Texas Tech University

Undergraduate Course Offerings, Fall 2020

Click here to expand for filtering instructions

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

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

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

Courses from previous semesters are archived here.

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

Filter by focus:
Filter by day(s):
Filter by level:
ENGL 2305 Introduction to Poetry

Dr. William Wenthe

Section 160 (TR 11:00-12:20 PM) CRN: 40302

Letterpress spelling Poetry

This course fulfills the TTU Core Curriculum requirement in Creative Arts. In this class, we will examine poetry as an art. What painting does for vision, what music does for sound, what dance does for the movement: that is what poetry does for language. Poetry is the art of language. Poetry is the earliest literature, and it is from poetry that the other literary arts have developed—drama, song, rhetoric, fiction, stand-up comedy, and rap. Poetry is important. One of the important things it does is connect a person, an individual—you—to larger orders. Such orders are: the political, the family, the religious, the natural, and so on; including all the ways these orders affect each other. Poetry also explores the individual person; in your greatness (“I contain multitudes,” writes Walt Whitman) and in your smallness (“I'm nobody. Who are you?” writes Emily Dickinson). It seeks words for the wonder, the fear, the strangeness of your own existence (“You are an I,” writes Elizabeth Bishop). Poetry is the oldest literature. Constantly reborn, it thrives today. It flourishes in Ivy League universities; it flourishes in urban streets. In this class we're going to learn to read poems masterfully; and thus, to read anything masterfully. Attendance is required, and by "attendance" I mean your physical presence, and when you're not in the classroom, your focussed, assiduous attention to the poems you read. We're going to explore, together and individually, self and world; we're going to learn, as William Carlos Williams says, “to get the news / from poems”; and all the while, following the advice of Horace, we're going to let delight lead the way.

ENGL 2306 Introduction to Drama: Assassins, Gangsters, and Psychopaths - Quentin Tarantino and His Bloody Influences

Dr. Fareed Ben-Youssef

Section 160 (TR 12:30-1:50 PM) CRN: 38500

Photo from movie Kill Bill Volume 1

Before the hero of Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained (2012) embarks on a rescue mission to save his love enslaved in a plantation, he is told: “Don't break character.”

How his life-or-death mission rests on his convincing acting reveals Tarantino's interest in drama. His films ask: how can theater protect us from the violence we experience and insulate us from the suffering we inflict on others? To answer this question: our course introduces students to Tarantino's cinema and its influences from the screen, stage, and prose. For instance, we position Kill Bill Volume 1 (2003) against Toshiya Fujita's Lady Snowblood (1973), sensing similarities in these films about sword-wielding women out for vengeance. We look at his adaption of Jackie Brown (1997) against both the original Elmore Leonard novel and Jack Hill's Blaxploitation classic Foxy Brown (1974) about a mother who fights against a drug syndicate. We see how the grotesque Western The Hateful Eight (2015) pays homage to John Carpenter's alien invasion film The Thing (1982). In both, no one can be trusted.

By reading works of adaptation studies and genre theory, we learn how the filmmaker adapts other's language to fit his own and how he weaves together different film types. Engaging with studies on war, genocide, and slavery will reveal how Tarantino pushes us to confront traumatic histories we may not want to face. The course also doubles as an introduction to Global Cinema. To track his inspirations, we move from Hong Kong action cinema and Italian Spaghetti Westerns to masterpieces of the 1960s French New Wave.

To reinforce the fundamentals of drama, our cross-media course strongly emphasizes student-directed learning. Classes feature guest speakers, student presentations, and a host of creative exercises, culminating in a group adaptation and in-class performance of an iconic Tarantino scene for the stage. Ultimately, students gain new appreciation for the dynamic staging and unforgettable dialogue of Tarantino's bloody pulp fiction.

ENGL 2307 Introduction to Fiction

Dr. Ben Rogerson

Section 160 (MWF 10:00-10:50 AM) CRN: 11885

An image of a typewriter. In it, there is a page with "It really was a dark and stormy night" typed onto it.

Re-animated corpses. Stolen purses. Plane crashes. Homicidal identity thieves. Gossipy socialites. Cyberpunks. Post-apocalyptic cannibals. It's Introduction to Fiction. Spanning three centuries and two continents, this course will enable students to understand and analyze the fundamental characteristics of fiction—everything from the plot-story distinction to different types of narration—and to consider how these elements help to shape meaning. In addition, we will also consider how fiction shapes broader social and political questions: Are new scientific or technological advances always good? Was the “American Dream” ever achievable? Is stability possible in the aftermath of 9/11? Above all, we'll think about how fiction serves as a storehouse of attitudes for how we want to live our lives.  

ENGL 2308 Intro to Nonfiction: Literature, Social Justice, and Environment

Dr. Sara Spurgeon

Section 007 (TR 3:30-4:50pm) CRN: 39061

Words related to Social Justice

What do Native American protests at Standing Rock have to do with climate change?  How is police violence in Ferguson, Missouri connected to lead-poisoned children in Flint, Michigan? What does the experience of growing up Black in inner-city Baltimore have to do with American attitudes toward National Parks?  And what does any of this have to do with literature?  It turns out that the ways we think about race, sexuality, violence, human rights, and the environment have always been entangled.  Literature can help us see these connections and what they mean to us in our everyday lives.  In this class we will develop your critical thinking, reading, and writing skills through examination and analysis of non-fiction texts including essays, a memoir, poetry, films, blog post, and scholarly articles. 

ENGL 2311 Introduction to Technical Writing

Offered both Onsite & Online

Image of Tablet Computer
Technical writing is kind of misnomer for what we will do in this class. Writing is certainly involved; however, so is utilizing design, image, media, and other communication skills. We will learn to communicate effectively by using strategies closely linked to the workplace. Most importantly, we will think about writing and communication differently from how you may have considered them in the past: we will learn to view technical writing as a means for solving problems. We will use writing and documents to “get work done,” whatever your field or discipline.

English 2312 Designing Technologies & Texts that Change the World

Dr. Beau Pihlaja

Section 001 (M 6:00-8:50pm) CRN: 38491
Distance Section (M 6:00-8:50pm) CRN: 32553

People looking at map

An introduction to the role of culture in the design of texts and technologies and methods of cross-cultural technical communication.  

The world is a big place. However, technology increasingly extends the reach of individuals and groups across borders: national/political borders, linguistic borders, and cultural borders. Engineers, technical communicators, and professionals are asked more and more to design texts and technologies that change how we reach and work across those borders.  

In this class we will explore the definition and role of “culture” and what it means to be “culturally competent.” 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 understand that technologies are developed for particular users in particular contexts and that in order to effectively design technologies and documents, technical communicators must become invested in cross-cultural communication and mindfulness. We will consider, for example, how we use our smart phone as a local activity but also how our smartphone use reflects global activities, institutions, and cultures.

ENGL 2323 British Literature I

Dr. Ryan Hackenbracht

Section 002 (MWF 9:00-9:50am) CRN 39526

This course surveys major authors, literary traditions, and historical events in Britain from the Anglo-Saxons to the Enlightenment. The course is divided into three units: medieval, early modern, and eighteenth century. Covering authors like Chaucer, Marlowe, Milton, Swift, and Johnson, we will pay close attention to issues of mode, genre, and literary form. We will ask such questions as, what constitutes a genre? How do literary traditions arise and develop? What is the relationship between a literary work and its historical context? As a survey, this course will give you a comprehensive understanding of early British literature that will help prepare you for taking junior- and senior-level courses on specific authors and literary traditions. Moreover, as a course in the humanities, we will focus on developing, expanding, and refining our skills of composition and critical thinking. We will learn to close read texts, develop thesis-driven arguments, and articulate those arguments in straightforward prose.

ENGL 2383 Bible as Literature

Dr. David Roach

Section 160 (TR 9:30-10:50am) CRN 41937

Image of Moses and the Ten Commandments

"Till heaven and earth pass," Jesus declared, "not one jot or tittle shall pass from the law," and two thousand years later, the Bible continues to be read, studied, and taught in cultures across the world. Our objective over the course of the semester is to learn and develop an appreciation for the forms, styles, and modes of Biblical writing. We will explore such genres as cosmogony, Jewish epic, history, Hebraic poetry, prophecy, wisdom literature, gospels, epistles of St. Paul, and apocalyptic writings. We will discuss topics like covenant, grace, justice, mercy, sacrifice and the scapegoat, redemption, and service. Examining the Bible's beautiful language, brilliant imagery, and complex symbolism offers us an exciting, new way of understanding the most popular book in human history. This course fulfills the Language, Philosophy, and Culture Core Requirement.

ENGL 2388 Introduction to Film Studies

Dr. Wyatt Phillips

Section 160 (MW 11:00-11:50am) CRN: 56364

*Discussion section required

Section 701 (F 9:00-9:50am) CRN: 56367
Section 702 (F 10:00-10:50am) CRN: 56368
Section 703 (F 11:00-11:50am) CRN: 56369
Section 704 (F 11:00-11:50am) CRN: 56370
Section 705 (F 11:00-11:50am) CRN: 56371
Section 706 (F 12:00-12:50pm) CRN: 56372

Screen capture of Charlie Chaplin
As regular moviegoers and avid binge-watchers, we intuitively respond to the “grammar,” of film. Our pulse quickens when the monster nears its hapless victim; we get lumps in our throats when the hero finally wins the heart of the one s/he loves. But how exactly do films make us laugh, cry, and scream? The course draws on examples from U.S. and global cinema in order to explore the film techniques that produce such complex effects—we'll cover everything from mise-en-scene to cinematography, from editing to sound. Then we will build on those fundamentals to consider different modes of cinema such as narrative, documentary, and experimental. Ultimately, the course asks what distinguishes film from all the other arts, and what makes this “Seventh Art” at once so conceptually rich and so potentially deceptive. Popcorn not included.

ENGL 2391 Introduction to Literary Studies

Dr. Nesrine Chahine

Section 001 (MWF 1:00-1:50pm) CRN: 13287

Book shelf in library

This course is designed to introduce you to the study of literature. We will discuss what a literary work is, how its elements are created and arranged, and how to analyze the details of the text in order to arrive at the larger meaning or message that it communicates. We will read stories, poems, and plays by a range of different authors in order to gain a broader understanding of literature. Introduction to Literary Studies fulfills the Language, Philosophy, and Culture requirement for TTU's Core Curriculum. Courses in this category focus on how ideas, values, beliefs, and other aspects of culture reflect and affect human experience. Courses involve the exploration of ideas that foster aesthetic and intellectual creation in order to understand the human condition across cultures.

ENGL 2391 Introduction to Literary Studies

Dr. Jen Shelton

Section 002 (MWF 2:00-2:50pm) CRN: 13293

Illustration of Medieval Person

This course will examine texts from a variety of genres and periods with an aim of preparing students for advanced study of literary texts and advanced critical writing. We will explore not only important literary texts but the theoretical ways in which literature itself has been approached. A key emphasis of the course will be analytic reading and writing. My goal is to prepare students to write well and securely in advanced English courses. The skills students gain from this class will also be helpful in any class or life task that involves problem solving, analysis, critical thinking, and clear, sophisticated expression of ideas.

ENGL 3303 Medieval Literature in England

Dr. Julie Nelson Couch

Section 001 (T 6:00-8:50pm) CRN: 41942

Illustration of Medieval King

Magic & Miracle, Heroes & Saints: In this course, we will read and delight in early English literature from circa 1066 to 1400 AD, from King Arthur to Chaucer, from battle to love, from saints to lovers. We will read these literary works analytically, paying particular attention to the overlap between the features of history, romance, and saint's life. We will also explore the cultural contexts of early writings, including their original placement in handwritten manuscripts.

English 3304 Medieval and Renaissance Drama: Bodies on Stage

Dr. Matthew Hunter

Section 001 (TR 11:00am-12:20pm) CRN: 13420

Illustration of a Scholar

This course introduces students to the drama of the Elizabethan and Jacobean periods by considering the how early modern theater holds up bodies for the pleasure, consumption, examination, and revulsion of its audiences. Cutting across authors both Shakespearean and non-, it understands theater as a technology that treats bodies as spectacles and also as objects of scrutiny. Discussions will accordingly focus on the relationship of early modern plays to race, gender, and sexuality. How does early modern performance construct gender? How does desire make its mark on the performing body? What is the relationship between theatre history and race in early modern England? Does theatre uphold norms of embodiment or undo them? Pursuing these lines of thought will require us to consider anew the relationship between performance and embodiment. 

English 3307 Eighteenth-Century British Literature

Dr. Kvande

Section 001 (M 6:00-8:50pm) CRN: 13449

Distance Section D01 (M 6:00-8:50pm) CRN: 35480

Illustration of a two 18th Century women

A lot changed in eighteenth-century Britain, and as a result, the ways people thought about their identity changed, too. In this class, we'll look at the ways literature wrestled with nation, race, gender, and identity. For one thing, Britain itself came into being as the union of England, Wales, Scotland, and eventually Ireland. This Britain also developed overseas colonies – and lost some of them – and turned itself into an empire trading all over the globe. This global trade, in turn, included the business of buying and selling people – the transatlantic slave trade – and as that trade grew, Britons developed beliefs about skin color to justify their acts. The economic changes brought about by increased trade also affected women's roles and proper behavior. We'll read literary texts in which writers think through what nation, race, and gender mean. What did it mean to be British as Britain came to see itself within a larger world? What did skin color mean when some people were enslaved and some were not? What did it mean to be a man or a woman when the understanding of what made the sexes different was changing?

ENGL 3324 Nineteenth-Century American Literature: The Gilded Age

John Samson

Section 001 (W 6:00-8:50pm) CRN: 41941

Illustration of the protectors of our industries

Rich robber barons, corrupt politicians, oppressed workers, disenfranchised women, crusading reformers—these populate the literature of America's Gilded Age.  In this course we will read and discuss novels concerning the politics, economics, and gender relations of this fascinating period, which ranged from 1870 to 1900. From Horatio Alger's archetypal story of American success to criticisms of that possibility by Elizabeth Stuart Phelps, Henry Adams, Edward Bellamy, and Mark Twain, we will gain a wide-ranging perspective on an age that strikingly resembles the age we are living in now.

ENGL 3328 Introduction to American Studies

Dr. Yuan Shu

Section 001 (TR 9:30-10:50 am) CRN: 41940

Stillframe from Transformers movie

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 wars, Hollywood, and popular culture 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 cyberpunk fiction and graphic novel that have transnational connections and study popular culture that have global implications for Hong Kong Kung Fu Cinema, Japanese manga and anime, and K-pop.      

ENGL 3351 Poetry

Dr. Kolosov

Section 004 (MWF 12:00-12:50pm) CRN: 13628

Small bird
I am too tiny in this world, and not tiny enough—Rainer Maria Rilke
Well, write poetry, for God's sake, it's the only thing that matters—e. e. cummings.

cummings's words remind us that poetry has always been necessary to human beings as individuals and as cultures. Rilke emphasizes the needfulness of being ‘tiny' and gestures at poetry as an act of attention: “I want to describe myself/like a painting that I looked at/closely for a long time,/like a saying that I finally understood,/like the pitcher I use every day….” Poetry's necessity and poetry as scintillate act of attention are intrinsic to this workshop course focused on building a poetry toolbox via the engaged practice of key elements of craft. Into the poetry toolbox, too, will be all that goes into a poem's ability to stretch the imagination and our sense of what is possible as individuals and as communities. Our journey then will be a continual discovery that enacts how and why poetry can deepen our understanding of what it means to be alive and connect us with other human beings (and sometimes with other sentient beings) in ways that no other literary genre can.

Central to the daily work of the semester are reading, writing, and revision. Therefore, plan to be brilliantly present to discuss your own and your fellow poets' work as well as to discuss the poems assigned and those you discover. Plan to write. A lot. Plan to read widely, recklessly and voraciously. Plan to work attentively at envisioning, re-envisioning & revising your poems. You will build a portfolio of poems that chart your growth across the semester. 

English 3336 Early Modern World Literature: Masterpieces

Dr. Roger McNamara

Section 001 (MWF 1:00-1:50pm) CRN: 37196

Three portraits
This course will focus on masterpieces of world literature from the 15th through the 19th centuries that have made a significant contribution to the political and social imagination of their historical moment and beyond. While the course will focus primarily on textual interpretation and aesthetics, we will also pay attention to how this literature examines religion (Christianity and Islam, for instance), political and social structures (the relationship between church and state, the individual in society), and gender roles. We'll focus on literature from Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, and South and East Asia. Tentative texts: Dante's The Divine Comedy, The Arabian Nights, Rousseau's Confessions, and Russian short stories.

English 3341 Studies in Translation

Dr. Curtis Bauer

Section 001 (T 6:00-8:50pm) CRN: 37196

Distance Section D01 (T 6:00-8:50pm) CRN:31981

Ever wondered how the same verse can be written so many different ways, for example this one from Proverbs?

  • Guard your heart above all else, for it is the source of life.
  • Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it is the wellspring of life.
  • Be careful what you think, because your thoughts run your life.
  • Keep thy heart with all diligence, for out of it are the outflowings of life.
  • Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.
  • Be careful how you think; your life is shaped by your thoughts.
  • With all watchfulness keep thy heart, because life issueth out from it.
  • Set watch over and guard thy lev with all diligence; for out of it are the totze'ot chayyim
  • Above all else, guard thy heart; for out of it flows the issues of life.
  • More than anything you guard, protect your mind, for life flows from it.

This class will address the decisions translators make and how those decisions can not only change how we understand each other, but confront us with matters of life and death. We will have a general introduction to both theoretical and practical aspects of translation and you will have an opportunity to practice literary translation yourself. You will encounter seminal texts that define the theoretical field of translation, from the first part of the 20th century through the beginning of the 21st; we will have conversations about literary translation, and the role literary translation has in a university education and in life after college. Because this course discusses translation as a linguistic process, as a cultural and socio-political product, and as a creative process, students will be able to demonstrate awareness and knowledge of distinctive cultures and subcultures, including but not limited to ethnicity, race, gender, class, political systems, religions, sexual orientation, languages, and human geography. The course contemplates postcolonial dynamics, the function of gender, and the advent of mechanical translation. It also poses questions and offers perspectives on the tenuous role of the translator in the translation process and the choices one inevitably must make when interpreting, negotiating, and recapturing meaning.

Theoretical and practical aspects of translating literature and the impact of translation on literary studies, creative writing and your day to day life. Writing required.  Knowledge of a second language helpful, but not required.

English 3351 Creative Writing: Poetry

Dr. John Poch

Section 001 (MWF 10:00-10:50am) CRN: 13615

Elk with branches for antlers
A poem doesn't have a meaning. Every good poem has a multiplicity of meaning that complicates the way we understand things—through metaphor, rhyme, syntax, grammar, allusion, alliteration, assonance, hyperbole, diction, rhythm & meter, and a host of other tools and techniques. A poem is a language machine made up of a combination, a sum of these parts working in harmony. We will write poems by modeling on successful poems written before us. Through experiencing the beauty and complexity of language of poetry, you will not only better appreciate the world around you, but you will learn to read and write more clearly and succinctly in order to succeed in any field of study. We aim to have a good time. 

ENGL 3362 Rhetorical Criticism

Dr. Baake

Section 001 (R 6:00-8:50pm) CRN: 27965
Distance Section D01 (R 6:00-8:50pm) CRN: 39484

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 3365 Professional Report Writing

Dr. Rob Grace

Section 003 (MW 12:00-1:20pm) CRN: 38515
Section 004 (MW 2:00-3:20pm) CRN: 33983

Professional Report Writing prepares students to write effectively in their future line of work. This course introduces students to genres and conventions of workplace writing and provides instruction on how to write clearly, concisely, and purposefully when drafting reports to inform professional audiences. Throughout the course students will lead an iterative writing project in which they will plan, research, draft, and revise a report to help decision-makers address a real-world problem. Overall, this course provides students with opportunities to improve their writing abilities and become better writers in their current or expected profession.

English 3365 Professional Report Writing

Dr. Scott Weedon

Section 010 (TR 2:00-3:20pm) CRN: 32527
Section 014 (TR 3:30-4:50pm) CRN: 39970

Professional Report Writing is an opportunity to prepare for the kinds of writing you will do in your future work, whether in the private or public sector, in for-profit or non-profit ventures. While some forms of reporting are standardized in an industry or field, reporting practices can vary significantly and change over time. Our course will explore specific genres and conventions for report writing, but more importantly will encourage you as writers to think “rhetorically” about the reporting you do. This means that, as you write, you will need to think about the goals and objectives of your reporting, the audience for your writing, their expectations for your writing, and so on. 

ENGL 3366 Style

Dr. Rickly

Distance Section D01 (M 6:00-8:50pm) CRN: 32552

Calvin and Hobbes cartoon strip

This course focuses on effective writing style. It will cover topics such as developing an effective and personal voice, avoiding overwriting and underwriting, choosing effective and fresh words, avoiding clichés, choosing and foregrounding clear subjects and lively verbs, naming definite actors and actions, making sentences connect, assigning emphasis, controlling rhythm, achieving grammatical variety, and applying general principles of effective writing. You will have numerous opportunities to analyze the work of professional writers, analyze your own writing style, adapt writing for multiple situations and audiences, and develop a personal style of writing.

Required texts
Glaser, Joe. 2015. Understanding Style: Practical Ways to Improve Your Writing. 3rd edition.
Oxford University Press. *Make sure you buy the third edition, published in 2015.

ENGL 3367 User Experience Research

Dr. Jason Tham

Distance Section D01 (W 6:00-8:50pm) CRN: 41932

Do you remember the last time you encountered a confusing interface? A set of revolving doors, IKEA assembly instructions, TikTok scrolling page, mall directories, restaurant menus, or airport wayfinding signs… our experience with everyday occasions is inevitably shaped by the usability of these interfaces. As technical communicators participate in the design process of user-facing products, knowledge of usability and user experience (UX) research is necessary.  

This course introduces students to foundational principles and theories of 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 classroom as well as through the TTU UX Research Lab. Upon completion of this course, students should feel confident about:  
  • 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 3368 World-Wide Publishing of Technical Information

Dr. Craig Baehr

Distance Section D01 (T 6:00-8:50pm) CRN: 35496

This undergraduate-level course provides an overview of the practical and theoretical aspects of designing effective Web sites and online content.  Specifically, our work will focus on process planning, content development, site structure, navigation, visual design, interface design, usability, and accessibility. The course will cover practical skills with various software tools and scripting languages, including HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. The course address contemporary approaches and theories related to digital literacy, user experience, and technology to broaden the study of Web development as a technical communication specialization.
ENGL 3371 How Language Works

Dr. Braver

Section 001 (R 6:00 - 8:50pm) CRN: 33013

Distance Section D01 (R 6:00-8:50pm) CRN: 35024

Young woman in payphone booth

What does it mean to have a command of language—do animals have it? Infants? By examining the structures of the world's languages, we will discover why linguists believe in a “universal grammar” in spite of the world's rich linguistic diversity. We'll also learn how to make the sounds of the world's languages—from the clicks of Africa's Bantu languages to Native American ejective consonants. This course is suited to anyone interested in language, how the mind works, or the characteristics that make us uniquely human.

ENGL 3386 Literature and Science: The Symbiotic Forest

Dr. Bruce Clarke

Distance Section D01 (W 6:00-8:50pm) CRN: 40375

Green forest tunnel

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.”

ENGL 3387 Multicultural Literatures of America: Multiethnic Speculative Fiction

Dr. Cordelia Barrera

Section 001 (MWF 2:00-2:50pm) CRN: 39931

Spraypaint picture of "Find Your Voice"

In this class, students will explore the dimensions of different genres that often overlap but fall under the umbrella term “speculative fiction.” These genres include science fiction, utopian and dystopian fictions, horror and gothic forms, and magical realism. Because this class centers on works of speculative fiction by US multiethnic and multicultural authors, the texts we study are associated with movements for social, political and environmental justice. Some questions that will form our discussions include: How do multiethnic authors create meaning from alternative narratives of “belonging” in the US? How are ideas about race, ethnicity, class, and gender conceived within speculative forms, and to what ends? How do multiethnic artists challenge and reimagine genres to critique contemporary ideas about technology, indigeneity, and identity and how can these ideas help us to find our own unique voices? This course fulfills the TTU multicultural requirement. 

ENGL 3388 Film Genres: New Style - Contemporary Cinemas

Dr. Baugh

Section 004 (MWF 9:00-9:50am) CRN: 34250

Four images from inception

'NEW style' will offer an introduction to undergraduate film/media studies with a steep learning curve to consider how the Classical Paradigm has been re-made in contemporary fictive-narrative movies. One answer is that the old style has been intensified, but is this the end of the story? Among other things we will consider the auteur tradition, Hollywood, national styles, and globalization, and more. Our movies will likely include Y Tu Mamá También, Masculine Feminine, The Tree of Life, Crash, Gravity, Inception, Interstellar, Ready Player One, Scott Pilgrim, The Revenant, & more.
ENGL 3388 Honors Film Genres: Star Wars and Media Culture

Dr. Allison Whitney

Section H01 (TR 11:00-12:20 PM) CRN: 14001

Lego stormtroopers in row

This course will offer a survey of methods and issues in media studies using the Star Wars franchise as the central object of study. Students will draw upon over forty years' worth of Star Wars transmedia texts to learn approaches to media studies including textual analysis, sound studies, adaptation, media archaeology, material culture and ephemera, industrial history, and fan culture. In addition to the Star Wars films, students will study radio plays, comic books, toys and games, actors' star personae, costume and production design.

ENGL 3389 The Global Short Story

Dr. Nesrine Chahine

Section 001 (MWF 11:00-11:50am) CRN: 33096

Covers of several books

In this course we will read short stories by international authors from Egypt, Iraq, Nigeria, the UK, the US, and other nations.  We will focus on the idea of “global” as it relates to notions of universality, economic and political inequality, gender dynamics, cultural exchange, and a long history of trade as well as imperial conquest among nations.  Possible readings may include short stories by Abdel Rahman al-Sharqawi, Laila Lalami, Youssef al-Sharouny, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, China Miéville, and Hassan Blasim among others. Prerequisites: 6 hours of 2000-level English courses. Short stories around the world. Writing required. Fulfills Multicultural requirement. (CL)
ENGL 3392 African American Literature

Dr. Michael Borshuk

Section 001 (TR 2:00-3:20pm) CRN: 35486

James Baldwin portrait

This course will examine the development of African American literature from the slave narratives of the nineteenth century to postmodern fiction at the turn of the twenty-first.  We will begin with a discussion of critical approaches to African American literature, and then proceed chronologically through the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.  Among our topics for interrogation and discussion will be: the influence of oral and musical traditions on the development of African American writing; the intervention(s) into traditional constructions of the American canon that black literature inaugurates; the ways that African American writers redress stereotypes and problematic representations of black Americans; and the “alternative” histories that African American literature proposes alongside America's dominant historical records.

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

Dr. Brian McFadden

Section 001 (TR 12:30-1:50pm) CRN: 14706

Cover to "Imagine Baggins"

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, 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?

English 4313 Studies in Fiction Eighteenth-Century Gothic

Dr. Kvande

Section 002 (W 6:00-9:00pm) CRN: 35487
Distance Section D02 (W 6:00-9:00pm) CRN: 40754

Photo of grim graveyard

Haunted castles, vengeful ghosts, scheming villains, imprisoned heroines, secrets from the mysterious past, fearful apparitions, gory deaths, live burials—not to mention the terrified, fascinated reader: these trappings are usually taken to be the signs of the Gothic. Why did Gothic texts become so popular in the late eighteenth century?  Do these trappings truly constitute the Gothic? and if not, what does? What kinds of social, cultural, historical, or psychological demands did the Gothic fulfill for its readers?  How does this subgenre fit into our understanding of the novel as a genre?  To explore these questions, we'll read novels from the late eighteenth century heyday of the Gothic along with secondary readings that will help us understand the historical context and the critical and scholarly understandings of the Gothic.

Requirement fulfilled: British Literature, Period: Late; Genre: Fiction

ENGL 4315 Studies in Film and Media: Texas Films and Filmakers
Dr. Wyatt Phillips

Section 001 (TR 9:30-10:50am) CRN: 35488

Stillframes from three Texas movies

This course will look at the long history of films and filmmaking in Texas. Using literary studies of regionalism (and nationalism) as our starting point, we will interrogate and expand upon these in relation to cinema. The course will employ a range of theoretical and methodological lenses to complement practices of textual analysis and close reading, including cultural studies, identity politics, border studies, auteur theory, and media industry studies. In addition, the course will consider how exhibition cultures promote production and vice versa. Can we argue, via regionalism, for a symbiotic relation between reception culture and production culture and, if so, what are the mechanisms that foster that relationship? What role specifically do state film commissions, local film societies, and regional film festivals play? Classroom discussion will be augmented through conversations with Texas-based filmmakers and film programmers. The course will culminate in a significant research paper. Films will include a selection of short films (documentary, narrative, and experimental) and such narrative features as Giant (1956), Days of Heaven (1978), Paris, Texas (1984), Fandango (1985), Lone Star (1996), Selena (1997), Spy Kids (2001), Pit Stop (2013), Boyhood (2014), Hell or High Water (2016), and Never Goin' Back (2018). 

ENGL 4321 Studies in Literary Topics: Literature of the Great War

Dr. Jen Shelton

Section 002 (TR 11:00am-12:20pm) CRN: 39530

Propaganda image from the Great War

The First World War was the first modern war, but the tactics the armies used were based on 19th century ideas of warfare. Thus, the Great War — the first time the whole globe was involved in simultaneous conflict — entailed great suffering and loss of life, but also required shifts in ways people and nations thought and wrote about war. Ideals of honor and glory, long associated with literature of warfare, seemed quaint when contrasted with the maelstrom of destruction that ensued when accurate, high-explosive artillery, flamethrowers, poison gas, and machine guns encountered the frail human forms of soldiers and noncombatants. In this course, we will read a variety of texts from multiple genres — some well-known, such as Erich Maria Remarque's All Quiet on the Western Front, and others less familiar, including war memoirs and diaries, poetry and songs.

ENGL 4380 Professional Issues in Technical Communication

Dr. Steve Holmes

Section 001 (T 6:00-8:50pm) CRN: 37086
Distance Section D01 (T 6:00-8:50pm) CRN: 35499

LinkedIn Profile Page

This capstone course focuses on developing your identity as a technical/professional communicator in the workplace. Since most of you have completed your coursework before taking English 4380, this course is designed to prepare you to familiarize yourself further in the field of technical communication as you prepare to begin your career or continue to graduate school. We will discuss the job search process, conduct mock interviews, and polish your cover letters and résumés. To aid in career planning, this course features guest speakers from a range of technical/professional communication backgrounds who will share their insights about the job search process as well as what qualities in prospective job candidates hiring committees prioritize. We will help to you develop a professional website and an ePortfolio to showcase your undergraduate writing samples for the workplace. Additionally, this course we will review standards for STC certification and its body of knowledge, and you will complete a project and take a practice exam centered on the STC Foundation Certification exam. Finally, you will also be responsible to complete a major project for a real-world client to add to your professional portfolio. 

ENGL 4390 Internship: English Peer Mentoring Program

"One Home" logo

For this internship course, students will serve as mentors for other English majors and minors, with the aim of contributing their skills in ways that help the English department community. Students will take part in mentoring training and will offer various kinds of support to the English department community. This support will include helping with things like practical questions (course recommendations, how to ask faculty for recommendation letters, etc), program requirements, and support (balancing work and life, time management, essay writing tips, etc). Student mentors will offer large workshops, small-group mentoring, and one-on-one meetings with the guidance of the faculty leader.

Registration for this course requires permission of the instructor.  
To apply, email Dr. Kvande (marta.kvande@ttu.edu) with your resumé to set up a brief interview.

ENGL 4390 Internship: Remnant Trust
Spines of old books

Do you love books and libraries? Would you like to get some work experience with rare books? Apply to be an intern at the Remnant Trust! The Trust  holds a large collection of rare books and manuscripts. They describe their student internships as follows:  

The Student Internship offers students the following opportunities:

  • To help fulfill the shared mission of The Remnant Trust and Texas Tech University to create a public dialogue on the importance of historical and original texts;
  • To participate in an active, collaborative learning experience;
  • To actively participate in public events hosted by The Remnant Trust (some evening and weekend hours may be required);
  • To assist and create marketing materials and packets;
  • To work directly with the collection in research, cataloging, and records maintenance;
  • To gain experience in the non-profit sector.To earn course credit, the intern works 10 hours per week at the press and submits weekly reflective writing and a final portfolio.  

This internship is open to English majors or minors with junior or senior standing.  
Before you apply, please consult with the English Advisor to make sure the internship fits with your degree plan.
To apply, please email the following to Dr. Kvande (marta.kvande@ttu.edu):

  • A paragraph explaining why you're interested in this specific internship and how it will fit into your degree plan.
  • Your resume.

Dr. Kvande will notify students once the Remnant Trust has selected the intern.

ENGL 4390 Internship: TTU Press
"TTU Press" logo

Would you like to explore what it's like to work in publishing and get course credit? Apply for this internship! The TTU Press publishes mostly academic and scholarly books. The intern's work at the Press usually consists of things like helping to proofread manuscripts, writing some advertising materials, and similar duties. To earn course credit, the intern works 10 hours per week at the press and submits weekly reflective writing and a final portfolio. This internship is open to English majors or minors with junior or senior standing.  

Before you apply, please consult with the English Advisor to make sure the internship fits with your degree plan.

To apply, please email the following to Dr. Kvande (marta.kvande@ttu.edu):

  • A paragraph explaining why you're interested in this specific internship and how it will fit into your degree plan.
  • Your resume.

Dr. Kvande will notify students once the Press has selected the intern.