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Fall 2018 Course Descriptions

Dear Students,
Please verify course selections in YES to see the complete selection of course dates and times. You will need to meet with your adviser in person before your registration appointment window, at which time, your adviser will release an electronic academic hold on your account so that you may register. E-mail your adviser for an appointment. The name of your adviser, as well as the time of your registration appointment window is listed on your YES landing page.
Admittance to Honors sections and 3000-level writing workshops are subject to instructor approval. Please refer to the individual course listings for instructions.
The descriptions that appear below for Spring 2018 are grouped chronologically by course number. If you do not find your section number, it likely means that the instructor has not yet provided a course description. The webmaster will continue to make every effort to update this page, so check back often.
Please click here for a list of courses that satisfy the (History, Diverse Perspectives, Approach, Program II Creative Writing) requirements for English Majors and Minors.

 

ENGL 1100W.02 Composition

Thea Autry

Alice Walker writes, “Helped are those who are content to be themselves; they will never lack mystery in their lives and the joys of self-discovery will be constant.” Improve your writing and analytical skills by engaging questions of identity and discovery in nonfiction works by such authors as Elie Wiesel, Alice Walker, Mahatma Gandhi, Frederick Douglass, and Ralph Waldo Emerson. Grading is based on four formal papers in multiple genres, paper revisions, a presentation, and in-class workshops, all designed to prepare you for writing across academic disciplines.

 

ENGL 1100W.04 Contexts and Contents: Writing and Reading Perceptively

Katherine Mullins

How is knowledge produced and shared in different settings, academic or otherwise? In this class, you’ll boost your writing skills by analyzing effective nonfiction prose across a range of rhetorical situations, from academic papers to film reviews and political cartoons. You’ll write and revise several short essays and a digital project as we consider the relationship between how we disseminate our writing to audiences and how we frame ideas using rhetorical techniques. You should leave the course with more confidence in your writing and the ability to responsibly consume and convey information in the academic community and beyond.

 

ENGL 1111.07 First Year Writing Seminar:  Women Poets in America

Beth Bachmann

In this course, we will track the voices of American women poets, from Dickinson to present day. Along the way, we’ll read the works of major American women poets, including H.D., Marianne Moore, Gwendolyn Brooks, Sylvia Plath and Audrey Lorde.  Our final unit will explore the work of contemporary women poets. Students will write reading responses and attend literary readings sponsored by the Department of English. There will be one significant research and writing project, two essays and a presentation.

 

ENGL 1111.08 First Year Writing Seminar: The Metaphysics of Crime Fiction

Scott Juengel

How did the crime narrative become one of the principal forms of entertainment across media?  How do stories of detection teach us philosophical lessons about the ordering of human perception, the limits of memory, and the instinct to behave ethically?  In this seminar we will read conventional “page-turners”—Poe, Doyle, Christie, hard-boiled fiction, true crime, sci-fi, etc.—but we will ask philosophical questions about what we find there in order to think in more nuanced ways about concepts like justice, witnessing, retribution, probability, guilt and innocence, and the human condition.  

 

ENGL 1111.25 From Frost to Dove: Storytelling Verse in American Poetry

Mark Jarman

There is a great tradition of storytelling verse in American poetry that extends from the 20th century into the 21st. Edwin Arlington Robinson, Robert Frost, Robinson Jeffers, Robert Penn Warren, Gwendolyn Brooks and Rita Dove all make use of narrative in their poetry in innovative ways. The central events of modern American history are also reflected in their poems, from the Great Depression, World Wars I and II, migrations west and north, and the Civil Rights Movement.

 

ENGL 1111.42 First Year Writing Seminar

Andrea Hearn

This course will explore the cultural legacy of the “War to End All Wars” (1914-1918) in three broad phases: we will study texts produced during, shortly after, and well after the conflict to discover what the Great War meant to those who experienced it firsthand, to those who came later, and to us now.  We will engage a range of texts: poems, novels, diaries, letters, films, posters, history, criticism, and a play.  In addition to a variety of formal academic writing assignments, students will read and report on a war memoir and film of their own choosing.

 

ENGL 1210W Women, Race, and Class in Prose Fiction

Danielle Procope

How do questions of womanhood also engage with race, class, and sexuality in fiction? In this writing-intensive course, we will explore this question and many others while analyzing women’s fiction across time periods and cultures. We will read various authors including Toni Morrison, Gloria Naylor, Kate Chopin, and Edith Wharton. Your final grade will be mostly determined by three critical essays. Get ready to improve your college-level writing while also becoming more familiar with canonical women’s literature!

 

ENGL 1210W.03 Prose Fiction: Forms and Techniques: Worldbuilding in Literary Utopias

Claudia Ludwig

What is a utopia? Based on its Greek roots, 'utopia' means 'nowhere', but it is also a pun on the word 'eutopia' and is related to the word 'dystopia' -- a non-existent 'good' and 'bad' place respectively, troubling its definition. In this course, we will read early modern texts, such as Utopia, New Atlantis, and The Isle of Pines, alongside modern ones, such as Nineteen Eighty-Four, Never Let Me Go, and Lord of the Flies, and question the way in which worlds are created and categorized in literatureGrades will be based upon multiple written assignments and in-class participation.

 

ENGL 1210W.07 Prose Fiction: Forms and Techniques: Children in Literature

Lucy Kim

What accounts for the special and privileged place of children and the time of childhood in our collective imagination? Hone your critical thinking and writing skills by engaging with texts that focus in common on the theme of children in literature. A tentative reading list includes novels by Charles Dickens, Lewis Carroll, Angela Carter, and select fairy tales, short stories, and screen adaptations. You will be graded based on four formal papers, paper revisions, regular reading responses, and presentations, all designed to improve your skills of using academic writing conventions to communicate ideas clearly and effectively across disciplines.

 

ENGL 1210W.08 & 1210W.10 Monsters in Fiction

Justin Quarry

This course explores portrayals of various monsters—both realistic and fantastic—in narratives ranging from the late nineteenth to the twenty-first centuries and analyze the elements of fiction used to illuminate them, and in turn the societal anxieties and desires in the midst of which they appear.  Students will attempt to define, and redefine, what, or who, exactly, a “monster” is and what makes such a creature simultaneously horrifying and fascinating, and they will examine novels, graphic novels, and short stories in order to determine the terms by which so-called monsters are understood and described, and what beyond the norm these creatures represent, both literally and metaphorically, in each encounter. 

 

ENGL 1230.01 To Be Young, Educated and Black: The Black Experience in American Education

Magana Kabugi

According to James Baldwin, “One of the paradoxes of education [is]... when you begin to develop a conscience, you must find yourself at war with society. It is your responsibility to change society if you think of yourself as an educated person.” What does it mean to be black and educated in a society rooted by systemic racism? And how have black people channeled education to create change in America? This course uses literature, popular culture, and media to illuminate the experiences of black students from elementary school to college. Especially recommended those interested in AADS, public policy, HOD and related fields.

 

ENGL 1250.06 Introduction to Poetry: Worker-Poets and the Work of Poetry 

Kira Braham

Do you know any plumber-poets? Would you be surprised to find that the janitor you passed in the hall this morning writes like Walt Whitman? Whether you’ve consciously considered it or not, you likely have an image in mind of the kind of person who writes poetry, and it’s not the same kind of person who becomes a plumber or a janitor. This course will examine a long tradition of worker-poets who challenge our assumptions about who writes poetry and why. You will learn about poetic forms and techniques and strengthen your critical reading and analytical writing skills.

 

ENGL 1260.03 The Erotics of Literature

Joanna Huh

In the legendary words of Salt-N-Pepa, let’s talk about sex.  Sex and sexuality are concepts so ubiquitous in our contemporary culture that their constructions are at risk of being unexamined. We will return to trace the history of “sex” and “sexuality” as discourses and examine how they are represented in literature.  Engaging thinkers like Michel Foucault, Sigmund Freud, and Audre Lorde, we will adopt a working vocabulary to think through issues of sexuality, gender, and power.  Major texts will include Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Nabokov’s Lolita, as well as poetry by John Donne and Adrienne Rich.

 

ENGL 1260W.07 Live from the Underground: Subterfuge, Appropriation, Fugitivity, and Resistance within American Literature and Culture

Terrell Taylor

This course explores the how various groups in American society function in the shadow of the dominant culture. The trope of “the underground”  carries a wide range of suggestions: criminality, concealment, covert organization, rebellion, etc. Many American writers have used the themes of the underground in their works, while others have defined their writing practice as a form of “operation from below.” Discussion topics will include the significance of the underground for the marginalized and subjugated, the flight from mainstream society toward the underground, and the different expressive, political, and cultural opportunities afforded by the underground.

 

ENGL 1270W.01 What does it MEAN?!—Literary Theory and Horror Fiction

Elizabeth Covington

This course will introduce you to various forms of literary and cultural criticism.  This semester we will study several “schools” of theory in order to understand some of the diverse ways to approach literature and all manner of cultural objects, including advertising and social media. The literary focus of our theoretical inquiries will be horror stories, both classic (such as Poe’s “The Tell-Tale Heart) and contemporary (such as Tucker and Dale vs. Evil). By reading these stories alongside theory, we will learn how to engage literature and cultural objects on many new and exciting levels.

 

ENGL 2200 Foundations of Literary Study 

Marzia Milazzo

This course will explore stories and thoughts about freedom and confinement. We will begin with reading Giovanni Verga’s epistolary novel Sparrow (1871), which tells the story of a young woman forced to become a cloistered nun in 19th century Sicily, and we will close with Sabrina Jones and Marc Mauer’s graphic novel Race to Incarcerate (2013)which deals with the racialized expansion of prisons in the United States. As we engage in the fundamentals of literary study, we will pay particular attention to the relationship between form and content, the politics of literary genre, and the art of critical interpretation. The works examined will include novels, short stories, plays, poems, a graphic novel, creative nonfiction, and film.

 

ENGL 2200.02 Foundations of Literary Study

Mark Wollaeger

Required of all English majors, this course introduces fundamental concepts of literary interpretation as well as some key issues in literary criticism and theory. The course presupposes deep affinities between creative and critical thought and therefore speaks to students in all tracks. We will read poetry and fiction alongside critical, contextual, and theoretical texts in order to widen your range of options when thinking about how to talk and write about literature. Writing assignments include attention to effective use sources to enhance your persuasiveness and to ways of tapping into your creativity as a writer.

 

ENGL 2310 Representative British Writers to 1660

Roger Moore

In this course, we will read classic texts by some of the most important writers in English literature, including Geoffrey Chaucer, Christopher Marlowe, William Shakespeare, John Donne, and John Milton, and place them within their historical and religious contexts.  Requirements include essay examinations and one or two papers.  This course will be of interest to English majors as well as non-majors who want a broad introduction to representative masterpieces. 

 

ENGL 2311 Representative British Writers 1660-Present                                                             

Elizabeth Covington

This course is a survey of British Literature from 1660 to the present. We will read works from many of the influential and significant writers from five literary periods: Restoration/18th Century, the Romantics, the Victorians, the Modernists, and the 20th Century and Beyond. In addition to a sweeping view of British literature, this course will challenge the traditional canon of British culture. We will explore texts by authors who were disregarded because of their gender, race, class, sexuality, and other factors. Ultimately, we will develop broad but robust vision of the development of British literature over the past three hundred years.

 

ENGL 2316.01 Representative American Writers: The Rise of the Novel

Gabriel Briggs

This course covers the rise of the novel in the United States from the end of the revolutionary period to the 1850s. We will read the work of authors who dominate American literary history, such as Charles Brockden Brown, James Fenimore Cooper, and Herman Melville, but we will also study additional writers who challenge conventional wisdom, and help us to imagine alternative literary histories in the U.S. The novels we will examine cut across several literary genres, including the Sentimental Novel, the American Gothic, and the Historical Romance, and we will attempt both to understand and to theorize the relationship between literary and historical writing.

 

ENGL 2318W.01 World Literature: Classical

Julie Fesmire

The focus is on concepts of heroism and courage, paying particular attention to the hero’s reaction to change, instability, adversity, and death.  How do these texts portray the task of the hero?  How does his quest affect relations between mortals and immortals?  Within the models offered by our texts, is it possible for women to be heroic?  How do fear and grief become avenues for challenging the social and order, and how do these emotions contribute towards the hero’s education?  Texts include Gilgamesh, the Iliad, Medea, Gawain, the Igor tale, Don Quixote.

 

ENGL 2319 Modern World Literature

Akshya Saxena

What does the literature we read have to do with the world we live in? Is there a kind of literature that is particularly “worldly”? This course examines writings that thinkers since Goethe have called “world literature”? As we read these, it is hard not to wonder what makes the cut to world literature? What do we mean by world literature when the world itself remains unequal and shifting? This course is neither greatest hits, nor world tour, nor Norton Anthology. It is also not comprehensive. Instead, we will interrogate our literary institutions and habits. We will explore the practices of production, circulation, and reception that make world literature possible. We are as much interested in the literary texts considered “world literature” as we are in translations, translators, book prizes, reviews, bestseller lists, and million-dollar advances that influence what we understand as “worldly,” and “literary.” Readings will include a wide selection of works from the modern world by writers such as J.M. Coetzee, Rabindranath Tagore, Goethe, Arundhati Roy, Marjane Satrapi, Okot p’Bitek, Lu Xun, Bob Dylan, and Julio Cortazar among others.

 

ENGL 3210 Intermediate Nonfiction Writing: Life Writing: Memoirs about People, Places, and Historical Moments

Sandy Solomon

Writers of good memoirs transform the raw material of their lives into stories readers can recognize as instructive, insightful, and true to life.  This creative writing workshop will concentrate on three kinds of experiences that offer interesting subject matter for most people: people, places, and historical moments.  The course will emphasize writing and careful revision. Register for the waitlist; then to gain admission to this course, submit a 250- to 500-word writing sample to Solomon by August 5, 2018. Write a short memoir about someone you know well, someone about whom you have complex feelings. Possible immersion sequence with English 3290.

 

ENGL 3230.01 Intermediate Fiction Workshop

Justin Quarry

This workshop is geared toward those who already have some experience writing short stories, with the intentions of broadening students’ knowledge of the elements of craft, and of incorporating elements of fantasy in literary fiction.  The chief texts for this course will be approximately twenty-four stories written by workshop members, but throughout the semester students also will read and examine craft essays and contemporary American short fiction in order to better understand how to apply what they learn to their own writing. Previous creative writing workshop experience is strongly recommended before taking this class, and instructor permission is required to enroll.  Sign up on the course's YES waitlist, and you will receive application instructions for the course in early May.

 

ENGL 3230.02 Intermediate Fiction Workshop

Lorraine López

This course focuses on development of elements of fiction, including characterization, scene, dialogue, plot, setting, significant detail, and perspective.  In workshop, students will draft two short stories, complete three writing exercises, attend and respond to three literary events, as well as read and critique original narratives by peers.  Workshop members will also analyze published short stories in Best American Short Stories, 2017 in conjunction with chapters in Writing Fiction: A Guide to Narrative Craft and craft articles by various authors.  Prospective students must contact instructor for submission requirements.

 

ENGL 3250 Intermediate Poetry Workshop

Beth Bachmann

In this intermediate poetry writing workshop, you will both write and read poetry. While the primary texts will be poems written by members of the workshop, you will also be introduced to the work of contemporary poets as well as to criticism on various elements of the craft of poetry. We will concentrate on form as it informs both shape and subject matter (self-portrait, ode, terza rima, couplets, epistle, elegy, sonnet sequence, and contemporary study). In addition to critiquing other participants’ work, you will complete creative assignments and a writer’s notebook. Assessment based on participation, assignments, notebook and final portfolio.

 

ENGL 3290 Special Topics on the Craft of Memoir Writing: Reading Other People’s Lives

Sandy Solomon

Writers of good memoirs transform the raw material of their lives into stories readers can recognize as instructive, insightful, and true to life. This seminar will look at how memoirists have wrestled with methodological problems associated with writing about their lives. Students will read some book-length memoirs; some book excerpts; some article-length memoirs; and some writing about memoirs. Students will make seminar presentations and write a final paper examining one technical aspect of memoir writing.  Priority admission to students wanting to take this class in conjunction with English 3210 as an Immersion core sequence. Contact Solomon to express interest.

 

ENGL 3610.01 (The Romantic Period) “Romanticism: The Passions and the Horrors”

Mark Schoenfield

Stumbling across the site where a “murderer had been hung in iron chains,” William Wordsworth flees, “Faltering and faint.”  Romantic literature reflects a time of revolution, when Britain rethought its ideas of justice, and confronted its own dreadful engagement in the slave trade and the massive disruptions of industrialization.  Its writers sought new literary genres and theoretical formulations of the mind to understand this turbulence.  In this class, we will explore poets, novelists, and journalists whose experiments in writing transformed aesthetic norms and social understandings.  Writers will include Mary Shelley; John Keats; and others who explore their capacity for passion and for horror. In this discussion-based course, students will collaborate on presentations and use their papers to think more deeply about the issues and texts that interest them most.

 

ENGL 3618.01 19th Century English Novel

Scott Juengel

Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, the Brontës, George Eliot, Oscar Wilde, Henry James.  The novel ‘came of age’ as a literary genre during the nineteenth century, emerging as the delivery system for understanding modern psychology and sociology.  How did this happen?  In this course we’ll study British fiction from the Romantics to the dawning of Modernism, paying close attention to the challenge of gender norms and the marriage plot, the aims of class ascension, the rise of modern institutions, and the criminalization of behavior.

 

ENGL 3634.01 Writers, Women, and the Gods

Colin Dayan

"History is built around achievement and creation; and nothing was created in the West Indies.”  The remarkable achievement of Caribbean writers disproves V.S. Naipaul’s notorious comment.  

In this class on comparative Caribbean literary, social and cultural history will focus on 1) representations of women: as embodied spirits, bodies of color, and privileged landscapes; 2) women writers who question the facts of history, the claims of culture—and in the process rethink the making of fiction.  We will read novels, diaries, and watch commercial and documentary films on vodou, obeah, and other folk religions in the Caribbean.  

 

ENGL 3646 Poetry Since World War II

Rick Hilles

We’ll be reading and closely examining British and American poetry by focusing on six major poets who wrote between 1939 and now, including: W. H. Auden (born in England, he became a U.S. citizen after WW II), Robert Lowell, Gwendolyn Brooks, Philip Larkin, Sylvia Plath, and 1995 Nobel Laureate in Literature, Seamus Heaney (born a British subject in Northern Ireland), whose poetry directly addresses the conflict in Ireland and the U.K. The three American poets we’ll be reading are: Robert Lowell, Gwendolyn Brooks, and Sylvia Plath. Lowell is part of the 20th century’s most famous generation of American poets who introduced to poetry highly personal subject matter. From a famous New England family (including poets Amy and James Russell Lowell), Lowell positioned himself as a national voice, frequently confronting political issues in his poetry. Gwendolyn Brooks, whose poetry is set mostly in the African American community on the south side of Chicago, also represents a national voice. Sylvia Plath, perhaps most famous for the legend that has sprung up around her short life and how it affects the way we read her poetry, offers us poignant representations of women and female artists still relevant to modern feminists. Though all of these poets represent distinctly individual voices, they share a strong singular style and vision with which they have constructed a uniquely memorable body of work.

 

ENGL 3654 African American Literature: From the Plantation to the Prison: Slavery and its Aftermaths

Marzia Milazzo

This course will examine African American literature from the 19th century until the present, paying particular attention to the historical reality of slavery and its ongoing repercussions in our time. Opening with Frederick Douglass’ Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave, we will consider how African American writers have probed questions of freedom, bondage, and equality, challenging the norms and ideological foundations upon which the United States rests as a nation. Readings will include works by Frederick Douglass, W.E.B. Du Bois, Nella Larsen, Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, Hortense Spillers, Audre Lorde, Malcolm X, Mumia Abu-Jamal, Angela Davis, and Tupac Shakur. 

 

ENGL 3664 Jewish American Literature

Allison Schachter                                                                              

What can Jewish American writing teach us about American culture? In this course, we’ll ask how Jewish writers made the transition from immigrants to intellectuals, paving the way for later waves of immigrant writers. We’ll look at the relationship between Jews and the history of race, gender, and ethnicity in the US. Moreover, we’ll investigate how Jewish writers in America straddle the divide between Jewish culture and modern American life. The course will survey Jewish American literature from the late-nineteenth century to our present day. Writers include, Anzia Yezierksa, Saul Bellow, Grace Paley, and Philip Roth.

 

ENGL 3694 America on Film

Sam Girgus

The course studies American culture and character on film.  It will consider film as a modern art form, a system of cultural production, and an expression of the diversity of the American experience. Beginning with a discussion of the structure and composition of film as an art form, the course also will consider the relationship of film to American studies, ethical philosophy, and culture. Thus, it will relate visual images and cinetext to cultural and philosophical contexts. We will examine how films treat basic American themes such as the individual and community; frontier and urban violence; race, ethnicity, and minorities; the representation and role of women; visual desire and sexual exploitation; the family and authority.  We will study classic and current films.

 

ENGL 3720 Literature, Science, and Technology: The History of Digital versus Indexical

Jonathan Lamb

This course will chart a division in the theory of knowledge that is still with us. It began to be acute with the arrival of the New Science when empiricism collided with variations of Platonism. The neo-Platonics did not view knowledge as an acquirement that perfected us, rather as a timeless truth that we recollected; and for demonstrable truths they turned to mathematics and geometry.  Empiricists believed that all we knew arrived through the senses, imperfect because of sin, but improvable by machines; and for proof they turned to experiment.  Where has this debate got us?

 

ENGL 3726.01 New Media: Storytelling in Games

Jay Clayton

This course explores the impact of new media on narrative through a focus on digital games.  Beginning with Lord of the Rings Online, a massively multiplayer role playing game (MMO), and indie games such as Braid, Journey, and Portal, the course introduces students to the literary and artistic challenges of constructing narratives in a digital environment and the implications of social media for concepts of self and society. In addition to the novels and films of Tolkien, the course looks at a variety of new media, films, and digital tools from Ready Player One to Twitter fictions, eSports, mapping programs, timelines, and video editing software.

 

ENGL 3728W Science Fiction: Living with Aliens

Vera Kutzinski

How do we imagine the future of humanity? How can we test it out? Speculative Fiction (SF) is a veritable laboratory for creating worlds in which characters can explore what possibilities might exist for humans to live together with off-world non-humans. In this seminar, you will learn how several contemporary American writers—including Octavia Butler, Samuel R. Delany, Ursula LeGuin, and Jeff Vandermeer—envision differences and commonalities between human and so-called aliens. In the process, you will also learn how SF experiments with literary forms and with different literary genres.

 

ENGL 3730 Literature and the Environment: 21st Century Climate Fiction

Teresa Goddu

This course surveys contemporary literary fiction that addresses climate change. We will consider a range of cultural texts that imagine how our present and future worlds are/will be shaped by climate change and offer ways to approach this paradigm shift’s challenges and possibilities. Texts may include: Ben Lerner, 10:04; Cormac McCarthy, The Road; Karen Thompson Walker, The Age of Miracles; Jeff Vandermeer, Annihilation; Jesmyn Ward, Salvage the Bones;as well as an array of short stories, films, and non-fiction works.

This course counts toward the minor in Environmental and Sustainability Studies.

 

ENGL 3742 Feminist Theory

Candice Amich

An introduction to feminist theory, this course is designed to provide you with the basic skills necessary to use gender as a tool of cultural analysis. We will read theory from and about twentieth-century “second-wave” feminism, as well as explore more recent queer and transgender engagements with feminism. Rubrics of study include gender and difference, gender and media, and gender and globalization. In addition to theoretical texts, we will examine a variety of feminist media, including poetry, performance and film. Research projects derived from students’ individual interests will be an important part of understanding the theory.

 

ENGL 3890.01 Movements in Literature: Modernist Experimentation in Literature and Art

Mark Wollaeger

What does it mean to perform aesthetic as opposed to scientific experiments? “Modernism” names a massive outpouring of aesthetic experimentation across the arts and across Europe in the early 20th C, and in this course we will study not only major modernist literature by writers such as Virginia Woolf, James Joyce, and T. S. Eliot but also the broader culture from which modernist writing emerged:  representative works of  art (Cezanne, Picasso, Matisse), philosophy (e.g., Henri Bergson and William James), and psychology (Freud). We will also ask how modernism’s legacy of aesthetic experimentation continues to inform our culture today.

 

ENGL 3891 "Look for Me Under Your Boot-Soles": Whitman and His Children

Rick Hilles

Almost as a dare to all posterity, Whitman says (at the end of “Song of Myself”) “Failing to fetch me at first keep encouraged,/Missing me one place search another.” And: “You will hardly know who I am or what I mean,/But I shall be good health to you nevertheless.” In this spirit, we will look for the continuation of Whitman, his project of liberation and his free verse line, in the poetry of several of his rightful heirs, including: D.H. Lawrence, Ezra Pound, Hart Crane, W.C. Williams, Langston Hughes, Robert Penn Warren, Muriel Rukeyser, Adrienne Rich, Denise Levertov, Philip Levine, Charles Wright, Jay Wright, Lucile Clifton, up to contemporary poets like Terrance Hayes, Ada Limón, Camille Dungy, and Ocean Vuong. 

 

ENGL 3894.01 Major Figures: Ernest Hemingway

Gabriel Briggs

This course examines one of the most influential writers in twentieth-century American Literature. To better understand Hemingway’s enduring cultural presence, students will read a number of short stories, novels, and non-fiction prose he produced between 1924 and 1951. Students will also develop strategies for positioning the author and his work within specific historical and theoretical contexts. Those interested in this course should consider tackling longer novels such as For Whom the Bell Tolls and Farewell to Arms over the summer to provide ample time for reading and reflection. A required reading list can be found on YES under course syllabus.

 

ENGL 3894.02 Major Figures in Literature: Creative Enterprise, Social Change, and Charles Dickens

Elizabeth Meadows

Can creativity become a platform for social change? It did for Charles Dickens, the original creative entrepreneur, who transformed the publishing industry, made his name into a household word, and used his writing to call public attention to pressing social problems of Victorian culture. Discover how Dickens became a literary celebrity and a brand-name recognized around the world; investigate his lasting impact on literature, film, and the marketplace today; and develop your own creative project into a platform for social change.

 

ENGL 3898.01 “Blue Gold”: Water Rights and Wrongs

Cecelia Tichi

Life’s essence and the inspiration of writers, artists, film makers and musicians, all of whom will enter our aquatic space, we will also chart the waters of American literature, from romance (Kate Chopin’s The Awakening) to the Mississippi rite-of-passage (Huckleberry Finn) to crime fiction (Paolo Bacigalupi’s The Water Knife optioned by Hollywood). Water, we’ll find, is both a promise and a threat—to slate thirst on the driest day, thanks to the beverage industry analyzed in journalism in Bottlemania, or wreak havoc by flood, as in Houston, 2016.  Weekly 3-hour seminar. Students will assemble a portfolio through the semester and each will make a presentation to the group.

 

ENGL 7460 Literature and the Craft of Writing: Revision and Editing

Lorraine López

The focus of this graduate seminar is on revision and editing.  Over the course of the semester, writers will develop previously composed narratives in various stages, inscribing a trajectory that begins with cultivating the distance/objectivity to re-see stories in new ways and moves toward finessing language on the sentence-level.  Essays and articles on revision by various authors will be examined and discussed, along with reading from Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Brown and Dave King.   Seminar members will also lead presentations, produce generative writing, complete exercises, and compose a short article on craft, in addition to developing drafts of original work.