Upper Division and Graduate English Courses

Spring 2015

Upper-Division Course Rotation


Prerequisite: Completion of English 111 and 112 or their equivalents


305-001 The Art of the Essay TR 1:00-2:15 CRN: 21463
505-001 CRN: 21464
David Carithers
The Craft of Essay Writing in the 21st Century
The Art of the Essay focuses on expository prose, which is non-fiction writing that attempts to explain a concept or process. From student editorials in The Pacer to academic essays written by college professors, much of what we read and write is expository prose. The primary text for this course is student writing, which we will work on together through in-class free-writes, workshops, and revision sessions. We will also read and discuss several collections of expository prose, ranging from canonical works to newer experimental forms of the genre.


311-001 Creative Nonfiction Workshop (with Travel Study) W 2:00-2:50 CRN: 21356
511-001 CRN: 21773
David Carithers

California is a garden of Eden, a paradise to live in or see.” –Woody Guthrie

Students in this Creative Nonfiction Workshop will enjoy a travel study trip to California during Spring Break (Feb 26 – Mar 6). Creative nonfiction readings by Jack Kerouac, John Steinbeck, John Muir, and others will be paired with group excursions in and around San Francisco, Monterey, Arroyos, and Los Angeles. Highlights include visits to Muir Woods National Monument, the Beat Museum, the Steinbeck Center, and Big Sur. Joining the group on the trip will be Jeffrey Longacre’s Honors 367 Film and Literature class, so the itinerary also includes literary activities such as the Alfred Hitchcock Walking Tour and the Robert Louis Stevenson Silverado Museum. Travel study scholarships are available.

Called by many names—the fourth genre, the art of the truth, the literature of fact— creative nonfiction occupies the literary space between fiction and factual exposition. From personal essays and memoirs to travelogues and food writing, creative nonfiction embellishes real events with literary elements in an effort to entertain and inform its readers. Join us to explore this relatively new genre through in-class writing, workshopping of our own drafts in progress, reading/discussion of published nonfiction, and a trip to California.


315-001 Poetry Workshop MWF 10:00-10:50 CRN: 21189
Anna Clark
“The poem,” wrote poet Wallace Stevens, “refreshes the world.” Inspired by Stevens’ idea that words are a way of expanding the senses, of discovering things and of making them new, students in Poetry Workshop will read poems from Kenneth Koch’s and Kate Farrell’s anthology of modern poetry Sleeping on the Wing and from Mark Strand’s and Evan Boland’s anthology of poetic forms entitled The Making of a Poem. Because this course, as stated in the university catalog, involves “principles of and practice in writing poetry,” students will write, revise, and fine-tune original poems inspired by their reading and life experiences. A special aspect of this workshop will be the inclusion of seven or more guest poets who will share readings and offer writing challenges for all enrolled. Join us for a class that will help you balance your busy schedule with creative energy as you write original poetry, study poetic traditions, develop a critical vocabulary, and explore the art and craft of poetry.


325-001 Technical Communications TR 8:00-9:15 CRN: 21396
525-001 CRN: 21397
325-002 TR 9:30-10:45 CRN: 21412
525-002 CRN: 21416
Trisha Capanksy
In this course, Technical Communication is another term for business communication – it is the way we communicate at work. Many people, when they hear the term Technical Communication, think of that horrid manual that came with the lawnmower. And yes, that is a form of Technical Communication – but it is by far not the only kind. Technical Communication can be written or spoken. It can consist of sentences or graphics or a combination of both. It can be static – a book – or it can be interactive – a website with animation and sound. The overall objective of Technical Communication is to present information in a way so that people can understand it easily, and use it safely, effectively, and efficiently. This course will prepare you to do just that. You will be provided with skills and strategies to help you address a variety of communication tasks in workplace environments and will learn how to understand the symbiotic relationships among form and content, and audience and purpose. My goal for this course is to prepare you to communicate effectively, ethically, responsibly, and professionally in the career path of your choosing.


343-001 Literatures of Contemporary America MWF 12:00-12:50 CRN: 21313
Melvin Hill
The decade of the 1950s ushered in a new perspective of American writing. At the core of this period were the concerns of human everydayness, which some authors saw as “highly fragile and hopeless,” and vulnerable minds came to look upon it as a constant cause of anxiety and even nihilism. The social and political scenarios that emerged during the period shaped the minds of writers composing literature that reflect the consciousness of how human beings exist within the turmoil of the social landscape. This course will examine existential questions that emerged from the shadows of the 1950s. We will engage existentialist literature such as, but not limited to, Richard Wright’s The Outsider, John Gardner’s Grendel, Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye, Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman, and Chuck Palahniuk’s Fight Club. We will examine the critical transformation of European existentialist ideas through these close readings paired with key essays that illuminate their work existentially.


345-001 Black Writers in America MWF 9:00-9:50 CRN: 21169
Melvin Hill
The experiences of enslavement and ongoing oppression produced a characteristically existentialist consciousness among African Americans. Existentialism’s abiding concerns with the definition of humanity and with the individual’s need to actualize oneself under conditions of social and psychological alienation are epitomized, in very literal terms, by the African American struggle to assert one’s essential humanity in the face of dehumanizing slavery, segregation, and other forms of racism. Perhaps, the roots of African American existentialism predate the codification of the term by Jean-Paul Sartre in the post-World War II period. The genesis of African American existential thought is seen in the eighteenth-century, nineteenth-century, and early twentieth-century writings of figures such as Frederick Douglass, Sutton E. Griggs, W.E.B. DuBois, and Alain Locke. This course will explore the rich legacy of existentialism in African American literature before 1940. As such, we will examine the critical transformation of European existentialist ideas through close readings of African American writers paired with key essays that illuminate their work existentially. As well, we will engage black existentialism not just as a series of claims, but also a method, which allows us to read works by African-American writers in an existentialist frame.


395-001 Literature & Film: Adaptations TR 11:00-12:15 CRN: 21375
595-001 CRN: 21381
Lab: W 5:00-7:00
Jeffrey Longacre
Alfred Hitchcock and Stanley Kubrick were two of the most important and influential filmmakers of the twentieth century, and many of their films regularly appear on lists of the greatest films of all time. Their list of films include such familiar titles as Rear Window, Vertigo, Psycho, The Birds, Dr. Strangelove, 2001: A Space Odyssey, A Clockwork Orange, and The Shining. In this class, we will use the films of these two auteurs as case studies to explore the relationship between literature and film—and by extension the relationship between word and image more generally—through the theory and practice of adaptation. We will spend a great deal of time discussing and writing about the evolution of ideas, characters, methods, and themes as they move from page to screen. Along the way we will explore key concepts of adaptation theory such as genre, intertextuality, authorship. This course will also serve as a general introduction to cinematic terminology and important historical and theoretical concepts to the study of film. In the process, students will become more adept at analyzing and appreciating various literary and cinematic styles through the works of these master filmmakers. Be warned, however, you may never want to take a shower or stay at a strange hotel again! NOTE: there is a required lab component for this course, during which the majority of required films will be screened.


420-001 History of the English Language MWF 1:00-1:50 CRN: 21319
620-001 CRN: 21320
Daniel 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 9:30-10:45 CRN: 21418
625-001 CRN: 21420
Jenna Wright
Would you like to know more about the English language—basics of grammar, uses of standard English, an overview of how people learn language through both structured and inherent processes, and the relationship of grammar to the process of writing? Discover the system and pattern implicit in the English language—basic sentence patterns, inflections, determiners, parts of speech, expansions, complementation, and usage—while exploring social and economic implications of grammar, the significance of dialects and regionalisms, grammar demons, grammar software, and the effects of technology on language. This course will encourage and help you to undertake an analysis of grammar as it relates to your professional field and your career aspirations.


440-001 Southern Literature MWF 1:00-1:50 CRN: 21321
John Glass
Students in English 440 will read a selection of works in different genres by major Southern writers—among them, William Faulkner, Robert Penn Warren, the Fugitive-Agrarians, Zora Neale Hurston, Flannery O’Connor, and Walker Percy. Along the way we will consider questions of what, if anything, defines the literature of the American South and is there a such a thing as a regional identity, or Southern perspective, that can account for America’s broad and continued fascination with the region the rest of the country once went to war to defeat.


Students will have the opportunity in April to attend the Robert Penn Warren conference at Western Kentucky University.


460-001 Early English Literature MWF 11:00-11:50 CRN: 21206
660-001 CRN: 21207
Daniel Pigg
Beginning with Beowulf and ending with Malory’s Le Morte D’Arthur, English 460 surveys the range of literature written in England, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland from approximately 750 to 1485. What did medieval British people think, feel, and know? What were their hopes, dreams, and fear? A study of their literature will tell us much about them and how we share almost all of their concerns about a world in the midst of global change. All texts will be read in modern English translations. We will concentrate on various literary forms such as the epic, romance, saint’s legend, lyric, allegorical narrative, lament, and autobiography. We will investigate how they move from an oral-based culture to a written-based culture and will look at the way literacy had an impact on early British history and literature. Several of the texts we will examine are regarded as some of the “best” in English literary history; these include Beowulf, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Pearl, Piers Plowman, The Book of Margery Kempe and Le Morte D’Arthur as well as an Irish saga. We will also investigate a number of other texts that tell us a great deal about medieval culture as we investigate them as important literary texts. We will consider how these texts established certain “norms” of gender, race, and social class, even at the same time that they were challenging those “norms.”


465-001 Victorian Prose & Poetry TR 2:30-3:45 CRN: 21469
Erin Garcia-Fernandez
Folklore, Faith, & Filth: Constructing the Victorian Education
English 465 – Victorian Prose and Poetry
“You must remember that I had been reared in a complete state of mental darkness; and that no enlightened instruction had dispelled the clouds of superstition which naturally obscure the juvenile mind.” From G.W.M. Reynolds’s The Mysteries of London (1845)


This course will review the expansive literary canon of Queen Victoria’s reign (1837-1901) through a focus on education. We will examine what defined education throughout the early, middle, and late Victorian periods. Specifically, we will question how and where education took place, who was responsible for its methods and results, what roles gender and race played in its practices, how competing genres and forms packaged education differently, and how Enlightenment and Romantic theories of knowledge and learning developed or shifted in the Victorian Era. Most important, we will discover what Victorian education tells us about the cultural values of nineteenth-century Britain. Some historical components of interest include boarding schools, governesses, corporal punishment, compulsory education, examinations and recitation, literacy rates, affordable reading materials, penny dreadfuls, trade schools, specialized knowledge, science, religion, the humanities, Utilitarianism, the March of Intellect, and government legislation. Featured authors of the course include Wilkie Collins, G.W.M. Reynolds, Charles Dickens, Charlotte Bronte, George Eliot, Lewis Carroll, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Matthew Arnold, Thomas Carlyle, and Oscar Wilde, among many others.


470-001 British Novel to Joyce TR 1:00-2:15 CRN: 21465
670-001 CRN: 21466
Lynn Alexander
The focus of the class will be issues of identity, including the concept of the English gentleman. 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 form, the novel, to examine new ideas about what it meant to be English, British, Irish, Scottish, and how the concept of the “gentleman” shifted from an issue of birth to one of deeds. We will be looking at changes and similarities in theme, as well as in structure, as the form evolves. We will read works such as Robinson Crusoe, Pride and Prejudice, John Halifax, Gentleman, and A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.


490-001 Seventeenth Century English Literature MWF 2:00-2:50 CRN: 21346
690-001 CRN: 21348
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: 21473
Jenna Wright

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 Catalogue for further information.


498-001 Radical Rhetoric MW 3:00-4:15 CRN: 21363
698-001 CRN: 21369
Heidi Huse

Tea Parties and Occupy Wall Street and Suffragettes and People’s Climate March and Grandmothers for Peace and Aristotle?? How does the ancient, Greek patriarch of traditional rhetoric, the guru of “the study of the available means of persuasion” inform our understanding of the persuasive strategies in social protest movements, particularly in today’s multi-media, digitally connected world? Perhaps he might:

  • find Tea Party ranting or Wall Street occupation or mass public marches as rhetoric run amok,
  • insist that deliberate acts of environmental vandalism or the disruptive intrusions of Code Pink lie well outside of the parameters of artful rhetoric.
  • dismiss the public protests and persuasive performances of the women protesting war or advocating for full enfranchisement as the hysterical ranting of unrefined women who are incapable of effective deployment of public rhetorics.
  • create an entirely new system of rhetoric to embrace the powerful, life-changing and nation-changing digital, live-streaming rhetorical performances of the “Arab Spring” or 21st-century political campaigns.

In this course, we’ll explore in depth how people use language strategically to work for small but important changes in their own communities or radical transformation in the world. Our central textbook is Readings on the Rhetoric of Social Protest, 3rd edition, by Morris and Brown. But we’ll supplement it with Symon Hill’s Digital Revolutions: Activism in the Internet Age and Amy Swerdlow’s Women Strike for Peace, along with film, websites, & online library reserve readings. Students will lead classroom discussions of rhetorical analysis from the readings, engage each other in Blackboard discussions, and produce their own in-depth rhetorical analysis papers. And, of course, students will have the opportunity to produce their own radical rhetoric in collaborative oral, written, visual, and digital texts.


499-001 Capstone (1 credit hour) T 9:30-10:45 CRN: 21422
Charles Bradshaw

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. It also will help you craft a graduate-length paper project 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 hone some of the skills you’ve developed over your college career, this course will give you concrete evidence to show others what you’ve accomplished.


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