Skip to main content
Jeong-Oh Kim teaches Intro to Poetry sitting with students on Library Lawn

Courses

Quick Links

Course Lists | Course Requirements for Majors and Minors | AXLE in the English Department

The courses below are offered by the English department. Courses in other departments may also count toward the major or minor in our program. For a full list of eligible courses, please see the Vanderbilt undergraduate catalog or YES (enrolled students only). 

 

Spring 2022 Courses

ENGL 1100.01: Composition

Joanna Huh

TR 1:15 - 2:30 PM

This course will foster an inclusive and intensive environment for the exploration, analysis, and practice of writing. Over the course of the semester, we’ll examine the mechanics of composition at the level of sentences, paragraphs, and essays to demystify the college-level essay. We’ll read different types of essays in order better to understand the mechanics of writing and conduct in-depth investigations of the three fundamental elements of an essay: narration, analysis, and argumentation. We’ll also analyze distinct styles, structures, and genres as a way to become more rounded and versatile authors. Each of you will develop a “toolbox” of skills and strategies through focused assignments and readings that will prepare you for collegiate, professional, and personal writing. You will end the semester a more critical thinker, reader, and writer and more adept in communicating your ideas through academic writing conventions. [3] (No AXLE credit)

 

ENGL 1100.02: Composition

Sam Stover

MWF 2:30 - 3:20 PM

For students who need to improve their writing. Emphasis on writing skills, with some analysis of modern nonfiction writing. [3] (No AXLE credit)

 

ENGL 1100.03: Composition

Sam Stover

MWF 10:10 - 11:00 AM

For students who need to improve their writing. Emphasis on writing skills, with some analysis of modern nonfiction writing. [3] (No AXLE credit)

ENGL 1111.08 FYWS: The Simple Art of Murder

Elizabeth Covington

MWF 8:00 - 8:50 AM

“The Simple Art of Murder" is designed to facilitate critical thinking by exploring the way that texts and films shape and are shaped by the culture in which they were produced and consumed.  In this course, we will read conventional "page-turners," view films, view television shows, and ask philosophical and historical context 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. [3; maximum of 6 credits total for all semesters of 1111] (HCA)

ENGL 1111.16 FYWS: Toni Morrison

Teresa Goddu

MWF 2:30 - 3:20 PM

This FYW seminar will examine three works central to Toni Morrison’s canon, The Bluest Eye, Song of Solomon, and Beloved, in addition to some of her shorter works. We will discuss issues that reoccur throughout her texts: race, gender, class, sexuality; geography and migration; history, trauma, and memory; kinship and community; nation and region; oppression and freedom; language and the role of art. Most importantly, we will locate Morrison’s works at the center of contemporary discussions about race and nation. Students will also learn how to write clear, complex, and compelling arguments. [3; maximum of 6 credits total for all semesters of 1111] (P)

 

ENGL 1111.20 FYWS: British War Writing

Andrea Hearn

MWF 1:25 - 2:15 PM

This seminar will survey a wide range of British literary responses to war, from the Viking invasions to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Students will write a number of formal academic essays, give a brief presentation, and engage in scholarly research in the form of an annotated bibliography. Our major periods of conflict will also include the medieval wars with France, the English Civil Wars, and the two world wars of the twentieth century. We will consider works focusing on the battlefield as well as those concerned with the home front. While our syllabus will include drama, prose, and film, this course will be heavy on poetry. [3; maximum of 6 credits total for all semesters of 1111] (HCA)

 

ENGL 1111.49 FYWS: Writing About Place

Elizabeth Meadows

TR 9:30 - 10:45 AM

How does where we live change who we are and our relations to others? How do places develop over time, responding to the experiences and interactions of people within them? In this course we will read selections from a variety of genres—urban policy, creative non-fiction, poetry, guidebooks, and histories—to investigate our individual and communal relations to the places we inhabit. Students will first craft personal narratives tracing meaningful locations in their hometowns and use StoryMaps to create multimedia tours of their hometowns to share with each other. In the second unit, students will do research on the history of Vanderbilt University to write biographies of buildings on campus, using oral histories and interviews with Vanderbilt staff, students, and faculty. For their final projects, students will use this material in creating a crowd-sourced map of Vanderbilt, presenting personal and communal histories of locations at Vanderbilt and in our community. [3; maximum of 6 credits total for all semesters of 1111] (HCA)

 

ENGL 1111.99 FYWS: The Simple Art of Murder

Elizabeth Covington

MWF 9:05 - 9:55 AM

“The Simple Art of Murder" is designed to facilitate critical thinking by exploring the way that texts and films shape and are shaped by the culture in which they were produced and consumed.  In this course, we will read conventional "page-turners," view films, view television shows, and ask philosophical and historical context 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. [3; maximum of 6 credits total for all semesters of 1111] (HCA)

ENGL 1210W.01 Prose Fiction: Forms and Techniques 

Kelsey Rall

MWF 8:00 - 8:50 AM

ENGL 1210W.02 Prose Fiction: Forms and Techniques 

Djenanway Se-Gahon

MWF 9:05 - 9:55 AM

ENGL 1210W.03 Prose Fiction: Forms and Techniques

Marcie Casey

MWF 3:35 - 4:25 PM

ENGL 1210W.04 Prose Fiction: Forms and Techniques: Consciousness and Memory in the Novel

Sam Stover

MWF 3:35 - 4:25 PM

In “The Future of the Novel,” Henry James writes, “The novel is of all pictures the most comprehensive and elastic. It will stretch anywhere—it will take in almost anything. All it needs is a subject and a painter. But for its subject, magnificently, it has the whole human consciousness.” How do authors create the effect of a living consciousness in their work? How does memory—or forgetting—shape identity?  In this course, students will explore the depictions of consciousness and memory in literature through the works of Henry James, W.G. Sebald, Toni Morrison, Kazuo Ishiguro, Elena Ferrante, James Baldwin, and Virginia Woolf. Students will develop their close-reading skills through analyses of the techniques these authors use to render thought on the page. Students will also examine how explorations of memory inform our understanding of individual identity as well as our broader cultural reckonings with trauma. [3] (HCA)

 

ENGL 1210W.05 Prose Fiction: Forms and Techniques: Slow Reading Slow Novels: Rural Stories from the 18th Century to the Present

Luke Vines

MWF 4:40 - 5:30 PM

This course will study a constellation of novels and short stories set in rural spaces in Britain and the United States. The reading assignments are designed to emphasize deep engagement with texts rather than speedy readership and will, through guided and self-directed journaling assignments, help you develop techniques for slowing down and savoring the intricacies of the literary worlds we encounter, thus equipping you with tools to live a more mindful life. After learning and practicing what it means to engage meaningfully with and criticize a piece of literature, we will work to convert your literary critical skills into formal essays. Altogether, you will learn to refine your critical thinking skills, enter deftly into complex arguments while balancing competing evidence and worldviews, and write with clarity and conviction, all while encountering and relishing the often gorgeous and frequently troubling worlds of rural fiction. [3] (HCA)

 

ENGL 1210W.06 Prose Fiction: Forms and Techniques: Literature of the Great Depression

Huntley Hughes

TR 8:00 - 9:15 AM

What is the relationship between times of socio-economic crisis and the cultural artifacts that emerge from them? How does fiction help people make sense of the historical moment they find themselves in, and how does it shape our understandings of the past and anxieties for the future? This course will look to answer these questions by considering the literature of the Great Depression, one of this country’s most economically dire and socially transformative moments. We will read a variety of authors impacted by or concerned with the economic collapse of the 1930s from John Steinbeck to James Agee, Zora Neale Hurston, and Erskine Caldwell. Students will develop literary analysis and writing skills, but will also walk away from the course better able to approach others’ arguments critically but generously, to support their own positions, and to communicate them effectively inside the classroom and in their personal and professional lives. [3] (HCA)

 

ENGL 1210W.07 Prose Fiction: Forms and Techniques

Paige Oliver

TR 2:45 - 4:00

ENGL 1220W.01 Drama: Forms and Techniques

Judy Klass

MWF 12:20 - 1:10 PM

We will look at how plays have changed in the last 2,500 years: including concepts/modes we inherit from the ancient Greeks and from Shakespeare’s time (plot arcs for comedy and tragedy, Aristotle’s Unities in the Poetics, the “fatal flaw,” the Greek Chorus, the soliloquy, deus ex machina); we will read plays about families, which can turn the claustrophobia/confined space on stage into a means of enhancing drama and tension as people are trapped together in houses and apartments; scenes involving complicated bonds and confrontations. Authors include: Sophocles, Chekhov, O’Neill, Glaspell, Odets, Miller, Williams, Kaufman and Hart, Hansberry, Albee, Bologna and Taylor, Norman, Hwang, Cruz, Auburn, Vogel, Letts, Durang. Students write essays analyzing works that interest them, with the option to revise every paper; we will read some scenes aloud in class, with students encouraged to do a bit of acting; lots of reading and writing. [3] (HCA)

 

ENGL 1230W.01 Literature and Analytical Thinking

Gabriel Briggs

MWF 9:05 - 9:55 AM

This course examines prominent 19th & 20th Century African American writers whose work ranges from slave narratives to issues addressing contemporary thought. As much as the seminar will provide students with an overview of the prominent periods in African-American literature, it is also a seminar in developing the students’ general critical skills. To that end, the seminar will introduce students to contemporary theoretical and critical models that have been instrumental in revising African-American literary history. Among the authors we will read are Harriet Wilson, Sutton Griggs, W. E. B. Du Bois, and Toni Morrison. [3] (HCA)

 

ENGL 1230W.02 Literature and Analytical Thinking

Gabriel Briggs

MWF 11:15 AM - 12:05 PM

This course examines prominent 19th & 20th Century African American writers whose work ranges from slave narratives to issues addressing contemporary thought. As much as the seminar will provide students with an overview of the prominent periods in African-American literature, it is also a seminar in developing the students’ general critical skills. To that end, the seminar will introduce students to contemporary theoretical and critical models that have been instrumental in revising African-American literary history. Among the authors we will read are Harriet Wilson, Sutton Griggs, W. E. B. Du Bois, and Toni Morrison. [3] (HCA)

 

ENGL 1230W.03 Literature and Analytical Thinking

Katelyn Sheehan

MWF 12:20 - 1:10 PM

ENGL 1230W.04 Literature and Analytical Thinking

Sarah Hagaman

MWF 3:35 - 4:25 PM

ENGL 1230W.05 Literature and Analytical Thinking: Salvaging Literature

Jeong-Oh Kim

TR 11:00 AM - 12:15 PM

Grammatically speaking, as an adjective, salvaging describes a kind of literature, one that saves what is lost, or fragile, or endangered. By studying the forms and techniques of such literature, we will explore the problems that literature has set in motion by its response to the world—to society, economy, gender, race, geography, culture, suffering, and human rights.  At the same time, Salvaging Literature concerns how to save literature, how to salvage its various forms, through considering and writing about our connections to literature as citizens of the university and of wider communities. We will explore these two ways of articulating Salvaging Literature by considering texts such as Edgar Allen Poe, Selected Tales; Robert Louis Stevenson, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde; Richard Hughes’s High Wind in Jamaica; Tom Stoppard’s Arcadia; W. G. Sebald's The Rings of Saturn; F. E. Manning's Old New Zealand; Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein; and Romantic poetry. [3] (HCA)

 

ENGL 1250W.01 Introduction to Poetry

Didi Jackson

MWF 10:10 - 11:00 AM

Wordsworth said, "Poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings.” Much of our music and stories emerge from the ancient art of poetry. In this course, students will explore Wordsworth’s statement by looking at a variety of poetic forms, styles, and subjects.  We will read poems from various historical periods and places while also focusing on poetry of the 20th and 21st centuries. We will consider the poem’s place in history, in social context, and within each students’ personal lexicon. By learning to read and analyze poetry closely, students will become readers of poetry for analysis, for pleasure, and  for life. [3] (HCA)

 

ENGL 1250W.02 Introduction to Poetry

Lisa Dordal

MW 1:25 - 2:40 PM

In our increasingly fast-paced lives, reading poetry can be a great way to slow down and pay meaningful attention to the world around us and to our own inner landscapes. Although the main objectives of this course are to help you become close readers of poetry and to help you develop your critical writing skills, the poems we read might very well deepen your understanding of your own life and who you understand yourself to be. The first part of this course will be organized around formal considerations (diction, tone, imagery, figures of speech, etc.). In the second half of the course, we will focus on the poetry of Emily Dickinson, Sylvia Plath, Langston Hughes, Marie Howe, Mark Doty, Natasha Trethewey, and Li-Young Lee. Requirements include two long papers, five short response papers and three homework assignments, a written response to one poetry reading, and participation in class discussions. [3] (HCA)

 

ENGL 1250W.03 Introduction to Poetry: False Idols: The Art of Misreading in Early Modern Poetry

Wesley Boyko

TR 8:00 - 9:15 AM

In Edmund Spenser’s The Faerie Queene, Error is allegorized as a monstrous creature who vomits books and papers. The image conjures a sharp anxiety around the possibility of misreading and the many wandering paths that can lead readers to their literary damnation. Our class will explore this question of interpretive error as it both occurs and develops throughout the poetry of the early modern period,  a time when people were obsessed with the ongoing threat of idolatry and the corruption of truth. From Petrarch to Milton, our readings contrast the various methods employed by authors to secure truth in their literary works. Each course assignment—a combination of weekly reading responses and three longer papers—is designed to help students hone their own interpretive skills, as well as acquire numerous techniques for discussing and writing critically about poetry. [3] (HCA)

 

ENGL 1260W.01 Introduction to Literary and Cultural Analysis

David Brandt

MWF 8:00 - 8:50 AM

ENGL 1260W.02 Introduction to Literary and Cultural Analysis

Ethan Calof

MWF 11:15 AM - 12:05 PM

ENGL 1260W.03 Introduction to Literary and Cultural Analysis

Maren Loveland

MWF 12:20 - 1:10 PM

 

ENGL 1260W.04 Introduction to Literary and Cultural Analysis: Criminal Subjects

Julianne Adams

MWF 3:35 - 4:25 PM

What does it mean to be a criminal? Or to act criminally? In this class, we’ll explore the meaning of criminality across an array of eighteenth-century British literature. Discussion will revolve not only around explicit examples of misconduct and violence but also moments of deviation from social norms that set the parameters of illicit behavior. Through these conversations, we will consider eighteenth-century concepts of personhood, as well as modern ideas of person and citizen. Readings will include court cases of women who tortured their servants, fictional accounts like Daniel Defoe’s Moll Flanders, narratives of enslavement such as Olaudah Equiano’s autobiography, and domestic fiction like Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey. This course is designed to bolster critical thinking through a variety of analytical writing assignments. [3] (HCA)

 

ENGL 1260W.05 Introduction to Literary and Cultural Analysis

Tori Hoover 

MWF 4:40 - 5:30 PM

The hag. The spinster. The scarlet woman. Women who have stood apart from society have been characterized as deviant, wrong, even criminal. This course aims to examine gender and power through stories of the isolated woman. What is a woman alone? Is she liberated? Is she disgraced? Can she be both, simultaneously? Class readings will consider gender studies alongside a wide variety of texts from the Odyssey to “The Yellow Wallpaper” to Fleabag. This course is designed to engage and improve students’ critical thinking skills through writing; students will complete a series of writing assignments meant to help them convey ideas with clarity, seriousness, and confidence. [3] (HCA)

 

ENGL 1260W.06 Introduction to Literary and Cultural Analysis: Robotic Resistors or Automated Accomplices

Kya Johnson

MWF 4:40 - 5:30 PM

When Frederick Douglass told the Tribune “we cannot consent to occupy the position of mere automata, to move as we are moved, to act as we are acted upon,” he was taking part in a tradition that continues today: using the figure of the animated being in conversations of social justice. Tracking patterns from the early 19th Century to now, this class will examine artistic media and historical moments where the figure of the inhuman became a battleground in issues of race, class, and gender. We’ll put figures like Douglass in conversation with the black automatons of his day – while also reading feminist theorists like Donna Haraway against films like Ex Machina – to understand what role the animated being plays in justice-oriented discourse. This will be a writing and discussion intensive class, with an aim toward empowering you to think critically and express those thoughts clearly. [3] (HCA)

 

ENGL 1260W.07 Introduction to Literary and Cultural Analysis

Savannah DiGregorio

TR 8:00 - 9:15 AM

ENGL 1260W.08 Introduction to Literary and Cultural Analysis: Radiant Intertextuality

Jeong-Oh Kim

TR 9:30 - 10:45 AM

Based on the premise that in a complex world, this course approaches literary problems from many different angles. The current focus on cross-inter-trans-disciplinarity reflects this premise. Yet all too often, interdisciplinarity is treated more as a rhetorical slogan than as an actual practice. Its transformative challenge is reduced to an additive list without clear motivation: philosophy plus literature, anthropology plus history . . . a principle of X Plus Y. We will take the challenge of interdisciplinarity seriously to ask how it changes the way we do things: the questions we ask, the materials we work with and what we do with those materials, the forms in which we present our findings. My course is open to students interested in scholarly practices that cut across established fields of inquiry. Organized in thematic sections, this course investigates the ways in which disciplines respond to and modify each other—how they become mutually weaving “Radiant Intertextuality.” This course is also addresses cognitive studies, helping students trace the origin of neuroscience ethics to the science culture of British Romanticism. [3] (HCA)

 

ENGL 1260W.09 Introduction to Literary and Cultural Analysis: Radiant Intertextuality

Jeong-Oh Kim

TR 1:15 - 2:20 PM

Based on the premise that in a complex world, this course approaches literary problems from many different angles. The current focus on cross-inter-trans-disciplinarity reflects this premise. Yet all too often, interdisciplinarity is treated more as a rhetorical slogan than as an actual practice. Its transformative challenge is reduced to an additive list without clear motivation: philosophy plus literature, anthropology plus history . . . a principle of X Plus Y. We will take the challenge of interdisciplinarity seriously to ask how it changes the way we do things: the questions we ask, the materials we work with and what we do with those materials, the forms in which we present our findings. My course is open to students interested in scholarly practices that cut across established fields of inquiry. Organized in thematic sections, this course investigates the ways in which disciplines respond to and modify each other—how they become mutually weaving “Radiant Intertextuality.” This course is also addresses cognitive studies, helping students trace the origin of neuroscience ethics to the science culture of British Romanticism. [3] (HCA)

 

ENGL 1260W.10 Introduction to Literary and Cultural Analysis

Rachel Teukolsky

TR 2:45 - 4:00 PM 

What is nature? Is it found in a park, where you wander among trees and cute forest animals? Is it an untouched, pristine wilderness? Are some of us closer to nature than others? This course examines the ways that artists and writers have constructed “nature” as an idealized place or set of qualities, partly imaginary, partly concrete. We will consider a broad range of literature, imagery, philosophy, and film. Subjects may include clips from Disney nature films; Steven Spielberg’s shark-shocker, Jaws; science fiction/eco-fiction by Octavia Butler (Dawn) and Margaret Atwood (Oryx and Crake); Mary Shelley, Frankenstein; romantic nature poetry by Wordsworth and Keats; H. Thoreau, Walden (“Why I Went into the Woods”); Charles Darwin, Origin of Species; H. G. Wells, The Island of Doctor Moreau; and James Cameron’s film Avatar. Assignments will emphasize student writing and analytical skills. [3] (HCA)

 

ENGL 1260W.11 Introduction to Literary and Cultural Analysis

Jennifer Gutman

TR 1:15 - 2:30 PM

Analysts of the climate crisis identify human migration as one of the defining emergencies of our era, with the number of environmental migrants by 2050 estimated to be between 25 million to 1 billion (UN International Organization for Migration, 2019). As the planet warms and climate events become more frequent and extreme, both in terms of sudden disaster and gradual onset conditions, regions across the globe will become increasingly inhospitable. This course explores the effect of climate migration on understandings of home and dwelling. If home is typically understood in terms of permanence, rootedness, and heritage, what new forms of home emerge in an age defined by impermanence, extremity, and mobility? We will look at contemporary literature and media that re-imagines the forms that home and dwelling take in an age of increasing calamity. With these texts, we will develop critical thinking and writing skills that include: close reading, comparative analysis, thesis-driven argumentation, and creative media practice. [3] (HCA)

ENGL 2311 Representative British Writers: 1660-Present

Mark Wollaeger

TR 1:15 - 2:30 PM

What continuities, discontinuities, patterns, and ruptures can be discerned over three hundred years of British literature? This course will provide both a broad survey appropriate for non-majors wanting to read some time-tested literature and a solid foundation for English majors who will also take more specialized courses. We will take a largely historical approach, examining how various genres emerge and evolve in response to the pressures of history and culture, and how literature has contributed to evolving understandings of Britishness and Empire. Some attention will be paid to periodization: Restoration literature, the Age of Satire, Romanticism, Victorian literature, Modernism, and Post-Modernism. Readings in poetry, fiction, and drama, from Aphra Ben, Alexander Pope, and John Dryden through Jane Austen, Virginia Woolf, T. S. Eliot, and various contemporary British writers. [3] (HCA)

 

ENGL 2318W World Literature: Classical

Lynn Enterline 

TR 2:45 - 4:00 PM

Gods, monsters, enchanters, sorceresses, cross-dressers, knights errant, a hippogryph, discontented wives, tricksters, outcasts and the devil: such is the cast of fictional characters we meet in this course, which surveys some of the most influential texts from the Greco-Roman, Italian, and English speaking worlds.  The course will familiarize students with a variety of ancient genres—tragedy, epic, romance, and lyric—that continue to influence literary invention.  And we will inquire into the shifting definitions of heroism, the family, religious belief, taboo, race, gender, love, and identity—all of which vary widely across time and culture—as we analyze ancient, medieval, and renaissance stories that still resonate today. [3] (Pre-1800 requirement, HCA)

 

ENGL 2740 Topics in Literature and Philosophy: On Civil War and Revolution

Alex Dubilet 

MWF 1:25 - 2:15 PM 

This class will examine civil war and revolution as theoretical, philosophical, and political paradigms in modernity. It will do so by reading classic theoretical works by authors such as Hannah Arendt, Frantz Fanon, Michel Foucault, and Thomas Hobbes. Students will also read contemporary scholarship from the domains of critical theory, Marxism, Black studies, and settler colonial critique. In the process, the class will examine the centrality of slavery, coloniality, and state violence to modernity—and how these entail the production of the insurgent, the rebel, and the terrorist as distinct figures. [3] (HCA)

 

ENGL 3312 The Medieval World: Fabulous History and Cultural Fantasy in the Middle Ages: Monsters, Race, and Nationhood

Pavneet Aulakh

TR 11:00 AM - 12:15 PM

We’ve never been more medieval. From politics to pop culture, yearnings for and fears of a return to a Western medieval past saturate the present. To understand our historical moment, this course returns to medieval England and examines what it meant to be English, particularly in light of England’s complex relation to continental Europe and the East. At the forefront of the Brexit debate, these questions go back to the stories medieval English people constructed about their origins. Studying these narratives, we will consider the foreignness at the heart of England’s founding myths and also the role of religious and racial discrimination in the forging of English national identity. To flesh out our understanding of the medieval world, we will enlarge our study of English literature with readings from Continental and Middle Eastern texts, including Jewish accounts of the first crusades and Muslim narratives of their own encounters with Europeans. [3] (Either Diverse Perspectives or Pre-1800 requirement, P)

 

ENGL 3337 Shakespeare: Tragedies and Romances

Kathryn Schwarz

MW 4:00 - 5:15 PM

This course focuses on the second half of Shakespeare’s career, examining clusters of plays that invite us to think across genres. How do questions about social roles and personal bonds link a tragedy such as Othello to a comedy such as Twelfth Night? How might The Winter’s Tale illuminate both the mythic grandeur of Antony and Cleopatra and the political cynicism of King Lear? Given that Measure for Measure and Macbeth were written in close proximity, how can this help us analyze the specificities of form? Throughout the semester, we’ll take various angles on what might broadly be termed politics: the politics of nationalism, gender, history, violence, identity, and community. Discussions will consider both early histories of production and more recent readings, stagings, and adaptations for new media. Course requirements include a group presentation, analytic essays, research assignments, thematic meditations, and regular class participation. [3] (Pre-1800 requirement, HCA)

 

ENGL 3340 Shakespeare: Representative Selections: No Fear Shakesqueer

Joanna Huh

TR 11:00 AM - 12:15 PM

In the legendary words of Lil Nas X, call me by your name. Gender and sexuality are fluid concepts and it is important to examine their constructions. Exploring what is odd, eccentric, and unexpected in Shakespeare, this course will be a study of his plays with a particular emphasis on the representations of the bodies populating the texts. How does Shakespeare’s language accommodate (indeed, build) veracities and differences of race, gender, sexuality, and dis/ability? How does our consideration of these bodies enable discussions of the lived realities of the individuals they stand in for, both in the worlds of the plays and our own world? We will pay articular attention to queer theory as a lens through which to interrogate dominant power structures and we will explore how looking at the past not only opens up new ways of understanding history and literature but also new ways of understanding ourselves. [3] (Pre-1800 requirement, HCA)

 

ENGL 3343 Race and Early Modernity 

Pavneet Aulakh 

TR 9:30 - 10:45 AM

While the conception of a biologically-grounded, “scientific” racism originates in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, early modernity witnessed the emergence of the transatlantic slave trade and the expansion of European colonialism (from Ireland, for example, to the new world). How did the European/Non-European encounters intensified by these institutions foster or reinforce early modern forms of race-making? And how does this history, haunting a surprising range of texts and contexts (from popular drama to amatory poems to polemics about cross-dressing and the appropriate direction for English poetry) continue to inform our present? Reading sixteenth- and seventeenth-century texts that engage with questions of race alongside modern literary and theoretical works, we will examine not only how early moderns imagined race but also how their literary creations have inspired more recent critical re-imaginings, ones that subvert the whiteness of early modern texts and reposition Black and other marginalized characters of color. [3] (Either Diverse Perspectives or Pre-1800 requirment, HCA)

 

ENGL 3360 Restoration and the Eighteenth Century

Roger Moore

TR 9:30 - 10:45 AM

In this course, we will read representative samples of the literature written during one of the most exciting periods of British history, the century between the Glorious Revolution (1688) and the French Revolution (1789).  As Britain developed into a true imperial power, it experienced tension and conflict on every level—religious, sexual, social, and economic.  We will explore these tensions as they manifest in the imaginative writing of the time, and we will consider a variety of questions:  What roles become available to women?  Why do graveyards and ruined buildings play such a major role in the literature of this period?  Was this truly an age of “enlightenment”? Why did the eighteenth century produce some of the world’s most famous satires? Authors will include Swift, Pope, Gray, Johnson, Burke, and Austen, among others. [3] (Pre-1800 requirement, HCA)

 

ENGL 3611 The Romantic Period II

Mark Schoenfield

MWF 11:15 AM - 12:05 PM

While glory seemed betrayed, while patriot zeal

Sank in our hearts, we felt as men should feel

With such vast hordes of hidden carnage near;

And horror breathing from the silent ground.

So wrote William Wordsworth, visiting Waterloo, with its stray bullets, tattered uniforms, and scraps of brittle bones, after Napoleon’s defeat.  Mary Shelley’s alienated creature felt “revenge” was “the devouring and only passion of my soul” and, confronting his maker, confronted romantic-era culture. Romantic literature reflects its revolutionary moment when Britain feared invasion, confronted its own dreadful engagement with slavery, faced famine and disruptions from industrialization.  Its writers sought new genres and theoretical formulations of the mind to understand this turbulence. We explore writers whose experiments transformed aesthetic and social norms. In this discussion-based course, students collaborate on presentations and use papers to think through the issues and texts that interest them most. [3] (HCA)

 

ENGL 3654 African American Literature: The Harlem Renaissance

Gabriel Briggs

MWF 10:10 - 11:00 AM

This course examines the depth and breadth of the cultural phenomenon known as the Harlem Renaissance. However, rather than view this episode as an isolated period of African-American expression, we will see how Renaissance era artistry extended an earlier “New Negro” tradition, and how it encapsulated African-American cultural responses to early twentieth-century social, political, and economic stimuli. As such, students will work toward developing strategies for positioning authors and texts within specific cultural, historical, and theoretical contexts. Within this diverse landscape we will investigate artists, essayists, poets, musicians, and novelists that include: W. E. B. Du Bois, Langston Hughes, Alain Locke, Countee Cullen, Louis Armstrong, Claude McKay, Nella Larsen, Wallace Thurman and George Schuyler. [3] (Diverse Perspectives, US)

 

ENGL 3658W Latino and Latina American Literature

Candice Amich 

MWF 9:05 - 9:55 AM

How does Latinx literature engage political crisis? How do Latinx writers innovate forms to accommodate cultural memory? These are just a couple of the questions this course will take up as we track the development of Latinx literatures from the postwar period into the present. Students will learn about the history of terms such as Latino, Hispanic, and Latinx – pan-ethnic labels that encompass a diverse range of heritages, histories, and peoples. We will cover the civil rights struggles of the 60s and 70s, and feminist and queer interventions of the 80s and 90s, as we move into the 21st century. Course texts will be selected from a wide array of genres including poetry, drama, fiction, memoir, performance art, and manifestos. Authors may include: Alurista, Gloria Anzaldúa, Sandra Cisneros, Junot Díaz, María Irene Fornés, Guillermo Gómez-Peña, Cherríe Moraga, José Rivera, Piri Thomas, Luis Valdez, and the Young Lords Party, among others. [3] (Diverse Perspectives, P)

 

ENGL 3664 Jewish American Literature

Allison Schachter

TR 11:00 AM - 12:15 PM

This course surveys the development of American Jewish writing from the end of the nineteenth century to the beginning of the twenty-first century. The first of part of the class looks at novels and short stories that represent the challenges faced by Jewish immigrants in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. In the second-half of the semester we will read post-World War II writing by diverse Jewish writers, many of whom have been assimilated into the American literary canon, such as Saul Bellow, Philip Roth, and Grace Paley. We will pay close attention to questions of immigration, gender, race, and ethnic identity. To what extent should we read these authors as Jewish writers and to what extent are they American? How do Jewish writers in America straddle the divide between Jewish culture and modern American life? How have they defined experience in modern American life? [3] (Diverse Perspectives, HCA)

 

ENGL 3674 Caribbean Literature: Gothic Theory: The Caribbean and its Discontents

Colin Dayan

MWF 1:25 - 2:15 PM

We will track the traces of political resistance in theoretical and real time through the call of the spirits and in scenes of law with Haiti as our focus. Michel-Rolph Trouillot's writings, especially Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History and "Adieu Culture: A New Duty Arises" are central to our endeavors. Topics include: 1) the politics of the under-read; 2) the uses and misuses of such popular terms as "hybridity," "postcololonial," and "creolity": 3) representations of women and the sacred; 4) questions of language:  "nation language" (Kamau Brathwaite); the "absent master" (Derek Walcott): "riddim ravings" (Jean Binta Breeze); the "mango of poetry" (Lorna Goodison); 5 re-evaluations of that literary genre called "gothic." Later in the semester we will turn to Susan Buck-Morse's Hegel, Haiti, and Universal History, as well as Haiti, History, and the Gods; Angela Naimou's Salvage Work; and Kaiama Glover's A Regarded Self: Caribbean Womanhood and the Ethics of Disorderly Being. [3] (Diverse Perspectives, INT)

 

ENGL 3678W Anglophone African Literature: Writing Africa

Akshya Saxena 

TR 8:00 - 9:15 AM

This course brings together literary and critical works by writers from the African continent to examine literary representations of Africa. While not exhaustive by any means, it offers an entry point. Through a variety of genres, it explores how literature relates to the continent’s history of human displacement, wars, slavery, colonialism, the Cold War, political movements, humanitarian intervention, and developmentalist practices. It asks: what pressures and possibilities accompany the experience of writing Africa in the global literary marketplace? How does English language literature, specifically, inflect our understanding of the vast continent of Africa? Writers include Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Namwali Serpell, Tsitsi Dangarembga, Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o, Shailja Patel, and Nuruddin Farah. [3] (Diverse Perspecitves, INT)

 

ENGL 3692 Desire in America: Literature, Cinema, and History: Past as Prologue: The Literature and Cinema of the 1970s

Scott Juengel

TR 11:00 AM - 12:15 PM

What might the America of the 1970s teach us about contemporary life? Consider the frequent analogies: the recent withdrawal of troops from Kabul is compared to the 1975 fall of Saigon. Trump’s pre-election celebrity resembled Reagan’s; his impeachment is compared with Nixon’s. QAnon’s cultish conspiratorial worldview reminds one of an earlier decade of paranoia and cratered idealism.  Yet despite the profound sense of social fragmentation, the 70s produced a renaissance in American cinema with the ‘New Hollywood’ (e.g. The Godfather, Dog Day Afternoon, Saturday Night Fever, Dawn of the Dead), the birth of the summer blockbuster (Jaws, Star Wars), and transcendent new literary voices like Toni Morrison, Don DeLillo, even Stephen King. This course explores the possibility of making art and entertainment out of cultural malaise, by revisiting the decade that gave us disco, reality tv, video games, Roots, earth art and modern environmentalism, personal computers, gonzo journalism, and more. [3] (US)

 

ENGL 3720W Literature, Science, and Technology: The Curious Art of Science

Pavneet Aulakh 

TR 2:45 - 4:00 PM 

The christening of “Curiosity,” the fourth Mars rover, reveals an essential element of scientific experimentation and discovery. As Einstein put it: “The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.” Curiosity, however, was not always thought a productive habit of thought. Deemed a vice, it had to be legitimized over the course of what has been called the Scientific Revolution. Through a reading of early modern scientific treatises and literary texts, we will historicize the evolution of curiosity and study the responses this transformation occasioned. Our study of seventeenth-century science will equally be animated by a similar curiosity and extend to an examination of the strangeness and heterogeneity of early experimental practice, the variety of literary forms it engaged with, and how experimental practitioners communicated their discoveries and projects to a skeptical audience. [3] (Pre-1800 requirement, P)

 

ENGL 3728 Science Fiction: Magical Realism

Vera Kutzinski

TR 1:15 - 2:30 PM

Magical realism is a type of Speculative Fiction (SF) that has enjoyed remarkable popularity since the mid-20th century. Before taking hold as a global phenomenon, magical realism was associated primarily with Latin America and the Caribbean Rim. This seminar explores how novels and short stories in this category play at and with the limits of reason and rationality, suggesting different ways of understanding and ordering our world. Readings include writings by Erna Brodber, Octavia Butler, Alejo Carpentier, Fred D’Aguiar, Carlos Fuentes, N.K Jemisin, and Gabriel García Márquez. [3] (Diverse Perspectives, P) 

 

ENGL 3730 Literature and the Environment: What is Nature?

Rachel Teukolsky

TR 4:30 - 5:45 PM

What is nature? Is it found in a park, where you wander among trees and cute forest animals? Is it an untouched, pristine wilderness? Are some of us closer to nature than others? This course examines the ways that artists and writers have constructed “nature” as an idealized place or set of qualities, partly imaginary, partly concrete. We will consider a broad range of literature, imagery, philosophy, and film. Subjects may include clips from Disney nature films; Steven Spielberg’s shark-shocker, Jaws; science fiction/eco-fiction by Octavia Butler (Dawn) and Margaret Atwood (Oryx and Crake); Mary Shelley, Frankenstein; romantic nature poetry by Wordsworth and Keats; H. Thoreau, Walden (“Why I Went into the Woods”); Charles Darwin, Origin of Species; H. G. Wells, The Island of Doctor Moreau; and James Cameron’s film Avatar. [3] (HCA)

 

ENGL 3736 African American Music and Literature: Words and Music 

Emily Lordi 

MWF 10:10 - 11:00 AM

African American writers have written essays on the spirituals and the blues, poems for jazz icons like Billie Holiday and John Coltrane, and novels informed by hip hop. In fact, an engagement with Black music is one of the signal features of the African American literary tradition. What drives writers to analyze, elegize, and celebrate Black musicians? How have they sought to capture musical sounds on the page? And what can their works tell us about how to listen? We will address these questions by studying fictional, poetic, and autobiographical works that engage major genres of African American music: the spirituals, the blues, gospel, jazz, soul, funk, and hip hop. We will also listen to a great deal of music. Overall, we will learn about the rich interpretive possibilities and cultural significance of Black popular music, as an art form on par with literature and other forms of “high art.” [3] (Diverse Perspective, HCA)

 

ENGL 3892W.02 Problems in Literature: Poe, Romance, and Race

Colin Dayan

MWF 12:20 - 1:10 PM

In In the American Grain, William Carlos Williams debunks the idea of Poe as a morbid romantic transplanted onto American soil. "Poe was not 'a fault of nature', 'a find for French eyes' but a genius intimately shaped by his locality and time. It is to save our faces that we've given him a crazy reputation, a writer from whose classic accuracies we have not known how else to escape." This seminar considers Poe's poetry, fiction, and criticism, while providing new contexts for the study of his work: Newtonian mechanics, Calvinist predetermination, empirical philosophy, and, most important, natural histories of slavery. Whether he writes from Virginia, New York, Philadelphia, or Baltimore, Poe addresses questions of property, slavery, superstition and status, questions that put him in dialogue with the romance of the South and the realities of race. [3] (Diverse Perspectives, HCA) 

 

ENGL 3892.03 Problems in Literature: Literature and Public Policy

Jay Clayton

TR 9:30 - 10:45 AM

Pick an issue from climate change to AI to data privacy—there are great works of literature and film that speak to it. This course offers a new model for Public Humanities and proposes an innovative career path that will give humanities majors more of a voice in our public life. Through paired novels and films from recent decades and readings in how culture influences society, we will explore the steps it takes to become a policy analyst trained in the humanities. We focus on recent works that bring controversial scientific issues and culture into conversation. Then the students will choose an additional issue to study, drawn from other pressing social concerns like racial injustice, poverty, immigration, food scarcity, or sexual harassment. [3] (HCA)

 

ENGL 3892W.04 Problems in Literature: Reimagining and Reshaping North American Environments

Carlos Alonso Nugent

TR 4:30 - 5:45 PM

Climate scientists have come to a consensus that the planet has passed into the Anthropocene—a geological epoch in which human societies have a dominant and even determining influence on their nonhuman environments. Although these scientists still disagree about the Anthropocene’s starting date, they all see the significance of 1492, when Europeans began both a genocide against Native North and South Americans and a trade in enslaved Africans, which together fueled the rise of carbon-intensive capitalism. As these scientists continue to analyze the Anthropocene’s material traces, environmental humanists are starting to study its cultural causes. To draw on and develop these efforts, our course will explore how all-too-human imaginaries (such as “the frontier,” “the wilderness,” and indeed “the environment”) have contributed to and/or conflicted with more-than-human realities (from air pollution to ocean acidification to global warming) in the territory that has come to be called the United States. [3] (Diverse Perspectives, HCA)

 

ENGL 3894.02 Major Figures in Literature: James Joyce

Mark Wollaeger

TR 4:30 - 5:45 PM

February 2, 2022 will mark the 140th birthday of James Joyce and the centenary of his most famous novel, Ulysses. In 1922 Ulysses hit the international literary scene like a thunderbolt. Boring contemporary novelist Arnold Bennett declared that Ulysses “broke all the codes,” that fiction would never be the same. He was right. Our main task will be making sense of the novel together. Although Ulysses has been described as extraordinarily difficult, approached in the right spirit – jocoseriously – it’s also a lot of fun: Stephen is a sourpuss, but Bloom is hilarious, Joyce more so. We’ll also pay attention to the reception history of Ulysses and to a cluster of concerns understood under the rubric of Empire. [3] (HCA)

 

ENGL 3896W Special Topics in Investigating Writing in America: Environmental Journalism: Investigating Climate Change

Amanda Little 

W 12:20 - 3:20 PM

This environmental journalism course explores the science, the solutions, the players, the politics, the history, and the local impacts of climate change. Students will pursue their own local reporting, investigating the effects of climate change and the emerging green economy in Nashville. You'll learn the rudiments of good environmental journalism and are welcome to join with or without previous journalism experience. This course aims to change the way you think about the importance and impact of storytelling, the way you write about complex topics with accessible and engaging prose, and the way you participate in the time of crisis and progress we live in. [1-3; maximum of 6 credits total] (No AXLE credit)

ENGL 1102.01 Creative Writing Tutorial: Poetry

Kiyoko Reidy 

Individual instruction in writing poetry. Offered on a pass/fail basis only. Not open to students who have completed 3851 section 07. [1] (No AXLE credit)

 

ENGL 1240.01 Beginning Nonfiction Workshop

Justin Quarry

R 3:35 - 6:35 PM

What is creative nonfiction?  If you're asking yourself that question--well, you're certainly not the only one.  In this workshop, beginning writers will explore this exciting and ever-evolving genre, which includes, among others, personal essay, memoir, and literary journalism--and they'll try their hands at storytelling in two of these categories, producing one personal essay and one profile to be read and critiqued by the class in a workshop setting. To help writers draft and revise their work, they'll simultaneously examine the ways in which authors and critics have defined and redefined the genre, and study factual accuracy, point of view, tone, and the incorporation of literary techniques more often seen in fiction. No previous creative writing experience is necessary for this class. [3] (HCA)

 

ENGL 1280.01 Beginning Fiction Workshop

Jess Silfa 

MWF 10:10 - 11:00 AM

“One glance at [a book] and you hear the voice of another person - perhaps someone dead for thousands of years. Across the millennia, the author is speaking, clearly and silently, inside your head, directly to you. Writing is perhaps the greatest of human inventions.” — Carl Sagan.

In this workshop, students will write and tinker with stories, and in doing so, learn to recognize what makes a story work. You will begin the semester by reading a variety of published narratives in order to identify and familiarize yourselves with the craft elements that make them tick. Then you will turn your eyes to student stories and apply the same craft elements in workshopping student writing. Each student will submit two stories to the workshop, take part in ten minute in-class writing exercises, and submit a final portfolio of revised writing. [3] (HCA)

 

ENGL 1280.02 Beginning Fiction Workshop

Pallavi Wakharkar

MWF 2:30 - 3:20 PM

How do stories work? How can we use our unique voices and obsessions to tell compelling stories? If you are a beginner writer interested in the art of fiction, this course is designed with you in mind. No prior experience is necessary. By taking a closer look at published works of fiction, we will learn to read like writers. Together, we will explore elements of craft such as point of view, characterization, plot, tone, setting, and more. We’ll also discuss the more unnamable, less mechanical elements that make stories emotionally complex. Over the course of the semester, you will write two original short stories, which we will discuss and critique as a group in workshop. Your participation is vital; please be prepared to be part of a constructive literary community. [3] (HCA)

 

ENGL 1280.03 Beginning Fiction Workshop

Lara Casey 

TR 2:45 - 4:00 PM

Humans are intuitive storytellers. How do we take our instincts and make meaning for readers, art from words? In this introduction to the craft and practice of fiction writing, we’ll explore different elements of the short story and how they work together to make meaning. As we take an up-close look at tools such as characterization, structure, point of view, and imagery, you’ll experiment with and apply them in your own writing. Because good writers are good readers, we will delve into a variety of short fiction and uncover what makes a piece of writing compelling and why. In addition to writing exercises and readings, you will develop two original stories. In a workshop format, you’ll respond to work by fellow students and in doing so, strengthen your own fiction writing skills. By the end of the course, you’ll better understand how to share your unique voice as a storyteller. [3] (HCA)

 

ENGL 1290.01 Beginning Poetry Workshop

John Mulcare

MWF 9:05 - 9:55 AM

In this workshop, we will discover why we are drawn to specific poems, and conversely, why we are propelled away from others; why some poems prove more intellectually and personally engaging than others. By closely reading a diverse range of contemporary and canonical poems, we will learn to understand and identify certain craft elements that make poems tick beside their content matter. Class discussion will be guided by textbook reading, additional author interviews, and craft essays. Students will generate original poems through various writing exercises and assignments, which will be the primary texts of the class’s workshop. Students will be expected to share their work with the class for a constructive, peer-led, and discussion-based workshop. As much as we will be reading and writing poems in the course, we will also be cultivating a rich and supportive literary community in a safe and accommodating space. [3] (HCA)

 

ENGL 1290.02 Beginning Poetry Workshop

Didi Jackson

MWF 11:15 AM - 12:05 PM 

In this beginning poetry workshop, we will come to understand what Louise Glück means by “Of two sisters / one is always the watcher, / one the dancer.” My hope is that we will discover how to become both. Throughout the semester we will focus on the introductory skills of reading, discussing, and writing poetry. Students will practice crafting their own poems as well as revising what they write. Finally, we will learn how to critique one another’s work effectively and offer revision suggestions. These objectives are successful only when we can commit to being both observers and participants in the world, in other words, both the watchers and the dancers. [3] (HCA)

 

ENGL 1290.03 Beginning Poetry Workshop

Jessica Lee

TR 11:00 AM - 12:15 PM

Why does one poem move us more than others? What is the poet doing on the page and how does it affect us as readers? These are some of the many questions we will explore in this beginning poetry workshop that will help you learn to write poems with attention to craft. Throughout the semester, we will read published poems and craft essays for instruction and inspiration. You will keep a writer’s notebook, complete generative exercises, write and revise your own poems, reflect on your work and process, and participate actively in our writing community by giving and receiving workshop feedback. Critiquing poems is another opportunity to practice thinking and reading like a poet, which is to say, giving your peers feedback will improve your own writing. Curiosity and a love of language are the only prerequisites for this introductory course; no prior poetry experience is required. [3] (HCA)

 

ENGL 1290.04 Beginning Poetry Workshop

Hayes Cooper

TR 4:30 - 5:45

What is a poem? What makes a poem beautiful and resonate? How does language leap from prose to verse? As readers, writers, students, and contributors to workshop, we will pursue these questions by joining the worldwide community of contemporary poets. By the end of the class, you will have written seven poems to be proud of, but you will also have begun a life-long engagement with close reading, paying close attention to the world, and using these habits to write poetry. We will become acquainted with various traditions in poetry, and there will be opportunities for students to seek out and read the poetry that speaks the most for them. The development of productive and consistent writing habits, through in-class free writing exercises and weekly sketches, will be a priority. [3] (HCA)

 

ENGL 3210.01 Intermediate Nonfiction Workshop

Justin Quarry

T 3:35 - 6:35 PM

In this workshop, students identify the parts of their lives rich with resonance and discovery—from day-to-day happenings to landmark moments—and craft them for the page with the goal of compelling readers. They will read two texts on the art of the personal essay as well as a diverse selection of essays by contemporary writers. And they will write four essays of varying lengths (two of 100 words, two of 1500-1750 words), all of which are then workshopped by their professor and peers. The final project consists of revisions of all essays.  Of particular emphasis in students’ reading and writing is the broad topic of relationships—familial, platonic, romantic, etc.—to produce potential (but not required) submissions for, among others, the college contest editions of the “Tiny Love Stories” and “Modern Love” columns in The New York Times. [3] (HCA)

 

ENGL 3220 Advanced Nonfiction Writing

Amanda Little

W 3:35 - 6:35 PM

This advanced creative writing workshop explores the landscape of contemporary opinion and op-ed writing. We'll read and critique newspaper op-ed pages, contemporary manifestoes, blogs and social media. Students will craft opinion pieces on topics ranging from celebrity culture to social justice and climate change. Taught by an investigative writer and a columnist for Bloomberg covering the environment and politics, students will explore the lines that divide "objective" reporting and subjective opining, and examine the tactics and techniques at the core of persuasive writing. Students will be encouraged to comment on current events, publish their own blogs throughout the semester, and submit their best work for publication in print and on online platforms. [3; maximum of 6 credits total for all semesters of ENGL 3220] (HCA)

 

ENGL 3230.01 Intermediate Fiction Workshop 

Tony Earley

M 3:35 - 6:35 PM 

Start with this supposition: the answer to every question in fiction is a craft answer. How do we assemble worlds out of component parts? How do stories function on a cellular level? How do we make people out of atoms? We’ll take stories apart and put them back together. We’ll see if our work answers the questions it asks. We’ll read and write. Workshop format. Everybody talks. [3; maximum of 6 credits total for all semesters of ENGL 3230] (HCA)

 

ENGL 3230.02 Intermediate Fiction Workshop

Tony Earley 

T 3:35 - 6:35 PM

Start with this supposition: the answer to every question in fiction is a craft answer. How do we assemble worlds out of component parts? How do stories function on a cellular level? How do we make people out of atoms? We’ll take stories apart and put them back together. We’ll see if our work answers the questions it asks. We’ll read and write. Workshop format. Everybody talks. [3; maximum of 6 credits total for all semesters of ENGL 3230] (HCA)

 

ENGL 3240.01 Advanced Fiction Workshop

Nancy Reisman 

T 3:35 - 6:35 PM

The Advanced Fiction Workshop is a forum for experienced fiction writers to experiment with new directions, delve more deeply into ongoing aesthetic directions, and consider questions about form. What questions and material are most vital to you? What formal possibilities might open up as you shape that material? We’ll consider questions about story architecture, time, perception, spatial relationships and scale, and revisit other areas of craft as we discuss how best to draw forth the nuances in your work. The reading and writing for the course will be literary fiction mainly based in realism and extending to work with speculative elements (surrealism, fabulism, magical realism, etc.). We’ll read and discuss several published stories and essays on craft. Please note: this is not a course for invented realms or worldbuilding. The heart of this course is the development and discussion of your work-in-progress. Immersion-adaptable workshop. Prior Intermediate fiction workshop strongly recommended. [3; maximum of 6 credits total for all semesters of ENGL 3240] (HCA)

 

ENGL 3250.01 Intermediate Poetry Workshop

Rick Hilles

TR 4:30 - 5:45 PM

In this workshop, we’ll explore the craft of poetry writing, concentrating on traditional elements of poetry—meter, rhyme, and form. Each week will include a discussion of your poems in progress as well as of an aspect of prosody: i.e. metrical feet, rhyme schemes, stanzas, and forms like the sonnet, the villanelle, and the sestina. You will discover that there is much latitude within the boundaries of form, since most poetry in English is written in a form rather than in free verse, the latter being a relatively young and largely American innovation. But we’ll explore free verse, too, and you will also have the chance to discover its freedoms and invigorations. Additional texts include recent poetry collections by Shane McCrae, Kate Daniels, Liaa Russ Spaar, Cara Dees, and Vievee Francis who will read their work to us as part of VU’s Visiting Writers Series. Subject to change. [3; maximum of 6 credits total for all semesters of ENGL 3250] (HCA)

 

ENGL 3260.01 Advanced Poetry Workshop

Major Jackson

M 3:35 - 6:35 PM 

We do language, Toni Morrison famously asserts in her Nobel lecture, which precisely summarizes this course whose aim is to heighten student’s awareness of the lyric possibilities of language to give shape to human thought, inquiry, and imagination. Offered as a series of weekly workshops that build on students’ previous coursework in poetic craft, admitted students will grow by writing poems in a range of styles and modes on a variety of themes but also through acts of experimentation that highlight poetry’s capacity for critical intervention and linguistic performance that goes beyond mere individual expression. We will bring our creative faculties to bear on a myriad of questions relating to selfhood, nature and the environment, visual and performance art, applied science, current affairs, among a host of possible topics. We will attempt inherited poetic forms such as a sonnet sequence, but we are more likely to write towards innovative models that enact our distinct visions and unique experiences. To aid us in our search, we will read work by a range of poets, among them, visitors of the Gertrude and Harold S. Vanderbilt Visiting Writers series. Enrollment is limited to twelve (12) students. Please submit a portfolio of five (5) poems, a letter that explains your interest in writing poetry, and that concludes with a list of courses that have prepared you as a writer. [3; maximum of 6 credits total for all semesters of ENGL 3260] (HCA)

 

ENGL 3891.01/5290 Special Topics in Creative Writing 

Major Jackson

R 12:20 - 3:20 PM

In this course, we will survey the rich and varied poetic movements and schools of the 20th century as an inheritance of Modernism, whose emergence led to the diversity of styles currently practiced today. We will examine the manifestoes, personages, and pioneering poems with the intent of contextualizing the sociopolitical and aesthetic ferment that gave rise to such rich flourishing. From Black Mountain School to Undocupoets, from New York School to Dark Noise Collective, we will situate American poetics within a history of experimentation by assessing the innovations and debates that surround its growth as a vibrant artistic practice and instigative cultural phenomenon. Our primary texts will include correspondences, documentaries, podcasts, and live readings. The course is reading intensive and will require students to exercise critical and close-reading skills as a means of mapping the nation’s literary inheritances. Our journey will inevitably teach us something about creative expression and the role of the imagination in the development of a national identity and individual consciousness. [3] (HCA)

ENGL 3892W.01 Problems in Literature: Mysticism and Modernity (Honors Seminar)

Alex Dubilet

MWF 2:30 - 3:20 PM

What is mysticism? What are its mode of speech, its conceptual operations, and its forms of experience? What texts have been written and categorized under the rubric of mysticism? What relevance have mystical figures, operations, and forms had for modernity? This course will answer these and related questions through an exploration of mysticism from a variety of methodological perspectives. In the process, we will explore questions of subjectivity, gender, pleasure, negation, and freedom. The course will introduce students to texts from a variety of historical periods (medieval, early modern, modern), as well as help them think about the afterlives of those texts in the contemporary world. [3] (Pre-1800 requirement, HCA) 

 

ENGL 3894.01 Major Figures: The Godwin-Wollstonecraft-Shelley Family (Honors Seminar)

Scott Juengel

TR 2:45 - 4:00 PM

 It is hard to imagine a more radical, brilliant and tragic literary family than the Godwin’s and the Shelley’s. William Godwin, the philosophical anarchist. Mary Wollstonecraft, the ardent campaigner for the rights of woman. Their daughter, Mary Shelley, whose Frankenstein, The Last Man, and other fictions would work through the family’s traumatic past, including the death of her mother in childbirth. Percy Bysshe Shelley, her husband and visionary romantic poet, who drowned at age 29.  While at its core this is an honors seminar about family and fate, it is also designed to be a meditation on ways to think about biography and criticism, revolution and reparative love, emergent feminism and the aesthetics of loss. Rarely are we given an opportunity to examine “family” as an intellectual proposition, and to think about the genealogy of ideas in the strict sense [3] (Pre-1800 requirement, HCA)

 

ENGL 4999.01 Honors Thesis

Jessie Hock 

MW 2:30 - 3:45 PM

For students who have successfully been admitted to the honors program and completed the Honors Colloquium course. In this course, students develop their individual honors thesis, working with advisors, the Writing Studio, and their cohort. The thesis experience concludes with an oral examination on the thesis topic. [3] (No AXLE credit)

American Studies

AMER 3200 Global Perspectives on the U.S.

Candice Amich

MWF 11:15 AM - 12:05 PM

In this course we will examine a variety of literary, multi-media, and historical texts that examine U.S. political and cultural presence in the world. We will explore questions of citizenship and migration, as well as terror and freedom, from the perspectives of populations desiring entry into and/or targeted by the United States. Students will engage the course’s key concepts in research projects focused on Nashville’s diverse immigrant communities. [3] (Diverse Perspective, US)

 

Gender and Sexuality Studies

GSS 3891.01 Special Topics: Gender, Murder, War: Detective Fiction 1920-1960

Kathryn Schwarz

MW 2:30 - 3:45 PM

Written across the decades that span World War I and World War II, detective fiction offers particular angles on a destabilized social world. Women take on roles that challenge orthodox femininity; men inhabit more variable, volatile conditions of masculinity. And murder, as an individuated act, stands in an odd relation to the wholesale slaughter of military combat. War raises questions that range from the fragility of social status to the precarity of embodied personhood, from the viability of gendered norms to the value of any single life.This course focuses on a subset of mysteries from the period, in which awareness of war shapes the connections between gender and violence. We’ll look at this complicated nexus of gender, murder, and war through the lens of what might broadly be termed politics: the politics of agency, history, identity, and community. Course requirements include a group presentation, independent research projects, and regular class participation. [3] (No AXLE credit)

 

Latino and Latina Studies

LATS 2201.01 Introduction to Latino and Latina Studies

Carlos Alonso Nugent

TR 2:45 - 4:00 PM

In the U.S., Latinxs are often reduced to checkmarks on census forms and statistics about economic sectors, but in this course, we will discover that Latinxs have always been more than mere numbers. Through readings in the humanities and social sciences, we will learn how Latinxs have survived amidst and against settler colonialism and racial capitalism. Meanwhile, through the study of literature and art, we will see how Latinxs have reimagined and reshaped these social systems. With our interdisciplinary and intersectional approach, we will determine why Latinxs have developed differently in colonial territories (especially Puerto Rico), regional communities (especially the U.S.–Mexico borderlands), and transnational diasporas (of Cubans, of Dominicans, and of a variety of Central Americans). At the same time, we will understand how Latinxs have struggled with shared issues, such as (anti-)Blackness and (anti-)Indigeneity, gender and sexuality, citizenship and (il)legality, and economic and environmental (in)justice. [3] (Diverse Perspectives, P)

 

Fall 2021 Courses

ENGL 1100.01: Composition

Lisa Dordal 

MWF 11:30 AM - 12:20 PM

The main objectives of this course are to help students develop their critical writing skills and become close readers of literature (poetry, in particular). Students will learn how to gather evidence from primary and secondary sources, how to craft a thesis statement, and how to develop an argument. [3] (No AXLE credit)

 

ENGL 1100.02: Composition

Joanna Huh

MWF 12:40 - 1:30 PM

[3] (No AXLE credit)

 

ENGL 1100.03: Composition

Joanna Huh

MWF 1:50 - 2:40 PM

[3] (No AXLE credit)

 

ENGL 1100.04: Composition

TBA

MWF  10:20 - 11:10 AM

[3] (No AXLE credit)

 

ENGL 1100.05:  Composition

TBA

MWF  3:00 - 3:50 PM

[3] (No AXLE credit)

 

ENGL 1100.06:  Composition

Joanna Huh

MWF  11:30 AM - 12:20 PM

[3] (No AXLE credit)

ENGL 1111.04 FYWS: Women and Power in Shakespearean Drama

Pavneet Aulakh

MWF 9:10 - 10:00 AM

This course will examine how Shakespeare and his contemporaries relate gender to power. In Shakespearean drama, women appear as warriors and wives, lovers and killers, servants and queens. These contradictory roles raise a number of questions: How do events such as marriage, murder, inheritance, adultery, and war define women as objects or agents? How do female characters participate in physical violence and social or political disruption? Does feminine power appear as a paradox or a fact of everyday life? How much authority does the language associated with women—cursing, courtship, prophecy, shrewishness—have in these plays? Readings will include The Taming of the Shrew, As You Like It, Macbeth, Antony and Cleopatra, and The Winter’s Tale. [3; maximum of 6 credits total for all semesters of 1111] (HCA)

 

ENGL 1111.07 FYWS Women Poets in America

Didi Jackson

TR 9:35 - 10:50 AM

In this course we will pay exclusive attention to the poetry of women in America. Our focus will begin with the work of the earliest American poets such as Phillis Wheatley and Anne Bradstreet then swiftly move through the decades culminating in works by contemporary poets. Among other issues, our discussion will center around critical ideas of gender, the construction of female identity, sexism, and gender discrepancies. What do we mean by “woman?” How does the medium of poetry establish a voice for those historically silenced and marginalized? How are contemporary American women poets in conversation with those who wrote before them? How have women shaped American poetry? This course will combine both literary and creative approaches in an attempt to answer these questions. [3; maximum of 6 credits total for all semesters of 1111] (HCA)

 

ENGL 1111.22 FYWS: The Life and Works of Jane Austen

Scott Juengel

MWF 1:50 - 2:40 PM

[3; maximum of 6 credits total for all semesters of 1111] (HCA)

 

ENGL 1111.31 FYWS: Existential Fictions

Mark Schoenfield

TR 8:00 - 9:15 AM

D. H. Lawrence suggests that fiction is a laboratory for philosophical problems. This course uses fiction to explore existentialism. Sometimes called a "psychology," existentialism became a dominant post-World War II philosophy, because it directed its concerns to the world of human behavior, rather than a transcendental realm. We will consider the fictions of existentialists, such as Sartre, Beauvoir, and Camus, and the existential ideas of other contemporary authors, such as Murdoch, Atwood, Madonna, and Oe. [3; maximum of 6 credits total for all semesters of 1111] (HCA)

 

ENGL 1111.53 FYWS American Teenager: Multicultural Young Adult Literature 

Sheba Karim

MWF 1:50 - 2:40 PM

In this course we will read young adult novels featuring voices typically underrepresented in American literature and explore how these coming of age narratives engage with race, culture, religion, and sexuality.  Texts include The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas and The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo.  We will also pay close attention to aspects of craft, such as characterization, structure and dialogue, as well as discuss current debates regarding diversity and cultural appropriation in publishing and literature.  Through informal reading responses, writing assignments and in class discussions, students will hone their close reading and critical writing skills. [3; maximum of 6 credits total for all semesters of 1111] (US)

 

ENGL 1210W.02 Prose Fiction: Forms and Techniques: The Southern Gothic

Huntley Hughes

MWF 4:10 - 5:00 PM 

In this course, students will analyze and compare a variety of short stories and novels, particularly those associated with the Southern Gothic literary tradition. Students will develop a variety of interdisciplinary intellectual tools to help them consider literature in historical context and to think through the relationships between social and material conditions and cultural production in the American South and beyond. Writing will be central to this course as an effective means to develop and organize thought, and students will have an opportunity to mobilize the critical thinking skills honed over the course of the semester to complete a research project as well as practice writing in a variety of other academic genres. Students will walk away from the course better able to approach others’ arguments critically and open-mindedly, to support their own positions, and to communicate them effectively inside the classroom and in their personal and professional lives. [3] (HCA)

 

ENGL 1210W.03 & 04 Prose Fiction: Forms and Techniques: Monsters in Fiction

Justin Quarry

Section 03: TR 11:10 AM - 12:25 PM

Section 04: TR 2:20 - 3:35 PM

This course explores portrayals of so-called monsters in narratives ranging from the late nineteenth to the twenty-first centuries. It analyzes the elements of fiction used to illuminate these beings as well as the societal anxieties and desires among which they appear.  Students will attempt to define, and redefine, what exactly a “monster” is and what makes such a creature simultaneously horrifying and fascinating.   In this process, they will examine novels, graphic novels, and short stories in order to determine the terms by which "monsters" are understood and described, and what beyond the norm these creatures represent, both literally and metaphorically. 

More broadly, the aim of this course is to teach you to think critically about literature.  Therefore, through three informal reading responses, three formal essays, in-class writing, and class discussions, students will hone close-reading skills as well as develop their analytic writing skills. [3] (HCA)

 

ENGL 1220W.01 Drama: Forms and Techniques: Translating Tragedy

Pavneet Aulakh

MWF 10:20 - 11:10 AM

Moved to an awareness of his own inaction by an actor’s performance of Hecuba, Hamlet is flummoxed by the actor’s ability to generate emotion for a character far removed from his life. He ponders: “What’s Hecuba to him, or he to Hecuba?” In this course, we will appropriate Hamlet’s question in our study of plays from ancient Greece to the contemporary United States to ask: what are Antigone, Medea, and Othello to us? We will pursue this question not only by reading the works by Sophocles, Euripides, and Shakespeare in which these characters appear, but also by studying more recent plays that have reimagined these characters and staged their continuing relevance to the world we inhabit. [3] (HCA)

 

ENGL 1220W.02 Drama: Forms and Techniques: “This is the Excellent Foppery of the World”: A Brief Survey of Tragedy

Wesley Boyko

MWF 12:40 - 1:30 PM

What is tragedy? It’s one of the oldest and most well-known literary genres, but it has come a long way from its origins as a ‘goat-song’ (Greek tragos = ‘goat’ plus oide = ‘song’). How do we identify the essential characteristics of a form that has shifted so much over time? And how do we trace its development? These questions will serve as the starting point for our broader investigation, which is to discover what makes tragedy so…tragic. The course is broken up into three major periods—ancient, early modern, and contemporary—through which students will learn how to critically engage with tragic texts and write persuasive arguments about the genetic patterns of this literary history. [3] (HCA) 

 

ENGL 1230W.01&02 Literature and Analytical Thinking: Ocean and Literature

Jeong-Oh Kim

Section 01: MWF 10:20 - 11:10 AM

Section 02: MWF 12:40 - 1:30 PM

“Ocean and Literature” examines the cultural meaning of the sea in British literature and history, from early modern times to the present. Interdisciplinary in conception, it charts metaphorical and material links between the idea of the sea in the cultural imagination and its significance for the social and political history of Britain, offering a fresh analysis of the impact of the ocean on the formation of British cultural identities. Writers to be discussed include William Shakespeare, John Milton, Samuel Coleridge, Walter Scott, Robert Stevenson, Mark Twain, and Rachel Carson, among others. By combining the interests of three related but distinct areas of study—the analysis of sea fiction, critical maritime history, and cultural studies—to highlight the historical meaning of the sea in relation to its textual and cultural representation, my course will offer a new perspective on the nexus between the ocean and literature. [3] (HCA)

 

ENGL 1230W.03 Literature and Analytical Thinking: Black Ecologies

Cameron Clark

MWF 3:00 - 3:50 PM

Designed as an introduction to the critical intersections of Black Studies and the Environmental Humanities, this course will examine the analytic practices, aesthetic hallmarks, and political impulses that shape African American and Afro-diasporic approaches to environmental justice. Through analyzing fiction, poetry, prose, and film, we will examine how Black ecological and environmental thought challenges the logics of property and sovereignty, cultivates interdependence among various life forms, rethinks what it means to be human, and imagines different worlds or futures in the face of climate change.

This course is foremost designed to help you become a thoughtful, persuasive writer by further developing your critical reading and analytical writing skills. We will spend some time in class discussing the writing process, research practices, peer review, and revision. You should expect to receive detailed feedback and encouragement from the instructor on each assignment. [3] (HCA)

 

ENGL 1230W.04 Literature and Analytical Thinking

Gabriel Briggs

TR 9:35 - 10:50 AM

This course will cover 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.  In our reading, we will focus on two related questions: how does the novel capture the social and political pressures of a particular historical moment? Where is the line between fiction and history, dreams and reality? 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. [3] (HCA)

 

ENGL 1250W.02 Introduction to Poetry

Judy Klass

TR 3:55 - 5:10 PM

In this course students will develop their skills at writing persuasive essays of literary analysis while gaining more understanding of subtext and more appreciation for the techniques that poets use.  We will read the work of great poets: some ancient, some from several centuries ago, some modern; and we will discuss eras, movements and evolving traditions in this long, ongoing conversation. We will look at poetry that is rhymed, at blank verse, and at free verse. We will  consider how different poets approach certain topics and themes, read some writers in depth, discuss genres and modes, and consider sound, alliteration, symbolism, metaphor.  The main focus of this course will be engaging with the works we read, with the essays you write and with class discussion while at the same time  discovering some wonderful writers. [3] (HCA)

 

ENGL 1250W.03 Introduction to Poetry

Lisa Dordal

MWF 10:20 - 11:10 AM

[3] (HCA)

 

ENGL 1260W.01 Introduction to Literary and Cultural Analysis: Literature and the Environment

Carlos Nugent

MWF 12:40 - 1:30 PM

In the last two hundred years, our planet has changed at an unprecedented rate: humans have extinguished other species, toxic chemicals have poisoned ecosystems, and greenhouse gases have altered our very atmosphere. In this seminar, we will study Anglo American, African American, Native American, and Latinx authors who have engaged with these transformations. We will orient ourselves around literary questions: how, we will ask, have novels, poems, essays, and other forms depicted more-than-human worlds? At the same time, we will pursue historical inquiries: how, we will ask, have literary texts made it easier for us to (ab)use our environments, and how, conversely, have they inspired us to pursue environmental justice? Throughout, we will pay close attention to the relationships between social conflict and ecological change, and indeed, the indivisibility of these processes: how, we will ask, have gender, race, and class shaped the ways we write and think about environments? [3] (HCA)

 

ENGL 1260W.02 Introduction to Literary and Cultural Analysis: Literary Non-Fiction & the American Mythos

Tori Hoover

MWF 3:00 - 3:50 PM

How do personal writers navigate the intersections of the person and political? Is truth necessary for autobiographical writing? How is non-fiction a literary craft? This course explores American literary non-fiction from the seventeenth to the twenty-first century. Students will interrogate the relationship between autobiography and myth-making by completing reflective and academic writing exercises, and will hone critical thinking skills through an engagement with various forms of media — podcasts, films, and books. Readings will include texts by Frederick Douglass, Truman Capote, and Alison Bechdel. [3] (HCA)

 

ENGL 1260W.03 Introduction to Literary and Cultural Analysis: Insidious Incarcerations:  Everyday Prisons

Kya Johnson

MWF 4:10 - 5:00 PM

John Haviland, who built America’s first penitentiary in 1829, said the building should "strike fear into the hearts of those who even thought of committing a crime." Thus our central premise: prison was never just for prisoners. We will study the history of the penitentiary, using its concrete structure to examine how similar controls manifest in our everyday lives. Reading novels, theory, television, movies, and poetry, we will wrestle with questions about the reach of incarceration and the limitations of freedom. The subject of the class is prisons; the aim of this class is to empower you, in no small part by incorporating writing as a key feature in your critical thinking process. Writing will be used as a means of generating ideas and expressing them. You will leave this class able to convey your ideas seriously and clearly, and feeling confident in engaging in conversations about media that go beyond the surface. [3] (HCA)

 

ENGL 1260W.04 Introduction to Literary and Cultural Analysis: The High Low

Julianne Adams

TR 8:00 - 9:15 AM

What comes to mind when you hear “women’s culture?” What about “basic bitch?” This course traces the relationship between popular culture and white femininity through materials from the eighteenth and twenty-first centuries. We’ll untangle how explorations of gender and sexuality become absorbed in discourses that reproduce the logic they seek to disrupt. Course materials will interrogate colonial hierarchies of “highbrow” and “lowbrow” across media, from satirical poems to memes and academic theory to celebrity memoir. Students will be encouraged to bring in media that currently has their attention as we discuss the limitations and possibilities of popular culture with works like Eliza Haywood’s Fantomina and Zola’s viral Twitter story. In-class workshops and incremental writing assignments will assist students in constructing a research paper or creative project (with a critical analysis component). [3] (HCA)

 

ENGL 1260W.05 Introduction to Literary and Cultural Analysis

Jennifer Gutman

TR 11:10-12:25 AM

[3] (HCA)

 

ENGL 1270W.02 Introduction to Literary Criticism: Mapping Literary Criticism

Jeong-Oh Kim

MWF 11:30 AM - 12:20 PM

My course entitled “Mapping Literary Criticism” is designed to help students develop their analytical skills while exploring and examining relations between literary criticism/ theory and literature. The objective in this course is to articulate what is meant by literary theory and criticism, to read a wide range of contemporary theorists and critics who have addressed this issue directly or indirectly, and to explore how theoretical concepts are appropriate for the reading of literary texts. By developing a critical framework, a theoretical optics, a new perspective for the reading of literature, we will examine the ways in which major strands of literary criticism—deconstruction, psychoanalysis, postmodernism, feminism, and cognitive studies—draw upon literature. When we map the geographies of literary criticism, I aim to help students grasp those problems that literary criticism has set in motion by its response to the world: social justice, peace, the human dignity, and the ethics of theory, to name just a few. We will approach literary criticism as an inquiry and as a practice. What can we do and what shall we do with literary criticism? [3] (HCA)

 

 

ENGL 2311 Representative British Writers: 1660 - Present

Elizabeth Covington 

MWF 8:00 - 8:50 AM

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. [3] (HCA)

 

ENGL 2316 Representative American Writers

Gabriel Briggs

TR 12:45 - 2:00 PM

This course will cover 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.  In our reading, we will focus on two related questions: how does the novel capture the social and political pressures of a particular historical moment? Where is the line between fiction and history, dreams and reality? 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. [3] (HCA)

 

ENGL 3215W The Art of Blogging: Learning How to Think and Write in the Age of Online Journalism

Amanda Little

W 3:10 - 6:00 PM

Are blogs dead? On the rise? Have they supplanted journalism? Transformed it? Students will explore how blogging began, what it is today, and why it still matters. They'll track and analyze influential blogs and online journalism and examine the roots of self-published manifestoes that date back to 17th-century pamphleteers. They'll look to the future, exploring podcasting and micro-blogging platforms including Twitter and Instagram. Students will create and regularly update their own blogs for this course. A 500-1000 word writing sample on a topic of the student's choosing is required for enrollment into this course. Please submit by May 10 to amanda.g.little@vanderbilt.edu . [3] (HCA)

 

ENGL 3336: Shakespeare (Part I)

Kathryn Schwarz 

TR 3:55 - 5:10 PM

This course focuses on the first half of Shakespeare’s career, examining clusters of plays that invite us to think across genres. How do concerns about political instability link a tragedy such as Titus Andronicus to a history such as Richard III? How might All’s Well That Ends Well illuminate both the cultural idealism of Henry V and the cultural cynicism of Hamlet? If Romeo and Juliet and A Midsummer Night’s Dream were written in the same year, how can this help us analyze the specificities of form? Throughout the semester, we’ll take various angles on what might broadly be termed politics: the politics of nationalism, gender, history, violence, identity, and community.

Discussions will consider both early histories of production and more recent readings, stagings, and adaptations for new media. Course requirements include a group presentation, analytic essays, research assignments, thematic meditations, and regular class participation. [3] (Pre-1800 requirement, HCA)

 

ENGL 3364 Eighteenth Century English Novel: Before Austen

Scott Juengel

MWF 10:20 - 11:10 AM

There is a case to be made that Jane Austen represents a leap forward in the developmental history of the English novel.  However, the constituent parts of Austen’s fame—e.g. free indirect discourse, the ‘marriage plot,’ feminist wit, social realism, the novel of manners—had a significant, if sometimes uncoordinated, history before Austen.  This course will examine that history in the work of figures like Aphra Behn, Eliza Haywood, Daniel Defoe, Samuel Richardson, Choderlos de Laclos, Ann Radcliffe and Frances Burney.  We will conclude the semester by examining two of Austen’s earliest fictions indebted to the eighteenth century—Lady Susan and Northanger Abbey—and arguably her greatest late work, Emma. [3] (Pre-1800 requirement, HCA)

 

ENGL 3370 The Bible in Literature

Roger Moore

TR 11:10 AM - 12:25 PM

Knowledge of the Bible is indispensable for understanding English and American literature.  This course examines the ways that writers from the medieval period to the present engage Biblical stories, images, and characters.  How does Chaucer retell the story of Noah and the Flood?  How do the Beatitudes help Margaret Atwood critique fanatical religion in The Handmaid’s Tale?   How does the conversion of the Apostle Paul inform Flannery O’Connor’s “Parker’s Back”?  Why is the Whore of Babylon relevant for understanding Edmund Spenser’s Faerie Queene?  We will examine these questions and many others during the term. We will also pay close attention to the historical, political, and religious circumstances of the authors and their works.  This course is valuable for English majors seeking a better understanding of the sources and backgrounds of English and American literature, as well as the general student who wishes to learn about the role of Christian themes in shaping canonical works of the English tradition.  Students will take two in-class essay exams and complete a presentation and final paper.  No prior knowledge of or expertise in the Bible is required. [3] (Pre-1800 requirement, HCA)

 

ENGL 3440W Pop Science: The Art and Impact of Popular Science Writing

Amanda Little

Wednesday 12:10 - 3:00 PM

This advanced writing course explores bestselling science non-fiction and today’s most exciting and controversial science journalism. Students will also critique science blogs, podcasts and TED talks, and dip into science-focused novels and poetry. Along the way, they'll learn and critique the fundamentals of great science writing and communication. Students will develop and publish their own blogs throughout the course and interact via Skype with top science writers. An immersive education in how to convey fact-based scientific research with accessible writing that educates, inspires and resonates with lay readers. [3] (HCA)

 

ENGL 3614W The Victorian Period: Children's Literature

Rachel Teukolsky

MWF 12:40 - 1:30 PM

How did the modern idea of the child come into existence? This class will study representations of childhood in literature, art, film, and philosophy. We’ll focus especially on the “golden age” of children’s literature in the nineteenth century. While some works aimed to discipline children, others opened onto surprisingly dark, weird, and pleasure-based territory. Why does child-themed art still appeal? And what do these works say about adulthood, maturity, and growing up? Texts will likely include: William Blake, Songs of Innocence and Experience; Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland; Charles Dickens, Oliver Twist; J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan; illustrated fairy tales, such as Beauty and the Beast; Christina Rossetti’s poetry for children, including her notorious “Goblin Market”; Rudyard Kipling, The Jungle Book; film adaptations of some of these works; and philosophy by John Locke, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, and Sigmund Freud, among others. [3] (HCA)

 

ENGL 3630 The Modern British Novel

Elizabeth Covington

MWF 9:10 - 10:00 AM

This course serves as an introduction to the modern British novel through a representative selection spanning from 1907 to 2005. Each text for this course provides fundamental stylistic and topical contributions to the development of the genre of the modern novel. In considering these texts, we will explore various issues including gender, colonialism, race, sexuality, capitalism, and modernity. [3] (HCA)

 

ENGL 3654W.02 African American Literature: James Baldwin, Lucille Clifton, Audre Lorde: THe Art of Confession (Honors Seminar)

Emily Lordi

TR 9:35 - 10:50 AM

This course will examine the work of three major 20th century African American writers who are linked through their artful and political approaches to the act of confession. Reading a broad selection of these writers’ fiction (in Baldwin’s case), as well as their poetry, essays, and memoirs, we will ask how these writers articulate personal, familial, and broader group secrets in the service of personal healing as well as social justice. How, when, and with whom should silences be broken? Which secrets might be better kept? These issues are at the heart of mid-century Black writing, and are no less urgent for writers and readers today. We will explore them through class discussion, close readings, and other writing assignments. [3] (Diverse Perspectives Requirement, US)

 

ENGL 3656W Literary Existentialism

Mark Schoenfield

TR 11:10 AM - 12:25 PM

Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose/Nothing ain’t worth nothing but it’s free…                                                  --“Me and Bobby McGee”

Existentialism has been variously identified as a philosophy, literary movement, psychology, and political agent.  In this course, we will see how works of the classical existentialists—Simone de Beauvoir, Jean-Paul Sartre, and Albert Camus—express concerns about the modern condition, especially with regard to the dynamic of freedom, social responsibility, and the construction of identity and selfhood.  As we follow how existential thought diffuses into popular culture (Bob Dylan, Margaret Atwood, Bob Fosse, etc.), we will think about how they intersect with the condition of the self within a social world constructed through consumption, gender, national allegiances, and economic and technological contingencies.  Directed in part by our own interests and in part by these author’s obsessions, we will conclude the course with various options for presentations and projects. [3] (HCA)

 

ENGL 3662 Asian American Literature

Ben Tran

TR 2:20 - 3:35 PM

Our course will examine a variety of cultural works that depict and address Asian American experiences. We will analyze how Asian American aesthetic forms contribute to and challenge the historical formation of Asian American identities. In addition, we will consider Asian American culture in relationship to Afro-Asian connections, the history of empire, war and violence, and masculinity and femininity. There will be critical engagement and study of concepts such as the yellow peril, model minority, (techno-)orientalism, and tiger mom. [3] (Diverse Perspectives Requirement, P)

 

ENGL 3720W Literature, Science, and Technology: The Curious Art of Science

Pavneet Aulakh

MWF 12:40 - 1:30 PM

In its christening, “Curiosity,” the fourth of the Mars rovers, which landed on the planet on August 6, 2012 and continues its explorations to this day, speaks to an essential element of scientific experimentation and discovery. As Einstein put it: “The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.” While we might take the virtues of curiosity for granted, it was not always thought a productive habit of thought. Rather, it was deemed a vice that had to be argued for and legitimized over the course of the Scientific Revolution. Through a reading of early modern scientific treatises and literary texts, as well as modern essays in the history and philosophy of science, we will historicize curiosity by both tracking its evolution from a cultural taboo to a marker of human progress and studying the resistance this transformation occasioned. [3] (Pre-1800 requirement, HCA)

 

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

Teresa Goddu 

TR 2:20 - 3:35 PM

This course surveys contemporary fiction that addresses the climate crisis. What do contemporary writers have to tell us about the natural, social, political, psychological, and cultural changes that we are currently experiencing? How does literature help us imagine a world shaped by climate change and offer ways to approach its challenges and possibilities? As we read, we will ask—how can fiction help us understand the world that’s already here and prepare us for the one that has yet to come? 

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 and films. [3] (HCA)

 

ENGL 3740W Critical Theory: History of Violence / Violence of History 

Alex Dubilet

TR 3:55 - 5:10 PM

The stories we tell ourselves about modernity stress the advent of democracy and liberalism, the development of technology, the proliferation of freedom, or economic growth. But modernity has also been a time of violence: the epoch of colonialism, slavery, state violence, and capital accumulation. By analyzing these violent phenomena constitutive of modernity, this course will expose students to major critical theoretical approaches and conceptual tools for the study of modern history, culture, and politics. Some of the questions we will ask during the semester include: How do we understand the relation of state and law to violence? What is the role of revolutionary and anti-colonial violence in modernity? What is the role of slavery in modernity and what are its legacies? In what ways are some populations more exposed to violence and subjection than others? [3] (Diverse Perspectives Requirement, HCA)

 

ENGL 3890W.01 Movements in Literature: Cultures of the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands 

Carlos Alonso Nugent

MWF 1:50 - 2:40 PM

In recent years, the U.S. has built a multi-billion-dollar wall along the Mexican border. While the wall may appear to be an anomaly, it rests on longstanding legacies of settler colonialism and racial capitalism. In this seminar, we will look at these legacies through the eyes of the Natives, Latinxs, whites, and others who have lived in the U.S.–Mexico borderlands. Within the confines of literature, we will read novelists like Willa Cather, essayists like Valeria Luiselli, and poets like Simon Ortiz. Meanwhile, across the more capacious category of culture, we will engage with promoters, periodistas, and other little-known (but no less important) figures. From these concrete contexts, we will ask abstract questions: Are borders physical boundaries, or are they psychosocial conditions? Are nations stable and homogeneous groups, or are they flexible and diverse communities? Ultimately, can human beings be branded as illegal aliens, or do they have inalienable rights? [3] (Diverse Perspectives, HCA)

 

ENGL 3892: Problems in Literature: Word & Image (Honors Seminar)

Rachel Teukolsky

MWF 1:50 - 2:40 PM 

This class will explore the mind-bending world of image-texts: artworks that combine both words and images. We’ll study diverse examples from the eighteenth century to the present day, from Keats’s “Ode on a Grecian Urn” to the graphic novels of Art Spiegelman (Maus) and Alison Bechdel (Fun Home). Other image-texts will include: William Blake, Songs of Innocence and Experience; Oscar Wilde, Salomé; fairy tales and their illustrations; Picasso’s collages; and works by contemporary African-American artists who use words provocatively in their images, including Matthew Thomas’s pictorial ebook Love, Sex, and Drunk-Texts. The class will include a strong philosophical component theorizing “the verbal” versus “the visual.” For a final project, students will write a 10-12 pp. research paper on a topic of their choosing, with an option for a creative project. Get ready for one of the most unique courses you’ll take at Vanderbilt. [3] (HCA)

 

ENGL 3894W.01 Major Figures: Jane Austen, War Novelist

Andrea Hearn

MWF 10:20 AM - 11:10 PM

“What calm lives they had, those people!  No worries about the French Revolution, or the crashing struggle of the Napoleonic Wars.  Only manners controlling natural passion so far as they could.”  Winston Churchill’s famous summary of Jane Austen’s seemingly placid fiction has undergone serious challenge in the last decades.  As we now understand, Austen and her characters had many worries about the cataclysmic events of her time: from the French and American Revolutions to the Napoleonic wars, the Acts of Union with Scotland and Ireland, and the abolition of slavery and the slave trade.  In this course, we will examine Austen’s fiction for the traces of such worries, supplementing our reading with more explicit publications from her contemporaries.  After spending most of the semester considering wartime in Austen, we’ll conclude with a brief look at Austen in wartime, particularly the First and Second World Wars—the very context, indeed, for Churchill’s comment above. [3] (HCA)

 

ENGL 3894W.02 Major Figures: Ernest Hemingway

Gabriel Briggs

TR 11:10 AM - 12:25 PM

This course examines one of the most influential writers in twentieth-century American Literature. To 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. [3] (HCA)

 

ENGL 3894W.03 Major Figures: Melville and the Americas

Colin Dayan

TR 12:45 - 2:00 PM

In this seminar we will tackle the late prose of Herman Melville, especially Moby Dick (1851); Pierre; or, the Ambiguities (1852); Israel Potter (1855); The Piazza Tales (1856); and The Confidence Man (1857). An obsessive and philosophical writer, preoccupied with slavery and the false benevolence of his time, Melville demands that we reconsider the writings of those who influenced him, as well as those contemporaries with whom he remained in dialogue. We will also read as background: John Locke, John Calvin, Orville Dewey, Edgar Allan Poe, and Ralph Waldo Emerson, as well as case law dealing with slavery and emancipation. [3] (HCA)

 

ENGL 3898W.02 Special Topics: The Divided Metropolis: Culture and Design in the City

Elizabeth Meadows and Chris Rowe

MWF 10:20 AM - 11:10 PM

Cultures create cities; cities transform cultures. The city is one of humanity’s great inventions, revolutionizing technology, health care, and finance, yet cities are often represented as sites of corruption and danger. This course unites English and Engineering in exploring the evolution of urban environments and the roles of literature and culture in that evolution. We will examine the landscape of urban infrastructure and representations of cities in books, movies, and works of art to unearth how and why cities create opportunity and innovation while simultaneously restricting access to such benefits.

Students will examine urban designs from antiquity to the present and their relationship to culture and geography; read literary works covering cities in the ancient world, in the 19th-century Industrial Revolution, and in the 20th-century flight to suburbia; design an urban slum; participate in local field trips; and develop a final project uniting storytelling and design in an urban setting. [3] (HCA)

 

ENGL 3899 Special Topics in Film

Akshya Saxena

MWF 9:10 - 10:00 AM

Films are a powerful medium in modern society. So, how do films make meaning? Do we read films like we read novels? How do films communicate? What makes certain images foreign and others familiar? This course considers a variety of ways in which the question of “language” appears as a central practice and metaphor when we watch films. While some insist that film is not a language, many others have claimed it as a truly universal language. Bringing together a mix of filmic and scholarly texts, the course examines the stakes of this paradox. We begin with the formal language of films as we focus on the history and techniques of narrative cinema. We will study and analyze the formal elements by which films can tell stories. From there, we consider practices of dubbing, subtitling, and translation in films. Finally, we conclude with a unit on global cinema. The course is especially interested in the relation between film, language, and foreignness. How do films perform cultural mediation in our globalizing world and what are the challenges to that mediation? As we formulate our answer to this question, you will watch a variety of films and learn how to write critically about them. [3] (HCA)

 

ENGL 1101 Creative Writing Tutorial: Fiction

Yi Jiang

Individual instruction in writing fiction. Offered on a pass/fail basis only. Not open to students who have completed 3851 section 07. [1] (No AXLE credit)

 

ENGL 1102 Creative Writing Tutorial: Poetry

Hayes Cooper

Individual instruction in writing poetry. Offered on a pass/fail basis only. Not open to students who have completed 3851 section 07. [1] (No AXLE credit)

 

ENGL 1280.01 Beginning Fiction Workshop

Danny Lang-Perez

MWF 10:20 - 11:10 am

“The aim of literature… is the creation of a strange object covered in fur which breaks your heart.”

—Donald Barthelme

Fiction is brain hacking. The writer offers words on a page. If they are the right words conveyed compellingly, they conjure whole lives and worlds to speak deep truths, touching both head and heart. But writing stories is also a craft, with mechanical parts that can be learned, practiced, and artfully deployed. In this class we will investigate and discuss collectively the art of fiction through the workshop model of peer discussion and analysis. You will write two short stories to be discussed by your peers (one of which you will revise and resubmit) along with smaller generative and critical assignments. You will also read a range of contemporary short stories and craft essays on the vocabulary of the writer’s toolbox (e.g., characterization, plot, setting, etc.). [3] (HCA)

 

ENGL 1280.02 Beginning Fiction Workshop

Lara Casey

MWF 11:30 AM - 12:20 PM

Humans are intuitive storytellers. How do we take our instincts and make meaning for readers, art from words? In this introduction to the craft and practice of fiction writing, we’ll explore the different elements of the short story and how they work together to make meaning. As we take an up-close look at  tools such as characterization, structure, point of view, and imagery, you’ll experiment and apply them in your own writing. Because good writers are good readers, we will delve into a variety of short fiction and uncover what makes a piece compelling and why. In addition to readings, and writing exercises, each student will develop two original stories. In a workshop format, you’ll respond to writing by fellow students—and in doing so, strengthen your own fiction skills. By the end of the course, you’ll better understand how to share your unique voice as a storyteller. [3] (HCA)

 

ENGL 1280.03 Beginning Fiction Workshop

Sam Marshall

TR 12:45 - 2:00 PM

In this workshop students will read, write, revise, and study short-form literary fiction. We will focus our attention on the nuts and bolts of fiction by studying craft elements (plot, character, point of view, etc.) in order to investigate how a story acquires a pulse once animated by the mind of a thoughtful reader. Physically, a story is just marks on a page—how do writers create an opening to let the world come into their work? Each student will write two original short stories, which we will discuss together in workshop. In addition to growing as readers and writers, students will become lively members of a literary community by responding to one another’s work and exploring the world of contemporary fiction by reading a range of published writers. No prior experience is needed for this introductory workshop—only an inquisitive mind and a willingness to read and write. [3] (HCA)

 

ENGL 1280.04 Beginning Fiction Workshop

Pallavi Wakharkar

TR 2:20 - 3:35 pm

How do stories work? How can we use our unique voices and obsessions to tell compelling stories? If you are a beginner writer interested in the art of fiction, this course is designed with you in mind. No prior experience is necessary. By taking a closer look at published works of fiction, we will learn to read like writers. Together, we will explore elements of craft such as point of view, imagery, characterization, plot, tone, and more. We’ll also discuss the more unnamable, less mechanical elements that make stories magical, beautiful, or emotionally complex. Over the course of the semester, you will write two original short stories, which we will discuss and critique as a group in workshop. Please be prepared to be part of a constructive literary community. [3] (HCA)

 

ENGL 1290.01 Beginning Poetry Workshop

Lily Someson

MWF 9:10 - 10:00 AM

The poet Audre Lorde said, "poetry is not a luxury, but a vital necessity of our existence." In this introductory course, you will find where that phrase rings true for you, and no matter your major or experience level, you will gain the foundation for becoming a strong, intentional poet. In addition to composing poems, students will be delving into poetry from all sides, studying how it is written, the poets who write it, and the literary techniques you may adopt to make your own writing more successful. This includes reading published poets and participating in generative in-class writing exercises. Students will also workshop their own poems and give/receive tactful feedback on poems by others to create a compassionate writing community. By the end of the semester, students will revise and polish a batch of poems that reflects their unique writing style while utilizing a range of poetry forms and variations. [3] (HCA)

 

ENGL 1290.02 Beginning Poetry Workshop

Caroline Stevens

MWF 4:10 - 5:00 PM

In this introductory workshop, we will reach toward the questions posed by Audre Lorde: “What are the words you do not yet have? What do you need to say?” Workshop members will take creative risks, develop their aesthetic preferences, and build a love for language through the poems that they read and write. Throughout the semester, students will read a diverse array of published poems and craft essays, develop a critical vocabulary to discuss poems, and become active participants in the literary community by attending poetry readings. Class members will exchange verbal and written feedback on each other’s poems on a weekly basis in addition to strengthening their poetic muscles through weekly generative assignments. By the end of the semester, students will have developed a portfolio of revised poems and a written reflection on their growth as poets. [3] (HCA)

 

ENGL 1290.03 Beginning Poetry Workshop

Kiyoko Reidy

TR 9:35 - 10:50 AM

What is poetry, and what can it do? This course will explore different elements of the craft and creation of poetry. Through practice writing, reading, and workshopping, this course will serve as a jumping off point for beginner poets. It is an introductory class, so no prior experience with poetry is necessary. This is a chance to create an encouraging, constructive literary community where students will learn the skills necessary to be a creative writer and reader. [3] (HCA)

 

ENGL 1290.04 Beginning Poetry Workshop

Jessica Lee

TR 3:55 - 5:10 PM

Why does one poem move us more than others? What is the poet doing on the page and how does it affect us as readers? These are some of the many questions we will explore in this beginning poetry workshop that will help you learn to read and write poems with attention to craft.  

Throughout the semester, we will read published poems and craft essays for instruction and inspiration. You will keep a writer’s notebook, complete generative exercises, write and revise your own poems, reflect on your work and process, and participate actively in our writing community by giving and receiving workshop feedback. Critiquing poems is another opportunity to practice thinking and reading like a poet, which is to say, giving your peers feedback will improve your own writing. Curiosity and a love of language are the only prerequisites for this introductory course; no prior poetry experience is required. [3] (HCA)

 

ENGL 3210.01 Intermediate Nonfiction Writing: The Short Personal Essay

Justin Quarry

Monday 3:10 - 6:00 pm

How do you tell a personal story in a short space, for a wide audience?  How do you shape your experiences into art?  In this workshop, students identify the parts of their lives rich with resonance and discovery—from day-to-day happenings to landmark moments—and craft them for the page with the goal of compelling readers.  In studying, they read two texts on the art of the personal essay as well as a diverse selection of essays by contemporary writers; in practicing, they write four essays of varying lengths (two of 100 words, two of 1500-1750 words), all of which are then workshopped by their professor and peers.  The final project consists of revisions of all essays.  Of particular emphasis in students’ reading and writing is the broad topic of relationships—familial, platonic, romantic, etc.—to produce potential (but not required) submissions for, among others, the college contest editions of the “Tiny Love Stories” and “Modern Love” columns in The New York Times. [3] (HCA)

 

ENGL 3230.01 Intermediate Fiction Workshop

Sheba Karim

Monday 3:10 - 6:00 pm

This workshop is for fiction writers looking to develop, explore and refine their craft and narrative techniques.  The heart of this course is the workshop, the development and discussion of your own creative work.  The focus of the course is revision; you will revise the same story several times over the course of the semester, as well as read published stories and essays on craft, read and critique original narratives by peers, and complete writing exercises.  The final will consist of a final revision of the story written for this class. [3; maximum of 6 credits total for all semesters of ENGL 3250] (HCA)

 

ENGL 3230.02 Intermediate Fiction Workshop

Nancy Reisman

Wednesday 12:10 - 3:00 pm

What images, characters, situations, dynamics, and mysteries have captured your attention, or haunted you? What discoveries await? What material, style, and methods of storytelling interest you the most, and how can you best access your material? This workshop is a place for writers with some fiction writing background to delve into the sources of your work, deepen your knowledge of craft and technique, expand your understanding of fiction’s possibilities and take some new creative risks. We’ll consider fiction’s necessary mysteries, a broad range of approaches to form, and how clear representation of time, dramatic space/place, and perspective shape reader experience. In our readings, we’ll consider flash fiction and mainly character-based literary short stories from varied approaches, (realist, magical realist/fabulist/surrealist, meta-fiction, formalist). We’ll also consider connections to other artistic and literary forms. The core of the workshop will be your original work and the work of your peers, including individual and group responses to workshop fiction.   

Kindly note:

1) this course will not involve fictional forms/genres that rely on world-building, invented realms, and/or certain other genre specialization (i.e. fantasy, alternate world sci-fi, horror, fan fiction, romance, religious or classically-referenced allegory). 

2) This workshop is Immersion-adaptable.

For the Intermediate level workshop, interested writers should register for the wait-list, as instructor permission is required.  Permission will be based primarily on a brief writing sample. At the end of course selection, I’ll send guidelines to everyone on the wait-list, along with a short questionnaire. Previous fiction workshop experience strongly recommended. Writers are welcome to apply for admission to more than one fiction writing workshop but may enroll in only one fiction workshop per semester. [3; maximum of 6 credits total for all semesters of ENGL 3250] (HCA)

 

ENGL 3250.01 Intermediate Poetry Workshop

Didi Jackson

Tuesdays 12:10 - 3:00 pm

How do we move freely around an imagined confined space? How do we think of poetic forms as keys opening doors rather than locks closing up a room? Eavan Boland calls the form of poetry “a truth teller and intercessor from history itself, making structures of language, making music of feeling.” And that is the goal of this class: to learn about form, to experiment within the parameters of various forms, and to deepen your knowledge of the craft of poetry. The workshop is for those with a background in poetry. You will share and critique your original work while maintaining an emphasis on revision. This is a class of both control and risk taking, of historical parameters and contemporary amplitude, of anticipated know-how and surprise.  

For the Intermediate level poetry workshop, instructor permission is required. Writers interested in the class should register for the waitlist.  Permission will be based primarily on a brief writing sample. Once the course selection is made, guidelines will be sent to everyone on the waitlist, along with a short questionnaire. Previous poetry workshop experience strongly recommended. [3; maximum of 6 credits total for all semesters of ENGL 3250] (HCA)

 

 

ENGL 3654W.02 African American Literature: James Baldwin, Lucille Clifton, Audre Lorde: THe Art of Confession (Honors Seminar)

Emily Lordi

TR 9:35 - 10:50 AM

This course will examine the work of three major 20th century African American writers who are linked through their artful and political approaches to the act of confession. Reading a broad selection of these writers’ fiction (in Baldwin’s case), as well as their poetry, essays, and memoirs, we will ask how these writers articulate personal, familial, and broader group secrets in the service of personal healing as well as social justice. How, when, and with whom should silences be broken? Which secrets might be better kept? These issues are at the heart of mid-century Black writing, and are no less urgent for writers and readers today. We will explore them through class discussion, close readings, and other writing assignments. [3] (Diverse Perspectives Requirement, US)

 

ENGL 3892: Problems in Literature: Word & Image (Honors Seminar)

Rachel Teukolsky

MWF 1:50 - 2:40 PM 

This class will explore the mind-bending world of image-texts: artworks that combine both words and images. We’ll study diverse examples from the eighteenth century to the present day, from Keats’s “Ode on a Grecian Urn” to the graphic novels of Art Spiegelman (Maus) and Alison Bechdel (Fun Home). Other image-texts will include: William Blake, Songs of Innocence and Experience; Oscar Wilde, Salomé; fairy tales and their illustrations; Picasso’s collages; and works by contemporary African-American artists who use words provocatively in their images, including Matthew Thomas’s pictorial ebook Love, Sex, and Drunk-Texts. The class will include a strong philosophical component theorizing “the verbal” versus “the visual.” For a final project, students will write a 10-12 pp. research paper on a topic of their choosing, with an option for a creative project. Get ready for one of the most unique courses you’ll take at Vanderbilt. [3] (HCA)

 

ENGL 4998.01 Honors Colloquium 

Jessie Hock

Thursday 11:00 AM - 1:30 PM

This colloquium prepares honors students to write their honors thesis/project next semester . To help students develop the projects that will form the basis for next semester’s work, we will explore critical approaches to literature (broadly conceived) and methods of exploration in ways designed to help both creative writers and critic-scholars. [3] (No AXLE credit) 

JEWISH STUDIES

JS 2250W: Witnesses Who Were Not There: Literature of the Children of Holocaust Survivors

Adam Meyer

MWF 11:10 - 12:00 PM

Fiction and non-fiction produced by children of Holocaust survivors. [3] (HCA)

 

JS 2260W Coming of Age in Jewish Literature and Film

Allison Schachter

MW 3:00 - 4:15 PM

Eligible for English as Diverse Perspectives. [3] (INT)

 

MEDICINE, HEALTH & SOCIETY

MHS 3050W: Medicine and Literature

Lindsey Odie

TR 2:20 - 3:35 PM

TR 4:10 - 5:25 PM

Narrative analysis, and other humanistic, interpretative practices of relevance to medicine and health. [3] (HCA)

 

 

 

Summer 2021 Courses

ENGL 1210W.01 Prose Fiction: Forms and Techniques

Gabriel Briggs - Online Synchronous

MTWRF 1:10 - 4:00 PM

This course will provide a close study of short stories and novels and written explication of these forms. In particular, it examines Ernest Hemingway, 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. [3] (HCA)

 

ENGL 1210W.02 Prose Fiction: Forms and Techniques: Redrawing Fictional Boundaries

Jeong-Oh Kim - Online Synchronous

MTWRF 10:10 - 1:00 PM

“Redrawing Fictional Boundaries”  will help students develop their writing skills while exploring and examining the forms and techniques of prose fiction. The texts in this course reinvent communities while providing  a critique of their communal, communicative truth claims, reimagining uncanny gothic (Dracula), urban heterotopia (Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde), postmodern entropy (The Crying of Lot 49) and the rights of (wo)man (Frankenstein) as well as adolescents (A High Wind in Jamaica). We will think specifically through spatial relations and their internal networks, a new approach to re-drawing boundaries of prose fiction by examining its film and cultural adaptations. Class will be a mixture of synchronous discussion and asynchronous writing. [3] (HCA)

 

ENGL 1260W.01 Introduction to Literary and Cultural Analysis

Judy Klass - Online Synchronous

MTWRF 1:10 - 4:00 PM

This course focuses on adaptation: how stories are told and re-told across genres, eras and cultures; what changes and what doesn't. We'll look at what different iterations of a text say about the societies that created them. We'll watch The Seven Samurai and The Magnificent Seven, look at Jane Austen's Emma and watch Clueless, look a Gone with the Wind and read The Wind Done Gone, and compare Romeo and Juliet (and various films of it) to West Side Story. [3] (HCA)

 

ENGL 3333 Love Books

Jessie Hock - Online Asynchronous

What does it mean to write about love, beauty, and pleasure in the expectation that someone else will read what you’ve written? From a spiritual, sublime, or cosmological force to an embodied, even pornographic or ridiculous experience, “love” in the texts we will read in this class is a highly diverse phenomenon. In all its forms, the idea of love allows poets and philosophers to explore what it means to write – or read – about subjectivity and emotion. Readings will include texts by Lucretius, Virgil, Ovid, Petrarch, Stampa, Shakespeare, Marvell, Behn and more, and will span a wide range of genres, including epic, lyric, dramatic, narrative, epistolary, and philosophical prose. Students will become acquainted with ancient, medieval, and Renaissance literary and cultural history. Course requirements will likely include short reading responses, group work, a midterm, and a final.  [3] (HCA)

ENGL 1100.01 Composition

Elisabeth Covington - Online Synchronous

MTWRF 9:10 - 11:00 PM

The primary objectives of this course are to demystify the college-level essay and to develop your writing skills so that you will be able to write quality essays during and after your time at Vanderbilt.  In addition to thinking about questions of style, we will conduct in-depth investigations of the three fundamental elements of an excellent essay: analysis, argumentation, and explication. I will ask you to think critically and to craft subtle, persuasive, well-reasoned essays.  The analytical and argumentative skills developed in this class will help you to articulate your ideas clearly and convincingly. [3] (No AXLE credit)

 

ENGL 1100.02 Composition: Comp in the time of Covid

Joanna Huh - Online Synchronous

MTWRF 1:10 - 3:00 PM

This course will foster an inclusive and intensive environment for the exploration, analysis, and practice of writing. We’ll examine the mechanics of composition to demystify the college-level essay and focus primarily on three genres: personal narratives, analytical writing, and argumentative essays. We’ll conduct in-depth investigations of the three fundamental elements of an essay: analysis, explication, and argumentation and focus on writing as a recursive practice that includes prewriting, drafting, editing, and revising. We’ll also analyze distinct styles, structures, and genres as a way to become better rounded and more versatile authors. Each of you will develop a “toolbox” of skills and strategies through focused assignments and readings that will prepare you for collegiate, professional, and personal writing. You will end the semester a more critical thinker, reader, and writer and more adept in communicating your ideas through academic writing conventions. [3] (No AXLE credit)

 

ENGL 1210W.02 Prose Fiction: Forms and Techniques

Gabriel Briggs - Online Synchronous

MTWRF 10:10 - 12:00 PM

This course will provide a close study of short stories and novels and written explication of these forms. In particular, it examines Ernest Hemingway, 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. [3] (HCA)

 

ENGL 1250W.01 Introduction to Poetry

Kate Daniels - Online Synchronous

MTWRF 8:10 - 10:00 PM

In this class, we will study the forms and history of English-language poetry by undertaking a close examination of fourteen poems that have been chosen to illustrate the essential elements and principles of poetry across time, beginning with the earliest poetic example in English, all the way up to our present moment with its flourishing of Spoken Word verse and its electronic dissemination via twitter and online readings.  Most of the poems we read will be American or British, but there may be an occasional foray into poems written in English by poets emanating from other regions.  This is a contemporary revision of a popular English course that was long taught at Vanderbilt that focused on one poem per week throughout an academic semester. 

In this 21st century, online, summer school iteration, we will close-read four poems weekly, one poem per day, M-Th.  Fridays will be devoted to writing workshops designed to assist you in writing the four short papers you will be required to produce.  Requirements include: four short critical papers (lengthy assignment sheets will be provided); two oral presentations (on zoom); virtual attendance at two poetry readings; response papers (brief and informal) to assigned readings and to poetry readings; and occasional other assignments.  For those with an interest in creative writing, there will be an opportunity (optional) to write poetry. Students intending to register for this course, should be prepared to submit an example of a poem they particularly admire for the first class. [3] (HCA)

 

ENGL 1100.02 Composition

Judy Klass - Online Synchronous

MTWRF 11:10 - 1:00 PM 

We will be reading fiction and non-fiction in this class, and while considering what a writer’s objective should be when engaged in each kind of writing. Students themselves will be concentrating concentrate on non-fiction writing: writing persuasive and analytical essays which that employ various rhetorical strategies. Each stage of the writing process is important: carefully considering an issue before choosing one’s thesis, qualifying one’s position if necessary, including substantive examples and specific details, editing out repetition, using transitional words to aid organization and readability, proofreading, and revising drafts of essays. This course is about reading critically, writing in a clear and compelling way, building persuasive arguments, developing confidence in one’s own voice as a writer, and doing research and documenting sources when necessary. [3] (No AXLE credit)

 

ENGL 1260W.02 Introduction to Literary and Cultural Analysis: Radiant Intertextuality

Jeong-Oh Kim - Online Synchronous

MTWRF 10:10 - 12:00 PM 

 “Radiant Intertextuality” is based on the premise that in a complex world, we must approach problems from many different angles. The current focus on inter- disciplinarity reflects this premise. Yet all too often, interdisciplinarity is treated more as a rhetorical slogan than as an actual practice. Its transformative challenge is reduced to an additive list without clear motivation: philosophy plus literature, anthropology plus history . . . a principle of X Plus Y. We will take the challenge of interdisciplinarity seriously to ask how it changes the way we do things: the questions we ask, the materials we work with, and what we do with those materials. This course will also include work in cognitive studies, helping students engage in a critical reading of neuroscience ethics, particularly the issues related to Neuro-Culture. [3] (HCA)

 

 

 

Comprehensive ENGL Course Catalog

Not all courses are offered in all semesters. If you need specific courses to meet major, minor, or AXLE requirements, please work with your academic adviser to ensure that you time your course schedule appropriately.

Students may elect to count one of the following 1000-level courses toward their major: ENGL 1111, 1210W, 1220W, 1230W, 1240, 1250W, 1260W, 1270W, 1280, 1290. 

  • ENGL 1100 Composition: For students who need to improve their writing. Emphasis on writing skills, with some analysis of modern nonfiction writing. [3] (No AXLE credit)
  • ENGL 1111 First Year Writing Seminar: Independent learning and inquiry in an environment in which students can express knowledge and defend opinions through intensive class discussion, oral presentations, and written expression. May be repeated for credit once if there is no duplication of topic, but students may earn only up to 3 credits in any 1111 course per semester of enrollment. [3; maximum of 6 credits total for all semesters of 1111] (AXLE credit category varies by section)
  • ENGL 1210W Prose Fiction: Forms and Techniques: Close study of short stories and novels and written explication of these forms. [3] (AXLE: 1000-level W course, HCA)
  • ENGL 1220W Drama: Forms and Techniques: Close study of representative plays of the major periods and of the main formal categories (tragedy, comedy) and written explication of these forms. [3] (AXLE: 1000-level W course, HCA)
  • ENGL 1230W Literature and Analytical Thinking: Close reading and writing in a variety of genres drawn from several periods. Productive dialogue, persuasive argument, and effective prose style. Offered on a graded basis only. [3] (AXLE: 1000-level W course, HCA)
  • ENGL 1240 Beginning Nonfiction Workshop: Writing various forms of prose nonfiction. [3] (HCA)
  • ENGL 1250W Introduction to Poetry: Close study and criticism of poems. The nature of poetry, and the process of literary explication. [3] (AXLE: 1000-level W course, HCA)
  • ENGL 1260W Introduction to Literary and Cultural Analysis: Analysis of a range of texts in social, political, and aesthetic contexts. Interdisciplinary study of cultural forms as diverse as poetry, advertisement, and film. [3] (AXLE: 1000-level W course, HCA)
  • ENGL 1270W Introduction to Literary Criticism: Selected critical approaches to literature. [3] (AXLE: 1000-level W course, HCA)
  • ENGL 1280 Beginning Fiction Workshop: Introduction to the art of writing prose fiction. [3] (HCA)
  • ENGL 1290 Beginning Poetry Workshop: Introduction to the art of poetry writing. [3] (HCA)
  • ENGL 2200 Foundation of Literary Study: Fundamentals of literary study: close reading; analytic writing; historical context; abstract reasoning in theory; creative expression. [3] (HCA). *2200 may count as an elective in any program. Please consult your adviser.
  • ENGL 2310 Representative British Writers (to 1660): Selections from British literature with attention to contexts and literary periods. From the beginnings to 1660. Provides a broad background for more specialized courses and is especially useful for students considering advanced studies in literature. [3] (HCA)
  • ENGL 2311 Representative British Writers (from 1660): Selections from British literature with attention to contexts and literary periods. From 1660 to the present. Provides a broad background for more specialized courses and is especially useful for students considering advanced studies in literature. [3] (HCA)
  • ENGL 2316 Representative American Writers: Selections from the entire body of American literature with attention to contexts and literary periods. Provides a broad background for more specialized courses and is especially useful for students considering advanced studies in literature. Repeat credit for students who have completed 2316W. [3] (US)
  • ENGL 2316W Representative American Writers: Selections from the entire body of American literature with attention to contexts and literary periods. Provides a broad background for more specialized courses and is especially useful for students considering advanced studies in literature. Repeat credit for students who have completed 2316. [3] (US)
  • ENGL 2318 World Literature, Classical: Great Books from the points of view of literary expression and changing ideologies: Classical Greece through the Renaissance. Repeat credit for students who have completed 2318W. [3] (HCA)
  • ENG: 2318W World Literature, Classical: Great Books from the points of view of literary expression and changing ideologies: Classical Greece through the Renaissance. Repeat credit for students who have completed 2318. [3] (HCA)
  • ENGL 2319 World Literature, Modern: Great Books from the points of view of literary expression and changing ideologies: The 17th century to the contemporary period. Repeat credit for students who have completed 2319W. [3] (HCA)
  • ENGL 2319W World Literature, Modern: Great Books from the points of view of literary expression and changing ideologies: The 17th century to the contemporary period. Repeat credit for students who have completed 2319. [3] (HCA)
  • ENGL 2320 Southern Literature: The works of Southern writers from Captain Smith to the present. Topics such as the Plantation Myth, slavery and civil war, Agrarianism, and "post-southernism." Authors may include Poe, Twain, Cable, Faulkner, Welty, Percy, Wright. [3] (HCA)
  • ENGL 2330 Introduction to Environmental Humanities: Interdisciplinary study of human beings' relationship to the environment. Literary, artistic, historical, and philosophical perspectives. Cultural understandings of the environment. [3] (HCA)
  • ENGL 2330W Introduction to Environmental Humanities: Interdisciplinary study of human beings' relationship to the environment. Literary, artistic, historical, and philosophical perspectives. Cultural understandings of the environment. [3] (HCA)
  • ENGL 2740 Topics in Literature and Philosophy: Literary, philosophical, and cultural texts on varied philosophical topics. May be repeated for credit if there is no duplication in topic. Students may enroll in more than one section of this course per semester. [3] (HCA)

 

For Creative Writing workshops, Pre-1800 and Diverse Perspective courses, please view their corresponding sections. 

  • ENGL 3215 The Art of Blogging: Conventions of the rapidly evolving literary form of blogging. Creation and maintenance of a personal blog. Critique of online journalism across many genres, including activism, politics, science, and arts and culture. Interaction with professional bloggers. [3] (HCA)
  • ENGL 3215W The Art of Blogging: Conventions of the rapidly evolving literary form of blogging. Creation and maintenance of a personal blog. Critique of online journalism across many genres, including activism, politics, science, and arts and culture. Interaction with professional bloggers. Serves as repeat credit for students who have completed 3215. [3] (HCA)
  • ENGL 3240W Pop Science: The Art and Impact of Popular Science Writing: Mechanics and influence of popular science writing in the 21st century. Students will critique bestselling books and award-winning journalism; develop and publish their own blogs with a focus on science, technology, and the environment; and interact with top science writers, editors, and podcasters. Not open to students who have earned credit for CSET 3890 section 01 offered fall Fall 2019. [3] (SBS)
  • ENGL 3280 Literature and the Craft of Writing: The forms and techniques of creative writing. Contemporary practices in fiction and poetry in historical context. [3] (HCA)
  • ENGL 3610 The Romantic Period: Prose and poetry of the Wordsworths, the Shelleys, Byron, Keats, and others. [3] (HCA)
  • ENGL 3610W The Romantic Period: Prose and poetry of the Wordsworths, the Shelleys, Byron, Keats, and others. Serves as repeat credit for ENGL 3610W. [3] (HCA)
  • ENGL 3611 The Romantic Period: Continuation of 3610. Prose and poetry of the Wordsworths, the Shelleys, Byron, Keats, and others. [3] (HCA)
  • ENGL 3614 The Victorian Period: Works of Tennyson, Browning, Arnold, Hardy, and others. [3] (HCA)
  • ENGL 3614W The Victorian Period: Works of Tennyson, Browning, Arnold, Hardy, and others. Serves as repeat credit for ENGL 3614. [3] (HCA)
  • ENGL 3618 The Nighteenth Century English Novel: The study of selected novels of Dickens, Thackeray, Emily Brontë, George Eliot, George Meredith, Thomas Hardy, and other major novelists of the period. [3] (HCA)
  • ENGL 3620 Nighteenth Century American Literature: Explorations of themes, forms, and social and cultural issues shaping the works of American writers. Authors may include Cooper, Poe, Hawthorne, Douglass, Jacobs, Stowe, Melville, Dickinson, Alcott, Whitman, and Twain. [3] (HCA)
  • ENGL 3622 Nighteenth Century American Women Writers: Themes and forms of American women's prose and poetry, with the emphasis on alternative visions of the frontier, progress, class, race, and self-definition. Authors include Child, Kirkland, Fern, Jacobs, Harper, Dickinson, and Chopin. [3] (HCA)
  • ENGL 3624W Literature of the American Civil War: Origins and impact of the war as depicted in short stories, novels, poems, and films. Harriet Beecher Stowe, Stephen Crane, Margaret Mitchell, William Faulkner, and Margaret Walker. [3] (US)
  • ENGL 3630 The Modern British Novel: The British novel from the beginning of the twentieth century to the present. Conrad, Joyce, Lawrence, Virginia Woolf, Forster, and other novelists varying at the discretion of instructor. [3] (HCA)
  • ENGL 3634 Modern Irish Literature: Major works from the Irish literary revival to the present, with special attention to the works of Yeats, Synge, Joyce, O'Casey, and Beckett. [3] (HCA)
  • ENGL 3640 Modern British and American Poetry: Yeats to Auden: A course in the interpretation and criticism of selected modern masters of poetry, British and American, with the emphasis on poetry as an art. Poets selected may vary at discretion of instructor. [3] (HCA)
  • ENGL 3642 Film and Modernism: Film in the context of the major themes of literary modernism: the divided self, language and realism, nihilism and belief, and spatialization of time. [3] (HCA)
  • ENGL 3644 Twentieth Century American Novel: Explorations of themes, forms, and social cultural issues shaping the works of American novelists. Authors may include Fitzgerald, Faulkner, Hemingway, Hurston, Ellison, McCarthy, Bellow, Kingston, Morrison, Pynchon. Emphasizes writers before 1945. [3] (HCA)
  • ENGL 3645 Twentieth Century American Novel: Explorations of themes, forms, and social cultural issues shaping the works of American novelists. Authors may include Fitzgerald, Faulkner, Hemingway, Hurston, Ellison, McCarthy, Bellow, Kingston, Morrison, Pynchon. Emphasizes writers after 1945. [3] (HCA)
  • ENGL 3646 Poetry Since World War II: Poets studied vary at discretion of instructor. Offered on a graded basis only. [3] (HCA)
  • ENGL 3680 Twentieth Century Drama: Topics in twentieth century drama drawn from the American, British, and/or world traditions. Formal structures of dramatic literature studied within contexts of performance, theatrical production, and specific dramatic careers. Authors may include O'Neill, Albee, Hansberry, Hellman, Stoppard, Wilson, and Churchill. Emphasizes American drama. [3] (US)
  • ENGL 3681 Twentieth Century Drama: Topics in twentieth century drama drawn from the American, British, and/or world traditions. Formal structures of dramatic literature studied within contexts of performance, theatrical production, and specific dramatic careers. Authors may include O'Neill, Albee, Hansberry, Hellman, Stoppard, Wilson, and Churchill. Emphasizes British and world drama. [3] (US)
  • ENGL 3683 Contemporary British Literature: The novel, short story, and verse in Great Britain since World War II. [3] (HCA)
  • ENGL 3692 Desire in America: Literature, Cinema and History: The influence of desire and repression in shaping American culture and character from the mid-nineteenth century to the present. [3] (US)
  • ENGL 3694 America on Film: Art and Ideology: American culture and character through film, film theory, and literature. [3] (US)
  • ENGL 3695 America on Film: Performance and Culture: Film performance in the construction of identity and gender, social meaning and narrative, public image and influence in America. [3] (US)
  • ENGL 3710 Literature and Intellectual History: Fiction, poetry, and prose writings that represent overarching themes in English and/or American literature across conventional historical periods in order to define and trace their genealogy and evolution. [3] (HCA)
  • ENGL 3711 Literature and Intellectual History: The emergence of modern consciousness in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. [3] (HCA)
  • ENGL 3711 Literature and Intellectual History: The emergence of modern consciousness in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Serves as repeat credit for ENGL 3711. [3] (HCA)
  • ENGL 3720 Literature, Science and Technology: The relationship of science and technology to literature, film, and popular media. Focus on such topics as digital technology, genetics, and the representation of science in particular periods, genres, movements, and critical theories. Repeat credit for students who have completed 3720W. [3] (P)
  • ENGL 3720W Literature, Science and Technology:The relationship of science and technology to literature, film, and popular media. Focus on such topics as digital technology, genetics, and the representation of science in particular periods, genres, movements, and critical theories. Repeat credit for students who have completed 3720. [3] (P)
  • ENGL 3726 New Media: History, theory, and design of digital media. Literature, video, film, online games, and other interactive narratives. [3] (HCA)
  • ENGL 3726W New Media: History, theory, and design of digital media. Literature, video, film, online games, and other interactive narratives. Serves as repeat credit for 3726. [3] (HCA)
  • ENGL 3728 Science Fiction: Social and historical developments within the genre. Works from the late nineteenth century to the present. Cultural issues, including race, gender, sexuality, violence, and the representation of science. Repeat credit for students who have completed 3728W. [3] (P)
  • ENGL 3728W Science Fiction: Social and historical developments within the genre. Works from the late nineteenth century to the present. Cultural issues, including race, gender, sexuality, violence, and the representation of science. Repeat credit for students who have completed 3728. [3] (P)
  • ENGL 3730 Literature and the Environment: Environmental issues from British, American, and global perspectives. Methodological approaches such as ecocriticism, environmental and social justice, ethics, and activism. The role of literature and the imagination in responding to ecological problems and shaping environmental values. [3] (HCA)
  • ENGL 3734 Literature and Law: Study of the relationship between the discourses of law and literature. Focus on such topics as legal narratives, metaphor in the courts, representations of justice on the social stage. Repeat credit for students who have completed 3734W. [3] (HCA)
  • ENGL 3734W Literature and Law: Study of the relationship between the discourses of law and literature. Focus on such topics as legal narratives, metaphor in the courts, representations of justice on the social stage. Repeat credit for students who have completed 3734. [3] (HCA)
  • ENGL 3736 Words and Music: An investigation of works of literature that have inspired musical settings and the musical settings themselves. Emphasis on literary and musical analysis and interpretation. No musical background assumed. Repeat credit for students who have completed MUSL 2330. [3] (HCA)
  • ENGL 3740 Critical Theory: Major theoretical approaches that have shaped critical discourse, the practices of reading, and the relation of literature and culture. [3] (HCA)
  • ENGL 3742 Feminist Theory: An introduction to feminist theory. Topics include cross-cultural gender identities; the development of "masculinity" and "femininity"; racial, ethnic, class, and national differences; sexual orientations; the function of ideology; strategies of resistance; visual and textual representations; the nature of power. [3] (P)
  • ENGL 3744 Advanced Poetry: Formal analysis and close reading of major poems in the extended canon of British and American poetry. Related examples of historical, theoretical, and applied criticism. [3] (HCA)
  • ENGL 3746 Workshop in English and History: Team-taught by a historian and an interdisciplinary scholar. Explores intersection of disciplines through close examination of texts in historical context. Preference to students majoring in the English-History program. May be repeated for credit more than once if there is no duplication in topic. Students may enroll in more than one section of this course each semester. [3] (No AXLE credit)
  • ENGL 3748 Introduction to English Linguistics: Systematic study of present-day English sounds, words, sentences, and the contexts of language production. Contemporary varieties of English. [3] (HCA)
  • ENGL 3890 Movements in Literature: Studies in intellectual currents that create a group or school of writers within a historical period. May be repeated for credit more than once if there is no duplication in topic. Students may enroll in more than one section of this course each semester. [3] (HCA)
  • ENGL 3890W Movements in Literature: Studies in intellectual currents that create a group or school of writers within a historical period. May be repeated for credit more than once if there is no duplication in topic. Students may enroll in more than one section of this course each semester. [3] (HCA)
  • ENGL 3891 Special Topics in Creative Writing: Advanced instruction in creative writing in emerging modes and hybrid genres. [3] (HCA)
  • ENGL 3892 Problems in Literature: Studies in common themes, issues, or motifs across several historical periods. May be repeated for credit more than once if there is no duplication in topic. Students may enroll in more than one section of this course each semester. [3] (HCA)
  • ENGL 3892W Problems in Literature: Studies in common themes, issues, or motifs across several historical periods. May be repeated for credit more than once if there is no duplication in topic. Students may enroll in more than one section of this course each semester. [3] (HCA)
  • ENGL 3894 Major Figures in Literature: Studies in the works of one or two writers with attention to the development of a writer's individual canon, the biographical dimension of this work, and critical responses to it. May be repeated for credit more than once if there is no duplication in topic. Students may enroll in more than one section of this course each semester. [3] (HCA)
  • ENGL 3894W Major Figures in Literature: Studies in the works of one or two writers with attention to the development of a writer's individual canon, the biographical dimension of this work, and critical responses to it. May be repeated for credit more than once if there is no duplication in topic. Students may enroll in more than one section of this course each semester. [3] (HCA)
  • ENGL 3896 Special Topics in Investigative Writing in America: Course will be taught by a distinguished visiting journalist from a major U.S. newspaper or magazine. May be repeated for credit once if there is no duplication in topic. Students may enroll in more than one section of this course each semester. [1-3; maximum of 6 credits total for all semesters of ENGL 287] (No AXLE credit)
  • ENGL 3897 Special Topics in Critical Theory: Diverse range of literary, philosophical, cultural, and political texts. May be repeated for credit if there is no duplication in topic. Students may enroll in more than one section of this course per semester. [3] (HCA)
  • ENGL 3898 Special Topics in English and American Literature: Topics vary. May be repeated for credit more than once if there is no duplication in topic. Students may enroll in more than one section of this course each semester. [3] (HCA)
  • ENGL 3898W Special Topics in English and American Literature: Topics vary. May be repeated for credit more than once if there is no duplication in topic. Students may enroll in more than one section of this course each semester. [3] (HCA)
  • ENGL 3899 Special Topics in Film: Theory and practice of cinema as an aesthetic and cultural form. May be repeated for credit once if there is no duplication in topic. Students may enroll in more than one section of this course per semester. [3; maximum of 6 credits total for all semesters of ENGL 3899] (HCA)

 

  • ENGL 2310 Representative British Writers (to 1660): Selections from British literature with attention to contexts and literary periods. From the beginnings to 1660. Provides a broad background for more specialized courses and is especially useful for students considering advanced studies in literature. [3] (HCA)
  • ENGL 2318 World Literature, Classical: Great Books from the points of view of literary expression and changing ideologies: Classical Greece through the Renaissance. Repeat credit for students who have completed 2318W. [3] (HCA)
  • ENG: 2318W World Literature, Classical: Great Books from the points of view of literary expression and changing ideologies: Classical Greece through the Renaissance. Repeat credit for students who have completed 2318. [3] (HCA)
  • ENGL 3310 Anglo-Saxon Language and Literature: The study of the Old English language. Selected historical and literary prose. Short heroic poems. [3] (HCA)
  • ENGL 3312 The Medieval World: English literature and culture in relation to Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. Cross-cultural exchange, national and religious identity, and race. Not open to students who have completed ENGL 3316. [3] (P)
  • ENGL 3312W The Medieval World: English literature and culture in relation to Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. Cross-cultural exchange, national and religious identity, and race. Not open to students who have completed ENGL 3316. Serves as repeat credit for ENGL 3312. [3] (P)
  • ENGL 3314 Chaucer: Study of The Canterbury Tales and Chaucer's world. [3] (HCA)
  • ENGL 3316 Medieval Literature: The drama, lyrics, romance, allegory, and satire of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, studied in the context of the period's intellectual climate and social change. [3] (HCA)
  • ENGL 3318 The History of the English Language: The development of English syntax. History of the English vocabulary: word formation, borrowing, semantic change, and meter. [3] (HCA)
  • ENGL 3330 Sixteenth Century: Prose and poetry of the sixteenth century. Emphasis on Spenser and his contemporaries. [3] (HCA)
  • ENGL 3332 English Renaissance: Drama: English drama, exclusive of Shakespeare, from 1550-1642: Marlowe, Jonson, Webster, and others. [3] (HCA)
  • ENGL 3332W English Renaissance: Drama: English drama, exclusive of Shakespeare, from 1550-1642: Marlowe, Jonson, Webster, and others. Serves as repeat credit for 3332. [3] (HCA)
  • ENGL 3335 English Renaissance: Poetry: Development of the English poetic tradition from 1500-1700. Repeat credit for students who have earned credit for 3335W. [3] (HCA)
  • ENGL 3335W English Renaissance: Poetry: Development of the English poetic tradition from 1500-1700. Repeat credit for students who have earned credit for 3335. [3] (HCA)
  • ENGL 3336 Shakespeare: About twenty of the major plays considered in chronological order over two terms, with emphasis on Shakespeare's development as a dramatic artist. Primarily comedies and histories. [3] (HCA)
  • ENGL 3336W Shakespeare: Comedies and Histories: About twenty of the major plays considered in chronological order over two terms, with emphasis on Shakespeare's development as a dramatic artist. Primarily comedies and histories. Serves as repeat credit for ENGL 3336. [3] (HCA)
  • ENGL 3337 Shakespeare: About twenty of the major plays considered in chronological order over two terms, with emphasis on Shakespeare's development as a dramatic artist. Primarily tragedies and romances. [3] (HCA)
  • ENGL 3337W Shakespeare: Tragedies and Romaces: About twenty of the major plays considered in chronological order over two terms, with emphasis on Shakespeare's development as a dramatic artist. Primarily tragedies and romances. Serves as repeat credit for ENGL 3337. [3] (HCA)
  • ENGL 3340 Shakespeare: Representative Selections: A representative selection of plays, including histories, tragedies, comedies, and romances, designed to give the student a sense of the full range of Shakespeare's work in one semester. Repeat credit for students who have completed 3340W. [3] (HCA)
  • ENGL 3340W Shakespeare: Representative Selections: A representative selection of plays, including histories, tragedies, comedies, and romances, designed to give the student a sense of the full range of Shakespeare's work in one semester. Repeat credit for students who have completed 3340. [3] (HCA)
  • ENGL 3346 Seventeenth Century Literature: Poetry and prose from 1600 to the English Civil War, such as Metaphysical and Cavalier poetry, essays, romances, and satires. Authors may include Bacon, Cavendish, Donne, Herbert, Jonson, Lanier, Marvell, and Wroth. [3] (HCA)
  • ENGL 3348 Milton: The early English poems; Paradise Lost, Paradise Regained, and Samson Agonistes; the major prose. [3] (HCA)
  • ENGL 3348W Milton: The early English poems; Paradise Lost, Paradise Regained, and Samson Agonistes; the major prose. Serves as repeat credit for ENGL 3348. [3] (HCA)
  • ENGL 3360 Restoration and the Eighteenth Century: Explorations of the aesthetic and social world of letters from the English Civil War to the French Revolution. Drama, poetry, and prose, including Restoration plays, political poetry, satire, travel narratives, and tales. Authors may include Behn, Dryden, Congreve, Addison, Swift, Finch, Pope, Fielding, Burney, Johnson, and Inchbald. Earlier writers. [3] (HCA)
  • ENGL 3361 Restoration and the Eighteenth Century: Explorations of the aesthetic and social world of letters from the English Civil War to the French Revolution. Drama, poetry, and prose, including Restoration plays, political poetry, satire, travel narratives, and tales. Authors may include Behn, Dryden, Congreve, Addison, Swift, Finch, Pope, Fielding, Burney, Johnson, and Inchbald. Later writers. [3] (HCA)
  • ENGL 3364 The Eighteenth Century English Novel: The English novel from its beginning through Jane Austen. Development of the novel as a literary form, and study of selected works of Defoe, Richardson, Fielding, Sterne, and other novelists of the period. [3] (HCA)
  • ENGL 3370 The Bible in Literature: An examination of ways in which the Bible and biblical imagery have functioned in literature and fine arts, in both "high culture" and popular culture, from Old English poems to modern poetry, drama, fiction, cartoons, and political rhetoric. Readings include influential biblical texts and a broad selection of literary texts drawn from all genres and periods of English literature. [3] (HCA)

Other 3000-level English electives may also fulfill the Diverse Perspectives Requirement based on the instructor's syllabus for that course. If so, this will be indicated in the course schedule. Additionally, courses from other departments may also fulfill the Diverse Perspectives Requirement per approval by the Director of Undergraduate Studies. 

  • ENGL 3650 Ethnic American Literature: Texts and theory relevant to understanding race, culture, and ethnicity in the formation of American culture. Literature from at least three of the following groups: African Americans, Native Americans, Asian Americans, Chicano/Latino Americans, Caribbean Americans, and European Americans. [3] (P)
  • ENGL 3650W Ethnic American Literature: Texts and theory relevant to understanding race, culture, and ethnicity in the formation of American culture. Literature from at least three of the following groups: African Americans, Native Americans, Asian Americans, Chicano/Latino Americans, Caribbean Americans, and European Americans. [3] (P)
  • ENGL 3654 African American Literature: Examination of the literature produced by African Americans. May include literary movements, vernacular traditions, social discourses, material culture, and critical theories. Repeat credit for students who have completed 3654W. [3] (US)
  • ENGL 3654W African American Literature: Examination of the literature produced by African Americans. May include literary movements, vernacular traditions, social discourses, material culture, and critical theories. Repeat credit for students who have completed 3654. [3] (US)
  • ENGL 3658 Latino-American Literature: Texts and theory relevant to understanding constructs of Latino identity, including race, class, gender, and basis for immigration, in the context of American culture. The course focuses on the examination of literature by Chicano, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Dominican, and Latin American writers in the United States. [3] (P)
  • ENGL 3658W Latino-American Literature: Texts and theory relevant to understanding constructs of Latino identity, including race, class, gender, and basis for immigration, in the context of American culture. The course focuses on the examination of literature by Chicano, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Dominican, and Latin American writers in the United States. Serves as repeat credit for ENGL 3658. [3] (P)
  • ENGL 3662 Asian American Literature: Diversity of Asian American literary production with specific attention to works after 1965. Topics such as gender and sexuality, memory and desire, and diaspora and panethnicity in the context of aesthetics and politics of Asian American experience. [3] (P)
  • ENGL 3662W Asian American Literature: Diversity of Asian American literary production with specific attention to works after 1965. Topics such as gender and sexuality, memory and desire, and diaspora and panethnicity in the context of aesthetics and politics of Asian American experience. [3] (P)
  • ENGL 3664 Jewish American Literature: Nineteenth century to the present. Issues of race, gender, ethnicity, immigration, and diaspora. Offered on a graded basis only. [3] (HCA)
  • ENGL 3670 Colonial and Post-Colonial Literature: Literature exploring European colonialism and its aftermath from the eighteenth century to the present: language, gender, and agency in the colonial encounter; anti-colonial resistance movements; and postcolonial cultures. Topics may vary; course may be taken more than once with permission of the Director of Undergraduate Studies. [3] (HCA)
  • ENGL 3670W Colonial and Post-Colonial Literature: Literature exploring European colonialism and its aftermath from the eighteenth century to the present: language, gender, and agency in the colonial encounter; anti-colonial resistance movements; and postcolonial cultures. Topics may vary; course may be taken more than once with permission of the Director of Undergraduate Studies. [3] (HCA)
  • ENGL 3674 Caribbean Literature: Caribbean literature from 1902 to the present. Emphasis on writing since 1952, which marks the beginning of West Indian nationalism and the rise of the West Indian novel. [3] (INT)
  • ENGL 3678 Anglophone African Literature: From the Sundiata Epic to the present with emphasis on the novel. Attention to issues of identity, post coloniality, nationalism, race, and ethnicity in both SubSaharan and Mahgrib literatures. Such authors as Achebe, Ngugi, Gordimer, Awoonor, and El Saadaw. [3] (INT)
  • ENGL 3678W Anglophone African Literature: From the Sundiata Epic to the present with emphasis on the novel. Attention to issues of identity, post coloniality, nationalism, race, and ethnicity in both SubSaharan and Mahgrib literatures. Such authors as Achebe, Ngugi, Gordimer, Awoonor, and El Saadaw. Serves as repeat credit for ENGL 3678. [3] (INT)
  • ENGL 3742 Feminist Theory: An introduction to feminist theory. Topics include cross-cultural gender identities; the development of "masculinity" and "femininity"; racial, ethnic, class, and national differences; sexual orientations; the function of ideology; strategies of resistance; visual and textual representations; the nature of power. [3] (P)
  • ENGL 3742W Feminist Theory: An introduction to feminist theory. Topics include cross-cultural gender identities; the development of "masculinity" and "femininity"; racial, ethnic, class, and national differences; sexual orientations; the function of ideology; strategies of resistance; visual and textual representations; the nature of power. Serves as repeat credit for ENGL 3742. [3] (P)

 

Admission to these courses is by consent of the instructor.

  • ENGL 3210 Intermediate Nonfiction Writing: Instruction in the forms and techniques of nonfiction writing. Admission by consent of instructor. May be repeated once for credit. [3] (HCA)
  • ENGL 3220 Advanced Nonfiction Writing: Further instruction in the form and techniques of nonfiction writing. Admission by consent of instructor. May be repeated for credit once if there is no duplication in topic. Students may enroll in more than one section of this course per semester. [3; maximum of 6 credits total for all semesters of ENGL 3220] (HCA)
  • ENGL 3230 Intermediate Fiction Workshop: Instruction in fiction writing. Supplementary readings that illustrate traditional aspects of prose fiction. Admission by consent of instructor. May be repeated for credit once if there is no duplication in topic. Students may enroll in more than one section of this course per semester. [3; maximum of 6 credits total for all semesters of ENGL 3230] (HCA)
  • ENGL 3240 Advanced Fiction Workshop: Continuing instruction in fiction writing. Admission by consent of instructor. May be repeated for credit once if there is no duplication in topic. Students may enroll in more than one section of this course per semester. [3; maximum of 6 credits total for all semesters of ENGL 3240] (HCA)
  • ENGL 3250 Intermediate Poetry Workshop: Instruction in poetry writing. Supplementary readings illustrating traditional aspects of poetry. Admission by consent of instructor. May be repeated for credit once if there is no duplication in topic. Students may enroll in more than one section of this course per semester. [3; maximum of 6 credits total for all semesters of ENGL 3250] (HCA)
  • ENGL 3260 Advanced Poetry Workshop: Continuing instruction in poetry writing. Admission by consent of instructor. May be repeated for credit once if there is no duplication in topic. Students may enroll in more than one section of this course per semester. [3; maximum of 6 credits total for all semesters of ENGL 3260] (HCA)

 

  • ENGL 4998 Honors Colloquium: Background for writing the honors thesis. Emphasis on research methods, critical approaches, and the students' own projects. Limited to seniors admitted to the English Honors Program. [3] (No AXLE credit)
  • ENGL 4999: Honors Thesis: Prerequisite: 4998. [3] (No AXLE credit)
  • Honors Seminars: The Department of English offers two Honors seminars each semester (3000-level course with a pre-requisite of 3.4 GPA). 

ENGL 3851 & 3852 Independent Study

Independent study and directed study courses are primarily intended for majors in their junior and senior years. Exceptions may be made for well-qualified sophomores. To enroll in an independent study course, please complete the following steps:

  1. Obtain permission to enroll from the instructor of your choice and Director of Undergraduate Studies prior to the opening of your enrollment window for the semester in which you wish to complete the independent study course.
  2. Complete the Contract for Registration in Independent Study Course. The form requires details regarding the nature of the project and the amount of credit to be earned. It must be signed by your instructor and the DUS or Department Chair prior to the tenth day of classes. 
  3. Submit your contract for Independent study to Rachel Mace before the end of the change period (the first week of classes). You will then be manually registered in YES.

This elective may be repeated for a total of 6 credits in 3851 and 3852 combined if there is no duplication in topic. Students may earn only up to 3 credits per semester of enrollment. (No AXLE credit)

Course Requirements for Majors and Minors

students sitting in rows of desks during an English faculty reading

Note: for full degree requirements, see the Major and Minor page.

Required Courses

  • Depending on the program, the English major or minor requires 3-6 credit hours in pre-1800 literature and 3-6 credit hours in diverse perspectives. See the current semester’s course offerings, above, or the list of electives, below, for specific course options.
  • Creative Writing majors must complete 12 credit hours of 3000-level creative writing workshops in at least two different genres (nonfiction, fiction, and/or poetry). Admission to these courses is by consent of the instructor. These elective workshops are listed in the Creative Writing Requirement section below. 

Electives

When choosing electives for the major, please keep in mind:

  • Students may elect to count one 1000-level course toward their major or minor: ENGL 1111, 1210W, 1220W, 1230W, 1240, 1250W, 1260W, 1270W, 1280, or 1290.
  • Survey courses (2310, 2311, and 2316(W)) are recommended for sophomores, to provide background for more advanced courses.
  • All courses numbered 2050 and above (except English 4999) count toward the English major.
  • English 3890(W), 3892(W), 3894(W), and 3898 may be repeated for credit when the topics are different.

AXLE in the English Department

Almost all College of Arts and Science students take at least one English course to help fulfill the requirements of AXLE, the college’s core curriculum. The English department offers courses to meet both the Writing and Liberal Arts requirements. Courses that meet AXLE requirements are clearly marked in the course lists above, in the undergraduate catalog, and in YES.

Note: for full AXLE requirements, see the College of Arts and Science guide to AXLE.

Meeting the Writing Requirement

The Department of English is unique in offering courses to satisfy all four components of the AXLE Writing Requirement. These include: 

  • English Composition (ENGL 1100)
  • First-Year Writing Seminar (ENGL 1111)
  • One additional W course
  • One 1000-level or 2000-level English course, or another W course of any level

The Liberal Arts Requirement

The department also offers courses in five of the categories included in the AXLE Liberal Arts Requirement: Humanities and the Creative Arts (HCA), Perspectives (P), History and Culture of the United States (US), International Cultures (INT), and Social and Behavioral Sciences (SBS). You can locate these electives in the course lists above, in the undergraduate catalog, or in YES using their corresponding codes.