Upper Division and Graduate English Courses

Spring 2019

Upper-Division Course Rotation


Prerequisite: Completion of English 111 and 112 or their equivalents


305.001 The Art of the Essay TR 11:00-12:15 CRN: 21614
505.001 CRN: 21615
David Carithers
Building on the concept of “essay” as a verb meaning “to attempt,” students in The Art of the Essay will try out several modes of this flexible genre and will learn that there is much more to it than they previously thought. Course assignments will focus on the expository mode of the essay, with opportunities to write argumentative, cause/effect, classification, definition, and personal essays. The primary text for this course is student writing, which we will work on together through in-class free-writing, workshops, and revision sessions. We will also read, discuss, and write in response to several collections of essays, ranging from canonical works to newer, experimental forms of the genre. The course will culminate in a student-edited anthology of collected works written in the class. Join us to experience the art of the essay!


315.001 Poetry Workshop MWF 2:00-2:50 CRN: 21590
Sally Brannen

T.S. Eliot said, "Genuine poetry can communicate before it is understood." Even skilled writers find it difficult to define what poetry is, but most of us intuitively know poetry when we feel it resonate with some part of ourselves whether it is our hearts, our minds, or our ears. In Poetry Workshop, we will not only explore what poetry is and what it communicates, but we will also endeavor to understand how poetry generates meaning beyond just the sum of its parts. Sound, sensation, structure, silence, and story—in this class we will examine how these all work toward the making of sense and poesy. The class focuses on students writing original works of poetry and workshopping/revising those poems. This will be augmented by reading and discussing a variety of poems/poets as well as learning to utilize a critical vocabulary. Join us to unleash your creative energies by studying the art and craft of writing poetry.


325.001 Technical Communications TR 8:00-9:15 CRN: 21595

525.001 CRN: 21596

325.002 Technical Communications TR 9:30-10:45 CRN: 21603

525.002 CRN: 21604
Trisha Capansky
Technical Communication for Career and Life Management
This course equips you with tools for marketing yourself so that you are a viable contender in the job market. It also offers you an understanding of the language used in contracts, legal documents, bank statements, and government reports so that you are prepared to protect your credit, identity, and assets. Career planning will help you negotiate advancement opportunities, salary increases, benefit packages, and other incentives for the quality of life you hope to obtain. You will be provided with skills and strategies to help you address a variety of communication tasks in workplace environments. Personal planning will help you prepare for obstacles such as financial setbacks, job loss, auto repair, healthcare, bankruptcy, and identity theft. Your ability to maneuver through life’s opportunities and obstacles largely depends on how well you understand the fine print in technical documents and the communication process.
This course is taught as a hybrid to create an environment where students have a greater amount of time to reflect upon the issues and materials discussed and demonstrate their reflection through thought-provoking, soundly developed arguments.


345.001 Black Writers in America MWF 10:00-10:50 CRN: 21568
345.OL1 CRN: 21149
Melvin Hill
In “Positive Obsession” (1996), Octavia Butler asks: What good is any form of literature to black people? What good is science fiction’s thinking about the present, the future, and the past? What good is its tendency to warn or to consider alternative ways of thinking and doing? What good is its examination of the possible effects of science and technology, or social organization and political direction?
Transhumanism reconsiders approaches to traditional concepts of what it means to be human as it actively promotes ways in which humans can move beyond conventional notions of the human and pragmatically engage in human enhancement, supporting reconfiguration of human possibilities and shaping the potentiality of a future humanity. Literature has been one of the effective mediums to articulate and rethink visions of human evolution and critically examine the existential crisis of the human through post- and transhumanist thought. In fact, African American literature has demonstrated the nexus between black subjectivity, human enhancement, science, and technology, and its increasing concern over time. For instance, Charles Chesnutt offers ideas of genetic engineering through biological reconfiguration or amalgamation as seen in “The Future American,” while George S. Schuyler employs machine technology to disrupt the colorline in Black No More. Contemporary speculative fiction writers such as Octavia Butler and Samuel R. Delany vividly speak to issues of agency, gender, identity, race, and sexuality through the lens of science and technology.
This course will examine post- and transhuman blackness in African American literature and critical thought. The central aim of the course is to look at post- and transhuman blackness through the imagination and critical thought of African American writers and thinkers whose contributions to the post- and transhuman discussion may not have been clearly identified or may not have received the necessary and well-deserved attention. We will read and discuss several periodicals as well as the following texts: Pauline Hopkins’ short story “Telma Gordon,” Charles Chesnutt’s editorial essay “The Future American,” George S. Schuyler’s Afro-transhumanist novel Black No More, and Octavia Butler’s Xenogenesis.


395.001 Gothic Literature & The Horror Film MW 3:00-4:15 CRN: 21592

Film Screenings T 4:00-6:00
Jeff Longacre
“They’re coming to get you, Barbara . . . Look! There’s one of them now!”
Have you ever wondered: why horror? Why are people drawn to art and entertainments that ought to scare, disgust, and, well, horrify them? Through the intensive study of key texts in the gothic tradition and a survey of selected horror films, we will explore these questions and more! Readings will include The Castle of Otranto, Frankenstein, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, selected stories of Edgar Allan Poe, Dracula, and The Haunting of Hill House. Films will include some representative adaptations of above texts, plus Psycho, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Shining, Get Out, and Hereditary. Assignments will include adapting a scene from literature (introducing students to the art of screenwriting and storyboarding), writing film reviews, and a research project. We will also explore key critical concepts of adaptation studies, such as genre, intertextuality, and authorship. Never had a film course? Never fear! English 395 is also a general introduction to film studies (do you know what mise-en-scène means? I didn’t think so!). Be the envy of your friends when you comment on the frighteningly effective use of diegetic sound in A Quiet Place! Just keep reminding yourself: it’s only a movie . . . it’s only a movie . . . it’s only a movie . . .

NOTE: there are required film screenings outside of class time, so plan your schedule accordingly.

This course may substitute for 3 hours of upper-division American OR British Literature requirements as long as you have not already used a substitution in the respective area; ask your advisor if you qualify!


420.001 History of the English Language TR 1:00-2:15 CRN: 21623
620.001 CRN: 21624
Dan Pigg
In Troilus and Criseyde, Chaucer wrote “in the form of speech is change.” That is exactly what English 420 attempts to examine. How did the English language develop? How has the English language changed? What are the connections between culture and language? What is standard English? How did our understanding of modern English and modern English grammar develop? We will attempt to answer these questions and a host of others in English 420 as we examine the historical and linguistic development of English. We will look at the current trends in English as a world language as well. To study the English language involves an examination of the lived experience of spoken and written discourse. It can and will be a valuable experience for anyone interested in our language.


425.001 Advanced Grammar TR 2:30-3:45 CRN: 21626
425.PE1 CRN: 21386
425.JS1 CRN: 21913
425.2A1 CRN: 21851
Heidi Huse
English Grammar in a Culturally Diverse America
Advanced Grammar focuses on the system and pattern of American English at the word and sentence levels. We’ll look closely at the specific elements in basic sentence patterns and parts of speech in formal usage, in our current cultural context of language diversity and digital communication. We’ll examine those elements of grammar that remain foundational as English evolves, as all languages do. We will also look at grammar from a rhetorical perspective, particularly its role in establishing a writer’s/speaker’s ethos and in communicating effectively to any audience.
Our central textbook will be Understanding English Grammar, 10th edition. Selected essays, stories, and articles can further help us to critique the role of grammatical evolution in a community’s or individual’s growth and empowerment. Grammar-centered exercises, quizzes, and short reflective essays will be assigned throughout the semester. A final course research paper and presentation, along with a final exam, will be required for completion of this course. Teaching grammar and considering the importance of increased grammatical awareness in fields such as editing and publishing—as well as in our own writing—will be woven throughout the entire course.


440.001 Southern Literature MWF 1:00-1:50 CRN: 21584
440.PE1 CRN: 21387
Charles Bradshaw
What is “The South”?: The Legacy of Southern Literature
Is “the South” really as crazy as the rest of the country believes it is? Where do contemporary representations of the South get their ideas? This course examines how literature from the American South has influenced American writing more than any other region. We’ll read humorous tales from the southwestern humorous tradition, novels and short stories by women writers from the 20th Century, African American writers, William Faulkner, James Agee, and others. We’ll look at the South as a place firmly rooted in an agricultural and an oral tradition, as an imaginary location, a sociological phenomenon, and as a literary construction.


470.001 British Novel to Joyce MW 2:00-3:15 CRN: 21591
470.PE1 CRN: 21577
Lynn Alexander
The focus of the class will be issues of identity. During the 200 years covered by this course, great changes were occurring in Britain, and we will be looking at how novelists took advantage of the new literary form, the novel, to examine new ideas about what it meant to be English, Irish, or Scottish, and how the upper classes differed from the working classes, including the newly emerging concept of a middle class. While the theme of identity will run through all the books read for class, we will also note changes to structure as the novel evolves. We will read works such as Robinson Crusoe, Persuasion, and A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.


490.001 17th Century British Literature MWF 9:00-9:50 CRN: 21554

690.001 CRN: 21555
Chris Hill
A course focusing on prose, lyric and epic poetry of the Seventeenth Century in England (primarily during the reigns of James I and Charles I and during the Commonwealth period). Writers under consideration will include Thomas Browne, Thomas Hobbes, Robert Burton, Ben Jonson, John Donne, George Herbert, Andrew Marvell, and John Milton, with a significant amount of attention paid to Milton's long poems. The course will involve discussions of political, religious, and aesthetic concerns unique to the period, including the proper constitution of political and poetic authority; the cultural and intellectual claims of the classical past; and the impact of both skepticism and the Protestant Reformation. Students can expect to do a significant amount of formal and informal writing.


494.001 Internship in English by Arrangement CRN: 21630
David Carithers

The Internship in English is an opportunity for students to gain experience in the use of both written and oral communications in the world of work. This internship is not monetarily compensated. Course performance is based on an agreement between the interning student and the Chair of the Department of English and Modern Foreign Languages. The student will submit a portfolio of work to be evaluated. See the UT Martin Catalog for further information.


499-001 Capstone (1 credit hour) T 9:30-10:45 CRN: 21605
Chris Hill

As the final course required of all English majors, Capstone gives you the opportunity to create a portfolio of your best writing as the culmination of your English studies. Constructed as a process-oriented class, Capstone will help hone critical thinking, research, writing, and editing skills as you expand and revise writing from previous classes. Capstone also will help you craft a graduate-length paper under the direction of department faculty. Whether you are preparing for graduate school, a career in teaching or writing, or if you’re looking to improve some of the skills you have developed over your college career, this course will give you concrete evidence to show others what you have accomplished.


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