Graduate Course Descriptions Fall 2015

ENGL 504-01: Advanced Creative Writing II – Fiction: Professor Ridge: TTh 1:00PM – 2:15 PM 

This upper-division fiction workshop is designed to get students producing and workshopping original material (short stories, novel chapters, and flash fiction cycles). Class time is devoted to discussing work written by class members as well as fiction by a range of contemporary authors. In addition to creative work, students will be required to write various kinds of critical responses. Prerequisite: two undergraduate creative writing classes or graduate-student status.

ENGL 506-75: Teaching of Writing: Professor Horner: MW 5:30PM – 6:45PM

This course will be devoted to making useful sense of scholarship on the teaching of writing by examining the terms, concepts, assumptions, and concerns that seem to be key in some of the literature constituting that scholarship.  No course could adequately review the substantial literature on writing pedagogy. Readings for this course represent a small network of past and recent writings addressing writing pedagogy from the perspective of the teaching of college composition.  Students will be expected to approach these texts as part of ongoing scholarly conversations and debates that they are in a position to begin to engage with and to contribute to through their written responses to these readings, discussions of these, and in their essays.  In posing and pursuing questions about these texts—in journal responses, discussions, and position papers—students should become familiar with this writing pedagogy scholarship and find ways to make sense of it in ways that will be useful to them in their own thinking about and preparation for teaching writing.

ENGL 518-01: Foundations of Language: Profressor Soldat-Jaffe: TTh 11:00AM – 12:15PM

Language is at the heart of all things human. We use it when we talk, thing, read, write, and listen. Accordingly, linguistics is the study of how language works. We will investigate in this course what it means when we say that "language is more than just a language". We will find answers to questions such as "what is language?", "how do we use language?", "how do children learn language?", "how do we process language?"etc.  This course is a survey of contemporary theories of language and their applications.

ENGL 522-01: Structure of Modern English: Professor Stewart: TTh 1:00PM- 2:15PM
*Sections 50 & 51 are the distance learning versions of the course.
This course is designed as a linguistic exploration of the various forms and combinations of words, phrases, and sentences that contemporary speakers of English typically recognize as belonging to that language.
To help in this exploration, students will:
•           examine both popular and technical conceptions of “grammar”
•           examine that variety of English referred to as Standard American English (SAE)
•           consider some of the ways in which one can vary from SAE and still be speaking English
•           consider the role of situation, audience, etc., in determining “appropriate use”
•           acquire terminology and methods that permit clear description of English grammar
•           collect real-life examples of actual English usage for detailed description
•           identify and monitor trends in English usage to evaluate “changes in progress”
Note: This course can count in the Theoretical Track concentration or as an Elective for the Undergraduate Minor in Linguistics. For more information, see
Student learning outcomes:
Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:
1. distinguish between language issues that are fundamental to the construction of English sentences and those that constitute “pet peeves” and “complaint triggers”;
2. identify English examples in terms of grammatical categories, inflectional forms, clausal functions, and syntactic constructions;
3. produce original examples of each of the types listed in (2) above; and
4. describe, compare, and contrast example English structures in detail through the rigorous application of the concepts, categories, and methods of descriptive linguistics.


ENGL 542-75: Studies in Tudor and Elizabethian Literature: Professor Billingsley: 
TTh 7:00PM – 8:15 PM

Early modern English poets used prosody, metrics, stanza form and the genre expectations identified with those conventions to organize, discipline and elaborate the substantial content of their poetry. In this intensive survey of sixteenth-century English poetry, we will examine those conventions and expectations in detail to develop our understanding of Tudor poetic practice; you will exercise your ability to describe that practice in rhetorically effective critical writing. Since no familiarity with these conventions is assumed, instruction in technical prosody and metrics will be integrated with analysis and criticism of the poetry.  Prose readings from the period illuminate the cultural context in which these poets worked.

By successful work in this course, students should be able to gain or reinforce these learning outcomes:
• General familiarity with sixteenth-century English poetry and its formal conventions, cultural context and social purposes;
• Basic understanding of English prosody as a formal and intellectual discipline for writers;
•Increased familiarity with the structure and organization of secondary critical arguments ; and
•Improved ability to identify or synthesize common threads of agreement and understanding in a community of readers.
Principal text:  Stephen Greenblatt, et al., eds.  Norton Anthology of English Literature, 9th ed., Vol. B (ISBN 978-0-393-91250-04).  Other texts may be assigned from online sources, to which links will be given in the syllabus.
Graded work for the term includes the following elements:
•Daily work (25% total) includes Blackboard forum contributions, prepared in advance to get you ready for each class meeting, and other assignments, prepared in advance or completed in class;
•Two hourly examinations (25% and 25%) with objective and quotation ID/short-answer sections and a brief essay response
•An essay project in three parts (25% total).
A draft syllabus, subject to change of readings and due dates, is posted on Blackboard for review.
ENGL 546-01: Studies in British Literature (Victorian): Professor Lutz: TTh 4:00PM - 5:15 PM
Novelists of the Victorian period worked to represent the minutiae of what it meant to be alive in nineteenth-century Britain. Moved by the social and aesthetic concerns of their time, Victorian writers developed a realism attentive to such matters as class, work, and society. In this course we will focus on the novels of a few women writers, especially George Eliot and Elizabeth Gaskell. We will be interested in their development of secular humanism—a set of morals based not on religious belief but rather on human principles and ethics. Gender and sexuality will be pressing issues for us, as will industrialization, the modern city, poverty, religion, and philosophy. We will keep in mind the vast and exuberant changes that were influencing these authors’ lives and those of everyone around them. Many of the difficulties and darknesses that trouble our time, as well as the heady interests and endeavors, have their origins in the Victorian period.
ENGL 551-01: The Gothic Novel: Professor Hadley: TTh 9:30AM – 10:45AM

Populated by banditti, hero-villains and native heroines, ghostly apparitions, and dark mysterious castles with labyrinthine corridors and damp dungeons, the gothic novel originated in eighteenth-century England and reached an apex in the Romantic period. 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 the role of the supernatural, particularly where it informs the gothic sublime (the experience of “delightful horror”) as an alternative to moral beauty and the picturesque. Representative authors will include Horace Walpole, Matthew Lewis, Anne Radcliffe, James Hogg, Jane Austen, and Mary Shelley. As gothic novels are often substantial, be forewarned that weekly course readings will average 150 pp./week.

ENGL 564-01: Poets and Early American Texts: Professor Golding: MWF 2:00PM – 3:15PM

Open to advanced undergraduates and graduate students, this course focuses on post-World War II North American poets’ use of earlier American texts. When later, often “so-called” experimental writers directly incorporate and respond to the work of predecessors in their own writing, what can we learn about influence, filiation, the idea of “originality?” What buried lineages or connections might be uncovered in American literary history when we examine these links across the centuries? The course offers students simultaneously both an introduction to some significant recent poets (Susan Howe, Rosmarie Waldrop, Charles Olson, John Berryman, M. NourbeSe Phillip are among the likely choices) and recent techniques of appropriation / citation, and an immersion in selected writings by, among others, Mary Rowlandson, Roger Williams, Emily Dickinson, Henry David Thoreau, Herman Melville. Full reading list to be determined. Likely course requirements: Undergraduates: one 5-7-page paper; a 12-page research paper; Graduate students: One 8-page paper; a 15-20-page research paper; 250-500-word conference prospectus that may also serve as a proposal for your research paper.

Everyone: Participation in online discussion via Blackboard, consisting of a minimum of 8 ungraded reading responses (one per author).

ENGL 577-01: Harlem Renaissance: Professor Anderson: MWF 11:00AM – 11:50AM

This course will introduce you to the Harlem Renaissance or New Negro Renaissance, the first large-scale African American arts movement. I will focus primarily on literature, but will also refer to both art and music in the course. The course will discuss the historical, social, and cultural contexts of early twentieth-century America that inform the movement, (such as World War I, urban migration, segregation and integration, rapid industrialization, and changes in education). Writers will include Hughes, McKay, Cullen, Larsen, Fauset, Nugent, and Brown.

ENGL 601: Introduction to English Studies: Professor Ryan: T 7:00PM – 9:45PM

This course will introduce MA students to the questions, contexts, and methodologies that shape literary studies at the graduate level. In addition to discussing texts, both primary and secondary, that represent and interrogate various ways of reading, we will consider and attempt several of the genres in which graduate students are commonly asked to write (proposal; annotated bibliography, conference paper; seminar paper). Alongside our investigation of key theoretical lenses or modes of inquiry, the course will introduce students to research methods using digital databases.

ENGL 602: Teaching College Composition: Professor Brueggemann: Th 4:00 – 6:45PM

English 602 focuses on the theory and practice of teaching writing at the college level.  We will engage reading, activities, and discussion that encourage reflective, critical, and flexible teaching practices in college-level writing classrooms.  This course is designed for (graduate) students who are teaching in the Composition Program at the University of Louisville.

Course Materials:

1.)         The Norton Book of Composition Studies.  Susan Miller, Ed.  (WW Norton, 2009)

2.)        Some links & PDFs (through Blackboard)

Course Requirements/Activities:

1.)         (15%) Unit III for your 101 courses: Materials and a statement of goals for Unit III of English 101.  You are strongly encouraged to work with a partner/group on this assignment.

2.)        (15%) Unit IV for your 101 courses:  Materials and a statement of goals for Unit IVof English 101.  You are strongly encouraged to work with a partner/group on this assignment.

(30%)Portfolio of 102 materials.     Cover letter (rationale) + Syllabus + at least the first assignment + Teaching Philosophy for a section of 102.

(30%)Weekly Post-Its

Due on the SUNDAY (by midnight, preferably) following our Tuesday class. You need to turn in at least 8; there are 11 possible.

These post-its are “what you make of it.”  I will sometimes have a few prompts to get you started thinking/writing.  Sometimes I will ask you to write you own prompts too!  These are intended to be weekly “post-it notes” that reflect back on what was covered in class (and possibly connect it forward too).  I encourage you to experiment and engage form with content (try out some new things, yes).  But always, yes always, be critical (in a constructive way).  Make meaning.

3) 10%Practice Pods Due during the week you are assigned!

Here is where the rubber (of our reading/theory) meets the road of our own teaching/classrooms.  In “pods” of three, you will share with us all—during your PP week—various activities, assignments, lesson plans, strategies you might use for teaching about the “subject” of that week’s class.  Your pod will have 30 minutes to present and share with us (and field questions & comments if you like).  Consider a lesson plan/activity presentation of 15-20 minutes and then leave time for us to interact back with you!  Enjoy!

ENGL 603: Gender and Science Fiction: Professor Heinecken: TTh 4:00 – 5:15PM 


ENGL 604: Writing Center Theory and Practice: Professor Williams: TTh 2:30PM – 3:45PM

Note: This section requires permission from the instructor.

This course prepares incoming GTAs to teach in the University Writing Center. In this course we will discuss the theoretical foundation necessary for examining pedagogical issues important to an effective 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 for ESL students, digital media and writing center work, assessment and record-keeping, and resource development. We 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 Writing Center.

ENGL 606: Creative Writing: Professor Griner: M 7:00PM – 9:45PM

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.

ENGL 621-01: Sociolinguistics: Professor Soldat-Jaffe: Th 4:00 – 6:45 

Sociolinguistics is the study of language in its social context. As such we study language primarily as a means of communication and expression of identity as the identity of the speaker and of the speech community define the choice of the language. We will look at questions like: What are the different language varieties? Who speaks what language variety to whom, why, and with whom? What happens when we find languages in contact? What influences the speaker’s language attitude? How does language spread, shift, die, or revive? In addition to the textbook we will also be reading scholarly articles that I will post online. This is a sociolinguistic course exploring the above questions in an interdisciplinary manner by using critical thinking.

ENGL 631: Deviants, Monsters, Cross-dressers: the Renaissance Stage (1585-1625): Professor Stanev: Th 7:00PM – 9:45PM

This course will investigate a complex set of relationships between stage, street, crime, deviancy, roguery, vagrancy, cross-dressing and impersonation, and ideas of commercial enterprises, crises of the self, sexual and economic ambiguities, fashion and cultural capital, transgender identities, parody, revenge, and resistance. The main questions that we will pursue address the ways in which drama in the age of Shakespeare chartered and negotiated specific forms of criminality, monstrosity, and deviance that often satirically depicted and commented upon the supposed stability of dominant forms of cultural expression, material and subjective comfort, political and social organizations, urban conformism, and forms of sexual proscription. We will further study these relationships as sub-elements of the topographical, political, sexual, and domestic dislocation that accompanied London’s massive growth in the early seventeenth century. In order to do so, we will adopt a historicist and materialist approach to studying change and innovation as elements of the cultural fabric of late Elizabethan and Jacobean plays. Primary dramatic texts will include Marlowe’s Edward II, Jonson’s Epicene,Alchemist,and Bartholomew Fair, Dekker’s The Shoemaker’s Holiday, Middleton’s The Revenger’s Tragedy and A Chaste Maid in Cheapside, Dekker andMiddleton’s The Roaring Girl, the anonymous Arden of Faversham, Marston’s Dutch Courtesan, and Beaumont’s Knight of the Burning Pestle. Primary non-dramatic readings will include a selection of Elizabethan “cony-catching” (rogue) pamphlets, as well as excerpts from Mynshul’s Prisons and Prison Characters, Dekker’s Seven Deadly Sins of London and The Bellman of London, and the anonymous Hic Mulier/Haec Vir.

ENGL 642-01: 18th Century Fiction: Professor G. Ridley: W 4:00PM – 6:45PM 

As a literary form, the novel does not originate in the eighteenth century, but literary historians generally agree that eighteenth century Britain is the site of the novel’s most rapid and decisive evolution. The course will take a brief overview of the rise of the novel, including its typical style and subject matter in the first half of the eighteenth century, in order to situate our study of a range of mid-late eighteenth century fictions that are revolutionary in terms of form and/or content. Among topics that will be considered are the rise of Gothic horror and the use of fiction as a means of debating political rights. Texts will include, but are not limited to, Horace Walpole, Castle of Otranto; Matthew Lewis, The Monk; Mary Wollstonecraft, Maria: Or The Wrongs of Woman; Sydney Owenson, Lady Morgan, The Wild Irish Girl; Charlotte Dacre, Zofloya. If you have any questions at this stage, please feel free to contact the instructor:

ENGL 654: Global Modernisms: Professor Clukey: T 4:00PM – 6:45PM

Historically modernism has been seen as a transatlantic movement centered in European and American cities like London, Paris, and New York that peaked between the two World Wars. This canonical, so-called “high modernism” drew on the privileges of empire. As Britain and other nations colonized the world, artifacts from the colonies poured into metropoles and inspired Europeans and Americans to create highly experimental literature and art. Recently, however, modernist studies has radically expanded beyond Western Europe and the United States to include Anglophone literature and translated texts from previously ignored colonial sites. In short, “international Modernism” has been replaced by “global modernisms” (note the shift from a capital “M” to a lowercase one, from a singular Modernism to a plurality of modernisms).

This course will examine modernist literature through “transnational” “hemispheric,” “cosmopolitan” and “planetary” perspectives. In the first few weeks, we'll begin by looking at the ways that canonical modernists like Virginia Woolf, T.S. Eliot, and E.M. Forster approach colonial themes and subjects. Then we’ll turn to examples of marginalized modernisms from the colonial periphery that respond to, adapt, reject, or ignore European models. Course discussions will consider issues of historicity, colonialism, race, ethnicity, region, nation, and form. Possible texts include: Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway, excerpts from James Joyce’s Ulysses, short stories by Somerset Maugham and E.M. Forster, T.S. Eliot’s poetry, Jean Rhys’s Voyage in the Dark, Eric Walrond’s Tropic Death, Mulk Raj Anand’s Coolie, Eileen Chang’s Love in a Fallen City, Langston Hughes The Big Sea, Claude McKay’s Banjo, Sam Selvon’s Lonely Londoners, Amos Tutuola’s The Palm-Wine Drinkard, among others.

ENGL 670-01: Composition Theory and Practice: Professor Sheridan: W 4:00PM – 6:45PM

Composition Theory and Practice is designed to help you locate yourself within our field.  Consequently, this course has two goals. First, this course focuses on breadth, by providing an overview of key histories, theories and methods that mark our field.  Second, this course pushes toward depth, by asking you to analyze how and with what consequences one key question or movement shaped/is shaping the general map of our field. By the end of this course, then, you should be able to construct your own map of the field, and to argue both for why one particular question/issue emerged, and for what that might tell us about our field.

ENGL 676: Rhetoric of Health and Medicine: Professor Kopelson: W 7:00PM – 9:45PM

In her 2008 book, Fixing Sex: Intersex, Medical Authority, and Lived Experience (from which we’ll be reading later in the term), anthropologist and bioethicist Katrina Karkazis describes what her study makes painfully clear is “medicine’s unequalled power to define what it is to be normatively human” (283). Given that definitions are made in language, there is obvious exigence for scholars of rhetoric to turn their attention to medicine’s discourse practices, and, indeed, we have done so with increasing frequency over the last decade: A body of work in medical rhetoric, or, more often now, rhetoric of health and medicine, is accumulating, and a subfield of rhetorical studies seems to have emerged. At base, this course seeks to familiarize you with this emerging body of work.

More specifically, a primary goal of this course is to help you come to a robust understanding of the workings—the rhetorical, disciplinary, and ideological power—of contemporary medical/health discourses as illuminated, primarily, by rhetoric scholars (across English and speech/communication) and, very occasionally, by scholars (like Karkazis) in fields such as anthropology or sociology. A secondary goal of the course, however, is to inquire into the nature and purpose, or potential purposes, of this “illumination”; to think—along with scholars in the field who have done the same—about how rhetoric scholars study medical discourses/language practices and about the ends to which we (should) do so. Thus, we will pause twice during the term for explicit “meta-methodological” readings and discussion, and I imagine that questions about means and ends, about what our different modes of inquiry or research methodologies enable or preclude, will inform our reading and discussion in other weeks as well.

ENGL 688: Multimodal Composing: Visiting Watson Professor DeVoss: T 4:00PM – 6:45 PM

More and more, writing today means collaging multiple media into rich, multimodal texts. Writers compose reports, manuscripts, webtexts, web pages, slideshow presentations, brochures, flyers, forms, digital video, and much more, and most of these texts require us to work across different media. In this writing-, analysis-, and production-intensive course, we will:
* play in the spaces where multiple media and rhetorical practices rub up against one another;
* explore the design, composition, and rhetorical elements of different types of “texts”;
* read some of the key­and peripheral!­texts related to multimodal composing; and
* explore the theory and methodology that frames multimodal composing, pedagogy, and research.

We will analyze different print and digital multimodal compositions and create and analyze our own using different tools (e.g., applying the theories of rhet/comp, technical writing, and graphic design scholars such as Cindy Selfe, Cheryl Ball, Steven Heller, Ellen Lupton, Claire Lauer, Anne Frances Wysocki, and others; e.g., exploring multimodal-composing possibilities in software applications like Microsoft Word; Apple iMovie or Windows MovieMaker, and Adobe Photoshop).

An eagerness and willingness to learn, play, and experiment is required for the course. No previous experience with the software is necessary. The course will meet in a computer lab, but you are also more than welcome to bring and work from your own computer.

ENGL 692: Weird Media and Deep Time: Professor Jaffe: M 4:00PM – 6:45 PM

Why is modernity - so often posed as a kind of apex of human activity, an event of “peak human” import - also a force field for all matter of thinking without humans? Registering the implications of several recent critical and philosophical trends, the pay-off of this course is weirder and longer accounts of the human and its on-going legacies. The word weird in the course title not only stands for the otherworldly but also what’s to come. The course syllabus converges on four theoretical preoccupations - each belated in different ways. One might imagine them as overlapping circles in a Venn diagram:

A. Ontology, the surprising return of, drawing back from the linguistic turn and considering the strange ontologies of assorted hybrids, pseudo-things, quasi- and hyper-objects, and the possibility of critical or epistemological environments

B. Affect, what affects affect. Inspired by Deleuze, this question moves away from interiority, and, connects to modernity via a “distribution of the sensible,” to cite Rancière

C. New Media, how media determine our situations, modulating them in affective/aesthetic terms, to modify Kittler somewhat, as well as rerouting our spatial and temporal positionings

D. Matter, making matter matter, living, dead or un-dead, borrowing from the “semi-fictitious” International Necronautical Society.

The middle part of the diagram - the suddenly detectable weird mediator - is the critical problem of the course, namely, marking a critical zone for inhuman cruft, matter, objects, affect, bodies, media, organs, intensities, orientations and gestures within literary-aesthetic (post)modernity. Furthermore, a fifth concern - too complex to diagram, perhaps - aligns with a second look at Posthumanism, as anatomized by Cary Wolfe, that leaves aside the crypto-transcendentalism of earlier iterations.  Indeed, the Interzone shuttles between affective optimism and pessimism, tergiversating between gestures of apathetic quiescence and cosmic grandeur, modernist inhumanism simultaneously, “hails the negation of an old cult” and heralds "a terrible trajectory, not towards emancipation, but survival." There's a strong dose of pessimism in the non-anthropocentric survival kit, a weird fourfold of nihilism, molecularity, technophilia and animality and a nerdy gusto for quarreling about obsolescent worthies in assorted forgotten cul-de-sacs of the humanist university.