 (001); 64928 (D01 Online)

How do we define technical communication? How might it differ from or relate to professional writing, engineering communication, science communication, health communication, or composition? How does rhetoric relate to technical communication? Is rhetoric just something for scholars of technical communication or do practitioners use rhetorical principles as well? Exploring the answers to these and similar questions will help you situate yourself to graduate study in technical communication.

ENGL 5371: Foundations of Technical Communication is the gateway to graduate education in technical communication. The course introduces graduate students to the central texts, enduring themes, and persistent tensions in technical communication. We will explore the history of technical communication, its conceptual frameworks, and its dual identity as an academic and professional field. We will survey technical communication foundational topics such as genre, design, and the user, and emerging trends and concepts like tactical technical communication, decolonial technical communication, and technical communication as infrastructure. The course will function as an introduction to the field while preparing you to take part in ongoing scholarly conversations through the typical genres of graduate school. Students can expect to receive a solid foundation for understanding the field to better articulate and pursue their own interests within it.

ENGL 5372 Technical Reports

Dr. Ken Baake
Tuesdays, 6:00 - 8:00 PM
CRN: 50206 (001); 50207 (D01 Online)

This course focuses on the report—the primary work place document that creates knowledge and supports decision-making. Our class will examine reports of various types: information reports, analytical reports, feasibility studies, recommendation reports, empirical research reports. We will consider proposals as part of the document cycle that leads to reports. In the workplace, proposals seek approval or funding for a plan or activity. Reports provide information on the progress of such activities, or on the status of research.

All writing in some way tells a story, and so it is with reports and proposals. A proposal from a social service agency seeking money to expand a program for the poor must tell the story of the people it hopes to serve. A report on a study of sub-atomic particles conducted by physicists using a particle accelerator tells the story of those particles, even though they exist only for nano seconds. Narrative is intrinsic to reports and proposals.

As is typical in any graduate technical writing class, we will approach this topic from a theoretical and applied perspective. We will analyze existing documents using rhetorical theory and we will produce reports and proposals based on primary and secondary search. The class will involve reading and response in Blackboard and a report project in which students address a decision they are facing in their lives.

Our main text will be Houp, Pearsall, Tebeaux, Dragga. Reporting Technical Information. Oxford University Press.

ENGL 5374 Technical Editing

Dr. Angela Eaton
Thursdays, 6:00 - 8:00 PM
CRN: 64929 (001); 62330 (D01 Online)

In ENGL 5374 Technical Editing, students will learn how to edit technical documents, from proofreading for errors at the surface to ensuring that the document contains appropriate content, organization, and visuals for its audiences. Students will also learn how to use traditional editing marks, editing functions within word processors, and principles of layout and design. Finally, students will learn about the profession of editing and develop pieces to support their careers.

ENGL 5375 Document Design

Dr. Jason Tham
Thursdays, 6:00 - 8:50 PM
CRN: 57590 (001); 57591 (D01 Online)


This course covers the fundamental principles of document and information design. Over the course of the semester students will learn practical and theoretical skills related to desktop publishing, visual communication, and publication production. Using industry-standard software applications, students will learn to create, from scratch, visually attractive and functional documents that are used across academic, scientific, technological, and general business contexts.

ENGL 5379 Empirical Research Methods

Dr. David Roach
Tuesdays, 6:00 - 8:50 PM
CRN: 62317 (001); 62318 (D01 Online)


The course explores empirical research methods in communication research, emphasizing research design, methods, and quantitative analysis. The course will emphasize: 1) the philosophy of empirical inquiry; 2) methodological concepts including design and data gathering; 3) the assumptions underlying and uses for various statistical analyses (descriptive and inferential), and 4) interpreting and arguing from empirical data analysis results. The course project will focus on designing an empirical research study with the goal of publication.

ENGL 5380 Special Topics in Literary Studies: The “Problem” with Cli Fi

Dr. Cordelia Barrera
Mondays, 2:00 - 4:50 PM (CRN: 32565)

Some of the best climate fiction, or Cli Fi is tangential or metaphoric rather than literally “about” climate change. A great deal of fiction concerned with environmental questions is cloaked in ethical and philosophical concerns and questions of time, space, and agency—as well as grief. Neologisms like eco-anxiety and solastalgia point to connections between interior and exterior landscapes that are difficult to articulate. As such, much of Cli Fi is cloaked in issues ranging from human overpopulation and habitat loss to colonial enterprise, bodily transformation, societal breakdown, and shifts in consciousness. In this course, we explore fiction shaped by the interplay of causality and connection between the environment and humanity's place in the natural world. Focusing our attention on perceptions, policies, and ways of life that shape identity and patterns of belonging, we begin by discussing early forms of “nature writing” and move into the 21st century to consider the thriving genres of Cli Fi and dystopia that reflect some unsettling realities of the Anthropocene. Some questions that will frame our discussions include: how has the nature of our humanity altered in our age of commodification, cybernetics, and catastrophe? How do social justice concerns inform dystopia, Cli Fi, and environmental writing? In our attempt to answer these questions (and others) we will develop critical perspectives integral to becoming conscientious citizens for the planet. Course readings are drawn from literature, philosophy, ecology, film, and cultural studies and include authors like Mark Fisher, E. O. Wilson, Margaret Atwood, Kim Stanley Robinson, Octavia E. Butler, Katherine Hayhoe, Ursula K. Le Guin, J. G Ballard, Cherie Dimaline, and Rebecca Roanhorse.

Requirements fulfilled: American Literature, LSJE; Period: later; Genre: fiction

ENGL 5380 Special Topics in Literary Studies: Afro-Asian Solidarity - Literatures of Decolonization

Dr. Nesrine Chahine
Tuesdays, 6:00 - 8:50 PM (CRN: 54916; 56195D)

The middle decades of the twentieth century were marked by the simmering tensions of the Cold War as well as the revolutionary energies of anti-colonial movements across the African and Asian continents. Moving between a long history of empire and more contemporary forms of imperialist globalization, this seminar examines the rise and legacy of Afro-Asian solidarity movements in the 1950s and 60s. We will read literary and critical texts by prominent African and Asian anti-colonial thinkers who contributed to the Afro-Asian Writer's Union journal such as Abdel-Aziz El-Ahwani, Abdel-Rahman al-Sharqawi, Yehia Haqqi, Breyten Breytenbach, and Peter Abrahams alongside scholarly work by Samir Amin, Edward Said, Laleh Khalili, Vijay Prashad, Christopher Lee, and Andrew Rubin in order to gain a better understanding of the impact of these forces on the cultural and literary output of decolonizing nations. We will further consider how these texts draw on literary forms to convey the lived experience of a global modernity shaped by the twin forces of anti-colonial revolution and imperialist globalization. What lessons do they teach us about our contemporary struggles and about global solidarity? How do the literatures of the Global South challenge some of the assumptions of Cold War historiography and nationalist discourses?

Requirements fulfilled: Comparative Literature, Globalization, and Translation (CLGT); Period: later; Genre: fiction or non-fiction

ENGL 5386 Disability Rhetorics

Dr. Jennifer Nish
Thursdays, 6:00 - 8:50 PM
CRN: 60701 (001); 60702 (D01 Online)

“Disability justice allowed me to understand that me writing from my sickbed wasn't me being weak or uncool or not a real writer but a time-honored crip creative practice. And that understanding allowed me to finally write from a disabled space, for and about sick and disabled people, including myself, without feeling like I was writing about boring, private things that no one would understand.”

Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, Care Work: Dreaming Disability Justice


“Do we even know what it means to have a disabled (unsound, ill, irrational, crazy) mind in the educational realm, a realm expressly dedicated to the life of the mind?”

Margaret Price, Mad at School: Rhetorics of Mental Disability and Academic Life


This course will explore the intersection of disability and rhetoric. We will examine how rhetoric shapes experiences of disability and how disability frameworks reshape the study of rhetoric. We will explore questions such as:

    • How do disability frameworks (e.g., disability studies, crip theory, disability justice) change the ways we understand what rhetoric is and how it works? What rhetorical exclusions do these frameworks uncover?
    • How do rhetorics of disability highlight the role of the body in rhetoric and resist mind-body dualism?
    • How do people with disabled and divergent bodyminds do rhetoric?
    • How do disabled people use their experiences and knowledge to reshape understandings of access, care, and community? What rhetorical processes and material conditions influence this work?
    • How can educators and technical communicators prioritize access in their work?

Readings may include all or parts of the following books: Jay Dolmage, Disability Rhetoric; Margaret Price, Mad at School; Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, Care Work: Dreaming Disability Justice; Lisa Melonçon (ed.), Rhetorical Accessability; Remi Yergeau, Authoring Autism. We will also read selected articles and digital texts that connect disability to composition, technical communication, and activism.

ENGL 5389 Field Methods of Research

Dr. Beau Pihlaja
Mondays, 6:00 - 8:50 PM
CRN: 32579 (001); 32580 (D01 Online)


What do we do when we want to study something that can't be re-enacted in a laboratory, dissected analytically from detailed, constrained experimental conditions? This question is incredibly important for researchers who study everyday language and language-in-use. Historically scholars of technical communication and rhetoric have called upon the methods of anthropology, ethnography, observation, note-taking, and interviews. These methods remain crucial to the discipline's ability to study our technical writing, design, and rhetoric as it's practiced in uncontrolled conditions. The technical communication and rhetoric's long-standing relationship with usability testing and now user experience architecture have moved to fuse the traditional ethnographic methods with the experimental insights of user-centered and participatory design research.

Our class will survey and practice those methods most common to field research, ethnography, observation, note-taking, and participatory design research. We will also contextualize those methods relative to the debates and concerns the field has had about replicability, generalizability, and the relationship of qualitative research methods to quantitative methods as equally “empirical.” We will also pay close attention to the ethical implications of this mode of research, attending to the potential risks and rewards of conducting research of language-use outside a lab, in public spaces, even in digital, online, and new media contexts.

(Image credit: Burst via Stock Snap, Creative Commons)

ENGL 5390 Writing for Publication (Literature and Linguistics students)

Dr. Sara Spurgeon
Mondays, 6:00 - 8:50 PM (CRN: 57479; 50212D)

This course will help graduate students in literature, creative writing, and linguistics prepare a manuscript for submission to a scholarly journal in their field. Students must have a suitable article-length (5,000 – 7,000 words) paper by the beginning of the course, usually one prepared in a previous graduate course. The essay must be a critical work, not creative non-fiction, fiction, or poetry (CW faculty offer the best advice for this sort of publishing).

Required Text:

    • Belcher, Wendy. Writing Your Journal Article in 12 Weeks. ISBN 978-1-4129-5701-4.
    • Your previously prepared critical essay of 5,000-7,000 words.
    • MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing (most recent, kindle version is fine)

Recommended: The Chicago Manual of Style

Requirements fulfilled: Foundations course, Professional Development Course

ENGL 5390 Writing for Publication (Creative Writing students)

Dr. Jacqueline Kolosov
Tuesdays, 6:00 - 8:50 PM (CRN: 61179; 61180)

This course is designed to enhance the graduate experience of students who strive for professional competence in writing. The course will simultaneously serve students who are considering the fields of publishing, editing, writing, and/or teaching at a postsecondary institution. Designed for master's and doctoral students in creative writing (poetry, nonfiction, fiction, and/or translation), each student must bring a significant body of previously-drafted work to the course for the purpose of revision and potential publication. Along with revising a body of creative work over the course of the semester, students will generate and refine secondary pieces that further their understanding of the contemporary literary landscape and prepare them to successfully position themselves as professional writers. These secondary pieces will likely include: book reviews, craft essays, interviews, project statements, query letters, fellowship and/or grant applications. The course will emphasize discussion as well as small and large group critiques. Students will read a range of print and online articles and chapters focused on the craft and business of writing, including the ways in which the profession continues to rapidly evolve. The reading should enhance each student's understanding of the opportunities and possibilities for one possessing outstanding skills and experience in writing. Additionally, the course will integrate pieces on the craft and business of writing, and some five to six professional writers working in various areas of publishing and the literary landscape will virtually visit the class for Q&A (and ideally come in for one class visit). Over the course of the semester, each student will give two 10-minute presentations over topics such as author websites; residency, grant, or fellowship opportunities; a program or organization focused on serving group(s) within the community and/or wider society. Students should emerge from the course with a richer and more nuanced understanding of writing, publishing, editing, and literary citizenship including professional as well as volunteer service in the community and the profession; and in the process feel more confident about their writing, navigating publishing, and pursuing career-enhancing opportunities.

Requirements fulfilled: Foundations course, Professional Development Course

ENGL 5392 Teaching College Literature: Teaching Without Borders - Literature, Culture, Practice

Dr. Kanika Batra
Thursdays, 6:00 - 8:50 PM (CRN: 32586; 57478D)

We live in times when disciplinary boundaries are being breached in English departments across the United States. Our teaching of literature must necessarily reckon both with the particularities of our discipline and the generalities of our students' and institutional expectations. This course will begin with an overview of some of the borders and boundaries we encounter while teaching: between different temporal and geographical ‘areas' of literary study; literature, culture, and criticism; ‘high' and ‘popular' literary forms; delivering and receiving learning; and the theories and practices of teaching.

Beginning with bell hooks's manifestoes on teaching critical thinking, moving on to models of cross-cultural teaching, and concluding with some recent examples of how cultural analysis can be successfully deployed in the college literature classroom via Jack Halberstam, Jodie Archer, and Matthew Jockers, this course will help prepare you to be effective teachers through four broad areas: a) theoretical: an overview of the history of literary studies so that you can more consciously position yourselves as teachers in relation (or in opposition) to it; b) practical: exploring the different methodologies such as lecturing, discussions, and workshops; c) use of technology: becoming familiar with PowerPoint, Excel, and various learning management systems used by institutions and d) hands-on experience: creating syllabi, developing lesson plans, teaching philosophies, grading papers, and visiting your professors' classrooms.

Texts might include:

    • Jodie Archer and Matthew Jockers, The Bestseller Code. Penguin, 2016.
    • Jack Halberstam, Gaga Feminism: Sex, Gender, and the End of Normal. Beacon Press, 2012.
    • bell hooks, Teaching Critical Thinking. Routledge, 2010.
    • David Damrosch, Comparing the Literatures: Literary Studies in a Global Age. Princeton University Press, 2020. https://doi.org/10.2307/j.ctvqsdnmc.

Requirements fulfilled: Foundations course, Professional Development Course

MRST 5301 Methods in Medieval and Renaissance Studies

Dr. Julie Nelson Couch
Thursdays, 2:00 - 4:50 PM (CRN: 45757; 65523D)

This course introduces students to the scholarship of medieval and early modern European studies. Students will have the opportunity to learn about the common problems scholars of the pre-modern past encounter in their work, and the ethical stances and research methodologies they deploy to address these problems. Guest speakers representing disciplines associated with the Medieval and Renaissance Studies Center at TTU, including history, art history, literatures & languages, and music will give students a chance to learn in more detail how study of the medieval and early modern centuries works in practice. Students will also be introduced to resources available at Texas Tech University for the study of the Middle Ages and the Early Modern Period. Students may engage directly in archival research, transcriptions, and printing projects that will give them first-hand experience with relevant research methods and areas of research. As a class, we will also participate in the TTU Humanities Center's anti-racist theme as we consider the ways medieval and early modern scholars can redress misappropriations of the past in our teaching and community engagement. Additional Assignments: Lecture, Book Review, Blog entry, Interdisciplinary Research Paper in an area of the student's interest.

Requirements fulfilled: This is the required cornerstone course for the Graduate Certificate in Medieval & Renaissance Studies.

ENGL 5393 Grants and Proposals for the Academy and Industry

Dr. Rich Rice
Mondays, 6:00 - 8:50 PM
CRN: 64921 (001); 64922 (D01 Online)

Technical communicators and educators see problems in their communities that require sophisticated plans to solve. Such problems often require additional funding and resources or a plan of action which involve formative and summative assessment measurements. In this course you will learn rhetorical processes of grant seeking from identifying a problem, to coming up with an idea to solve the problem, to making sure the idea furthers the mission of the organization, to finding potential sponsors, to planning and developing a proposal. The goal of the course, in other words, is to define objectives and then to turn those objectives into outcomes. Writing grants and proposals in conjunction with TTU researchers or community or industry members is required.

ENGL 5394 User Experience Design

Dr. Rob Grace
Wednesdays, 6:00 - 8:50 PM
CRN: 62320 (001); 62321 (D01 Online)

Our experiences with technology go beyond simple appraisals of utility. User experience (UX) refers to the range of meaningful experiences—physical, ludic, affective, aesthetic, and ethical—people have when interacting with technologies at work, play, or anywhere else. UX design, in turn, refers to a process and range of practices that researchers and designers use to create technologies that provide people with experiences they value.

In this class students will undertake a UX design project to research, define, design, and evaluate a digital or physical artifact that affords interactions people find meaningful and, in some way, valuable. Each student will individually develop his or her project by identifying and researching a use context targeted for design, engage future users in activities that help define design requirements, and create paper-based and/or digital prototype(s) for experience-centered evaluation. Throughout the UX design process, students will iteratively develop their design concept and reflect on its development by reading and discussing assigned texts, writing use case scenarios, and participating in class activities.