Upper Division and Graduate Courses

Fall 2014

Upper Division and Graduate English Courses

Upper-Division Course Rotation

Prerequisite: Completion of English 111 and 112 or their equivalents


305-001 The Art of the Essay TR 2:30-3:45 CRN: 41492
505-001 CRN: 41493
Heidi Huse
The Craft of Essay Writing in the 21st Century
The sky’s the limit for essay writing in an oral, print, visual, and digital age! Essays today can be prepared for oral delivery, as very traditionally-structured written text, as online blogs, or as multi-modal exposition that encompasses all of the above. This semester we will examine the essay writing of others—from Dominican-American poet/storyteller & essayist, Julia Alvarez, to the “great American essays” of the 20th century; to a variety of online blogs and exposition, to the more focused essays of Kentucky naturalist writer, Wendell Berry. We’ll also learn from Arthur Plotnik about writing with power and “spunk.”

And the essays that students read will inspire their own written, visual, digital, and multi-modal 1st person, 2nd person, and 3rd person, audience-driven essay writing: personal narrative essays, argumentation, and reflective or informative exposition. Students will leave the course with a variety of possibilities for not only college essays, but for every personal writing purpose students might encounter as global citizens, local community members, writers, and digital communicators.

 

310-001 Fiction Workshop TR 1-2:15 CRN: 41484
510-001 TR 1-2:15 CRN: 41486
David Carithers

Do you have a story—maybe more than one—you want to tell? This realistic short-fiction-writing workshop is an opportunity to explore how to write those stories. We will write flash fiction and longer drafts and then take some of those “drafts” to “stories.” We’ll participate in reader-response workshopping of our original fiction and revise that fiction in light of the responses. We’ll read short story selections from award-winning contemporary fiction writers, as well as examine both the stories read and our own stories in light of a guide, John Dufresne’s The Lie that Tells a Truth. We’ll learn about publishing through panel discussions with published writers and experience the publishing process as a class. This course is for people who would like to become stronger at writing fiction and/or would like a reason to write regularly.

 

325-001 Technical Communications TR 8:00-9:15 CRN: 41471
525-001 CRN: 41472
325-002 Technical Communications TR 1:00-2:15 CRN: 41488
525-002 CRN: 41490
Trisha Capansky
In ENGL 325, we will look at technical communication as it relates to writing that takes place in a business/professional environment. Although we all come from different fields (computer science, agriculture, education, biology, English), the one thing we have in common is that, at some point in our careers, all of us will have to write a document that falls into the category of technical communication. This course will provide you with the know-how to carry out the task in a professional manner. In this course, Technical Communication is another term for business communication – it is the way we communicate at work. 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, audience and purpose.

 

325-H01 Technical Communications W 6:00-8:45 CRN: 41366
525-H01 CRN: 41494
Trisha Capanksy
In ENGL 325, we will look at technical communication as it relates to writing that takes place in a business/professional environment. Although we all come from different fields (computer science, agriculture, education, biology, English), the one thing we have in common is that, at some point in our careers, all of us will have to write a document that falls into the category of technical communication. This course will provide you with the know-how to carry out the task in a professional manner. In this course, Technical Communication is another term for business communication – it is the way we communicate at work. 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, audience and purpose. Because this class is offered as a hybrid, our inquiries will be grounded in application with frequent reference to e-artifacts (Web pages, articles, e-manuals, and so forth). The purpose for offering this class as a hybrid option to its face-to-face component is 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.

 

335-001 Literature of the Holocaust TR 9:30-10:45 CRN: 41032
Tim Hacker
In September, 1939, Nazi Germany invaded Poland, thus beginning World War II. When the war ended nearly six years later, tens of millions of European civilians—seen as subhuman obstacles to the Nazi agenda of racial purification and territorial expansion—were dead. Our class will focus on the most familiar of the victim groups, the Jews, and their experience of Nazi genocide, which we now know as the Holocaust. We’ll read internationally acclaimed works of literature by Holocaust survivors, their children, and their children’s children, including Arnost Lustig’s The House of Returned Echoes and The Unloved; Imre Kertesz’s Fatelessness; and Maus, by Art Spiegelman. They will raise obvious questions—how could the Holocaust occur? Could it have been prevented? What can we learn from the Holocaust? And for us, as students of literature, there will be other, more profound, questions: What does literature do for our understanding of the Holocaust that the work of other disciplines does not? Can literature be beautiful, even when it evokes one of the most horrifying acts of violence in history? Getting answers to these questions, and others, is the work of our class.

 

Students in this course will, on a weekly basis, post questions on Blackboard, discuss during class time, and react in writing to the assigned reading. There will also be two exams with in-class objective and take-home essay components. The research project is a work of New Historicist criticism that juxtaposes one of the books from our syllabus with another text.

 

341-001 Black Writers on Liberty; White Writers of Slavery TR 11:00-11:50 CRN: 41303
Charles Bradshaw
This course focuses primarily on antebellum writings that consider the relationship between liberty and slavery in early America. How did early American authors conceive of, fashion, and represent an essential conflict between the ideals of the American Revolution and the realities of slavery? We’ll examine texts from Olaudah Equiano, Harriot Jacobs, Harriet Wilson, Frederick Douglass, Nat Turner and others to see how they represent the ideals of American liberty and justice in their narratives and fiction, and we’ll see what white writers like Jefferson, Melville, Thoreau, Twain, and others have to say about slavery. We will come to find that whether presented in biblical, economic, humanitarian, or scientific terms, the consideration and presentation of liberty and slavery partakes of many of the same stylistic and generic characteristics.

 

350-001 Women Writers (Gender, Race, and Class) MWF 9:00-9:50 CRN: 41304
Women Autobiography and Self-Portraiture
Melvin Hill
This course offers an introduction to select women writers who explore critical questions about the meaning of gender in society. The primary goal of this course is to familiarize students with key issues, questions and debates in Women's and Gender Studies scholarship, both historical and contemporary. Gender scholarship critically analyzes themes of gendered performance and power in a range of social spheres, such as law, culture, education, work, medicine, social policy and the family. We will explore the complex ways in which gender intersects with class, race, ethnicity, sexuality and age within various spheres and institutions of society. Required readings include classic and contemporary texts written by women from Africa, Asia, Britain, and the United States who represent diverse and meaningful gendered lives.

 

Our focus will be on the autobiography. Traditionally, an autobiography carries an author’s intention to tell the truth. Focusing on works where this truth is “bent” will permit us to differentiate autobiography from forms of auto-fiction, chronicles, memoirs and diaries. Close readings of autobiographical narratives will show how authors emphasize their uniqueness through an individual perspective of religion, “race,” or a particular social or economic standpoint. Other autobiographies emphasize the larger community, and portray a specific national and historical context. In childhood narratives, an introduction to books, schools and often a foreign language offers constraints but also spaces of creative liberation for burgeoning writers. We will also include autobiographical narrative in film as another medium to examine the lives and perspectives of women.

 

370-001 Romantic Prose & Poetry: Autobiography and Confession MW 3:00-4:15 CRN: 41364
570-001 CRN: 41365
Jeffrey Longacre
Jean-Jacques Rousseau opens his influential Confessions with “I have resolved on an enterprise which has no precedent and which, once complete, will have no imitator. My purpose is to display to my kind a portrait in every way true to nature, and the man I shall portray will be myself.” Using this thought as a kind of mission statement, this course will explore British Romanticism with a special emphasis on autobiography and confession. Perhaps the defining trait of what we now call Romanticism is the turn from the scientific objectivity and rationalism indicative of the “Age of Reason” towards the individual, placing a premium on expressions of self and of intensely subjective experiences. We will cover major authors and representative figures from the period between 1789 and 1832, such as William Blake, Robert Burns, Anna Barbauld, William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Mary Robinson, Maria Edgeworth, Percy Shelley, Mary Shelley, Lord Byron, and John Keats. In addition to this, we will devote some time to exploring some famous Romantic confessions: Thomas De Quincey’s Confessions of an English Opium-Eater (scandalous!) and James Hogg’s The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner (sensational!). Fair warning: the instructor of this course has been rumored to be “mad, bad and dangerous to know” and you should certainly “Beware! Beware! / His flashing eyes, his floating hair!” That is, if he had hair.

 

375-001 Development of English Drama MWF 11:00-11:50 CRN: 41352
575-001 CRN: 41354
Daniel Pigg
English 375(575) examines the growth of the traditions of English drama and theatre from its beginnings in the Middle Ages through the end of the eighteenth century. Reading approximately 12 plays and examining them both as written texts and performances, we can come to understand the place of drama as a social and literary act. We will concentrate on issues such as the nature of drama and ritual, the conception of tragedy and comedy, the development of acting companies and the building of theatres, and the impact of politics, religion, and social values on drama from its earliest days in Britain. Our readings, viewings, and discussions will cover impressive plays such as The Wakefield Flood and Second Shepherds’ Play, Kyd’s Spanish Tragedy, Marlowe’s Dr. Faustus and Edward II , Jonson’s Volpone, Webster’s The Duchess of Malfi, Congreve’s The Way of the World and Goldsmith’s She Stoops to Conquer.

 

425-001 Advanced Grammar TR 9:30-10:45 CRN: 41479
625-001 CRN: 41482
Jenna Wright
Would you like to know more about the English language—basics of grammar, use 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.

 

475-001 Modern Novel MWF 2:00-2:50 CRN: 41360
675-001 CRN: 41363
Lynn Alexander
Family secrets! Crises of Faith! Dystopian Visions of the Future! In this course we will explore a range of twentieth-century American and British novels that investigate identity, cultural crisis, the existence of God, evolving social orders, and narrative play. At times tragic, at times disturbingly comic, these works ask us to question who we are, our relation to the world around us, and how “art” can, or even must, contribute to an understanding of the individual and the social. Works will include Forster’s Howard’s End, Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying, Morrison’s Song of Solomon, and Swift’s Last Orders. As time permits, we will also watch and discuss film adaptations of relevant works.

 

485-001 Shakespeare MWF 10:00-10:50 CRN: 41349
685-001 CRN: 41351
Chris Hill
This will be a broad introduction to Shakespeare’s dramatic writing, focusing on a few political tragedies as well as some of the more complicated problem comedies. The centerpiece of the course will be three history plays that examine political lessons from the reigns of Richard II and Henry IV. Our texts will include useful ancillary materials to discuss as a class, and we will use film adaptations to talk about choices of staging and interpretation. Students can expect to do both formal and informal writing about the plays.

 

496-001 Special Topics: Fantasy Literature MWF 1:00-1:50 CRN: 41305
John Glass
The Once and (Possibly) Future Class…
from Erewhon to the East Farthing, from The Horn of Alveric to Horcruxes and Harry, from Jadis’s Charn to the Undying Lands of Aman beyond the Sundering Seas…

Students in English 496 will begin by reading two early fantasy works—Samuel Butler’s Erewhon and Lord Dunsenay’s The King of Elfland’s Daughter—two pieces that influenced the directions of fantasy literature generally and the imaginations of C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien especially. The course will then shift to its primary focus: a selection of Lewis’s Narnia books and a close study of Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings. We will finish with Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

 

Discussion will be guided by the overarching goal to understand both why and how the most successful fantasy stories captivate so many readers, and by questions of how to approach the genre of fantasy fiction. To answer those questions students will have to consider not only the language and themes involved in the works we read, but also the ways in which those works draw on specific mythological, literary, and spiritual sources to shape the worlds they present. Students will write two papers and take a mid-term and a final. Students in any year and pursuing any major are welcome and encouraged to consider this elective in the Fall of 2014.

 

498-01 Seminar in Rhetoric & Writing MWF 2-2:50 CRN: 41356
698-01 MWF 2-2:50 CRN: 41359
David Carithers
Through engaging readings, lively discussions, and a variety of writing assignments, we will explore the art of persuasion over time, a.k.a. rhetoric. Major topics from Ancient Rhetoric will be paired with modern day examples found in speeches, film, television, music, advertisements, social media, and more. Students completing the course will gain a better understanding of how arguments are won . . . and lost.

 

499-001 Capstone T 9:30-10:45 CRN: 41307
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, and it 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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