Upper Division and Graduate English Courses

Fall 2015

Upper-Division Course Rotation


Prerequisite: Completion of English 111 and 112 or their equivalents


305-001 The Art of the Essay MW 3:00-4:15 CRN: 41635
505-001 CRN: 41636
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 exposition, as letters, 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 famed essayists writing about the essay itself, to “great American essays” on topics relevant to us today, to essays from the past, to a variety of online blogs and exposition, to focused single-topic essays.

And the essays that students read will inspire their own written, visual, digital, and multi-modal first person, second person, and third person, audience-driven essay writing: personal narrative essays, argumentation, calls to action, 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, educators, and digital communicators.


310-001 Fiction Workshop TR 1:00-2:15 CRN: 41578
510-001 CRN: 41580
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: 41554
525-001 CRN: 41555
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.


325-002 -Hybrid Technical Communications TR 9:30-10:45 CRN: 41561
525-002 -Hybrid Technical Communications CRN: 41562
Trisha Capansky
This class is designed in a unique way in that it offers both classroom and online discussion. We will meet a combined total of five times in the classroom throughout the semester, and all other discussion will be conducted online through Blackboard. Our inquiries will be grounded in application, with frequent reference to e-artifacts (Web pages, articles, e-manuals, and so forth).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, as well as audience and purpose. 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 4:00-5:15 CRN: 41584
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; The Journal of Helene Berr; 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 are additional, less obvious, 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 many 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.

This section will be joined by interactive television with students in UT Martin’s Selmer and Parsons Centers.


341-001 Studies in American Literature before 1900 TR 11:00-12:15 CRN: 41572
Charles Bradshaw
The Tyranny of the Majority: Democracy and Literature in the 19th Century
In 1835, Frenchman Alexis de Tocqueville noted that “during my stay in the United States, nothing struck me more forcibly than the general equality of condition among the people.” Called “the Great Experiment” in Europe, America seemed the perfect test case for democratic rule—a place where political equality and personal liberty could thrive. Using some of Tocqueville’s observations, this class will explore through the eyes of 19th-century authors how this democratic experiment plays out. Some of what we’ll read: Leonora Sansay’s Secret History, or, the Horrors of Santo Domingo, James Fenimore Cooper’s The Spy, Short Stories by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Herman Melville’s The Confidence Man, E.D.E.N. Southworth’s The Hidden Hand, Mark Twain’s Pudd’nhead Wilson, several short stories by Paul Lawrence Dunbar, Sarah Orne Jewett, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Charles Chesnutt, and others from the late 1800s.


350-001 Women Writers MWF 2:00-2:50 CRN: 41495
550-001 CRN: 41637
Lynn Alexander
2017 will mark the 100 anniversary of the Pulitzer Prize. As a kind of lead in, we will be reading a few of the winners from the novel/fiction category written by women as well as those from what is roughly the British equivalent, the Booker Prize (begun 1969). Recipients of the Pulitzer include Edith Wharton’s The Age of Innocence (1921), Pearl Buck’s The Good Earth (1932), Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird (1961), Alice Walker’s The Color Purple (1983), Jane Smiley’s A Thousand Acres (1992), and more recently Elizabeth Stout’s Olive Kitteridge (2009). Past Booker winners include Nadine Gordimer’s The Conservationist (1974), A.S. Byatt’s Possession 1990, Margaret Atwood’s The Blind Assassin (2000), and Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall (2009) and Bring Up the Bones (2012). We will read approximately 8 novels and ask questions about gender, literary merit, popularity, and longevity.


380-001 Modern Drama TR 9:30-10:45 CRN: 41563
580-001 CRN: 41564
Jeffrey Longacre
In his 1997 film, Deconstructing Harry, Woody Allen’s character quips: “When I was younger it was less scary waiting for Lefty than it is waiting for Godot.” If you don’t get the joke, which refers to famous plays by Clifford Odets and Samuel Beckett, you will after taking this class. The twentieth century was when drama got real, then got absurd, then got real absurd. In this course, we will define and chart the evolution of modern drama through a survey of many of the representative plays of the twentieth century, including plays by American, British, Irish, and a few continental playwrights: such as, Henrik Ibsen, August Strindberg, Bertolt Brecht, Eugene O’Neill, Tennessee Williams, Arthur Miller, Samuel Beckett, Harold Pinter, Tom Stoppard, Caryl Churchill, Brian Friel, and Tony Kushner. Beyond English majors and minors, this course could be particularly useful to those students interested in theater arts, fine arts, or even film studies.


425-001 Advanced Grammar MWF 11:00-11:50 CRN: 41473
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.


480-001 Chaucer MWF 1:00-1:50 CRN: 41481
680-001 CRN: 41482
Dan Pigg
English 480 considers one of the greatest writers in the canon of British literature: Geoffrey Chaucer. As a writer, Chaucer was experimental in his use of various literary forms (romance, fabliau, saint’s legend, lyric, and epic). Readers have been fascinated by his depictions of life from the time that he wrote them to the present. Most readers now are drawn to the sense of irony and humor that he develops in his texts concerning the state of the world and human actions. Chaucer is a poet of his age—the late fourteenth century—but his works also transcend those bounds. We will consider not only his well-known Canterbury Tales, but also his romance epic Troilus and Criseyde and the elegiac Book of the Duchess. Chaucer will be seen both as a typical medieval poet as well as an exemplary writer.


485-001 Shakespeare MWF 10:00-10:50 CRN: 41464
685-001 CRN: 41465
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.


494-001 Internship in English by Arrangement CRN: 41595
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.


496-002 Fantasy Literature MWF 1:00-1:50 CRN: 41977
John Glass
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 19th century works 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 by looking at Rowling’s Harry Potter series.

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 2015.


498-001 WW2 via Digital Humanities MWF 9:00-9:50 CRN: 41486
698-001 CRN: 41487
Trisha Capansky
This course will use advanced digital humanities tools to foster development of writing skills. Students will write a series of short (half-page) intelligence briefings for top-level policy makers, as is done today throughout the national security community. The course will use the military history of World War II as its substantive basis, and the digital platform is currently in wide use by the defense and intelligence communities. It is one of the most advanced analysis systems available anywhere, and is the same multimedia tool used to track down major terrorists targets today. Students will learn the causes, events and consequences of the Second World War, as well as analyze historical data in advanced geospatial software. The software is easy to use, being similar to Google Earth. It provides an opportunity to learn not only historical facts, but critical thinking and analysis skills, as well as a disciplined, evidentiary approach to history. The software makes researching and organizing information for the writing assignments easy so students can focus on the substance. This course is groundbreaking in several ways. The highly experiential nature of the work students do provides the opportunity to make a permanent contribution to the database in the course of learning. Students will learn more than just the subject matter. There are quality control “gates” for importing original research information into the database that students will be required to pass their work through. These gates include a process for validation of source documents (any kind of media files, not just text), and of how those documents are linked to events, people, places and things.


499-001 Capstone (1 credit hour) T 9:30-10:45 CRN: 41565
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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