Course Descriptions Fall 2023


  • MA students can take up to three courses at the 500 level. Such students will have additional course requirements, such as a longer final project or the opportunity to guest teach a class meeting. Please consult with your instructor about these additional requirements.
  • PhD students can take seminars at the 600 level only.
  • For the full program requirements, see the Graduate Program Guidelines.
  • To see the most recently updated class meeting times, see the Fall 2023 course schedule.

ENGL 504-01: Advanced Creative Writing II - Prof. Paul Griner 

Tue/Th 1:00 - 2:15

Welcome to 504, Advanced Creative Writing, fiction. We'll be reading a lot of published work and doing some in and out of class exercises, but the heart of the class will be workshops, devoted to your work. I hope to help all of you improve and expand your craft. As is true of most workshops, students know far better than I what you hope to get from this course, but I expect you to do a lot of reading and writing, to participate in every class, and to revise thoroughly at least one of the pieces you workshop.  I also expect to see all of you improve as writers, and as readers and critics.  That doesn’t necessarily mean I expect you to become more “polished” writers; in some cases it may mean you're more willing to take risks, while in others it may mean you'll gain greater expertise in things you've already learned to do well.  Through readings and workshops, discussion, written work, etc., you will be working constantly at the art of revising, a crucial skill for all writers, but especially advanced ones.

This course is an elective for MA students.

ENGL 506-50: The Teaching of Writing - Prof. Karen Kopelson  

Distance Ed

“The Teaching of Writing” seems like a simple title representing a simple, everyday classroom phenomenon. But what do we mean when we say “teaching writing?” Is “writing” one thing? If we say no, then what kind(s) should be taught, and to what ends? That is, what should be our goals for teaching “writing”? What do we hope to enable our students to do? In what contexts? These are the questions with which we begin the course, and to which return again and again throughout the semester.
This course, taught fully online, will be of interest to students planning to teach writing in the future. It will also be of interest to anyone wanting to learn more about (what is misleadingly called) “the writing process,” and to reflect on their own experiences as writers and as students. The course is grounded in making reflective connections between our own experiences as students and writers and the course readings, which are drawn from Composition Studies and English Education scholarship. The course involves weekly writing, on either the discussion board or in other written responses to readings, and culminates in a scholarly research project driven by independent inquiry into a research question of interest to you.

This course is an elective for MA students.

ENGL 545-01: Monsters, Mysteries & the Macabre: The Romantic Gothic Novel - Prof. Karen Hadley 

Mo/Wed/Fr 9:00 - 9:50 AM

Populated by hero-villains and native heroines, ghostly apparitions, and mysterious castles with dark labyrinthine corridors and damp dungeons, the gothic novel originated in eighteenth-century England and by the 19th c. was popularized throughout the Anglo-American world and beyond. This course will consider the use of the Romantic gothic novel as a critique of dominant social narratives and cultural ideologies, particularly as they apply to gender and sexuality. Related to these concerns, we’ll examine some elements of the genre Dark Romanticism, including melancholy, paranoia and insanity. Course requirements include two exams, a research project, and regular homework such as quizzes and study questions. 

This course fulfills the Literature 1700-1900 requirement for MA students. 

Note: This course may be listed in the course schedule/catalog as "Revolutionary Romanticism."

ENGL 547-01: Science Fiction from Frankenstein to the Atom Bomb - Prof. Amy Clukey 

Tue/Th 1:00 - 2:15

This class will track the emergence of SF as a genre, a marketing category, and a fandom in British and American literature and culture. We’ll start off by briefly examining SF’s origins in medieval vision narratives and utopic stories, before turning to Mary Shelley’s groundbreaking novel, Frankenstein (1818). Next we’ll follow the genre through the nineteenth century in gothic, adventure, mad scientist, and detective stories, as well as in fiction featuring trips to the moon, to Antarctica, to Mars, inside the earth, under the sea, and into exoticized supposedly unexplored regions of the globe. Then we’ll look at how changes in the material conditions of the publishing industry led to the so-called “magazine era” of SF pulps and the serialization of novels, and the development of a recognizable SF canon. We’ll end the class with SF fiction that responded to the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. Our discussions will emphasize how SF’s relation to colonialism, race, gender, sexuality, nationalism, and white supremacy. If you like goth-y, weird, alien, apocalyptic, futuristic, and downright bizarre fiction, this is the class for you.

Our readings will be classics drawn from the SF canon and will be chosen from the work of the following authors: Mary Shelley, Edgar Allan Poe, Arthur Conan Doyle, Jules Verne, Edgar Rice Burroughs, H.G. Wells, E.M. Forster, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, W.E.B. DuBois, George Schuyler, and H.P. Lovecraft. Assignments will include a 5-minute presentation, close reading papers, and two exams.
This course counts towards post-1900 Literature requirement for undergraduate and Master students. 

ENGL 571-50: Early Ohio Valley by the Book: - Native American and Settler Writing, 1750-1850 (Online) - Prof. Mark Mattes 

Distance Ed

In works such as John Filson’s “The Adventures of Col. Daniel Boon,” Boone’s life is told as a story of settler virtue and ingenuity. Boone’s life, however, is also a story of Native American responses to colonialism, as when a Shawnee family adopted him and named him Sheltowee, or Big Turtle, figuring Boone within an Indigenous network of relations. This distance-education course keeps in mind the intercultural contexts of such stories. It focuses on how settler and Indigenous experiences together shape literatures of the Ohio Valley up to the removal era (~1830-1850). Student outcomes include developing a critical understanding of 1) the importance of place, space, and land, and 2) the multiethnic contexts of American writing. Additional readings, ranging from fiction and drama to life writing, history, and political rhetoric, may include the speeches of Shawnee and Cayuga Native Americans (Tecumseh and Soyechtowa), Notes on the State of Virginia (Jefferson), Nick of the Woods (Bird), Annals of Kentucky (Rafinesque), Ornithological Biography (Audubon), and Logan: The Last of the Race of Shikellemus (Doddridge), as well as materials related to key Indigenous and settler sites such as Choctaw Academy, Serpent Mound, Clark Cypress, Logan Elm, and/or Fort Boonesborough. Student outcomes will be assessed through two short essays, a brief research proposal, and an accompanying research essay. This course fulfills the literature 1700-1900 historical period requirement.

This course fulfills the 1700-1900 Literature requirement. 

ENGL 575-01: Genre Studies in African-AmericanLiterature - Prof. David Anderson 

Mo/Wed/Fr 10:00 - 10:50

This course will focus on African American literature devoted to children coming of age, and the ways in which the conventions of the Bildungsroman are often modified to depict the particular experiences and challenges of Black childhood and early adulthood.

Possible authors include Langston Hughes, Gwendolyn Brooks, Marilyn Nelson, Frank X. Walker, and Joy Priest, among other writers. Assignments will include a mid-term exam, research essay, and a final synthesis research project with an annotated bibliography.

This course fulfills the Literature post-1900 requirement.

ENGL 599-01: Texts and Technologies - "tl;dr": The Essay in the Digital Age - Prof. Stephen Schneider  

Mo/Wed 2:30 - 3:45

This class will consider how the essay, a reasonably longstanding and stable genre, has been taken up by authors in the digital age.  This course will be broken into three sections.  In the first, we'll examine the essay and its history, with attention given to Phillip Lopate's The Golden Age of the American Essay, as well as essays often grouped under "New Journalism" and "New New Journalism." In the second, we'll look at online essays and how they both reflect and differ from earlier published examples.  While some of these look like reasonably faithful adaptations of print essays to digital environments, we'll also look at how digital development like data journalism have influenced the way these texts are produced and presented.  Finally, the third section will look at how the essay has influenced the idea of longform storytelling in formats such as blogging and podcasting.

This course fulfills the Literature post-1900 requirement. 

ENGL 601-01: Introduction to English Studies - Prof. Frank Kelderman   

Monday 4:00 - 6:45

This course will introduce you to research methods in English studies, campus resources, strategies for reading and writing scholarly work, and ways to develop your professional profile as a graduate student. Throughout the semester we will focus on three main goals. First, we will explore different areas of English studies and how they relate to one another: literarary studies, rhetoric and composition, critical theory, and cultural studes. Second, the course will offer a space for you to develop your own perspectives and goals in our field, as a student in our MA program. Third, the course will practice the different forms of academic writing that you will encounter during your graduate studies: the seminar paper, conference presentation, abstract, journal article, and book review.

To meet these goals, we will study journal articles, theory, and reflection pieces from various scholarly traditions in English studies, to understand the different conventions and methods by which scholars interpret texts, media, authorship, and cultural contexts. Written work will include assignments that practice these different academic genres, and you will get to try out a range of analytical approaches, to determine which best fit your approach. Therefore, you will have great freedom in selecting topics for your projects in this course, so you can set out on your own path through our MA program.

This course is required for all English MA students.  

ENGL 602-01: Teaching College Composition - Prof. Andrea Olinger 

Wednesday 4:00 - 6:45

This course is an introduction to the theories, research, and practices of teaching writing at the college level. We’ll study the histories of teaching approaches, explore inclusive practices, and examine developments in composition pedagogy, including multimodal composition, transfer, racial literacies, and translingualism. You will conduct research about some aspect of the teaching of writing, and you will design materials for an English 102 (research writing) course. Ultimately, you will leave the course with a deeper understanding of your teaching philosophy and practice. Note: English 602 is designed for those who are teaching in the UofL Composition Program for the first time, but it is open to all, including self-funded MA students who might want to teach composition here in the future.

This is a required course for MA and PhD students who are a GTA. It is open to GTAs only.

ENGL 604-01: Writing Center Theory and Practice - Prof. Timothy Johnson 

Mo/Wed/Fr 10:00 - 10:50

This course prepares incoming GTAs to teach in the University Writing Center. In this course we will discuss the theoretical foundations necessary for teaching writing effectively in a writing center. We will cover topics including ways of approaching writing consultations with students, responding effectively to student writing, the role of style and grammar instruction in the writing center, consulting strategies with multilingual writers, digital media and writing center work, writing in and across the disciplines, and the issues of identity and power that come with all of these topics. There will also be plenty of room for us to decide, together, what content to cover.

Week-by-week, we will reflect on matters related to writing at the university (and the Writing Center) while working to hone personal ideas about, and approaches to, teaching writing. We will also read a variety of scholarship on issues of literacy, composition and rhetoric, and writing center work and practice producing written pieces reflecting on these subjects.

This course is a requirement for all MA students who are a GTA. MA students who are not a GTA can take this course as an elective. PHD students who wish to take this course need permission from the instructor. In those cases, the course will fulfill an elective.

 ENGL 606-01: Creative Writing I - Prof. Paul Griner 

Thursday 4:00 - 6:45

This is a graduate level workshop-style course in the writing of original fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, or drama.  Class sessions are used primarily to discuss work written by class members, which is distributed and studied in advance of the discussion. 

As is true of most workshops, students know far better than I what they hope to get from this course, but I expect them to do a lot of reading and writing, to attend and participate in every class, and to revise thoroughly at least one of the pieces they workshop.  I also expect to see all of them improve as writers, and as readers and critics.  That doesn’t necessarily mean I expect them to become more “polished” writers; in some cases it may mean they're more willing to take risks, while in others it may mean they'll gain greater expertise in things they've already learned to do well.  Through readings and workshops, discussion, written work, etc., they will be working constantly at the art of revising, a crucial skill for all writers, but especially advanced ones. 

This course is an elective for PhD students, although PhD students can apply up to 3 hours of creative writing to the literature requirement. It is an elective for MA students. 

ENGL 670-50: Composition Theory and Practice (online) - Prof. Bruce Horner 

Distance Ed

The project of this course is to 1) more fully acquaint you with at least some of the discourses of composition: how it is defined, its predominant and recurring concerns and practices, its claims, and 2) to put all these into question by identifying differences (including conflicts) among them and/or by posing alternatives (differences) to them. Readings will be selected for their potential to help identify these. I will be asking you to respond to readings in terms of the work they do and the implications of that work, as well as to reflect on your responses to better understand and revise the work those responses might accomplish in the definitions, concerns, and claims they draw on and attempt to advance and revise. One outcome of your responses and reflections will take the form of your seminar project, in which you investigate and describe, critique, and pose revisions to a specific selection of definitions, concern, practices, and/or claims we've discussed. These projects will take the form of essays roughly 5,000-6250 words in length, drafts of which will constitute the final readings for the course.  
This course will be taught as a 100% DE asynchronous course. In addition to your seminar projects, your contributions to our work will consist of postings to discussion board forums, and weekly response essays. 

MA students can take this course as an elective. For PhD students, it satisfies the Pedagogy and Program Administration Requirement.

ENGL 673-01: Conquering England 900-1200 - Prof. Andrew Rabin

Tuesday 4:00 - 6:45

Course description forthcoming. Please email for more details.

This course fulfills the Literature pre-1700 requirement for MA students. For PhD students, it fulfills the Rhetoric requirement.