Fall 2021 Course Descriptions

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

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 506-50: Teaching of Writing (DE) - Prof. Karen Kopelson

“The Teaching of Writing” may sound like a straightforward and pragmatic course in direct application. It is not. It is a course that poses and strives to answer big questions: What even IS writing? To what ends do we teach it? If we feel we know what writing is, what kind(s) should be taught, and again, to what ends—that is, what should be our goals for “teaching writing”? These are the large questions with which we begin the course, and to which return again and again throughout the semester. It shouldn’t be long before we begin to discern that “teaching writing” is not only difficult to define and hardly a straightforward or objective task, but a phenomenon loaded with ideological assumptions that has complex social, personal, disciplinary, and even political implications and ramifications.

Readings in the course are drawn from Composition Studies and Education scholarship and will cover such issues as: the writing process (invention, revision etc.), error, teaching grammar, teaching argument, the place of the personal in academic writing, writing across disciplines, language and cultural differences in writing, responding to student writing, peer collaboration, writing with technology or writing in the digital age etc. This is not an exhaustive list.

Course requirements may include but are not limited to: regular and rigorous participation in all discussion activities, weekly written responses to the readings, various reflective or narrative writings, small researched inquiries, and a final course project to be determined based on student interests, needs, and plans for their futures.

  • This course is an elective for MA students. MA students may apply up to 9 credits of 500-level coursework to the MA degree.

ENGL 542-01: Special Topics: Studies in Tudor and Elizabethan Literature - (CUE) - Prof. S. Matthew Biberman

Prerequisites: ENGL 102 or 105; Junior standing. In Archaeolgies of the Future, Frederick Jameson speculates that any effort to break radically with the current capitalist paradigm will require inspiration from Thomas More’s Utopia in order to rethink money. The Tudor and Renaissance periods usher in not only the earliest forms of capitalism, but also English literature as we understand it today. In this seminar, we will explore the literature and culture of 15th and 16th century England in order to take up Jameson’s challenge. How might emergent forms of English literature and art contribute to today’s urgent need to rethink money and our economic system? In addition to More’s Utopia, we will read a range of texts as part of our investigations. Other authors will include: Spenser, Sydney, Marlowe, Wyatt, Kempe, and Shakespeare. Requirements: take-home midterm, final seminar, presentation.

  • This course satisfies the pre-1700 requirement for MA students.

ENGL 545-01: Studies in British Literature of the Romantic Period - CUE - Prof. Karen Hadley

In the summer of 1815, the celebrated Romantic poets Lord Byron, Percy Shelley and their entourage gathered at the Villa Diodati on the shores of Lake Geneva. They spent long candlelit evenings in discussions ranging from philosophy, to contemporary scientific topics such as alchemy, galvanism, and the principles of animation, to tales of ghosts and vampires. One evening Lord Byron read the Fantasmagoriana, a collection of German ghost stories, and challenged those present each to write a ghost story. The challenge produced literary fragments and poems, notable among them Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein and Polidori’s novel The Vampyre, forerunner of Stoker’s Dracula and of modern vampire fantasy fiction.

This course will explore the lives of the individuals present on this occasion, the contemporary contexts informing their discourse, and the texts generated in response to Byron’s “ghost story challenge.” Among these texts, we will place special emphasis on Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Where she was a “silent auditor” to these conversations, we will explore how nonetheless she represented an interpretation of the remarkable occasion in her novel: its setting, its characters, its themes. We shall see how Mary herself and her “monstrous” desire to write, is figured in Victor Frankenstein’s “monster”—which monster, in turn, will serve as guiding light for the course.

  • This course satisfies the 1700-1900 requirement for MA students.

ENGL 550-50: Black Chicago Renaissance - CUE- Prof. David Anderson

This course focuses on African American literature, art, and music in Chicago during the late 1920’s, 1930's, 40's, and 50's. As the Harlem Renaissance was winding down in the early 1930's, an even larger and more vibrant arts movement was starting up in Chicago—one that Arna Bontemps described as “without finger bowls, but with increased power.” Chicago was not only an important destination for African Americans during the Great Migration, but also home at one time or another to such varied writers as Richard Wright, Margaret Walker, Gwendolyn Brooks, Thoedore Ward, Arna Bontemps, and Lorraine Hansberry. It was also a center for visual artists such as Archibald Motley, Elizabeth Catlett, and Richmond Barthe, as well as a variety of music, including blues, jazz, gospel, and classical music. The class is a good opportunity to study key themes in mid-century African American literature, with a secondary look at music and the visual arts, within the context of the second largest city of the country at that time.

  • This course satisfies the post-1900 requirement for MA students.

 ENGL 551-01: Special Topics: Animal Studies - Dr. Glynis Ridley 

What is Animal Studies? In 1975, Peter Singer’s Animal Liberation provided a sustained – and highly controversial – engagement with questions about man’s treatment of non-human animals. The book is widely held to be a foundational text for the modern animal rights movement, and it is this movement that many – wrongly – assume to be the sole focus of Animal Studies. Certainly the questions that Singer poses in his book are inescapable in the field, but discussion of bio-ethics and modern agri-business is by no means the entirety of the discipline, which can be considered in relation to subjects as diverse as Art History, Cultural Studies, History, History of Science, Law, Literature, and Philosophy. In the last decade, scholars working in every period of literature have begun to ask questions about the representation of animals. Their role in the medieval bestiary or the fable seems obvious, but even here, the gulf between a particular species and its artistic or literary representation can be a wide one. Indeed, many of the most famous species of the bestiary (such as the dragon or unicorn) have generated their own field of crypto-zoology (the description of - and lore surrounding - animals that do not exist). Given such a vast field, any course must therefore necessarily be selective, not simply in terms of texts, but with regard to the branch of Animal Studies explored.

The course will take as its focus the representation of animals in literature of the 18th and early 19th centuries. The class will read seminal modern works in the field of Animal Studies, such as Singer’s Animal Liberation, but we will apply these modern concerns to consideration of the representation of animals in an earlier age. The 18th and 19th centuries are chosen as a pivotal in man’s engagement with the natural world due to several factors including: the doubling of the number of known animal species in the first half of the 18th century (largely as a result of imperial exploration); Bakewell’s manipulation of the bodies of livestock animals at New Dishley; and the rise of the indoor dog and cat, sharing its owner’s food and domestic accommodation. It is the latter development that, perhaps more than any other, drives the 18th century development of experiments with narrative point of view, so that by the time of Kendall’s Keeper’s Travels (1798), we can see an author attempt to take his readers inside the mind of a dog, showing its experience of a wide range of recognizably human emotions.

The course will include time spent in Special Collections in the Ekstrom Library, working with Diderot and D’Alembert’s Encyclopédie and examining its representation of the natural world.

Reading will include, but not be limited to:

Excerpts from Francis Coventry, The Adventures of Pompey the Little (1751); Dorothy Kilner, The Life and Perambulations of a Mouse (1783); Sarah Trimmer, Fabulous Histories (1786) and Edward Augustus Kendall, Keeper’s Travels (1798). Critical texts will include excerpts from Harriet Ritvo, The Platypus and the Mermaid (1997); Kathryn Shevelow, For the Love of Animals (2008); Peter Singer, Animal Liberation (1975)

  • This course satisfies the 1700-1900 literature requirement for both MA and PhD students.

ENGL 567-75: Special Topics: Post-Colonial Voices: Writing Experience in African Literature - WR; CUE - Prof. Kossi Logan

This seminar will address some major trends in the development of postcolonial African literature, delineate, and explore the historical, socio-political, aesthetic, and cultural conditions/forces that occasioned its advent, production, and dissemination. Participants will read, discuss, and critique selected primary texts (prose fiction) produced by writers from across the continent, as well as diverse theoretical and critical reflections that contextualize related key issues/topics the course seeks to address: imperialism, colonialism, neocolonialism, decolonization, post-colonialism, apartheid, globalization, orature, hybridity, gender and identity politics, tradition and modernity.

  • This course satisfies the post-1900 literature requirement for MA  students.

ENGL 581-50: Cities and Monsters – Prof. Hristomir Stanev

This course will examine an intriguing set of relationships between stage, street, performance, and ideas of urban enterprise, credit, aliens and alienation, fashion, transvestite expression, deviance, anatomies, anomalies, monstrosity, criminality, parody, and sexualities. The main questions that we will pursue address the ways in which drama in the age of Shakespeare negotiated specific identities that often opposed local to foreign, proper to monstrous, urbane to coarse, and deviant to static, depicting the social landscape in cities and beyond in fluid, almost unfamiliar terms, unleashed by the sweeping currents of proto-capitalism, consumerism, and the disintegration of stable social markers of self, gender, and status. The learning outcomes of this class will aim to generate: 1) enhanced understanding of the material and cultural conditions of play-acting and play-going in the English capital around 1600; 2) awareness of the economic, cultural, and “monstrous” enterprises, affecting metropolitan space, markers of self, history, and social structures; 3) appreciation for a vibrant and rich body of works that created distinct themes and dramatic techniques. The learning outcomes will be assessed through one shorter analytical essay and one longer research paper, as well as through Discussion Board posts.

  • This course satisfies the pre-1700 requirement for MA students. 

English 599-01: Texts and Technologies (WR/CUE) - Prof.  Mark Mattes


In our current moment of digital media shift, this course asks, how do people “know” themselves and their worlds through books? What is distinctive about knowledge that is created through the writing, reading, publishing, and collecting of books? How does book knowledge—that is, bibliographic knowledge—shape our expressive cultures and our world? And what are the social consequences of knowledge created in such a way? This semester we will try to find some provisional answers to these questions.

Students will encounter a range of writings by artists and scholars that can, in part, be read as a series of polemics about the role of bibliographic knowledge. In analyzing how these writings are aesthetically, thematically, rhetorically, and physically bound up in books, we will trouble the everyday ordinariness of “the book”—a thing, a practice, and a standard that is so often taken for granted. Readings and assignments, at once theoretical, historical, and technical, point to the heterogeneity and ubiquity of bound-and-inscribed forms and place them in relation to a vast array of communication technologies and practices.

Students will not only foster and demonstrate this media awareness through traditional written assignments. This course also has an obligatory hands-on component—object lessons that I am calling “book studies.” These studies may include participating in a letterpress demonstration; surveying rare books and artists’ books in special collections; building book structures; and altering existing book objects and writing via annotations, revisions, and new formats. By demanding rigorous attention to media practices, this course not only asks how other people think with books—it implores us to do so, too.

  • This course satisfies the post-1900 requirement for MA students. 

ENGL 601-01Introduction to Graduate Study  Prof. Andrew Rabin 

This course will offer an introduction to graduate study in the context of the intellectual and institutional history of English and American literary scholarship over the course of the past century. We will look primarily at the development of professional English Studies in the United States, with attention as well to British and Continental trends and contemporary global developments. The course will focus on case studies, with clusters of readings that illustrate major issues and varying approaches to the study of literature in a university setting.  The texts we will read each approach these themes from very different perspectives, and I encourage you to bring your own ideas and interests into class as well.  

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

Designed for those teaching in UofL's Composition Program for the first time, this course is an introduction to the theories, research, and practices of teaching writing at the college level. We’ll examine perspectives on what writing is, how people develop as writers throughout their lives, and how writing should be taught. We’ll also explore approaches to teacher and peer response, assessment, and other aspects of writing pedagogy. Ultimately, students will leave the course with a deeper understanding of their teaching philosophy and practice. 

  • This course is a requirement for all PhD and MA GTAs. 

ENGL 604-01: Writing Center Theory and Practice - Prof. Bronwyn Williams 

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, issues of identity and power. We will read a variety of scholarship on issues of literacy, composition and rhetoric, and writing center work as well as discuss issues raised in weekly work in the University Writing Center. This course is a requirement for all MA GTAs. PhD students who wish to take it need permission from the instruction. In such cases, this course is an elective. 

  • This course is a requirement for all MA GTAs. PhD students who wish to take it need permission from the instructor. In such cases, this course is an elective. 

ENGL 606-01: Creative Writing II: Prof. Paul Griner *Requires Permission 

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. This course satisfies the post-1900 requirement for MA students.

ENGL 665-01: Serial Form and the Documentary Impulse in Contemporary American Poetry - Prof. Alan Golding  

Whether it is M. NourbeSe Philip’s use of eighteenth-century legal documents to dramatize the historical and living trauma of transatlantic slavery, Susan Howe’s poetic unpacking of women’s place in American literary history, or Mark Nowak’s investigative poem sequences on the experience of the Rust Belt working class during de-industrialization, many contemporary poets have used the open-endedness of the longer (and sometimes book-length) serial poem to address pressing historical and contemporary examples of marginalization, suppression, and erasure—of information, of experience, of people. This seminar considers (1) the wide range of work done under the rubric of the “serial poem” or “serial form” by US American poets since the 1960s and (2) how that work is driven by the documentary or investigative impulse that drives the widely influential “documentary turn” in contemporary poetry.

What is the serial poem, this influential, mainly contemporary and late-twentieth-century form? The serial poem is longer, made up of multiple modular parts or sections that can often be moved around; it is discontinuous, non-narrative, and open-ended, working by juxtaposition and association across gaps—gaps in knowledge, in memory, in the space of the page. But despite its widespread use and its great variety, the serial poem is surprisingly under-theorized or under-analyzed as a form. We’ll consider the following questions:

  • How does the serial poem differ from the epic, the long poem, the lyric sequence?
  • How have US American poets from modernism to the present used the serial poem to work through the relationship between the aesthetic and the political, issues of race, class, and gender, the changing nature of the social compact?
  • What thematic and stylistic possibilities does working in serial form open up for the poet who combines seriality with the documentary impulse?
  • More formal questions that the serial poem consistently poses include the relationship of part to whole (and of citizen to state), the competing drives toward openness and closure, the limits and possibilities of juxtaposition, fragmentation and discontinuity for structuring a longer poetic work, the various uses of documentary and appropriated language—all issues to which we will return often in the course of the semester.

Readings: For historical perspective, we’ll begin with Muriel Rukeyser’s “The Book of the Dead,” on the covering up of the 1930s Gauley Bridge industrial disaster, a hugely influential work for many later poets.  For the rest of the semester, readings will be drawn from some combination of the work of Philip, Howe, Nowak, George Oppen, Robert Creeley, Nathaniel Mackey, Rachel Blau DuPlessis, Harryette Mullen, Robin Coste Lewis, Claudia Rankine, Philip Metres, Douglas Kearney, Kristin Prevallet, Philip Metres, and Layli Long Soldier. Weekly secondary readings will be variously critical, theoretical, and historical in nature.

Learning objectives: Students in the course will:

  • develop or expand their critical and theoretical vocabulary for the discussion of poetry
  • develop an in-depth understanding of an influential 20th- and 21st-century poetic mode and of the central works written in that mode. Serial form and the documentary turn are so widespread in current poetic practice that attention to them also provides a survey of much significant American poetry of the last sixty years.
  • if they are creative writers, expand their understanding of the range of possible formal tools at their disposal
  • review or learn about some central features of the history of twentieth-century American poetry

 Students will have the option of completing a creative project as a final seminar “paper” if they so choose.

  • This course satisfies the literature requirement for PhD students. It satisfies the post-1900 literature requirement for MA students.

ENGL 670-50Composition Theory and Practice - Prof. Bruce Horner 

This course surveys the history and range of composition theories and practices, including teaching practices, and their relations to one another, through reviews of some of the significant theoretical and historical accounts of these.  Taught as a 100% asynchronous online course.  Weekly response essays will comprise the bulk of the focus of our discussions.  Final readings for the course will consist of literature reviews students have drafted on individual topics in composition theory and practice. 

  • This course satisfies the Pedagogy & Prog Admin requirement for PhD students. This course is an elective for MA students.

ENGL 676-01: Rhetoric of Health and Medicine – Prof. Karen Kopelson 

Medical discourses and practices have what anthropologist and bioethicist Katrina Karkazis describes as a potentially “unequalled power to define what it is to be normatively human” (Fixing Sex 283). Given that definitions are made in language, there is obvious exigence for scholars of rhetoric to turn their attention to medical (and/or medicalized, and/or medicalizing) discourse practices. Indeed, we have done so with increasing frequency, developing a now-flourishing subfield of rhetoric studies: Rhetoric of Health and Medicine. At base, this course seeks to familiarize you with this subfield’s content and work: its diverse concerns, recurrent conversations, and wide-ranging research methodologies and analytical practices. 

Focusing in on those analytical practices is a secondary goal of the course. This course fulfills the rhetoric requirement for doctoral students, and thus the course endeavors to determine what constitutes rhetorical analysis, and what distinguishes it from other analyses of the workings of language/communicative practices. At the end of the course, students will gain practice producing a rhetorical analysis of their own, of a rhetorical-medical/health-related phenomenon of their choice, broadly conceived.  

 Finally, because Rhetoric of Health and Medicine is a recently developed and still developing subfield of study, we will be able to gain insights in this course into processes of disciplinary formation. We will tie these insights to larger conversations and questions about disciplinarity that have fascinated (or plagued) Rhetoric and Composition since its own inception as a discipline.  

I invite you to learn more about the types of phenomena explored by rhetoricians of health and medicine by browsing around the website of the journal RHM, from which we will be drawing much of our most contemporary course content: journals.upress.ufl.edu/rhm 

  • This course satisfies the rhetoric requirement for Ph.D. students. This course is an elective for MA students.

ENGL 692-0120th Century Theories of Language -  Prof. Karen Hadley

Using early 20th-century innovative figures in the fields of philosophy and linguistics (Frege and de Saussure) as springboards for what follows, we’ll begin by addressing representative figures in Phenomenology, Structuralism, Formalism and the New Criticism, and the Philosophy of Language before moving into deconstruction. Devoting a few weeks to representative deconstructive theorists Jacques Derrida and Paul de Man, we will explore the nuanced ways in which deconstructive theory revolutionized what preceded it, all the while seeking to understand their notoriously dense and difficult prose (appearing in 1966 at the landmark Johns Hopkins Symposium on Language, Derrida was said to have been “the Samson to tear down the temple”). The final third of the course will look toward the latter part of the century at socio-historical (and deconstructive-) inflected perspectives such as Foucauldian historicism, Social Constructivism (Bourdieu), Marxism (Jameson), Feminism(s), and Post-Colonial Studies.  

The richly dense, difficult texts we will be working from will inflect course expectations: presentation and discussion will be focused at least initially on complex intrinsic comprehension, and writing projects will be student-generated and formatted loosely as short essays, rather than as a final seminar paper.

  •  This course satisfies the theory requirement for MA and PhD students.