Texas Tech University

Graduate Seminars - Fall 2017

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

ENGL 5302: Middle English Language: Translating Middle English Literature

Dr. Julie Couch
T 2:00-4:50 PM (ONST)
CRN: 38597

This course introduces students to the grammar, syntax, vocabulary, phonology, and prosody of Middle English. This course also introduces students to Middle English manuscript studies. The term Middle English encompasses an array of regional dialects that coexisted in England roughly between the Norman Conquest in 1066 and the standardization of English in 1430. Class time will be spent translating and pronouncing Middle English, transcribing from manuscript facsimiles, and discussing related issues in translation, manuscript context, and literary interpretation. By the end of the course, students will be able to comprehend and read aloud Middle English poetry that ranges widely in dialect, form, and genre. This course will be of interest to literature students as well as to linguistics and creative writing students interested in form, prosody, book history, and the theory and praxis of translation.

Requirements fulfilled:
British Literature, Poetry genre, high proficiency language requirement, Medieval & Renaissance Studies (MSRC) graduate certificate

ENGL 5306: Milton: Live Free or Die: Milton, Hobbes, and the Foundations of Modern Liberty

Dr. Ryan Hackenbracht
Th 9:30 AM -12:20 PM (ONST)
CRN: 35489


  • Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan, ed. by Edwin Curley (Hackett, 1994)
  • John Milton, Complete Poems and Major Prose, ed. by Merritt Hughes (Hackett, 2003)
  • John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, et al., Something that Will Surprise the World: The Essential Writings of the Founding Fathers, ed. by Susan Dunn (Basic, 2006)

From President Trump's Muslim ban to censorship of the press, controversies over American civil liberties fill our daily headlines. Recent though they may seem, these are in fact old issues, and the language and logic we use today to analyze liberty have their origins in seventeenth-century England. During the English Revolution, the overthrow of government and the execution of the king (unprecedented events that shocked Europe) sparked new ways of imagining citizens' rights, the authority of the state, and the obligations of sovereigns to their subjects. The conflict between Thomas Hobbes and John Milton, in particular, generated important inquiries into the nature of liberty, including, what is the basis for liberty, and can it be stripped away from a person? how much freedom is too much? are citizens justified in opposing an unjust state? The Hobbes-Milton debate had a long afterlife, and the last third of this course charts its influence on the American Founding Fathers, including Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and Ben Franklin.

In the age of Milton and Hobbes, theorizing about liberty was not just a political affair—it was also a literary one. To connect with their reading public, who were steeped in knowledge of the Bible and the classics, Hobbes and Milton recycled and reinvented narratives from the Old and New Testaments, ancient Greek poetry, and Roman orations. This course, then, explores the literariness of liberty—that is, how Milton and Hobbes used narrative, genre, form, and mode to convey their thoughts on the freedom of the individual. Assignments will include an annotated bibliography, a presentation to the seminar, and a research paper of 20 pages.

Requirements fulfilled:
British Literature, Poetry genre, Medieval & Renaissance Studies (MSRC) graduate certificate

ENGL 5309: Studies in Nineteenth Century British Literature: Victorian Science Fiction & Fantasy: Steampunk Past and Present

Dr. Alison Rukavina
M 2:00-4:50 PM (ONST)
CRN: 33020

The course examines Victorian science fiction and fantasy in relation to the contemporary steampunk genre, which combines Victoriana, science fiction & fantasy, and technology, as well as a punk aesthetic. Steampunk is not an entirely “new” genre in that it was inspired by the works of Mary Shelley, Jules Verne, and H.G. Wells. Students in the course will consider whether nineteenth-century works like Frankenstein, Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, and Time Machine are steampunk and what defines the genre, as well as what historical and contemporary issues are at the heart of novels by William Gibson, Neil Gaiman, and K.W. Jeter. While technology—whether steam, nuclear, or other—and the host of issues it engenders is often at the heart of steampunk, books within the genre also wrestle with a diverse list of issues including those pertaining to gender and race. Students in the class will read historical and contemporary steampunk, considering how the authors engage with their audience and culture. As part of the class, students will also look at steampunk in other genres including nineteenth-century dime novels and twentieth-century graphic novels.

Readings will include Robert Louis Stevenson's Jekyll and Hyde, Jules Verne's Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, Bram Stoker's Dracula, H.G. Wells's Time Machine, K. W. Jeter's Infernal Devices, Kim Newman's Anno Dracula, Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere, and William Gibson's The Difference Engine, as well as various secondary readings.

Requirements fulfilled:
British Literature, Fiction genre

ENGL 5317: Postcolonial Literature: Postcolonial, Decolonial, Digital: One Billion and More Rising

Dr. Kanika Batra
Th 6:00-8:50 PM (ONST/ONLN)
CRN: 37200/37203

The multiple forms of activism we are witnessing in the twenty-first century rely on digital platforms for their success. To consider one example, the One Billion Rising movement deploys texts, technologies, and virtual-physical forms of assembly to bring sexualized violence against women into the public limelight. This course interrogates the foundations and future of such movements by placing them within theorizations of the postcolonial and the decolonial. We will begin our feminist enquiry by examining canonical works by Frantz Fanon, Aime Cesaire, Anibal Quijano, Walter Mignolo, and others. The course then moves into a discussion of nation, narration, and nativism by looking at women's life writings in the Caribbean and Latin America read with and against feminist thought by Sylvia Wynter, Maria Lugones, M. Jacqui Alexander, Emma Perez, and Linda Alcoff. In the final section of the course we examine some digital forums that document the lives of women in the global South by creating archives of activism, including but not limited to the Caribbean and Latin American International Resource Network.

Requirements fulfilled:
CLGT, Methods, Women's Studies Certificate

ENGL 5320: Studies in Seventeenth and Eighteenth Century American Literature: Dissenting Imaginaries: History and Literature of the Early Atlantic World

Dr. Dan Hutchins
W 6:00-8:50 PM (ONST/ONLN)
CRN: 38595/38596

In this course, we will go a little way towards charting, together, an alternative history for the early Atlantic World (roughly 1500-1800) that highlights intersecting themes such as indigeneity, cultural contact, mestizaje, migration, displacement, autonomy, sovereignty, socialism / collectivism, borders, spirituality, and healing. In doing so, we will seek a hemispheric understanding of the relationships between indigenous peoples, enslaved Africans, Europeans, Europe and the Americas is emphasized. In addition, through works of critical theory and history we will also explore 1) the idea of 'coloniality' as the shadow double of modernity and 2) the alternative epistemologies and histories that have been left out of the official Western knowledge project. I may also end the course with one or two texts of contemporary speculative fiction.

Possible authors may include: Michel de Montaigne, Jean de Léry, Cabeza de Vaca, Lewis & Clark, Guaman Poma de Ayala, William Apess, Françoise de Graffigny, Walter Mignolo, Aníbal Quijano, Hayden White, Gloria Anzaldúa, Immanuel Wallerstein, Ian Baucom, Susan Buck-Morss, Mary Crow Dog, Karl Marx, and Chief Joseph.

Requirements fulfilled:
American Literature, Non-Fiction genre

ENGL 5325: Studies in American Fiction: Nabokov's American Novels

Dr. John Samson
M 2:00-4:50 PM (ONST)
CRN: 35491

The focus of the course will be on Vladimir Nabokov's novels written after he emigrated to America and became an American citizen in the 1940s. Our approach to the novels will be primarily aesthetic, following Nabokov's conception that “For me a work of fiction exists only insofar as it affords me what I shall bluntly call aesthetic bliss, that is a sense of being somehow, somewhere, connected with other states of being where art (curiosity, tenderness, kindness, ecstasy) is the norm.” The texts will be: The Annotated Lolita; Pnin; Pale Fire; Ada, or Ardor; Transparent Things; and Look at the Harlequins! Students will write and present three shorter (5pp.) essays as a stimulus to discussion and write a longer (15- 20pp.) essay incorporating primary, secondary, and/or creative research.

Requirements fulfilled:
American Literature, Fiction genre

ENGL 5338: Lingustic Syntax

Dr. Min-Joo Kim
Th 11:00 AM - 12:20 PM (ONST)
CRN: 18687

Syntax is a sub-discipline of linguistics that deals with sentence structure—that is, how grammatical sentences are formed and structured. This course aims to introduce fundamental principles of theoretical syntax and prepare students to take more advanced courses in theoretical syntax and/or to apply the acquired knowledge to conduct research in other related sub-field of linguistics or disciplines such as semantics, language acquisition, natural language processing, language disorders, mass communication, machine translation, and artificial intelligence, to name just a few. Students will learn analytical methods used in syntactic research, in particular how to analyze morpho-syntactic data drawn from various languages, how to formulate plausible hypotheses based on linguistic data, and how to compare and evaluate different theories and/or hypotheses. Topics will include but will not be limited to syntactic categories, phrase structure rules, X-bar syntax, and constraints on movement. The course will be organized around lectures on select topics and discussions on them. The largest portion of the grade will be given to weekly homework assignments and they will make the learning process more gradual and formative than otherwise.

Requirements fulfilled:
Linguistics, Methods, Linguistics Certificate

ENGL 5339: Phonology

Dr. Aaron Braver
T/Th 3:30-4:50 PM (ONST)
CRN: 38953

Why is "blick" a possible word of English, but not "bnick?" Why do foreign accents persist even after years of language training?

Speech sounds are perhaps the most basic building blocks of spoken language, but how do they work? This course provides an overview of the field of phonology—how languages organize, represent, and manipulate their sounds.

We will begin by discussing the sounds of the world's languages and their articulatory, acoustic, and distributional properties. We will examine why some sounds are allowed in certain parts of a word but not others, how sounds change based on their surroundings, and why foreign accents persist even after years of study.

Both linguists and non-linguists are encouraged to join this course. Knowledge of sound patterns has important applications across disciplines, including second language acquisition, foreign language teaching, literature, and poetry. If you have ever wondered how the sounds of language work—or how to manipulate them for various effects—this course will be of interest to you.

ENGL 5340: Research Methods

Dr. Julie Couch
W 9:00-11:50 AM (ONST)
CRN: 14987

This course is an introduction to the methods, processes, and procedures for graduate-level (MA and PhD) research in English and is 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.

Literary criticism and textual scholarship are two routes professional readers take in presenting, interpreting, and teaching works of literature. In this course, we will posit textual scholarship—a discipline that encompasses bibliography, editing, and reception—as foundational to literary research. We will briefly explore its theories and practices, combining theoretical discussion of textual matters such as the nature of texts, authorship, readership, and translation, with practical skills in research and bibliography. In addition to completing a few research exercises, each student will develop a research project that relates to his or her own particular area of interest.

Requirements fulfilled
Foundation course

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

Dr. Scott Baugh
T 6:00-8:50 PM (ONLN)
CRN: 33345

“Critical Methods” is a graduate seminar designed to survey a range of approaches to reading texts critically. Bring in theory, some naively assume, and you lose the magic of reading; however, it is always already there, and we may gain from being fully aware of our own discursive approaches to reading texts, our critical methods, and articulating them as such, methodologies. We will explore recognized ‘schools' of criticism predominant over the last four decades or so, but we will place emphasis on significant patterns within and among these schools. As a result, we will be able to return to our scholarship in a more serious, more conscious, and more professional way. We will begin, as did Terry Eagleton, with the question, what is literature? We will move, as did Roland Barthes, from work to text. Like Judith Butler, we will inscribe bodies that matter.

Mirroring Slavoj Zizek, we may look awry and, following Bakhtin, avoid utter inadequacies. Rather than bound ourselves into a single anthology, an online reserve of readings will include some tried pieces for a course such as this—by Paul de Man, Stanley Fish, Julia Kristeva, Walter Benjamin, Jonathan Culler, Michel Foucault, Laura Mulvey, Manthia Diawara, among others—as well some less-tested ones like Joanna Russ' How to Suppress Women's Writing, Jesús Salvador Treviño's “Thirty Years of Struggle,” video-articles from Wired magazine, and others as they fit.

As a group, we will cross the range of critical methods, but individually participants will be encouraged to devise particularly relevant projects that facilitate larger research agendas and professional interests. Moreover, as you discover ‘schools' most useful to your own research, then you will have the opportunity to read backward and through earlier influences on that school, potentially exploring pools of information across a number of disciplines including philosophy, history and historiography, sociology, psychology, physics, among others.

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 be due as a final exam; it's also likely we will take advantage of some online discussions in Blackboard.

Requirements fulfilled:
Foundation course

ENGL 5342: Critical Methods

Dr. Yuan Shu
T 6:00-8:50 PM (ONST)
CRN: 18812

This course investigates critical theories that have informed and reshaped English studies in the past few decades. We begin by raising a rhetorical question, “Who killed Shakespeare?” and examining the status quo of English studies in the context of the declining humanities and the changing environment for higher education in the twenty-first century. We then explore diachronically formalism, structuralism, deconstruction, post-structuralism, post- colonial and critical race theories, Marxism, and feminism. The focus of our course will be on globalization and transnational studies, ecocriticism and environmental studies, and new media theories, paying special attention to what critics call “the transnational turn” and “the eco-critical turn” in current English and literary studies. We conclude by reflecting upon another rhetorical question, “What happens after post-history and post-theory?”

Requirements fulfilled:
Foundation course

ENGL 5351: Teaching Film and Media Studies

Dr. Allison Whitney
M 6:00-8:50 PM (ONST)
CRN: 15008

In this course, students will learn practical strategies for teaching film and other audio/visual media, while also becoming versed in the history of film instruction, and in the array of ethical, legal, and technical concerns facing educators in this field. While the course will be appropriate for students whose primary focus is film studies, it will also provide valuable expertise to students in other fields who wish to integrate the study of media texts and/or the use of media-based assignments into their curricula. Throughout the semester, students will design syllabi, lesson plans, assignments, and assessment strategies that are germane to their interests, and will also have the opportunity to visit classrooms. Topics will include teaching critical viewing and listening skills, assignment design, accessibility for students with disabilities, the ethics of representation in the classroom (including violence and obscenity), multicultural course design, service learning and community engagement, undergraduate research, copyright law, and online teaching.

Requirements fulfilled:
Film and Media Studies, Pedagogy, Methods

ENGL 5370: Poetry Workshop

Dr. Curtis Bauer
W 6:00-8:50PM (ONST)
CRN: 33026

This workshop will examine issues of craft and vision through the practice of poetry. We will consider technical and historical aspects of poetry writing, as well as discuss and formulate our own “poetics.” The group will work to form a responsive, critical audience for one another's work. Though our primary text will be student writing, we will also practice close readings of individual poems by contemporary poets, as well as contemporary essays on craft, theory, legacy, and the creative process. From this we will consider the fine points of writing poetry (e.g., line break, meter, scansion, stanzaic form, image, tension, and metaphor), and the larger issues of writing as it relates to politics, publishing, influence, voice, personal and social responsibility, and ethics. Students will write a new poem each week, and at semester's end turn in a final portfolio of poems with a formal introduction that outlines their poetics.

Requirements fulfilled:
Creative Writing concentration course.

ENGL 5370: Non-Fiction Workshop

W 2:00-4:50PM (ONST)
CRN: 15198


ENGL 5370: Fiction Workshop

Dr. Leslie Jill Patterson
M 6:00-8:50 PM (ONST)
CRN: 15196

In this workshop, we'll study books by small presses (with the exception of one text) that offer excellent entrance opportunities for writers in the early stages of their careers. We'll consider all forms of fiction: concept novels, lyric novels, chapbooks, full collections, singles, flash, even 100-word stories. The class will be largely generative, with prompts given in class each week. The semester-long goal: each student will write and workshop the equivalent of 50-65 manuscript pages—whether producing a chapbook, or three singles, or two singles and several flash (whatever combination) to submit throughout and by the end of the semester.

Kelcey Ervick Parker's Liliane's Balcony (Rose Metal Press)
Jenny Offill's Department of Speculation (Vintage)
Randa Jarrar's Him Me Muhammad Ali (Sarabande)
Jen George's The Babysitter at Rest (Dorothy Project)
Daniel Riddle Rodriquez's Low Village (Cutbank)
Joe Wilkins's Far Enough (Black Lawrence Press)
Tyler Gillepsie's Dirty Socks and Pine Needles (Sibling Rivalry Press)
Kate Bernheimer's Floater (Bull City Press)
Andria Nacina Cole's “Men Be Better Or, but Never Enough (Ploughshares)
Min Jee Lee's “The Quality of Your Life” (One Story)
Celia Laskey's “Come as a Guest” (Amazon Single)
Brandon Davis Jennings “Battle Rattle” (Amazon Single) Melanie Rae Thon's Seventh Man (Diagram/New Michigan Press

ENGL 5390: Writing for Publication: Creative Writing Emphasis

Dr. Katie Cortese
W 9:00-11:50AM (ONST)
CRN: 15391

This course is aimed at creative writing master's and doctoral students working in the genres of poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and/or translation, and will facilitate the revision, polishing, and submission of previously drafted creative works to journals, presses, and contests for potential publication. Students are expected to bring a body of work into the class to hone and submit, and while the number of individual items will vary by student and genre, the material should comprise anywhere from a minimum of fifteen pages (i.e., a chapbook of poetry or flash) to a maximum of seventy-five pages (novella, chapbook of essays or stories, or several works of translation). Students will engage in partner and small- group critique, and research appropriate venues for their work.

In addition to preparing creative work for publication, students will engage in a range of other writing projects intended to support their professional development as working writers, completing: a) an interview with the writer of their choice, b) a book review of a work published in the last year, and c) a residency, conference, grant, or fellowship application accompanied by a presentation on their target opportunity. Several times throughout the semester, Skype interviews will be held with agents, editors, publishers, and other such literary professionals. Select texts from works such as The New Writer's Handbook and magazines like Poets & Writers and Writer's Chronicle will inform discussions on querying agents, writing synopses, submitting to contests, working with editors, targeting publishers, creating an author website, maintaining a social media presence, writing craft articles, grant writing, and other aspects of building a writing career.

Requirements fulfilled:
Professional Developments

ENGL 5390: Writing for Publication: Literature Emphasis

Dr. Jen Shelton
M 6:00-8:50 PM (ONLN)
CRN: 35504

This course gives students practice in constructing documents for professional venues, including conferences and academic journals. Students will learn to draft proposals, annotated bibliographies, book reviews, conference papers and presentations, and essays for submission to peer-reviewed journals. Students whose professional goals are directed toward teaching situations will learn how to adapt these academic practices for their situations. Students should expect substantial writing and independent research as well as participation in peer-writing groups. The course meets online. Students will need a computer with stable internet access, a headset with microphone, and a Skype account to access course meetings.

Requirements fulfilled:
Professional Development

ENGL 5390: Writing for Publication

Dr. Marta Kvande
T 2:00-4:50 PM (ONST)
CRN: 15389

This is a pragmatic course focusing on the process of preparing an essay for submission to a peer-reviewed journal and on professional activity more broadly. Students must begin the course with a previously-prepared article-length critical paper (5,000 to 7,000 words), usually one from a previous graduate course. Revising this essay for publication (including peer workshops and other revision practices) will be one of the major projects of the course. In addition, students will also learn and practice other aspects of the scholarly process, such as preparing and presenting conference-length papers, determining appropriate venues for their work (both conferences and journals), composing cover letters, applying for grants, writing book proposals, and writing book reviews, among other scholarly genres and conventions. This course satisfies the requirement in Professional Development.

Requirements fulfilled:
Professional Development

ENGL 5060: Composition: TCR Section

Dr. Rebecca Rickly
MW 12:00-1:20 PM (ONST/ONLN)
CRN: 15494/38276


ENGL 5060: Composition: Literature, Creative Writing, and Linguistics Emphasis

Dr. Rebecca Rickly
MW 2:00-3:20 PM (ONST)
CRN: 34680