Texas Tech University

Undergraduate Course Offerings, Fall 2024

If you have any questions, please contact the undergraduate advisor.

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ENGL 2307, Introduction to Fiction

Dr. Deena Varner
Section 021: Tuesdays & Thursdays, 9:30 - 10:50 AM (Onsite CRN: 38510)
Section 030: Tuesdays & Thursdays, 11:00 AM - 12:20 PM (Onsite CRN: 11845)

All fiction contains elements of both the unreal and the true-to-life. Some genres of literature play with these two possibilities in more direct ways than others. Historical fiction, for example, is a genre that is extremely attentive to historical accuracy while at the same time crafting entirely fictional characters and events to fill its worlds. If you've ever watched a film “based on actual events” or “inspired by true events,” you're no stranger to the ways that fiction can blend the unreal and the true-to-life to craft compelling narratives. This is the jumping-off point for this course, whose primary object of study is the true crime genre. This is a genre that presents itself as being more “true” than your average historical fiction novel, and yet models itself on a type of narrative deployed by detective fiction and mystery novels. 

Truman Capote called his 1966 national bestseller In Cold Blood the first “non-fiction novel.” Based on many years of research, In Cold Blood is, by many accounts, a narrative masterpiece—filled with detailed descriptions of setting, rich characterization, and complex conflicts, complications, and subplots. “Reporting,” Capote believed, “can be made as interesting as fiction, and done as artistically.” Yet, as literary critic Ralph Voss has pointed out, “Capote got the big details right, but he fudged the smaller details in order to make an effective narrative, and he was brilliant at it.” “Almost-True Crime” in the subtitle of this course gestures towards the play between artifice and verisimilitude comprising not only the true crime genre but also fiction in general. We will study true crime—that which purports to be at least partially journalistic—but also other kinds of narratives that are both strongly and loosely based on real crime events. The goal of this exploration is three-fold: First, we'll analyze “almost-true” crime as literature by considering how it deploys conventions of fiction such as plot and character development, narrative structure, mood, tone, and figurative language. Second, through such analysis, we'll think about fiction as a philosophical concept by asking what makes a particular piece of literature fictional. Finally, we'll think about how the fictional and fictionalized stories we tell attempt to grapple with social and cultural realities and the human experience. 

This literature course fulfills the university's Language, Philosophy and Culture requirement and the College of Arts and Sciences' English Literature requirement.

ENGL 2321, Global Literature I

Dr. Nesrine Chahine
Tuesdays & Thursdays, 12:30 - 1:50 PM (Online CRN: 41971)

In this course we journey back in time to some of the oldest cultural capitals of the globe where we encounter tales of adventure, romance, intrigue, and betrayal.  Focusing on ancient and medieval literature from the Asian, African, and European continents, we explore a variety of literary genres, ranging from the epic to poetry and drama, that tell of life in faraway times and places.  Possible readings include Andalusian women's poetry, The Arabian Nights, Sunjata, and Antigone among other texts.  No prior knowledge of literary texts or study is required.  The course will introduce students to the skills and methods necessary to analyze literary texts more broadly and global texts more specifically.

This literature course fulfills the College of Arts and Sciences' English Literature requirement and the Sophomore Survey requirement for English majors in the Language and Literature concentration.

English 2324, British Literature II: The Woman Question

Dr. Marjean D. Purinton
Tuesdays & Thursdays, 11:00 AM - 12:20 PM (Onsite CRN: 48532)


This course surveys British literature from Romanticism to the present day with a focus on depictions of female characters and an examination of issues faced by women, both fictional and real. This course is foundational for English major and minors, and its prerequisites are English 1302 and English 1302 or equivalent credit.

We will read diverse genres from all periods, including Elizabeth Inchbald's play The Wedding Day, Mary Wollstonecraft's novel Maria; or, The Wrongs of Woman, John Keats's “The Eve of Saint Agnes,” and William Wordsworth's “The Thorn,” from the Romantic period. From the Victorian period, we will read Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre, Henrik Ibsen's play A Doll's House. Christina Rosetti's ‘Goblin Market,” and Alfred Tennyson's “The Lady of Shalott.” From modern and contemporary periods, we will read Timberlake Wertenbaker's play The Grace of Mary Traverse, Buchi Emecheta's novel Second Class Citizen, Alice Oswald's “Wedding,” and Stevie Smith's “Not Waving But Drowning.”

Our activities will include quotation explication responses, primary-source essays, and ample discussion.

Explore the Woman Question in later British literature in a learning community facilitated by feminist pedagogy.

This literature course fulfills the College of Arts and Sciences' English Literature requirement and the Sophomore Survey requirement for English majors in the Language and Literature concentration.

ENGL 2370, Introduction to Language

Dr. Aaron Braver
Mondays & Wednesdays, 1:00 - 2:20 PM (Onsite CRN: 43932 ; Online CRN: 46918)


Does the brain process emojis in the same way it processes spoken language?   Why is the Pokémon named “Snorlax” larger than the one named “Pikachu”?

This course provides a broad overview of language—its structure, its origins, and its role in society.   We'll try to understand why language is so weird (Why does the tiny island of Papua New Guinea have over 800 languages? Why does the !Xóõ language have 164 consonants?) by applying the tools of linguistics to the language we encounter in our daily lives and to languages from around the world.

Topics we'll cover include: the Eskimo words-for-snow myth, language and social media, accents and dialects, artificial languages, and whether your language influences how you think.

ENGL 2382, Heroes and Anti-Heroes

Dr. Deena Varner
Asynchronous (CRN: 48440)

Have you ever wondered what makes your favorite superhero so compelling? From Batman to Superman, the Wasp to Wonder Woman, these fictional characters have qualities of the “good guy” or “good gal,” as the case may be. However, part of what makes them heroic is also the journey they are on. It is not just who they are but what they do that makes them heroic.

This course introduces students to the critical study of heroes, antiheroes, and villains from multiple genres, periods, and traditions, with attention to aesthetics, ideas, and values. Together, we will explore a rich suite of texts including the book and film versions of The Wizard of Oz, Jonathan Demme's The Silence of the Lambs, Ken Kesey's One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest, Luc Besson's Léon: The Professional, and Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl.

We will begin our exploration with traditional heroes—brave, determined, compassionate, altruistic, and resilient. We will study some of the traditional myths that form the basis for our modern-day heroes, and we will examine the hero's journey as an integral part of what makes the hero who she or he is. But what would a hero be without a villain? Dastardly, conniving, and sometimes downright evil, the villain is the character we love to hate—but also the character without whom our hero would have no purpose! After all, who is Superman without Lex Luther, Batman without the Joker, Catwoman, and the Riddler? Finally, we'll dip our toes into the study of the complex antihero—a protagonist who is not a villain but who conspicuously lacks the qualities of a traditional hero. The antihero, arguably the most complex of our three figures, compels us to ponder the value of human flaws and contradictions.  This literature course fulfills the university's Language, Philosophy and Culture requirement and the College of Arts and Sciences' English Literature requirement.

ENGL 2388, Introduction to Film Studies: Don't Believe Your Eyes

Dr. Fareed Ben-Youssef
Thursdays, 6:00 - 8:50 PM (Online CRN: 46300)


“Suddenly something somewhere scrapes loudly, the picture lurches and you don't believe your eyes.”

So wrote Maksim Gorky upon first experiencing the wonders of the Lumiere Brothers' Cinematograph in 1896. His stunned response to the motion picture grounds our investigation into the medium as we ask: how do movies draw us in, hypnotize us, and even deceive us? This interdisciplinary Introduction to Film Studies offers a salient overview of film history and film theory. It considers television and video games to underline that Film Studies encompasses far more than just cinema. Guest filmmakers will reveal, step by step, how an idea is brought to the screen. Guest scholars will share insights into how they understand and interpret a film.

Our attentions will move from silent film to sound, from avant-garde cinema to Hollywood blockbusters. We will study influential film directors (like Alfred Hitchcock), foundational cinematic genres (like film noir, the Western, and the Superhero film) as well as different national cinemas. To sense how even the brightest films can touch on troubling histories, we will analyze Disney cartoons and the anime of Japan's Studio Ghibli. Finally, we will explore documentary and mockumentary to perceive the contradictions of a form that promises a glimpse of “real life” through highly conventionalized, artificial tropes.

Spirited dialogue and collaboration lie at the center of this asynchronous class. Students converse with each other on Blackboard discussion boards, and the course lectures are built upon student questions. Assignments include short creative and analytical work around the featured films and media. A final group assignment—an adaptation of a scene using Zoom—will demonstrate students' understanding of the different genres we have studied. Moreover, they will experience what it is like to be in front of and behind the camera. 

Following this class, students will be ready to pursue more advanced film and media courses, and, ultimately, they will see film with sharper, more critical eyes.

Note: Enrollment is now open to all online students. On-site students will only be able to enroll 30 days before classes start. If you are on-site and interested in enrolling, please email the instructor (fbenyous@ttu.edu). He will send you a reminder when enrollment opens up to the general student population.

This literature course fulfills the university's Language, Philosophy and Culture requirement and the College of Arts and Sciences' English Literature requirement.

ENGL 3305, British Renaissance Literature

Dr. Ryan Hackenbracht
Mondays & Wednesdays, 11:00 AM - 12:20 PM (Onsite CRN: 24304; Online CRN: 47421)

This course offers a survey of British poetry, prose, and drama from c. 1500-1667. Our study will focus on major authors, including Queen Elizabeth I, Philip Sidney, John Donne, and John Milton; literary traditions, such as Petrarchanism and metaphysical poetry; and historical contexts, including the tyrannical reign of Henry VIII and the turmoil of the Civil Wars. We will cover a wide variety of literary forms, including lyric, epic, and tragedy, and will examine the relationship between genres and the cultural contexts in which they were appropriated, transformed, and reimagined by ambitious English authors.

This literature course fulfills the requirements for Early British literature and the Communications Literacy: Context requirements for English majors in the Language and Literature concentration.

ENGL 3308, British Romanticism

Dr. Marjean D. Purinton
Tuesdays & Thursdays, 12:30 - 1:50 PM (Onsite CRN: 13457)


The British Romantic Period (1780-1830) was a time of social upheaval, political change, religious uncertainty, familial disruptions, class destabilizations, scientific and educational revolutions, explorations, commercialism, industrialization, and colonial activity.  At the heart of all tensions was the question of human rights—for women, for slaves, for the working poor, for the disabled, for the elderly, for the colonized.

It was a revolutionary time when literature challenged and championed the prevailing attitudes, customs, laws, and lifestyles.  This era reflects remarkable transformations that underpin both modern and postmodern thought, and you will be amazed as the connections between Romanticism and contemporary culture and writing.

We will survey representative and diverse literary selections from British Romanticism that address the period's historical and cultural issues.  Our learning activities will include secondary-source discovery activities, short reflection essays, and discussion generated by an engaged learning community informed by feminist pedagogy.

This literature course fulfills the requirements for Later British literature and the Communications Literacy: Context requirements for English majors in the Language and Literature concentration.

ENGL 3309, Modern British Literature

Dr. Jen Shelton
Mondays, 6:00 - 8:50 PM (Online CRN: 46299)

“Make it new,” Ezra Pound declaimed, and Modernist artists from Picasso to Virginia Woolf made it so. Faced with a technological world more like the one we live in than the ones their parents knew, Modern writers sought innovative forms to capture the experience of living in a cosmopolitan, industrialized world. This world offered opportunity, such as votes for women and struggles against imperialism, but it also offered disconcerting change as societies moved away from their agrarian pasts into a new world whose structure and meaning they did not yet understand. World War I was a modern war; the wristwatch was a modern invention. Modern people experienced a radical, exciting, terrifying shift in the world as the 20th century was born. In this course, we will read major works of the period, setting them into their sociohistorical context.

This literature course fulfills the requirements for Later British literature and the Communications Literacy: Context requirements for English majors in the Language and Literature concentration.

ENGL 3313, Native American and Indigenous Cinemas

Dr. Allison Whitney
Tuesdays & Thursdays, 2:00 - 3:20 PM (Onsite CRN: 47451)

This course will focus on the work of Indigenous film and media artists from Native American, First Nations, and Inuit communities. With a broad historical scope from the earliest ethnographic films of the silent era to present-day work by Native artists, the course will include films by Jeff Barnaby (Mi'kmaq), Chris Eyre (Cheyenne and Arapaho), Nyla Innukshuk (Inuk), Alanis Obomsawin (Abenaki), and Jeffrey Palmer (Kiowa), among many others. Topics will include expressions of Native epistemologies through film, Indigenous Futurism, genres including horror and the Western, documentary and non-fiction, animation, relationships with state media agencies (particularly the National Film Board of Canada), media and activism, and language revitalization projects. Course activities will be planned in connection with the Humanities Center's 2024-25 theme of “Celebrating Indigenous Resilience and Cultural Survival: Commemorating the 150th Anniversary of the Red River War.”

ENGL 3324, Nineteenth-Century American Literature: Prose of the American Renaissance

Dr. John Samson
Mondays & Wednesdays, 3:00 - 4:20 PM (Onsite CRN: 47447)


The American Renaissance was, as its name implies, a rebirth of what many saw as a genuinely American literature, as writers confronted and expressed the issues of this turbulent period (1830-1865): slavery, gender equality, social disparity, and transcendentalism. We will read and discuss these issues as they are presented in various prose forms—essay, autobiography, short story, and novel. Texts: Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self-Reliance and Other Essays, Frederick Douglass, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglas, An American Slave, Fanny Fern, Ruth Hall, Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Blithedale Romance, Edgar Allan Poe, The Fall of the House of Usher and Other Writings, Rebecca Harding Davis, Life in the Iron Mills and Other Stories, and Herman Melville, Great Short Works of Herman Melville.

This literature course fulfills the requirements for Later American literature and the Communications Literacy: Context requirements for English majors in the Language and Literature concentration.

ENGL 3325, Modern and Contemporary American Literature

Dr. Michael Borshuk
Mondays & Wednesdays, 1:00 - 2:20 PM (Onsite CRN: 47445; Online CRN: 35482)


This course will introduce students to a range of poetry, fiction, and drama published by American writers between 1900 and 1945, to chart the early onset and development of American literary modernism. Among the topics to which we will be attentive are frustration over traditional modes of representation and radical experimentation in literary style; assertive reconceptualizations of racial, gender, and sexual identity during the period; the influence of technology, urban space, and mass culture on artistic expression; and an ongoing aggressive attempt at American cultural self-definition in relation to the world at large.


    • Paul Lauter, ed., The Heath Anthology of American Literature, Volume D: 1910-1945.
    • Gertrude Stein, Tender Buttons (1914)
    • F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby (1925)
    • Dashiell Hammett, The Maltese Falcon (1930)
    • Robert Scully, A Scarlet Pansy (1932)

This literature course fulfills the requirements for Later American literature and the Communications Literacy: Context requirements for English majors in the Language and Literature concentration.

ENGL 3328, Introduction to American Studies

Dr. Yuan Shu
Tuesdays & Thursdays, 11:00 AM - 12:20 PM (Onsite CRN: 41940; Online CRN: 47094)

What is American Studies? How has it evolved in recent decades? Why does it matter today? This course not only approaches American Studies as a discipline with its own theory and methodology but also explores its themes in its recent development. We begin by examining the genealogy and the changing definitions of American Studies since its formation in the 1950s. We then focus on major issues, trends, and themes in the field, which involve race, gender, sexuality, and nation-building in theoretical terms on the one hand, and which also engage Hollywood, popular culture, and the US military interventions overseas as its subject matter on the other hand. As American Studies has recently witnessed a paradigm shift from the transatlantic to the transpacific, we both read speculative and graphic fiction that have transnational connections and study popular culture that has global implications for Hong Kong Kung Fu Cinema, Japanese manga and anime, and K-pop.


This course fulfills department requirements for Linguistics and Theory, and the Communications Literacy: Critical requirement.

ENGL 3339, Sexuality and Literature: Narrating Sexual Liberation

Dr. Nesrine Chahine
Tuesdays, 6:00 - 8:50 PM (Online CRN: 41979)

This course focuses on issues of gender and sexuality in literature from the Middle East that was written or translated into English.  It offers an introduction to these global writers who address issues of gender and examines the ways their texts explore the intersections between the global and issues of sexuality in the Arabic-speaking world.  Possible readings include short stories, novels, poems, and scholarly articles by authors such as Adania Shibli, Laila Lalami, Nawal El-Saadawi, and Leila Aboulela.  No prior knowledge of literary texts or study is required.  The course will introduce students to the skills and methods necessary to analyze literary texts more broadly and global texts more specifically.

This course fulfills these English department requirements for students in the Literature and Language concentration: Theory and Linguistics, Diversity, Communication Literacy: Critical, and Communication Literacy: Intercultural.

ENGL 3351, Creative Nonfiction

Dr. Lucy Schiller
Section 002: Tuesdays & Thursdays, 11:00 AM - 12:20 PM (Onsite CRN: 13616)
Section D04: Tuesdays, 6:00 - 8:50 PM (Online CRN: 45440)

This class will introduce you to the art and craft of telling true stories artfully, via the fascinating form of the essay—and not the five paragraph kind. Essayists from across time and space write about the same things—love, loss, change, home—in wildly different ways, and we'll read many examples while crafting surprising and resonant prose. In this class, I will encourage you to experiment, to take risks, and to consider how and why you might tell true stories in new and artful ways. You will be expected to find polish, verve, and style in your experiments, particularly through the processes of workshopping and editing. Throughout our time together, you'll find necessary support and feedback from our community of writers, and you will feel oriented as an essayist, with energetic ideas for where to go next.

This Creative Writing course fulfills the university's multicultural requirement.

ENGL 3351, Creative Writing: Poetry

Dr. William Wenthe
Section 003: Tuesdays & Thursdays, 12:30 - 1:50 PM (Onsite CRN: 47898)
Section D02: Wednesdays, 6:00 - 8:50 PM (Online CRN: 43911)

This particular section of ENGL 3351 affords you the chance to work with someone who has published five books of poetry, won awards for writing from the National Endowment for the Arts and numerous other sponsors (including TTU); who has taught the craft of poetry for decades at TTU and at conferences nationwide, and is routinely sought out by poets more accomplished than him for his feedback on their own work.

If you have completed two sophomore English courses or, if English is not your major, the English requirements as specified in your major, you are qualified to take a 3000 level English course. It is not necessary to have studied poetry in those classes: ENGL 3351 is introductory.

To reap the benefits of this class, however, I will ask that you give a bit more. The nature of this class requires a steady commitment; for in addition to preparing for each class, you will also be writing your own poems, on your own time. The bulk of your grade will depend on how well you apply the skills learned in class to your own writing outside of class. Of course I will be available to guide you, individually and as a class, in all phases.

This Creative Writing course fulfills the university's multicultural requirement.

You will be required to complete a series of poetry exercises and short (one-page) informal essays that I call “response papers,” to write original poems, and discuss poems—including your own—in class. Each student will create a final portfolio, which will include seven original poems, and a 4-5 page statement describing what you learned this semester, and how. Again, this requires a steady output: you can't cram for a final poetry portfolio; it has to be built. The commitment is more like that of a sports team (but without wind sprints!). Accordingly, the attendance policy, which starts on the first day, is strict. The pandemic crisis is over; we need to be here.

ENGL 3371, How Language Works

Dr. Min-Joo Kim
Tuesdays & Thursdays, 9:30 - 10:50 AM (Onsite CRN: 33013; Online CRN: 35024)


Have you ever thought about why you cannot start an English word with an “nt” sound but you may end with it (e.g., tent)? Also, have you ever thought about why English adjectives like “big” occur before the noun they modify (e.g., a big house) but their Spanish counterparts almost always occur after the noun (e.g., una casa grande)? Additionally, have you ever wondered why when someone says “It's getting late” to you, they usually mean ‘You need to leave now'? If you're curious about any of these things, then this course is for you! In this course, we'll make an introduction to the fascinating subject of linguistics. Our primary goal will be to learn about what language is and how language systems work. This course requires no prior knowledge of linguistics; and any student will benefit from taking it regardless of their major or minor.

This course fulfills the following requirements for the English major, Literature and Language concentration: Theory and Linguistics, Communication Literacy: Critical.

*Fulfills Linguistics Minor.

ENGL 3394, Asian American Literature

Dr. Yuan Shu
Tuesdays & Thursdays, 2:00 - 3:20 PM (Onsite CRN: 47452; Online CRN: 40753)


This course investigates Asian American literature in terms of identity formation and cultural location. We begin by examining the notion of “Asian American” politically and historically. Who are Asian Americans? How have Asian American authors defined their identities, communities, and cultural locations at different historical moments? What roles have gender, class, and sexuality played in shaping Asian American identities and communities? To fully understand the multiplicity and heterogeneity of Asian American identities, we not only discuss texts by writers of Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Filipino, Indian, and Vietnamese descent, but we also explore texts that narrate specific experiences that vary from the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II to the struggles of Southeast Asian refugees and immigrants in the decades since the Vietnam War.

As the term, “Asian American,” designates both the U.S.-born and the immigrant, we also interrogate the transnational dimension of Asian American experiences. How do Asian American authors engage Asian histories and cultures in an American context? How do they understand American political and military interventions in Asia? What impact does the current process of (de)globalization have on Asian American identity and community formations? In considering these questions, we develop a sense of how Asian Americans have documented their experiences and articulated their sensibilities at different historical junctures.

This literature course fulfills the following requirements for the English major: Later American, Communications Literacy: Intercultural, and Communications Literacy: Critical.

ENGL 4301, Studies in Selected Authors: The Works of J.R.R. Tolkien

Dr. Brian McFadden
Tuesdays & Thursdays, 12:30 - 2:50 PM (Onsite CRN: 47449; Online CRN: 43981)

Note  – this class entails a great deal of reading.  Students are strongly encouraged to read at least The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings before the start of class (if you haven't already….)

With the release over the last two decades of the film adaptations of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit and the Amazon series The Rings of Power, there has been a renewed interest in the life and work of J.R.R. Tolkien.  Tolkien was a noted medieval scholar and philologist, but he was also a World War I veteran and a modern author writing The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings between the 1930's and the 1950's, and his Silmarillion was left unfinished at his death in 1973.  Although his work reflects a number of postwar themes – distrust of technology, the senselessness of war, the loss of heroes, the passing of a perceived golden age – it also reflects a great deal of his personal and professional study of classical and medieval language, myth, religion, and literature, and it appeals to readers and scholars of both medieval and modern literature.  This course will examine Tolkien's major fantasy works – The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion – in addition to many of his medieval sources, some of which he translated: Beowulf, the Exeter Book riddles, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Pearl, Sir Orfeo, the Prose and Poetic Eddas, the Volsunga Saga, and the Kalevala.  The course will also examine some of Tolkien's scholarly works, such as “Beowulf: The Monsters and the Critics” and “On Fairy-Stories” to illuminate the use of the marvelous or the monstrous in medieval literature.  Likely topics of discussion: What literary traits did Tolkien share with the World War I generation of authors?  How did Tolkien's scholarship provide an impetus for his creative fiction?  What did Tolkien feel that language was invented for narrative, and why did he feel he had to invent languages in which to tell his stories?  What is “sub-creation”?  Why does the children's-story tone of The Hobbit shift to the serious epic quality of Lord of the Rings?  What does the genre of fantasy fiction allow an author to do that realistic fiction does not, and why is fantasy not always treated as a serious literary genre? How has Tolkien influenced later writers of fantasy? How did Tolkien's Catholicism shape his depiction of a world that is for the most part without explicit religious practice or belief?  How do twentieth-century attitudes toward gender and race influence Tolkien's work?

Requirements: Four short response papers; annotated bibliography and final essay; final examination. 


    • J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit; The Lord of the Rings; The Silmarillion; The Tolkien Reader; ed. and trans., Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Pearl, Sir Orfeo; The Children of Hurin; ed. and trans., Beowulf: A Translation and Commentary; The Battle of Maldon.  With the exception of Beowulf, students may use their own editions of Tolkien's texts if they have them.
    • Jackson Crawford, trans., The Poetic Edda and The Saga of the Volsungs
    • Jesse Byock, trans. The Saga of King Hrolf Kraki
    • Elias Lonnrot, trans. Keith Bosley, The Kalevala
    • Additional shorter works to be delivered electronically

This class fulfills the English major requirement for 4000-level courses.

ENGL 4313, Studies in Fiction

Dr. Marta Kvande
Mondays, 6:00 - 8:50 PM (Online CRN: 45502)

In the early eighteenth century, as the genre of the novel began to grow popular, it was at first considered dangerous and salacious trash, and novels themselves varied wildly in their form, style, and content. By the end of the century, though, novels were being reviewed in polite critical journals just as much as they were being condemned for their frivolousness, and the term “novel” began to have something like a stable meaning. How did this happen? And what defines novels anyway—where did they come from, and how did they get that way? We'll survey the early history of the British novel in the eighteenth century, and we'll consider how and why the novel could have been transformed from junk to high art. What qualities do novels have that allow them to straddle such divides? And how did the genre's development respond to the cultural context of the eighteenth century?

This class fulfills the English major requirement for 4000-level courses.

ENGL 4351, Advanced Nonfiction Workshop: The New Shapes of Truth-Telling

Dr. Leslie Jill Patterson
Mondays, 6:00 - 8:50 PM (Onsite CRN: 14773; Online CRN: 45443)


In this advanced nonfiction workshop, students will recall and use what they know about the basics of nonfiction storytelling, but they will spend the semester tackling all the new shapes truth-telling is adopting in the 21st century. There will be five units focusing on five different forms, during which students will read and study published essays as well as write their own original essay in that form: 1) the flash artifact (a brief essay that narrates a drawing, a map, a letter, or some other visual document); 2) the hermit crab (an essay that houses itself inside the shell of another form of writing); 3) the hybrid essay (the mermaid of nonfiction: half-truth/half-imaginary); 4) the lyric essay (the collage); and 5) the video essay (the short-short documentary). We will read essays by Chelsea Biondolillo, Ayse Papatya Bucak, Victoria Chang, Lindsey Drager, Laurie Easter, Elizabeth Kadetsky, Carmen Maria Machado, Rowan McCandless, Tiffany Midge, Sarah Minor, Michael Martone, Dinty W. Moore, Kyoko Mori, Adriana Paramo, Jericho Parms, Claudia Rankine, José Orduna, Dustin Parsons, Deborah Tall, Gwendolyn Wallace, and Elissa Washutta, as well as Claudia Acevedo-Quiñones's The Hurricane Book, Tyrese L. Coleman's How to Sit, and Amy Long's Codependence. Students will submit at least one of their original essays for publication before the semester ends, and we will host a short film festival featuring their video essays at the end of the semester.

This class fulfills the English major requirement for 4000-level courses.