Courses Taught

(Individual syllabi for various semester courses are posted at the site)

English 111 (English Composition)

Theme: Is Chivalry Dead: Love and Romance Through the Ages

We will look at a variety of texts that in some way touch on the issue of chivalric behavior, beginning with Malory's Morte D'Arthur and including several plays, poems, and films up to the present day. The world of chivalry is often defined by the representation of Arthur's world of knighthood, hence the reason for beginning in the Middle Ages. We will look at how the concept changed in the next five hundred years by examining Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Tempest, Goldsmith's She Stoops to Conquer, and the films Ever After and My Best Friend's Wedding. This is a writing course, so we engage in in-class writing workshops where peer review is used. The UT Martin campus class is linked with a dual credit English class at Lake County High School in Tiptonville, TN.

English 112 (English Composition)

Theme: Grendel's Offspring: Villains Through the Ages                  

Villains have intrigued writers and readers from the earliest pages of recorded history. What motivates these characters? Are they born that way? Are they products of the society in which they live? Are they themselves victims? All of these questions are important to our exploration of villains.  Our readings and writing assignments begin with the epic Beowulf , and J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone and include Shakespeare's Othello to develop one definition of villain (a person without conscience). We will also look at Shelley's Frankenstein , Douglass's Life of Frederick Douglass , and the poets of World War I to develop an image of society as villain. In the twentieth century, we will examine several films, including classic films, that raise an even more complex understanding of villains. Knowing how to define and identify the "bad guy" may be harder than we think. This is a writing course, so we engage in in-class writing workshops where peer review is used. Students in this section will be joined, via interactive television, by students from Lake County High School who are taking the course for dual high school and college credit.

English 250 (British Literary Tradition I)

Discover the adventures that shaped British culture and literary traditions as they emerged. Where did they begin? How do monsters, villains, heroes, tyrannical leaders, devils, philosophers, and chivalric “knights” help to create those traditions? In English 250, students examine literature written in Britain from approximately the eighth century to 1798. Literature such as Beowulf, the Canterbury Tales, Shakespeare, Paradise Lost, and Gulliver's Travels presents issues of otherness, belief, and responsibility. Attention is given in this course to the literary tradition in England in the context of historical, political, religious, and philosophical developments. Prereq: English 111-112.

English 251(British Literary Tradition II)

What are the legacies of revolution, alienation, mechanization, and evolution for modern society? English 251 surveys literature written in England, Scotland, and Ireland from the late eighteenth century to the present day. The course considers writers such as Wordsworth, Keats, Woolf, Eliot, Lessing, and Achebe in historical, political, artistic, and philosophical contexts. The course becomes a critique of British colonail practices rising in the eighteenth century that become official British policy in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Prereq: English 111-112.

English 365 (Restoration and Eighteenth-Century English Literature)

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 Afro-British writers such as Olaudah Equiano and Quobna Cugoano.

English 375 (Development of English Drama)

English 375 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 reading, viewings, and discussions will cover impressive plays such as The Wakefield Second Shepherd's Play , Kyd's Spanish Tragedy 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.

English 420 (History of the English Language)

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. 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.

English 480 (Chaucer)

This course examines one of the most important and influential writers in the history of British literature. We will examine The Book of the Duchess, Troilus and Criseyde and most of The Canterbury Tales in Middle English. Our attempt is to contextualize Chaucer and his writings in the late fourteenth century. Chaucer will be seen in light of some of his contemporaries, and his unique qualities will also gain emphasis. Chaucer's humor, wit, and perception make him one of world literature's most important writers as he negotiated the difficult waters of social change.

English 485 (Shakespeare)

The course is designed to introduce students to the range of Shakespeare's writing, with particular emphasis on his plays (comedies, histories, tragedies, and dramatic romances). Emphasis will be on the plays as written texts and as productions. We will consider Shakespeare as the “soul of an age” as well as a writer beyond the narrow limits of time.