Upper Division and Graduate English Courses

Spring 2016

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: 21492
505-001 CRN: 21576
David Carithers
The essay is an extraordinarily flexible genre that has been around since at least the 16th century. In this course, students will explore the various forms and purposes of the essay, with a focus on the expository mode. 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, discuss, and write in response to several collections of essays, ranging from canonical works to newer, experimental forms of the genre.


315-001 Poetry Workshop M 5:00-7:50 CRN: 21467
Will Flowers

In much the same way that you would not expect, no matter how much you feel like you should be an able gardener, to plant a fruitful garden without both a knowledge of horticulture and a lot of effort, you can’t write decent poetry without careful study of poetry—the history of forms and influences, the pressure of tradition, the craft itself, how to manipulate language for effect—and a lot of cultivation effort. The poets of the Scottish court in the 15th and 16th centuries were called makaris (“makers”), and we will take some guidance from that. We will not be concerned primarily with what it means to be a poet or any associated mystique; we will concern ourselves with the craft, the work, of making poetry.

We will be looking not only at what a poem is, but how a poem is. We will look at a variety of poets and poems, from both canonical and contemporary voices, with subject matter ranging from the divine to the grotesque. We will hope that their voices can cross and intermingle with our own, providing inspiration and influence. Mostly, we will work hard to write good poetry.

Our time in class will be spent in both active discussion of assigned readings and roundtable peer review workshops of students’ original poetry. Grades in the course will be heavily dependent on participation and contributions to the class discussions. And everyone must be willing to both handle constructive criticism and to offer guidance and encouragement to one another.


320-001 Introduction to Linguistics TR 2:30-3:45 CRN: 21495
Tim Hacker
At the end of the 19th century, several new disciplines emerged that sought to apply the research methods of the natural sciences to human behavior. These disciplines, called the social sciences, include several that are well known to students on this campus: criminal justice, political science (or government), psychology, and sociology. Another discipline that is less familiar to us here is linguistics, the scientific study of human language.

In this introductory course, we will learn what linguistics is, and how it divides up the study of language into components such as phonology (the sound system), morphology (word building, including features like prefixes and suffixes), syntax (sentence-level grammar) and semantics (the connection between language and meaning). We’ll also learn what linguists do and how their work is a useful complement to other branches of English Studies.

Students in this class will complete exercises from the course textbook and supplemental workbook. They will write several short, exploratory papers; one for each linguistic sub-discipline. There will also be three exams, including a comprehensive final.


325-001 Technical Communications TR 8:00-9:15 CRN: 21471
525-001 CRN: 21577
325-002 Technical Communications TR 9:30-10:45 CRN: 21478
525-002 CRN: 21578
Trisha Capansky
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.


345-001 Black Writers in America MWF 1:00-1:50 CRN: 21458
Melvin Hill
“Celebrating Contemporary African American Women Fiction”
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.


360-001 Sixteenth Century Literature MWF 8:00-8:50 CRN: 21365
560-001 CRN: 21579
Chris Hill
Consider this an English course with a Continental scope! This class will break down roughly into three units: we will study some prose works from the Italian and Northern European Renaissance, then turn our attention to lyric poetry, then spend the latter third of the class reading at least one book of The Faerie Queene. Writers we will cover—in addition to Spenser—will include Machiavelli, Castiglione, Erasmus, More, and Sidney. We will of course do lots of informal writing as well as a couple of longer written assignments.


365-001 Restoration & 18th Century MWF 11:00-11:50 CRN: 21431
565-001 CRN: 21588
Daniel Pigg
Beginning with 1660, a new day in the life of English politics, philosophy, and literature, English 365 considers the range of poetry, prose, and drama written during this very important period in the development of literary forms and ideas. Often misunderstood as overly devoted to the concept of human reason, the period explores such topics as reason and passion, gender roles, satire, history and politics, nature, imagination, and comedy, all with the intention of understanding the role of human beings in relation to themselves and their world. In addition to reading the key male writers of the period (Rochester, Dryden, Pope, Swift, Boswell, Johnson, Blake, and early Wordsworth), we will examine works by women writers such as Aphra Behn, Katherine Phillips, Eliza Heywood, Mary Manley, and Mary Wollstonecraft and works by several Black Atlantic writers such as Olaudah Equiano, Ignatius Sancho, and Quobna Cugoano.


385-001 Modern Poetry MWF 10:00-10:50 CRN: 21409
585-001 CRN: 21612
John Glass
English 385 will provide students with a foundation in Modernist aesthetics, poetry, and poetics in English. We will begin by looking at several nineteenth century poets whose work anticipates the Modernist movement and move quickly to our primary focus on the work of the high Modernists from both sides of the Atlantic. Students will be expected to read and discuss the assigned poetry and to understand those readings within their cultural and historical contexts. Significant emphasis will be given to considering the relationship between our contemporary society and the society that gave rise to the defining aesthetic of the 20th century. Students will write two papers for the class, one close reading of a single piece and one longer researched paper on a broader topic to be determined as the semester develops. There will be a mid-term and a final exam.


395-001 Literature & Film: Orson Welles TR 1:00-2:15 CRN: 21493
595-001 CRN: 21596
Lab: W 5:00-7:00
Jeffrey Longacre
“He doesn’t do anything?” Long before Howard Stern, Orson Welles was truly the king of all media, first taking the theater world by storm with his iconoclastic adaptations of Shakespeare in the 1930s, then ascending to the heights of radio stardom, and culminating in his infamous War of the Worlds broadcast in 1938. Hollywood remained the only frontier left for Welles to conquer, which he did in 1941 with Citizen Kane—often topping lists of “greatest films ever made.” But this is just where his story gets interesting. In this class, we will use the films of this first true auteur of the cinema as our case study to explore the relationship between literature and film through the theory and practice of adaptation. In addition to Citizen Kane, we will watch The Magnificent Ambersons, Macbeth, Othello, Mr. Arkadin, Touch of Evil, The Trial, Chimes at Midnight, and F for Fake. We will pay particular attention to Welles’s films as adaptations of literary texts and consider the problems they pose on the concepts of authorship and originality. We may also study a few films by other master filmmakers, like Akira Kurosawa and John Ford, for context and comparison. In the process, students will become more adept at analyzing and appreciating various literary and cinematic styles.


425-001 Advanced Grammar MWF 9:00-9:50 CRN: 21396
Anna Clark
Understanding English Grammar will be our basic text as we discuss English as a world language, system and pattern implicit in the English language, basic sentence patterns, inflections, determiners, parts of speech, expansions, and usage. Our interactive and dynamic class periods will be further enriched by several guest speakers, reports from independent research projects, and opportunities to use resources in the Hortense Parrish Writing Center. Students who are preparing to teach—and all who want to be better prepared for communication in the workplace—should find this course interesting and beneficial. Two plays (Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion and Brian Friel’s Translations) and several poems will further support our study of grammar and language.


445-001 The American Novel TR 11:00-12:15 CRN: 21486
Charles Bradshaw
“ ‘What Are People For?’: American Literature and the Environment”
We’ll be looking at the American Novel through a green lens this semester, examining how American novelists saw themselves as spiritually, emotionally, and certainly physically bound to the land they wrote about. An assumption behind the course is that the politicized environmental issues of today—overpopulation, changing environments, declining natural resources, private and public land ownership—have their philosophical beginnings in Americans’ regard for the land and their relation to the geographic space that they occupied. The American Novel with its vast geographies presents us a wonderful opportunity to interrogate these connections as we’ll read authors from all over the country! We’ll read Wendell Berry’s What are People For, and novels from Catherine Marie Sedgewick, Robert Montgomery Bird, Willa Cather, Zora Neale Hurston, Sarah Orne Jewett, Henry David Thoreau, John Steinbeck, and William Faulkner.


450-DM2 Introduction to Literary Criticism MWF 2:00-2:50 CRN: 21464
650-DM2 CRN: 21601
Lynn Alexander
Every time you talk about a book or write an essay about a poem you using literary criticism—whether you mean to or not. Literary Criticism goes beyond aesthetic appreciation: it is a way of thinking about the practice of literary study. By studying different theories you can organize your thoughts about a piece of literature more effectively—and maybe see new things in the texts. Most literary theories are concerned with the special properties of literature and, therefore, offer a basis on which to build a more systematic discipline. We will begin our study with some of the most basic premises as set forth by Plato and Aristotle. We will then examine scholarship throughout the centuries, culminating with some of the most resent theories.

The distinguishing feature of modern literary theory is the connection with practical literary criticism and scholarship. To explore this connection we will end the semester with a look at Hamlet through five different critical approaches.


494-001 Internship in English by Arrangement CRN: 21473
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 2015-16 Undergraduate and Graduate Catalog for further information.


496-001 The Great War at 100 (Travel Study) TBD CRN: 22078
696-001 CRN: 22081
Jeffrey Longacre
World War I and Its Cultural Legacy
August 2014 marked the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War, or the “Great War” or “War to End All Wars” as it was known before 1939. This colloquium and subsequent travel study experience will examine the Great War as a watershed moment in modern history, literature, and art. We will begin by exploring the European cultural and political landscape before the war, and we will look at how Europeans greeted the outbreak of war during the summer and fall of 1914. We will then examine the myriad war experiences from the perspective of soldiers, nurses, ambulance drivers, civilians, writers, artists, and political leaders on all sides of the conflict. Paying special attention to literary and visual art responses to the war’s immense horror and destruction, we will conclude by looking at the war’s tragic and complicated legacy. In addition to dramatically changing power dynamics in Europe and the Middle East, the war left deep scars on individuals and entire nations. These scars manifested themselves in postwar art and literature, radical political movements, and the psychological health of veterans. Time will be reserved for viewing and discussing films related to the war that have acquired a broad historical and cultural significance. This course will be co-taught by Dr. Richard Garlitz (History). Interested students should contact Dr. Longacre for more information.
NOTE: This class is for students signed up for the May 2016 travel-study trip to Europe only!


498-001 Peace Rhetoric MW 3:00-4:15 CRN: 21466
698-001 CRN: 21605
Heidi Huse

Former Washington Post “peace correspondent” turned peace educator, Colman McCarthy, in his book I’d Rather Teach Peace, argues that our social and formal education enculturates us into violence. When asked, while he was a reporter, to teach high school students writing, he responded that he’d rather teach peace. His thesis is that unless we commit to teaching our children peace in all its forms, someone else will teach them violence in all its forms. But in the often hostile, divisive, explosive world in which we live in 2015—and as we look ahead into the future—what does that mean? What is peace? What are the most provocative arguments out there about what peace means and how to achieve it—individually, socially, globally, nationally?

In this course, we’ll explore in depth how people use language strategically—rhetorically—to define, reflect upon, fight for, narrate, instill “peace.” Course readings will provide some background on what, exactly, rhetoric is, especially in the 21st century world of instant global communication and social media, as well as exploring a diversity of rhetorical texts on the issue of peace and peace education. Course writing will center around three main written/digital/visual assignments: a rhetorical analysis paper; a persuasive advocacy essay—possibly recast for different audiences; and a collaborative advocacy movement project in which students will plan in groups how to organize and implement a student advocacy movement—from recruiting supporters, to addressing a public/unknown audience, to writing letters and producing fliers, to determining an effective presence on social media etc. So not only will students apply rhetorical theory as they analyze others’ efforts to “speak truth to power”; they’ll get to create some 21st century advocacy rhetoric of their own! Student Power!!


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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