Course Offerings

Fall 2017

ENGL 620 - Workshop Form and Practice (#3509)
Robert Davidson
M 6:00-8:50 PM

Course Description:

This course is designed as a multi-genre creative graduate writing workshop and theory seminar rolled into one.  Students will have the opportunity to write and submit for critique poetry, fiction, or creative non-fiction, as long as the writer has had substantial experience with the genre of his/her choosing.  The course is intended for graduate students who have learned about their chosen genre as well as about the workshop approach in 300- and 400-level creative writing classes and who have a sense of their directions as writers.  The emphasis will be on student writing: “workshopping” and revising new work students produce for this course.  However, I will assign a variety of contemporary texts in the three genres (depending on the distribution of genre interests among the students). 

This course seeks to be useful to writers producing work that is serious and ambitious, and to those having familiarity with reading and discussing serious, ambitious creative work in a workshop environment.  We will consider theoretical and craft issues as they come up in our discussions of your work as well as in the assigned readings. 

Depending on the size of the class, each student will be required to submit two full-length stories or essays, or the equivalent amount of poetry, plus considered revisions.  Students will participate in discussions of writing submitted to workshop as well as assigned readings.  Students will provide each other typed critiques of writing discussed in workshop.  At the end of the semester, students in the workshop will give a public reading of work completed in the class as part of the Writer’s Voice Reading Series.

ENGL 637 - Rhetoric for Writing Teachers (#5249)
Kendall Leon
W 3:00-5:50 PM
OCNL 121

Course Description:

This graduate-level course in pedagogical rhetoric introduces students to rhetorical theory as a lens on the history and practice of teaching writing broadly—in and outside of the classroom.

In this course we will discuss topics like writing in digital environments, emotion and affect in writing spaces, feminist theory and writing instruction, rhetorics of masculinity, language and literacy policies, civic and community based writing, the inclusion of sound, visual and tactile elements of composing “texts,” and the purpose and function of literacy instruction broadly. Guest speakers with a variety of expertise and expertises will share their experiences with creating spaces for literacy learning and study (formal and informal), and how a rhetorical awareness can help produce effective pedagogical spaces.

Some of the goals for the course include:

  • Developing (and adapting) methodologies to research, capture, understand and explicate writing, and teaching writing
  • Understanding the relationships between texts, authors, language, and discourse (or disavowal of these terms altogether)
  • Applying this knowledge to how you articulate and enact your scholarly, professional, pedagogical or literary orientations.

We will read a range of texts, from philosophical, technical, community based, and creative works that all produce theories of pedagogy and learning.

Students in this course will be invited to pursue creative/critical projects of their choice, academic conference presentations, public activism projects, community based literacy programs, pedagogical materials, and so on. 

We will begin the course briefly learning about rhetorical theory as a framework, so no previous experience in rhetoric is required! 

ENGL 642 - Renaissance British Literature (#5245)
Erin Kelly
R 5:00-7:50 PM
BUTE 325

Course Description:

Renaissance prose fiction in the sixteenth century was an extremely diverse and experimental category of writing. From Thomas More's Utopia to Thomas Nashe's The Unfortunate Traveller, writers explored a variety of styles and genres, spinning strange tales for their readers. Contemporary readers enjoyed these stories, and dramatists like William Shakespeare mined their pages for plots. This semester, we will read some major examples of sixteenth-century prose fiction, including George Gascoigne's The Adventures of Master F.J. and Sir Philip Sidney's Arcadia. Our goal will be to define and understand the kind of story each author decides to tell, what techniques and strategies he uses to convey his narrative and engage his audience. As the semester progresses, we will consider how fashions changed, both in the kinds of stories that were written and in the kinds of authors who wrote them. From a judicial convention of cats to cross dressing shepherds to a near death experience by vivisection, we will delight in these weird and wonderful stories, trying to understand and enjoy them as their original readers did.

ENGL 652 - American Literature: 1865-1920 (#5223)
Aiping Zhang
T 4:00-6:50 PM
THMA 117

Course Description:

"Symbolism of Spaces: Its Poetics and Effects in American Fiction Since 1865"

For years, literature was essentially considered a temporal art. As a result, what interested scholars of fiction was time rather than space. Since the start of the 21th century, though, there has been a clear shift from time to space in literary studies. Early American fiction, as Paul Giles claims, tends “to be saturated in locality,” and “the relationship between the local and the national becomes self-allegorizing, in the sense that the value of particular places…are validated not by their specific local characteristics or phenomenological qualities but from their synecdochic embodiment of a national impulse, their sense of being, as (William Carlos) Williams put it, ‘in the American grain’.”

By provoking debates on the so-called “Possible World Theory” and “Text World Theory” in the studies of space, this seminar intends to explore the rich symbolism of space in American fiction between 1865-1945 and beyond, from a country manor in London to a new town on the frontiers in America, a war that defines courage and conscience, a city made larger than life for youngsters, a resort on the East Coast, and a mansion built in the wilderness. Also, it facilitates conversations about the continuities, similarities, or differences in the poetics and effects of the natural, social, and domestic spaces in American fiction ever since.

Required Textbooks

Henry James, The Portrait of a Lady

Willa Cather, O Pioneers!

Stephen Crane, A Red Badge of Courage

Hemingway, A Farewell to Arms

F. Scott Fitzgerald, This Side of Paradise

Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man

William Faulkner, Absalom, Absalom!

Toni Morrison, Love

Michael Cunningham, The Hours

ENGL 661 - Literary Criticism and Theory (#3555)
Corey Sparks
M 3:00-5:50 PM
THMA 134

Course Description: